Monthly Archives

May 2016

Goodbye Blonde on a Budget, Hello Future

May 30, 2016

Goodbye Blonde on a Budget, Hello Future

Before you jump to conclusions, I am not deleting this blog! I’m simply changing the name. :)

On October 1st, 2010, I created a free blog: blondeonabudget.wordpress.com, to be exact. (Which, oddly enough, looks like someone setup again just a few weeks ago… huh. Anyway!) I setup the blog when I was 25 and had approx. $24,000 of debt. At the time, I thought I was ready to get serious about my finances. I thought I was going to start paying down my debt and get my life on track. I also thought I was going to quit drinking on January 1st, 2011. Neither of those things happened. Instead, I went down one more spiral in February, drank away all my savings in eight weeks and deleted the first version of the blog. I wasn’t ready to deal with my reality yet, and I certainly didn’t want readers to know what I was doing to myself and my finances. So, I hit delete and gave up on both goals.

Just a few months later, however, that spiral led me to be maxed out with $28,000 of debt. When you’re maxed out, you have no option but to get serious about your finances, so that’s what I set out to do. I relaunched the blog in June 2011 and announced my first debt repayment plan: I wanted to pay off $7,000 of debt in three months. It was an aggressive goal, and I didn’t quite meet it, but I did pay off $4,500 in that time. I paid off an additional $5,500 in the three months that followed, for a total of $10,000 in six months, and used the momentum (and the heavy weight that was lifted) as motivation to keep going. By the time I hit the one-year mark, I’d paid off a total of $17,000 of debt. And I made my final payment on May 21st, 2013 and have been debt-free ever since.

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What’s in Your Intentional Lifestyle Bag?

May 17, 2016

What’s in Your Intentional Lifestyle Bag?

Over the past couple of years, I have taken countless steps to live a more intentional life – that is, a life where the choices I make must align with my values and goals – and the results have all been positive. By choosing to want less, I have the opportunity to save more and travel more. By working less, I am able to live more (which I’ll talk about next week). By choosing to get rid of things like Facebook, I remove many distractions and negative thoughts from my daily life. And by limiting my interactions with toxic people, I free up more time and energy for those who matter most.

Whenever I make an intentional decision to live the life I want, I can feel a physical weight lifted off of me. It’s almost like carrying a backpack around every day, the contents of which are all the things you choose to have in your life. The more things you choose to keep, the heavier your bag is, and the tougher it will be to reach your destination. You get bogged down by more stuff, more work, more commitments, more responsibility, more stress, more people and so on. Your bag gets so full that it is literally bursting, and is so heavy that you can feel it dig into your shoulders and hips with every step.

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How to Prepare for a Solo Writing Retreat

May 9, 2016

How to Prepare for a Solo Writing Retreat

Before I tell you what my plans are this week, I want to congratulate the two winners of The More of Less by Joshua Becker whose names were chosen at random via Rafflecopter. Congrats, Lisa and Michael! I’ve notified you both via email and your books will be in the mail this week.

I’ve always loved the idea of going on a solo writing retreat. Getting out of the city, unplugging and going offline, writing all day and breaking up the work by spending some time outside; it sounds like a dream getaway. So when the opportunity to spend a week in Squamish presented itself, I took it – and (in between some public speaking I’m doing) that’s where I’m hiding out this week!

There’s only one thing I have to accomplish while I’m in Squamish: I need to write the sample chapter for my book proposal. The chapter is the last big piece of this project, and I need to finish it – ASAP. Lately, it has felt impossible to focus on much of anything in Victoria, so it is literally the perfect time for me to spend some time alone and get down to work.

There’s always a lot to wrap up, in the days before any vacation, but this has been especially true of the days leading up to this trip. On top of finishing my regular assignments, I’ve been doing a lot to prepare for this little retreat of mine. In case any of you have thought of taking time off to work on a creative project, here are some of my tips for what to plan, prepare for and pack.

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