Want to improve your financial situation? There are only two ways to do that: 1) Decrease your expenses or 2) Increase your income.
It should come as no surprise here that decreasing expenses is the overarching theme of this blog—as well as just about everything else I’ve written over the past decades.
When you reduce the grocery bill, it’s like giving yourself a raise. Refinancing your mortgage to get a lower rate of interest has the next effect of more money in the bank. It’s a solid principle, but cutting expenses does have its limitations.
You can only cut so far without cutting into basic needs and compromising quality of life.
If you are still unable to make ends meets, only one choice remains: Increase income. Theoretically, there are myriad ways to do that, most of which come with their own challenges. Especially for families with young children.
Today I want to introduce to you a very useful book on the topic that offers realistic, practical tools and advice for women—specifically moms with children in the home—for how to make additional money regardless of experience or education.
I love this book so much because it is as practical as it is empowering. Think you don’t have the time, talent or ability to bring an additional source of income into your home? You might be wrong about that!
Believing this might be a book with the potential to change the lives of so many of my readers, I asked our resident book reviewer to give us his thoughts.
Reviewer: Jeff Tompkins, Jr.
Call it bravery, call it stupidity. But yes, as a 40-something male, I am about to review a book aimed at women, moms in particular. My experience? Well…I was born to a woman, and have been married to one for almost 15 years now so practically an expert right? Of course I realize that my understanding of this book might be different from those in its intended audience, but fortunately Crystal Paine’s Money Making Mom brings some basic ideas and strategies that are very applicable to just about everyone.
Money Making Mom is aimed at moms who want to raise supplemental income, whether they are looking for part-time ideas while raising their children, are single and needing full time income, or maybe have a creative idea budding that needs help getting to the next level.
Paine makes it clear from the very start of the book though that her intent is not to provide a cheat sheet full of “get rich quick” schemes. Instead, she provides her thoughts to help others attain financial freedom, to grow a new mindset when it comes to money as well as potential new ways to obtain that money.Money Making Mom provides a very good “path” for moms to encourage and spur thinking around what money making ideas might fit in each woman’s life and personality. She puts forward the questions that drive the reader to engage and dig deeper:
What makes me tick and what am I passionate for? What am I good at or have skills in? What things are easy for me that don’t appear to be so easy for others? What are my natural talents? What topics do I love to study or read?
By challenging the reader to do some introspection, Paine helps to focus our thoughts on what might make sense for each individual.
Paine takes the reader from introspection into some reality checks—starting your own business is not all happy customers and cash raining down from the heavens. The book points out the considerations that all small business owners (full and part-time) must work through: Who are my customers, what are the start-up costs to even launch my business, what tools do I need to be effective?
Paine, and rightly so in my opinion, stresses doing your homework, setting goals (some that might be scary and out there) and being willing to sacrifice. As someone who has started and run his own business before, I greatly admire and respect this portion of the book in particular. A great number of business books do not stress the difficulties and trials that come with starting your own business. And while it shouldn’t be painted as all doom and gloom, personally I think the more wide open your eyes are as you move forward in trying to run your own business, the more successful you will be.
Likewise, Money Making Mom doesn’t focus on the potential pitfalls, but instead provides encouragement and suggestions on how to avoid them. For instance, creating your mission statement, the “why” behind your business. Can you describe, concisely to yourself and others, what your business is about and why you do it? It’s something that many with a “great money making idea” never spend the time crafting. The “why” will greatly influence and direct the “how”, and without it many businesses simply flounder and then quickly fade out.
All of that aside, I think readers will most appreciate that Money Making Mom succeeds where many similar books fail—it gets practical.
How many times have you read a book that gives you lofty truths that are often extremely helpful and thought-provoking, but then once you put it down you have no idea what the next step in your own life should be, or how to take those truths and actually put them into action?
Refreshingly, Paine lays out a number of potential money making avenues to get the reader thinking: Could I write a blog or an ebook? Do I have a craft that could sell? Could I be a virtual assistant? And while the book can’t list every possible money generating possibility, it provides what most readers want —a relatable place to start.
Wrapping up Money Making Mom, Paine takes the reader back to her own definition of financial freedom, which is not earning enough money to afford lavish homes, cars or bigger flat screens (though there is nothing wrong with wanting to earn extra income for your family to enjoy things like that – or so I consistently tell my wife). Instead Paine points to something we are familiar with, that financial freedom is more about being out from under the burden of debt, and utilizing our freed up resources in generosity towards others. It’s freedom from worrying about our finances that then allows us to help someone else stuck in that cycle.
I love that the book ends with that hope, that glimpse of where the hard work and struggle can take us. Mom or not, we could all use that!