My 2020 Vision

When you stop and reflect..only to realize you went through the all the previous decades you’ve been in existence without goals, you decide to make up for lost time by going BIG.  Not that I have ever really gone small at anything ever, but it’s different.  Something about this year reminds me that whatever I think, whatever I envision, and whatever I write down is mine.  I don’t have that “one day” or “maybe next year” or “I wish” or “must be nice” mentality any more.  I know who I am and what I am capable of and create the shit out of some positive energy.  I am not locked and loaded with excuses that “I don’t have time” or I can’t afford it” either.  I know that I have time for the things that I make time for and I am in control of my money and tell it where to go.

Last year was just a tiny taste, a sip of what my life can really be like and I’m back for more.  I have decided that this will be the BEST DECADE EVER!!  I came up with my goals back in December, but since I’m an ever-evolving person..lol..I wanted to give them a few weeks to simmer before I put them out into the world.  I am now ready to share, and I have decided that 20 goals for 2020 is only appropriate.  My list is below and you know the drill..ask me questions and would love to hear your 2020 goals!!

20 SMART GOALS FOR 2020

  1. Get tenants placed in Indy Beauty by 3/1 and cash out refi by 6/20
  2. Use Self Directed IRA to put 25% down on a multi-family by 9/1
  3. Take childless trips to both the beach and the mountains by 11/1 and let the kids plan spring break trip location and agenda
  4. Hike our first mountain
  5. Obtain my real estate license or shadow and do my first wholesale deal by 12/15
  6. Build-up/Maintain 6 months liquid reserves for all rentals owned by 12/1
  7. Set up LLC by 3/1
  8. Acquire next BRRRR deal by 6/1 to be ready to close by 6/21 (or earlier if the deal finds me..lol)
  9. Have private money lending capital self-funded at 10% of goal to be our own bank by 11/1
  10. Max out family HSA contributions by 12/15
  11. Read 25 books this year
  12. Once I hit 10k followers, give away $1,000 to help someone else towards their financial goals
  13. Coach 2-3 people to become debt free and/or get started in real estate by 7/1
  14. Start researching markets for out of state investments to start 2021 off with a bang
  15. Work towards dinner at the table Mon-Thur (on activity free nights) and at least 1 hour screen free family time Fri-Sun
  16. Expand my meditation practice from 15 minutes up to 1 hour
  17. Learn 3 new skills/hobbies, enough to be dangerous..lol
  18. Cashflow new carpet and exterior paint for primary residence
  19. Analyze food budget and meal prep to find areas to improve health and decrease costs
  20. No Spend Year again!!! (clothes, shoes, accessories, purses, makeup, haircuts/dye)

 

 

Fighting the urge to splurge in 2020 with another No Spend Year

Because I mean..what’s better than a full damn year of doing a No Spend?! I can’t think of anything except for doing it for a second year in a row!!

Yes you read that right..another No Spend Year for 2020!! If you’ve been busy shopping at the latest BOGO sale or living that AmazonPrime “what’s in this new box” lifestyle, then you may have missed my multiple posts about not buying certain things for all of 2019, along with my updates and all the ups and downs of the journey. I encourage you to look back at my previous No Spend posts to catch up, but I will also summarize here.

I banned buying any of the following items for all of 2019:

Clothes, shoes, accessories, purses, makeup, haircuts/dye/waxing (undergarments and socks can be replaced as needed). I think I added household decor items to my banned list, but I hate throw pillows anyway, so I don’t really need to ban them..lol.

I DID fail and buy a pair of sunglasses, along with a new nail polish, so I wasn’t 100% successful, but I have come a LONG way from who I was before my No Spend Year. I will take the under $15 total for the year versus the $3,000-$4,000 total I was likely spending before per year. It’s also changing my lifetime expenses, which the average woman now spends around half a million dollars in their lifetime on vanity items. 😳 (more to come in a future post on this topic)

I have to say, I was certain I would die when I started this. Well, if you haven’t picked up on it from the fact I’m writing this..I actually did not die. I in fact LIVED..lived like I never have before..completely free of others opinions about my same old clothes, about my hair showing grey or being “slightly” uneven from cutting it myself, or showing my makeup free wrinkly face for a year straight. Damn that shit was freeing and turns out most people didn’t even care or notice the clothes or makeup free face, or at least they didn’t say anything. Now the hair, people had very strong opinions either supporting me and saying they do their own hair also, or telling me to leave it to the professionals. Overall, it wasn’t as drastic of a change for me to ban these items as I anticipated.

