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Monique’s July Challenge: Master of My Domain

VICTORY!

My July challenge was to decide on a new name for my freelance business and register the domain name.

And I did it!

It’s such a small thing but in reality, this took forever to accomplish. For the past seven years, my freelance biz went by Monique Elliot Media. For a while, I liked it: it’s a super simple name and super clear.

At least that’s what I thought.

It’s a pretty meh name for a freelance journalist and content creator’s small business. It reminded clients of my actual name, told them that I was a one-woman shop, and… then told them virtually nothing about the services I offer. “Media” is simply too broad. And kinda boring.

I had to admit it: I was one of the 71 per cent of Canadians who knew “not much” about domain names, according to a recent research by the Canadian Internet Regulation Authority (CIRA).

Well, no mo’ of that! The work I do is anything but boring! I’ve worked for startups, scale-ups, corporations, and government departments across five industries and counting.

Fresh Ideas, Fresh Content, Fresh Start

My challenge, which I chose to accept and then push to the back burner about 12 times, was to choose a name that defines my business, will grow alongside my services and skills, and suit my personality.

The most hilarious thing was that I came up with the perfect name nine months ago – I just didn’t know it. I was building a website as a short-lived online resume for a potential employer and used the hashtag #ContentChameleon to describe my services – I can write in a variety of “voices” to suit my clients’ needs.

I was going through old projects recently (okay, okay, I was doing a digital clean up and reorganizing old files. Who actually reminisces about past projects?) and found a screenshot of the site.

The Lightbulb Moment

It’s a total cliché (and, in my opinion, totally permissible alliteration) but the lightbulb went on: ChameleonContent.ca

Now, depending on when you read this, the website may or may not be fully up and running, which is why my placeholder site is a lifesaver in the meantime.

I spent literal days trying to decide on a name – something unique, that hadn’t already been registered, and didn’t cost crazy cash to buy. The most epic solution had also been chilling in plain sight: I went to CIRA.ca to purchase my domain name with a .ca ending.

I recently edited a series of articles for CIRA through my work with non-profit Startup Canada. The series profiled Canadian small business owners (SBOs) about how a .ca suffix improved their businesses online.

While I can’t believe it took me so long to finally complete this challenge, it doesn’t have to be the same for you. Check out CIRA’s free e-book about how to choose a domain name and some basic information about how to get started.

Mo’ Progress, Mo’ Hydration!

Now, my August challenge? Mo’ hydration!

I don’t know if you’ve realized this yet but Canadian summers are HOT.

I’ve been steadily increasing my water intake all summer (a telltale sign that someone doesn’t have A/C) and August promises to be extra hot and humid in Ottawa, despite all the rain we’ve been getting. So my goal is to drink three litres (just shy of a gallon) of water every day.

Why choose drinking water for this month’s challenge? August is World Water Month! Plus, I want to see if there is an actual difference in how I feel now compared to the end of the month. I feel like I’m on the verge of big changes, and it’s important to maintain basic health and wellness while going for epic changes professionally, mentally, and (obviously) physically.

High fives and good vibes,

Monique 🙂

Karyn’s July Challenge: Babies be EXPENSIVE (AKA I Learned Nothing New)

Sorry if the title is a tad misleading, but no, I ain’t no mama yet! Though one day I would like to be. This got me wondering about the cost of raising kids, and why we millennials are never really taught about those kind of expenses. Also, the majority of our generation isn’t super focused on having kids “right now”.

Many of our parents had us in their mid-twenties, while their parents had kids even younger. Starting a family used to be top priority, but today it’s seen as more of a relaxed choice.

For my June Challenge, I wanted to do a little research and find out how much it would cost to take care of a baby for just one month. I decided to focus on newborn finances instead of an older kid because that first month has probably the steepest learning curve. So here is what I found out.

DIAPERS

Did ya’ll know that those kewt, tiny babies can be serious poop machines?! They can go through 10-15 diapers a DAY for the first month!!! Good lawd!

On a trip to Walmart (cuz you all know you’ve been to one), I found a Super Pack of Swaddlers Diapers for $29.97 + tax. It contained 70 diapers, but since we know a baby can blast through 10 a day, that pack would be gone in less than a week! This means that you would at least need a minimum of four packs of these bad boys to sustain you for one month. That comes out to $119.88 + tax, JUST. FOR. POOP!!!!

CLOTHES

Many people throw baby showers and receive oodles of adorbs baby outfits as gifts. I’ve run this challenge off the idea of not having a shower, since there are people who opt out of them or just don’t have one, for various reasons.

