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Where in the world has Money Saving Mom been?

My darling little children who see to it that there is rarely a dull moment at our home!

Wow! Is it already closing in on March? That seems impossible, but the calendar says it’s true.

At any rate, a number of you have mentioned recently that you’ve missed my more personal posts the last few weeks. You’re so kind to even notice, and I thought you all deserved an explanation of what’s been happening behind-the-scenes at MoneySavingMom.com.

I’ve purposed to do my best to stick with the computer time slots in our schedule–and that’s been going great! However, it hasn’t been extremely conducive to a major blog change like switching for Typepad to WordPress. Or at least it’s meant that pretty much 80% of my computer time has been swallowed up in making this transition.

We knew that switching blog platforms was going to be a fairly big deal. However, like usual, it turned out to be a much bigger and more time-consuming deal that we could have initially ever imagined. In fact, it took five professionals (none of whom were me!) around 70 hours combined to pull it off. Yes, I’d say it was a rather audacious undertaking.

But it’s done–finally! And while a few of you are still experiencing a few glitches here and there, for the most part, it’s been smooth sailing for about a week. So I’m happy to say that I think the move was successful.

A huge thanks to Joy from FiveJs who has invested hours and hours and hours to make this switch happen. She’s been amazing to work with and my hat is off to her incredible expertise and diligence to see this move to it’s finish. It’s certainly not been a task for the faint of heart!

As the site has grown this past year and we’ve begun homeschooling and had our third child, I’ve begun to feel rather strapped for time. I often found myself spending so much of my computer time taking care of nitty-gritty details which had to be done in order to run this blog that I was barely able to churn out many worthwhile posts, if any at all.

My husband and I spent a lot of time praying and discussing direction for this site over the last six months. Neither of us felt like it was time to let it go, but neither of us also felt like I could single-handedly keep up with the load of work it was producing and still have my priorities as a wife and mom in their proper place.

After much discussion, we’ve decided it’s time to take the plunge and hire skilled people to help carry some of the load. God has blessed the blog far beyond our wildest dreams and now that we’ve saved up enough to pay cash for our house, we feel like we can invest some of the earnings from the blog back into it. So as of last week, my sister, Amy, and Joy are all working part-time behind-the-scenes to help MoneySavingMom run smoothly and be as user-friendly and helpful as possible.

They’ve taken a big load off of my shoulders so that I can focus on being a wife and mother, homeschooling, and writing blog posts. This change will, hopefully, make this blog much better than I could make it on its own and also free me up to spend my computer time writing, not dealing with tech problems and so forth.

We have some really wonderful new features we’ll be rolling out next week, thanks to their help. I can hardly contain my excitement, but I will try to keep my mouth shut until next Wednesday. Stay tuned!

In the mean time, thank you for your patience with the blog switchover and for being patient when I haven’t been able to respond to many of your emails or write as many personal posts as I’ve hoped to. I’m really excited about the great things in store for this next year–especially now that I am freed up to focus more on bettering this blog! I still can’t promise I’ll be able to personally respond to all the emails I receive, but I am very hopeful that you’ll be seeing a lot more content posts here beginning this very week.

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63 Comments

  • Ashley says:

    Wow! You have me scared. I’ve been thinking seriously about moving from blogger to a .com which I recently purchased and switching to WordPress. Ohhh, I’m scared now. Any advice? I don’t have any professional counsel at all.

    Thanks!

    Ashley

  • Carisa says:

    I think this is a very wise decision…I am excited to see the changes!!!

  • Sonshine says:

    Sounds like a very wise decision has been made!! I am glad that you are going to be keeping the blog around for a while. 🙂

    Now for those pics of your little ones….Silas is getting so big! I think I see one little top tooth popping through in that smile of his! 🙂 And your girls are as cute as ever! 🙂

    Thanks for all your hard work! 🙂

  • Meg says:

    I’m super excited to see the changes you have in store! Thansk for all you do!

  • Honey says:

    I haven’t read the whole post, but had to tell you your guy looks just like my little Ian did at that age! Now he’s 6 which makes me very sad…

  • Thanks so much for this post. Wishing you well in the transition (well, I guess the tech part’s over) and excited that you have people to help you so that we can still enjoy MSM as much as possible;)

  • Crystal,

    I know you’ve told me you would love to see a blog on my site, and others have, too, but the time it takes from family would be too great for me. For now, just adding new things to my site, in between 5 (almost 6–still waiting here!) children, homeschooling, gardening, sewing, and cooking is a lot for me! I understand your decision and I am glad you can find ways to make it work for you, while still continuing to bless all of your readers!

