About Mary Hunt, Debt Expert, Blogger, Advice Columnist


Hello! It’s so nice to meet you …

I’m Mary, the voice, writer, and occasional photographer behind Everyday Cheapskate. I live in beautiful Colorado, where the Rocky Mountains meet the High Plains.


Do I have a story for you …

It was a really bad day. Possibly the worst day of my life. So I did what I suppose any woman who’d ruined her husband’s life and managed to throw their home into foreclosure would do: I had a meltdown.

It’s not like I meant to do anything wrong. In fact, for 12 years, I did what I was invited to do: I used credit cards to bridge the gap between my husband’s salary and the lifestyle I so richly deserved!

I’d always assumed that my husband would handle the money while I took care of the home and family. And when my house of cards crashed, I had to admit just how financially ignorant I was.

Hitting rock bottom was the jolt I needed that prompted me to make a u-turn on the financially destructive path I’d chosen. One step at a time I began to care about our money and to learn how to manage it. I didn’t realize that with each new thing I learned and money-saving tactic I tried, I became more financially fit. I taught myself how to be frugal, how to spend less than we earned; how to save, how to give to others, and how to find joy and peace in living below our means.

Here’s an example: My very first step was to make a vow that I would only buy groceries that I could pay for with cash (no checkbook, no plastic allowed). Wow, that was like throwing a bucket of cold water in my face. I had a new awareness of what things really cost. I had to keep track of what I was putting in my grocery card. The next step came quickly: I had to find a way to spend less to buy what we needed so I could walk out with cash in my pocket.

Finding ways to do that put a big smile on my face and gave me the confidence and the desire to take another step. And another and another.

It took 13 years to pay back a whopping credit-card debt of more than $100,000 ($300,000 in 2023 dollars, whew! ) but we did it—one cost-cutting hack, tip, and trick at a time. Oh, the things I learned during those years and now love to teach others!



I hold a B.A. degree in Biblical Studies and Music from The Master’s University (1970).

Upon graduation, I went to work for Mattel Toys, Inc. in Hawthorne, Calif., (1970-1972).

Left to take a civil service position with the U.S. Air Force in El Segundo, Calif.

Resigned in 1974, upon the birth of our first child. Number two arrived 17 months later.

I worked from 1975 to 1995 as a real estate broker and property manager in Los Angeles Calif., first as an employee with two local companies, and from 1985 to present as CEO of Hunt Industrial Properties, Inc. a real estate and management company co-founded with my husband.

I am an award-winning and bestselling author*, syndicated columnist with Creators, blogger at Everyday Cheapskate, freelance writer, and motivational speaker. My passion is to help men and women battle the epidemic impact of consumer debt by leading them out of debt and into the joy of living debt-free.

I am the owner and founder of DPL Press, Inc., and Debt-Proof Living, a highly regarded organization established in 1992.

Published Books

Can I Pay My Credit Card Bill With a Credit Card? by Mary Hunt (DPL Press, Inc., 2009 )

The Financially Confident Woman, by Mary Hunt(revised and expanded; DPL Press, Inc., 2008)

How to Debt-Proof Your Marriage, by Mary Hunt (mass market edition; Revell Publishing, 2008)

Debt-Proof The Holidays, by Mary Hunt (DPL Press, Inc., 2007)

Tiptionary 2, by Mary Hunt (DPL Press, Inc., 2007)

Debt-Proof Your Kids by Mary Hunt (revised and expanded; DPL Press, Inc., 2007)

Live Your Life For Half The Price by Mary Hunt (DPL Press, Inc., 2005)

Debt-Proof Living by Mary Hunt (revised and expanded; DPL Press, Inc., 2005)

Everyday Cheapskate’s Greatest Tips by Mary Hunt (Running Press, 2005)

Debt-Proof Your Marriage by Mary Hunt (Revell Publishing, 2003)

