I’m Pregnant!!! Oct. & Nov. F.I.R.E. Update:

Our baby on October 13th, 2022. First ultrasound. 💛

I’m Pregnant! I haven’t posted in awhile because life has been very busy with the holidays, baby prep, appointments, work, etc.

The baby is due April 23rd, 2023, and we think that is the perfect time for us to have a baby. We will have the Spring, Summer, & Fall to adjust to parenthood. These times of year come with nice weather & long sunny days, which will help with the postpartum time greatly. We will be finding out the sex of our baby, but we will not be sharing that with anyone until the baby is born.

I also found out my town received a grant from the state for people who are unemployed or underemployed to go back to school at our local tech college for FREE to get a two year degree now through 2024. So I am glad I did not go for a bachelor’s in Liberal Arts, instead I am going to try out getting another AAS in Software & Web Development. I start classes in January, if I hate it then I will just stop after this semester, which lines up well for when I have my baby so I can have a full maternity leave over the Summer. 🙂 (May-Aug)

As you are reading this, I am 20 weeks pregnant today 🙂 so halfway there! I feel the baby move a ton & so can Brandon, despite me not showing very much. I think this is because I am taller than the average woman and slender. Of course over these next 5 months we will be focusing our money on saving for our parental leave!

Also, we are currently watching the World Cup, The Netherlands vs. USA today. Since I have a lot of Dutch followers, may the best team win! It’s looking like you guys are going to win, bummer for us, but congrats!

We also set up a Health Savings Account finally the other day. Brandon now has his own health insurance plan through his employer since he turned 26 in October.

We have a long trip planned this month & will be taking money out of savings ($800) in a week or two to exchange some USD to Euros for spending money while we’re gone.

Our current financial numbers after the last 2 months:

Current Expenses: $2,400/month

Estimated Expenses After Baby: $3,000/month (additional $600 is for medical, diapers, if we need formula, etc.)

Our Partial Financial Independence Goals:

  • $0 Debt.
  • Brandon works part time at his job.
  • We need $2,000+/month in income, whether that comes from investments, Brandon’s part time job, my blog, etc. it doesn’t matter.

Our Current Numbers as of December 3rd, 2022:

  • Roth IRAs (Betterment -SRI Sustainable): $27,504 and $24,858
  • My small Traditional IRA (From an old 401(k) rollover -Betterment): $1,764
  • Tesla: $572 (gambling -IMO)
  • Bitcoin: $465 (gambling -IMO)
  • Total Invested: $55,163
  • Savings: $7,179
  • HSA: $0
  • Debt: -$113,513 (Mortgage only) -On track to be paid off by end of 2034, will most likely be paid off sooner.
  • Brandon is working full time and I am working about 10 hours/week.

In Summary, over the last two months our investments went up about $6,500, our savings went up by $1,800, our mortgage went down $2,000, and we opened an HSA! So I think that is pretty good!

  • My Financial Planning Workbook!
  • ThriftBooks -I LOVE them as a company & order all of my books from them now! They ship super fast, great service, books always show up as described, super cheap, & good for the planet because they’re second-hand, but you get to choose the quality!
  • BetterHelp -A week of Therapy for FREE!
  • Betterment -Invest your first $5,000 for FREE!
  • Back Market -My referral code: 6888f588d6f85083 -$10 off your order! Refurbished Tech! My sister & I both got “new” phones from there. They’re awesome, great quality, so much cheaper than buying new (by up to 70%), came super fast, was super easy to buy, AND we saved 123 pounds of carbon emissions, each!

September 2022 Financial Update:

September was uneventful really. We just worked and spent time with friends, that’s about it. We also started some of our annual fall traditions such as going to the pumpkin patch, baking cookies, watching Harry Potter, etc.

As for our finances, our investments went down some more, our savings account went up by $1,000, and our mortgage went down by about $700. So overall, good. We care most about becoming debt free & building our savings account again for now.

We do have some medical & dental bills for Brandon & I, but it’s not a huge amount and we’re not worried about paying them off because there is obviously no interest and we would rather build up our savings again.

Our Partial Financial Independence Goals:

  • $0 Debt.
  • Brandon works part time at his job.
  • We need $2,000+/month in income, whether that comes from investments, Brandon’s part time job, my blog, etc. it doesn’t matter.

