The Crab Lady

What a difference a year makes! Last year at 11:55 pm on April 15th, I was in line with a bazillion undiagnosed FlyBabies all waiting to mail our tax returns before the stroke of midnight. 

This April 15th I have already received my income tax refund AND that check from Uncle Sam paid off the LAST of my credit card debt thanks to the GOOD Book!  I’m 43 and when I look back over my troubled financial past, every year I used my refund check to celebrate!  Celebrate what? That I got some extra money! Getting extra money and splurging it while I was digging deeper and deeper into debt was (I now know) the work of Marla (my inner child, named after my cousin who was so pampered and indulged by my aunt and uncle that she grew up to be a monster of an adult and ended up in prison). 

How do you thank someone for the gift of peace?  No words can do it properly.  I feel peace about a major part of my life now that I’m in control of my money.  I watch Marla with the eye of a wise adult and I am there when she emerges to respond to the ingenious skill of advertisers who are marketing to her!  I never would have learned how to do that without your book.

Thank you for making me wake-up to my own worst enemy…me!


FlyBaby Trina made me remember a story I love. It happened to me after I’d written the book on finance, so it wasn’t included in it.


The Crab Lady

After I had dug myself out of debt I still had an acute awareness of Nelly (my inner child) and what she could do in a store if I wasn’t vigilant. This one day I was standing behind a woman at the fish counter at the grocery store waiting for my turn to order. I heard her order one pound of salad shrimp and one Dungeness crab which was on sale for $5.99 a pound. It was exactly what I was going to order, so I couldn’t resist playing with her!

“Copycatter,” I said with a big cheesy smile.

She didn’t smile back. (You always take that chance.)

“You just ordered exactly what I’m going to order. I only get to buy the crab when it’s on sale,” I added self-righteously.

“Oh, I buy one Dungeness crab every week, even when it goes up to 17 dollars a pound. It’s been worked out on a spread sheet and into the budget to allow the weekly purchases throughout the year.”

“You have a CRAB budget?” I wanted to know why and how someone would budget crab.

“Oh, yes my husband and I are both accountants and we work EVERYTHING we love into a budget. If it’s not in the budget we don’t purchase it.”

“Do you every splurge?”

“Oh, yes we do, but we have a splurging budget.”

“A splurging budget? How does that work?”

“Well, we have an amount each month for indulgences. It’s not a huge amount, mind you, because we aren’t the indulgent sort.”

I followed the woman all over the store (at a distance), watching what went into her grocery cart. The contents reflected her trim figure, her clothing, haircut, shoes and purse were all sensible. I’ll never be as sensible as the crab lady, and I surely didn’t want to go home with her, but I learned that we can control our splurging by having a fund for when those special and unexpected temptations appear.

To get the whole story on how I climbed out from under $27,000 in credit card debt click here: GOOD Book: Get Out Of Debt and let next year’s April 15, be better.

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