This year has been full of ups and downs. I began the process of recovery from my spending addiction, paid off all my credit cards, and now consider myself in remission. Then my job went to hell, so I took another job, which also went to hell. In a little over three weeks, I will be unemployed and relying solely on my writing skills to pay my bills. And I’m terrified. But even now, after all the stress and tears and staying up all night worrying, I am thankful.

I am thankful for my son, who is growing up to be an amazing young man despite having a lunatic for a mother.

I am thankful for my home and the utilities that I have managed to keep turned on.

I am thankful that it has now been more than a year since I paid an overdraft fee or bounced a check.

I am thankful for my family, who try so hard to support me even when there’s no way they could understand.

And I am thankful for you. Each and every one of you who reads what I write and gets something out of it. You have no idea what joy I get from every email, comment, or conversation (except the ones where people call me names, but they don’t count).

I have a feeling my life is going to get worse before it gets better, but I am thankful today that there is still room for things to get worse. That I haven’t hit rock bottom. That I can see a way out, even though I’ll have to climb to get there.

I hope all of you have much to be thankful for today, and that you’re spending time with the people you love.

Why it’s Dumb to be Clueless About Your Finances

Last week I had a conversation with a coworker (I’ll call her Beatrice) about quitting my job and how I’ll survive with no guaranteed income. Now, I’ve known this girl for years - we got our undergraduate degrees together - and I never realized what an idiot she was until this conversation. Here’s how it went:

Beatrice: I’d love to put in my notice like you did, but I don’t think we could make it on my husband’s income alone. We spend way too much money.

Me: I used to be the same way. One day I got tired of it, so I printed out our bank statements, got some highlighters, and figured out where all the money was going. That was the only way to change things.

Beatrice: Yeah, that’s probably a good idea, but I’m not going to do that because I don’t want to know how bad it is.

Me: …

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Saving Energy During the Winter Months

The following is a guest post from MoneySupermarket.

So, winter is pretty much in full swing. The days are getting darker and the nights are getting colder. Some people might well love this time of year, but not the frugal amongst us because it means that the heating probably needs to be on that little bit higher and the lights need to be on that little bit longer. But winter doesn’t have to mean that you pay an extortionate amount on your bills – read on for a few ideas on how you can save energy during the cold, harsh winter nights that lie in wait.


As we all know, gas and electricity suppliers are always increasing prices, so we need to be constantly on guard to save money wherever we can in and around the house. It’s certainly not as easy as it should be, but significant savings can be made on everything that consumes electricity in your home.

The first thing you should do is get an electricity monitor so you can keep track of how much you actually use across the board and make the changes as and when they are necessary. The monitor works by receiving a signal from a sensor that attaches to your electricity meter, so it can keep track of how much energy you are using in real time. This way, you know right away if you are using too much.

As for the things you can do to minimise the work that this monitor has to do, we could go on forever (but we won’t). Heading into the winter, it is important that your central heating system is in good working order because the last thing you want is to have to call out an engineer to come fix it when you’re struggling to find the money to pay the bills in the first place. A newer and more efficient heating system – and this goes for the gas boiler, too – will save you a lot of money in the long run, not just in the winter.


You can make sure that you don’t have to use the heating as much with a couple of draft excluders to sit at the foot of your doors. These are designed to stop the warm air that is already in your house escaping through those pesky gaps and, indeed, to prevent the cold air from coming in from the outside. They can be picked up for less than $5 in most supermarkets.

If you have a thermostat, keep it at a steady and comfortable 68 degrees to minimise energy usage while maintaining comfort. You can shave around two or three per cent off your heating bills with every degree by which you lower your thermostat.

In terms of lighting, think about how many bulbs each one is burning. If one light fitting is burning four or five, take it down to one and think about whether you can cope with the light it generates over the coming weeks.

I Need Your Help!


Here’s What’s Up

I entered a contest through ImpulseSave to win a $500 blogging contract. Three bloggers will win, and I WANT TO BE ONE OF THEM!!! I need the money badly, plus I’d love the opportunity to blog for ImpulseSave for awhile.

We were supposed to write about a “money story of pain, woe, misguidance, or sheer ignorance,” and you guys know that’s kind of my area of expertise.

Here’s How to Help

Want to read my post? Click here to read the tale of the $12,000 Sofa. There’s a link to go to the poll.

Love me enough to vote without reading? Click here to go directly to the Facebook poll.