Our Current Numbers as of September 30th, 2022:

  • Roth IRAs (Betterment -SRI Sustainable): $23,841 and $21,797
  • My small Traditional IRA (From an old 401(k) rollover -Betterment): $1,560
  • Tesla: $784 (gambling -IMO)
  • Bitcoin: $534 (gambling -IMO)
  • Total Invested: $48,542
  • Savings: $5,321
  • Debt: -$115,572 (Mortgage only) -On track to be paid off by end of 2034, will most likely be paid off sooner.
  • Brandon is working full time and I am working about 20 hours/week.
  • My Financial Planning Workbook!
  • ThriftBooks -I LOVE them as a company & order all of my books from them now! They ship super fast, great service, books always show up as described, super cheap, & good for the planet because they’re second-hand, but you get to choose the quality!
  • BetterHelp -A week of Therapy for FREE!
  • Betterment -Invest your first $5,000 for FREE!
  • Back Market -My referral code: 6888f588d6f85083 -$10 off your order! Refurbished Tech! My sister & I both got “new” phones from there. They’re awesome, great quality, so much cheaper than buying new (by up to 70%), came super fast, was super easy to buy, AND we saved 123 pounds of carbon emissions, each!

August 2022 Financial Update:

My Birthday cake my friend made me 🥺💛

August is always a crazy month for us because my birthday, our anniversary, and other family & friends have birthdays in August.

This month was extra hard though, particularly the week of my birthday. I got Covid for the first time and it hit me really bad right when my friend was staying with us after not seeing her for over 3 years. It was rough. I had every Covid symptom, a terrible cough, sore throat, aches, fatigue, fever, loss of smell & taste, just terrible. I think it was the sickest I’ve ever been. I can see how people who smoke or are elderly can die from it. As I’m writing this, I STILL have a cough left over. Also my mom’s household had to put down their dog and my other close friend’s cat died unexpectedly young. There were some other major challenging things that happened, but I’m not comfortable sharing those things with the internet. Overall, the week of my birthday was one of the hardest weeks of my entire life so far. Not all bad, but difficult.

As for our finances, I’ve started making more money this month, and the week after my birthday I’ve finally found a great work routine to maximize my income in the smallest amount of hours! I basically just work the lunch rush Monday-Friday delivery driving; Roughly 9:45am-1:30pm, and then at the farmer’s market on Saturday mornings. It’s going great! My new income is going to be around $2,000/month even though I only work about 20 hours a week.

As always, as a home owner, another unexpected home expense came up! Who would’ve thought??? Our kitchen sink got clogged and it was way down in there deep so it’s costing us $210. We tried to fix it ourselves (by ourselves, I mean Brandon) and it was just too deep, our snake wasn’t long enough and Draino didn’t work.

And as someone in the U.S. we of course have medical bills!! Yay!! *eye roll* We owe about $400 in random medical bills over all now. There is a delay in when we receive services, then receive the bill. We just got these bills in the mail so will probably pay them in September.

Our main financial goal right now is to beef up our savings account & future HSA until the balance between the two is $20,000.

Our Partial Financial Independence Goals:

  • $0 Debt.
  • Brandon works part time at his job.
  • We need $2,000+/month in income, whether that comes from investments, Brandon’s part time job, my blog, etc. it doesn’t matter.

Our Current Numbers as of August 30th, 2022:

  • Roth IRAs (Betterment -SRI Sustainable): $26,507 and $24,075
  • My small Traditional IRA (From an old 401(k) rollover -Betterment): $1,723
  • Tesla: $820 (gambling)
  • Bitcoin: $545 (gambling)
  • Total Invested: $53,670
  • Savings: $4,316
  • Debt: -$116,254 (Mortgage only) -On track to be paid off by end of 2034, will most likely be paid off sooner.
  • Brandon is working 38 hours/week and I am working 15-20 hours/week.

As many of you know, the stock market didn’t do well in August, again, I expected this. It will come back someday & continue its steady growth. At least our savings account balance went up a decent amount & our mortgage balance went down. That’s mainly what we’re focusing on for now.

Thank you for reading! And hopefully I’ll get back to streaming on Twitch again & writing more, but no promises! Life has been crazy so I’m just doing what I can and have mostly been in survival mode. And the little energy I do have, I put it towards taking care of my self, my basic needs, and caring for my relationships. If I’m lucky, I’ll get some cleaning done, but that’s rare right now.

