A Lesson in Judgement From My First Hater…kind of.

I have been a bit absent in the past week or so.  I have been working (a little), but mainly, I have been obsessed with my latest outlet for money talk…the Rock Star Finance Forums.  I have been spending  an extreme amount of my time chatting with other money minded peeps, reading all their blog posts, responding to comments.  RSF Forums is like having a new job – but a job I really really love and don’t get paid a dime to attend.  🙂

Well, yesterday someone on the forum asked a question in regards to debt:

“How necessary is debt to your wealth building strategy?”

I was the first to respond with “not necessary” in regards to my own tragic story of debt:

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And, due to that link, I brought in a new reader and today received the first negative reaction to that post.  The reaction I have been waiting for since the day it was published… Continue reading “A Lesson in Judgement From My First Hater…kind of.”

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I am Grateful For YOU

This week has been a HUGE one for this here little blog.  Though I have been reading about personal finance for the past couple years, I have only been writing for 5 months.  In that time, the amount of encouragement I have gotten from the PF community has been mind-blowing.  I want to write this post to give a big THANK YOU back to those who have helped me along the way (in no particular order)… Continue reading “I am Grateful For YOU”

Just Do It…

*** Im in Thailand!! For the next two weeks I will be reposting some of my earlier lesser read posts. Though wifi will be sporadic, I plan to check in from time to time should you write a comment. 🙂 I hope you enjoy and I’ll see you back here soon! ***

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So, I sort of introduced myself the other day but I feel like my motivation for writing this blog may not have been construed properly – so let me give it another go. You see, this isn’t my first rodeo…

My first blog was littlebrickranch.com and focused on our (my then husband and I’s) newly purchased (completely outdated) 1950s brick ranch. I wrote about our many home improvements, frugal quick fixes, recipes, and the huge organic vegetable square foot garden that I built and nourished until it could nourish us. It was grand…and then, just as quickly, it wasn’t. Managing the blog (I posted 5x – week), all the home improvements, the garden, and still maintaining a full time job was time-consuming – but don’t get me wrong, I loved it!  Living a full life – seeing things grow which I had planted, being busy…It gave me purpose.

When the blog started to grow to a wider audience, I realized I was helping people who were going through similar projects and experiences. I was making friends with other lifestyle bloggers.  I felt like everything in my life was in an upswing…well, except one thing…

The marriage wasn’t working…
Continue reading “Just Do It…”

Motivating Despite Distractions

It’s a brand new day for me.  Today I established a game plan.  A bonafide, distraction free, high productivity game plan.

You see, I’m a sucker for slacking.  In an effort to counteract that character flaw, I have made sure to rid my home of the most common time suck triggers – cable, junk food, and Facebook.  I didn’t, however, account for the amount of time spent at my boyfriends place where unlimited cable (for real – all channels of insanity included) and junk food go to party.  Seriously!  His fridge/freezer has more convenience foods than a 7-11.  Lucky for me I don’t eat meat so half of those culinary delights are out of the realm of possibility.  But the other half?  The other half calls to me like Sirens trying to shipwreck my diet and energy levels in turn making me a true couch potato as the cable has anticipated.  I’m pretty sure the cable box and fridge are in cahoots.

Well, not today, my evil friends.  Today I pulled the escape hatch and biked my way to the nearest safety zone.  The Switzerland to the productive life I want and the lazy life that wants to consume me.

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My New *Free* Office – Villa Park Library 🙂

The library.  My new home away from his home.  I’m not sure why it has taken me so long to come to this aha moment but I am sure glad I did.  I needed to get out.  I needed a space of my own to  write.  I needed a distraction free zone to unleash my brains potential.  Making this single move to my new location has opened up my mind to what is really going on here – why the distractions are overwhelming my better self.