Personally when it comes to clothes I’m probably going to frequent thrift stores since my little bundle of joy is going to grow like a weed. Since there are people who do buy their precious some sweet duds, I did a little online shopping.

I figured since I would be birthing a poop monster, they would need a onesie for every day of the week, at least two sets of PJs, four pairs of pants (did I mention they poop?!) and four shirts #minimalistlifestyle.

After shopping around on a couple of sites like Walmart, Carter’s, Old Navy and Target, I was able to keep my total to under $200 bucks. This still doesn’t take into account of the vomit, snot, and general mess that comes with a baby. So $200 for a haul of clothes that would be out of commission almost instantly is ludicrous!

FORMULA

Not everyone breastfeeds their babies. That’s just a basic fact. Not all babies can have breast milk (allergies are just one example) and not all mothers can produce it. This means that formula can be crucial to a baby’s growth.

I never realized how gosh darn complicated formula is. Depending on how much your baby weighs it can vary how much formula you give them. According to BabyCentre.com, they suggest you give your baby 2.5 ounces of formula for every pound of body weight. They also mention that it varies whether the child is hungry or not. Some days they’ll want more, some days they’ll want less.

Browsing more baby stores than I care to admit (on the interwebs, of course), I found TheITBaby.com, which did the math for me (thank gawd) using a Target brand of formula.

Consider the following:

Month 1: a 7-pounder bundle of joy, means 17.5 ounces of formula per day, which is $1.58 per day, totalling $47.89.

To be honest this isn’t too bad compared to the other expenses that have already been racked up.

I literally could go on and on regarding expenses for a newborn, but I’m going to stop here. The reason that I’m stopping is that this would pretty much become a full-fledged novel and you probably don’t have time to read it. Or you could find a million better ones in any book store.

With just these very basic items as key examples, I think you get the gist that having a baby is definitely expensive. For my challenge I wanted to become better informed on what financial expenses new parents have to face and what research is needed before I take that step.

If I do decide to have kids soon, I’m very lucky to have the internet at my fingertips. All I have to do is Google cheap kids’ clothing or go on Kijiji and find a car seat or hop on over to the Bunz Trading Zone to get a cute, secondhand pram. My parents really didn’t have that option and neither did theirs.

After doing the research I now know that saving up for a family is definitely something I want to start doing ASAP. If you are thinking about becoming a parent I HIGHLY suggest you start saving too!

Good luck!

– Karyn

Gwen’s July Challenge: Save 50% of What I Earn (And Attack Debt with It)

What an epic month!

This past July has been one of the best months of my life. Here are a few reasons why:

  • I’ve officially been living on a plant-based diet for 60 days. I feel more healthy and vibrant than ever.
  • I said ‘I love you’ for the first time.
  • I lived within a budget I created for the first time in my life.
  • Overall, I’m appreciative of where I’m at and excited for my upcoming goals.

In July, I also discovered my new money ‘guru.’ I discovered Dave Ramsey’s teachings. Dave is a financial expert who went bankrupt in his 20s, which prompted him to dedicate the next 25 years of his life learning finances and teaching others to thrive by living within their means and paying off debt. To quote Gabrielle (the youngest Sisterpack member), “He is a (financial) savage!” Essentially his teachings make you want to eliminate your debt with ‘gazelle-like intensity’ and he’s absolutely no-nonsense when it comes to making your budget.

This leads me to my July challenge: spend 50% of my income on my debt. I’m happy to say I achieved my challenge and spent 57% of my income on debt (this even includes interest on debt as well).

So how did I do this? Here is my six step plan:

1) Face my financial reality head on.

I put all of the money I owed as well as my monthly expenses and income on an Excel doc to see where I was really at. Let’s be real: it can be scary af to be honest with yourself, realizing how much you owe and how long it will realistically take to pay off. It was definitely a wake-up call to see, though it was also inspiring to finally have concrete numbers.

2) Create a goal.

Since my goal was to spend 50% of my income on debt, it was a very black and white goal. I knew what I wanted. Surprisingly, I hadn’t done something like this in the past, which is probably why I haven’t felt like I’ve made much progress lately.

3) Do the math.

After facing my financial reality and setting the goal, my next step was to do some simple addition to figure out if I could consciously pay 50% with the lifestyle I was living. After doing the math, it turned out that 68% of my income was spoken for if I lived the same way that I did in June. So I decided to hack away at expenses. I lowered my grocery budget, restaurant and ‘miscellaneous’ budget and that got me into the right range.