  • My Financial Planning Workbook!
  • ThriftBooks -I LOVE them as a company & order all of my books from them now! They ship super fast, great service, books always show up as described, super cheap, & good for the planet because they’re second-hand, but you get to choose the quality!
  • BetterHelp -A week of Therapy for FREE!
  • Betterment -Invest your first $5,000 for FREE!
  • Back Market -My referral code: 6888f588d6f85083 -$10 off your order! Refurbished Tech! My sister & I both got “new” phones from there. They’re awesome, great quality, so much cheaper than buying new (by up to 70%), came super fast, was super easy to buy, AND we saved 123 pounds of carbon emissions, each!

July 2022 Financial Update:

In July, we mostly had tons of different appointments, particularly for Brandon’s back, he has a tear. Leo had a teeth cleaning he needed to be put under for, and Brandon had to get multiple fillings. Other than that I have been working part time, doing house projects, and like always, constantly evaluating myself & how I want to live my life.

Oh, I also started Twitch Streaming!!! I want to try it out and so far it’s going well. I talk about home stuff like cleaning & decluttering, but it seems people like when I get philosophical on there too. We’ll see where it goes, if I continue to like it then I’ll keep doing it, if not then I’ll stop or pause. That simple.

We updated our living room a bit this month to slowly make it the Mid-Century Modern Living Room of our dreams. It’s not finished, we want to refinish the floors, get new light fixtures, & a new rug.

The floors always photograph well, but in person, they’re covered in paint splatters, nail holes, and patches are missing stain completely. Also, that is not a real Eames chair, it’s a replica, but we still got a great deal on it! $70 at a garage sale!!

The rug was free from my mom’s garage many months ago. It’s not bad, it just doesn’t go with the room & is too small for the space.

We added a shelf above the TV too.

Next Financial Goals:

  • $20,000 in Savings/potential future HSA
  • Max out Roth IRAs for 2023, by April 2024.
  • Pay off the mortgage

Our Partial Financial Independence Goals:

  • $0 Debt.
  • Brandon works part time at his job.
  • We need $2,000+/month in income, whether that comes from investments, Brandon’s part time job, my blog, etc. it doesn’t matter.

Our Current Numbers as of July 31st, 2022:

  • Roth IRAs (Betterment -SRI Sustainable): $27,556 and $24,976
  • My small Traditional IRA (From an old 401(k) rollover -Betterment): $1,783
  • Tesla: $874 (gambling)
  • Bitcoin: $652 (gambling)
  • Total Invested: $55,841
  • Savings: $3,863
  • Debt: -$116,935 (Mortgage only) -On track to be paid off by end of 2034, will most likely be paid off sooner.
  • Brandon is working 38 hours/week and I am working 10-15 hours/week.

The stock market regained some of it’s losses this month, so that’s nice! I’m still expecting volatility for the next while though, how long, I don’t know.

Approximate F.I. date: August 2034 (12 years) probably earlier, there are too many variables to predict exactly when.

  • My Financial Planning Workbook!
  • ThriftBooks -I LOVE them as a company & order all of my books from them now! They ship super fast, great service, books always show up as described, super cheap, & good for the planet because they’re second-hand, but you get to choose the quality!
  • BetterHelp -A week of Therapy for FREE!
  • Betterment -Invest your first $5,000 for FREE!
  • Back Market -My referral code: 6888f588d6f85083 -$10 off your order! Refurbished Tech! My sister & I both got “new” phones from there. They’re awesome, great quality, so much cheaper than buying new (by up to 70%), came super fast, was super easy to buy, AND we saved 123 pounds of carbon emissions, each!

How to Reach Your Financial Goals Faster:

At the end of this post, I list out all of the ways how we were able to accomplish these financial goals with such low incomes, in such a short amount of time. I suggest reading that list for ideas that you may be able to apply to your finances.

Now that we are half way through the year, and I started my monthly financial updates May of 2020; let’s examine where we were financially July 1st of 2020, July 1st, 2021, & July 1st, 2022 to see if we are actually making any progress. Spoiler alert: we are.

Flash back to July 1st, 2020. Although it’s summer, pools are closed & events are canceled. A new virus called “Covid-19” is out and about & most of us are stuck at home, we are only 3 months in and assume it will be over soon, hmmm…

Our finances were:

  • Total invested: $18,326
  • Total in savings: $11,028
  • Total debt: -$149,879

Then 2021 came, and was much the same as 2020:

  • Total invested: $39,942
  • Total in savings: $10,768
  • Total debt: -$133,257

To be honest, I think the pandemic helped us save a lot of money, pause and do a lot of reflection. We could no longer eat out as much, didn’t need to drive as much, couldn’t travel, etc.

