I’ve been a long-time follower of Crystal Paine’s blog, Money Saving Mom. I love her approach to living frugally and that she encourages saving money in order to give generously, something that we strive to do as a couple since getting married almost two and a half years ago. I’m excited about this book because I think it is a great resource for any wife/mom/woman who wants to “think outside the box” in order to earn money from home (or even something additional to a “regular” job) to support her family.
Since I was a kid, my parents taught me how to handle money and instilled in me the priorities of saving and giving parts of what I earned. My first “real” job was washing dishes two afternoons a week in a small restaurant in an Amish market in town when I was twelve. When I was sixteen, I began working at the county library for several hours a week shelving books and helping out in the children’s room. And I babysat all the time for families in my church, something I absolutely loved (sometimes I still miss those days, especially watching all “my” kids growing up)! After I graduated high-school I worked for a senior-care organization called Comfort Keepers during the summers. When I came home from college with a newfound love for photography and a few classes under my belt, I began taking pictures for friends and family and sometimes they paid me for it. Six months before our wedding I started working about 15 hours a week at a local consignment shop, where I am still working currently. I dabbled in direct sales for a little while with Jamberry nails. And then I began teaching piano lessons, something I’m pursuing further training in so that I can eventually teach full time from home.
So I’m no stranger to side jobs and taking whatever chance I could to earn an income, but one thing I appreciated from Crystal’s book was her encouragement to try anything and everything. Sometimes I felt guilty or ashamed for not having ONE thing, one job/skill/passion that I excelled in and could call my “career”. But Crystal encourages women to take every opportunity they can to try something new, even if it ends up not being “your thing” or a good long-term fit. That experience is never wasted. I not only have a variety of different jobs in my repertoire, but each one of those jobs gave me broadened experience, perspective, and skill in many different areas. I’m thankful for that.
Crystal starts her book by helping you define what financial freedom looks like for you (being debt-free, having a certain amount in an emergency fund, savings fund, etc.). I loved that she emphasized having a specific reason WHY you are setting those financial goals (giving generously, sponsoring a charity, helping family members, etc.) so that you have an established purpose behind your goals. She also gives a thorough, detailed resource for starting one’s own business if you feel led to do so. She helps you find your own unique skills and talents and how to use them to earn an income. It makes a huge difference when you can make your passion and your work one and the same!
I loved the stories she included from other women from a range of backgrounds and financial ventures, as well as Crystal’s balanced approach that money is not the only resource we need to use wisely. We can apply the same principles to how we use our time, our relationships, any of the resources God gives us to use for His glory.
But we weren’t created to be consumers. We were made for more. We are destined to be stewards, wise managers of not just our money but also our time, our values, and our priorities. –Crystal Paine, Money Making Mom
I’d recommend this book to any woman who wants to contribute to her family’s finances whether it’s through a home business or simply broadening her perspective through her career, using her resources purposefully to make an impact.