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2

How I Curb the Urge to Quit

I wouldn’t tell just anyone what I’m about to tell you—and only because we’re like family. At least several times a week I want to quit. Seriously. The thought crosses my mind, and not when things are going great. It’s when I face a challenge: a tough writing assignment, a book deadline, an early morning interview or snarky message in my inbox.

The temptation to quit is a recurring theme. And if the voices in my head don’t give me enough trouble, the voices in the culture finish the job. “Quit already! There are so many others with fresher voices better able to reach the younger generation. You deserve a break! Take it easy on yourself, go and enjoy your life.”

This is nothing new. I’ve been dealing with the urge to quit for a long time. I can anticipate its arrival. And because of that, I’ve learned ways to deal with it before it drives me to the brink of resignation.

3

With ATM Receipts and Legal Guardians, Leave Nothing to Chance

Face it, life is uncertain. We cannot know the future, but that doesn’t mean we should just throw caution to the wind and let come what may. There are some areas of life where we can take steps to reduce certain risks by exercising good common sense.

In today’s post, readers share concerns and ask questions. Who knows? They may the same questions you’ve been asking.

Got questions? Send me an email. Chances are good yours will get answered the next time around!

See ou there … Love, xo m

4

A New Chapter of Money-Saving Tips, Hacks, and Ideas

In preparation for today’s BIG ANNOUNCEMENT, here’s a little background information.

We estimate that Everyday Cheapskate enjoys at least a million readers a week—via its website, email, social media, shares, and on the pages of hundreds of print newspapers that are still alive and well across the country via Creators syndicate. Over the years you, my dear readers, have responded and gotten involved by sending me their best tips, tricks, hacks, and ideas. This has become something bigger than I can wrap my head around when I add in relationships and friendship with you.

I’m estimating that in 28 years, I’ve received more than 50,000 specific money- or time-saving tips, based on my attempt at weekly averages. Clearly, we have a lot of money-saving experts in our EC Family. You are amazing.

Today ushers in a new addition—we’re doing the official ribbon-cutting (finally!!)

I’ll be honest—we’ve plowed a lot of money into this endeavor, which means we’re looking at a significant investment. You can help keep EC alive and solvent by inviting friends to join in (CASH prizes!). Share today’s post, spread the word. And most of all, visit often and participate at your highest and best stuff.

I’m counting on you!

I’ve got all the details for you at the post. See you there … xo m

5

I’d Rather Have the Money, Bob

Did you see us? My husband and I were on TV with Bob Barker. Before you run to check your DVR or YouTube, I’d better tell you this was a while ago. Try 1971.

We were plucked from the live audience of that old favorite, Truth or Consequences along with two other couples. Ours was a kind of “newlywed game” stunt. They put the guys in a sound-proof booth and we ladies had to predict how our husbands would answer questions.

Of course, the hubs and I won. And a mighty fine prize it was: $50 in prize money and a blender! 

We already had a blender so I remember thinking I’d rather have the money. We could have walked away with a grand total of $85 …

6

How to Get Your Perspective Back on Track

These days, it’s easy to fall into the muck and mire of worry and defeat. Personal crises like a financial emergency, the loss of a job—or worse, your home—punctuated by the daily news can ruin your perspective and dump you into a pit of despair. What you need to know today is that even when […]

7

6 Reasons You Need to Celebrate Soon—and Often!

Celebrate? With all that’s going on in our lives, the nation—the world?

With all the challenges you’re facing right now, you may be thinking that’s the last thing you’ll be doing now, or anytime soon. Let me encourage you to think again. Please!

Now, of all times, we need to celebrate wherever and whenever possible—for six very important reasons.

Today, I celebrate YOU! You mean the world to me and I think you’re awesome! Love, m xo

8

Tough Times Don’t Last, Tough People Do!

  Discouragement plagues all of us from time to time. If you’re discouraged about your situation—be it financial, family, job, or just basic uncertainty about the future—there are some things you can do to counter those feelings and attitudes. The most important is to know this will not last forever. Let’s say your neighbor just […]

10

Make Every Day Thanksgiving!

Back by popular demand, Mary’s annual Thanksgiving message …  I love Thanksgiving so much it vies for first place in my favorite holiday lineup. I love and adore a classic Turkey Dinner with all the trimmings. I love the fall weather, which always accompanies the day. I love the fact that Thanksgiving ushers in the […]

11

Want What You Have, Buy What You Need

Years ago, I read in The New York Times that according to Yankelovich Research, the average American adult is the target of some 3,500 commercial ads in a single day. More recently that estimate has been adjusted upward to 5,000. How outrageous is that? Sure, we live in a highly commercialized society but 5,o00 commercial ads? […]

12

The Gift of a Crisis

It was the worst day of my life. Not one of the worst days. Not a day where not one thing seems to go right. Worse than that. Worse than any day I’d ever experienced before that day, worse than any day since. And I would say that like most people, I’ve had some real […]

13

How Materialism Leads to Discontentment

I should not have even picked it up. I knew better. After all, what was I expecting from a magazine titled simply, SHOP Etc.?  I can say with all honesty that before flipping open the magazine, I needed nothing. Not a thing. I was content and quite busy with my work. If anything was tugging […]

14

16 Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living the Life You Love

If you’ve ever have been in serious debt—or are right now—you know the feeling that your creditors own you lock, stock and bank account. I’ve been there, I know.