I really haven’t lost anything except for the weight of worrying what others might think..and turns out I really don’t give a shit, which honestly surprised me a little (keeping it real..after 35 years of caring to some extent about impressing others, it’s been a big change). What I gained was a LOT..more money in my account, more time since I am no longer shopping or putting makeup on every morning, and a lot of inner reflection on my values and getting comfortable in my own skin. I can truly say that I have never felt prettier or happier with who I am and what I look like, inside and out.

I encourage everyone to try a No Spend, even if it’s for one day or week or even a month. If you can commit for a year, I promise it will change you as a person. One of the joys of a No Spend is that you get to customize it to fit your life and determine your own banned items list. Also, I have a ton of quick tips that helped me and can help you also. First, stay out of the stores all together and keep emails about deals out of your inbox by hitting that unsubscribe button. Clean out your closet to donate unworn items and organize it so you can easily find the items you do love to wear. Take care of your appearance in other ways..drink more water, eat a healthier diet, exercise, and stop damaging your hair with heat and product and let it dry naturally and embrace whatever your natural appearance is. I fought my wavy brown hair for years trying to straighten it, curl it, make it blonder, etc. and turns out my natural hair is pretty awesome once I stopped damaging it. Find friends to swap clothes with for those times you get bored or have an event and nothing to wear. Find a friend or two to join you and help keep you accountable. Learn to fall in love with yourself and embrace your flaws as perfect imperfections rather than trying to cover them up. Finally, make a goal of what you will do with the money you save and put it towards making a big dream a reality and share your progress.

Now I just need to know..who is ready to join me this year?!

Reflecting on 2019

There will be a whole 365 days in 2019 for us to have set goals, have taken action, worked hard, and to have crushed those goals. Year end is a great time to throw modesty out the door and recognize how great your year was and how awesome you are for all that was accomplished.   If you did the work, then I don’t care who you are, you deserve to celebrate, so go on..brush your shoulders off.

If you instead stayed on the couch all year again, and your biggest accomplishment was only gaining 10 lbs from all the junk you ate while binge watching all the Netflix original series..well then..might be good to reflect on that also.   Still playing the “victim of your situation” game and convincing yourself that you can’t change or grow because “insert your excuse here”.  Did that binge or pity party help you or hurt you?

Not trying to brag below I promise you..just trying to prove that you CAN do big things if you set big goals and are ready to take action and put in the work.   You can and should think differently about life and the pursuit of happiness..question things and don’t just do what everyone else is doing because it’s easy.  Also, I’m sharing some stuff that makes me feel vulnerable and gives a private look into some events in my life over the past year.

If you’re not ready to grow and celebrate success, then please stop reading this and head back to your latest Netflix binge. If you are ready, but not sure where to start, start by grabbing a pen and paper and write down everything you accomplished this year that makes you feel proud to tell others and makes you feel like you have grown as a person.  Then go share it with the world!!

See my list below:  My 2019 Accomplishments

  1. Started MySemiBasicLife.com blog and InstaGram account
  2. Grew organically from 150 followers to 1250 followers
  3. Helped teaching my youngest to read and my oldest to read and rehearse lines for a major part in a play
  4. Bought 1st rental property end of March 2019
  5. Bought 2nd rental property in August 2019
  6. Bought 3rd rental property in December 2019 (this one with a full cosmetic rehab)
  7. Was a guest on not one, but two podcasts, and submitted an idea to one of my favorite podcasts, and got to speak with the producer and provide input on a new series (can’t share any more info..sworn to secrecy..lol)
  8. Became debt free after selling our cars and paying off the remaining of our $165,000 in consumer debt. Nobody to impress now that I’ve changed my value system and if I don’t have the cash for it, then I’m not buying it.
  9. Completed a No Spend Year of no clothes, shoes, accessories, purses, makeup, haircuts/dye. Turns out I don’t give a shit what others think of me after all, and I don’t need makeup or new clothes to try and impress anyone.  “Letting myself go” in the eyes of society by not wearing makeup, rocking my grey hair, and not buying the latest clothing trends feels a lot more like getting comfortable in my own skin.  I’ve never felt prettier on the inside and out then I do right now.  I also learned to cut my own hair..not getting accepted into cosmetology school anytime soon..lol, but I can do it and it’s fun and free.
  10. Joined a real estate mastermind group and joined a local real estate investors group and have networked and made several great connections in the industry
  11. Attempted my first seller finance deal (didn’t work out but was a great learning experience and made some new connections in the process)
  12. Helped land a few really big accounts at work that required a lot of work and were out of my comfort zone
  13. Was matched with a little sister through Big Brothers/Big Sisters and continued to volunteer on the family selection committee for Habitat for Humanity
  14. Survived a lot of loss including losing a good friend to glioblastoma, losing my dog of 17 years, losing a terminal puppy we adopted, a dwarf hamster, and a pet rat. Lastly, there was an advanced stage breast cancer diagnosis for my mom with lots of biopsies, dr visits, chemo rounds, lots of soups/casseroles and will be leading in to surgery/radiation/hormone replacement in 2020.
  15. Started a gratitude journal that I write in every night.
  16. Started a daily morning meditation and manifesting the life I want practice.
  17. After my leg injury finally healed, was back up to running over 5 miles until I got bit by the neighbor’s dog..lol
  18. Stopped two nasty habits that I have battled on/off for years, smoking and drinking.  I still occasionally have a beer or drink, but not like I used to and have been smoke free since 6/1/19!!  I’m now focused on enjoying my current situation more and building a life I don’t need to escape from.  No judgment to my friends that are still doing these things..just doesn’t fit in my life any longer.
  19. I read 45 books this year!!
  20. Experienced 6 figure net worth growth through all of the above focus, hustle and sacrifice

