Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Living On One Income

I was interviewed (or roasted, depending on how you look at it) on a radio program today. The questions were incredibly boring and dumb, and they never got around to talking about anything other than the one income family. Every caller thought I was crazy for insisting that a woman, even with several children, could manage a home and family within her husband's income. I've covered this subject many times, and there are many resources on the web regarding frugal living for women who want to stay at home and manage their families, while their husbands provide the living.

Listening to the callers questions, I got the feeling that it was not the "high cost of living" that prevented women from living on their family income, earned by the husband, but the cost of high living, that prevents them from living at home on one income.

One woman who called stated that it was impossible to live on a husband's income unless he was making so many grand, a year. My reply was that it was possible, if you didn't try to have all this world's goods. The problem is these women want to start at the top, not at the bottem, where they can work their way up to a better standard of living and double their husband's income by staying out of debt, looking for bargains, or innovating and making things yourself. I wasn't able to ask these women questions such as:-

Do you make your own meals, or do you depend on ready made? This doubles your expense.

Do you make any of your own clothes, buy discount or second-hand? Buying at exclusive stores can really put a burden on your family economy.

How many vehicles do you have? Each car requires fees like insurance, tags, and licenses, plus the cost of oil, gas, and maintenance repair.

How high are your house payments? Instead of buying "up" and having to fall a long way down when your salary is cut or your job is eliminated, buy "down", fix up the house, and sell it for a profit when things get tight.

There are many things you can eliminate, which amount to hundreds of extra dollars a year. The newspaper alone can amount to $75.00 a year, and so can T.V. guide, even if you just buy it once a week at the grocery store. Cable television costs money you could save or use to pay a more important bill.

The main concern that women who called the show had, was that they could not live on one income. My answer is that if you try to do it, you can. I've never seen anyone who tried to do it and was determined enough, ending up living on the street, or sleeping under a bridge. They say "If I do this, it won't work," but most have never really tried it. I believe you have to work a plan before the plan will work, but most people want to live as they please and then add more income to their family so that they can just keep on living that way. If they start at the top, living the high life, it is a long way to fall if they get sick and can't work, and if you work your way up without debt, living frugally at first, you can stay at the top for a long time, with the security of savings, investments, and income.

I know two women I've spoken about before, but I'll give you the story again.

This woman married at the age of 15. She never worked outside the home, and her husband was not skilled, being only 17, but he had a job. She still has the household management book from their first year of marriage, where she kept a record of her husband's paychecks, and the bills they paid. In a pocket she collected pictures of things they wanted to have for their home. They had children right away, and she still managed on her husband's income. Eventually he became skilled in his job, and was advanced. They had a bigger salary, and his wife put some away in savings. Couples can live on one salary if they don't insist on having all this world's goods right away. After a number of years, she was able to put a downpayment on a house, and although it wasn't a very nice house, she fixed it up, and eventually sold it, to buy another house.
The only bill they had was their house payment, because she did not use a credit card, and they managed their money well.

The other woman whose husband had nothing but a bicycle when they got married, managed the money from his salary, and combined with tax refunds, managed to buy him a farm. Today he is one of the most successful farmers in his area. When they first moved out to this piece of land, there was nothing there but an old run-down shack, with only a water spigot outside as their main water supply for drinking, cooking, bathing, and laundry. She had to clean out that old place, which was over run with vegetation and animals, and make it possible to provide shelter for them while they were figuring out how to build a real house. She was willing to put up with the lack of comforts because it meant they would not have to pay any rent. The women that I talked to were not willing to find a bargain or fix it up. They want to start out their married life living in luxury. They won't "put up" with anything. Today, this woman lives in a beautiful home with all the ammenities, but she got there debt-free.

Now let me say something about parents and grandparents in the scheme of things, particularly regarding the family income. When I mentioned the parents as a resource in helping out the family income, the radio interviewer said, "Oh yes, sponge off the parents, sure, sure." But let me tell you that now that the shoe is on the other foot, and we are the grandparents, how they feel about it.

