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March 29 2007
Dear David,

Spending 25 cents has changed my life! You see, I found your book, Smart Women Finish Rich on a table at our town's recreation office where my sons play soccer. I knew nothing about you or money, until that fateful day!

I'm 43, my husband is 60, and we just started our family. We have two sons, ages 6 and 3. Life is full! I'm a stay at home mother and I home school. My husband has dedicated his working career to the city we live in with the hopes of retiring in the near future. Happiness abounds as we enjoy one another and our boys. Yet always lurking in the back of my mind was this gnawing feeling that I really need or wish or pray that I could someday get an understanding of money. And perhaps have some, too. Money has always, for me, been the nebulous fantastical idea that danced around me in life. First, I never had any. Lived paycheck to paycheck. Found myself in debt to the IRS for back taxes and the State of New York for student loans that had been borrowed in 1983 at $5,000 and had accrued to $14,000. I would get physically sick thinking about bills, money, and the like. My husband, we're married just close to 8 years, is a saver, a planner, much more responsible and educated about money. The most amazing question in your book was I believe the first one - find out what you value about money? This had me stumped. I had no idea. For days I pondered this in my head. Nothing came to the surface until one evening I said to my husband, “ I was never taught anything valuable about money in a positive way.” There it was. I actually didn't want to want it because growing up there was always this "we'll win the lottery and everything will be great" mentality from my parents. No one taught them appropriately either. So, for me just the idea of "wanting" money had a negative feel to it. So I hid from it, peeking around the corner, hoping by some miracle that I'd get some! Sounds ridiculous? It is.

Your book has altered my perspective 360 degrees! A complete turn around. My husband is so glad that I'm interested in learning about our finances. We met with a financial advisor recently. Our life is forever changed now for the better! What changed most dramatically for me is my mind!!!!!!!!!!! And throw in some action and we are on our way! I feel this great desire to share what I am learning with my nieces and nephews and friends and other family members. Really anyone who will listen! Including the librarian where I just picked up The Automatic Millionaire and Start Late, Finish Rich!

Your books are clear and not at all overwhelming! Thank you!

Here are just a few of inspiring changes in my life:

IRS bill was paid off in 2000.

My husband and I are paying off my student loan, deducted from our checking account each month. It will be paid off in four years.

By making the two last payments we just paid off our 2000 Toyota Sienna!

We will be automatically making our mortgage payments every two weeks, paying it off in less than 10 years!

My husband was just offered a promotion (age 60!) However, we learned about SSI from our Financial Advisor (thanks to YOU!) and he\'s decided to retire in two years instead.

Since reading your book I have NOT purchased anything frivolous, spontaneously, or out of shopping emotion!!!!!!!!!!!!! A complete MIRACLE!

All of this has affected our 6 yo son. When he asked if he could get a new knight costume for a birthday party he was invited to I responded by saying, “sure if you take it out of your allowance”. He groaned a bit and said, “well, I'll have to think about that. I was saving for a trip to Scotland to see castles!”

My LATTE FACTOR? Home and garden magazines EVERYTIME I went to the grocery store! Over $1000 a year! Now I get a subscription! Found a great deal – 3 years for $20 for one of my favorite magazines!

Our children will be able to go to college and be financially stable for the rest of their lives!

We can sleep at night – well, almost – three year old, remember?!!!

Thank you again for sharing what you know! PS – I LOVE YOUR GRANDMOTHER!

- K. Carlson
Upstate New York