Debt steals your freedom one option at a time until you become its prisoner. Want out? I can help. Click through and I’ll see you there … Love, m xo 😍

18

15 Minutes to Financial Freedom

The email message contained a single-word subject: Help! The sender, I’ll call her Emily, had been asked by her community group leader to give a 15-minute presentation on how to achieve financial freedom. She was honored to have been asked, excited to do it, but also panicked by the thought. She asked if I would help. […]

19

Stay Calm and Make Your Own Mixes

Checking one of my email inboxes this morning (I have several) made my heart race and my head spin. Hundreds of messages all related to BLACK FRIDAY. Then I checked my news feed and the blaring headlines and accompanying photo made me slightly nauseous: Full-grown, visually mature adults fighting over TVs at Walmart. Look, I’m […]

20

7 Habits of the Rich

Habit is defined as behavior repeated so often it becomes almost automatic. I am in awe of the power of habit. It’s a force to change your life, and it is available to anyone no matter your situation, no matter your circumstances. For five years, author Tom Corley observed the daily habits of the rich […]

21

Lessons from a Two-Year Old

I gave my son and daughter-in-law lots of gifts when their son Elijah was born. But none has come back to bless me more than the Gift of Friday. Since he was six weeks old, I’ve closed the door to work on Fridays to care for and learn from my grandson, Eli. In these two […]

22

Saving by Choice, Not by Chance

A reader question I answered some time ago brought a small avalanche of mail, mostly from readers who were aghast that I would suggest they save such a significant portion of their paychecks for retirement. It was money they just didn’t think they could afford to save. I can only imagine that for a person […]

24

A Very Bad Hair Day

Apparently, my hair is my life. Believe me, I am as surprised by this fact of vanity as anyone. Had you checked with me about my philosophy of life a mere ten days prior, I can assure you that my hair would not have made the cut for my Top Ten Important Things.   Sure, I’ve […]

25

Life in a Crowded Nest

It used to be that kids reaching adulthood could not wait to leave home and be on their own. That worked out well because their parents longed for an empty nest and quieter lives. But these days, young people are spoiling these plans. Currently some 85% of U.S. college graduates move back home with their parents […]

26

The Frugal Lifestyle

I’ll admit I used to think frugality was a distasteful lifestyle forced upon the poor. I believed “frugal” was synonymous with never buying new clothes and dumpster diving under the cover of night. Boy, did I have a lot to learn. And learn I did—and continue to learn—that is the path to building wealth on […]

27

Rebooting My Spirit

To say that I am impressionable would be to put it mildly. And when I say impressionable I mean prone to take on the circumstances and the weight of people, places and things around me. Here’s an example: I watched the movie “Castaway,” and for the next seven nights in a row, dreamt that I […]

28

The One Thing We Need to Keep Going

Encouragement. For me it is a basic need or perhaps a character flaw, I’m not quite sure. All I know is that I need encouragement, and I need it often. I have a feeling that you do, too. This matter of getting out of debt, living below our means, and learning how to manage our […]

29

Give Yourself an Extreme Money Makeover

There’s nothing like a job-layoff notice, getting a call from the bank saying you’ve bounced your account to the moon—or in my case back in the ‘80s learning that our home was about to be foreclosed—to tell you that you need an extreme money makeover.. Before picture. Any makeover worth its salt needs a great […]

30

Life Lessons from a Daffodil Garden

I love the story author Jaroldeen Edwards tells (Things I Wish I’d Known Sooner) of the trip she took with her daughter one bleak and rainy day. She wasn’t that thrilled to drive more than two hours to see flowers some woman had planted. But her daughter was insistent. “You’re going to love this, Mom!” Tell […]

31

Easy Ways To Boost Your Income

Of all the people I know and love, I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t welcome a small income boost this month–or any month, for that matter. Whether you’re between jobs, figuring out how to cover an unexpected bill or hoping to stash more cash into savings, get your creative juices flowing with these ideas. […]

33

Living Below Your Means is the Only Way to Live

Being thought of as cheap was to me the ultimate insult. I equated frugality with digging through dumpsters in search of food and who-knows-what-else. To me cheap people skipped out without leaving a tip. They were slovenly in appearance, lacking dignity and self respect. Cheap people were just plain tacky. I couldn’t bear the thought […]

34

How to Stop Making Bad Decisions

I saw the funniest sign recently. But it wasn’t funny for long because I started to think about it. Suddenly the humor melted away. Ouch! Those 15 words hit hard. I’ve made my share of bad money decisions in my life.  I’ve come a long way from that dark season of my life. I am […]

35

What Do You Need to Be Happy?