Parents and grandparents, who love their children, and whose children aren't living a wild life, spending foolishly, will want to see their children successful. The want to help out. They want to give, especially when they see your good way of life. It is a source of great pride to them to help you in your goals of having a good home and a stable family. The want you to have a nice couch and a stove that works, and they want you to be able to pay your heating bill. The are glad to help, and it isn't sponging at all. This is what we have waited for all our lives, and this is how we want to invest our money. We would rather give it to our children than anyone else. You can also save a lot of that money, and continue living frugally, so that you'll have an investment you can depend on later. Some people save all the children's birthday money, and all the money that their parents gift them with, and buy interest-bearing certificates, which provide them with income later on. This is only one benefit of having a right relationship with your parents and your husband's parents.

Our daughter stays home and guards her husband's earnings by refusing to go into debt and only shopping for discounts. Anything you spend, or charge, beyond your husband's income, will threaten your position as a homemaker. The more you spend, and the more you charge, the closer you are to having to go to work. If you really want to stay home, you can. There are many women who are doing it. Being a stay at home woman is not so much a matter of economy as it is of philosophy. To a large extent, your beliefs will rule your actions.

The most I've ever been ridiculed is about this economy thing. "How in the world did you stay home and raise a family when your husband was making a welfare-size salary?" I would ask in return, "How do welfare recipients manage to stay home--both the husband and the wife, on a welfare sized income?" Maybe we could learn a lesson from them. If they can do it, then I can do it.

Some first steps toward that endeavor might be:

-Visit homemakers blogs to find out why and how they are able to stay home
-Learn to make a dollar stretch.
-Stay out of debt, or get out of debt
-accept help from parents, if they want to offer it.
-Learn the secrets to good economy from others who have succeeded at it. It does not necessarily mean a top-notch salary. Many people with high salaries cannot make it, due to lack of good economic practices.
-Understand the meaning of "contentment."
-Be creative in substituting things
-Be innovative and enterprising.

painting: April, by Susan Mink McColclough


LadySnow said...

Isn't it amazing to hear some questions people have? I get the same questions all the time. The problem is the peole who ask the questions don't want to hear the answer, because the think what you are going to say is ridiculous anyway. (My father is one person who does this.) I am encouraged though by others who realize the importance of being a keeper at home. I thank you for this article. It is a reminder that we are not the "norm" in society, but yet we have a great impact on people we come in contanct with and speak with.

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

Don't lose heart if you are in debt. You can still stay home, and through some hoops, manage that debt. By making phone calls to the credit companies and informing them that you are now on one income, you can get some of the interest reduced, or the payment plan arranged so that it is manageable. You can also join Consumer Credit or a debt reduction club that will, for a small fee, pay your bills for you with your income, until they are all paid.

Anonymous said...

There are many resources for managing your finances... they could have had another radio show with those experts. I think it's too bad they didn't interview you about the host of other things you know about- finances are important, but we aren't all here at home because of finances!. I heard the program, and I thought the questions were rather dull, myself.

Frugal Homemaker said...

Thank you for this! It is possible, but when people ask me how I do it, I get "oh, I could never do that" when things like not having cable TV, secondhand clothes, and shopping only grocery sales comes up. "You're so lucky" they say- but it's not luck at all. My husband and I made it happen through careful planning and stewardship of the resources provided to us.

Anonymous said...

Hello Lady Lydia.

I happened to catch you on the radio this morning. Could you please tell me the name of the radio station I was listening to? I would very much appriciate that.

I know I am an anonymous user, so I will keep checking back to see if you have replied.

Thanks and have a nice day.


Lady Lydia Speaks said...

we are doing another intreview soon where you can listen online. We'll announce it as soon as we can.

If the lady who heard me on the air wants to know more about it, she can email me at

Anonymous said...

Timely topic. I have been home since my first baby was born, now going on almost twenty years. Due to damage on our home, we have had to make some costly repairs. We were lucky enough to be covered by insurance. The gentleman working on the repairs commented on how good my children are, two are three times. He was amazed that I had five and the home was so calm.
Another comment he made, was an amazement that we are a family with all these children living on one income. My husband's income (he doesn't know this) is actually considered about poverty level for these times. My husband takes his role as provider seriously, but he has never been a man to seek and strive for wealth. Being a stay at home wife, I do what I can to help keep the finances under the income that we make. And I am very thankful that my husband wants me to be at home. We thank God that, so far, we have made it. We have not always been as frugal and wise, especially, in our early years, but, somehow made it so far. We continue to learn and change our manner in which we handle our finances. I appreciate so much the information that can be found on the blogs.

