i had read about the ymoyl book in, of all places, the womansource catalog and review. for a few years i thought to myself, "wow, that looks really interesting." but never actually found the book to buy. finally i got motivated this past august and ordered it from amazon marketplace. the book cost less than five bucks, a frugal purchase!
so, i began the program just at the end of this past august. so far i've done step 1 ("making peace with the past"), the second half of step 2 is ongoing (keeping track of every penny), i do steps 3 and 5 at the end of each month (monthly tabulations and wall chart), and i'm looking hard at steps 2a and 4 and trying to figure out how to do them. i'm a new college student who rides buses because my car threatens to be a money pit, so trying to figure out how i'd balance school and work has been interesting. i still manage a little income each month, though, from ebay sales and other things. so this is one of those special cases where one gets to do a bit of creative math to figure out life energy units and such.
the "minimizing spending" step should be easy-ish. for the past four years i've been at or below the poverty line--post-divorce, battling with depression, not having a college education or any post-high school job training other than the army, etc. so i'm already accustomed to not having a lot of money to play around with, i'm not interested in keeping up with the joneses, and my interest at this point is in trying to figure out how to keep things frugal for myself when i do have more income. once upon a time i was a good saver. i'd like to get back to that, and soon.
the maximizing income part, well, we'll see what that will take. i'm still trying to definitively figure out what i will major in, but i suspect it's going to be something in the sciences rather than something in the arts. the humanities are interesting to me, but they're something i can learn at the library--they aren't something i should be going into student loan debt to pick up. on the other hand, environmental sciences looks interesting, being a pharmacist pays well, etc. basically i'm looking for something that will be very interesting to me and that will pay me enough that i can be FI by the time i'm forty. (i'm almost thirty now.)
as for establishing an independent income stream, that's going to take saving enough aside to be able to invest, of course. not only am i very interested in ymoyl's treasury bond program, but the new road map foundation's expanded their stance a bit since the book was published and they have info on their website about other options you can use just in case bonds completely go away. (you can still buy them on the secondary market.) i'm a member of a credit union, which already works in my favor--they tend to have higher interest rates on everything, even savings accounts. but that also means higher interest rates on cds and such, so i have some good options for later.
anyway, that's my long drawn-out account of where i am. many thanks to those of you who made it this far. :o)