    Brandy

  • Jenelle says:

    WOW! Sounds exciting. So glad you have found a way to make it all work! Can’t wait!

  • I think it’s absolutely wonderful that your blog has produced enough money to provide you with part-time help! Congratulations – enjoy this new phase!

  • I am so excited for you, God is so good and is seriously blessing your family! We are blessed because of you in return.

  • Jeannine says:

    This is fantastic that you will continue this blog with the help of others. That is great that you can bless others with this ministry by giving employment to others. Praise the Lord, your life is a testimony of Him who sent His Son.

  • Connie Corey says:

    So glad to hear you are staying put! Love the new site design and etc.

  • Debbie says:

    Yay!!
    I am so excited for you. I was on the edge of my seat hoping you wouldn’t say you’d decided to quit!! That would have been terrible for all of us who love and depend on you. Thanks for praying over this and brainstorming and just working it all out for everyone!!!
    Can hardly wait!!

    Debbie
    P.S. Thanks also for putting your family first!! You are awesome!

  • Pamela T says:

    Will you be finishing the WAHM sries, you left us hanging with the biggest flop that turned out the be a great blessing? We want to hear the rest!

  • Carrie says:

    I have felt the same way since baby #3 came along. Honestly, I don’t know how you manage to put up as many posts as you do! I have my oldest in all-day kindergarten, and I take the younger two to a drop-in center where I can work for 2 or more hours three times a week, yet I can’t keep up the same volume that you do with all three of yours with you all day!

    Congrats on your success — it’s GREAT that you have not only created this blog to help all of us, but also created a source of income for your family, AND provided work for three other people in this difficult economy. Pretty amazing, isn’t it?

  • Jill M. says:

    I am so excited you are not leaving. I totally love your blog and am so thankful for all the money you have been saving my family. So thank you so much for not leaving! I cannot wait to see the changes! Thanks again! My God continue to bless you and your family!

  • Cate says:

    I’m so glad you’ll be posting more! I miss the more personal Money Saving Mom (though I’m grateful for all the great deals!). Having a behind the scenes team sounds like it will be a big help.

  • Tricia Young says:

    Thanks for all your hard work! I check your blog multiple times a day and can’t wait to hear the rest of your house story when you find one!!! I’m also eager to hear the rest of your story about working from home!

  • Ellen says:

    I’m glad that you’re not omitting more personal touches – that’s really what made your blog stand out from a whole slew of other couponing/frugal ones. I appreciate that as a homeschooler, cook, mother, couponer, etc.

  • christina says:

    well, your blog has motivated me in many ways, including following dave ramsey’s teachings!! i agree with you- God and family first and the rest will fall into place… i am glad that you will continue on blogging- LOL!!

  • breanne says:

    Good luck w all ur blogging adventures! I will be here w 2 or 20 posts!

  • Good for you, Crystal~as an older mom, I see the wisdom in this. Several years ago, when I had three little ones in 5 years, I stepped back from a lot of hobbies so I could give myself to raising those little ones–now, they are old enough to help me and free up some extra time. You’ll never regret putting your family first:)
    Blessings,
    Rhonda Devine

  • roadrunningmama says:

    Sounds like you have great support! Best wishes!

  • Jody says:

    I just wanted to encourage you that I believe that you and your husband made a wise decision. I have been wondering how you were juggling everything as your responsibilities have grown this past year. I will be praying that this is a blessing to you, those who help you and those who read your blog. Sincerely, Jody

  • Jennifer says:

    It sounds like you have some exciting things planned! I’m looking forward to seeing them unfold.

  • Perfectly understandable!! I have a rather small, new blog and I have found I have a hard time managing my time between my baby daughter, my home, my husband, and my blog, so I can only imagine what that must be like for you! I, too, am excited to see the changes, and no worries — you’ll always have your faithful readers like me!

  • Becky says:

    Hey,
    You don’t have to explain! I know that I could never keep up with an undertaking such as this site. I’m excited to see the changes in store, and I am so glad you can “share the load” so as to keep the blog in place. Thanks for the encouraging site and for doing what you do! You rock!!

  • Meliss says:

    What behind the scences stuff will they do? I do my website on my own but find it very time consuming. Trying to figure out a balance. Is there one?

