About Me


Hello! What is it that you wanted to know about me?  I’m a writer, although I have yet to make a career out of it.  But I love writing, so I do it even without renumeration.  I’m sorry that I sometimes use big words in long, overextended sentences; one of my mentors used to enthusiastically point out that I was too wordy, and this sentence proves she was right.

I’m also a lawyer, although I’m not practicing right now.  I had a dream job teaching and running programs at a law school, but I made the really difficult decision to step away from it.  Now I’m a stay-at-home mom, which isn’t very impressive to a lot of people, but I’m learning that unimpressive is O.K.  Right now, being home full-time works for me and my family, and the truth is I love it.  I may walk back to my dream job one day, but not yet.

I have other things to do first, like write this blog.  I started The Daily Citron in 2009, to keep track of the useful information I was learning about money management.  At the time, my husband and I had good incomes, and considered ourselves to be responsible with money because we paid our bills on time.  But we weren’t really mindful about our personal spending, so every month we watched a large chunk of our paychecks go towards bills and debt payments from past purchases.  We weren’t in financial crisis, in the sense of bankruptcy or foreclosure, but we realized that our financial habits, even if they were “responsible” by normal standards, were nonetheless leading us away from long-term happiness or satisfaction.

I spent many late nights reading about personal finance until I was able to understand the obvious: we needed to learn the skill of being intentional about our personal finances- saving our money, managing it well, and then spending it happily, on things that were truly important to us.  It’s a principle that we had already grasped in our professional lives, but somehow hadn’t applied to our personal lives.  It took a few years of dedication to those principles to turn our spending and savings habits around, but we did it.  We still have a long way to go until true “financial independence” (also known as retirement- the point at which income from investments exceeds living expenses and debt payments), but we’re on a more direct path now, and that feels good.

As we made changes to our family’s lifestyle, habits, and attitudes towards money I documented those changes in this blog.  My husband and daughters have tolerated my new-found enthusiasm for saving money amazingly well, and have been willing to indulge me in various frugal experiments time and time again.  Want an example?  Check out the Cash-Only Challenge series.

There’s something about improving an area in one’s life that is contagious- suddenly all areas of life become candidates for improvement.  Once we had our finances tuned up, I started thinking about other areas in my life that could, well, “use improvement.”  I wanted to be a better cook, a better parent, a better home organizer, and maybe even learn to garden.  So I set goals and got to work learning about each of those things.  I love the process of learning how to do things more effectively, whether it’s finding the best money-saving strategies, trying out different home organizing techniques, tinkering with our parenting approach, or discovering great recipes.  I always try to share the best tips that I find, so check out the pages on cookingparentingorganizing, and gardening.

Anything else you want to know?  Oh, our family eats a Paleo diet.  That means we eat lots of vegetables, fruits, meat, seafood, eggs and nuts, but no grains, milk, processed food, or excessive sugar.  Weird, right?  We initially started the diet to help one family member’s autoimmune disease, but unexpectedly we all ended up experiencing markedly better health, so we’re sticking with it for as long as it helps us.

I hope you find lots of good stuff here on the topics you’re interested in.  Sign up for the free Daily Citron Weekly Newsletter so that you don’t miss any new tips!

See you around,

+Viva Harris