Once in a Lifetime



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Standing on Main Street, U.S.A., in the Magic Kingdom, March 24, 2022

Disney lovers, we spent seven days visiting Walt Disney World back in March. Immersed in another world, enjoying the company of our family, experiencing all the magic offered by Walt himself, we revisit those memories again and again. Some small event in the now catapults us back to a then moment and we relive the joy, the excitement, the wonder of that moment. There is also a longing to do it all again, soon, costs be damned. Those moments are those moments though. We cannot recreate them. While they will live forever in our memories, triggered by sights, sounds and smells today, they remain then moments. This moment, right now, is brand new and ready to be made into another precious, or not so precious, memory. I’m learning to live in anticipation of the next new moment and all it has to offer. And continue to enjoy the memories.


Beyond Reasonable Doubt


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Late in the afternoon in early November I was driving down the busy 10 freeway heading west toward my home in Orange County, the sun just then dipping below the sun visor as I cruised past Beaumont. For one brief moment the sun was blotted out by a billboard. 

Beyond Reasonable Doubt  JESUS IS ALIVE (855) FOR-TRUTH

At first, I laugh. Clever, I think. Then I contemplate that phone number. I wonder. I consider. I mean, what if?

My sense of humor gets the best of me. Curiosity wins. I instruct my car to dial the number. 

The electronic ringing echoes through the cabin of my Subaru Outback. One ring. Two rings. The middle of the third trilling ring is cut off as the call connects. 

A soft spoken woman answers. 


I pause. 

She repeats herself. “Hello?”

“Hello,” I reply. “I’m looking for Jesus.”

She pauses. I think to myself, like he’d actually be there. Like he’d want to talk to me. Ha. 

“Just one moment please,” she finally says, and places me on hold. Soft, gentle sitar music floats through the cabin. 

I’m skeptical. I mean, anyone could come on the line claiming to be Jesus, right? Still, I’m curious and I have a while to go before I arrive at home. 

After a short time the music cuts out and a voice says, “Hello. This is Jesus. What can I do for you?”

How do you answer a question like that, from Jesus? I started with, “Hello Jesus. Welcome back.”

The voice thanked me. Then the voice said, “You have doubts. Not just about me. About many things. Would you like to sit with me, talk?”

Compelling. Invited to sit and talk with Jesus. Still skeptical and now a bit cautious, I think, why not? Some public place, coffee shop or diner, that would be safe. I opened my mouth to speak and that neutral, comforting voice beats me to it: “I understand your disbelief in this moment. How about I meet you at that coffee shop just south of the next exit, Starbucks? My treat. It’s a public place, plenty of people. I want you to feel safe.”

I’m pretty sure my vehicle wobbled a little when Jesus said that. I steadied the car and quietly said, “Yes. See you in a few.” 





“I just want to belong…” Have you ever thought that? Okay, maybe that wasn’t the specific thought. You’re at work, in the break room, sitting along, eating your lunch and a group comes in laughing and chatting and you feel a tug, inside. Like you want to be a part of that. Or maybe, you know that group and you want to be as far away as possible.

Wanting to be a part of a group probably began when I was young, around 4th or 5th grade, when life around me, in my household was slowly falling apart. I didn’t know that I needed to be with others who’s parents were in a divorce, or that had a step-mom, or didn’t know how to relate to the mom they didn’t live with anymore. I wanted to connect and I didn’t know how. I felt like an outsider all of the time.

In high school, I joined the local junior police cadets, a part of the boy scouts, because I wanted to be a police officer. I felt a part of, sometimes, and awkward and out of place at other times.

I also joined the theater classes. Stagecraft they called it, the back stage part of theater – lights, sounds, sets and costumes. That was the first time in a long time I felt like I’d found a group I wanted to be a part of – the police thing was fun, but it required a lot of work, and I was in the public eye. In theater, I was in the dark, in the back, unseen and important at the same time. Also, most of the students in theater, grades nine through twelve, were misfits, like I felt. There was Joey, a punk rock kid, and Desire, the gypsy. Rick, a red-headed actor, and the techies. I loved the techies. I loved creating illusion out of nothing on stage. We recreated the hospital ward from One Flew Over A Cuckoo’s Nest, and the farmhouse in Oklahoma. I had useful skills in that world and I felt valued and important.

