Milestones & Aspirations: Our Goals For 2017

January is all about making goals and getting motivated for an awesome new year.  It represents a chance to start fresh and focus on moving forward, instead of worrying about setbacks from the previous twelve months.  We all have tons of things that we would like to accomplish, but some things belong on a fill-the-bucket list, for some indefinite point in the future.  My plan for 2017 is to set a few specific goals, one for each quarter.  Then, we have a bunch of more-general, aspirational ideas for how to stay true to our top priorities throughout the year.


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New Year’s Reflections: Getting Back To The Why

This past week has brought me back to the beginning of our financial semi-independence journey.  Whereas short-term goals may help keep you focused, I find that the vision of achieving your long-term goals can light a fire.  The full picture may be somewhat unclear from this distance.  However, the confidence that something extraordinary is waiting for you in the future can provide all the motivation and drive you need to get through trying times.


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Financial Review Of 2016: Our Starting Point For A Better Year

Happy New Year everyone!  I hope that all of you made some great memories during the holidays.  2016 was a rough one for a lot people.  The hateful goodbye messages on social media were proof enough of that fact.  We faced many challenges of our own, but survived and came out ahead.  Now that there has been some time for relaxing and the countdown is over, we’re reflecting on our progress and how best to channel the lessons from another year into making the most out of the next one.

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The Price Of Christmas Memories

As we count down the last few days until Christmas, the world around us seems a flurry of holiday activity.  Everyone is finalizing preparations and checking things off their family to-do lists. We’re looking forward to a break from school and work that will start on Friday, but the hustle and bustle of Christmas has been going on for weeks now.  Holiday spending isn’t limited to presents under the tree, but festive activities as well.  Parents are filling every possible moment with holiday cheer for their children.  Instead of feeling guilty for not buying fifty dollar, First Class tickets for the Polar Express, I’ve been thinking about what Christmas memories will actually stay with my kids for years to come.



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Renting vs. Buying: The Pros, Cons, and Costs

Mr. Smith and I lived together in an apartment before we bought a house together.  Our first home is now a rental property.  We’ve gone through a few changes in our housing situation over the years, and will probably need to move again someday in order to accommodate our growing family.  For a long time, home ownership was held up as a milestone on your path to financial independence.  It was expected of most adults to eventually get their own place. However, like the standard path to traditional “success,” the answer isn’t that simple now.  Plenty of people happily live in rented accommodations that fit their housing and financial needs.

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Monday Medley: Just Trying To Do My Best

Sorry about the blog being pretty quiet over the last couple of weeks.  What can I say?  I haven’t been exactly myself lately.  Understandably, there is a lot on my mind, but the fact that twins are on their way is only part of the reason for my sense of being overwhelmed.  Being a married, working mom comes with many pressures and responsibilities.  In addition, there are all of our ambitious plans for the future.  I’ve made some recent mistakes too – not huge ones, but significant enough to cost us some time and/or money.  Money and time, such valuable commodities.  I know that you can’t win all of the time, but it helps when the losses are more scattered.  Anyways, here are some updates on the Smith family’s adventures over the past month or so.


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Frugal and Festive: How To Keep Spending Under Control This Christmas

I love Christmas, but hate how it is always accompanied with messages of “Buy! Buy! Buy!”  The craziness all starts this Friday when the hoards battle to snag “good deals,” whether or not they really need everything piled in their shopping carts.  People seem to have accepted that it’s normal to have big credit card bills in January . . .  that the holiday spirit comes with a big price tag.  I want to tell you that with a bit of planning and creativity, it is possible to save money and still have a very Merry Christmas.



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Is It Financially Irresponsible To Have Another Child – If You’re In Debt?

Personal finance is all about the spending and saving idiosyncrasies that make each of us unique. A lot of people don’t seem to give much thought to their money, earning and then spending their paychecks, over and over again. I think that anyone who has taken the time to really evaluate their priorities and come up with the best way to use their assets to facilitate their dreams, is on the right path. We’re all going to have different plans and goals, but being smart about money goes beyond being frugal or spendy. There is a deeper understanding of the power of conscious spending and saving among most of us in the personal finance community. This knowledge is what gives us the chance to live unique and extraordinary lives.


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It Is Only Money: A Review & Giveaway

This journey to financial semi-independence started with a gradual adjustment of priorities.  I suffered a sort of early, mid-life crisis.  Over a period of at least one year, I did a lot of soul-searching, reading all sorts of things online and spending time reflecting, in my search for a more-meaningful life.  While there are several mental shifts to thank for my new goals and outlook, the new perspective on money was a key factor in changing our trajectory.  I often think about how best to educate others to see their true financial options and try to use this blog to provide as much helpful information as possible.  So, I was super excited to receive a copy of “It Is Only Money” by Cara MacMillan that I can share with one of my lucky readers.



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What Side-Hustlers Do When They Need Help

I posted a few days ago about feeling a bit overwhelmed with work.  It really is my own fault, trying to be a full-time working mom, while side hustling to pay off debt.  However, life will not be like this forever.  We are setting ourselves up for success, so that our investments will require less effort but produce more income over time.  I have a lot of great ideas.  Lately, it’s just been a matter of prioritizing, and certain fires have demanded most of my attention.  I have considered what we would do if any of the side-hustles become really successful.  Where would we go for help?



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