Why My Brother Committed Suicide

In honor of National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, my husband talked me into telling my older brother’s story. My brother took his life when I was 14.  17 years later, his loss still feels almost as devastating as it did the day he died. I can talk about almost any aspect of my childhood, the cult, [...]

Why I Wouldn’t Support National Student Loan Forgiveness

This Labor Day holiday weekend, we had a group of about 30 friends over for a potluck dinner and drinks at our house. After a lil’ wine (maybe too much), the conversation SOMEHOW got around to “should the government wipe out all student loan debt” (because that’s the sort of thing our adorkable group of friends [...]

Tiny House Dream or Nightmare?

So this post is nothing more than an attempt to solicit advice from anyone who has experience or an opinion on buying or building a tiny house. If you do, please share your thoughts on my extremely half-baked, hastily written idea below. I actually want to hear if or why it's a terrible idea, so any feedback is [...]

Hell Yeah We Keep Our Money Separate When Married!

In the 5 years that my husband and I have been together, we’ve always agreed that keeping our finances separate made the most sense for our specific situation. Ever since date #3, we've known each other's whole financial back story, income and debt. Since we've been together, we've communicated openly and honestly about money, and we've trusted and consulted [...]

What an exorcism at 12 taught me about money

If you read about my background, you know that I didn't exactly have a cookie-cutter childhood. If I wasn't posting to this blog anonymously, I would have sensored out the majority of details about how we grew up, because much of it is so bizarre. Since I am using a fake name, I am more comfortable sharing [...]

30 powerful things you can do for someone experiencing homelessness

This post isn't personal finance related, but I came back from volunteering at a homeless shelter this morning in our town and need an outlet for my thoughts. Only my very close friends know that I spent almost 3 weeks homeless  about 6 weeks after I left the cult at age 14. My temporary housing situation [...]

I have everything that I need

Earlier today I was packing for an upcoming 3 day business trip. I stopped in my tracks when I realized I’d just packed more for this trip compared to what I brought to the US as a 16 year old moving across the world to start a new life on my own. Yikes! My mind [...]

Why I help my siblings even though it hurts financially

My family (specifically my 6 siblings) have always been extremely important to me. We did not have the easiest childhood. I talked about my life growing up in a cult at a high level in my first blog post. Life was pretty painful for all of us. We are each other's main support system:  For the most part growing up, the [...]

Hi, I’m Ava

Hi, I'm Ava - welcome to my blog! Full disclosure: I'm blogging under a fake name. The main reason for this is I'll be talking about very personal, sensitive topics about my life and my family. I would need to sensor much of what I post if I wasn't posting anonymously. I'm a 31 year old Consultant. I have [...]