Summer is officially here, which means it’s time to start on my SMART goal of writing a post every 3 days. Truth be told, I originally intended for “write at least every 3 days this summer” to define summer as “summer break for me, a teacher.” But sometimes dreams don’t come true, and all for good reason. I rocked a trip to the Dominican Republic in that first week, returned home to jump into house hunting and starting a business. If you’ve applied the reading skills your 7th grade teacher should’ve taught ya, then you looked at the title and suddenly nothing makes sense. It doesn’t seem like getting real about money would have anything to do with either those activities. Stay tuned!
I’ve decided to get really real about money. With myself. With my friends and family. And with y’all.
I know it’s not popular to talk to people you actually know about money. If you’re like me, you pin a crap ton of “frugal tips” on Pinterest, and you don’t even bother posting those to a secret board. It may come labeled as so many different seemingly non-money-related posts. Maybe you say “25 meals for under $100” or “How to be a Couponer.” We can paraphrase it any way we want, but we’re all wanting to save money.
Duh. Seems so simple. But then we don’t ever actually want anyone to know we’re strapped for cash, on a budget, trying to save, or even just plain looking at opportunity costs. Let me give you an example: Your friend asks you to dinner. You don’t want to go because you don’t want to spend money for any of the aforementioned reasons. Yet, do you simply say, “Eh, I’m trying to watch my spending. Two nights out to dinner, and that’s my phone bill!” Hardly ever. I’ve had many a dinner date, never been turned down nor have I ever turned anyone down citing money as the number one reason.
I am in no way, shape, or form dissing dinner. I love dinner. Seriously. I love food. I love restaurants. I especially love my friends. I say this merely illustrate the mismatch in our attitude towards money. We want to save, we want to be super responsible. At the heart of it all, good intentions shine through. We just don’t want our frugality to interrupt our lives. And we certainly don’t anyone to like us any less with only money to blame.
Just like anything, it’s all about finding balance.
So, why’d I go to the Dominican Republic? I booked this trip way before we committed to the frugal life, but I would’ve done it no other way. Just my dear friend and I went on this trip. And maybe one of these days I will write about what a wondrous place Paradisus is, but in staying faithful to the topic, I would like to say that this vacation very much stayed in the frugal category: all- inclusive, entertaining resort, and nothing but pure relaxation.
How did I start a business? I know you’re probably picturing me in the thick of construction with some grand entrepreneurial idea that I’ve sunk a lot of money into. Not at all. I don’t have the guts for it, plain and simple. I joined ItWorks as a distributor. No, it’s not the blood sweat and tears you put into building business from the floor up (I’ve seen my husband do that a time or two. Not for the faint of heart.), but it still takes work. I’ve had a lot of fun doing so, and I’m already seeing how it can change a life. I hope this will bring in a nice little extra income as it grows. More on that later. If you’re curious though, check out my site here.
Why am I buying a house? I know that seems like the least productive measure when you’re pinching those pennies, but for us it can be a major monthly savings and one that reaps a lot of rewards with longevity and perseverance. We are currently paying way too much for our rental. It was the most practical option as we moved into a new territory last year, but we’re settled in this little city, and more aware of what our options are. We found a little foreclosure that is going to save us about $800 a month. Maybe more…Lord, I hope for more! We thought about this option for a long time. We already own an investment property (our first home, which we’d still live in if not for this major move), but the two homes combined are still less than what the average cost of a home is.
Sometimes money can feel too personal to talk about, and I am of the school of thought that it’s impolite in mixed company. I don’t plan on ever disclosing how much we make, how much is in our bank account, etc. That’s plain rude and makes people uncomfortable. However, I do want to give you Help that Hopes! No matter what your lot in life is, we should all have some personal financial goals!