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This too, shall pass.

Holy cow...at 9 months pregnant just moving around had gotten to be laborious. The added weight from the baby, the constant pulling on my muscles and tendons never mind the inability to bend over because of the watermelon that’s blocking the way...

I just felt weighed down, not my normal self. Not to say I was a tremendously athletic person prior to this pregnancy but at least I could go for a few miles on a walk or a hike, throughout the course of this pregnancy it became harder and harder to get around and just plain be comfortable.

I felt very similarly when I was up to my eyeballs in debt, single mom, working 4 jobs to make ends meet. I felt like each footstep was like trying to walk through wet concrete, each step getting heavier and harder to make.

When we feel weighed down things start looking bleaker and bleaker. We can even stop looking for the light at the end of the tunnel because well, maybe it just isn’t there.

A few years ago, Tom Hanks was doing a round table conversation with a few other actors, and I only caught a part of it but what he said was to the extent of, this too shall pass. Having a bad day? This too shall pass. Having a great day? This too shall pass.

 This stuck with me so well because he wasn’t only talking about the bad days, he was talking about the cycle of life. When good things happen, we want to stay there forever but life goes on and we must go with it, same with bad days. They won’t last forever, as hard as it may be sometimes, we need to take those next steps and keep trudging through because this too shall pass.

Day to day activities can be so much harder when you are worried about keeping the lights on or wondering if you’re going to have enough to cover rent and groceries and trust me, hearing (or reading) someone saying “this too shall pass” probably goes over as well as a kidney stone. The point is, after having been through one of the worst times of my life living through that struggle I’ve learned a lot.

No, the anxiety and fear don’t go away overnight, but each day you push through is a new day. You have the opportunity to set new goals, make new dreams come true.

This too, shall pass.

#thistooshallpass #weigheddown #debt #fellingdefeated#tomhanks #HOPE #HOPEcoach #OperationHOPE #civilrights #SilverRights#FinancialLiteracy #financialfreedom #credit #savings #debt #debtfree#smartgoals

The New Beginnings of Spring

Spring is one of my favorite times of year, the cold creeps away, the ice and snow melt and as the sun stays with us longer the trees and flowers start to awaken.

It’s the time of year that everything comes alive again with a fresh start.

My other favorite time of year is fall, when the leaves turn red, orange, and brown and fall from the trees. As the Spring brings things back to life, the Fall shows the beauty and power of letting go and resting.

Do I think everyone is as sentimental as me about the seasons? Of course not, but I do think if you take a step back, they are great reflections of our own seasons in life.

There are times when we stretch, breathe new air and grow and times we need to slow down, let go, rest and recharge.

Spring is a time for new beginnings, setting new goals, and committing to growth and change.

What are you ready to commit to this spring?

#Spring2024 #newbeginnings #HOPE #HOPEcoach #operationHOPE#silverrights #financialliteracy #financialfreedom #1865project#financialopportunityforall #economicopportunity

Is convenience actually convenient?

I have a lot of Dr. appointments. Mainly because I’m almost 9 months pregnant but also because I survived a stroke a little over 2 years ago, so needless to say I drive around the state a lot.

Most times after an appointment I will feel hungry or decide I want to treat myself because let’s face it, all these appointments are stressful. I spend hours in the car week in and week out so the convenience of a drive-through is kind of nice sometimes... until it’s not.

When I started working from home full time, I realized I had been spending way too much money on take out even when I packed my lunch because it seemed like there were better options nearby than what I had in my lunchbox.

Now if I stop to grab a coffee or a treat when I get to the window to pay it’s freaking painful. Did you know a single Panera breakfast sandwich costs $7?! I guess I’m behind the times because every time I decide to “treat myself” the financial cost of the treat vs. the actual quality of what I’m getting usually lets me down.

So why do it?

Habit, society, all manner of reasons. I think generationally we’ve been conditioned to find convenience in things because there are so many things draining our time. Travel to and from work, the workday, school/daycare drop off and pick-ups, store runs, cooking, cleaning, and the list just goes on and on.

So, there are drive-throughs everywhere. Stealing our money and most times healthy choices. And frankly, most drive throughs aren’t that quick anymore because they are so commonly used so is it really saving time to grab that coffee or lunch out rather than make it at home?

At this point in my life, I’m starting to realize that eating out, take out, drive throughs are generally not worth it except for a special occasion. While this is just my personal opinion, the fact is eating out can so quickly get so expensive.

Equally, finding the time to cook around a workday, travel and all the other things that pull at our time can be just as difficult so what’s a person to do? Weigh the options and decide what’s best for you and your family.

For us we have found that creating a meal plan for the week helps us stick to our grocery budget, maintain quick and easy to make meals and eliminate eating out to once a month.

What’s worked well for you?

#Budget #mealplanning #mealprepping #practicalpurchases#eatingout #convenience #dinein #financialliteracy #financialfreedom #HOPE#HOPEcoach #SilverRights #healthyhabits

Am I crazy? Maybe

My husband and I did a radical thing this week.

