Sometimes when I find myself in a serious struggle with my finances, I think about what it takes to survive. You must have a roof over your head, food on the table, and a good heating system to get you through the cold. I didn’t need any of the luxuries in life. I didn’t need to have Satellite TV services or cable, didn’t need to have fancy gadgets throughout my house and I didn’t even need to have a fancy heating system. I actually had an old fireplace in my house that worked great. I rarely had to use the services of a chimney sweep because I would burn the creosote sweeping logs every so often to keep the chimney safe and clean. I also had a gas furnace which I would keep at minimal settings so my utility bills weren’t overly expensive. I had transportation but my car was definitely a clunker. I didn’t care how bad my car looked, it got me to where I needed to go. I mainly would just drive to and from work. For the most part, it seemed I was always on survival mode. For TV I just have a regular TV antenna to watch the local shows and the news. I don’t order out for food, I just get what I need at the store. I’ve actually become a pretty good cook over the years. Recently, I asked this girl I work with if she would like to have dinner at my place, and she agreed. She brought over some items for cooking up this delicious chicken dish, and we worked together on the cooking. It was excellent. I was a little bit ashamed of my thrift living conditions, but she didn’t care. She liked me for who I was and she didn’t judge at all. She didn’t even care that I kept the thermostat set at minimal heating, she actually said that was smart. She said I should get a humidifier however because then it would feel warmer, and they don’t cost too much to run. About a year later, I married that girl. We have been happy ever since.