What is your definition of SUCCESS?

When you think about money, what does success look like to you? What does living the good LIFE look like to you?

For us it was a little something like this – getting out of DEBT, owning our stuff, not owing anyone, having a budget you and your spouse both agree upon, sleeping well at night, removing the tension from your marriage. Knowing how much money you HAVE. These were our aspirations. Once we got clear on where we were and where we wanted to be, we were able to make progress.

Success means different things to different people.

Some people want a rockin’ wardrobe, some people love to eat out, some people want a BIG home, some want a small home. Not one of those is better than the other, it just matters what YOU want. When you get clear on what you want you can start sorting through how to get there.

If you wanted to lose weight, does it make sense to have a burger and fries for dinner 3 times this week? I’m not a nutritionist, nor do I play one on TV, but I will guess the answer is NO. Continue reading “What is your definition of SUCCESS?”

Own Your Budget

Be proud of your budget.

This one I can SPEAK too for sure. When Bill and I got serious about being on a budget it was hard for us. When I say “us”, I mean me. We categorically disagreed on where our money should go and how much we needed for each category. What we agreed on was what we wanted out of our life. Financial peace. Enough to live, give and leave a legacy for our kids.

Budgets have a specific intention of a goal. Here is the definition of budget:

  1. An estimate of income and expenditure for a set period of time.
  2. A quantity of material, typically that which is written or printed.

To me a budget felt suffocating, like scarcity, like a curse. BUT, listen up, we had a funny path to our budget. Bill wanted one and I didn’t. He said I was killing us one trip to Target at a time. Clearly not Target’s fault.

Continue reading “Own Your Budget”

Preparation is the key


Pour a cup of Joe. This is a bit lengthy, but worth the read for one or two nuggets of information.  “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” Alexander Graham Bell said it so it must be true.

Sunday- our day to prepare for the week. That means cleaning, laundry, meals, writing down activities, everything gets organized on this day to make a better – stress free week.

Let’s talk meal planning. YAY! I love meal planning because it is such a tremendous way to manage your money, and for the record, your sanity.

I met a fellow on a flight from Seattle to Atlanta and we, of course, chatted lots. He was coming from some kind of entrepreneurial workshop and heading back to college. We talked about all things “life”. I had my yogurt, fruit, almonds and water bottle. He made note as he was going to have to purchase food on the airplane. Notoriously known for healthy and fresh food selections. I said “Nate”, I think that was his name, it is all about the preparation. We prepare for business meetings, Christmas, vacations, dinner parties, birthday celebrations, you get the point. We can prepare for our meals. It is simple, just to be honest. Is it fun? Maybe not. Does it take time. That is a big YES, but you can decide that for yourself.

Here is what I do to make sure our family stays on budget and when I am crazy from a full day, I can look up at our chalk board of options and choose one for dinner. Done and done.

Continue reading “Preparation is the key”

Be intentional with your life and your money


How do you get the best out of yourself and others? You pour into yourself. You pour into others. Read. Write. Converse. Think. Be in nature. Be present. Meditate. Sounds easy enough. I get that it isn’t. However, we can pay attention to what we are doing and be aware of how we are spending our time and our money.

The numbers are in and they aren’t pretty

According to the A.C. Nielsen Co., the average American watches more than 4 hours of TV each day (or 28 hours/week, or 2 months of nonstop TV-watching per year). In a 65-year life, that person will have spent 9 years glued to the tube.

A study done by Fidelity (click here for the study) reports that more than half (55%) of respondents retirement preparedness either need more attention or are in fair shape, and may face a shortfall covering essential expenses in retirement. WHAT?
Continue reading “Be intentional with your life and your money”

5 Simple Tips For Creating A Budget


Hello, fellow smart money people! We are so glad you are here!!

Bill and I have changed our lives over the last 10 years. We wanted to have freedom in our lives and control over our money. We needed to get things under control. Do you ever feel that way?

We didn’t know it at the time, but we embarked on a financial journey that would change our lives. We began to learn, study, practice and fight our way through to get where we are today. One of the practices we got clear on very quickly that I’d like to talk to you about today is the practice of BUDGETING!! Not a swear word- I swear ~ wink-wink!! Budgeting is telling your money where to go and what to do. It is a simple way of controlling your outcome. I know it may feel like it is hard to do this, I promise it is wonderful to know what you have, where it goes and what you have to spend.

So, think of it as a spending plan vs. a budget. Spending plan sounds like a lot more fun. Let’s begin!! Continue reading “5 Simple Tips For Creating A Budget”