The best part of that brief moment in time was the belonging. I could be me. I didn’t have to pretend with those people, and they liked me as I was. After the ninth grade, it was another long stretch before I belonged to a small group of people again.

Lego Life Lesson Reminders


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Lego Life Lesson Reminders

Building Lego kits reminds me of life lessons… I thought I’d share that with you today.

2019-04-09 10.20.32My husband bought me a Lego Creator kit for a 1967 Mustang. This kit has over 1,400 bricks and pieces, and the completed model will be 13.5 inches long and 5.5 inches wide. The instruction manual has 195 pages for the basic design and about 20 more pages to the super charger engine. Challenging, right?

Have you ever put together Legos? Kits, I mean, although, there is something rather meditative about building something from your imagination using Lego bricks.

Lego kits come with instructions and all the bricks you need to build whatever is pictured on the box.

Here’s how it works. Each page  in the instruction booklet features:

  1. a diagram of the pieces you need to build the sequence on that page.
  2. step by step diagram of how to put those pieces together.
  3. diagram to show you where to put that bit you just built.

Legos provides step by step instructions, and building a Lego offers you an opportunity to be present. I cannot think of or focus on anything else while I am putting together Legos. I am required to stay in the present moment in order to build the kit properly.

Master Creators create Legos beginning with the end in mind. Actually, I think Legos may come up with the end result IDEA first (“Wouldn’t a Millenium Falcon be a cool Lego kit? I wonder how we could do that?”, said some Master Creator somewhere) and then deconstructs the idea (go backwards and creates a series of steps) so that they – the Master Builders – can create a kit with all the pieces to build something amazing.

I applied this deconstruction (start at the end and go backwards) technique on purpose just recently – even though I’ve been using it unconsciously for most of my life.

In the beginning of this post I mentioned that Legos provides an instruction manual (sometimes with over 200 pages). I also recall hearing again and again over the years about how LIFE does not come with an instruction manual. Nor does parenting (although there are hundreds of books on both subjects these days… but they are pretty general and each of us is pretty unique).

Except that maybe life DOES come with instruction manuals. You probably have a set of instructions you’ve developed for many of your daily activities, although you may not realize it. Everything we do during the day requires a series of steps. Let’s use taking a shower as an example – what goes into that? Well, the water has to be running, right? Shampoo, Conditioner, and soap are typically involved – what order you use those in is up to you. Wash cloth or no wash cloth (some folks use those plastic scrubbies). You’ll need a towel within reach to dry off. Do you take clothes into the bathroom with you to get into after you dry off? Think about your bathing process. That’s a series of steps.

Getting the kids ready for school? You probably repeatedly do the same thing each morning to get from waking up to getting out the door.

Brushing your teeth. Doing the dishes. Making a meal.

Step by step. A series of processes. You have created a bunch of mental instruction manuals.

When the goal or desire is bigger, or you want to achieve something on purpose, that process may seem overwhelming, or unclear. How then could you apply the instruction manual, or deconstruction technique, to the bigger things in life? The things you desire? Better job, bigger house, that European vacation (I assume everyone wants one of those).

I used the deconstruction for a dream of mine: the end result or desire – a bigger house. How do I get there? I broke it down, I started at the end and went backwards – probably just like the Lego Master Builders. To move into a bigger house, I need to move out of this littler house and I’d like to rent this one rather than sell it. This littler house is not ready to be rented as it is, so I need to improve a couple of things – kitchen, driveway. I also need to qualify for a loan for that bigger house, and be able to pay the mortgage. I’ll need money for both of those things – to fix little house, to pay for bigger house. I have a little income, but I’ll need more, so I need a side hustle. Going backwards, and WRITING IT DOWN, helps me to SEE the process to get where I want to go, and to help me stay on track as I head there – because life will present challenges and try to knock me off track. A written plan will keep me moving forward.

I wrote an instruction manual to get a house.

You can do the same thing to get a job, buy a car, improve a relationship, get into better shape, be a better parent, finish college, or what ever it is that you desire. Step by step, you build upon the foundation of your desire until you get to the end. And you can do this over and over again.

That’s what Legos reminded me about today. I can write my own instruction booklet for every desire I have, big and small. And if I follow the steps, I will reach my goals.

For now though, I’m going to go work on that Mustang!