4) Create a budget and use a system to track your spending.

I started the month using Mint.com to track all of my spending and make a budget. Though after discovering Dave Ramsey, I decided to start using his free EveryDollar.com site and app to track spending. I absolutely love it and am obsessed right now. I checked in almost daily to try to live within my means.

5) Tell those you trust.

It’s challenging to scale back your life and live on a budget. So I’m at a place right now that I am very open that I am attacking debt and will not be going out and spending a lot. Luckily, I have created a group of friends and my family get it and have been supportive of my goals.

6) Watch motivational and educational content whenever possible.

I mainlined Dave Ramsey’s YouTube videos. I watched examples of the joy that people felt when they paid off their loans. I learned from people’s mistakes and remembered to have compassion for myself for where I’m at. This all helped me achieve my goal.

I am SUPER proud to say that I accomplished my July challenge and am more committed than ever to pay off all debt.

My August challenge will be interesting. I’ve decided to use the ‘envelope method’ and actually carry cash and pay in cash. I will put my budgeted money in specific envelopes and only use that to pay! I haven’t used cash in a very long time, so I’m very interested to see how this will go!

Thank you so much for reading!

-Gwen

Gabby’s July Challenge: Keep a Food Diary

Hey duders!

How many of you have ever kept a food diary? Well, I never have, and I thought July would be as good a time to start as any! I learned some pretty neat things about what I eat – and myself – this month. Check it outttt:

  • The notebook is everything. If you’re not looking forward to writing down everything that you’re eating, you’re probably not going to. That’s why I spent $12 on this super cute notebook from The Paper Place on Queen St. It never failed to brighten up my day. Look at it. LOOK AT IT. Don’t tell me you don’t want to write your heart out in this thing.

The most beautiful notebook of all time.

  • Being more aware of what I was eating caused me to actually observe it, rather than just scarf it down. And, I hate to admit, but it turns out the more you pay attention to what you eat, the more you’ll find things wrong with it… I’ve noticed more hair in my food than ever before this month. BARF. Well, at least I know where not to eat anymore, LOL.
  • Being able to visually see what I was eating on paper for a whole month made me realize I usually get whatever is closest to my work during lunch, or whatever is fastest to eat. I’m disgusted to admit, but I ate 106 sushi rolls this month. Like, I probably have a mild case of mercury poisoning LOL. More towards the end of the month, I was spending about $5 more for this delicious salad from Flock, filled with all sorts of healthy goodies. It’s a little further than my usual go-to food spots, but always worth the walk. I can’t even explain it. This salad made me look forward to lunch and I actually took my time eating it – probably because I spent a little extra on it. For anyone interested, I got the BOHO salad with roasted chicken. #GAMECHANGER #HIGHLYRECOMMEND
  • Shockingly, by keeping a food diary, I realized I’m actually not eating enough. And none of it is homemade! It’s pretty much coffee, lunch, dinner, and that’s it. Maybe a few snacks or a beer here and there. But most of all, it was eye-opening to see that I’m not getting nearly enough fruits and veggies into my diet. So that’s something I hope to change. Lately, I’ve been going through a sort of food-making rut at home. Cooking is something I love to do, and I haven’t done it regularly in probably three months, which makes me think: how much money am I spending on eating out?! So I’ve already started to get back in the kitchen and make my favourite salads at home 🙂

For any of you who have followed Mo’ Money for the past three years, you may have noticed that it is my dream (lol) to become a morning person. I’ve tried many times, and failed many times. And I realized that it’s probably because I’m setting these ridiculous goals for myself. Well, change doesn’t happen overnight, so I’m going to take baby steps. My August challenge is to wake up at 5 a.m. at least once per week. Bonus if it happens more often than that, or even just waking up earlier than normal.

Wish me luck!

-Gabby

Gabby’s June Challenge: Cutting out Dairy – Panic Ensues

Over the past year, I’ve begun to notice that I’m having a hard time breathing. I wondered if it was because of stress, something I was eating, or even my level of physical activity. It got so bad that I was waking up in the middle of the night because I couldn’t breathe.

So, I finally went to the doctor and she prescribed me an inhaler, which REALLY helped. But that’s a quick fix, and not a long-term solution. I wanted to find out what was causing this so I could get to the root of the problem and avoid this in the future.

Last month, I made an attempt to cut out dairy, since I’ve been hearing more and more that it could be what’s causing my asthma, or at least, making it worse.

Overall, what I learned is that a month really drags on when you deprive yourself of something delicious LOL.

