Money Making Mom by Crystal Paine


In Money-Making Mom, business owner, well-known blogger, speaker, and author Crystal Paine sets out to spark your creativity, stir your heart, and inject fresh financial vision into your life.

Exploring the power and pitfalls of money through personal lessons- learned and compelling stories from others, Paine will encourage and challenge you to:

  • Expand your thinking to consider multiple money-making ideas
  • Dream big and set long-term financial goals
  • Forge an intentional path with clear priorities
  • Nurture your unique skills, talents, passions, and knowledge
  • Conquer the saboteurs of insecurity, fear, lack of time, and naysayers
  • Shift your perspective to live more generously for others

…and much more.

Whether your goal is to help support your family, pay down debt, or build a bigger cushion to help those who may be without, Money-Making Mom is filled with inspiration and ideas to guide the next steps along your journey.


“How every woman can earn more and make a difference.” What a terrific book for any woman desiring to make more money – whether to support herself or to supplement the incoming already coming in. And actually, the title is a little misleading – it really is for any woman and not just for moms!


I found this book to be very encouraging to get out there and do something. Yet I also loved how Crystal does not say to try to make money just to be rich and have more but to have a purpose for this income – whether to give more or to provide the necessities or even the “extras.” “While I don’t believe that every woman needs to have a business or even make money in any capacity, I believe there are a number of reasons savvy home economists should consider looking for ways to increase their families’ incomes…Perhaps you are single or a single mom and are looking to establish more financial security. Or you might be looking for a way to increase your household income to give you some breathing room to be able to enjoy a few vacations or fun family outings each year. Maybe you are a mom whose kids are grown and gone and you are looking for a way to use your skills to make a difference or have more money to give generously.”


I felt the entire time I was reading this book that Crystal had just sat down in my family room and was giving me tips and motivation to succeed. She told me of her failures and successes as well as the stories of others – and she was so open and candid! “Setbacks can discourage and dishearten us if we focus on how far we are from where we’d hoped to be.” Crystal shares that she has written “this book to teach women how to increase their incomes and use it to make an impact, while at the same time maintaining a healthy balance of priorities…to empower you with practical ideas for starting a business or finding a creative way to make a part- or full-time income.” The reality she says is “Money doesn’t buy happiness. Money doesn’t equal fulfillment. Money doesn’t solve your emotional problems. Money doesn’t give you purpose.” But, if “Properly stewarded, money can be an amazing tool and a resource for those who need it not only to survive but to live with purpose.”


I really enjoyed this book and have put it where I can refer back to it again and again! I felt so encouraged as I read it so I just want to tell other moms to read it too. (And I really love some of the graphics for the book – beautiful pictures with great quotes from the book – they are better than some of those motivational posters I have seen!) I highly recommend it! I received Money Making Mom from the author in return for my honest opinion.


Birthday Freebies!

20140625_192607_resized (2)I just celebrated a birthday recently and much as I don’t want to acknowledge another year older – it does, in my great-aunt’s words, “Beat the alternative.” But there are some great freebies to be had on a birthday, so let me share some of them, because these are all ones I’ve enjoyed during my “birthday season.” And if I miss some that you know about, please add it in the comments!

1) Firehouse subs – show up on your birthday there with a piece of ID showing it’s your birthday and they’ll give you a free sub.
2) Baskin Robbins – sign up for the birthday club and they’ll send you a coupon for a free cone
3) Ben and Jerry’s – again, a free cone for your birthday when you sign up for the newsletter
4) Bonefish Grill – free Bang Bang shrimp or dessert for your birthday when you sign up for their e-newsletter
5) Outback Steakhouse – free dessert when you sign up for the e-newsletter
6) Coldstone Creamery – I haven’t done this one since they changed it to a BOGO free but here it is:
7) Dairy Queen – this one is also a BOGO but we love blizzards so… And, when you join the fan club they send other freebies during the year.
8) Hard Times Café – I know of the one in Fairfax and they send $5 your way to use in the restaurant as a member of the Hard Times Town eClub (and a free chili mac when you sign up)
9) Chick-Fil-A – if you have a calendar card you get a free cookie during your birthday month
10) Zoe’s Kitchen in Fairfax – free entree with the purchase of one. But you have to sign up in their store.
11) Kohl’s – sends a coupon for $10 merchandise.
12) Ruby Tuesday – free burger coupon

So, check out your favorite place and see what they offer!


Chick-Fil-A! How I love eating there – but no, not every day! And there are ways of making it a little cheaper!

1.) Buy the Cow calendar. Every year CFA (Chick-Fil-A) sells cute calendars in November and December that come with a freebie each month of the following year. This month the freebie is a one of their yummy salads. You can buy more than 1 calendar but you need a different e-mail address for each one. Each calendar is $6 but well worth it.

2.) Facebook and Texting. Find out if the CFA near you has a Facebook account or if they do text messaging. The CFA at Fair Oaks mall sends a text every Tuesday morning offering something free. All you have to do is text CFAFOM to 411247. Several CFA’s are offering free meals to military and their dependents on May 21 – they’ve put it on Facebook!

3.) Cow Appreciation Day! Each year on the 2nd Friday in July CFA has Cow Appreciation Day. If you go into a CFA dressed like a cow (think white t-shirt with black cow patches, black shorts and a tail) you get a meal of your choice. Yes, I eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at different CFA’s that day with friends and family. And, last but not least, my favorite…
4.) First 100! What an awesome marketing plan! 52 free meals! When a store opens they have what they call the first 100 – the first 100 people to go into the store. The day before it opens at 6am they have a raffle for all the people over the age of 18 gathered there (can be as few as a 100 or as many as 450). If picked, those people must stay in the parking lot for the next 24 hours – after they go back to their cars and get their tents, sleeping bags, chairs, recliners, awnings and anything else they can’t live without for 24 hours. (And you’d better have raingear because I can’t tell you how many times it has rained on us and you have to stay outside!) Then for the next 24 hours CFA feeds them breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack. They also provide games (with prizes) and a DJ for entertainment. The next morning they give you a CFA t-shirt and have you walk through the restaurant and you are given a card good for 52 number 1 meals at CFA.

We check the CFA website frequently to find out when there are openings and only travel to those that are within a 2 hour radius. And we have met people who have been to 30, 50 and over 90 openings. So we haven’t been to many – but always have fun when we go. The next one in the greater DC area is going to be in Baltimore on May 28. Feel free to join us!


Thrift Stores

That was so exciting to have people read my blog and even make comments! I even had people come up to me and ask questions about what I had posted!

So, for my local friends, thrift stores are a fabulous way to get clothing and other items cheap – not as cheap as yard sales but usually much faster as you can go in and buy what you need and not wait for a Saturday to come. This past week I went to one of my favorite thrift stores. B-Thrifty is located on the corner of 123 (Ox Road) and US1 in Woodbridge. But, why is it my favorite? The prices are low, they have great selection and every couple of weeks they send me a text telling me that everything in the store is 50% off (you have to be a B-Thrifty member). In fact, I got a text today. So, sign up the first time you visit. But, be warned – there are no dressing rooms. So if you want to try clothing on, wear a tank top under your clothes and close fitting shorts. Then, once you’ve found some great clothes, mosey on over to a mirror, strip off your outer layer and start trying on your finds!

Some other good thrift stores in the area are the Salvation Army, conveniently located across the street from B-Thrifty (and next door to Aldi). They do have a dressing room but the prices are higher. There is also a Goodwill in Fairfax on Main Street (in the strip mall between Fair City Mall and Ace’s). Again, their prices are higher but they have a dressing room. Also, all clothes of the same category have the same price so the originally $10 Wal-Mart shirt will have the same price as the $50 designer shirt – $4.99. Besides, I still think 50% off a $2.99 shirt is the best thrift store deal (B-Thrifty)!

Lastly, I would be remiss to not mention Unique off Gallows Road and 50 (my GPS can’t find it so I always plug in Five Guys which is right next door). My husband loves it when I go there because I try to drop off a load of items to be discarded at their Vietnam Vets collection point immediately to the right of the store before I go in and shop! Every Monday they have 25% off everything. If you get a VIP card you can also get 25% off on Thursdays. But the best days are holiday Mondays when everything is 50% off. But, those are crazy busy days there! And like B-Thrifty, they do not have changing rooms so be prepared to step around people trying on clothes in the aisles. I once saw a woman holding up a towel for her husband so he could try on a pair of jeans!

You never know what treasures you will find when you walk into a thrift store!

Saving Money – my way!

I love bargains! Free is the best but cheap is great! Consequently I go “shopping”every Saturday morning from April – October to the many yard sales in my area. In the winter I hit the thrift stores when I need something. I also enjoy using Freecycle, the local on-line groups in which members post items that they don’t want anymore. Some of my favorite finds through these means have been the sofa and loveseat that matched my basement rug (free), the kennel for the new puppy ($10), the trampoline ($20), the 7 seasons of Next Generation DVD’s ($15) and lots and lots of clothes!  And then, when we are done with some items, I’ve even been able to sell them on Craigslist so ultimately, we used them for no cost.

I’ve also discovered that I can win free books just for reading and posting reviews on line. Tyndale Publishing has a summer reading program – read and post reviews of 5 books and you get to pick a free book from their list. gives books away once a month for you to read and then post a review. Since I am a quick reader, I can read lots of books. (I’ll start posting my reviews here!)

Another place for freebies is from companies themselves. Ben and Jerry’s has a free cone day every April. Baskin Robbins just had their reduced price cones (and if you sign up for the Birthday club they will give you a free cone on your Birthday!). 7-Eleven gives a free Slurpee on July 11 (7/11 in case you were wondering why that day!). For veteran’s, Veteran’s Day has become quite the freebie day. Numerous businesses and restaurants give away free meals or extra discounts. In fact, Home Depot gives a 10% discount all the time with a valid military ID card. Teachers and homeschoolers get other discounts – 15% off at AC Moore, Michaels, Joann Fabrics and Barnes & Noble just to name a few that I use.

Did you know that you can buy gift cards at discounted prices? Or you can sell one that you know you’ll never use but some well-meaning person gave you? Sometimes I’ve found the discounts to be up to 25%. So I buy the card at some place I go to all the time and then get an extra discount when I go there and use it. CardCash has a lot of different gift cards!

Stretching my dollars and squeezing my pennies mean that when I want to go on a cruise, we have the money – especially when we follow the cruise tips!!