Clearing out the Cobwebs…

Continue reading “Motivating Despite Distractions”

Just DO it…

So, I sort of introduced myself the other day but I feel like my motivation for writing this blog may not have been construed properly – so let me give it another go. You see, this isn’t my first rodeo…
My first blog was littlebrickranch.com and focused on our (my then husband and I’s) newly purchased (completely outdated) 1950s brick ranch. I wrote about our many home improvements, frugal quick fixes, recipes, and the huge organic vegetable square foot garden that I built and nourished until it could nourish us. It was grand…and then, just as quickly, it wasn’t. Managing the blog (I posted 5x – week), all the home improvements, the garden, and still maintaining a full time job was time-consuming – but don’t get me wrong, I loved it!  Living a full life – seeing things grow which I had planted, being busy…It gave me purpose.
When the blog started to grow to a wider audience, I realized I was helping people who were going through similar projects and experiences. I was making friends with other lifestyle bloggers.  I felt like everything in my life was in an upswing…well, except one thing…
The marriage wasn’t working.
My husband and I had some major disagreements when it came to our future – things I thought had been worked out prior to the wedding day. But, as many know, things change and people change and soon I found myself leaving the house and my husband behind.
Once I moved out, I realized I no longer lived in a little brick ranch, I no longer had a garden, and I no longer had the life that I had been writing about. My entire existence had changed and, in turn, my writing came to an abrupt halt.  I went into survival mode.  I had moved back to the building I had lived in prior to my marriage. A small studio in the city became my new home (for the second time).  I figured if I was going to get back on my feet, I had to be where the action was. Where I could meet new friends and be outdoors.  When I finally settled in, I took a lot of time to figure out what my next steps would be. Without the house, the garden, and my blog, where would I focus this new windfall of time I had?  If I decided to start over, what would I write about?  The thought completely overwhelmed me.  Actually, anything in those first six+ months was overwhelming.  I had uprooted my life and everything that had been familiar. Thank god for that condo (and Bubba :)) as it was the only thing somewhat familiar to me. But when I thought about writing, to begin with a new base and work it up again, all I can say is that I was tortured by the idea!
And so I quit. 
It took me a few years to get the urge to write again. As quickly as it had left, it finally reemerged like a groundhog looking for its shadow.  And when it I did, I realized I had lost my focus. I wanted to write about travel, I wanted to write about money, I wanted to write about my frugal lifestyle and my drive to financial independence. I wanted to write about it all!!!  And so I didn’t. 😉   I figured I needed to zone in on one little niche to get things going. I thought up ideas and bought numerous blog names and wrote nothing!  My head was churning but the jumbled up strings of thought were in an endless knot – similar to last years Christmas lights.
Then, last week, something shifted. If you weren’t already aware, I am a flight attendant. I work in an industry dominated by woman and quite a few who choose this as their lifetime careers – we started young and just kept on going. I work at a great airline who treats us good and gives us many financial benefits including profit sharing and a hefty 9.6% 401k match…yes, and free flights!  I know – it’s amazing!!!  Anywho, I was working with a girl who knew me by reputation as “the girl who knows about financial stuff”.  I’m not sure who she heard that from or why, but it wasn’t surprising. I talk to a lot of people at work about finances because many are unaware of just how fabulous our benefits are.  So, this girl was curious about our 401k and what I had invested in. We chatted for a bit about the options our company gives us and then she looked at me and sheepishly asked, “is it really that bad to take a loan on your 401k?”  
And there it was. My purpose reignited. 
So here we are again. The urge to write is ever present and it seems I have gained a bit more control over my focus.  I love to talk finance and help others but in no way am I an expert on the matter – I only know where I started, where I stumbled, and where I am today.  If that helps one person, I will be thrilled!  Don’t get me wrong, I still have a ton of non finance related ideas that ,I want to write about but after much reflection, I realize that is not such a bad problem to have.  Similar to my first post, I feel like I have to stop thinking about it and just jump in and do it. Stop thinking and start writing!!  The rest will happen from organically from there…I hope!
Stay tuned for my answer to her hair-raising question…
*** So what are you known as at work or in your family?  I’m also known as “the girl who always brings a food bag” and “the girl who walks across Spain” so I get random questions from people I don’t know quite often!  🙂 ***
Until next time…