Being Grateful: Fifty-Sixth Edition

Hi all! This past week was a little overwhelming as I’ve been trying to work ahead as much as possible in order to take some time off when I go back home.

Aside from that, something else occurred which caused me to do a lot of reflecting. Don’t worry – as weird as it sounds to say this, it wasn’t anything that happened to me personally, but something that I was involved in.

I went back-and-forth on whether or not to post about it, and have decided to take a bit more time to process things instead of blab about it. But reflecting is always good, right?

Anyway, I am finally back to tell you the reasons I have for being grateful this past week.

The reasons I have for being grateful this week - family, friends, and you!

Be Grateful for Each Other

In my state of reflection, I had to get something out: we all need to be grateful for each other, and we need to make each other aware of how grateful we are.

We only have a limited amount of time here, as somber as that is. Why waste it being negative? Why waste it by keeping quiet when we have something nice to say, but think it won’t make a difference?

I lived a lot of my life being a pessimist. I can be very cynical. But it’s not fun. Realistic, maybe, but I’ve grown tired of seeing the world clouded in shadows.

And while I might be an introvert, sometimes afraid to make eye contact with others, and definitely afraid to speak up more often than not, I’ve come to realize that I’m doing myself a disservice here.

The truth is, happiness is a choice, and bringing happiness into the lives of others is also a choice.

When someone random smiles at you, you can either smile back at them, or ignore them. Which makes you feel better? Which makes the other person feel better?

Where is this all coming from, you ask? Lately, I’ve had the overwhelming desire to make a positive difference in the lives of others.

Along with that, I realize that by being too shy, I’m potentially losing out on many amazing opportunities to meet and learn from fascinating people. I want to know where people are coming from; I want to hear their stories.

So let’s be grateful for each other, and make it known. When you want to give someone a random compliment, do it. Let your family and friends know they’re loved. Give hugs when they’re needed, and be a shoulder to cry on. Guaranteed someone will be grateful for your actions.

Being Grateful my Grandma Made it Back from AC

My grandma takes monthly trips to Atlantic City with her friends. That’s what they do for fun in retirement!

Last week, it was my grandma’s turn to drive, and right as they went to leave, her car wouldn’t start.

I wrote a while ago about how she was thinking of leasing a new car because she was sick of dealing with car issues.

Thankfully, she hadn’t had any after that post until now. The fuel pump ended up needing to be replaced. It ended up costing her $550.

While that’s never any fun to deal with, I’m at least grateful this happened at the hotel she was at. The staff was super nice and she was able to call AAA to have her car towed to a nearby mechanic.

Obviously, it could have been much worse if the car had broken down on the way home.

Plus, this might mean I get to go car shopping with her next week (and drive possible new car around). ;)

It’s My Mom’s Birthday!

I feel like a horrible daughter because I’m not visiting my parents this weekend. Since we’re slated to leave on Thursday, my mom told me not to worry about it.

I’m grateful she’s understanding. While gas is cheaper right now, that doesn’t mean we should all go crazy with driving.

I’m also just grateful that both of my parents are still in good health.

This is going to sound slightly strange, but I grew up having “older” parents than the rest of my friends.

My mom was 33 when she had me, and my dad was 40. In contrast, R’s mom is around 4-5 years younger than my mom, even though R is a year older than me.

As such, I’ve always been worried about not having as much time with them. That was one big reason why we moved. I’m an only child, and I feel responsible for them.

(That’s all on me, though – they’re both very stubborn and would never ask me to help.)

I mention this from time to time, but I’d like to mention it again: I’m grateful for all of you.

Whether or not you comment, if you read anything I write, even outside of this blog, I’m humbled you want to take the time out of your day to do so.

We all have limited amounts of time to work with, and I know reading blogs can be extremely time consuming, which is why I wanted to say that. It means more than you know to have you here.

I also know I haven’t been the best at getting out there and commenting lately, but rest assured, I’m still reading.

What are you being grateful for this week? Any birthday celebrations coming up? When’s the last time you let someone know you were grateful for them?



