Book Review: The Money Saving Mom’s Budget

The Money Saving Mom's Budget: Slash Your Spending, Pay Down Your Debt, Streamline Your Life, and Save Thousands a Year

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When Crystal Paine AKA “Money Saving Mom” offered bloggers the opportunity to review her new book The Money Saving Mom’s Budget, I jumped at the opportunity!  Crystal’s book will be released on January 10, but you can pre-order a copy here.  I am a huge fan of the Money Saving Mom blog; Crystal has a very balanced approach to frugality, budgeting, DIY-ing, and life in general, and I appreciate everything I have learned from her.

When I heard she was writing a book, I was very excited; however, since I follow her blog, I wasn’t sure how much “new” material I would really learn from the read.  I was pleasantly surprised!  The book is similar to her blog, but she has new and different material in the book as well.

One thing I’ve always appreciated about Crystal is her focus on goal-setting and breaking goals into bite-size pieces that are easily attainable.  She gives very detailed goal-setting help in the beginning of her book.  Another thing I love about the book is the appendix full of forms for budgeting, goal setting, and time management.  Crystal not only teaches you how to implement money saving principles, but she also gives you the tools to do so.

In chapter 2, Crystal discusses clutter…something we all have to some extent.  She poses the question, “Are chaos and clutter keeping you from financial success?”  Often we have so much “stuff” in our homes and lives that we can’t think straight, much less stick to a budget and focus on saving money.  Crystal guides you through very practical steps to taming the clutter in your own life and home.  Step by step and room by room, you will learn how to not only eliminate clutter, but also turn that clutter into cash.  (Something that I’ve already implemented thanks to craigslist and ebay!)  With minds and homes free of clutter, it’s so much easier to focus on budgeting and being a good steward both of money and time.

The book spends a good bit of time discussing how to set up a budget, implement a cash envelope system, lower your grocery bill, and save money in general.  These chapters are helpful for those who are new to these principles, as well as those who might want a refresher course or a few new tips.

In her last chapter, Crystal focuses on contentment.  It’s easy for us to look at other people  and wish we had their job, could save as much money as they do, etc.  However, we should instead be thankful for what we do have and focus on all we have been blessed with!

The Money Saving Mom’s Budget is a great read for someone who wants to get out of debt and start living on a budget, as well as someone who wants to learn more about saving money and squeaking more savings out of their monthly spending.  I highly recommend the book!



ps  I received a copy of The Money Saving Mom’s Budget in exchange for reviewing the book; however, all opinions in the book review are mine!  🙂


Book Review: The Power of a Praying Wife

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When I picked up The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian I expected to be reading a book that exclusively taught me how to pray for my husband.  And it did…but in so many ways that I never before considered.

The book turned out to be deeper than teaching me how to pray for Jared.  The first chapter in the book is titled His Wife.  “Praying for a husband must begin with praying for his wife.”  Stormie explains that when you pray for your husband, you must have a pure heart, free of resentment, unforgiveness, or ulterior motives.  In order to do that, you need to pray and beg God that you will have those right motives…you need to pray for your husband’s wife.  That’s me.

I think we’ve all prayed that our hubbies would change something at some point.  On the surface, that’s really not a bad thing.  The question we must ask ourselves is, “Why, am I praying this?”  Am I praying because I want things to be better for me, or with Jared’s best interest in mind?

Um.  Conviction!  Woven throughout the chapters was the underlying principle of the need to be selfless, loving, and generous in your prayers for your husband.  To pray with his best interest, not yours, in mind.

Another thing that stuck out to me in the book was the need to pray for your husband BEFORE you talk about something difficult with him.  Our hubby’s aren’t perfect (though mine might be pretty close 😉 ), and there are times that we will need to lovingly discuss a difficult problem or situation.  In my bull-headedness, I like to rush into those conversations, but this book challenged me to pray first.  Pray that my own heart is right.  (Because, often I’m the one with the problem, and not him!)  Pray that God would point out those areas to hubby.  Pray and ask if I should even talk to hubby about whatever situation.  And then wait…don’t speak quite yet, but continue praying!  If I do feel led to speak…finally pray that God would prepare His heart and guide my words.  Stormie points out that praying before these conversations often makes the conversations completely unneccessary.  However, if they do remain necessary, the conversation and situation will go so much better with God’s help!  And, isn’t that how we are supposed to do everything in life anyway?

The majority of the book was composed of short chapters brimming with specific matters of prayer regarding our husbands:  His Purpose, His Mind, His Reputation, His Priorities, His Past, His Marriage, His Finances, and many more!  The end of each chapter included a prayer full of applicable Scripture verses to pray.  I’ve never been big on pre-written prayers, but it was a blessing to me to read through the Biblical prayers and pray them to God specifically for Jared.  I was also challenged to include more Scripture in all of my personal, daily prayers. 

The Power of a Praying Wife was a beneficial read that was a help to my prayers for Jared, myself, and our marriage.  I appreciated Stormie’s heartfelt writing and transparency as she taught Biblical models and principles for prayer.

My Reading Pile

“The more you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
Dr. Seuss

On my bookshelf sits a pile of books.  Unread.  I’m making an effort to change that “unread” status.

While my hubby is in seminary, I’ve made it a goal to read and learn as much as can at the same time that he is doing the same.  While he sits and studies, I’ll often sit with him and read.

I plan to write book reviews for several of the books that I’ll be reading, so keep checking the blog!

Here are my lists:

Finished Reading:
Calm My Anxious Heart
    Linda Dillow

***Becoming the Woman of His Dreams    Sharon Jaynes
Created to Be His Helpmeet    Debi Pearl
Duggars:  20 and Counting  Michelle & Jim Bob Duggar

Currently Reading:
The Power of a Praying Wife    Stormie Omartian
A Love that Multiplies    Michelle & Jim Bob Duggar
Promoting Your Teaching Studio    Phillip Johnston

To Read:
Grace for the Good Girl
    Emily Freeman
One Thousand Gifts    Ann Voskamp
Idols of the Heart: Learning to Long for God Alone    Elyse Fitzpatrick
Lies Women Believe: And the Truth that Sets Them Free    Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Blog:  Understanding the Information Reformation That’s Changing Your World    Hugh Hewitt
Organized Simplicity    Tsh Oxenreider
The Practice Revolution  Philip Johnston
***The Surrendered Wife    Laura Doyle
The Excellent Wife    Martha Peace
***Intimate Issues  Linda Dillow & Lorraine Pintus
Helper by Design    Elyse Fitzpatrick
Women Counseling Women    Elyse Fitzpatrick
Women Helping Women  Elyse Fizpatrick
Sound Worship:  A Guide to Making Musical Choices in a Noisy World    Scott Aniol


What are you reading these days?  Do you have any “must reads” that you’d like to share?  I’m always looking for good book recommendations! (As if I need to add more to my reading list!)


***I would categorize these books (and possibly a few other “wifey” books on the list) as “married ladies only” reads and would not recommend them to my unmarried readers.