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This is a very personal topic for me; I’m both anxious to help and hesitant to share. To make it easier on myself, I’ll start in a very vague place:
A few years ago my husband and I found ourselves on the brink of financial ruin. We were looking for a house (either a short sale or a foreclosure – something cheap!), living in my aunt’s basement, my husband was looking for a job and he ended up accepting a third shift position as maintenance at a nursing home. Things were bleak.
We looked at a lot of houses that we COULD afford, but did we need that expense? In the end, we decided on a house half the size of some of the others. We didn’t need an office or formal living and dining room; what we needed was to save money.
Next, I opened multiple bank accounts. I opened a Holiday Account and set up direct deposit so I would have money to shop come November when the sales start. I opened a Vacation Account because even though you’re paying down debt, you need to be kind to yourself and your family. There was no direct deposit for this account, though. I just squirreled away what I could. I then opened a savings account that didn’t have a debit card attached to it. This was in addition to the usual savings you probably have tied to checking.
After that, we modified our habits. I started lightly couponing.I don’t get multiple papers but I do ask my family members to keep their coupon packets when they finish clipping what they use. Maybe we don’t use the same stuff! I save a couple hundred a year this way. I also TRY (when I remember) to take advantage of my grocery store’s fuel perk and gift card programs. This deserves its own post so I won’t elaborate.
I struggle with not going overboard on keeping hold of the purse strings. My husband keeps me in check by reminding me that nobody wanted to live with Scrooge McDuck. This was a hard lesson for me, but his personality balances mine well.
I struggle with my chronic migraines and have for almost ten years. The misunderstandings that come along with migraines are very frustrating. I find it difficult to be patient with others when they question my current treatment.
In addition to the outside struggles, it’s difficult to continue my daily life when suffering from a migraine. When I was initially working towards a treatment plan, years ago, I was forced onto short term disability. I was a shell of try former vibrant self and worried I’d never be able to properly mother my kids again. Just thinking back on those months fill me with sadness.
I’m very fortunate to have found a doctor to work with me on an ongoing basis to keep my migraines controlled. Unless I shared, you wouldn’t even know I had a condition!
If I can ever be of support to anyone, please don’t hesitate. Whether it’s you or your loved one who is struggling with finding a treatment plan and illness management style that will work for them, we all support.
I needed to be reminded of #3 today. Thank you. 🙂
I lost 47 pounds following Weight Watchers. It sounds like it could lean toward crash diet territory but the reason it doesn’t is because I did it slowly. Instead of pushing myself and making sudden changes, I eased into things, learning what swaps I liked (fat free sour cream – yum! fat free cream cheese – gross!) so I could create lasting change. It paid off. After following the plan for two years, I hit my lifetime goal in October 2010. I’ve been at goal ever since.
My newest go-to “lazy” meal is insanely simple: 4 chicken or turkey breasts, 1 can Light Creamy Potato with Bacon & Cheese soup by Progresso, 1/2 cup Fat Free sour cream. Place breasts in 9×13. Combine soup & sour cream in a bowl. Pour over breasts. Top with cheddar if desired (whatever fat content you choose). Bake, covered, for 45-60 minutes at 350ºF. I serve it over brown rice or whole grain pasta with a veggie. The entire batch of gravy is only 5 or 6 Weight Watchers Points+ so when you divide that by four, that’s a lot of flavor for not a lot of points!
I relate to this. I’m in my 30s and parted ways with my best friend in Match of 2012. Over the last year I’ve read many articles on morning friends which, as a parent, I’ll admit, I felt like I should know already. But they did help, and over the last 13 months I’ve made four new friends I see with regularity and a handful I go to lunch with occasionally, trade recipes with, etc.
Losing my closest friend taught me how to be a better friend.