And then most recently: July 1st, 2022:

  • Total invested: $52,521
  • Total in savings: $3,662
  • Total debt: -$117,614

And this is with our investments going down drastically over the last 6 months! At their peak, they were at around $62,000. I took out $12,000 this year from savings to invest, that’s what caused our savings to go down the most.

Overall, our investments grew from $18,326 to $52,521. Our savings went from $11,028 down to $3,662. And our debt went down from almost $150,000 to $117,614! In two years.

32,265 – 7,366 + 34,195 = $59,094 in positive change! That’s $29,547/year going towards investing, saving, & paying off debt 🙂 Basically we live off of one of our incomes & use the other person’s income to accomplish our financial goals, it’s a team effort.

I’m so excited to see where we will be 5, 10, 20 years from now!!! The financial growth will be amazing! The sacrifices & discipline have been worth it 100%.

The sacrifices & changes we made (and you can too):

  • We are very mindful with our purchases and buy very little that is not an actual need. We constantly walk away from things we want and put them back on the shelf. (Other than eating out, we do pick up orders for food all the time) I really minimized my skin & hair care routine, and my wardrobe, and stopped buying items in these areas. THIS IS THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO FOR YOURSELF FINANCIALLY (and mentally tbh), TRY YOUR BEST NOT TO FALL FOR MARKETING & BUYING THINGS YOU DON’T NEED. They will not provide true joy & fulfillment in life, even though you may believe they do because of marketing and the dopamine hit we get after we buy something new, but that feeling fades & the money is gone.
  • We paused all travel, mostly thanks to Covid.
  • The second best thing we did, or it may even be tied for first, for what gave us a major financial boost was: We went down to one car. The older & cheaper of the two cars we had is the one we kept. It’s a 2013 used Honda Civic. This means sometimes I need to get up early to drive Brandon into work so I can have the car later, but honestly it hasn’t been a hassle like we thought it would be. I have a whole blog post about how we sold the other car, for how much, & why. People don’t think about how much a car actually costs, it’s more than the monthly payment, it’s insurance, gas, maintenance, tabs, etc. too.
  • We also buy almost everything that is not a need, second-hand or borrow it from someone.
  • Found ways to make our home far more energy efficient.
  • Refinanced our mortgage in September of 2020 to a 15 year loan with 3.125% interest.
  • Switched insurance providers for our car & home to get a far better deal.
  • Called and lowered our internet speed to save about $20/month and haven’t noticed a difference.

I hope this post helps you jump start your journey to financial independence, or fuel the fire (no pun intended) more, if you’re already well on your way.

Thank you for reading! 💚

-Meghan

  • My Financial Planning Guide!
  • ThriftBooks -I LOVE them as a company & order all of my books from them now! They ship super fast, great service, books always show up as described, super cheap, & good for the planet because they’re second-hand, but you get to choose the quality!
  • BetterHelp -A week of Therapy for FREE!
  • Betterment -Invest your first $5,000 for FREE!
  • Back Market -My referral code: 6888f588d6f85083 -$10 off your order! Refurbished Tech! My sister & I both got “new” phones from there. They’re awesome, great quality, so much cheaper than buying new (by up to 70%), came super fast, was super easy to buy, AND we saved 123 pounds of carbon emissions, each!
  • My business email: themoneyparent@gmail.com

June 2022 Financial Update:

For the United States, June was a wild month politically, about many varying topics. I won’t get into it, but as a young woman who cares about sustainability & freedom, I bet you can guess some of my thoughts. Some choices were a step in the right direction, some majorly stepping backwards.

Personally though, June was another uneventful month. So I’m just going to dive right into our finances! I do want to say that returning to work has been going well!

Brandon had a ton of medical bills and we paid for the fence & some dental work for me, so our savings is now low, but we will slowly grow it again over the coming months/year.

Next Financial Goals:

  • $20,000 in Savings/potential future HSA
  • Pay off the mortgage

Our Partial Financial Independence Goals:

  • $0 Debt.
  • Brandon works part time at his job.
  • We need $2,000+/month in income, whether that comes from investments, Brandon’s part time job, my blog, etc. it doesn’t matter.