Thanks for your blog work.

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

One of the reasons women want to start out in luxury is the fear of having to have inferior quality of goods or a less comforts. This is not necessarily how it will be, because when you learn how to live frugally, you find many brand new items, at a very low cost, and you learn to have beauty around you in other ways than spending money. There are many things in yard sales and garage sales that have not even been used, that can be bought for hardly anything, and in most garage sales there is a "free" box.

Mrs.B. said...

You touched upon something so true, Lady Lydia....newlyweds wanting to live at the same level as their parents instead of starting out small and working up. My husband and I weren't able to buy our first home until we'd been married for 7 years but we still turned out ok. (o:

Something else that your post brought to my mind is decorating shows on tv. I like to watch HGtv(Home and Garden Television-cable channel) but I had to cut back on it because it started making me discontent because my house wasn't decorated 'perfectly'. They make everything look 'perfect' and 'amazing'. On some of the shows I've seen people spend as much as $80,000 to remodel their kitchen! Who couldn't make their kitchen look nice for $80,000?!? It didn't take any creativity, just money. I'm learning to enjoy a more simple and homey style instead of 'perfect'. These decorating shows seem harmless except that they promote a lifestyle of 'keeping up with the Jones's' and they also promote styles dreamed up by homosexuals.

Amy Jo said...

this was a great post! Thank you so much! Amy Jo

julie said...

such wise words! i especially appreciated the part you wrote about helping children and grandchildren. how preciously worded your thoughts were. thank you so much! julie harris

Donna said...

People can live on one income and own a home and cars and save for their children's future job training/college costs and save for retirement. I know because we've done it. People say it can't be done because they don't want to commit themselves to possible times of struggle and sacrifice. We think it is worth it because it forced us to be creative, to teach ourselves new skills, to distinguish between needs and wants and to have a long term view. My only regret is that I wish I had the knowledge at the beginning of my marriage that I have now. I could have made a wiser use of my husband's income over the years.

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

If a woman wants to find a way to stay home, she could start out by selling off the things they could live without. They could also sell their home and buy down, so that they could use the profits to pay their bills.

Anonymous said...

I also heard you on the radio this morning and an a new reader of your blog because of it. It's a shame they couldn't really get past the income questions.

That's how life seems to be here in the Seattle area. It's more about the quantity of things you can buy, and not the quality of your family that people are concerned about.

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

They sent me a list of questions, and I studied them all out, and expect them to move from one question to another, but instead, they stayed on the income question.

I would have liked to ask how in the world the welfare families make it on one income. My husband provides one income, and it is a little better than welfare, yet the welfare families pay their rent month after month, and have more than enough food. So why would anyone doubt that a husband, who makes more money than a welfare income, can support his family as well?

Lady Lydia Speaks said...


How did you get the music on your blog?

Kim O. said...

I enjoyed your topic today. My husband has always wanted me to stay home, no matter what. People say to me that they can't afford to stay home, but I know they really could, just as you have said. Thankfully, God blessed me with a husband who is very wise when it comes to money. We lived below our means for a long time. We were able to get our first house after 9 years of marriage. One thing that helped us was help from my Grandmother. Without her help we would not have been able to do so. It really has been a blessing to me and I feel like the Lord blessed us through her gift because of the sacrifices we have made.

I am so glad that I stay home with my children and teach them. I wouldn't do anything different, even for more money. Infact, if I were working I would make more than my husband, but I am where I need to be. God has been so faithful to us and supplied for all our needs.

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

It seems like everyone makes judgements about actions or things according to monetary value.

One woman on the radio claimed that she worked while her husband stayed home, because she made more money. Therefore, what is important to her, was money. And shouldn't her husband (or boyfriend, in this case) be liberated from the "mundane job of being stuck at home, without a paycheck of his own?" Really, what is good for the goose is good for the gander. So why aren't the house husbands protesting this treatment and demanding jobs with equal pay?

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

If the grandmothers don't give their money away, the IRS will get it or the state. They get a better tax return if they give it to their loved ones. And, the young couple doesn't have to borrow so much from a bank for a house. The money should stay in the family where it belongs.