  • zombiemommy says:

    Amen. I see how many people follow you and how much work one would have to put into it. I am glad you have people helping you.

    I know your focus is on your family first and I appreciate that. That’s what made us like you in the first place. Was your realness….

    Now its your dealness… hee hee.

    Your site is tops and has inspired many to go farther. But family is always first after God.:)

  • Rae says:

    I love the new look and features 🙂

  • Katie says:

    Wow! How did you manage to pay cash for your first home? That is awesome! I must know details! I don’t think I will be able to sleep at night. LOL

  • Okay, first…the baby’s little top tooth is SO cute!!

    Second…I’m so excited about this for you (and others involved!) Can’t wait to see what you’ve got in store!

  • Anything you can do to keep your faith and your family in the forefront is a good move! Thanks for all you’ve done during the transition… and keep loving on those three adorable kiddos!

  • Libby says:

    I have been using wordpress from day one. I like it but I am sure it is a big undertaking moving such a large website.

  • Ellen says:

    I have another post- really a few questions so you don’t necessarily have to post this. How do you make money FROM your blog? Are the links that we click (even within the posts – ie the ones that take us to a coupon link) help you? I know you’ve mentioned Swagbucks, My Points and other survey companies – is this how you make money? When someone clicks on your links for that particular item? Just not sure. I think it’s great…just don’t quite understand the process.

  • Sabrina says:

    You are inspirational. I am a working professional who is also a mom and I would love to be home doing what you do. Maybe the Lord will one day put that in my path. Thanks for your site and sharing your life with us.

  • Sally says:

    I can’t help but have mixed emotions after reading that. I’m sad to hear you’re “giving away” (so to speak) some of your blog and yet also so proud of you for taking a step in a direction that will likely lead to a greater balance in your life. Thank you for your honesty about this transition and hope that it will all go smoothly from here on out.

  • Melissa says:

    Since you are going to have more time to do posts now, would you please consider doing a post about your current schedule? I have been a SAHM for about six months now and need to implement a schedule. I would love to hear what yours is like.

  • Julie says:

    THANK YOU for all you do – we appreciate you and your hard work so very much!

  • Andrea says:

    The little ones are getting so big…what cuties!
    About your website…I really don’t know how you’ve done it on your own up to this point. This is one of the greatest money-saving blogs around. I think you’re like superwoman with all you do. So glad you’re going to have help now.
    It’s very hard to find the balance w/ blogging and family life. I struggle with it often, but it’s so diffucult when you’re starting out. You’re a great example. God’s blessings to you!

  • Good for you, Crystal! I’m glad to hear that all is easing up a bit, and it sounds like just the right decision to hire help (and you couldn’t have picked better help, either!). I’m so with you on feeling the need to have help, when running a blog with three littles and homeschooling… phew! Can’t wait to have you writing more again! 🙂

  • Allison says:

    Crystal, my family is very similar to yours, with three kids about the same ages as yours. I have all I can do to keep up with housework, spend time with my hubby, and try to be thrifty keeping my coupons & sales organized, let alone have time to connect with my extended family like I used to with regular email updates. I am amazed at how much you do, and still put out a good blog too! I was afraid you were going to say you were done with MSM, and then I would be very sad indeed! I am glad you found a way to share the load and stick around to help out folks like me. Thanks SO MUCH for all you do here on MSM!

  • So excited to see this all come to fruition. 🙂

  • Lizzie says:

    Thanks for all your hard work. You provide a wonderful service and you are truly a blessing!

    I’m glad you have help–and isn’t it cool that you need help? I remember when my store was so big I had to hire employees. Kind of weird but awesome at the same time!

  • Justin says:

    Congrats on the switch to WP! I personally love WP, and most bloggers I know swear by it.

  • Becky in KY says:

    To add my voice to the others here, I’m so happy for you that you have the help you need, I’m thankful to read about you and your husband seeking the Lord and agreeing on a balance in your time and schedule (that’s so great to see people taking that stand), and I’m happy for all of us out here in reader-land that you have created and are maintaining this blog. It is such a blessing.

    You’ve been a major encouragement to me, and you’ve helped my family save probably hundreds of dollars just in the few months I’ve been following your blog. You truly are helping me be a better home economist. I am praying for you and your family, that you have greater peace, joy, and wisdom this year than you’ve ever known.

