The other day, I asked my followers on Instagram if they wanted a podcast episode with a life update from me. 94% of the people said yes! So that’s what this episode is going to be all about.
I don’t know about you, but I personally love to learn a little bit more about the behind-the-scenes of the people’s lives that I connect with online. I feel like it allows me to see them in a new light and find things that we might actually have in common. And I hope that’s what this episode does for you today.
Let’s start with a little bit of a family update!
Right now this episode’s releasing on August 11, 2022. Summer is coming to an end. This summer has been definitely one for the books and one of my favorites, because I feel like our family really prioritized travel this summer. We ended up doing lots of different trips together.
And then my husband and I even took a trip with just friends. So we started the summer off camping. If you know me, you know that we actually have a pop up camper, which means it is something that fits in our garage and it also has beds, so it’s definitely more like glamping. And we visited my very favorite state park in Texas, Garner State Park. And I love this park the most! Personally because I grew up going there. That’s exactly where my parents would take my brother and I when we were younger. It’s right on the Frio River, which is this cool crystal clear river in Texas Frio river meaning cold in Spanish. And I just have such really great memories there. So I love it not just because it’s a beautiful location. I have no cell service, meaning that I really truly am able to disconnect. I’m not thinking about my business. I’m not looking on social media. But I love it because of the memories that it holds. So one of the things that our family has decided to do — a little bit about me I’m big on traditions — is that every year we will go to Garner State Park. So we went at the very end of summer we actually went over Memorial Day weekend. It was absolutely beautiful. It was hot, but it was wonderful. And I don’t know, something about being out in nature just brings me so much joy!
We also went to Pagosa Springs, Colorado. This was just my husband and I, we went with some friends. In fact, this was not planned super well, because it felt very last minute for us at least. And the reason why it was last minute is because we were actually offered a cabin up in Pagosa Springs on like 32 acres worth of land for free. So basically, my husband’s coworker was gifted a week in this cabin from someone that she’s friends with who owns it and she invited us. So we were able to let our kids have some grandparent time. And we actually went away with another couple and we got to hang out with other people. We went hiking. We went to different restaurants we cooked outside and a wood fire pizza oven from Italy. It was absolutely beautiful, great weather amazing company. We were able to enjoy that. Over the top. It was absolutely what what we needed to have a little bit of a fun friend vacation without the responsibility of children.
Then we had our big massive vacation this summer. It was eight nights long. And that’s when we actually went to Canada. I detailed exactly how we travel hacked that family trip in Episode 62. So go back and listen to episode 62 because we ended up actually travel hacking and we got all of our flights, our car rental and some of our hotel covered for free, which meant that we were able to then use our money to take these amazing excursions which I was really excited about.
I even at the end of every day shared what we did in Canada so if you go to my Instagram profile, I actually have a little highlight bubble that says Canada and nd you can actually see what we did every single day in Canada as a family. It was so wonderful. That was our big, big vacation that cost us the most money.
And the last thing that we really did as a family together is we had our friends come and visit, they stay with us for three nights every summer. Like I said, I’m big on traditions. Every summer they come and visit, they have two children, and we do things like go to the lake or go to the beach. And we just enjoy our time together.
So our summer has definitely, as a family, we have prioritized travel and experiences way more than we ever did in the past.
But when we weren’t doing that, we definitely had to have some sort of routine. So I don’t know about you. But having kids at home in the summertime, it is a beating. I feel like especially here in Texas, when it’s so hot, if you don’t have a swimming pool in your backyard, which we don’t, you really can’t go outside very much of the day. Kids have to play outside in the mornings, otherwise it just becomes unbearable, it’s too hot. Or we’ll go outside at night at like eight o’clock at night. But that in between time, it frees up so much time that my children just want to be on screens, or they just want to be playing on their iPad or watching movies. And it’s so much, it’s it’s too much, it’s too much screen time.
So obviously when we were traveling, that wasn’t an issue. But when we were home, I still needed to be working. I work from home, I’m recording this podcast in my home office right now. And so I still work anywhere in the summertime from 20 to 30 or 20 to 35 hours a week when I’m home. And so I had to still continue working. Now thankfully, my husband’s a teacher, so he was home with the kids. And when he’s home on summer break, I love it so much, because he’s in charge of all of the cooking, and he’s in charge of the kids.
So he made them breakfast every morning, he would take them to the pool, he actually did schoolwork with them. And my oldest son was working on typing lessons on the computer. And then we had a desk or a table full of activities for them to go and choose from. And this helped us try to keep them off screens as much as we can and have some sort of a routine before we go back to school, which is thankfully next week. So that’s our little family update. Just our summer definitely looks a little bit different.
When I when we travel, I do work some remotely. I’ll work probably about 8 to 10 hours a week when we travel, but I really try to try to spend that traveling time just focused on family.
So that’s a little bit of a family life update. Now for my business.
