In The Trenches: Financial Survival During Times of Hardship

This is a book review In The Trenches: Financial Survival During Times of Hardship

Are you In The Trenches? Feeling like your financial future needs an overhaul or the choices of the past are now catching up with you?

Have you lost your job, home, or relationship and it’s time to start over? Or, do you just want some tips for how to record and budget your money more efficiently?

In The Trenches: Financial Survival During Times of Hardship is for the millions of Americans that are starting over or just looking for a new way of doing things. The book contains stories, budgeting charts, and ideas. It is a springboard for your future.

In the Trenches is the story of one family’s survival of economic challenges brought on by a terminal illness in the family and loss of income. Getting creative, learning to budget, and looking at the situation through the eyes of opportunity can turn around any bad situation.

My Thoughts

This book offers great down-to-earth advice and true experiences of how to survive difficult financial times.

The first section of the book offers forms and worksheets to access your current financial situation, where you need to go and how to get there. I really enjoyed the job profablity worksheet pairing examples between working at a fast food restaurant versus the office job. And the eye opening results. As Carol states, “not everything that glitters is gold”. This holds true.

The second section is a collection of stories and ideas from Carol’s family’s experience in scrambling to make ends meet. We’re talking bare bones survival and realizing toilet paper is the best investment. She learned to take 10% of what ever amount she had to spend on grocery and stock it away; thus, ‘Stocking Money’. With this money she learned to build a food storage, so that her family never went hungry. I commend Carol for pulling out of these situations she has experienced. And she discusses her experience with good humor (after all, they say laughter is the best medicine, right?).

In The Trenches, Financial Survival During Times of Hardship is a diamond in the rough. I loved this book. It is 168 pages of great reading and a valuable resource for anyone looking for ways to pull through their difficult financial times.

Full-size worksheets are available on the author’s blog, In the Trenches, for your personal use.

About the Author

The author, Carol Schultz-Weil, spent a number of years in banking where she was a manager and procedural analyst and reviewed departmental processes and procedures to determine and implement cost savings ideas. Upon leaving that career she worked in various administrative positions while rehabbing homes. She is also the author behind two blogs, America for Fair Banking and In the Trenches.

23 thoughts on “In The Trenches: Financial Survival During Times of Hardship

  1. Forest

    This sounds like a fantastic book. These are the kinds of stories I need to read to help motivate me to tighten my belt a little…. I’m on a no spend week right now (apart from groceries) because I spent all my spare cash on my holiday, oops!

    1. money funk

      As Carol wrote me, “Thank you so much for the great review. I’m glad you liked the stories. We learned so much during our time and most of all that attitude is the key to survival. That is why I have spent so much time in the book and the blog hoping to convey that. It’s not what you have it’s how much you appreciate it. There was a brief period of time that we did not even have running water. I’ll tell you now I appreciate it everytime the toilet flushes and can do dishes with just turning on the tap.”

      It does motivate you. Just like your no spend week. πŸ™‚ You will do great, as the week will fly by. It makes for a good time to catch up on good reading or blogging.

      1. Forest

        Thanks, I did pretty good on the nospend week… had to spend a tiny amount due to a birthday but it was minimal.

  2. Simple in France

    I like the job profitability worksheet idea! Recently my husband and I crunched the numbers and realized that a job for me within my career–or any higher paying job would also require us to live in an urban as opposed to rural area. We calculated the extra housing and living costs of such a move and realized we’d break even if I earned 3-500 euros a month in a rural area! It’s made me rethink what kind of work I’d like to do here in France. I’m considering starting a small business or something instead of going back to a career in a big city. . .

    1. money funk

      I once did the same, crunching numbers, to find that if I was frugal and brought in an extra $1,000 a month I could stay home to raise my family (there would be no child care costs, less car maintenance costs, less auto gas, etc…)

      So, I think its a great idea to start a small business to live in the rural area. Do you have any idea what type of business? Would love to hear (luv stories of entrepreneur startups).

  3. Saving Money Today

    Sounds like a great read! I enjoy reading about people who have endured hardships and tragedies and somehow managed to hold it all together and come out alright.

    1. money funk

      And I think during such an economic time, people could really benefit from a good book like this one. Learning to adapt during such hardships & tragedies is no fun, but keep your head held high and keep fighting to get thru it…oh ya, have a plan. Like ‘stocking money’. It only takes a penny to start a fortune. πŸ™‚

  4. Paul @ FiscalGeek

    I have learned some of my most valuable lessons through trials and hardships. Sure I would prefer to just read about it, but it never seems to work out that way. I’ll add this to my list, thanks!

    1. money funk

      Haven’t we all! You’re right, we can read a lot, but we don’t know until we actually live it. But one thing I enjoy about reading about personal experiences, is the hope and inspiration it can lend to seeing the light at the end of the struggle/hardship.

  5. Money Reasons

    This can happen to any of us! It sounds like a great book! I’ll be sure to check it out!

    Congrats to the author for finding a way to overcome such a difficult life event!

    1. money funk

      True! True! And it does scare me; especially not having a solid retirement acct. It was a great read. Let me know how you like it!

  6. Carol Schultz-Weil

    I’m enjoying reading the comments and it’s kind of making me laugh. Yes, at the time things were very hard. Mainly because I had been raised a suburban child with suburban children who expected every button I pushed to actually do something. Although I hope I don’t have to repeat that period of time I am glad and fortunate that it happened. And, we all came back better than when we started. I learned what my priorities were: God, family, and friends And we did have fun and many laughes to go with the sometimes tears. Thank you again Christine for allowing me to share the book and the reactions with your readers. That’s the real meaning of priceless….:)

    1. money funk

      It’s situations like these where we can either lie down to be miserable or make a plan to climb out of it. With so many people facing such difficult financial times, it essential to have people like you who can show others there is a way to adapt and climb out of it. Or for the people who are knee deep in debt that need the motivation to continue on the path towards a debt-free life.

      I like that your book has the steps/lessons to climb out of the financial hardships. And that you and your family are proof that you’ve done just that. Thank you, Carol. I really enjoyed the book and happy that I had the honor to review it.

  7. April

    Looking forward to reading this one! Thanks, Christine, for putting the review on your blog (and welcome home, if I haven’t told you that already).

    1. money funk

      Hi, April! You’re welcome.

      And thanks. I am still trying really hard to be on Maui time. Unfortunately, the rigors of schedules continue to pull me in! πŸ˜‰

  8. Len Penzo

    Nice review. I will be getting this book as a lesson to myself to not take my current financial security for granted. I have been relatively fortunate so far in life, but tragedy and financial disaster is always potentially just a moment away. I look forward to seeing how Carol made the best of a bad situation.

    All the best,

    Len Penzo dot Com

    1. money funk

      Thanks. Ya, its true it could happen to any of us at anytime. It reaffirms that I need to continue making sure I have a ‘financial net’ that can help hold us in time of need (should it ever arise).

      I hope you enjoy the book. Let me know what you think.

  9. Daddy Paul

    Hard times change your spending and working patterns. After the recession of 1974-75 I learned to work harder and save more. Hard earned lessons last a lifetime.

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  12. jerry weil

    Well I am the other part of this book. I am asking that you order my book The cards that God dealt me. Author Gerald Weil 1152 pages . I was the half that made this all work but as normal. The author has taken all of the credit with saying nothing of me. We were married for 14 yrs to find her gone when coming home from a diebetic Hospital stay. Then says she is a Christian. Please reply to me one my book web. Thank you and God Bless.

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