My Story

My family, July 2020

I was born, bred and buttered in rural Maine, the youngest of seven children, born to parents who were ages 52 and 46 when I arrived and who, themselves, grew up during the great depression. I am very thankful that I lived in this setting; it was a very rich experience indeed. I learned to grow a garden, gut a fish, collect eggs from the chickens, sew on an old treadle sewing machine, can vegetables and fruits, make jam, hem a skirt, swim in a lake, prepare wild game, identify edible wild food, bake bread, and a whole host of other activities that many people cannot (or do not) do. My parents lived this lifestyle out of necessity; I embraced it.

I have always been fascinated with money, finances and thrift. I can recall sitting at my tiny, handmade, wooden desk-with attached seat-as a preschooler, playing for hours with my mother's old check book registers. When I was 12, I used a coupon to buy a sale item at a local drugstore that was a pioneer of "double coupons." I ended up paying only two cents and a light came on that has never been extinguished: why would anyone pay for items that the store will give you for free if you know how to use the system correctly? I've really never looked back.

I was blessed to attend two years of Bible College in upstate New York (Word of Life) and then went on to get my BS in nursing at Indiana Wesleyan University. I married my husband with two years of college left, and my daughter was born half way through my senior year. My husband and I had 11 years of college between us, but we managed to work two and three jobs each all during those years and graduated with only one student loan, which we paid off within a year. It was important for me to marry someone who had similar money values; Mike and I have been on the same page from day one, living beneath our means, brown bagging lunches, shopping at yard sales, buying used cars and purchasing four homes in our 20 years of marriage.We own our current home in Maine outright, and after living in Hong Kong 9 years, where we worked at International Christian School, we moved back to our Maine home in June 2021. My husband is currently working part time as a teacher and I am doing a little day work as a nurse until I figure out when/where I want to go back full time.

I am learning that no matter where you live, there are many ways to save money and live frugally. And ALWAYS, there is something to be thankful for.

Welcome to thankful and thrifty.

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