Review and Giveaway: The Secret to a Successful Budget eBook

by Linsey Knerl on 24 August 2010 29 comments

Our own Craig Ford recently launched an ebook designed to help readers with one of the most essential tools to living well on a modest income — the humble budget. With tips for creating one that works and common sense for keeping it rolling, this guide is really remarkable.

Unlike other budgeting books and resources, it doesn't claim that one kind of budget is better than another (automated is better than pen and paper, for example). And, perhaps most impressively, The Secret to a Successful Budget: Practical Advice for Creating a Budget that Lasts tells you WHY you need a budget in the first place. The author realizes that it's not enough to just know HOW to create one. In order to follow a budget, and allow it to change your life, you need to understand the power it can have for helping you achieve your goals.

This book has all the solid principles of an upper level finance class, but without all the jargon. Anyone with the ability to swipe a credit card can read and understand the sound advice in this book. As stated on the information page for the book, this is NOT a resource well-suited for those who already successfully use a budget in their daily lives. If you've found a budget useful, have stuck to it for a long time, and are able to meet your financial goals as a result, this book will most likely not give you anything additional. Likewise, if you love the idea of a budget, but are hopelessly in debt with no intention of working hard over a long period of time to pull yourself out, you will not find a one-step solution to solving all your money problems.

Working with a budget takes understanding, commitment, and reflection. This 58-page book and included worksheets reinforce this thinking with useful advice, practical tips, and compassion and caring like few other books on the market have shown. With Craig's clever style of writing, it gives you hope for a better financial future via a solid method you can rely on: a budget.

Click here to buy the book at the official site for $12 through Aug. 30th (then it goes back up to the regular price of $17). You'll also get two bonuses: The Joy of Spending Less Than You Earn: 101 Ways to Save Money 14-page bonus PDF and immediate access to coupons for Moneydance (20% off) and You Need A Budget (10% off). Save up to $8.00. It's already getting rave reviews!

Wanna Win? We are celebrating Craig's new book with a giveaway for lucky readers! To be entered to win a copy of the book for yourself, please just comment on this post with why you feel you need it! You have until Aug 28th to be entered to win! One entry per person, please.

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Guest's picture
lloyd

I need it because I'm clueless when it comes to budgeting, and considering the uncertain economy, something that I need to change and fast.

Guest's picture
Matt McCallon

I would love to read this book. I am a bid advocate of living within my means and saving, but sometimes struggle (I like deals online =D ). I just graduated from College and my wife and I both agree that our goal is to pay off the small amount of student loans we have before going out and buying a new car or something. We do have a house (which I would like to pay off before buying the car, but we'll see how that goes), but have been able to pay off both her and my used cars early. We both just got new jobs, so getting a new budget going with our new jobs would be great. I think this book would provide some helpful guidance..

PS did you know your blog wont let you post in Firefox 4.0 or Google Chrome?

Guest's picture
Guest

I need it! I need it to give to my 27-year-old son who is living at home. He moved back in a year ago "for a couple of months." He works a contract job with variable hours and when he gets a paycheck, he is so happy, he spends it right away. With this kind of thinking he'll never move on. Please, let me give him a copy!

Guest's picture
Leah Schertz

My hubby and I were having a 'rough patch' and when we went to see someone, she said we needed to start a budget. Who knew!? So far I've set us up with bill pay online through our bank, lowered some of our monthly payments and wrote down what comes in ($) vs. what goes out (bills, etc.) on paper. But now I'm stuck. How do we decide how much to allocate towards groceries vs. fun stuff vs. saving? And how do I keep my hands out of the various 'pots' when my 'pot' is empty? I think this book would be great for me and my husband at this point in our lives and I've never read an e-book so that would be cool. Thanks! I love this site; tons of great info in a nice format. But Lindsey- I miss the Dealista podcast! What happened?!
laschertz at gmail dot com

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Tina S

I'd like to win a copy of this book because our finances have gotten out of control. I was just diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in April. Getting my diagnosis was very expensive, which created havoc with our finances. I coupon. I watch for sales. I snatch up freebies. But I know I can do better, and I think this book will help me.

Guest's picture

I've tried a few different budgeting tactics and nothing has really stuck with me yet! I'd love to here a general discussion on budgets rather that "this is the best way to do it"

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Maija

Would really like to read this book!

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Nate

I've tried to budget and failed. I could really use the help.

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Erin

I'm 25 and as many of us in my generation, I'm finding the old assurance that we can be whatever we want to be rings a bit hollow in today's job market.
That being said, I can live a happy and fulfilling life just by spending less than I earn at whatever job I end up at.
Not that that's easy.
Hence the need for the book. :)

Guest's picture
LeAnne

I'd love to win this book because I don't make much money but have big expenses in the next couple of years (my wedding/honeymoon and moving). I'd like to learn how to put a decent amount of money away for these things and my emergency fund without living on canned veggies. ;)

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Carolyn

I need it! I've been doing an adequate job at budgeting, but we're making some major life changes right now (I am pregnant and quit my job, so we're living on only one salary now instead of two!) and things are going to be pretty tight! I could use whatever help and advice I can get!

