For the past couple of months or so a lot has been going on behind the scenes. I’ve started a new project, I’ve created some closed Facebook groups, and I’ve gotten very clear about the direction I would like things (like…my life..) to move towards. But, in the midst of all of that planning, working, and strategizing I realized that there were a few important things that I needed to do first.
I continue to love personal finance and all of its intricacies and imagine that I will continue to blog about/podcast/and speak about the topic of financial empowerment for the near future. But, in all of my business maneuverings I realized that I was needing to get back to the basics and focus on what this blog is all about.
I needed to reconnect with The Shop My Closet Project, its mission, and the goals that I set as part of this project. I’ve changed and how I view what I share via The Shop My Closet Project has changed in some subtle ways that people who have know me know that I’ve spent a lot of time and energy working on so that I can move forward with integrity. But, first, I think it’s important to reintroduce myself to my long-time readers and supporters and new visitors to my page.
My Name is Michelle…
And, I’m a personal finance blogger.
It’s funny when you introduce yourself in that way to new people. Yes, I write about my feelings concerning my money, my mistakes, and my lessons learned. I geek out on debt repayment, side hustles, and when people win their battle with personal finance.
Since 2012 I’ve written about my money. I was an obsessive reader of personal finance blogs and randomly stumbled on a conference called FinCon that was in its second year and being held in Denver two weeks after I discovered it. I had to go! It was only $100 and scrounged that money up so that I could meet people who geeked on talking about personal finance just like I did. And even though I am a serious extrovert-I held back that weekend because it was so much to take in. I wasn’t the only one struggling with money. There were people out there who had experienced similar hard times and had taken control of their money.
There were also amazing people who had no financial issues but loved to share their knowledge and passion about personal finance with others. I had no idea what becoming a part of the FinCon Community would do for me.
You have to understand that at the time I started blogging about money I was:
- Over weight (still am a little bit!)
- Deeply in Debt
- And, lonely
I was coming off of years of supporting both myself and my mother who had lost her job and was unable to find another one even though she had worked hard all her life. Like most people, I was ill-equipped to handle this financial tsunami that threatened to drown me. At the time that I found myself helping out my mom I was in the process of trying to finish graduate school and was working at Startbucks to supplement my income.
I would graduate with no job (we were in a down turn) and earning an average of $9 an hour including tips. I will forever be grateful to Starbucks and even though I’m a HUGE supporter of local business, Starbucks continues to be a chain that I support because…they hired me when no one else would.
I understand what it’s like to:
- Have bill collectors call
- To have no savings
- To have credit card debt accrue because you use your cards for groceries.
- To have to completely re-educate yourself about money
- To kill bad financial habits
- And, to have people talk down to you about what you’ve done to survive.
As a result of these experiences you won’t be judged by me as you work to change your money story. I won’t shame you when you make epic mistakes, I won’t tell you what “I would have done” patronize you, or kick you when you’re down.
You won’t get talked down to and told how you shouldn’t have done what you’ve done….with your money. Because ultimately you have to manage your mistakes. You’re an adult and most of us are doing the best we can with information and resources we have. And, most of us learn our money lessons through trial, error, and a splash of pain.
My Personal Finances
Could be better and could be worse. I became self-employed at the of 2014 and have experienced a totally different financial education that includes:
- Managing inconsistent cash flow
- Self-employment taxes
- Saving for retirement as a self-employed person
- And dealing with debt as a self-employed person
I’ve made mistakes and I’ve rocked several decisions. I’ve learned a lot about personal finance since 2012 and the biggest lesson that I’ve learned is the following:
Personal finance is a complicated mix of mindset, knowledge, actions, and strategy.
Without the right mindset it will be hard to use the knowledge that you gain, apply focused action, and devise strategies that will get you ahead.
I’ve experienced a profound mindset shift in the past 5 years and I want to quickly walk you through it.
- 2012-I begin blogging “for real” I’m was so overwhelmed and couldn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. I wanted to leave my job, but how could I? I had so much debt. How would I live, eat, and pay my bills? I hated what I was doing and felt profoundly stuck.
- 2013-I decided to do a year long No Shopping Challenge because why not? I end up saving $4000 by not shopping for clothes and begin to discover the real difference between wants vs. needs. It also shocks me how much my spending was a result of boredom, loneliness, and habit. I begin to work on lowering several line items in my budget. I begin to imagine working for myself. Didn’t have a clear idea of how I would do it, but it seemed like a cool idea.
