Monday, December 15, 2008


Laid Off? Outplaced? Downsized? Or Tryin' To Hold On?

It's rough out here. Hey, Ford, GM and Citibank are almost broke, and that noise you hear is the money in your wallet screaming. We have definitely been there. Sometimes it felt like we were drowning, and there are still days of treading water, but we helped each other through, learned some lessons and can even laugh about it—some days. It's what inspired our latest book and in What Doesn't Kill You, Thomasina "Tee" Hodges finds out that being broke ain’t for sissies.

Writing about the money madness helped us make space for positive change, so here’s your chance. If you've ever been BROKE, tell us your story—in 500 words or less. It can be funny (because sometimes laughing is what keeps us going) or serious, but tell us how you survived your personal economic crisis WITHOUT a government bailout.

We'll be giving two lucky on-line winners autographed copies off What Doesn't Kill You, Gotta Keep on Tryin', Better Than I Know Myself, Far From the Tree & Tryin’ to Sleep in the Bed You Made as well as an autographed copy of finance expert Deborah Owens’ book, a package of Sweet Unity Coffee (see for more info on our new coffee venture)--all packed inside a TiffiBag (see if you haven't read Gotta and don' t know what a TiffiBag is!)


1) Entry must be 500 words or less.

2) Post your story in the comments section of our blog at or Entries will only be accepted in one place, not both. Or email your story in the body of the email, NO ATTACHMENTS, to

3) Contest Deadline is midnight, January 20, 2009. Finalists will be judged by Deborah Owens, financial guru, radio talk show host and author Confident Investing, Nickel and Dime Your Way to Wealth, and coming in 2010, PURSE OF YOUR OWN: An Easy Guide to Personal Finance. Check out: Winners will be announced here on January 27, 2009

4) Our friends and relatives are excluded. You know who you are and so do we--AND we already know your broke stories.

5) We guess all employees of Simon & Schuster, Victoria Sanders & Associates, and Owens Media Group LLC, should also be ineligible--not because you're all so highly paid you couldn't possibly have a broke story--but because contest rules are like that.

If you've never been broke--nevermind!

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posted by DeBerry and Grant at 2:45 PM


Blogger Jennifer C. said...

As gas prices when high and it was here in Georgia, my husband and I wasn't able to buy the extra things like McDonald's or Pizza, anything fast food, so I packed lunches for us and our three kids when we had to go any where. Those lunches included a sandwich, a drink, and some sort of a snack like potato chips or cookies.

It also became very hard to buy cards for the holidays, so we started making them for each other and those we believed could appreciate a homemade, hand made, heart felt card.

We realized that those things that we made were appreciated more by those we love.

10:18 PM  
Blogger Carleen Brice said...

Does rolling pennies to go to the movies count? I have done that!

12:39 PM  
Blogger DeBerry and Grant said...

LOL! Seems like lots of folks have broke stories -- of every variety--and we're amazed that they're coming in so quickly...most via email, but rolling pennies to go to the movies sounds like a legit broke story to us! (What did you see?)

2:14 PM  
Blogger rhonda mcknight said...

Okay, ladies I thought I didn't have one, the rolling pennies bought some po'er days back to my memory, so I have a story.

A few years ago I was broke, real broke. I returned an outfit that I had purchased 6 months back, so I could get my $36. I hadn't worn it, still had the tags and I had the receipt, but I figured hey, they have a liberal return policy and I gots me a return. You know that manager wanted to hit me in the throat for bringing linen back when she was putting out acrylic. I could just see her mumbling under her breath, "Broke, heifer."

7:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

with my hubby being sick and i just resonally took a pay cut we are so broke now that there will be no christmas present under my tree ,returning books back to the book store now that has made me really sad i have been going to the food pantry and now we r sharing 1 car to get us both to work every day,we have to cut back on cell phones and book buying and shopping for anything other than essentials,

3:55 AM  
Blogger Simply Said Reading Accessories said...

Neck Bones and Beans?
As a very single Mom of 2 son’s at home, A few years back I was really catching hell, but we still gotta eat, right? I went to the grocery store with a couple of dollars planning on getting some chicken, again. I had rice at home. I passed by the section that had neck bones and paused because I was having a flash back to when my brother and I were kids, My Mom would make them as a meal. I picked out the best packages and got a bag of beans. On the way home I was dreading what my 2 son’s would say about tonight’s menu, but if you’re hungry enough you’ll eat. (I AM Turning into my Mother!).
Now don’t get me wrong, My brats errrr I mean kids know what they are because I season my greens with them. I soaked the beans and started the pot of neck bones, threw in the beans after a while, made a pot of rice and a pan of cornbread. I called the kids in for dinner waiting for that look of WTF???, look on their faces.
They sat down to eat and my youngest opened his mouth to speak. Now, we call him Mr.Mouth because he will tell you exactly what’s on his mind, Sooooooo I braced myself. “Ma, he said, this is good” I breathed a sigh of relief. “Why haven’t you ever made this before?” I said we ain’t never been this broke before. We’re Broke? He asked, wolfing down his dinner. I said yep were broke. Are we poor? “Well not poor, but things are really tight” “Do poor people eat like this every night?” I told him no that some “po” folks don’t have anything to eat at all. Well then we alight then, this is some goooood eatin’.
I learned a lesson that night, My kids went to bed with a healthy meal, a full tummy, and we had leftovers, for less than half what I would normally spend, but the best lesson was that My Boys knew we would be “Alight”, cause we ain’t that “po”.

8:30 PM  
Blogger rhonda mcknight said...

Oh Deb. That's the best.

But it just reminded me of that time I threw that chicken back in a pot and made some soup. Lord, that was like ten years ago, my husband was between job and a chicken back it was. That was the best soup we ever had. I remember my son telling me so. Kids don't know what we don't tell.

God is good all the time!

11:10 AM  
Blogger Simply Said Reading Accessories said...

Thanks Rhonda!!!
On cold days my boys, now 19 and 20 actually request it for dinner.

He's an on time God, yes he is

4:14 PM  

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