Our Current Numbers as of July 1st, 2022:

  • Roth IRAs (Betterment -SRI Sustainable): $26,005 and $23,643
  • My small Traditional IRA (From an old 401(k) rollover -Betterment): $1,651
  • Tesla: $668
  • Bitcoin: $529
  • Total Invested: $52,521
  • Savings: $3,662
  • Debt: -$117,614 (Mortgage only) -On track to be paid off by end of 2034, will most likely be paid off sooner.
  • Brandon is working full time and I am working part time.

I’ll be honest, I personally regret investing in Bitcoin & Tesla, for now. I’m going to hold it though, but as soon as it reaches above what I bought it for, I’m most likely going to sell. As I have said before, I view these two items as gambling, not an investment. I had never really gambled in the stock market before and wanted to try it out, with a small amount of money, it’s definitely not for me. I’ll stick to my index funds, but it’s a good learning experience.

The market over all though has not been doing great for the last 6 months, but I’m not worried, I know it will come back eventually. You don’t lose money until you sell, and I’m sticking to the plan.

That should be it for our finances this month! Basically our savings & investments went down a lot, but we are slowly chipping away at that mortgage and it’s just a matter of time before the market continues its steady climb.

  • My Financial Planning Workbook!
  • ThriftBooks -I LOVE them as a company & order all of my books from them now! They ship super fast, great service, books always show up as described, super cheap, & good for the planet because they’re second-hand, but you get to choose the quality!
  • BetterHelp -A week of Therapy for FREE!
  • Betterment -Invest your first $5,000 for FREE!
  • Back Market -My referral code: 6888f588d6f85083 -$10 off your order! Refurbished Tech! My sister & I both got “new” phones from there. They’re awesome, great quality, so much cheaper than buying new (by up to 70%), came super fast, was super easy to buy, AND we saved 123 pounds of carbon emissions, each!

You’re Creating Problems for Yourself and How to Stop.

“Don’t fix what’s not broken.”

Recently, I’ve caught myself and others, almost looking for problems. It’s kind of comical. We refuse to be content with whatever we have or where we’re at. We only focus on that which we lack or we change our minds to no longer like what we have.

“The main floor is perfect! Now we just need to fix up the basement.”

“If I just made a bit more money…” or “I wish my employer offered better benefits.”

“Once we get new curtains & a rug then the living room will look so much better!”

Now, there may be some truth to these statements, but when will it end? Answer: it doesn’t.

Basically, I’m tired of chasing, and tired of seeing others constantly chasing things too. Nothing will ever be perfect, and you’ll be chasing that false idea until the day you die, wasting time & money. When instead, you can make the best of what you have. Take advantage of the benefits your company does offer or, if it’s really not working for you and you dislike your job, try to find a new one! Start applying! In the words of Jim Rohn, “If you don’t like where you are, move. You are not a tree.”

More often than not, when it comes to the home, people have too much stuff, and rather than buying new stuff, they should declutter and maybe refinish & rearrange what they already have. I guarantee your space will look and feel 100x better without you spending any money on anything new or adding anything to your home. Simply work with what you’ve got.

Will getting new curtains and a rug for my living room majorly change my life for the better? No. Do my curtains and rug still function as intended? Yes. So why waste the money & time actively searching for new, nice ones? Because marketing, social media, other people, etc. make us feel like we need them, like we will feel so much better once we have them. The truth is that it will be exciting for a moment, then we will quickly adjust to our new environment, humans have a knack for adapting to change quickly, then we’ll be wanting something else. Now, if I happen to come across these items that will work perfect for cheap at a garage sale or thrift store, sure, but I’m tired of going out of my way for things I don’t need, I’m talking groceries, shampoo, deodorant, etc.

The same can be said for “figuring out your career”. Almost everyone I know, including many of those who are older workers, in their 50s, have had many “careers” or many jobs they thought they would be at until retirement. Life has other plans, and it’s okay to change your mind. It’s okay to stay at a job where you’re “just” a cashier, or teller, or sandwich maker, or whatever. If your bills are paid, plus some extra money, and you don’t hate or dislike your job, why try to fix what isn’t broken?

I, and many other 20-somethings, feel such great pressure to find the perfect career or the perfect major, when it simply may not exist for us. And even if we do, what is “perfect” for us now may not be 10 years from now and that’s okay.