The Nuances of Life


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The Nuances of Life

I was about to drift off to sleep and I was thinking – as I’m sure some of you do as you drift off to sleep – thinking about a live event I get to attend on Tuesday, and the person I get to learn from, and his language which is similar to my language. By that I mean, I drop ‘f’ bombs when appropriate (and sometimes when its not so appropriate), and so does he – and he is real, he is authentic. What you see is what you get. (Although I’ll find out Tuesday when I meet him in person.)

And that thought led to a conversation I had the other day with a friend, discussing that she didn’t know how to be – that different situations called for a different representation of herself (this is more cerebral and detailed than the actual conversation was). Something that prompted me to think, “Why can’t you just be YOU regardless of the company?”

And tonight, thinking about Tuesday as I drifted off to sleep, I realized that I am not the same me to everyone I meet. Some people wouldn’t respond to me the same as other people do. Which means – that while I am working toward being an authentic single version of me, I am still holding back, or masking certain aspects of my personality to appease others. I still give a shit what people will think of me long after we part ways. I behave the way I think they will best respond to instead of adhering to a personal set of values that do not waver, and not worrying about what other people think of me.

What other people think of me is out of my hands, out of my control. Spending time and energy attempting to control that subtracts from my mission to be authentic, to be me. The best version of me continues to evolve but ultimately the core values are just that – core.

When I thought about who I am most real with and why, it shed light on who I am not authentic with, and why not.

So as I drift off to sleep tonight, I will go to sleep knowing that tomorrow I will review my core values and I will stick to those when I interact with everyone. And those who align with my core values will seek a relationship with me and those who don’t won’t.

And either way, it’s none of my fucking business. I’ll treat each one with the same level of love, tolerance and respect I’d like to receive.

Maybe you have some thoughts on what authentic means to you, and what core values you live by on a day to day basis. I’d love to hear about them. Comment below, please. Let’s get to know each other a little better.

Until I hear from you, goodnight.

The Little Writer That Could


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The Little Writer That Could

Once upon a time there was this girl. She wanted to write, to share her stories, both real life and imagined.  She didn’t know how to tell a story really well, on purpose. But she had determination and a computer. She started a blog – an intermittent blog (that’s what I could rename this blog – The Intermittent Blog) – with stops and starts, great ideas put down in digital words, and some not so great ideas that folks stopped by to read anyway.

She got likes and comments, and she felt real good about it on the days she had thoughts to share. There were other days though, days when life got busy and no blog-type thoughts visited her mind. Those days were harder, because she wanted to be consistent, and share all kinds of interesting stuff and insight, get lots of followers and share experience and knowledge.

This is one of those times – it’s been days since I posted. And I felt bad – I said I’d post. I guess committing to a post every day is just too much for me to ask myself right now. I mean, even great writers had their off days.

I am taking a couple of online courses – focused education. I am learning more about real estate wholesaling and also about social media marketing. I have great teachers.

I also invest in real estate and that involves a lot of footwork, meeting with homeowners who want to sell their homes and do not want to do any work to the homes or deal with a real estate agent. My husband and I help with that – we find buyers who want to offer cash in exchange for a discount on the property. It’s not for everyone – there are folks out there though who are grateful for our service.

And life, in general, day to day stuff – the expected and the unexpected. (For example, there is a large adult skunk residing somewhere in our yard at the moment. Seriously. I would have taken a photo today, but I also did not want to upset the gentle creature. Made it difficult to leave the house until the sun broke through the clouds. The cat was not happy.)

Anyway, that’s my story and (as my husband loves to say) you’re stuck with it.

Tomorrow is the release of the photo prompt for Fictioneers Friday. Stay tuned.

Friday Fictioneers – New Purpose


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New Purpose (Friday Fictioneers – 100 words limit)

The early 1900s, and I was grand.

Ivories first tickled by a young piano teacher.

An instrument of training for great and future pianists.

My rich sound, inspiration of a thousand students.

The centerpiece to decades of recitals.

A good, long life in service to others.

But time, and the instructor, passed.

Age took its toll.

No more was I cared for or tuned.

I was shuffled into a corner.

And then to the alley.

Nature’s elements then took their toll.

Years passed, and one day…

A kindly soul, some soil, some flowers.

I gained new purpose.

I serve again.