We canceled Netflix, Disney+, Pandora, Kindle and more...

I’ve had the same Netflix account for well over 10 years and I’ve said goodbye.

Am I going to miss watching Netflix sometimes? Absolutely.

Is it necessary to our day to day? Absolutely not.

I’m also going to miss commercial free music and automatically downloading my choice of books whenever I feel like it.

But when we looked at our budget for March, we realized we wanted to make some changes. We don’t watch enough tv to pay for several streaming services, we live in the country and want to start our some gardens, expand our chicken coop and eventually I want to build a barn for the horses and mini donkeys I’ve been dreaming of for years.

What does that have in common with with the streaming services that were canceled? Well, the more we sit in front of screens the less time we are spending building our ideal life. When we realized that what we are currently doing doesn’t match the vision for how we want our life to look we decided to make the changes because short term convenience wasn’t helping our long term goals.

Growing up in the 80’sand 90’s in the country like we did there was lots of exploring, imaginative play, drinking water from the hose, getting dirty making mud pies and catching frogs and when the sun started to go down catching fireflies in mason jars. As time went by with the eruption of technology, we realized we spend more time inside on screens whether it’s our phones, tablets, game systems etc., than we do outside.

So, in addition to cutting our streaming services we started deleting social media apps that we also determined were timewasters.

Now I follow some really, really cool people on LinkedIn. Business people that I look up to and admire and you know what they all have in common? Regular disconnection from their phones. Spending time out in the wilderness with their families. Focusing on their hobbies outside of work hours. Focusing on genuine connection with other people.

They are making time for the things that matter to them personally and in doing so clearing their mind for work so when they are working they are focused and not as easily distracted by the minutia of what’s on TV or social media.

Now, is anyone perfect? Absolutely not. We all have things that distract us and cause us to go down a rabbit hole of wasting time on something meaningless, I think the best thing is the ability to see that for what it is. Realizing we are wasting time on something meaningless or allowing ourselves to be distracted by something that isn’t taking us in the direction of where we want to go.

When we determine where we are and where we want to be going, it’s that much easier to create our next steps on the journey.

#nextsteps #yourjourney #financialfreedom #financialliteracy #radicalchanges#smallchanges #canceledsubscriptions #lifestyle #HOPE #OperationHOPE

The Spender, the saver and the…wait, where did my money go?!

Sound familiar? I’ve been all 3 over the course of my 37 years. It’s humbling to look at the changing economy, the family budget and spending and realize that “Hi, it’s me, I’m the problem it’s me”

I know I know, the lady teaching us about budgeting and saving is a spender?! Yeah, you got me I totally am. However my spending has changed over the years, yes I do love some shopping but I hate clutter so now when new clothes come in, old clothes go out. As soon as the kids outgrow something, we pass it on.

Now I don’t buy things for the sake of a dopamine hit like the majority of my 20’s, I buy things that are genuinely useful or necessary. Should I sometimes wait until the next week’s budget? Sure, I’m not perfect.

I’m also a BIG fan if the Buy Nothing community, have you heard of it? Check out some info here and see if there is a Buy Nothing group in your area.

It’s easy to feel nickel and dimed to death, a couple bucks here and a couple bucks there and then you’re standing there going holy $#*t where did my paycheck go?!

This was me for a long time, I’d get to the end of my paycheck and have a bill due and go…how do I pay that? This made my 20’s really stressful. By the time I was 30 I had a baby, was divorced, working 4 jobs to try and make ends meet, struggling with childcare and generally had no idea which way was up. Little by little things changed for the better with intention. I needed to slow my mind down and realize that running around like a crazy chicken wasn’t going to help anything! I made my money work for me, I changed jobs to focus on one career and in doing so was able to move into an apartment with my son, and our furry entourage (Spaz the dog and Penny the cat.) This was a HUGE step in my life and now I was once again responsible for all the things but this time I was the only one who had income coming in and was in charge of the money going out and my perspective on money changed drastically.

Now fast forward a few years, my husband is the ultimate saver and I like to think we balance each other out pretty well. He is the one who saves for a rainy day and makes sure all of our basic family needs are met on a larger scale while I focus on the day to day smaller scale things.

Money, like everything else in life, is a balancing act. When you bury your head in the sand and pretend nothing is wrong (when you know it is) you end up digging yourself a much larger hole. Owning where you are in your journey is the first place to start, when you own it you can look at it objectively and make conscious choices for your next steps.

Ever heard of SMART goals?

Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely.

This means that your goals are specific, you know how to gauge whether or not they are progressing, are they achievable and relevant to your journey and will they be completed in a timely manner.

Oftentimes we make these big goals also known as BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) with out having the proper steps in place to make sure we get there.

Setting big goals isn’t a bad thing as long as you can break it down to smaller baby steps along the way to ensure traction.

Knowing what I know now at 37, I 100% believe you can make changes. Will it be hard? Abso-freaking-lutely. Will it be worth it? Abso-freaking-lutely.

The biggest thing to remember is, you don’t have to go this alone.