  • Anna Espinoza says:

    I love your blog for many reasons…but I have to agree that the most “inspirational” parts of your blog (for me) are your personal posts. For example, I am dying to find out Part 3 of your story…I check DAILY to see if you have put it up…I can’t wait to read it! Although I’ve personally made some home buying decisions that I extremely regret…I still get such inspiration from your story that maybe we can have hope, too, in our situation.

    Thank you for all you do!

  • Erin says:

    So glad you didn’t decide to bag it! I am still in the early stages of my money saving education and frankly I need your tips. You are like my Couponing Yoda! Keep it up and I will keep reading. BTW, I LOVE the new look to the page.

  • Lindsey says:

    I’m loving the direction of the blog, and I’m glad you’re getting some help. I also really love the more personal posts, they truly are a great inspiration! I’m looking forward to March’s 31 days of grocery savings (I’m sure I’m getting that name wrong, sorry!) posts! I’ve done an awesome job in reducing our grocery budget (thanks in large part to you!), but I’m sure there’s more to learn! Thank you for all that you do!

  • Heather says:

    I love hearing how much God is blessing you guys and the kidos are just too cute. They grow so fast. I am so excited to read your blog everyday and even have caught my husband hunting down the deals and reading about saving up for a home. Thanks for all the hard work you and your family put into this site everyday.

  • MaryEllen says:

    Oh, I’m so glad you’re able to get some help with the blog! You’ve worked hard to get to this point while doing your best to spend the necessary time with your family. I’m so happy for you! I hope that one day I can get to the point of earning a substantial income from my blog as well without sacrificing my primary role as wife and mommy to do it.

  • MaryEllen says:

    Oh, and by the way, my son has the same shirt as your little guy! He’s really growing up isn’t he? All 3 of your babies are cuties!

  • melissa says:

    my heart dropped for a minute also. so glad you guys decided not to shut this down. THANK YOU to your sisters for helping instead!!!!

  • Donna says:

    I am sorry to see that you faced this dilemma, but I can tell you that while I do appreciate all of the deals and steals you post, they really are a dime a dozen on the internet, blogs like yours our full of them. What those blogs are not full of is your inspirational posts on how you save money. I am looking forward to the March Freezing Cooking Daze. Posts like that are what make me come back to your blog. I would rather have one meaningful post a week then a bunch of post fillers offering freebies and coupons. Good luck with your transitions!

  • Paige says:

    Can I just give you a great big HUG???? I wish I could! You are so wise, sweet, and full of tons of great info. This blog would not be the same without you. Thank you for not closing it down and getting help. AND you are reaping some benefits of your hard work! God bless you!

  • Danielle says:

    Thanks for all you do to help us save $$

  • Lady DI says:

    I was so afraid I was going to read that this WONDERFUL Blog source was shutting down, I squinted as I continued to read. THANK YOU Sister, Amy & Joy for aiding in on what you don’t realize that has become a HUGE source for this single with no kids person as well as many others on here too. Blessings to you for keeping Money Saving Mom one of my top 2 sources for all things savings. Looking forward to years more of fun reading, if no posting and savings, saving, savings galore. There were times I came here and enjoyed a meal/drink for the day thanks to YOU!!

  • I am so excited for your next chapter… and you couldn’t have picked better people to have on your team. 🙂
    (Of course, I only know Joy and Amy… I don’t know your sister, but I can only imagine she is as gifted as you are, too!)
    I really applaud your wisdom and look forward to reading more of you in the future.

  • Kimrose Szczypien says:

    FIRST – I am SO GLAD that the blog and site are sticking around – and HATS OFF to you for giving your priorities the thought and consideration they deserve. I hope it all goes off without a hitch and proves SUPER successful!

  • Jennifer says:

    How wonderful! Congrats that your “business” is doing so well and that you’ve been so blessed through it! You will continue to be a blessing to your extended family as you provide them with income, to your immediate family, as you spend more time with them, and to your readers for all of the above efforts! God bless your family and your home-hunting!

  • Crystal-

    I love your blog! I have read it for 18 months. You are my home page. 🙂 I found you for the deals, but stay with you for your inspiring message and steadfast mission to be debt free.

    I rarely read your “deals”, but slowly read all your personal posts to learn more about yoru character, and shape mine in a similar fashion. Your perspective on money has caused me to honor the money God has given our family more, and use it more wisely.

    Thank you for letting us see your good stewardship and how God is blessing you.
    :0)
    Lisa

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