Part of The Washington Post's 'Color of Money Book Club'

Part of NBC's 'Today's Book Club'

Named 'One of the Best Ideas of 2002' by The New York Times Magazine

Ranked #31 on VH1's list of the '40 Greatest Internet Superstars'

Did You Know

The average outstanding credit card debt for households that have a credit card was $10,679 at the end of 2008. (Source: Nilson Report, April 2009)

26 percent of Americans, or more than 58 million adults, admit to not paying all of their bills on time. (Source: National Foundation for Credit Counseling, 2009 Financial Literacy Survey, April 2009)

Penalty fees from credit cards will add up to about $20.5 billion in 2009. (Source: New York Times, September 2009)


Save Karyn: One Shopaholic's Journey to Debt and Back

Drowning in $20,000 of credit card debt, shopaholic Karyn Bosnak asked strangers for money online — and it worked!

What would you do if you owed $20,000? Would you:

A) not tell your parents?

B) start your own website that asked for money without apology? or

C) stop coloring your hair, getting pedicures, and buying Gucci?

If you were Karyn Bosnak, you’d do all three.

Karyn received e-mails from people all over the world, either confessing their own debt-ridden lives, or criticizing hers. But after four months of Internet panhandling and selling her prized possessions on eBay, her debt was gone!

In Save Karyn: One Shopaholic’s Journey to Debt and Back, Karyn details the bumpy road her financial—and personal—life has traveled to get her where she is today: happy, grateful, and completely debt-free. In this charming cautionary tale, Karyn chronicles her glamorous rise, her embarrassing fall, and how the kindness of strangers in cyberia really can make a difference.

You’re probably jealous that you didn’t think of it first.




“You’ll marvel at this babe’s brazenness, as well as the kindness of strangers.”

USA Today:

“A funny read. A bit like Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde, Bosnak is naïve, honest and shares enough self-deprecating humor to keep you reading. She will endear herself to many guilty female readers by admitting her attachment to costly haircuts, highlights and beauty products… Some episodes (going for a bikini wax) are laugh-out-loud funny, as are her money-saving tips and responses to mean critics…”

Marie Claire:


“Read it. You’ll love her sweet ‘internet panhandler’ tale…”

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Prologue: The Summer I Stared at the Ceiling

Have you ever made such a mess of things that you were sure there was no way out? That's basically the story of my life. In June 2002, I was in that position: dead broke and $20,000 in the hole. How did I end up that way? Well, I guess you could say it all started three years earlier, during what I now refer to as "the summer I stared at the ceiling."

It was May 1999, and I was twenty-six years old. I was living and working in Chicago. I wasn't unhappy. I was just unfilled. I realized that there must be more to life than what I had experienced so far. I was born in Illinois, raised in Illinois, had gone to school in Illinois, and was working in Illinois. That summer all I did was stare at the ceiling and think. I didn't know who I was. I was the person that my parents raised, but I never felt like my own person. I felt like an extension of them, and an extension of my job. I felt defined by my friends. All I did was stare and think.

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Foreign Translations

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