When I started, I was successful for about half the month. And I honestly didn’t think dairy was the culprit anymore, because I was cutting it out completely and still wheezing.

On June 15, we had a work party, and I made a conscious decision to eat an AMAZING cookie my co-worker brought to a potluck. No regrets. Except for the fact it cost me the success of my challenge 🙁 lol

There was another instance when I was eating a pepperoni stick. I figured, there’s no way it contained dairy, but I decided to check the label anyway. “MODIFIED MILK INGREDIENTS.”

Noooooo! What the hell? Why do we need milk in a meat stick?! This continued to be a theme for the rest of the month. Like, why do we need milk in Miss Vickie’s salt and vinegar chips? Or sour cream in guacamole? Gahdamn, it’s in everything. My heart goes out to those with an actual intolerance to dairy.

From that moment, I started to feel like it was hopeless. In the back of my mind, I became more lax with my food choices. I stopped checking labels, and even adopted the mindset of ignorance is bliss. I started to lose sight of why I was doing this challenge in the first place.

But soon enough, I began to get back on track. Whenever I was having a craving, I’d gravitate towards more healthy foods that I love, like hummus, watermelon, chickpea salads, and avocados. Every time I noticed I had a mad craving, I’d just run away from the situation, and, more often than not, the craving just went away.

It sucks cutting stuff out of your diet. There’s no doubt about that. But I figure I should probably see a nutritionist or actually get an allergy test, which is something I’ve been putting off for a while. Seriously, who wants to willingly get stabbed with 150 tiny needles? But I’m going to suck it up, because I really want to get to the bottom of this and breathe easy again.

This month, I’m going to get a food journal and write down everything I eat, PLUS, every instance where I begin to wheeze, so I can see if there’s a pattern.

Wish me luck!

-Gabs

Monique’s June Challenge: The Branding Do-Over

I have been freelancing for more than seven years now. As a solopreneur, a one-woman shop, I’ve been hustling to grow my content creation skill sets and client base. It’s been a remarkable journey so far, recently culminating with one of my clients hiring me on full-time for four months.

But at the time of my onboarding, I faced a crossroads: my website needed rehosting and fresh content; my branding was getting a bit outdated; I needed a new headshot; my business cards had my Liverpool, UK, phone number on them (so I never gave them out); and countless other, little business-related to-dos. Yikes! This four-month contract was going to take up valuable rebrand time – especially as I also have a bridge job.

The timing wasn’t ideal, but I was so excited to work with my client. In my desire to develop new skills and work with a team, that the choice was clear. The rebrand would wait.

So as my contract came to an end in June, I knew what I wanted that month’s Mo’ Money Mo’ Progress challenge to be.

My June challenge was to completely overhaul my freelance branding – from the name of my business to creating a new website and launching everything fresh online.

This, sadly, did not happen.

I have this bad habit of taking on huge projects (when I’m already swamped) and pushing myself to the max in order to achieve my goals.

This month’s challenge was a prime example of this behaviour. There is one silver lining in failing miserably this June: I gained some clarity. I saw this habit from a different perspective and would like to think I’ve made mo’ progress as a result.

It’s simple, really.

Prioritize to get sh*t done.

At this point, I can just imagine some people’s faces who just read that line and scrunched up their face, thinking, “Well, duh!”

Totally fair. It does sound ridiculously obvious.

But you may be surprised to learn just how easy it is to lose focus. This can happen in a team environment, when you’re working on a tough project with many moving pieces and multiple deadlines, or even when you’re trying to figure out whether you really need to clean your kitchen or if you’re just procrastinating.

Eisenhower’s Urgent/Important Principle got me through the past few months where I would spend between 8 – 19 hours working per day. I assigned my tasks as one of these four categories:

  1. Important and Urgent
  2. Important but not Urgent
  3. Not Important but Urgent
  4. Not Important and Not Urgent

REBRANDING

This is the best way to tackle a to-do list. And it’s unfortunately why I didn’t complete my challenge. I had to make some tough choices, but I’m standing by my decisions.

Though it’s not all bad news in June. I laid some groundwork by making some calls, getting quotes, and doing research (moving quickly enough so as to not get stuck in analysis paralysis!). I’m making progress, and that’s key.

I’m not committing to re-doing my challenge again this July, as there are other projects and responsibilities that need my attention, so I’ll start small to accomplish something big.

My July challenge is to (finally) decide on a new name for my freelance business and register the domain name. I’ll be hosting family for more than two weeks while I also keep working with my current clients, so it’s going to be a packed month!