#HOPE #HOPEembassador #SilverRights #financialfreedom #debtfreejourney #credit #moneymanagement #defineyourfreedom

Adulting is hard.

I said what I said, I’m not taking it back. And yes, I know it’s been said and made into a million memes but the reality of adulting is just that, reality.

It’s not necessarily what we thought it would be as we were growing up. I know I thought there was going to be a lot more freedom involved, going where I wanted when I wanted, buying whatever I wanted, especially brand name everything.

Let’s all laugh together.

Now I know that freedom has a much different meaning than what I assumed it meant as a child. As a child I thought it meant I wouldn’t have restrictions, that I wouldn’t have rules to follow.

Now as a working parent freedom means something totally different, freedom means not owing every dollar that comes to me to someone else. Freedom means weekends away or time to spend with our families. Freedom means not being stressed and constantly having work and money on my mind.

Freedom in it’s entirety is something that I’m still trying to fully define.  What I do know is that I want better and not just for my kids but for myself. It wasn’t that long ago that I was working a job with a great salary and great perks but I felt unfulfilled. I knew exactly what I wanted to do that would fill my cup but I didn’t know how to do it. I felt stuck. It wasn’t that I disliked my job or my situation it was just that it wasn’t what I wanted to do on a permanent level.

After a few years of having some really traumatic health problems I was so excited to get back into the workforce I hadn’t looked past the paycheck because quite frankly for a while there I wasn’t sure about the future. I wasn’t sure that my health was going to be there to make sure I grew old with my husband and watched my kids go through school and find their way in the world.

Gradually I started to look towards the future and noticed that my present didn’t match what I wanted my future to look like. I want to use these traumatic things that I’ve lived to create a way for me to share my story, to let others know they aren’t alone. Money problems, spousal problems, becoming a parent in a toxic relationship, fleeing toxic relationship, health trauma, whatever it is that is holding you back from your future I want to help you with.

We don’t ever truly know the stories of those around us, we only know what they choose to share with us. I’m choosing to share mine with you. When I was getting divorced talking to others who had been through it helped me relate and process what I was dealing with. When I had a stroke 18hours postpartum talking with other stroke survivors and mothers who had a near miss during delivery/postpartum helped me process what I’d been through. When I was flat broke, beyond broke running in the red frantically working and trying to make ends meet, being surrounded by people who have made financial mistakes, learned from them and where now thriving showed me that I could do it.

There are always those who are ready to lend a helping hand to pull you up, let me be the helping hand to pull you up.

When it comes to your financial journey, you will need to  define what freedom means to you, I’ll help you map out where you are and how to guide your next steps.

Each journey starts one small step at a time, you’ve got this.

#HOPE #HOPEembassador #SilverRights #financialfreedom #debtfreejourney #credit #moneymanagement #defineyourfreedom

There is always Hope

Hope can seem far away when everything is loud.

When your brain is screaming at you to be doing more or doing “more important” tasks, other tasks are blinding you reminding you that they need doing also.

When things are so loud and bright you can’t think straight, Hope seems so far away.

I have to remind myself in the moment that the situation is temporary. I won’t feel like this forever.

Unfortunately most of the noise and distractions are self made by stress, fear and anxiety.

If you can find a quiet place, write down the 3things that are stressing you out the most and prioritize them by timeframe, actual urgency and how long it will take to complete them.

Most times when you take a step back and reanalyze the stressful situation or ask for help from a partner, friend or family member you’ll find that maybe the situation isn’t as scary as it had initially seemed. Our fight or flight sequence gets triggered and that’s when the stress kicks in. Once we’ve given that a chance to pass and taken small steps towards righting the situation it feels more breathable.

Don’t forget, it may seem far away but there will always be Hope.

#HOPE #HOPEembassador #SilverRights #financialfreedom #debtfreejourney #credit #moneymanagement

Financial Literacy = Financial Security

If you're like me, a fellow procrastinator, it could take days - weeks - months to do a simple project that more than likely wouldn't take too long but we just don't feel like starting it.

My budget was no exception.

In my adult life when it comes to money I have avoided the truth, spent money I don't have, wracked up debt and cried and cried because I didn't know how to fix it.

It takes time looking in the mirror to realize that both the problem and the solution lie within.

I've spent years working on creating new habits, falling back into old habits, realizing my mistakes and starting again and you can too.

When you start over you're not starting from scratch, you're starting over with experience.

Over the years I've also found that I need to rely on my village and not just my friends and family. When it came to finding my dream job, I hired a career coach. When I needed help getting through a tough time I hired a therapist, when I couldn't keep up with the housework I hired a house cleaner.

Our finances are arguably one of the most important aspects of our day to day and we rely on our income for housing, childcare, food etc.

If you or someone you know may be struggling with balancing everything, I'm here to be a part of their village.

Coaching has no cost, is judgement free and provides resources to everyone along their specific journey.

#HOPE #HOPEembassador #SilverRights #financialfreedom #debtfreejourney #credit #moneymanagement

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