When did I become a middle-aged woman?

Over the years, I’ve settled into this “middle-aged” life and have become less personally driven. I’ve never liked the word settle, yet I do feel… unsettled. Now I’m in the process of figuring out the WHY.

Recently, I took some time between my jencation winter 2018 and the new year, and decided to get back to basics.

I’ve begun to read a great Danish book called the Little Book of Hygge, which has spring-boarded a renewed interest in myself and my surroundings.

I used to make more plans, have personal goals, and was creative. What I’ve been lacking was personal structure.

I realize that over the years I put that off, and focused on family, the kiddo, our pugs – I became what was holding myself back. Not wanting to fail, but that set me up for not doing what I want or love. I needed to finally realize that it wasn’t about the fear, and more about the actual execution. The doing.

Now I need to reacquaint myself with more of the things I love and make time to do them. Find new interests and rekindle old lost hobbies. I’m fortunate, the boy and kiddo are beyond supportive. Kinda like the overly enthusiastic mom that tells her kid they can do anything they set their mind to. (I’m that kind of mom.) But it’s weird having that sort of support being directed at myself.

Josh would rather me do something, anything and everything… because he truly believes I can. Whenever I show him something I’ve created or learned how to make, he’s genuinely excited. I’ve decided to accept that train of thought. Adopt it as my own.

I’ve started using a new day planner, as a way to make sure that I remind myself to be more creative. One of the things I’ve set as a “to-do” is to blog once a week. I’ve been guest posting once a month on his blog for the past 3-4 months, and it’s been refreshing to come up with a topic to add different content for his readers. Now it’s time to take my creative writing skills, and apply it to my personal blog.

PS – I’m glad if you’re here, reading my blog!

I don’t really have readers, or the same viewership he does, but I’m just starting out. As the boy says, “Take action, and begin today.” Speaking of taking action… if you know me, I’m KINDA the girl who sings the praises of having a budget and love sharing some of my insight. This has recently brought me a few friends that are looking for the same kind of freedom and guidance. So I’ve created some personalized spreadsheets for them and have become their accountability partner for their budget. Sure there are days when they probably don’t like me, and maybe even all me all sorts of bad names… but I’m excited to see them grow and learn about their financial situations, and hope my help with put them on a more sound path with their money. Wanna learn more, read my post: The B word

I think between moving and my tinnitus, I’ve felt more out of sorts. A good friend suggested a while back that I paint my view of tinnitus. That might be a good place to begin with being more creative artistically.

I’m hoping that creating and doing, and helping others, will improve my general well being. I’m actually quite happy and content, but now I want more; I want to be over the moon.

Speaking of moon, did you see the Blood Wolf Moon this past Sunday/Monday? It was so pretty.

I’m also getting back to reading more. in 2017 I set a reading goal of 20 books and read 24! Last year, 2018 I set the goal to 25, and only made it to 15! I was just lazy, and unfocused and there’s so many great shows between Netflix and Hulu.

I’ve sought out some fun travel shows on Netflix to help broaden my horizons and get educated and prepared for our world schooling eduventure. Our plan is to hopefully be heading off in about 3 years.

the B word

I used to hate the B word.

Sometimes when I use it, I get “the look”. You know that look, it’s the seemingly confused, nearly disapproving look.

I’m talking about the BUDGET.

So back in 2017 January, the boy made me reluctantly read the Dave Ramsey book, “Total Money Makeover.”

At first I read half heartedly. I knew what the premise of the book was, and I understood why I was asked to read the “good book”.

We were looking for a way to make a drastic change, and become EVEN MORE financially stable.

Now let me just say, we didn’t really have credit card debt, We had gotten that under control a long while ago, but we were rolling. By that I mean, we used a card or two, and then paid them off when the statement came in. In essence that meant we were always a month behind financially to what we were bringing in monthly. Doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it was a little bit of a crutch.

After reading the “good book”, we took a few months to plan out our actual budget. We saw where we had some “leakage”, where we could tighten up and get laser focused on creating an actual savings account.

Every little thing went onto our spreadsheet. We had weekly Sunday morning meetings, to discuss what we spent money on, addressed needs and wants and went on FINANCIAL LOCKDOWN. We actually argued over $20. But we had to get on the same page, on track and understand each other and our money.

It was difficult. Those $5 coffees really add up. Grabbing a bottled water when out shopping added to the bottom line. Ordering delivery pizza every Friday evening… that was a major change. Sure we were living a nice and comfortable life, #havingfun -but we were also making some inexpensive mistakes, that could easily be rectified.

We all got on board. Armed with this new info, we made coffee at home about 75% of the time in lieu of grabbing one out. We bought filtered water bottles and took them along when we left the house. We started grabbing a frozen pizza for our Friday nights, and only ordered out once a month- and we usually would just drive and get it. We even made sure to include a little monthly family fun money, and we each had a column to cover a little extra fun- that was tracked to the cent.

Fast forward 2 years later and we’re in 2019.

We’ve managed to financially get by while the boy took time to work on a (failed) project. There wasn’t a paycheck or funding, which made things difficult. Kiddo had an expensive dance and medical year, and we had a minor medical scare with my little old man. We got through it, a little easier, because we budget.

So 2019- what are our plans? Do we have any financial goals? Of course we do. We’re paying off my car. That means doubling and tripling up payments whenever we can throughout the year- once all the monthly bills are paid and the spreadsheet says it’s ok!

It’s become a bit of a game for me. I’m excited to see how fast we will get my SUV to PIF status. My guess is it will take to the end of 2019, as planned- with no foreseen surprises. Josh thinks we’ll do it a bit sooner than that. Either way, we’re all on board to make it happen.

Getting on a budget can be difficult and overwhelming at first. While we’re growing up as children, we rarely think about money and its value. As we enter adulthood, many of us make financial mistakes, get in over our head and are trying to figure out HOW to afford to live. Everyone is trying to keep up with each other. Then as we are actual “grown ups”, we have more added responsibilities as home owners and parents.

All of this growing up time, we really don’t have a good idea about how to treat our money, how to make it work for us in the best way possible. We get sidetracked and bamboozled by the things we think we want or need.

We get off track.

Getting back on track takes focus. It takes the desire. It means taking a good hard look at yourself, your lifestyle and your money.

I tend to treat the dolla dolla billz like our personal little money soldiers in the war of our personal finances. After some soul searching and a kickass spreadsheet or two, I’m feeling super confident and happy about the B word.

It looks good on me! 🙂

If you’re interested in my awesome spreadsheet LMK in the comments below. I’ve already shared it out to a friend or two and have helped them to get back on track.