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Everyday Cheapskate

Learn To Be Fabulous Even When You’re Broke

By Mary Hunt

Everything Michelle McKinney Hammond knows about money she’s learned the hard way. And she’s telling all in her new book, “Divanomics: How To Still Be Fabulous When You’re Broke.”

It’s not as if Michelle was born impoverished. Quite the opposite, in fact. You might say she was born with a designer rattle in one hand and a shopping bag in the other.

With a mother from Barbados and a father from Ghana, this international baby was born in London, was educated in Barbados and finally landed in Michigan, where her mother remarried a wealthy American. Let’s just say that growing up, Michelle lacked for nothing. Her American stepfather was determined that she would have everything her heart desired. If he missed anything, her biological dad was standing at the ready to fill in the blanks. All of this generosity created in Michelle a belief that no whim ever should be denied.

Right out of college, Michelle landed in a fabulous advertising career. “I was art director, copywriter, producer extraordinaire — flitting coast to coast producing television, radio, and print advertising for top-notch clients,” she writes. It didn’t take long for her to elevate herself to full-on “diva” status or to become quite accustomed to her high-flying lifestyle. She had everything, including wonderful jewels, designer clothing and three diva dogs. If she wanted something, she found a way to get it.

But even high-stylin’ divas cannot escape the ravages and reality of a recession. It hit Michelle hard. There she sat at the end of her financial road, savings gone, individual retirement account bottomed out, creditors hounding and her life basically in tatters.

In her latest book (she’s written 34), Michelle, a self-proclaimed diva — which she says is her acronym for divine inspiration for victorious attitude — shares what she learned about her own spending, desires and needs and how she is adjusting to life during this unpredictable economy. “Divanomics” is filled with money-saving tips on fashion, beauty, home decor, entertaining, diet, housing and more.

If you’re worried that living below your income level is going to turn you into a frump, you need to spend a couple of hours with Michelle in this new book. She’ll give you practical tips and her favorite Web sites and resources for finding everything a girl would want.

But more than just tips and tricks for how to be fabulous even when you’re broke, Michelle, with warmth and humor, will tell you how to invest your life in things that matter and how to hold on to faith even when it feels as if God doesn’t know about your needs or care about your wants. She’s going to convince you that’s not the case at all and tell you how you can get back to the top of your game no matter what’s going on in the economy!

Mary Hunt is the founder of and author of 18 books, including her latest, “Can I Pay My Credit Card Bill With a Credit Card?” You can e-mail her at, or write to Everyday Cheapskate, P.O. Box 2135, Paramount, CA 90723. To find out more about Mary Hunt and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at

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