097: From Money Saving Mom to Money Making Mom (and Beyond): Interview with Crystal Paine [Podcast]

The average American household has over $15,000 in credit card debt. However, some people don’t have a spending problem. They’re great at cutting coupons and keeping costs low, but saving money only goes so far. At some point you need to address the income problem because you can’t save money if you don’t make money.

From Money Saving Mom to Money Making Mom (and Beyond): Interview with Crystal Paine

With the rising cost of raising a family, many homemakers dabble in blogging and online business to make ends meet. Fueled by a desire to get out of debt and leave a financial legacy for their children, stay-at-home moms (and dads) start websites dedicated to one topic or another in hopes of earning a side income.

Crystal Paine started a “mommy blog” to help her young family become debt-free while her husband was still in law school. After two-and-a-half years of writing online, she pivoted her platform and launched Money Saving Mom in response to requests from her readers for more content about saving money on household items.

Fast forward ten years and Crystal’s audience has grown beyond two million fans. She’s helped dozens and dozens of women start online businesses of their own and learned plenty of hard lessons about making money.

This week on The Portfolio Life, Crystal and I talk about how a plan creates focus for your work, and why everyone sets goals a little differently. Listen in as we discuss the challenges of making money online while still trying to be a good spouse and parent.

Listen to the podcast

To listen to the show, click the player below (If you are reading this via email or RSS, please click here).

You cannot flee failure

It’s more embarrassing to fail once you’ve succeeded a little bit.

We might wax philosophical about past failures, but most of us would rather avoid the pain of future mistakes. Last year, after enduring a business failure, I got depressed and was tempted to pull the plug on everything I’d built.

My therapist asked what I learned from the experience and I told him that I never wanted to be in that situation again.

He asked, ”How are you going to do that? Did you have enough information to not put yourself in that situation before?”

“No”, I replied.

“With the information you have now, you wouldn’t go back and do it again?”


“Then you did the best with the information that you had, you survived, and you learned from it.”

When we think about trying something new, the sting of past failures can cripple us with fear. The best thing we can do with failure is learn from it and apply the lessons to our next attempt.

Crystal made a mistake that significantly hurt the bottom line of her business. She looked before she leaped and still failed miserably. Now, even though the trajectory of her business has changed, Crystal grew personally from the experience, and learned a lot professionally from the failure.

Just because you’ve won before doesn’t guarantee you’ll win again, but you’ll never know unless you try.

Show highlights

In this episode, Crystal and I discuss:

  • Why homemakers should consider online business
  • Motivations for starting to monetize a blog
  • Listening to your audience to understand what they need from you
  • How to leverage current events to gain momentum
  • Building on failure to ultimately achieve success
  • Rules for sharing family stories online
  • Which blogging platform to use
  • Diversifying income streams
  • Why understanding your “why” is the most important step in setting goals

Quotes and takeaways

  • “You make time for what’s a priority to you. If it’s not a priority, you’re going to make an excuse.” —Crystal Paine
  • Saving money and making money are two sides of the same coin. You have to make money to save money.
  • “Give yourself permission to make mistakes.” —Crystal Paine
  • Failure is a hard pill to swallow, but it helps you grow.
  • “We are created to be a community, not competitors.” —Crystal Paine
  • Avoid the comparison trap by celebrating other people.


Do you struggle with contentment and comparison? How are you preparing for success by establishing a strategy? Share in the comments

One thought on “097: From Money Saving Mom to Money Making Mom (and Beyond): Interview with Crystal Paine [Podcast]

  1. I appreciate both your acknowledgements about failing. The reality is that successful on-line entrepreneurs get up after they’ve fallen down, learn from the bruises and try again. And their audiences are the richer for it.

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