My life seems backwards and yet at the ripe old age of 43, I am still continuing my education. Joining the military by the age of 17 and marrying at 21, I never really thought about a budget. I also never planned on the cost of fertility and finally the adoption of my two children. Quickly, my career in the military had to end to meet the medical needs of my children. Going back to school was my only option and although day care was the only cost to me I quickly found myself in a budget crisis. I remember it like yesterday...going from making more money than my husband to zilch! Home alone on my husband second of four deployments trying to keep it together my dog ate our last hot dog and I had nothing. I learned about a book called the Tightwad Gazette from another parent from the Manhattan Moms Club. I hauled my depressed and anxious self to the library to get on the waiting list. It didn't take me long once I had that book in my hands to realize I was sitting on a gold mine at that moment in time. After one year, I was able to pay off 21k's in my adoption loans and have money in the bank. The best advice in that book was learning to have a use for everything at least twice and becoming resourceful. Although I don't live quite so tight, I don't ever take those days for grant it. I have learned to second hand things and how to buckle down when I need too. My advice to you is to get on the "WAIT LIST" or order that book!