For example, I’ve realized, I enjoy my current job right now, which is part time delivery driving (hopeing to work up to 30+ hours eventually), I’m even making MORE money per hour on average than I was at my old, higher stress desk job that had a better title. I have flexibility, shorter hours, get to be outside, and have coworkers again that I like. So, if I’m happy, making good money, get some free/cheap food, have flexibility, get half of the money I make in cash right away, like my coworkers, etc. Why am I still trying to fix what isn’t broken? Because the grass always seems greener on the other side. Well, I went to the other side and now I’m back realizing I was already on a green lawn. Why am I still feeling like I should find a more noble pursuit? Because society, businesses/marketing, peers, etc. want us to feel discontent to either join them in their misery (rat race lifestyle) or give them our money.

When in reality, a human’s default state is peace & contentment, things come up that disturb that every now & then, but we return to that state. We think and genuinely believe though, that our default state is unhappy/discontent, and that we need to seek out happiness, joy, fulfillment, when really we just need to be. It is already who we are, once we pause and stop chasing.

While “on the pursuit of happiness” you by default are labeling yourself as unhappy.

This isn’t to say, stop trying to evolve & become a better person or not to help others, no, quite the opposite, that is all we should focus on, rather than climbing the corporate ladder or acquiring more possessions.

What are you chasing?

In what ways are you looking at what’s wrong rather than what’s going right?

Feel free to comment your thoughts or reflect privately! This is a topic I’ve been thinking about a lot recently, and I made realizations that I’m happy with where I’m at currently, and going to stick with this path, until it no longer works for me.

As long as our bills are paid, we are healthy, & enjoy our jobs, what more could you really ask for?

May 2022 Financial Update:

Welcome back to Ease Your Financial Payne!

This month we mainly went to garage sales, gardened/did yardwork, and I started part time work again. Overall, it was a peaceful, chill month.

On to our personal finances for May:

Our savings account did go down because we paid off my medical bill and took some money out in preparation for finally putting up the 1/3 of our fence again. As I am writing this, the construction guys are starting on it today! We already bought all of the materials.

Other than that, it’s nice to be making a bit of money again, but to be honest we are using to pay for things like medical bills, home repairs, & gardening so you will see little change in our numbers for awhile. I’ve been working at our local farmer’s market most Saturdays (7am-12pm) at an Indian food stand with a lovely couple I befriended, I don’t make much, but I enjoy myself, get to spend time outside, and get lots of delicious free food! I also delivery drive part time now 10-15 hours a week. Honestly I made more money per hour during my delivery driving shifts than I did as an HR Manager/Insurance Agent/Office Administrator at my last job LOL and it’s way less stressful and I get to run around outside. My first driving shift I averaged $27/hr. My next shift I was just Emergency Driver, meaning I only go out a couple times if needed and I still averaged $18/hr, and finally my other driving shift I averaged $25/hr. So people can laugh that I’m delivery driving again, but I’m making better money than I was and have way more freedom & flexibility so that I can use my mental and creative energy on my business!

Our financial plan for this year:

  • Pay off Brandon’s medical bill (we still haven’t been sent it yet)
  • Pay the guys for the fence once they’re done
  • Pay to get my bottom teeth straightened again
  • Fix the broken window
  • Build up savings account again (to $18,000)
  • Max out HSA contributions (if we have one) -If so, we don’t need as much in savings.
  • Put all of our extra income, after our needs are covered, on the Mortgage. (If we get to this step this year.)

Our Partial Financial Independence Goals:

  • DEBT FREE
  • Brandon works part time at his job.
  • I am self-employed. I can choose how much or how little I want to work & when.
  • We need $2,000+/month in income, whether that comes from investments, Brandon’s part time job, my classes, my workbook, etc. it doesn’t matter.

Our Current Numbers as of April 30th, 2022:

  • Roth IRAs (Betterment -SRI Sustainable): $27,956 and $25,327
  • My small Traditional IRA (From an old 401(k) rollover -Betterment): $1,668
  • Tesla: $765
  • AYRO (Free Crypto from signing up with Robinhood): $1.05
  • Bitcoin: $869
  • Total Invested: $56,586.05 (Investments are still down a bit)
  • Savings: $4,307
  • Debt: -$118,292 (Mortgage only) -On track to be paid off by end of 2034.
  • Just Brandon is working full time.
  • I am working part time.

(To me, investing in Tesla and Crypto is gambling, that’s why I only put in a small amount.)

