My Story of Clothing Deprivation

Last week, we focused on the idea that many people struggle with clothing deprivation. We explored the possible causes as well as the impact it can have on your quality of life. This week, I want to share my own clothing story with you. Please note that parts of my experience may be triggering if you’d had your own encounters with abandonment and poverty.

My Childhood Experience With Clothing Deprivation

I had a Dickensian childhood. As a young girl, I was passed from relative to relative without any sense of structure or routine. I was also sick for years: I had polio during the polio epidemic and then kidney disease that resulted in the removal of one kidney and two surgeries on the other. It was during my extended hospital stay for polio that I first met my mother. 

When I left the hospital, I went to live with my father and stepmother in the projects in Sacramento. This time was the worst of my life. We were poor, and my stepmother was evil. The neglect and...

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The Impact of Clothing Deprivation

I have nothing to wear.

We’ve all been there, right? Surrounded by piles of tried-on-and-tossed-away outfits, we are no closer to walking out the door than we were 30 minutes ago. Plus, getting dressed — a necessary part of each day — has somehow morphed into an activity that negatively impacts our self-worth.  

Clothing deprivation is problematic for many people. Let’s first look at the three main causes:

  • Doing Without: Here, your wardrobe is not a priority and thus you are living without the basics.
  • Making Do: In this instance, as illustrated above, you attempt to fill your closet with pieces that fit your lifestyle and make you feel good, but, in one way or another, you miss the mark.
  • Overdoing: Here, you spend a lot of money to build your wardrobe, but you fail to focus on what you truly need. This approach can result in an overfilled closet and a pile of credit card debt

The Payoff for Clothing Deprivation 

Whether you have little...

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Debra Savage is now a Certified Financial Recovery℠ Counselor

It’s my honor to introduce you to Debra Savage, our newest Certified Financial Recovery Counselor!

Debra’s number ONE goal is to empower women to find their personal “Money Sweet Spot” in order to live the life they want while having financial freedom.

As a successful, and sometimes unsuccessful, business owner over the past 30+ years, she brings a diverse and seasoned background in the ups and downs surrounding money and finances. She understands that those “ups and downs” often feel more like a roller coaster ride than a merry-go-round.

Debra’s “never give up” philosophy and unwavering optimism blend with her easily approachable personality. Her coaching is strong, steady and direct, providing you with that much needed and respected mentorship, allowing you the time and space to get out of the Money Fog and into clarity. Her straight-forward, yet gentle and supportive, coaching sets the stage for dramatic change to your...

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The 10-Step Plan You Need to Have a Joyous Debt-Free Holiday

Have the last three holiday seasons felt more like the Nightmare Before Christmas than ‘Twas the Night before Christmas?

Does the thought of celebrating the holidays without family and friends cast a shadow over what is supposed to be the "hap-happiest time of the year?"

For many people, the holiday season is a mad rush of spending too much time, too much energy, and too much money.

This year's uncertainty has only added to the pressure we feel. 

In this blog post, you'll learn how to examine your feelings and beliefs about the season and the impact they have on your behavior. By the end, you’ll have the tools to build the holiday of your dreams while remaining debt-free, so that you can welcome the new year in financial peace.

I recommend taking some time to fill out the questions below. It's not easy work, but it just may be the best gift you can give yourself this holiday season.

#1. Take Stock of How Holiday Spending Makes You Feel 

The holidays are a time...

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Money Moments - Dollars for Donuts. Discovering Your Money-Food Connection


When I started Financial Recovery in 1988, I knew my focus would be in creating a holistic approach to overcoming self-defeating money behaviors. Using my MoneyMinderOnline spending plan, I encouraged clients to keep track EVERYTHING so they could get grounded in their numbers and begin to make meaningful change.

One of the categories we tracked, of course, was food—and for many of us, it’s a category that’s loaded with complicated emotions.

You get out what you put into a Spending Plan, so I encourage clients to track in great detail in this area—down to dividing spending out by sub-category, like groceries, breakfast out, lunch out, dinner out, fast food, takeout, coffee/tea/snacks, etc.

Clients inevitably looked shocked when I would ask them to track their money in such great detail, but I knew if I stuck with it, they’d gain insights that would move them forward on their journey.