And I’m so up for the challenge.

High fives and good vibes,

Monique 🙂

 

Karyn’s June Challenge: Keepin’ it Positive Part 2

So for my May Challenge I attempted to write down the positive things that happened in my day-to-day life… and I epically failed. So for my June Challenge I decided to try again, this time yielding better results.

My first issue was that I told myself that I was only allowed to write down things in a book. Unfortunately, I didn’t carry it with me everywhere I went. This time I was more reasonable and used my phone instead. It’s always with me so I had no excuse to not write things down.

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I found that just jotting down very simple things that made me smile was easy enough. Pretty much any time I received a text or a notification I used it as an opportunity to reflect and write down something new.

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My notes ranged from waking up before my alarm to finding $10 in my pocket. I also used this as a chance to keep positive about my finances. I would note that I paid my bills on time or that I set up an easier system to check my banking.

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I know this may seem like a mundane task that doesn’t really result in anything big, but watching your list of positivity grow helps remind you of all the good that really does happen during your day.

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I did have some serious downs during the month of June, but when I felt like there were no ups coming my way I would peruse through my list and remember that even the smallest thing that brings a smile to your face can be all you need.

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I’m going to keep trying to update my list on the daily even though my challenge is over. I tend to be a Negative Nancy when the going gets tough, so I’m hoping that building this ever-growing list of good times will help me keep my chin up.

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-Karyn

Gwen’s June Challenge: Radical Financial Transparency

I am in debt and I want out.

I’m carrying some student loan debt as well as credit card debts from investments I made in my business and travel expenses (okay… and a few impulse purchases).

The day I am debt free will be a glorious one, and I can’t wait to get there. The challenge is that I don’t have a solid plan on how to do that yet. I know it’s possible (as I’ve read so many stories and watched so many YouTube videos from people who have shed the debt), so I am really approaching this journey back into the black with curiosity and a sense of adventure.

I’ll level with ya… it hasn’t always been this way. I used to be desperately ashamed of debt. I wouldn’t talk about it and definitely wouldn’t share how much I owed.

So in an attempt to take out the shame and literally just own it, my June challenge was to be completely transparent with my financials with my sisters. I decided to give them access to my Mint account which currently links up all of my finances.

This includes how much money I make to how much interest I accumulate each month.

It felt incredibly liberating to share this. Not all of my sisters took a look, however, I’m going to keep it available to them to check out at any time. My youngest sister decided to take a look right before my eyes. I felt a bit nervous when she said, ‘Let me check it out now’ however, she approached it with a compassion and understanding and ‘It’s not that bad.’

My intention of financial transparency, also lead me to share with my boyfriend my desire to get out of debt. As he is insanely good at being thrifty (and he’s debt free), he is fully supportive of me going for it. In fact, it’ll probably make him feel better that we don’t spend as much eating out and cook more at home 🙂 I haven’t yet shared with him exactly how much I owe, though perhaps that’s a challenge for another month.

My July challenge is going to be an ambitious one. I want to save half of what I make and put it towards debt. With my rent taking up a significant chunk of cash, this is going to be a challenge worth taking on.

Thank you for reading and I wish you an awesome month!

-Gwen

 

Monique’s May Challenge: Solopreneur Scheduling

Shortly after I started freelancing, I decided to make a conscious effort to develop my content creation skills as well as my business skills. I declared that every Tuesday would be my Business Development (BD) day.

This was a fabulous decision. It also turned out to be much more challenging than I thought.

Every Tuesday, I would wake up with a huge mug of coffee, don my comfiest work-from-home attire, and settle into my workspace (which definitely changes depending on where I am in the world). I’d sit in my (typically) soft, cozy, work chair and sip away at my coffee, absorbing the delicious caffeine while devouring the hours of blog posts, YouTube videos, and freelance newsletters that I’d been craving all week.

Tuesday was a catch-up day for all the business-related content that I’d put off consuming that past week.

And I loved it.

But it wasn’t always possible to keep consistent. Sometimes I’d be out on assignment, interviewing people for feature profiles or covering events. Other times, I’d be on contract, working out of my clients’ offices for weeks or months at a time (this has happened often over the past seven years).

Business Development Tuesday (BDT) got pushed back to the evening, or crammed into a weekend morning. It didn’t always work out the way I’d planned, but I have always been committed to honing my craft and developing my business on my own terms. Despite my love of, and talent for, working with teams, I definitely have the mark of a solopreneur.

