Browsing Tag

goals

Blog and life updates

How FinCon Changed My Life

October 2, 2015
FinCon15, Friends, and Finances

FinCon15, Friends, and Finances

As many of you other wonderful bloggers already know, the financial media conference, FinCon15, took place in Charlotte, VA from September 17-21. I was blessed enough to be able to attend. The conference was incredible, I met incredible people, and I left with a huge fire lit underneath me to get cracking on my freelance writing, as well as my own blog.

My mentor at the conference, Ryan Rhoten, gave me some unbelievable tips and advice for how to create a better brand for myself, take myself seriously, and help others to take me seriously as well.

I know what you’re thinking! That was two weeks ago! Where on earth have you been for the better part of month?

Working my tail off

The (awesome) problem is that I came back with several new clients, and my work load has essentially tripled. I have not had adequate sleep since I got back from the conference, let alone time to do any sort of writing for my own blog (I know, Ryan, I know! I’m working on it, I promise!)

I had mentioned to a new friend from the conference that most of my content creation goes towards onto other websites, and I never seem to have enough time or creative juices left over for my own writing. He summed it up perfectly, “The Cobbler’s children have no shoes.”

It’s a problem that a lot of freelance writers struggle with. I know that I need to find time to write for my own blog, and eventually I will. First I need to find my new groove with all of my new clients though. I know that I will probably not become a three post a week blogger until at least the beginning of next year, but I am completely alright with that.

Bypassing goals and Changing my life

Because of meeting other bloggers and new clients at FinCon, I have surpassed my original goal of earning a steady $500 in freelance writing income. By the end of October, I will come close to double that goal.

This change is absolutely monumental for my family. Not only will I be able to pay off my debt that I incurred to go to FinCon, within the next three months, but I will be able to start the New Year by increasing my family’s income by 25%. Every single penny I earn, as a work at home mom freelance writer, will be going towards paying off our chains of debt. I truly believe that I will be able to reach our main financial goal of becoming completely debt free by the end of 2016.

It’s an amazing feeling to be finally be able to contribute to the family income, pay off debt, and work towards goals in a productive way.

Learning how to get paid to write for blogs, and taking myself seriously enough to go to FinCon to find clients, have monumentally changed my life and the quality of life for my family.

I am so excited to see where I’ll be, both personally and professionally, this time next year.

Have you recently met any personal goals? What are you most excited for as the year draws to a close?

Blog and life updates, Family Finances, Motherhood

Employment Boundaries and Knowing Your Value

September 4, 2015
employment boundaries

Do you believe that money can buy you happiness? To a certain extent I believe that it does. Money certainly makes things easier. I would be more than willing to endure some unpleasant positions to make more money for my family. If someone told me that I could make 3 million dollars by shoveling out manure pits for the next three years, I would definitely do it. Most people probably would.

What if the same person offered you only $30,000 to shovel manure for the next three years? Unless you were homeless, unemployed, and starving the answer would most likely be a resounding NO. That level of physical discomfort just isn’t worth the meager paycheck. Everyone has their employment boundaries. They know when a project is worth the value or not for their time and effort involved.

This past week I learned what limits are and employment boundaries are as a writer. I did something that, three months ago, seemed inconceivable. I turned down a writing client for the first time.

After learning how to get paid to write for blogs, I have been hustling to find new clients, start new projects, and bring in more income for my family so that we can pay off debt. I’m willing to put in the time and the hours writing for free, doing guest posts, or getting paid low compensation to build up my name, my business, and my writing portfolio. Like Mark Twain is remembered for saying, “Write without pay until somebody offers pay.”

Until this week, my motto has been “any money for writing is good money for writing.” After contacting a potential client and writing a sample article, I was seriously low-balled in return for a writing project. I don’t want to get into the details, but let me just say that the time was not going to be worth the effort or the money. Compensation was going to be less than minimum wage. Significantly less. I turned down the client, letting them know that my time is worth more than they were offering, but thanks for the opportunity.

A project like the one in question would have made me crazy, the quality of my work would have been terrible, and my family would have suffered with me working so much…all for pennies. Although I am still a new writer, I know what my value is, and I know what my employment boundaries are.

I am so glad that I was able to say no. I love working from home as a contract writer, because I get to choose which projects I take on, meaning I enjoy my work and I get to be home with my kids.

I enjoy my work as a writer, and I enjoy my work as a mom. Any job that would make me unhappy with both of those positions is a job I have no desire or willingness to take. I know what my goals are as a writer, I know what my employment boundaries are, and I will only take on projects that will help me reach those goals.

What are your employment boundaries? Do you know what your bottom line amount is for the value of your work?

If one advances confidently in the direction

Before you go, here’s a roundup of some of my recent posts around the web:

Careers that Offer Student Loan Forgiveness

3 Fool-Proof Ways to Avoid Buyer’s Remorse While Shopping Online

10 Great Alternative Christmas Gift Ideas

3 Reasons Millennials Should Invest in Dividend Stocks

5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Put Off Your Bucket List until Retirement

Why Paying Off Debt is Like Losing Weight

 

Also check out these great posts by other bloggers

Why You Shouldn’t Let Your Spouse’s Career Hold You Back

10 Ways to Get Yourself Out of a Funky Mood

How to Check the Real Savings on Amazon Gold Box Deals

Life After Debt…Remembering Your “Why”

5 Simple Ways to Get Your Productivity Back

 

Have a great weekend!

Budget, Family Finances, Self Suffiency

Personal Finance Goals for the Future

July 3, 2015
personal finance goals for the future

The past week has not been great for the Muse house. My grandfather passed away last week, which is still really affecting me. Also, our fridge broke down, and we have been fighting with the warranty company to fix it for almost a month now. Now, both of my kids are sick with fevers, congestion, and nasty sounding coughs. Bad things come in threes right? Wrong. Whoever came up with that adage is a schmuck. The sump pump in our basement quit working and excessive water from some bad summer storms flooded everywhere.

With one stressful situation after another, I have been neglecting both this blog and other things that are most important to me…like exercise. I haven’t gone for a run in over a week now. I guess that is a natural side effect of when things go awry, but I am trying to refocus on my goals and become more organized. I have been meaning to write a financial goals post for a few weeks now, but I have been lacking the motivation/energy necessary to get it done. I really felt the need for a pick me up, so I started hashing out ideas to motivate me for the future. The following list represents my biggest personal finance goals for the future.

10 Personal Finance Goals for the Future

  1. Immediately reduce household expenses by $200 a month
  2. Start Roth IRA and 529 accounts for both kids
  3. Earn a steady $500 a month through online writing by December 2015.
  4. Put 10% of all income towards retirement savings
  5. Start saving 10% of all income for a down payment on property
  6. Pay off personal loan debt by April 2016
  7. Eliminate all credit card debt by December 2016
  8. Purchase a property and build a berm home by August 2017
  9. Save $5000 to take a 10 year wedding anniversary vacation to Scotland with my husband (2019)
  10. Have enough money invested to retire by 2027

Looking toward the future

Some of these goals are easier to accomplish than others, but what fun is life without a little bit of a challenge? My biggest dreams for the future involve travel and living in a self-sustaining home. I want to be free of consumer debt, and I want to be able to pursue whatever it is that brings my family joy. My goals will most likely change a bit over time, but this is my motivating list for now. Creating this list of personal finance goals for the future has given me renewed direction, purpose, and focus. Life is too short to dwell on the negatives. You need to just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and look towards the future with hope and a plan.

What are your personal finance goals for the future? Do you have specific dates planned for your goals?