Wow..I DID ALL OF THAT IN ONE YEAR??!!  I did notice that I didn’t have as much of a focus on my marriage or kids this past year, and plan to make sure I am placing more focus on those areas of my life in 2020.  Of all of those accomplishments, I am most proud of the self love and belief that I can do anything..because clearly I can after seeing my list!!  Also, with the belief in myself, I have noticed my risk tolerance is completely different.  I am ready to take on risks instead of turning away from them, because I know I will learn and grow from any mistakes, so bring them on!

Did you write a list of goals at the beginning of 2019 that you can compare your end of 2019 accomplishments to?  If not, no worries, because  I didn’t write any goals out at the beginning of the year either.  2020 marks the beginning of a new decade and new opportunities to start fresh for all of us.  Make it the year you stop saying “someday” and finally replace it with today.

Anyone else brave enough to share their year in review??!!

Check Yo Self

Wake up wake up wake up..it’s the first of the month..so get up get up get up..cash your checks and get up (in just a few days anyways). I feel like it’s a good time to chickety check yo self before you wreck yo self.

I know that January wreaked havoc on my finances with a new furnace, car repair, and a sweet little Frenchie puppy “making us” take her in. 😬🐶

But January was more good towards my goals than anything..started a blog, started reading a great financial freedom book, listened to several podcasts about real estate investing, finally did our living trust, only ate out twice, avoided Target, still honoring my No Spend Year, and paid another good chunk towards our student loan debt. Wow..I DID all of that in the last 30 days?! I didn’t talk about or think about it..I DID IT.

How was your January? Did you keep track of your spending? Do you have any amazing accomplishments to celebrate or defeats to shake off? What goals do you have going into February? I have sticky notes on my fridge to remind me of my next goals. How do you hold yourself accountable?

Closet chaos challenge

I’m giving you homework. That’s right..there IS going to be some work if you are wanting to see any change in your semi basic life. What’s the old saying about the definition of insanity?

But don’t worry, it will only take you 5-10 minutes. Now grab yourself some wine and go open up your closet and just take inventory on how many total items you have and of what? For example, are there 50 pairs of pants, 150 shirts, 35 shoes, 5 old purses? Add it all up..I will wait. Not really, but do this quick challenge and I will share my results soon I promise.

Feel free to share your findings if you want..bonus points for pics! And don’t forget the “chair clothes”

New Year…New..Furnace?!

I slept in gloves last night.  I wrapped up my kids into blanket burritos and hoped I would find them frostbite free this morning.  Were we camping?  Why else would I do these things you ask?  Well, the time was 8:00 p.m. on January f’ing 1st, 2019 when the alien mothership decided to land on our house.  The sounds, the coldness, the anticipation of finally getting chosen for abduction that filled our house on a blistering hot 20 degree night, the first day of the f’ing New Year.  When I noticed no aliens entering the house to take me back for probing, Matt investigated and determined it was actually the furnace.  The 20 year old furnace that nobody was “planning” to go out.  So, of course the earliest we can get our new “super affordable” furnace is tomorrow (air quotes sometimes equal sarcasm in my writing).  Fast forward to 5:07 p.m. on January f’ing 2nd, 2019 and my car decided to join in on the “fun”.  There is now a super awesome message it keeps telling me that blah blah chassis error and blah blah AWD error, so that’s gotta be good news right?

What do the two totally real life stories above make you wonder?  How is she going to pay for that after just coming off the holidays, property taxes, HOA dues, vet bills, etc. etc.?  Well..”she” is wondering the same damn thing right now (huddled next to her fake fireplace with fuzzy gloves on).  If it happened to you, would you be able to cover it?  Yes I’m getting at an emergency fund and yes I’m slightly lecturing you.  I have heard that anywhere from 40-50% of people don’t even have enough saved to cover a $1,000 emergency.  And let’s just say..that won’t even begin to cover “her” problems listed above. 