Guest's picture
LubAtHome

I'd love to read this book. I'm going to be needing to make a big purchase in the next year and could really use help finding a budget that works for me that I can stick with so I can track my spending and cut where I can and save money. I've tried budgeting in the past with several different styles and nothing has stuck with me, yet.

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CRuth K

I'd like to win a copy of this book because I need a better (simple and positive reinforced) understanding of my finances. I am seeking tutorials that actually work. Thank you for the opportunity!

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Brenda

Over and over again I try to keep on a budget and cannot. I'm hoping, from this book, to learn how to change my life so that I can stick to a budget and be financially happy.

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Sari

My fiancee and I have been struggling to adjust to one income and could really use the help!

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Patti

I try to budget, but so far it isn't working. I always spend over my budget every month for the past 6-8 months. I'm probably doing something wrong or maybe I don't have the will to keep my budget in tack. Having this eBook would be great. I love to read personal finance blogs and books. Can you send one my way?

Guest's picture
Debbie

Why do I need this book? I'm in the process of getting divorced. I have a mountain of debt from the marriage because I wasn't "allowed" to be involved in financial decisions for 15 years. I'm desperately trying to hold onto my house. I'm the mother of two girls who need me to be a good role model so they don't end up in the same mess in the future. Oh, and I work for a non-profit that does good work but can't afford to pay much more than poverty level wages. Yeah, I need this book.

Guest's picture
Guest

living on low income. every little bit helps

Guest's picture
Stormenoir

I have tried unsuccessfully numerous times to create and stick to a budget. This book seems like the answer to a prayer.

My situation is that I was unemployed for over a year and I was forced to tap into my savings and retirement funds for everyday expenses.

Now I have a new position that is $20K less than I was making previously. My 17 yo hs. senior daughter and I are living paycheck to paycheck and would like to find a way to spend better on a very tight budget. Especially as we will be applying to colleges soon and incurring more expenses.

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Arthur Fox

We had our identity stolen over 10 years ago. Not fun.

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Lydia

OMG - this is exactly what I need something simplified that I can get started right away and it can change my life forever. Thank you for thinking of us that are novices at budgeting.

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Meghan

My husband and I have listed a number of different financial goals including paying of credit card debt, saving up cash for a car and supplementing our monthly income to affort to rent a home while patiently waiting for our condo to sell in this crazy aweful market. This would be a great resource for our family

Guest's picture
Miguel

I tried my own budget in the past but it was more of a cash flow sheet. I itemized all my expenses, even the smallest ones. I even made a pie chart in excel to visually see where most of my money was going and I became conscience with spending money in these categories in the next month that came. It helped me realize a lot but it was most helpful in saving me money. When my birthday came around, I did so many transactions at one point that I didn't remember them and I stopped itemizing for a while until I finally just stopped completely. Now, I know I am spending way more money than I ever did when I was keeping track so I think it's time to act with a budget that works!

Guest's picture
Danielle

I could really use this book. My fiance and I recently got engaged and are paying for the majority of the wedding on our own. We are both senior finance majors who are continually piling up student loans. I have a stable job, but my fiance was laid off 6 months ago as a result of a certain large cell-phone carrier making huge employee layoffs in order to raise their stock price.

We are about to start our life together in a rough economy, with mounting debts that have paid for our supposed "leg-up" in the world, and I would really like to start off on the right foot. As newlyweds, I do not want money to be an issue and this book could help us on that path.

Thanks for the consideration!!

Guest's picture
Wendy

My teenaged boys and I are currently participating in a contest (Financial Health Challenge) sponsored by KREM-2 news and UHSCU. During the 6 month contest, we try to increase savings, decrease debt and must blog about our progress. This book would be a huge benefit to us!!

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Steven

I need it because I budget my money by going to the ATM and seeing how much money I have in my checking account.

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Anne

I manage to get by, but I would be lots better off if I understood how to budget. I need help!

Guest's picture

I started recently making budgets for my own living, although i make budgets for a long time for my clients, since i'm a structural engineer and they need to know how much the construction will cost :)

I want the book!

Guest's picture
LT

I am just about searching something like this - something easy to use to manage my monthly budget.

with my shrinking income (after being laid off and rehired by a temp agency)
plus all my family members and bf having to readjust the vicous cycle due to the downturn, I need to readjust my spending and rebalance my expenses. Having such a tool will be great - and that I have tried things like Mint.com but not feeling comfortable connecting my bank account data to the site still.