Calling for guinea pigs

By | September 23, 2015

***I’m not working on this project anymore, but I’ll let you know if I decide to pick it up again.

The idea for this blog started as most truly great ideas start – binge-watching television on my parent’s couch one weekend.

I discovered the television show “Til Debt Do Us Part”, a truly delightful personal finance reality show that revolves around the host, Gail Vaz-Oxlade, reacting in disbelief at how people spend their money.

I felt like I found my purpose.

I was just about to start my 31st trip around our glorious sun and I felt absolutely certain that I could transition out of corporate law and start a personal finance consulting pro bono…thingy. That project ended as spectacularly as its incredibly well-defined parameters would lead you to believe.

To be fair, I started off okay. I coaxed my friend Leif into what I hoped would be a mutually beneficial experiment. We met up once a week for four weeks and I gave him “homework” to do on his finances. I dug through his expenses, played with spreadsheets and created presentations showing him how he could do better. In the first week, we figured out where Leif stood financially. In the second week, we figured out where his money was going. In the third week, I analyzed his situation and what he could do about it. In the fourth and final week, we discussed goals and how he would move forward.

Readers, I was riding high! I had a guinea pig. I loved the drudgery of the work and I felt that I was doing good. I was writing about personal finance and how I thought about money. I did not think that life could get any better.

And then a glorious opportunity arose and I decided to put the new dream down for a bit and play with a couple old ones. I moved across the world and worked on crossing off Bucket List Item #9. The personal finance consulting project took a back seat. Learning how to use WordPress took a back seat. Writing generically about money took a back seat.

Now that I am again exploring ways to fill my days, I think back fondly on my experiment with Leif.

Do I know you in real life? Have you read what Leif and I did together and think that sounds like something you need? Do you want to embark on a money makeover migration with me? Email me at my personal email address and we’ll chat!

11 thoughts on “Calling for guinea pigs

  1. Patrick Donley

    Hi MIss Thrifty!

    I just came across your interview with MMM and love hearing personal stories about people like you who have reached FI. I also loved that you mentioned Your Money or Your LIfe. I read that in my 20’s while working at an investment bank and it turned on a light bulb for me.

    I would love to do a money makeover with you. I tend toward the lazy side at times and a project like this is something I could use an outside force to help me accomplish.

    I imagine you may be inundated with requests to do make overs. But, if that is not the case, I would love to work with you. Thanks for your blog and insights….it’s good stuff!

    1. Thriftygal Post author

      Hi Patrick! I’ll reach out when I’m less crazed, but you’re absolutely right, at the moment I’m overwhelmed with the traffic and requests.

  2. Courtney


    I see that you mentioned to Patrick that you’re a bit overwhelmed with traffic and requests, but I’d like to possibly work with you too, in the future. I’m pretty solid on budgeting and paying off my student loan [Operation Debt Free By 2017 woo!], but I’m sure there’s space for improvement.

    If your schedule ever opens up, and you still feel that benevolence towards helping others succeed financially…I’d love to be among the 50 people you make a positive, lasting difference upon. 🙂

    I love what you’re doing! I’m thrilled to have found your blog.

    Best wishes,

  3. Courtney

    I’m ever so appreciative!! Please just email whenever that happens 🙂


  4. Nick

    Hey Thriftygal,

    really enjoying exploring your blog, I also came via MMM and would love the opportunity to work with you when things are less mental. Hope you’re currently enjoying your travels!

  5. Frankie911

    I used to love the Gail Vaz-Oxlade show, especially when she would put a spendy couple on a budget of, say, $17.25 per month for entertainment and eating out! A couple bills and a quarter in a little glass jar, hee hee.

    1. Thriftygal Post author

      She also had a show called “Princess” where she would give these spoiled young girls $20 for the month. Loved it!

  6. Radiant Blue Star

    Hi Thrifygal,
    I enjoy your posts and would love to be a guinea pig in FI mentoring. If you still have room, let me know! 🙂
    I am currently, budgeting. Been a past devotee of Dave Ramsey and the Money Make Over Plan (which I originally purchased as a gift for my sister, then couldn’t let go !), debt free for a while, but FI goals are daunting and seem unattainable based on my income and current expenses. I am naturally frugal and I work for a non-profit. I have rewarding work and I give, but I feel stuck! How to make a mental shift toward more freedom are keys I am in search of.

  7. Evergreen

    Great stuff here… and elsewhere on your blog!! Love it! And, add me to that “once I’m less crazed” list, please. I think I’m pretty set (about to retire with pension from US Military and have a number of rental properties)… BUT, would welcome a critical analysis of what “life after never working full-time again” might look like from the numbers side… Keep up the great posts!!!! And, a long-overdue congratulations on retiring early!! My best, Drew

  8. TJ

    I’d certainly take you up on the guinea pig action since you’re offering.

    I kind of like the idea of doing something similar for my friends when I’m FIRE’d, but money is so taboo for most people, that I’m not sure how much success there would be without formal financial training.


Say something!