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

Good points about neglecting the family even though home. It is very easy to get side tracked and forget about the tasks at hand. It is easy to misuse your freedom at home.

Kathleen in Illinois said...

This is a WONDERFUL post. Thank you, Lady Lydia, for being brave enough to go on radio.

Of course you understand why you didn't get to ask questions. It would have made the radio listeners "uncomfortable" and the radio station might have lost some of them.

The point about newlyweds wanting to start out as they have at home now, versus as how their parents began, is also very true. I am ashamed to admit I fell into the same trap....

As far as people not being able to do without something (like cable, magazines, etc.), what happens when they lose that too-expensive home and latest-model car due to repossession/foreclosure? They *have* to do without something then.

My firmest belief here is that society has given us a feeling of "entitlement"......that we somehow are OWED a certain standard of living.......We are not humble enough to begin at a point we can truly afford, we think we deserve it all. All the more reason to closely examine our beliefs about money, lifestyle, simplicity, true values, etc., so that perhaps - hopefully - we can be a shining light in that sea of despair.

Kathleen in IL

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

Newlyweds used to be happy just to be together, whether they lived in a tent or a trailer. Now they want to have everything that people have worked for many years to get. There is a reason for starting out slowly and lowly: it provides wisdom and understanding in the scheme of things and helps them to develop good values.

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

However, young married couples can have these things if the parents and grandparents want to help them out. My only objection was going into debt for a high style of living that many people don't get until they've worked for it a number of years.

Mindy said...

What a wonderful post. I am at home now due to a chronic illness. I have been home for about 2 years now...and I can't tell you how much I love it. Yes...we can stay at home, and yes we can survive and thrive on 1 income. My husband works and I plan meals, we do our own lawn work and not hire other to do this...we are paying down are debt. All our kids are grown, but due to the illness i'm not able to work.
I so enjoy your blog and the wisdom your convey in your writings!! God Bless you,,

LadySnow said...

I realize a lot of individuals have spoken about newlyweds not being content with their living situation and want to live like their parents. I am the opposite. We lived in a trailer for 1 1/2 and it drove my parents absolutely crazy!!!! They also had the idea that we rent and do not "own" a home. Go figure.

Mary Ann said...

I enjoyed this post. We have been married about a year and a half now and I have been home for about 8 months. When I quit my job, we thought I would be home for 2-3 months and then find another job closer to home, because we didn't think we could make it financially. We are still doing fine, actually better than before and have paid off the rest of our debt. I do keep some children here at my house several days a week to bring in a little more money, but I am still able to keep up with my housework and I am here when my husband comes home. And having the kids here means that I do actually stay home.:-) I appreciate the comments about some of you that didn't buy a house until 7 or 9 years of marriage. We are currently saving for a large down payment on our first home, but know we will most likely not buy for at least another 2 years. We have found that while it was ok to rent the first year of marriage, now we get a lot of comments as to whether or not we are ever going to buy and why we don't take advantage of "first-time home buyers specials" with no down payment. My husband responds that he doesn't want to be in debt for the rest of his life! This is still the day of small things. And we have more than our parents did when they got started! It does not hurt me to drive an older but paid for car and use hand-me-down furniture and shop at yard sales.I am much more creative and resourceful this way! While our income level is probably considered very low, we live a life full of the important things. I think most importantly-we are able to know the difference between our wants and needs. Our relationship is much better now that I am at home, regardless of the pay cut. Thanks for the encouragement!

Hikingalong said...

What a wonderful post! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I remember when we first got married, it didn't matter where we lived. Just to be together. We couldn't wait till the end of the day to be home again together. The desire for a house didn't even come to me, until we started having children. More for a little piece of land, actually, that the children could play on, and I wouldn't have to worry about them bothering anyone else.
I appreciate the ideas expressed on this blog. It is a great encouragement to me.

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

I should have taken the 1st caller and told her to listen to the 2nd caller (that is, if they were real, spontaneous callers...seemed a bit contrived to me)

The first caller claimed it was impossible to live on one income unless your husband made hundreds of thousands a year.

the 2nd caller was working while her husband stayed home. Hey, how'd they do that??? They were living on one income. Don't know how long that will last before someone comes along and tells the husband he's getting an unfair shake, or a raw deal, and that he should be getting a job, just like the women!!

