This year, I am committed to having my best year yet.
Healthy. Financially Savvy. Family focused. Organized. Fulfilled. Happy.
And I’m taking you with me.
Today, I’m launching the Financially Savvy Fridays series along with 4 wonderful bloggers committed to having a financially fruitful 2016.
My Financial Profile
As part of the Financially Savvy Friday series, all contributors have picked a few key characteristics to define our financial profiles.
- The Financial Analyst – Meghan from Playground Parkbench is a former hedge fun analyst turned stay-at-home mom. She is married and has 3 children in the suburbs of New York.
- The Cycle Breaker – Melody from Live Broke on Purpose paid off
For me, I’m a single parent and business owner living in an urban area. I have debt and investments.
My goal this year is to build my second business and triple my income, while also achieving a better work-life balance. I would like to focus on building my emergency savings and figuring out systems to keep my life organized and as efficient as possible, so I can focus on living a life I love with my daughter.
My Financial Back Story
I’m going to share some details about my financial past – from childhood to parenthood – to give some context to how I’ve come to my current financial beliefs. Feel free to skip over this section if you’re not interested and go straight to my goals for the year!
I grew up in a military family with parents who liked to spend, and experienced the great extremes of that.
We traveled the world, had a nanny, and lived in a gorgeous home with an indoor pool. On the other hand, our family was destroyed by bankruptcy – losing our home, cars, college savings funds, and causing my sister and I to live on our own (separately) at the age of 16.
I went to university with no savings, having had to work to pay living expenses throughout high school and relying on scholarships and government loans to pay my university tuition and living expenses.
I had a hard time finding a job that accommodated my school and scholarship obligations and settled for a part-time, minimum wage job, causing me to put a lot of necessities on credit cards, maxing out one completely by second year.
By the time I was working on my second degree (necessary in my field), I shaped up financially. I was working full-time and had owned and sold two successful businesses. While I still had student loan debt from my first degree, I was earning enough to pay for my modest living expenses.
Halfway through that degree, I ended a long-term relationship and found out that I was expecting Ella, all in the same week! The scariest part about becoming a single parent was not knowing if I would be able to provide the life and financial security I felt my daughter deserved. It’s still a insecurity that creeps up at times and needs to be reigned in.
I worked 70-80 hour weeks while expecting and as a result was able to stay home for the first year of Ella’s life. That glimpse into “stay at home motherhood” shaped my financial and lifestyle goals.
I loved being there for all of the important moments in my daughter’s life and being able to spend our days together. I worked hard for the second year of her life to save enough to invest in the space and materials needed to open a home-based Montessori daycare.
Running a daycare allowed me to earn a full-time income while staying home with my daughter. I had planned to homeschool, but we’re trying out school part-time this year.
However, recent government changes have created many restrictions on home day cares, meaning that as of January 2016, I make less than $2000 a month via my “day job.” Being a single income family, this blow could be crippling (especially considering that my business expenses haven’t reduced to compensate), and in many ways it will change how I spend and strategize (and it will likely cause me to eventually close my daycare, hopefully not until our current group moves on to kindergarten) but I am determined that this shift in our income will not affect our lifestyle, and in fact, I’m determined to have our best year yet.
My Financial Goals
My financial goals are simple: continue providing a comfortable lifestyle for my family while building investments and paying down debt in order to build a solid financial future.
Obviously, how I am going to accomplish that is going to be different for my family than for a family with two income earners with employer-matched RRSP contributions, paid vacation, etc, but I truly believe anyone – no matter your family structure, ability, or background can build a great life with a bit of knowledge and determination.
I’m so excited for this weekly series, but it’s with a bit of a twist. Rather than 4 posts every week from 4 different bloggers, we’ll each tackle one topic per week and I will also write a monthly “overview” post. Even if someone’s financial reality is different than yours, they may have insights or a different perspective that revolutionizes how you think about your money.
All posts in the series can be found on my Financially Savvy Friday landing page.