This guest post from Lindsay is part of the Reader Stories feature at Get Rich Slowly. Some stories contain general advice; others are examples of how a GRS reader achieved financial success — or failure. These stories feature folks from all levels of financial maturity and with all sorts of incomes.

Thank you for Get Rich Slowly.

I started reading GRS almost five years ago, and it has influenced me to:

Five years ago, I had thousands in credit card debt, and I had never looked at how much I spent each month or devised a budget. I still don’t use a budget, but I check on my spending periodically and make lifestyle changes accordingly. (I only eat out a few times a month and I quit smoking, to name a couple of major money sinks that I have eliminated in reaction to seeing my monthly spending). I also married a saver; good money management was an important quality to me in a future mate.

Five years later, I’m free of consumer debt. I get paid by a credit card (points). I have emergency savings to last six months and an emergency plan, and I save over 25% of my income. I’ve increased my automatic savings with each raise I got over the years, rather than allowing myself the option of lifestyle inflation.

Today is the first payday I have ever experienced where I do not feel like I just squeaked by, and I am not worried about making things stretch until next payday. It’s something I’ve never felt before, and it’s so liberating.

I do have some “good” debt. I have a mortgage (my husband saved up the down payment before our marriage), and I have no intention of paying it off early! We have a transferable 4.75% interest rate, and this is not our “forever home.” While paying off student loans wasn’t a priority while I was trying to become financially stable, I’ve recently begun to snowball them.

Thank you for helping me get to this place. I couldn’t have done it without you.

J.D.’s note: It’s stories like this that keep me going at GRS, even when sometimes I’m ready to move on to something else. Thanks, Lindsay.

Reminder: This is a story from one of your fellow readers. Please be nice. After more than a decade of blogging, I have a thick skin, but it can be scary to put your story out in public for the first time. Remember that this guest author isn’t a professional writer, and is just learning about money like you are. Henceforth, unduly nasty comments on readers stories will be removed or edited.

GRS is committed to helping our readers save and achieve their financial goals. Savings interest rates may be low, but that is all the more reason to shop for the best rate. Find the highest savings interest rates and CD rates from Synchrony Bank, Ally Bank, GE Capital Bank, and more.