One of the great fringe benefits of blogging is getting to know other bloggers, mostly incredible women who I likely would not have met if it weren't for the blogosphere. Cherie Lowe, AKA, the Queen of Free is one of those women. So when Cherie asked if I would be interested in reading and reviewing her new e-book, "Inspiration to Pay Off Debt," I was all in.
I said yes in part because I wanted to help my friend. But I also said yes because we are one of those families whose bills outweigh the bank account. We've taken the Dave Ramsey course, but haven't quite gotten ourselves to the point of action. We have stopped using credit cards (though we still owe on a couple), but we have a long way to go in the area of financial management.
So, in mid-September, Cherie sent me a free pdf copy of "Inspiration to Pay Off Debt." Here it is, mid-October and I'm just now reading it and sharing my thoughts with you. No, I wasn't kidnapped by a band of ninjas. No, I wasn't trapped by mountains of laundry. I wasn't even delayed by something altruistic like walking miles for charity. The truth is that the e-book sat untouched in my e-mail because I was afraid.
Afraid to take an honest look at what our income vs. expenses is. Afraid to have to lead my family in making uncomfortable choices.
Then yesterday, Annie and I were in Chicago and because of some short-sighted planning on my part, we found ourselves with less than $20 to spend for the entire day. Our hotel and transportation home were already paid for, so our money needed to go for food and entertainment.
The entertainment part was pretty easy. We walked 2+ miles to Millennium Park (in very cute, but not very practical shoes). The walk was enjoyable -- except for the shoes and for the part where I turned my ankle and sprawled in front of the Hilton on Michigan Avenue. I was so stressed about the money that I fleetingly thought, "If I have to go to the emergency room, they would probably give us jello and crackers."
We survived the day, thanks to 55-cent, day-old Jimmy John's bread (Annie's brilliant idea), a crazy-big slice of pizza that we split, and a shared McDonald's value meal. But by the time we got home, I'd had enough. I was ready to make some changes on the financial front, but I needed some inspiration to do it.
Enter Cherie's book.
"Inspiration to Pay Off Debt" is written in a 30-day format. Kind of like "Power of a Praying Wife," it's not a book to read it once and put away. At least that's not how I plan to use it. I anticipate reading it in order. Then maybe I'll go to a specific page when I need specific inspiration. Then I'll probably go back to reading it in order.
Honestly, it was hard to read it through quickly so that I could write this post. I wanted to sit with each day and give it some specific thought.Plus, I kind of like being referred to as a "Royal Lady." Finally, someone recognizes me for the royalty that I (think that I) am.
I scanned the pages, making note of things Cherie said in the book that resonated with or inspired me.
"Paying off debt is not complex, it’s just not easy."
"You can do it.
It will be hard.
You will still have fun."
"Face it Lords and Ladies, no matter how much debt you have, no matter how much you think you’re sacrificing, compared to the rest of humanity, most of you are rich."
"A lot of little bills were sucking the life out of us. Every. Single. Month."
There were some instances where I just marked down entire entries:
Day 27 (In which Cherie took a page from the priest's message at our wedding -- "Getting on the same page financially could take weeks, months, or even years. But it can’t begin at all if you don’t open the lines of communication.")
Your bank account
So how does your bank account figure into this post? Well, if you are seeing something of your own lives in the lines here, considering downloading a copy of "Inspiration to Pay Off Debt."
Ordinarily, the e-book is $4.99. However, Cherie recently submitted another book to the ReWrite Conference Writing Contest. She won! (Watch for her new book to be published by Tynedale Momentum sometime in the next year.) To celebrate, Cherie is offering FREE downloads of "Inspiration to Pay Off Debt" for the next two days -- October 20 & 21.
If you download it, I hope you'll let me know what you think.