Anonymous said...

Sorry I am posting as Anon here, I cannot remember my log in :(

What a topic! My husband and I just had a conversation about this, actually. I was throwing away a pair of jeans of my sons that I just couldn't save..not with patches and not as cut offs and he remarked how he used to have to wear jeans with holes his entire child hood. We got into a discussion about our life and how much better he has been able to provide for his family than his father did. It was an interesting conversation because although my husband has worked his tushy off for his family, there was something he lacked when he married me.....Child support and alimony payments. It hit me the other day...the comment "Marriage builds wealth." I looked around our house, now (after almost 9 years of marriage) it is all furnished, all four bedrooms, two living rooms, dining room :) No it's not HGTV, but I have to say I love my home. I have had such fun decorating it with small touches, sewing my own curtains, and pillows...and then I realized we had all the pots, pan, appliances, linens, storage items we needed and I thought back to when we got our first place...with a recliner and sofa, both found on the side of the road...and storage boxes to serve as tables for eating. Truly marriage does build wealth! I thought about how little we would both have if we followed the path of the world and divorced before our first ten years. It took ten years just to have the standard of living as our parents....if we had to divide all that and both struggle to make ends meet on our own...what a mess! We may not go on vacations like a previous poster said...but we eat well every night, have warm comfy beds to sleep in, and pretty house to invite company to and we are doing very well. On one income. With 6 children, and another on the way. All under the age of 8. can be done!!

Anonymous said...

Lady Lydia,
You mentioned the stay at home Dad. That is just what I am wondering. They do it. My neighbor is a stay at home Dad, and I think another stay at home Dad lives a few houses away.
Why should I feel bad about being home? The men are staying home more and more often. My sister-in law's boyfriend is basically stay at home. And she has a girlfriend who just married her boyfriend..again, basically, a stay at home boyfriend. No reliable income from these men for these girls. And my sister-in law and her friend work very hard, and work long hours! How do the guys get away with this?

Mrs.B. said...

I've really enjoyed reading all of these comments....this has been such an uplifting discussion!

Mrs.B. said...

I've really enjoyed reading all of these comments....this has been such an uplifting discussion!

Kathleen in Illinois said...

My Beloved and I have periodic talks about "poor" and "rich".

We rent an apartment, and drive a 1998 vehicle.....yet we are RICH because:

1) We don't owe any money on any credit cards.
2) All our bills are paid for at the time of presentation - rent, utilities, insurance, etc.
3) We have food in the pantry, refrigerator, and freezer - enough for "snow days" and "take a dish to the neighbors" days.
4) What we do have in material goods is fully paid for.
5) Our paycheks are OURS, not owed to a bank or other institution.

Granted, we do plan to buy a house in the future, but for now, our rented apt. works just fine. Our furniture isn't the newest or the finest label, but it fulfills its purpose and we like it. We don't lack for basic necessities and (so far) can afford to run the heat in the cold weather...Our vehicle isn't new, but it runs (and pretty well at that) and is paid for.

You know, in many ways we are RICH.....

And the best thing of all? No arguments about money!!!!! No, we can spend our together-time talking and sharing and growing closer.......

Kathleen in IL

Kathryn said...

I wouldn't knock the stay at home dad. My husband is in college fulltime and takes care of the baby while I work in an office, and he works on dishes, laundry, cleaning, lawn mowing, diaper changing, playing with the baby, etc.

We would never see him at all if he had to work 40 hours on top of the 60 or 70 that he puts in every week on classes, labs and homework.

It would be lazy of me to sit at home in a spotless house, doing cross-stitch and scrapbooking, and drinking tea while he would try to put in over 100 hours a week to support us and go to school.

I cannot put the whole load on him, in order to make the salary I do, he would have to work 70-80 hours a week...and we live frugally, in order to make ends meet.

We need to be happy where God puts us, and I know God is using me where I work, as a quiet example of being a happy, Godly Christian woman. Its been said that a woman who is unhappy being single will take that unhappiness into marriage with her, and I believe that also applies to working and staying at home.

So, while I think its nice for ladies to stay home, I also am not legalistic about it. We work together as a team and we are all the better for it. I know someday that I will be at home fulltime, but until then, I choose to live at peace and in harmony with my husband, under the covering and protection of his leadership. We are happy. What more could a woman ask for?