  • My Financial Planning Guide!
  • ThriftBooks -I LOVE them as a company & order all of my books from them now! They ship super fast, great service, books always show up as described, super cheap, & good for the planet because they’re second-hand, but you get to choose the quality!
  • BetterHelp -A week of Therapy for FREE!
  • Betterment -Invest your first $5,000 for FREE!
  • Back Market -My referral code: 6888f588d6f85083 -$10 off your order! Refurbished Tech! My sister & I both got “new” phones from there. They’re awesome, great quality, so much cheaper than buying new (by up to 70%), came super fast, was super easy to buy, AND we saved 123 pounds of carbon emissions, each!
  • Instagram
  • TikTok
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Think No Evil

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We all know the saying: “see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil”. Well I think a 4th or an alternative option needs to be added: Think no evil. By evil, I mean negative, and by thoughts, I mean about everything, not just about others. That includes you, your goals, life, etc.

You cannot speak evil (negatively) without having thought of evil (negatively) first, and you cannot always control what you hear and see. Although we have more control over what we hear and see than we believe we do.

This is why I believe “Think no evil” is an even better place to start. It’s nearly impossible to not think of negative thoughts, but being aware and catching yourself when you do, is a huge first step. Then you can slowly guide your mind away from those thoughts by using logic and empathy, and eventually, you’ll find yourself thinking negative thoughts far less and speaking negatively far less, and enjoying life more. Our thoughts become our reality. What we focus on and think about is what we will find more of in our life.

I am challenging myself, and you, to “think no evil”. Life is often far worse in our own minds than in reality. We jump to the worst-case scenarios, which causes us to lose sleep, and be distracted & irritable, even if what we’re thinking about isn’t actually happening or has a very low probability of happening.

Stop paying for “debts” that probably won’t happen, and aren’t actually happening right now. Look at the real facts. Even accept the worst-case scenario outcome and figure out what you can choose to do if that worst case scenario occurs. You’ll find there are many solutions and that the “worst-case scenario” actually isn’t as bad as you thought.

This post was greatly inspired by How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie. I know this book has changed millions of lives, and will continue to change millions more.

I highly recommend everyone reads this book. It is proof our mindset is everything. It even controls our physical health, the vast majority of the time. If you want to live a long, healthy, peaceful life. Listen to this post and book and apply these principles to your life.

Thank you for reading!

P. S. Since starting to read this book about a month ago, I’ve actually felt content with my life for the first time since about 12 years old. When “bad” things happen, they don’t really feel as bad and I get over them faster. I genuinely feel more at peace and have been living in the moment rather than obsessing over what the future may bring, which we all know is nearly impossible to predict.

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Do Better, Not Your Best.

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It is impossible for someone to be their “best” all of the time. Doing your best is often associated with perfection too.

The goal should never be perfection, but to be a slightly better version of yourself than you were the day before. Thats it. Even if all you did was a therapy session to be a better person for yourself and others, or study a language for 15 minutes, or smoke one less cigarette, or go for a 15 minute walk. Slowly become a better you through tiny actions each day. There may be days that you need to help and support others instead, such as a sick spouse or a child. Helping other beings is one of the most important things on this planet.

Through making yourself a better person each day, you are making the world a better place each day. We are all interconnected.
This is your permission to stop setting the bar so high. If you have an area or two you want to really work on in your life, do something small each day to get better, not perfect and not your absolute best.

Perfection is an absurd goal that will never be reached. Perfection promotes procrastination and insecurity in people. As long as you can look back on the week you’ve had and can say you’ve learned & grown as a person and have made progress, that’s a major success. The small daily actions you take have the largest impact on your life and, ultimately, are your life. What you choose to do everyday is your life.

So, how do you want to live your daily life?

What areas do you want to do better in? How are you going to do better? And why are you going to do better?

Please throw perfection and being your best out the window, and just do better today. Something is better than nothing.

Thank you for reading!

-Meghan

  • My Financial Planning Guide!
  • ThriftBooks -I LOVE them as a company & order all of my books from them now! They ship super fast, great service, books always show up as described, super cheap, & good for the planet because they’re second-hand, but you get to choose the quality!
  • BetterHelp -A week of Therapy for FREE!
  • Betterment -Invest your first $5,000 for FREE!
  • Back Market -My referral code: 6888f588d6f85083 -$10 off your order! Refurbished Tech! My sister & I both got “new” phones from there. They’re awesome, great quality, so much cheaper than buying new (by up to 70%), came super fast, was super easy to buy, AND we saved 123 pounds of carbon emissions, each!
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