One good thing that came out of my trouble with debt (actually there were many good things that came out of it in the long run, but those are for another time) was that neither of my two sons had to go through that kind of pain and misery—that kind of hell—themselves.

I did it for them.

Here are the three of us many years ago at the time of Jesse, my younger boy’s, graduation from high school.  It was the first time all three of us had been together at once in half a dozen years, and I was very happy to be with both of them.  (That’s Jesse on the left, me in the middle, and Shep on the right.  You might see this shot come up in the sidebar now and then.)



The Debt Book—that’s how I’ve thought of How to Get Out of Debt, Stay Out of Debt, and Live Prosperously for years—was first published shortly after this photo was taken.  (It’ll be out in a third edition, newly updated and expanded, in about its 50th printing later this year).  Both my boys saw, and read, my story: how I got into that trouble, what it did to my life, and how finally I got out of it.

Shep had been just on the verge of falling into some potentially serious debt with credit card and in other ways.  He took seriously what he read and pulled back from that.  Jesse brought a copy of the book with him up to college his freshman year at Rensselaer PolyTech.  He kept a Spending Record there (from the book) and made a Spending Plan or himself (also in the book).  And did the same four years later when he went out to California for his first job.

Here we are together again many years later, at Jesse’s wedding,


Neither of them has a problem with money.  Both are healthy with it (even though one of them is sometimes a bit of a profligate spender, but I’m not going to tell you which one.) Neither had to fall into debt, then struggle to work his way out of it, and to, finally, make peace with money.

I did that for them—which is one of the  good things that came out of my own troubles.  And for which I am glad.