I had a lot of people asked me for information about how I started my business and what my life looks like with my business and what does my day to day look like and why did I leave teaching.
So I started Inspired Budget in 2017 while I was still a full time teacher. I taught fifth grade. At the time, I was teaching fifth grade math, and I was able to quit teaching in 2019. So 2019, in May, I ended the school year and I did not go back to teaching.
Honestly Inspired Budget has been doing really great. I actually have a full time employee, my Director of Operations, Kahlie, she works with Inspired Budget full time, we have our weekly meetings together, sometimes twice a week. And then I even have a customer service specialist that works for me 10 to 15 hours a week. We have a few contractors that we work with. And I’m really happy and I love what I do. I enjoy what I get to do. It fills me with purpose. I feel like I’m not just good at it, but I feel like I’m helping other people, which is really big for me.
So I’m also… I can’t skip this Business Job life update without talking about my book. Oh my goodness. I have been working on a book for the past what feels like forever, but it’s only been about eight months. My book is due, the final manuscript is due on September 31st. Meaning I have to be ready to turn in my book on September 31st And make no changes.
So I am finishing up the writing of my last two chapters right now. It has been very brutal. I don’t enjoy the writing process. So I have actually started dictating my book, which means that I use my microphone and I have my word document open and I speak what I want to type, and then I can go back in and polish it. But it has definitely been a big challenge for me, it has pushed me outside of my comfort zone more than I ever thought I could. And I’m honestly wondering if I have it in me to write another one, maybe I do, maybe I don’t. But I’m definitely looking forward to crossing the finish line, hopefully, fingers crossed, they say that the book should be out early 2023. So I’ll definitely keep you updated on that. It’s been a journey. And I think it’s going to be so good. It’s basically a really good step by step plan for managing your money. But it has a lot of life stories in it that I think help the reader feel seen and connected to me the author, and I hope that maybe you’ll read it one day.
So that’s a little bit of a personal life, and business update. Basically, everything’s going pretty well, I’m so excited for my kids to go back in school because I do have a more, let’s just say I have a have an easier schedule, I have a better routine. I thrive in a routine. I don’t do well, when I when I’m not in my routine.
Oh! One more business thing, I am going to be a Big Idea speaker at Fin Con, which is a financial conference in September, I’m very excited about that. I’ll be on the big stage, speaking to a lot of people. So that’s a very big honor that I’m looking forward to.
What am I currently saving for?
So one of the things that Matt, my husband and I are saving for right now is our summer 2023 vacations. We think about our vacations and when where we want to go a year in advance. And there’s a couple of reasons for that. The first reason is we’re really excited about taking our kids places, we actually have a list of all the places that we want to take our kids to see and travel before they graduate high school, and the list is pretty lengthy. So we need to prioritize it because it’s it’s a long list.
But another reason why we start talking about it in advance is because we like to travel hack as much of the trip as we possibly can. So one of our goals is for the next credit card that my husband will sign up for, for us to earn a sign on bonus, a significant sign on bonus, so that we can combine our points and pay for flights. So right now we are actually planning to go to Hawaii in summer of 2023. We want to hit up two islands in particular. And we’re very excited about doing that. So that’s the first thing that we’re saving for.
The next thing that we’re doing is we’re actually refilling our emergency fund right now. We had a couple of emergencies come up this summer that we were not expecting. Things with our home, things with our car, we got in a little car wreck. So we’ve had some some withdraws from our emergency fund, and I don’t like it when our emergency fund is under a certain amount. So we’re focusing right now also on refilling that.
Of course when I say this, it’s all a balance. We have to balance all of our savings goals. We don’t necessarily focus on just one and reach that. We balance out the money that we’re saving between different savings goals. And then of course one of our savings goals I can’t forget to include is investing. We are investing for retirement. My husband actually looked this summer, and he can retire from teaching in 13 years. 13 years! Which is crazy to me, because I feel like that’s not that long.
He will be receiving a pension for teaching. But it’s not enough to live off of. It’s not enough necessarily for retirement. So we do have to make sure that we’re supplementing retirement in other ways. And so we’re doing that by investing. And I would love to be able to retire early. I know the standard retirement age is 65. I would love to retire at 55, if possible. So we’ll see. That gives me about 20 years to make sure we have everything in place. So we’re definitely prioritizing investing as well, right now.
How do you manage your anxiety?
So if you don’t know I do suffer from anxiety and depression. In fact, I go into detail in Episode 46, about how to manage your money when you do suffer from depression and anxiety. And I share a little bit about what I have to personally do — and I give tips for anyone else who does have depression or anxiety — I give real, actual tangible advice for what you can do with your money so that when depression or anxiety hits, you can focus on your mental health instead of your financial health.
So how do I manage my anxiety? Well, a couple of things. Number one, I’m on antidepressants, which helps with my anxiety. I used to believe especially when I was younger, and I was 14 years old, and I was first diagnosed with like, serious, serious clinical depression. I was, I was suicidal. I used to think that the medicine changed me. I used to think, “No, I don’t want to take that medicine, because it doesn’t make me who I am. I am this person, and the medicines trying to change me.”