  1. Melanie @ Dear Debt February 9, 2015 at 2:40 AM

    I hope all is okay, dear. Feel free to email me if you want to chat? Reflecting is good. I’ve been doing the same. Being sick/overworked/stressed has made me really evaluate things I need to change.

    I am grateful for you and everyone in the PF community. I am grateful for my partner and my (now) health. I try to be kind to others but I also want to give back more!

    1. Erin M. February 9, 2015 at 5:21 PM

      Thanks Melanie! I’m glad to hear changes are in order, being sick and stressed is no good! I have definitely been thinking about giving back lately. Being able to help out a good cause is one small way of making a big difference.

  2. Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank February 9, 2015 at 6:08 AM

    I am grateful with what I have now such as blessings, friends, work, and family. I always say to them how much I really appreciate them, like their effort and help. Erin, I agree with you that we should really live for this moment and enjoy life by being positive and grateful.

    1. Erin M. February 9, 2015 at 5:19 PM

      Thanks Jayson, glad you’re on the same page! There’s nothing nicer than being told how much someone appreciates you, or your work. I know it sounds silly to say it sometimes, but it can very well make someones day.

  3. How to Save Money February 9, 2015 at 7:10 AM

    I also feel the same way about my parents. They’re also getting old and I’m making the most of it to spend my time with them. It’s nice to give back to them.

    1. Erin M. February 9, 2015 at 5:18 PM

      I’m glad you’ve been able to spend more time with your parents! I agree that it’s been nice to give back to my parents – they’ve done so much for me, I’m grateful to be in a position where I can spoil them a bit.

  4. Tonya@Budget and the Beach February 9, 2015 at 9:37 AM

    Well said Erin! We only have so much time (and many of us don’t know how long that is) and we can either waste it being cynical, rude, ungrateful, etc, or try and make the world just a tiny bit better…and that may be with just a smile. I have a “friend” on FB who no matter what I post, has something negative to say. I could say, “it’s so pretty out today” and he will come back with a reason why it’s not. What an awful way to live! I hope everything is OK in your world and I’m sending you a hug just for the heck of it. :)

    1. Erin M. February 9, 2015 at 5:17 PM

      Aw, thanks Tonya! Hugs are always appreciated, and I wish there were some way to convey them better on the internet. =P

      Ack! I can say, at least, that I usually kept my negativity to myself. There’s just no reason to bring others down with you like that. I’d rather spend my time lifting people up instead (in spirit, of course – I’m a weakling!).

  5. Nicola February 9, 2015 at 9:42 AM

    I hope everything is okay. Sometimes taking a step back and reflecting is a positive step. This week I’m grateful for my family, as I don’t know what I’d do without them.

    1. Erin M. February 9, 2015 at 5:08 PM

      Thanks Nicole – I’m doing well now! Family is always amazing to be grateful for. =)

  6. Chonce February 9, 2015 at 9:47 AM

    Beautiful post Erin. I think I realized the same thing about being shy, it really doesn’t help me or help other people. While I wish I could get back that time I wasted being shy and holding back what I wanted to say, I realized the best thing to do is to move forward with a new mindset and take advantage of all the great opportunities in life.

    My mom’s birthday was yesterday as well :) My parents were in their early 20s when they had me, but I like to cherish the time I have them them regardless of how old they are.

    1. Erin M. February 9, 2015 at 5:08 PM

      Very true, Chonce. We can’t go back, but we can definitely make up for it by putting ourselves out there now!

      How funny! Hope your mom enjoyed her birthday! I wish I had had that foresight when I was younger. I didn’t have the same relationship with my parents as I do now, but…better late than never.

  7. Kristin February 9, 2015 at 11:00 AM

    The older I get, the more grateful I am. I’ve been struggling with missing my family. I haven’t seen my grandparents, parents or brothers since moving 1.5 years ago – and I only saw my mom last month because she flew out because I was in the hospital. Living across the country from each other is much harder than I thought and very expensive to travel back and forth. All I think about is moving closer to them. Hang in there!

