I love financial success stories. It’s fine to read about Warren Buffett, but I get more excited when I read about people like you and me who are shaking off debt, starting businesses, or learning to live frugally. These personal success stories from average folks rock my world.

Tom sent in this photo, writing: “Slowly but surely, we move off the grid.” Way to go, Tom! Keep up the good work.

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Originally uploaded by Tom Harpel.

Meanwhile, Brandon has been tracking his every expense:

A month ago … I put a small notebook in my back pocket to find out just where all my money was going. I mean, I knew, or at least had a pretty good idea about, the the big expenses: rent, utilities, student loans, etc. But what about that sub I had for lunch at work from the deli downstairs? What about playing pool with Chris every Tuesday night? What about the $15 here for a cd or $9 there for a book? Surely that must add up. It does. Some of it more than you might think.

What Brandon is doing is exactly what I did to start myself down the path to better financial health. Tracking every penny that comes into and out of your life is essential to understanding your relationship with money. Software makes this easier, but it’s not a requirement. Great work, Brandon!

Michael writes: “I just quit my job last week to work full time on starting my business. I’ve been wanting to for about two years, and finally saved up enough money and gumption to have a go at it.” Outstanding. Best of luck, Michael!

Derek created his own homebrew air conditioning unit with salvaged parts:

Meanwhile, Corbin built a solar oven for $6.49, and has used it to bake cinnamon raisin beer bread. Sounds great — save me a slice!

These stories are awesome. If you’ve got a money success story, drop me a line.

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