And now over time, just human with age and maturity and taking the medicine I realize, hold on, no! The medicine I’m taking allows me to embrace who I fully am. It allows me to be me. And without that medicine, I don’t feel like myself. So I manage my anxiety by taking medicine.
I also have done a lot of therapy. I’ve been in therapy, on and off in therapy since I was 14 years old. And I have been at least going to monthly therapy for the past several years, if not sometimes weekly. So I do have a therapist that I’m able to open up with and work through some of my issues. And really that that does help me with my anxiety.
And I also question my thoughts. So I love Byron Katie’s work if you’re familiar with her, she has a wonderful book called Loving What Is. And so, I really try to practice that, questioning my thoughts.
And one amazing thing about my husband is that he is also a big believer and Byron Katie’s work. And we can have these conversations and he can help me go through and question my thoughts. So when I am feeling anxious, I’m able to say the thoughts, speak what is making me anxious, what I am anxious about? And then I’m able to question it and see is this actually something I should be concerned about? Or is this something that I’m just feeling concerned about? Because my feelings can lie to me. So that has been a huge help when it comes to dealing with my anxiety, probably more than the medicine and the therapy.
But with all three, when I’m doing all three, when I’m taking my medicine, when I’m questioning my thoughts and when I’m going to therapy, I feel like I’m my healthiest self.
How does your business impact your family life?
Owning my own business has definitely been very difficult in terms of impacting my family life. And the thing, the truth, the absolute truth is that it’s changed over time. And it changes during certain seasons. So what I mean is, whenever I first started my business, I worked all the time around the clock, and I neglected family life and neglected friends. And it was just this constant battle of how can I build my business so I can leave my job because I knew it would be worth it. But the process to getting there was really, really hard. So back then it really disrupted and had a negative impact on my family life. My kids were really small. I don’t think that they remember that time, thank goodness. But my husband does. And it was really hard. But now? Now that my business is prospering, it’s doing well, at least, it’s successful in my terms of being successful. By my definition of success, my businesses is successful. I’s easier because I am able to hire help, I have someone who works for me full time, you know, she’s putting anywhere between 30 to 40 hours a week, I do have a customer service specialist, I am able to contract outwork, which means that I can take less off of my plate of the things that don’t bring me joy. And I can focus only on the things that do. And when I’m able to do that I show up as a different business owner and I show up as a different family member. So while I still struggle all the time with separating my business from my family life, that is a struggle partly because I work at home and I I always feel “on” I guess. While I do struggle with separating those, it is a lot easier now than it was four years ago or three years ago. Also, my business has different seasons of busy-ness. So in the summer, it’s a little bit more lenient, it’s more relaxed. We don’t do really any live launches. We don’t have a lot going on, which is wonderful! Because it allows me to travel.
But come December, January, February, it is a very busy, busy season. So I might be working more during that season of the year than I am right now when I’m recording this. So it just depends. Thankfully, my husband is 100% on board. He’s an amazing cheerleader. For me, he actually even edits this podcast for me. And so having him there, understanding that there’s going to be these busy seasons to navigate is incredibly helpful. And it allows me to not feel so guilty.
Another thing that I love is that I know, right now my kids are seeing that mom, a woman, runs a business, they see, “Oh, she’s the founder, she’s the boss. And that that business is successful,” at least in terms of how I view success and how we as a family view success. And they know that I teach people about money. So I think that it impacts them in a positive way to just see women in that light that, hey, it’s okay, number one for mom to earn more money than dad. Number two, it’s okay for women to be the boss and to be in these higher roles. Number three, it’s okay to see people and family members take risks, calculated risks, I guess I should say, and to follow your dreams. So I really hope that they are learning all of those things by seeing it in me and that it does not just impact our family being able to do things, but that it also impacts the way that they see the world and the way that they dream and the way that they maybe see their future spouses or partners or, or any of those things.
Now, I did actually ask my husband before I recorded this episode, How does my business impact our family life? I wanted his take on it. And he said, I think his exact words were it’s great at times. And it’s frustrating at times. And I was like, What are you talking about? And he basically said it’s great at times because I have the flexibility. And he doesn’t have to take a sick day when the kids get sick. I work from home. It does allow us to travel more, there is more flexibility for me. But it’s frustrating at times because I can make it all consuming at times and that’s something I’m definitely working on.
So there you have it a little bit of a life and business update from me. I’d love to hear if we have anything in common whether you’re looking to getting into travel hacking, or you enjoy camping or you wish you could work at home or you do work at home, or whatever it is, I’d love to hear if we have something in common!
You can let me know by sending me a message on Instagram or just email me [email protected] II look forward to hearing from you!
And I’ll be back next week with a brand new episode. I’ll see you then.