Atlantic said...

Great post. What really bothers me greatly is the way that the laws, tax structure and other official systems are being biased against one-income couples, not to mention against married couples in general! I live in the UK, and among other things:

1. The marriage allowance in the tax system was abolished about 10 years ago
2. There is no such thing as married filing jointly: a one-income couple completely forfeits the personal allowance of the SAH spouse (unless they have a ton of investments in the SAH spouse's name)
3. Childcare benefits are provided to working mothers but not to SAHMs. Ditto the maternity laws - they are taking money from one-income families and giving it to two-income families.
4. Divorce laws are incredibly skewed against men - supposedly there is no such thing as no-fault divorce here, but in practice it probably easier than in the US, and there is no such thing as an enforceable pre-nuptial agreement - thus combining the *worst* features of marriage-as-contract (breakable at will by one party) and marriage-as-sacrament (you can't pre-arrange the results of breaking it). I think a lot of men are terrified to have SAHWs because that puts power over his life in her hands should she decide to take it.

I could go on and on, but it is tragic when it requires almost heroic virtue to have a normal traditional family.

Anonymous said...

I too worked fulltime, for the first couple of years of our marriage, while my husband worked part time, and finished college. We just wanted to be together. But, I am thankful to be home now.
The man pitching in and helping, or being a stay at home Dad is not half as much of an issue for me, as the constant, subtle and not so subtle put downs of the woman staying home. And the constant glorifying of the career women.

Naomi said...

This was a wonderful post.
My husband and I have been married for almost 9 years. We started out our marriage living above our means and now we have bad credit. We would love to buy a home but we can't.
Thankfully The Lord has taught us many lessons thru it all. I stay at home with our 2 wonderful children. My husband does not make alot of money, we drive a 14 year old car, and we live without a lot of luxuries. We rent a trailor from a wondreful couple who are going to let us rent to own and they are letting us make it our own.
We have finally realized that God wants us to be content with what he has given us.
Our children do not have all of the "things" that most of their friends do but they don't care. They are very happy and content
I love what you said about parents and grandparents helping out. When we were not being responsible with our money our parents would not help us but when they saw that we were living in our means they were more than happy to help.
I wish that more women would step out on faith and follow God's calling on us as women.
Thank you again for the post.

CappuccinoLife said...

Wonderful post! We have been living on one income, with me at home, since our marriage 3.5 years ago. We have never been above poverty level, yet the Lord has provided for us and the two sweet babies He gave us thus far. If we have nothing else we are RICH because we have each other. :D

At the request of my husband, I am looking for ways to earn an income from home, but even then, we will be living on one income, because the minute my work at home can feed and house us, he will be going to school, to up his income, and when he's done he'll be back at work and I can relax again. ;)

I have learned so much about living frugally and I consider it a blessing. Even if we become wealthy someday, the struggles and difficulties of living on a low income have taught me much that will serve me well no matter what situation we are in

amy said...

What a great post! I've been at home since my husband and I were first married almost ten years ago. Our first "home" was a tiny little camper trailer parked at a Bible camp with a tent for "storage". We then "moved up" to a tiny basement suite, and then an itty bitty cabin. We own a house now (or should I say a mortgage?) but it took some time to get here. A couple of tips that have really helped us:

- we have always bought used vehicles that were carefully researched first in the Consumer Reports Used Car buying guide (you can access a copy at the library). As a result, our used vehicles have been extremely reliable.
- we live on a budget that includes a small amount put aside each month for things like car repairs, gifts, house repairs etc. so that there are no expensive "surprises." These are all things we know will come up eventually and that we can plan ahead for.
- automatic withdrawals from your pay cheque or account are a wonderful way to save! A small amount comes out each month that goes into our retirement savings and savings bonds for "emergencies". It's amazing how even just $25.00 per month can add up over time.
- I've often sold my children's outgrown clothes at a local consignment store and made $50.00 or more (and found many wonderful second-hand clothes that looked like new!)
- and finally, God has often provided for us through the gifts of others. We've even been given a piano and a beautiful antique violin so that my husband and I could practice and play in church.

Anonymous said...

Writing a book on one income living- looking for short stories-how do you do it?
I'd love to hear from you.


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