    1. Erin M. February 9, 2015 at 5:06 PM

      Oh no, I’m sorry to hear your mom flew out under such circumstances. I can’t fathom not going back home, which is why I’m incredibly grateful to be self-employed right now. When my parents moved away, I couldn’t wait for my one week of vacation that year. Even so, one week seemed like nothing. You hang in there, too! Make good use of Skype – really grateful that’s around, too. =)

  8. Shannon @ Financially Blonde February 9, 2015 at 11:48 AM

    I have my son’s birthday coming up on Thursday so I am very grateful for him this week and really every day since I found out I was pregnant. :-)

    1. Erin M. February 9, 2015 at 5:00 PM

      Aww, you’re such an awesome mom Shannon!

  9. kay ~ February 9, 2015 at 8:21 PM

    I love reading your insights, Erin! I feel like this blog is not only a journey to saving, but a journey to enlightenment. You are wise well beyond your years. :)

    1. Erin M. February 10, 2015 at 7:23 PM

      Thank you Kay! I like the sound of that actually…it really is, overall, a journey of growth – not just financially, but personally as well.

  10. Zina at Debt Free After Three February 9, 2015 at 9:59 PM

    I always struggle with being grateful so every day I try to write three good things that happened to me that day. It helps me remember that even in the midst of work and stress and just general life stuff, there are always good things if we look for them. I love these posts!

    1. Erin M. February 10, 2015 at 7:23 PM

      Thanks Zina! It’s true – when I feel down, I no longer allow myself to sulk about it. Instead, because I’ve built a habit of gratitude, I think about all the good things that have happened. Really helps me when I need to get past something!

  11. MoneyAhoy February 10, 2015 at 8:46 AM


    Your words about being shy really hit me – thanks for that. This is exactly what I needed to see this morning :-)

    I’m thankful for my wife and kids – they are awesome and continue to impress and inspire me every day.

    1. Erin M. February 10, 2015 at 7:22 PM

      Thank you Derek, glad they resonated with you! I’m always grateful for those in my life that push me to greater heights and inspire me.

  12. Mark@BareBudgetGuy February 10, 2015 at 7:02 PM

    Again I love that you have such a focus on gratitude. Grateful for all my little valentines!

    1. Erin M. February 10, 2015 at 7:21 PM

      Thanks Mark!

  13. Andrew@LivingRichCheaply February 11, 2015 at 2:39 PM

    I know exactly how you feel about being shy and feeling that you’re losing out on a lot of great opportunities to meet people and learn their stories. I also feel that need to make a positive influence on the lives of others…it is very gratifying when you’ve helped others. I thought about checking toastmasters or joining a improv class or something to try to get out of my comfort zone.

    1. Erin M. February 11, 2015 at 7:01 PM

      I’m glad I’m not alone! I’ve heard great things about Toastmaters, but an improv class sounds like a ton of fun. I did a bit of that when I attended a summer camp for acting.

  14. Prudence Debtfree February 11, 2015 at 9:23 PM

    There is huge wisdom in adopting a grateful disposition. At this time of year – the dead of winter – I needed this reminder. Thanks : )
    I hope that some day you will be grateful for your introversion. Have you read the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in A World That Can’t Stop Talking? I can’t recommend it enough. You can grow strong and confident as an introvert while at the same time maintaining the insightful thoughtfulness you obviously have already.

    1. Erin M. February 12, 2015 at 2:45 AM

      Glad I could help! I am grateful for being introverted to an extent, as it does help in other areas of life. I just wish I didn’t hold myself back so much out of fear of “bothering” other people. Then again, that could be more social anxiety than introversion.

      I have heard of that book, and it’s been on my “need to read” list for quite a while now. I need to make the time to read it! I’ve grown a lot more confident over the years – college really helped with that. Another thing to be grateful for. =)

  15. Michelle February 13, 2015 at 8:07 PM

    Sending you positive vibes. I understand the pressure of being an only child so if you ever need to rant-I am there LOL! Am grateful for the wonderful people in my life.

    1. Erin M. February 15, 2015 at 1:33 AM

      Thanks Michelle! Seems like there are quite a few of us out there. =(


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