The Complete Cheapskate by Mary Hunt (re-release; St. Martin’s Press, 2003)

Cheapskate Gourmet by Mary Hunt (renamed and updated; Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001)

Tiptionary Journal for the New Bride by Mary Hunt (Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000)

Tiptionary Journal for the New Mom by Mary Hunt (Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000)

*Debt-Proof Living by Mary Hunt (Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1999) Wall Street Journal Bestseller

Debt-Proof Your Kids by Mary Hunt (Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1998)

Tiptionary by Mary Hunt (Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1997)

Debt-Proof Your Holidays by Mary Hunt (St. Martin’s Press, 1997, and Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1998)

The Complete Cheapskate by Mary Hun(Focus on the Family, 1997, and Broadman and Holman Publishers, 1998)

Cheapskate in the Kitchen by Mary Hunt (St. Martin’s Press, 1997)

The Cheapskate Monthly Money Makeover by Mary Hunt (St. Martin’s Press, 1995)

*The Financially Confident Woman by Mary Hunt (Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1996) Gold Medallion Award in Christian Living (1996)

*The Best of Cheapskate Monthly: Simple Tips for Living Lean In The ‘90s (St. Martin’s Press, 1993;) New York Times Bestseller

Syndicated Column

Everyday Cheapskate, weekday consumer column syndicated nationally by Creators Syndicate (October 2007 to Present): appears in approximately 350 print publications.

Everyday Cheapskate, weekday consumer column syndicated nationally by United Media (October 2002-September 2007)

Magazine Column and Show

Woman’s Day magazine (January 2006-2016; under contract for 10 columns per year)

Woman’s Day Online Talk Radio Show  (September 2008-2010)

National Television

Dr. Phil Show

CBS Evening News

CBS This Morning

The Oprah Winfrey Show

Good Morning America

The O’Reilly Factor

Fox and Friends


The Hour of Power

CBS Early Show


ABC World News Tonight

Gordon McDonald Show, ITV United Kingdom

Leeza Gibbons Show

National Radio

Point of View

Focus on the Family

Parent Talk

Women in Touch

Janet Parshall’s America

Mid-Day Connection

CNN Radio

Fox Business

National Speaking and Book Tours

Debt-Proof Living LIVE! (1999 to 2005)

Debt-Proof Your Marriage (National book and speaking tour; 2003)

Debt-Proof Living (National book tour; 1999)

Debt-Proof Your Kids (National book tour; 1998)

Aspiring Women Conference (1998 and 1999 conference tours)

Tiptionary (National book tour; 1996)

Corporate Spokesperson Campaigns

Sunoco (2016)

Microsoft Bing (2009)

Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (2009)

iVillage: Stretch Your Dollar Challenge (2009)

Sears Buyer Protection Plan (2009)

InterContinental Hotels Group (2008-2009)

Procter and Gamble Prilosec OTC (2007-2008)

Ollies Bargain Outlet (2007)

Microsoft Money (2000 and 2001)

Quaker Oats Bagged Cereal (1998)

MCI Friends and Family Free (1996)

Corporate Board Positions

Currently serving as a member of the Board of Advisory, Electus Global Educational Co., Inc

Past appointments to Boards of Directors:

American Industrial Real Estate Association (now AIR CRE)

Christian Credit Counselors

Haven Ministries

Backhaus Dance Company



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6 replies
  1. K Scully says:

    Hi Mary,
    I was babysitting my granddaughters and wrote a note to myself to read something I saw in in email from you on 14 August 2023: it was an article about how to clean Google drive to save space and money. The email has disappeared and a search on your website did not help me find the info. Please help! Thanks for all you do, I’ve subscribed for many many years! Blessings, Karen

  2. Christine Yagnych says:

    Hi, Love this,
    I paid off a 8,000.00 furnace in 1 year which got me thinking. If I could do this then I could eliminate my credit card which I payoff every month anyways. The above has given me some impression on other area


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