The BD challenges of a solopreneur life definitely resurfaced in May. My monthly challenge was to complete an online marketing course I had purchased in March from one of my freelance role models.

First of all… Yikes! That’s a long time to be hungry for some useful knowledge at your fingertips and not be able to dive in. Worst of all, it’s now June and the e-course is still not completed. Ugh! Not good.

The good news is, the real lesson here hasn’t been lost on me.

I’d noticed that for these past few weeks, I hadn’t been feeling in control of my own schedule – an odd, and rather uncomfortable feeling for me. It’s partly my personality twinned with my work ethic: I don’t stop until a project is done, especially if it’s on a tight deadline. That’s led to some (no exaggeration) 20 hour workdays, including 4 a.m. nights; both in my employer’s office and in my own workspace.

Since that project has been completed, I feel that my schedule is again mine to manage. And BDTs (or whatever day of the week I now choose) are back on my radar. Now, I have no doubt that course is going to be completed and I am so excited to finally get to the good stuff. It’s going to be a good month.

What’s something you do to keep developing your side hustlin’ skills or a way you invest in yourself to keep making either mo’ money or mo’ progress? Let us know on social! Follow Mo’ Money Mo’ Progress on Facebook, Insta, or Twitter, and let’s get to chattin’!

#Hustle

Monique 🙂

Gwen’s May Challenge: Create a Positive Relationship with Money

My May challenge was to start creating a healthy, positive relationship with money.

The challenge was inspired by reading Jen Sincero’s #1 New York Times best-selling book: How to Be a Badass at Making Money. In the book she suggests that you write a letter to money as if it were a real person.

The idea is to get a sense of how you view money. At first, Jen had a ‘bat-shit crazy’ relationship with money! One minute she was in love, the next she felt there was not enough. It caused stress one moment, and pure joy the next. And her finances reflected the emotional ups and downs. Ultimately, this exercise helped her get clear on how she was giving money mixed signals which ultimately resulted in financial instability. In her 40’s she lived in a converted garage, dreaming of making more money. Today, she’s a millionaire who teaches millions of people how to be a badass at life and making mo’ money. Soooo I was definitely interested in taking on this challenge!

I started the challenge off strong at the beginning of May. I bought a journal specifically for the challenge and was an avid journaler for the first two weeks. I started with the initial letter to money and found my relationship was similar to Jen’s. Not a consistent feeling and a bit all over the place. I thought a good way to build the relationship would be journal daily to thank money for being there for me when I needed it and also check into my bank accounts daily. I was very consistent and excited to do this at first, though I soon found the familiar resistance popping up that lead me to completely stop the daily check in practice. I had fallen back into an old, defeating pattern.

Although I didn’t complete the challenge the way I thought I would, today (in June) I feel a renewed sense of excitement to building a positive relationship with money. I recently had the realization that I need to plan for the long-term when thinking about money, and stop looking for quick fixes. I have been subconsciously (and sometimes consciously) dreaming that a chunk of cash will fall from heaven and cure my financial debt. Since this has not happened, I think the realization has finally hit me to create a longterm plan and make it as easy as possible to follow.

This realization came as I’ve started to make real progress on another (and totally different) source of shame, stress, and insecurity I’ve experienced over the last ten years: dealing with acne. I have always been supremely self-conscious about acne. It made me feel like hiding and totally defeated on countless occasions. I have been on a quest to figure out how to cure it, and I believe I’ve finally figured it out by being persistent and not not giving up after failing multiple times on ‘diets’ and pills and creams. The key is to find a path that can be a longterm lifestyle. This new path that I’m on for my skin is taking out meat and dairy. It has been a game-changer and my skin has never looked better. It’s a gahdamn revelation.

So in the same way that I am healing acne, I am also healing debt with a long-term strategy. This leads me to my June challenge: RADICAL TRANSPARENCY. In the month of June, I’m doing something I’ve never done before. I am opening up all of my finances to the Sisterpack. Through the mint.com platform I’ve added all debts, cash and credit to the platform and will be giving my sisters the password to login so they can see my money goal as well as everything I’m buying. They have access to it all. Why the hell would I do this? Well, living in secrecy and pretending everything is okay hasn’t worked. So I’m thinking the opposite may work. I want to keep it SO real and allow my sisters (whom I love and trust) to see where I’m at. I’m in a place right now where I don’t feel any shame about it, as all the money I’ve spent has lead me to where I am today… and truth be told I’m happier than ever! And I can only imagine I’ll be feeling even better, the more progress I make.

Wish me luck! 😀

-Gwen

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