100th Post Giveaway!

CONTEST CLOSED - Thanks for participating!!!!!

Hooray! Today I’m celebrating my 100th post here at So Over Debt, and I’d like to invite all of you to celebrate with me. In honor of 100 posts in 6 months of blogging, I’m giving away a $25 gift card to the vendor of your choice!

The rules:

  • The vendor you choose must offer an e-giftcard option. Examples of places that do this: Amazon, Target, Walmart, Sephora, Macy’s, Chili’s, Bath and Body Works, iTunes…. Pretty much any store you can imagine. That way I don’t have ask for your address.
  • If the winner doesn’t specify a store, s/he will receive an Amazon gift card.
  • The winner will be chosen using random.org - if you have questions, email me.
  • Entries will be accepted until Friday, August 12 at 8 PM CST. At that time, comments will be closed and a winner will be chosen on Saturday, August 13.
  • If the winner does not claim his/her prize within 48 hours, a new winner will be chosen.

How to enter:

To enter the contest, simply comment on this post with your most embarrassing financial moment and what gift card you’d like if you win.

There are several ways to gain extra entries as well:

  • Subscribe to my RSS feed (1 entry)
  • “Like” So Over Debt on Facebook (1 entry)
  • Follow me on Twitter (1 entry)
  • Tweet the following: @sooverdebt has reached 100 posts and is giving away a $25 gift card! http://bit.ly/oi0XDg (1 entry)
  • Link to this contest on your blog (3 entries)

Make sure you fill out the form below so you’ll get credit for your entries.

Bonus! Your extra entries will increase my Friend Fund, which is currently halfway to the first $100 CASH giveaway!

IMPORTANT: Make sure you indicate your gift card vendor of choice. Otherwise I’m choosing Amazon!

Good Luck!

People, Places, and Things

When I talk about debt, I often use examples from my work as a substance abuse counselor. I can’t help relating my financial struggles to the ones faced by my former drug court clients because there are so many similarities. I watched many of my clients throw away their jobs, families, homes, and futures for a high that might last 20 minutes. A few were arrested in my office because they failed yet another drug test. Some lost custody of their children and still showed up for therapy smelling like they bathed in marijuana or whiskey. At the time, it seemed so pathetic - until I realized I did the same thing, only with money.

For me, spending is an addiction. Treating it like anything less would be lying.

To recover from any addiction, you need to avoid situations that could cause a relapse. This seems pretty obvious, yet it’s not as easy to do as you might think. Imagine all the ways you could be triggered to engage in a certain behavior. You see a fast food commercial and suddenly you’re thinking Arby’s. You talk about a vacation you took and daydream about how great it would be to go back. You visit your cousin the fashionista and panic about the boring clothes you packed.

In my substance abuse groups, we referred to triggers like these as people, places, and things.

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August LoveDrop: Can You Spare Five Bucks?

Every month, I post about my involvement with LoveDrop, a group dedicated to helping people in need. While some of you may skim over these posts, I hope you’ll take the time to read this one.

This month, we are working to help two sisters, Lucy and Tracy.

Lucy has been diagnosed with aplastic anemia, a life-threatening illness, and needs a bone marrow transplant to increase her chances of surviving. Her sister Tracy is a perfect match and has selflessly agreed to donate her bone marrow to help her sister.

The medical expenses associated with Lucy’s illness are astronomical. She is fortunate to have health insurance, but the premiums are $500 per month. It is imperative that she maintain this coverage to ensure that the pending bone marrow transplant is covered. The LoveDrop Team is working to raise $3000 to cover six months of insurance premiums to make sure Lucy keeps her coverage.

I donate $5 a month to LoveDrop. Just five bucks that I don’t even miss. And while I know it doesn’t go very far, it does when lots of people are doing it. In this situation, I am also donating an extra $25 to help Lucy pay for her health insurance.

I am encouraging you to reach out and help someone in need. Visit the LoveDrop website and donate five bucks to help Lucy and Tracy. I promise you won’t even miss it.

If you can’t make a monetary donation (or even if you can), consider writing a note of support to Lucy and Tracy and their parents. The LoveDrop Team will deliver the letters in a few weeks. If you’ve ever been sick and terrified, you know how much it means to hear from people - even strangers - wishing you luck.

Part of a better financial life involves being willing to look beyond yourself. $5 isn’t much, but it will make a world of difference to Lucy. If you are able to help, please do so.

How to Turn Failure Into Success

One of my all-time favorite quotes comes from the kid movie Meet the Robinsons: “From failure, you learn. From success, not so much.” Never mind the fact that I should have learned enough by now to be a genius - that goes without saying if you’ve read here before. The point is, if you get things right the first time around, there is no incentive to find ways to do it better. But if, like me, you tend to require several practice runs to accomplish things, you’re more likely to come across something that truly works for you.

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