FF Prompt 2019-03-13 piano-anshu

PHOTO PROMPT © Anshu Bhojnagarwala

The challenge – write a complete tale in 100 words using the photo prompt as inspiration – and that’s Friday Fictioneers. Thanks to Rochelle for posting the photo prompt for Friday Fictioneers. Special thanks to Anshu Bhojnagarwala for this thought provoking photograph.

I hope you enjoyed reading this, as I enjoyed writing it.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


The Soul Hole (Financial Habits, Part Three)


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The Soul Hole (More About Spending)

If you’ve come back for this one, I applaud you. I mean, this is a lot of me sharing my financial journey. I certainly hope that this has been helpful and also interesting so far, but let’s wrap this up so I can return to fiction writing and personal insights few will understand. (also, if you’d like a copy of my personal finances spreadsheets, just let me know.)

AdobeStock_97068486 [Converted]

The Soul Hole. That came to me while I was thinking about how to conclude the tale of getting in and out of debt. I mean, the fact that I continued to return to being in debt WAY over my head might be a topic to delve into, right? Right.

Do you now what it feels like to pay down debt? To make that last payment on a car you bought, or a television? Maybe your debt was a loan from a friend or a family member. I asked for a loan from a family member and I remember being very careful not to mention any money I spent that was NOT going to them and feeling a little awkward when we got together. It was restricting, and uncomfortable, but I needed the loan and they were super generous in helping me out. I made a payment each time I got paid, for the most part, and if I knew I was going to have to defer (skip) a payment, I let them know ahead of time. When I sent that last payment, it was a FANTASTIC feeling. I felt that same feeling when I finished paying off a credit card and closed the account. And when I made the last payment on a vehicle and received the registration with only my name listed, instead of with that hanger on – the lender. Bliss.

Here’s where I have to be honest with you: I have been in and out of financial straits for most of my adult life. Mostly in. One of the things I resonated with in the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki was the idea that when I received a raise in pay or a big tax refund or a check from grandma (she sent those far longer than any adult should receive money from their grandma), I did not invest it, or save some of it. I got bigger and better toys: gaming systems for the kids, clothes, trips to fun places, and more dinners out.

True story: my grandmother chose to give me some inheritance before she died – you can give anyone a gift of money up to a certain amount before Uncle Sam steps in. In three years, she gifted me and my husband enough money to put a down payment on a house, if we had put it in the bank drawing a little interest until we were able to find a house we could afford. We chose instead to take the kids to Disneyland, take a road trip, party too much, upgrade computers in the apartment we rented, pay off some bills and incur a little more debt. I literally had a minivan and payments to show for my lack of financial maturity.

I never had too much extra money and I believed (and I still do) that my Higher Power knew I was too irresponsible to handle too much money. I had a savings account after the ‘inheritance’ years and every time we got just a little bit saved to feel a little bit at ease, something big needed replacing – usually an appliance (refrigerator one year) or an automobile needed work (transmissions are costly). Seriously, I knew something was gonna break if we saved more than $500. I worked hard at my job, I got consistent raises, and I spent pretty much everything I had on what I wanted. My children left, one by one to live with their other parent, until only the child I had with my then husband was left (he was 10). I plugged along. Wrestled debt, kept my head above water (I managed all our finances – he wouldn’t do it. I screwed it up several times – and I guess he didn’t want to be responsible for it. I get it. For the record, when I chose to stop doing mind and mood altering substances, I got better at managing money, and I had more money to manage. But I still had a problem with that hole in my soul.)

Have you ever experienced the shit hitting the fan over and over again. Me too – a lot of things happened in pretty rapid succession: In 2011, my grandmother died of Alzheimer’s, two weeks after my mother-in-law died of a very aggressive form of lung cancer. In 2013, I divorced. In 2014, my mother died of ovarian cancer. And in 2015, I received a considerable amount of money. (Lots of really horrible emotional upheaval followed by a means to an end – I would have given all that money back to have my mom here with me – but that’s another story) I used that money left to me as wisely as I could – I paid off both my car and the vehicle of my ex-husband (making his payments was a part of the divorce settlement); I paid all my credit cards off; I paid off a student loan I’d co-signed. At the end of 2015 I had zero debt, I’d quit my job, and I was married again. And I wanted for nothing. I finished college and got my AA. And I spent money, because even though I was sober, I had a hole to fill – the hole in my soul that was left when those three influential women in my life died. I just didn’t know I had a hole or that I was trying to fill it.