My favorite food-money connection came from a woman who I was working...

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Colleen Bertolino is now a Certified Financial Recovery℠ Counselor

It’s my honor to introduce you to Colleen Bertolino, our newest Certified Financial Recovery Counselor!

I interviewed Colleen to learn more about her experience becoming and passion for being a Certified Financial Recovery Counselor through the Financial Recovery Institute.

Why did you become a Certified Financial Recovery Counselor?

My passion for helping those with financial hardship stems from my deeply personal experiences working with families and individuals struggling with substance, behavior, and mental health disorders. While educating and supporting families with recovery, I discovered a significant need for financial restoration. I witnessed clients selling homes, claiming bankruptcy, and draining savings and retirement funds, all to pay for their loved one’s treatment. I felt called to bridge the gap from financial despair to financial wellness. My life’s purpose is to serve, guiding clients toward greater health and happiness--mentally, emotionally,...

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Do You Have Money Grit?

In a therapy session several years ago, I was talking about my childhood. I described the instability of my early years as I was passed from one temporary home to another. I recalled the lack of warmth and comfort I felt, which I didn’t even realize I’d been missing until later. By the time I was 6, a kidney disease diagnosis left my living in a hospital for months at a time. I had few visitors and ached with loneliness, enduring several surgeries and the removal of one kidney. Once I was finally out of the woods with my kidney disease, I was diagnosed with polio. 

My therapist sat silently for a moment after I recalled my story. Then he said something that’s stuck with me for years: “I knew you had grit.” 

Hearing him put my resilience into words made me feel appreciated, and seen. It felt like a true reflection of my journey. 

Years later, I discovered Angela Duckworth, author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. In an...

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Dana Conley, M.A, is now a Certified Financial Recovery℠ Counselor!

It is my honor and pleasure to introduce you to Dana Conley, our newest Certified Financial Recovery Counselor!

Dana brings a wealth of education and training to the Financial Recovery process. As a Life Transformation Coach for 15 years, Dana has inspired and supported hundreds of individuals in private sessions, classes, and workshops to develop mindfulness, master their mindset, and manifest their dreams. Her background and experience in holistic healing, teaching, and coaching perfectly complements the Financial Recovery process and gives her clients a variety of tools to heal their relationship with money and create a richer life.

Dana is a life-long learner that loves to educate and empower others through stories. I asked her to share a bit about herself and part of her own money story to illustrate her unique approach to her Financial Recovery practice.


Like most people, my journey to becoming a Financial Recovery Counselor was a long and winding...

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Talking through the COVID-19 Financial Uncertainty


During our Monthly Money Monday Show on April 6, 2020, the women and men of our community came together to talk about the uncertainty of what we’re facing during this time of crisis.

We shared our stories and I shared some of my tips and thoughts about navigating truly tough times. 

Joining us on this recording of our show are Wendy Wright,  Financial Therapist (and Certified Financial Recovery Counselor) and Dana Conley, Financial Recovery Counselor (known as the “Queen of Calm”) sharing with us how we can stay centered and not panic as we face potential health and financial insecurity.  

If you’re worried, losing sleep and stressed you will want to take the time to spend 40 minutes with us. I know there is something valuable you will be able to take away.  

To take advantage of our new weekly helping sessions you can join Monthly Money Monday here-- Monthly Money Monday. I’d love for you to join us right away.


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Wendy Wright, LMFT is now a Certified Financial Recovery Counselor!

It’s my honor to introduce a newly certified Financial Recovery Counselor. 

After over a year of hard work, study, and one-on-one mentoring, Wendy Wright, LMFT has completed her training with the Financial Recovery Institute and is a Certified Financial Recovery Counselor!  

Because she’s also a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Wendy sits at a unique intersection of offering her clients both therapy and financial counseling. She’s one of very few people who qualify as a Financial Therapist. 

I interviewed Wendy to hear more about her experience becoming a Certified Financial Recovery Counselor. 

How would you describe financial therapy? 

Financial therapy addresses our emotions around money.  

Whether people realize it or not, money isn’t simply a tool we use to buy groceries and own a home. It tends to be a controversial topic of conversation and an emotionally-charged aspect of our lives. Research has shown...

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