- 2014-I finish my No Shopping Challenge and then proceeded to work even harder on slashing my budget. I manage to cut $13,500 from my overall budget and have a light bulb moment. I was working like a dog for a lot of sh$t I didn’t need. I decide that this was the year that I would take a leap of faith and leave my job. My D.O.N.E. moment was on December 16, 2014. I fly out of Denver the day after I quit and then made my way to Sydney, Australia for a 2 month break.
- 2015-I began working for myself and work a business model completely ill-suited for my personality BUT STILL MAKE MONEY. Huh? I didn’t like what I was doing but I loved how my life was coming together.
- 2016-I change my business model from business to business to business to consumer and create The D.O.N.E. Society a community for people working their 9-5 but can’t leave yet. I also reconnect with my mission to grow The Shop My Closet Project’s community and help create empowered people who are slashing their budget without lowering their quality of life through strategic and well-thought out money moves.
It is now June 2016 and I cannot believe how much time has passed by. There have been a lot of mistakes made along the way…but, I’m still standing.
In the end, I’ve discovered that mindset has been where I struggled most. Developing an abundance mindset, believing that I can be debt free, noticing moments of self-sabotage and demanding what I’m worth as I negotiate business deals has been an eye opener.
My SMCP Goals
- I want to help people believe that they can earn more via entrepreneurship or through sheer belief. I want to help people go from $9 an hour to salaried if they DON’T want to be an entrepreneur.
- I want to help people see that around 80% of the time they are making financial choices…with the jobs that they choose, the fields that they are in, the cars that they buy, the people that they marry (harsh, but true) the homes they purchase, and societal norms that they follow.
- To help people cut at least 25% from their budget without feeling like they are suffering. No FOMO (fear of missing out) in case you believe in YOLO.
- Get people thinking about, looking for, and finding side hustles that pay a heck of a lot more than minimum wage. Examples include: freelance writing, creating products, starting a blog (long-term), brand ambassador work, etc.
- Get people to maximize their time and money.
- Help people live their best lives in the moment that they are in now as they work towards future goals.
My Name is Michelle…
And I’m a personal finance blogger who is still on my money journey. And, that’s ok. I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. I will continue working hard so that one day I can share my “I’m debt free post.”
Until then, here is a little more about me.
- I am from Colorado and love Colorado like Texans love Texas. I even blog about Colorado! If you’re visiting this year-check it out! www.coloradoluvhub.info
- I am an adult learning how to drive for the first time. I purchased a car as a self-employed person-cash. I will share that story someday. It was a bit of a mess, but things worked out. Just think…cash flow. I plan on taking my driving test this month-watch out Colorado!
- Some of my best side hustles: helping people learn how to use cell phones $22 an hour, giving people a food product $22, was in an R Kelly video filmed at Red Rocks $100, getting people to sign up for a giveaway $35 an hour, and freelance writing around $250, and blogging depends on the month.
- I read A LOT. Like, A LOT. I’m reading at least 3-5 books at a time.
- I am getting back into dancing and have auditioned for the Denver Broncos Cheerleading Squad and the Denver Nuggets Dance Squad. Did well, didn’t get it. Now I’m obsessed with Yanis Marshall’s heels choreographer. Not for the faint of heart. You can check it out on Youtube.
- I’ve learned French and Spanish. I can still read French but can’t speak it right now. I’m still studying Spanish.
- Travel is bae. Seriously. I like traveling by myself or with specific friends or my mom. I don’t care as long as I’m traveling.
Do I Like Working for Myself?
I don’t miss, chit chatting around the water cooler, commutes, serving the wrong people (who I loved..but, they already had enough resources), or the field that I was in even though I’m still passionate about it.
Are there things that I hate?
Cash flow is my biggest pet peeve and I’ve spent a lot of time working on how to manage it. I strongly believe that people working for themselves should always have at least 1 product is completely theirs. And, yes, I’m working on it.
Join TSMCP’s Closed Facebook Group!
Need inspiration, support, money saving resources, and a judgement free zone? Click the following link to join our closed Facebook group today! Also, check out my free Summer Savings guide that will get you on track to saving 25% of your budget. Now, let’s be clear, judgement free doesn’t mean anything goes. It just means that if you make a bonehead mistake you’re an adult who understands that there are consequences.
Hang out with me this month on Periscope. You’ll find me at: @ShopMyCloset12 I plan on scoping every day in the month of June on all topics related to money, saving you money, and mindset related issues.