To be honest, I’d probably had that hole since I was a kid. I remember stealing money from my dad a few times during my teenage years. I stole from employers. I stole from friends. I bought (and stole) stuff I didn’t need. I didn’t feel loved or important (this is not a ploy for sympathy – this is just my perception of the facts) and I thought if I had enough stuff, I’d be happy. I wasn’t but I was also 15 and I didn’t know any better. Once I discovered a better way to fill the hole I didn’t know I had inside, I was good, relatively speaking.

So almost 25 years later, I had enough money to buy whatever I wanted – and I did. I finally had a pair of jeans for every day of the week, and I took trips, and I bought shit on Amazon that I did not know I’d needed. (It should be said that I invested more than I spent.) The point is, I thought that if I bought enough stuff, I’d finally land on the RIGHT stuff and I’d finally feel better, feel whole. I see that now. I didn’t see that then. At the end of 2016, I received – for the first time I can recall – a statement from each credit card company (Yes, I had more credit cards, which I paid off every month, because I’m a responsible consumer now. Ha.) showing me how much I spent in 2016 and where I spent it. Have you ever gotten one of those? How did that feel? Rather eye-opening. I had two credit cards I used regularly – I got points for using them, so free money, I figured. (Lies I believed which justified spending more). In that year, I’d spent more money than I had made during the last year of my job, and I made good money. I opened that statement, and I read it, and I cried. Keep in mind that I didn’t owe this money – I’d paid it off. Still, I felt this deep shame. I felt that something was really wrong with me. And there was. It wasn’t what I thought it was though.

Over the past year (literally, March 7, 2018 to March 8, 2019) I have done a lot of soul searching, I’ve dug deep on a lot of personal issues, and I’ve come to the realization that I felt not good enough for most of my life, unimportant to those I wanted to be most important to, and to bring relief to that belief – that I was not good enough, that I did not deserve to be here, and that I was unimportant – I did things to escape those feelings. First it was books. As a child I read more than anyone I’ve ever known. As a young adult, I moved on to sex, and drugs. When I got sober, movies became my escape. My final act of escape was to purchase stuff. To buy enough stuff to distract me from myself.

This year I dug in deep to what makes me tick. I faced a lot of hard truths. I wrote and I shared and I got counseling. I even had my brain scanned. I attached emotions to physical discomfort, and dialed in to why I felt the way I felt. And frankly, I had a LOT of limiting beliefs about myself, and about those closest to me. I had to expose those lies I’d told myself, and I had to let those stories go. It took most of the year to get here. It’s taken 15 years to get ready to do this work. And today, I have a different outlook. I may be able to report back next year and tell you that I haven’t had to escape my feelings more than a few times, and in a healthy manner. I’ll set a reminder and let you know.

The hardest person to face was me. The person I lied to the best and for the longest was me. And the person I am kinder and gentler with every day is me. And it ripples out to the rest of my life. I am grateful for the lessons so far. I will never stop learning about who I am and striving to be the best version of me.

Thanks for sticking around. Tomorrow, some fiction. Then we’ll see where life takes us next. Good night.

A Word From Our Sponsors


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A Word From Our Sponsors

Have you ever made a promise, a commitment, and realized you might not be able to honor it? Stuff happens. Circumstances beyond our control.

Well, I need to review Part Three of the Financial Habits piece I am writing. And right not, it’s late and I need to get to bed.

So, I’m writing, like I said I would. It’s just not the piece you might have been expecting.

Tonight I read a line in a book that illuminated to me how I feel in the world most of the time – I laugh when life gets too serious, and I am too serious when others are in a loose and silly place.  I blurt out phrases and then cover my mouth quickly, wondering why the hell I said that, and hoping only one or two people heard it. I respond inappropriately often, thinking that what I’m going to say will be funny or make a point, and mostly I just confuse people.

I am grateful that when I shared this in a group tonight, I saw smiles and nodding, recognition. I am not alone, I am not the only one, and I am loved by these people, my tribe, for just being me.

In response to that feeling of camaraderie I cried. Hard.

Yeah. Well.

Tomorrow we will return you to your regularly scheduled program. Good night.



