1.) You save a lot of time. You can just delete all those “special deal today only” emails because no matter how special the deal is you don’t have the money to buy it.
2.) You save gas. You’re not going shopping, or out to eat, or travelling anywhere that’s not essential, so a tank of gas lasts a long time (thank God).
3.) You don’t have to keep up on fashion or decorating trends. You’re wearing what you have and not buying so much as a new set of towels.
4.) You learn to accept help from the people who care about you. I’ve always been an “I can take care of this myself” person, but I’ve learned to graciously accept when people offer to buy me lunch, bring me fresh beef and vegetables, loan me money, and even make calls to attorneys for me. And I didn’t feel like a pitiful slacker loser – I felt like someone blessed with caring, generous friends and family.
5.) You learn to cook and eat frugally. Thankfully, I had just finished writing a book on this very topic (see below) right before we got our nasty little surprise, a denial from my disability insurance company. (Cigna, if anyone’s shopping around – beware of Cigna!) I hadn’t really written the book for myself, but I’ve used every recipe and tip in it numerous times to keep us fed with very little cash flow.
6.) You use your health care dollars more wisely. I made several changes (doctors, medications, non-covered treatments) that were based solely on finances. Were they good decisions? Some yes, some no . . . but all necessary.
7.) Your priorities are clarified. Is that gym membership a necessity? Nope. A car wash every couple of weeks? Not even close. Traveling two hours to see your son’s final marching band performance of the year? Yes. Worth eating Ramen for a week, without a doubt.
8.) You lose weight. No, I’m serious. Always before when I’ve been stressed I’ve eaten anything that holds still, but for some reason the constant pain, overwhelming stress, absolutely no money diet has really worked for me. Maybe I should write a book, because this is something everyone’s willing to experience to lose weight, right?
9.) If it’s happening around the holidays you will have absolutely no holiday-prep stress. There aren’t any decorations to put up unless they are already in your basement or attic, there are no cards to send out, no elaborate meals will be cooked, and very, very few presents to be bought. And your schedule isn’t overloaded because you can’t afford tickets to The Nutcracker or A Christmas Carol (although a good friend did take me to see The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and we had a great time) , and since odds are this crisis has involved someone losing their job there’s one less party you’ll be attending.
10.) Your sense of humor expands. Unfortunately, not everyone else’s does. When a very pleasant woman called and asked how I planned to pay for blah-blah-blah and I replied with, “Hmm, perhaps with magic beans?” she wasn’t amused. I personally thought it was a rather clever response.
11.) BONUS! You learn the true value of caller ID. When your phone rings literally every ten minutes from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. with someone wanting money it’s nice to know when not to answer the phone. Because it doesn’t matter if you’ve just spent fifteen minutes explaining your financial situation in detail to Deve at Whoopdidoo Financial and he’s promised to put a notation on your account. They will continue to call you every two hours seven days a week and deny that you’ve explained anything to anyone.
Priced at just $4.99, it is now available in every format your little heart could desire at Smashwords, or, if you prefer, it’s also for sale in a Kindle version at Amazon or a Nook version at Barnes and Noble!