21 Days to Healthier Finances: An Update

21 Days to Healthier Finances - picture of female freelancer at her desk smiling at camera

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A lot can happen in a matter of a few years. Let’s take a trip down #pfthrowbackthursday, shall we?

Holly and I started Club Thrifty back in 2012. The website was a way to hold ourselves accountable for our financial decisions and to share with others what we had learned about money through the numerous mistakes that we had made. Since the moment we started the blog, it had always been our dream to be able to pursue it as a full-time career. Of course, it seemed like a pipe dream at the time, but nevertheless, we kept putting the effort into it every single day.

Some time later, we were offered the opportunity to participate in a nifty little e-book called 21 Days to Healthier Finances. If you know us, you know that our philosophy is generally to say yes to most opportunities, then find a way to make it happen. There was no financial incentive for us, but it was a good chance for some exposure. So, Holly used the content of one of our most popular pieces – The 5 Financial Habits that Changed My Life – as the basis for the first chapter in the book.

When you say yes to opportunities, things can move forward quickly. Eventually, all of our “yeses” started to add up, and our lives began to change at a rapid pace. In fact, since then, almost everything has changed.

Becoming a Freelancer

Shortly after writing that chapter, Holly was able to quit her 9-5 job at the funeral home an pursue a career as a freelance writer. She was quickly able to replace and then double the amount of income that she made. Of course, we were extremely happy with how well she was doing. Holly kept her nose to the grindstone, working her tail off every day trying to make sure she never had to go back to an office job ever again.

In the meantime, I had a bit of a career crisis. Deciding that I no longer wanted to work in the funeral business, I quit my job  (and basically the blog) to pursue a job in insurance sales. Long story short, it wasn’t what I was expecting and I quickly found myself back in the funeral business. After a painful family move, things finally settled down, and we realized that we ended up right where we wanted to be.

Realizing the Dream

Through it all, we kept our focus and stuck to our financial principles. Little did we know that our dedication was about to really pay off. Roughly a year after the move, Holly’s career hit what Malcolm Gladwell calls a “Tipping Point.” The offers (and the money) began flooding in. She doubled her income (again) but was starting to feel the stress and pay the price from all of the hours. Her work schedule became unmanageable, and it became clear that she was not going to be able to continue at this pace. We had to re-examine what we really wanted out of life.

We were so focused on the day-to-day tasks that we needed to accomplish that we almost couldn’t recognize what had happened. When we finally took a step back, it became clear that we had achieved our dream. After a lot of discussion and soul-searching, I decided to quit my job (again) so that we could put all our energy into our own home-based businesses.

We had made it. We had achieved our dream, and it never would have been possible if we hadn’t gotten our finances in order.

21 Days to Healthier Finances

Living your dream life is possible. But it takes hard work, dedication, and a plan. That is what 21 Days to Healthier Finances is all about. Written by 21 of our favorite personal finance bloggers, each “day” provides you with steps to help you achieve a more financial stable life. You can check out your free copy here.

Over the past few weeks, several of the book’s authors are going to be updating their advice and situations throughout July. Check them out here or by following the hashtag #pfthrowbackthursday!

Additional reading:

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  1. For people that are hesitant to care about getting their finances in order, being able to take risks and time to try and focus on what they’re passionate about is one thing I tell people to convince them to get their financial act together. No one says “I was in debt up to my eyeballs with a baby on the way when I decided to quit my job and start a small business.” Money is almost always in order first, and you need to be good with money to run a successful business.
    Awesome you guys mad it, I think Holly and you both have some mad writing skillz. I’ll definitely check out the book.

  2. Very cool! Should you follow your heart, or your head??? You should follow both!! Way to go!

    I find it no coincidence that after you worked hard to get your financials in order, everything else started to fall in place. Finances have a unique ability to transform other, non-related areas of your life.

  3. I can’t wait to check out the book! Getting your finances together is the first step toward transforming your life so you can make you dreams become a reality. My ultimate goal is to work for myself as well and I’m sure we’d all love to double/triple our income. Managing your finances comes first though.

  4. I love watching the progress that you and Holly have made towards your goals. I think the reason why the two of you have realized your financial dreams and goals is that you work closely together as a team and support each other along the way.

  5. I love reading your story about how you got to where you are today – both working for yourselves at home. It’s so inspiring!

  6. You must have been lucky: “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” ― Seneca 🙂

    Congratulation to you and Holly. I have been following your journey for years and I am happy for your awesome accomplishments. It feels like you are really into a grove now with your online work, blogs, writing, rentals, travels, and all the other exciting things in your life. It is amazing what smart and hard work can do for you.

    Take care!

  7. You guys have done great! I like how you said you almost didn’t recognize what had happened. I understand that completely. Mr. Crackin’ and I were so focused on other things that we didn’t realize how big our savings potential was and how much we could accomplish by sticking to a plan. It was definitely shocking for us.

  8. I agree with your philosophy of saying yes to as many opportunities as you can (provided they are in line with larger goals), and figuring out the details later. Once you commit it’s easier to find a way to make things work, though new commitments can sometimes be scary. Congrats on achieving your dream job situation with a home-based business. Isn’t it funny that you almost didn’t notice that’s what happened for a time?

  9. Nice! I knew most of the story from following the blog for a while but it\’s fun to see it summarized. Congrats again to you and Holly for all the success! Hopefully one day I\’ll be able to write a similar post 🙂

  10. Your approach, I think, is commendable. Letting yourself write opportunity checks and then scrambling to meet what you obligated yourself to do can really expand the boundaries of what you think you are capable of doing. It seems to me, when first getting started it can be incredibly challenging to believe oneself to be capable of accomplishments. Something of the mind game of success.

    I can confirm, I did much the same, when first starting out, I took on every opportunity that presented, never knowing where they might lead.

    However, as momentum has grown, I\’ve noticed a shift, in that you could say I see opportunity everywhere now, and I am much more selective in what I say yes to pursuing…

    I try to pour 100% of my time and energies into fewer projects. Looking back, I\’m almost inclined to say it was a mistake in my case, looking back, to have taken on so many opportunities early on. Almost though, as I have to take into consideration the different mindset. I think I very much needed to build a more clear vision of myself as capable at that point.

    Perhaps its all a matter of what stage in our journey we find ourselves at any given point.

  11. You guys definitely rock! I love your story, it’s totally a big career change when Holly pursues a career as a freelance writer.

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