How I learned about Spending Habits (Financial Habits, Part Two)


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How I learned about Spending Habits

How does one learn about spending habits? This is a question that has had a multi-layer answer for me over the years. First of all, I didn’t know what spending habits were, and didn’t know that mine were questionable. In the past post I used the term “creative financing.” What that meant for me, for most of my adult life, was to manipulate my financial affairs. I thought I was being clever, and most of the time (emphasis on ‘most’), I got away with it. See, if I was getting paid on Friday and Tuesday or Wednesday I’d run out of essentials, like milk, cereal, bread, lunch meat – things kids need to make breakfast or lunch, I would write a check at the grocery and hold out hope that the check I wrote would not clear the bank before I could deposit my paycheck. (You see, kids, once upon a time, there was no such thing as direct deposit – you had to wait until your boss handed out checks on Friday morning, and during lunch time, you had to drive to your bank, park the car, walk into the bank, get in line behind all the other folks who got paid, and actually deposit your check at a counter, with a bank employee. Seriously. I’m not making this up. Go ask your mom, or your grandpa.)

I had no idea how I kept running out of money. I didn’t keep track of my expenses. (Although I do vaguely remember my dad once sitting me down and explaining to me about budgets and expenses and stuff like that. I was 17, so it got filed away somewhere under ‘Dad’s Advice’ and I remembered it when I needed to share it with my kids.)

My first lesson in spending habits: Write down every single thing I spent money on – EVERYTHING. Buy a latte at Starbucks? Write it down. Donate two dollars to the lady outside of the grocery? Track it. Every utility, every bottle of water, every vending machine purchase – if you use a debit card, cash out of pocket, or write a check, you write that shit down. For 30 days. Trust me. This one exercise will open your eyes to where all the money goes.

My second lesson in spending habits: Once you realize where it’s all going, only spend as much as you make. Weird, right? Isn’t that what those credit cards are for? (No. The answer is NO. If you don’t have money left over after paying all your expenses each time you get paid, you have no business using a credit card YET.)

“Expenses? Income? What the heck is she talking about?” Okay, income is your pay. The money Coming In. Expenses is the money going out. (Some of you are thinking of leaving now, but trust me, LOTS of people do not know this, cannot grasp this concept. I mean, have you looked at the United States budget?)

I read Rich Dad, Poor Dad when I was 36 or so. Robert Kiyosaki suggested that a person save 10% of their income, give 10% to charity, and invest 10%, leaving 70% of that income for all their expenses. My first thought was, “Ten Percent? He’s kidding, right?” I gave no further thought to this idea at that time. Times have changed.

In 2009, I had to get things under control – my spouse lost his job and would be unemployed for 20 months. I read a book by Suze Orman titled 9 Steps To Financial Freedom. I will add that I read it in secret (so many secrets) to avoid being challenged should I choose to implement some of the suggestions. The first suggestion was Track Your Spending. Sure, tell the kids that chocolate chip cookies are not a necessity.

Remember when I wrote that I had to pay off $11,000 in credit card debt from 2003 to 2006? I truly believed that all that debt came from one poor business decision. Nope, I spent money like people breathe air. I used credit cards and justified their existence with things like, “Do you know how much kids cost to raise?” and “We needed a new car.” I found out later that I made enough money, but I did not live within my means.

Here’s a shot of a budget that I used consistently from 2008 until 2015 (sorry, Spending Plan. A friend who attended Debtors Anonymous taught me that phrase. Apparently, the members of that 12 step group felt that the word ‘budget’ was deceiving, and spending was calling it like it was.):

Spending Plan Example

I made enough to live well and pay all those freaking payments. I learned how to spend responsibly. This took some time to learn. With this spreadsheet (that I created all mby myself) I knew how much was coming in and when, and I knew when every bill was due and how much was due. (Plus, I am an Excel geek) Remember that self-discipline I mentioned? Having control of my finances was THAT important to me. I was tired of having no extra money, having really low credit scores, and always being in debt.

My brother taught me the ‘credit card’ shuffle to pay off the credit cards faster by opening new credit card account and transferring balances from cards with high interest to the new cards that offered incentives like Zero Interest for 18 months just for opening an account. (Only do this if you have learned to practice that self-discipline. Otherwise, you are just transferring a bad habit to a new card.)

I had it under control for a long time – BUT, because I still didn’t understand the connection between the past and my present, and emotions and deprivation, I still had a hard lesson to learn (several, in fact) about WHY I continued to have issues with money.