YNAB for DA Members Free Workshop

Many DA members ask me to help them use YNAB. YNAB is short for “You Need a Budget,” and it’s been a fantastic resource for lots of DA members to track their spending (it’s a “virtual envelope system”). There is a cost associated with using this software and, of course, there are many ways to track our numbers. But since I get lots of calls asking for help, it occurred to me that going over some of the core concepts and functions in a group might be effective.


Oh, disclaimer: I get no money or any type of payment from YNAB. I have just used the software since 2009 and have found it invaluable in keeping me sober with money.
Continue reading

Anger vs. Resentment

I recently published a children’s book for ages 7-9 about how our behavior can affect our relationships, and a question about anger came up from my brother after he read it.

The basic story is about the friendship between a grouchy bear (Ben) and a friendly mouse (Max), whose positive influence on the bear has turned him into a forest favorite. All the animals love listening to the bear tell stories. A sly fox (is there any other kind?) named Sylvester comes to the forest and wants to be the center of attention. To do so, he decides he has to get rid of the bear.
Continue reading

A Debt is a Debt is a Debt

Recently, I’ve been hearing murmurings that some debts, like those for medical bills, don’t qualify as unsecured debt and shouldn’t impact our solvency date. Well, I think that’s kind of silly. Just because we don’t want to begin our “day count” over doesn’t mean that we delude ourselves into thinking that an unsecured debt doesn’t count as one.
Continue reading

Self-Serving or Serving Others

Update on progress for the Daily Reader for Compulsive Debtors and Spenders: 262 days written!

When my Higher Power speaks, it is almost always with a sharp wit. As I’ve written in previous posts, I went down a financial rabbit hole trying to start an art business. Life became infinitely easier when I stopped short of spending any of my savings on this venture and decided enough was enough.

However, my art was still in the gallery since I had paid for three months. In fact, my husband had even contributed a bit of money when we were told we could have the prime spot in the front of the store. This was my opportunity.
Continue reading

Gateway to Recovery

“They termed the practice of not debting the gateway to recovery from the disease and its symptoms, and by 1971, they had settled on the name Debtors Anonymous to reflect that laser-like focus.”
From Keeping the Fellowship Record Page 3 Ways and Means Quarter 1, 2013

Debtors Anonymous was divinely inspired, just like AA. In reading about the history of DA, it is clear that figuring out the bottom line of our dissease was a hard road for John H. and the others.

With eating or drinking or drugs, the first bite, drink, or hit is the key, but with our issues, it’s not so clear-cut. It took years for DA’s founders to determine that debting was the bottom line for membership in DA.
Continue reading

Debit Cards VS. Cash

Following is a guest post:

M. and I do not use credit cards at all, but we do use debit cards. We have found doing cash only wreaked too much havoc in our marriage (as did tracking paper receipts and writing things down by hand.)
Ways and Means 2013 quarter 1, p. 14

I am grateful to read about another couple who are doing as we do. The author is recovering in DA, while his wife is not. This is our situation, also. It was really challenging the first year or two of DA work for both of us. My wife felt controlled, while I felt disrespected. Eventually, we figured out how to live lovingly together and allow me to work a money program.
Continue reading

Part 2: Depriver or Spender

Letting Go

I feel tremendous guilt that my son has had to take student loans for living expenses in his Junior and Senior years, because I had promised him that I would pay for college. But I never anticipated going on disability. And I was full-blown in my addiction at the time of the promise.

Over the course of years being on disability while in DA, my PRG team has pounded into my head the importance of my not neglecting my own needs for his. It is painful when I think about discretionary money that I use for myself that could go to him. But they have convinced me that if I live in deprivation, then I will revert to my addiction. And they are right.
Continue reading