4,000 columns pounded out one at a time computer keyboard

One At A Time And Then There Were 4,000

Today marks a milestone I didn’t think I would pass: four thousand columns, articles, posts, chapters. It’s not that I thought I would fail. It didn’t occur to me how quickly one at a time can add up to 4,000.

4,000 columns pounded out one at a time computer keyboard

It all started with a monthly newsletter, then a daily blog, a syndicated column, and more than two dozen published books. I am proud of my achievement but not too impressed. I wish I could say that at least once each day I am overcome by waves of wit and wisdom. The truth is the fear of a deadline is my best motivator. I count on intimidation to give me a jumpstart and the satisfaction that comes from writing to keep me going.

It’s the excitement that comes from knowing the written word can stir passion in my readers to be better stewards of their resources that creates a bond of trust between you and me. It’s the feeling of accomplishment I get each time I press “Send” knowing I finished another column that charges my batteries.

I suppose if this were my 4,000th birthday, you would expect some words of wisdom from me, and this is what I would say.

The most important things I’ve learned over the years:

It all adds up. One column is insignificant in the larger scheme of things. But one column consistently, routinely turns into 4,000 before you know it and quite painlessly.

Keep at it. Doing it even when you don’t feel like it builds confidence that you’ll know how to keep doing it even when you don’t feel like it.

So what advice would I offer to you?

It all adds up. Whether saving or spending, a dollar here, five bucks there may not seem like much. But repeat that activity routinely, consistently and it will turn into $4,000 before you know it.

Keep at it. Establish goals, make a plan. Read, always be working on something. Never keep all of your money and never spend it all. Let giving to others and saving for the future quiet your insatiable desires and keep your life in proper perspective. Do not focus on what you lack, instead be grateful for all that you have.

Words alone cannot adequately express my gratitude to you, for where would a columnist be without loyal and long-suffering readers? I thank you for your support and encouragement.

Remember, you don’t have to do this alone. It may feel like you are in a solitary place, but you’re not. I’m right here to encourage, prod, and nag you to get out of debt and live below your means just one step, one day at a time. Every day.



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  1. Dotti Platt says:

    Thank you so much for your encouraging and informative emails, Mary. I’ve been a reader since 2004 and have learned so much from you. You are truly a blessing!

  2. Gina Stevens says:

    It was sometime in the nineties when I first got your newsletter. You’ve become my best friend, despite that we’ve never met. Thanks for all the help you’ve given me.

  3. Sarah Clark says:

    Dearest Mary,
    This post came at just the right time for me with your reminder that being consistent produces results; your 4,000(!) posts is marvelous proof. Congratulations! I cannot thank you enough for all you have given me and the rest of the Everyday Cheapskate community—the knowledge and the tools to live our best life. May God bless and keep you and prosper you in every aspect of your life.

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