When a University of Michigan survey asked people what they believed would improve their quality of life the answer given most often was, “More money.” In their book The Day America Told the Truth, James Patterson and Peter Kim asked, “If you could change one thing about your life what would it be?” The number […]

37

Payday Loans, Rent-to-Own and Other Spooky Tales

Scary stories and fiendish tricks are all part of Halloween fun. But the last thing you expect is for those stories and tricks to be about your friendly lenders, bankers, and credit card companies. Payday loans. You’re broke but payday is two weeks away. You write a personal check to the loan shark, uh … […]

38

My Secret War with Procrastination

One of the toughest things I battle in my life is procrastination. My natural response is I’ll do it later. And there’s a part of me that despises that procrastinator and wages a daily war to defeat it. That’s how I’ve come to rely on the power of habits and routines. If I can avoid […]

39

Prep Steps for First-Time Home Buyers

Buying a home can be exciting and terrifying, all at once. And for first-time buyers, you can probably multiply those feelings by a hundred. According to Wendy Highfield, of Distinct Realty Group in Denver, Colo., “Now is such a great time to purchase a home, especially with the low rates and personalized loan programs available […]

40

4 Ways to Stop Wasting Money

Want to keep more of the money you earn? Stop wasting money on goods and services that you don’t really care about. Start paying attention where your money goes and you just might see the equivalent of working a second job in your wallet—not leaking out of your life undetected. 1. Stop buying from TV […]

41

Step Into the Naughty Corner

  Americans are up to their eyeballs in credit-card debt. The average household with debt now owes nearly $9,000 on their revolving credit card balances. And they pay more than $1,000 a year in credit card interest for the misery. The majority of card-carrying Americans (more than 60 percent revolve their balances) cannot seem to […]

42

The 1% New Year’s Solution

  Want a simple, pain free plan to increase your savings this year? CPA, author and blogger Mike Piper says save 1 percent more. “Increase your savings contributions by 1 percent of your gross income,” suggests Piper. It might be difficult to imagine how such a small change could make any difference at all, but […]

43

Yes You Can Save

  How’s your health? Not your physical fitness, but your financial well-being. For most of us, how much we earn tells us how we’re “feeling” financially. But your income is only one part of the equation. How much of your income do you actually keep? Not very much, I’ll bet. Your income is low, you […]

44

Saving Coins Can Be a Pain

  I am not one to spend coins. And I don’t like carrying them around in my wallet, either. Every night both my husband and I dump the day’s accumulation into a container to save for a trip or to buy something special. One year we saved $1,100 in coins, but I have to admit […]

45

The Power of Scarcity

  Years ago I had a frugality wake-up call—something I admit to needing from time to time. It’s so easy to get sloppy where we are surrounded by abundance and a seeming endless supply of everything. It was the morning of our annual Holiday Dinner Party. I had limited time and many things to do […]

46

When It Comes to Borrowing Don’t Be Ridiculous

  Not all debts are created equal, nor is every type of loan hazardous to your wealth. There is a world of difference between a home mortgage and a revolving credit-card balance. While both types of debt are liabilities in which a borrower is legally obligated to a lender, the first I call intelligent borrowing: […]

47

A Letter from 13-Year Old Abby

  Dear Mrs. Mary Hunt: My name is Abby. I am 13-years old. So, my mom got your book, Raising Financially Confident Kids, and she is on Chapter 9 and she is wanting to do that—give your kids $100 and make them buy their clothes, shoes, etc., each month. Well, I didn’t really like the […]

48

The Great Mystery of Household Accumulation

Have you ever noticed that no matter the size of your apartment, condominium, house, garage, drawers, closets, hard drive, handbag or briefcase—it mysteriously fills to capacity? Our first apartment was 300 square feet. We were newlyweds and still in that “cozy stage,” so it wasn’t a problem. Three years later we were packed to the […]

50

Overspent and Overloaded? You Need Margin

Bill Smith sits down to his most dreaded chore—paying bills. Every month it’s the same story: pay the most urgent and leave the rest. There’s never enough money, no matter how hard he works. Jane Miller flies into the school office frazzled and 30 minutes late because she was 20 minutes late getting out of […]

51

Get Financially Fit With Good Habits

Personal character is made of habits. Bad ones just seem to happen, while good habits are usually the result of considerable effort. Some people act as if their habits were issued at birth and are not likely to ever change. There are a select few, however, who know and live by the truth: It is […]

54

Readers’ Unpredictable Responses

For anyone wishing to study human nature, my “mailbag” would make an interesting research center. I get tons of email and snail mail, however rather than arriving in a steady flow it comes in waves. I’ve given up trying to predict which columns will prompt responses from my readers. Take a column on the inherent […]