Thankful for a 3-year journey that brought my dog back home

To read more about my adventure living in my car to pay of debt, visit the original blog that tells the whole story at


In September 2013, I started a journey to get my finances in order and pay off debts. I was especially motivated by the fact that I wanted my parents to rehab their home and make it livable again. As the most educated person in my family with a decent-paying job, it hurt that I couldn’t help them live in their paid for home, and it looked like I would never be able to help them.


So, out of a mixture of desperation and exhaustion (debt makes you sick and tired), I made serious sacrifices. One sacrifice was I asked my sister to keep my dog for a year while I lived in “cheaper” housing. She agreed.  I never told her that the “cheaper” housing was my car. My would-be-rent-money went partially to my debts and partially to my parents for house renovations. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I was homeless so they could have a home.

The sacrifice was totally worth it.

This year, after 3 years, I drove down to Tennessee and brought my dog back home. During those 3 years, my parents house has come a long way. I helped pay $40K on their house renovations and they will be able to move back in by the end of this year. That’s 10 years they’ve been displaced from their home.



Cash-flowing these repairs took 3 years. Some of the repairs were (and these were all needed just to get the house insured and/or make it livable. They were not luxuries)…

  1.  complete electrical work over the entire house
  2. gut and rehab the kitchen
  3. gut and rehab the bathroom
  4. an HVAC system
  5. new flooring in kitchen and bath and dining room
  6. carpet (whole house)
  7. interior paint (whole house)
  8. new windows
  9. new roof
  10. retaining wall for erosion

The house still has serious needs – siding, car porch roof, wheelchair ramp.

I’m thankful that it’s livable.

I’m thankful to have my dog back.

I’m thankful that I can afford a place to stay now.

I’m thankful for a job I love and the ability to create income on the side.

I’m thankful for my sight, my ability to walk, my intellect, my speech, and so many other abilities that enrich my life.

I’m thankful for the courage to share my story with friends, family, and people all over the world via the Internet.

**At the end of every post, I ask readers to BARK!**

B – Buy! Purchase a gift of gratitude for someone you know from the Mall @ RWP page.

A – Act! Give to someone who needs help this Thanksgiving.

R – Respond! Leave a comment below.

K – Knowledge-share! Do you know someone who’s having a hard time financially? Maybe this post can pick them up. Share on Twitter and Facebook.

Thanks for reading!


What financial sacrifice are you glad that you are able to make?