If you fall into the 40-50% statistic above (I won’t tell anyone), how would you handle life’s emergencies or unplanned expenses that have to be fixed before your burrito babies freeze?  Don’t worry, you can keep them in the burrito for about 48 hours, so you have a few days to get your funds gathered.  But if you only have a piggy bank to steal from one of your burrito babies, then maybe you should make this a focus of yours this January. 

How can you get $1,000 in an account that is liquid?! 

  1. Make it something you don’t have to do and you don’t miss by having your employer automatically put back $100 out of each paycheck into a separate savings account (If you can swing it then it will take just 5 months to get there.  Do more or less depending on your individual situation). 
  2. Sell your junk on FB or out of your garage or wherevs..the kind of junk people want to buy of course, and you would be surprised.  Go look around right now and tell me you can’t scrape together a few hundred bucks from random stuff you’re no longer using? 
  3. Save your tax return instead of “investing” in that new 60″ plasma flatscreen t.v.
  4. Cut expenses or increase income (these seem like no brainers, but could easily be covered by several posts in the future..spoiler alert)
  5. Don’t stop at $1,000!  Once you get it, make sure you celebrate and keep on going.  Most people will tell you that you should be able to cover 3-9 months of expenses with your emergency fund.  It’s your life though, so you decide what works best for you. 

Lastly, please send gloves and blankets our way 😉

Feel inspired by my ocean pics?

So..if you don’t know me personally, there are a few things you need to understand before we get started.  You should also go read the “about me” section where ever that is on here?  Know that I am NOT a professional blogger nor am I even an amateur and I have no clue what I’m doing.  I’m just a lady with a laptop and access to the internets.  I don’t know how many inspiring ocean pictures you will have to look at on my blog because they just keep coming out of the blue (get it?)..out of the blue.  Also, I apparently set up not one but two blogs and I think I deleted the other one but not sure.  Really I am just a regular person with sub par technical skills and a dreamer personality and there are surely more quirks you are either going to love or hate about me as you follow along.  But did I mention I’m funny?   

So, why am I doing this and why are you here reading this right now?  Well, hopefully this will be deemed as a great use of your time and mine and not just “another blog”.  Enough people have said I should share what I have done and currently do, and even if they were lying to me, I finally fell for it and decided to write.  My goal really is to share with you some tips and tricks I have learned, or things I wished I would have done differently when looking back and reflecting.  You see, over the past 10 years, I have been in a constant battle with “Keeping up with the Joneses” and questioning the path that society has led me down.  You know the path and may be on it now or maybe you are one of the ones considered lucky who have already arrived.  

For many, it looks like a college degree and a mound of student loans as you begin your adulting journey, a big wedding that involves a few swans hand sculpted out of ice, feeding 100 or more people fancy food that have never once bought you a meal, ordering 2,370 flowers that will die tomorrow, get back from your honeymoon to your white picket fence around a big house, start filling big house with stuff, fancy cars in that garage, nice designer clothes that go out with the season, insert random financial curve ball like a new car transmission or new a/c unit for your house, or both at once, start buying the biggest and latest electronics, keep eating out multiple times because you are too tired to prep or cook, continuing to acquire things and stuff, insert random financial curve ball like medical bills, more stuff and things, insert expensive ass children here, keep working hard to pay for said stuff and things, start paying for stuff and things for expensive ass children I inserted earlier, they can only have the finest schools and hobbies you know, replace “old” stuff with new stuff and repeat it all over again until you’re 65, not forgetting to put a little back for yourself for retirement and then you die. (not all of us look identical in our path, but I think you get my point).  I know several things mentioned above look similar to me at one point or another on my journey. 

What if I told you that there IS another way?  And anyone is capable of achieving an alternative dream?  You can even customize your dream to work for you.  But wait..there’s more!  My goal is to share a weekly short-ish post with one or two focuses and actions that you can easily take to either improve your financials or minimize your life without feeling overwhelmed. 

With all this new year, new me crap floating around today, I am sure there is more than one person making a financial resolution.  This year, I am going to stop eating out so much, or this year, I am going to pay off my credit card and stop using it, or I’m going to save up for the down payment on that house I’ve been dreaming of.  But didn’t you say that last year also?  Well, my intro has proven to be a long one, but wanted to get you introduced to the hot mess I am and get you thinking about the big picture of what I will be writing.  Please feel free to share any topics you would like covered and share any New Year Resolutions that you may have.  Look for a post from me on what I’m challenging myself with this year. 

Happy New Year and 2019 better be ready for my semi basic life 🙂    

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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