One of the best parts about writing Get Rich Slowly is interacting with you, the readers. I especially love to read your success stories. For some reason, the past month has been huge for success stories — you guys are flooding my inbox with them. I thought it would be fun to share a few (edited) e-mails.
First of all, Marisa wrote:
I just wanted to write to say thank you. Your advice inspired my husband and me to finally take care of our finances. I’ve been in grad school for 8 years, and we had postponed many financial decisions as a result. Even though I’m not quite finished and currently am unemployed, we were able to start paying down debt, and are finally free of all consumer debt.
Thanks to the advice on your site, we’ve also opened a savings account, and have an emergency fund plus money for other irregular expenses in that account. And today, we opened a retirement account (with regular contributions auto-debited from our checking account, of course).
This is fantastic. Erecting the framework for success can go a long way to actually helping you achieve your goals. I now believe that one of the reasons I never saved money was that I didn’t have a savings account. When I finally opened one a couple years ago, I started to save. Shocking. The same is true with my Roth IRA: when I opened one, I started to use it.
At the end of August, we decided to sell our house. We are in a good neighborhood, home values were holding, and we just weren’t living within our means anymore. Our Realtor thought it would be a quick sale. Anticipating this, I packed away everything I thought we could do without for a month. I packed quickly, without a lot of thought to what could be given away.
Well, the house isn’t selling right away, so I took the opportunity to go through the boxes again. Since we’d already lived without everything in the boxes for more than a month, it was easier to see what should go and what should stay. A lot went. I had already taken two RAV-loads to Goodwill, and my culling got rid of another two loads. More than that, I let go of a ton of my books, and will be listing them for sale. All in all, I emptied more than 10 boxes. I’m happy to not be moving those boxes!
That’s awesome. Some people wonder how frugality and de-cluttering are related. To me, they’re two aspects of the same impulse: the need to own Stuff. When you develop frugality, you reduce the amount of Stuff you bring into your life. But de-cluttering helps you get rid of the Stuff that’s already there. Both can be immensely satisfying.
Finally, Chett wrote:
I wanted to share some good news with you. I have been following this blog for the past year and a half and I really enjoy the content, and variety of topics. JD you have posted several articles over the past few months that I am putting into practice.
For example, I quit my corporate job to return to teaching. I know you didn’t tell me to do that, but the articles on pursuing dreams, and finding work you enjoy only affirmed for me what I already knew I needed to do. We had already been down the debt road and paid our way out and I was able to take a 50% cut in pay and still be okay financially. Teaching isn’t all it’s cracked up to be but I am enjoying more free time with my family and starting to pursue my own interest, for example I started working towards a CFP certification this year.
As a teacher I know it is good to hear that your efforts in your endeavors pay off over time and I just wanted to thank you for your contributions. Keep it up.
It is good to hear from people who have had success practicing the principles I preach at Get Rich Slowly. Sometimes I let the negative comments get to me. (Last week I got “You write too much about pinching pennies!” and “You don’t give enough money-saving tips!” on the same day. How can a fella win?) But when people send me their success stories, it gives me motivation to continue.
If you’d like to share your success story, leave a comment or drop an e-mail. I can’t use them all, but if there’s enough interest, I’ll share a few every month.
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