24th ComputorEdge article

My latest article for ComputorEdge hit the web on Friday. It’s entitled “The Dark Side of the Coin,” and is about Internet resources people can use for climbing out of debt. It was while researching this article that I truly found the usefulness of JD Roth’s GetRichSlowly site, as well as Leo Babauta’s ZenHabits site (which just won Best Overall Blog for the Performancing Blog Awards 2007. (I’m not sure I would make a verb out of “performance,” but then again, it does make a unique blog name.)

I’ve been dealing with debt in various degrees for at least the last twenty years. After losing my job in 2005 (during my honeymoon, I might add) and after Lannette’s diagnosis of fibromyalgia and resulting need to leave the corporate workspace, we found ourselves living on about a third of the income we had been bringing in while both of us were employed. The effect was catastrophic to our lives, resulting snowballing debt we couldn’t pay, a vehicle repossession and near eviction from our home.

Things are better now, but still somewhat tight. I’m working on creating multiple income streams that can help a little; my writing for ComputorEdge was one of those streams, but the magazine’s new Web-only business model (a.k.a., no more pay for articles) means that I need to find a replacement for that. Perhaps the replacement will come from computer consulting. Perhaps it will come from selling other articles. If I get really lucky, maybe it will come from writing short stories (but that means I need to actually submit some, and not squander the opportunities when I get them.)

At any rate, the blog resources mentioned above are very helpful and inspirational, and I recommend them to anyone who wants to get a handle on his or her finances (or life, for that matter.)

Share this post:

We have a winner!

Since last year, I’ve been subscribing to the GetRichSlowly blog, written by J.D. Roth. I found his blog through Gina Trapani’s LifeHacker blog, and I’m finding that reading GetRichSlowly is helping me to keep a focus on getting my finances in shape. I’ve always had a tendency to bury my head in the sand when things get dark in my financial world, and keeping up with GRS helps me avoid that tendency.

Last week, GRS ran a contest, asking for true stories of frugality by readers or people close to them, and I submitted a revision of my Of Laptops and Cub Scout Slides post. The contest was to have three winners, all of whom would receive copies of Jeff Yeager’s The Ultimate Cheapskate’s Road Map to True Riches. It actually turned out that there were four winners, and I was one of them!

I had linked to the above blog entry from the GRS site, and I was surprised to see a big spike in traffic on that post. Over the weekend, nearly 200 people read my “Cub Scout Slides” blog post, which I didn’t expect at all. I’m hoping I got some new RSS or e-mail subscribers out of those page views; if you are new to the Lytspeed Communications Creativity Journal, please speak up in the comments and let me know. And thanks for visiting!

I don’t think of myself as being good at being frugal, so I feel a little like I don’t deserve to be awarded a book about frugality. What this shows me, though, is that I do have wonderful examples of frugality in what my parents taught me, specifically my Dad. My wife has told me before that I need to collect all these great stories that I have of my Dad and put them together in one place. Maybe this blog is the place. I’ll create a new category for those kinds of stories.

It’s also interesting to note that I had referred to GRS in my most recent ComputorEdge article, which comes out Friday, January 11th, 2008. The article is called “The Dark Side of the Coin,” and is about debt reduction.

Hmmm … the stars seem to be aligning. Maybe this really is the year I will make headway against 17 years of constant debt.

Share this post: