I am absolutely in love with the house I live in…most of the time at least. There have been things I never realized I’d love so much and others that I wish I would have considered more thoroughly. Right now we’re planning to live here for quite some time, but I still wonder if we would do things differently if we had the opportunity to turn back time.
Hindsight is always 20/20 though, so in reality I’m lucky we had such great advice going into our purchase. If it hadn’t been for our parents and a great realtor, God only knows where we’d be living. So for those of you about to make this huge decision, here’s my best advice and some important things to consider:
I’m definitely not a minimalist (though I wish I was). In fact, I probably carry more traits of a hoarder than I do of a minimalist. Yet I STILL found that there were quite a few baby products that I just didn’t need, wish I didn’t have, or was so unbelievably grateful that I DIDN’T get. I mean, these little babies come with a ton of stuff. And in my case, my son rarely left my arms, so what was the point of half of them? At one point his room had literally turned into a storage facility for the overabundance of his “things”, while the stuff he actually needed just moved into my space.
Related post: The Baby Products You Actually Want on Your Baby Registry
So to save you the trouble (and money), here are the things you may not actually need to buy:
Even for a person with a horrendous memory (me), I have vivid recollections of my pregnancy and the subsequent birth of my son. Ironically, one of the memories that still sticks with me the most was the total shock of realizing how much it costs just to be pregnant – and that’s with good health insurance (and a healthy pregnancy). Ultrasounds were considered elective, blood tests were extra, and of course there’s the deductible right off the bat. By the time we got to the hospital for delivery we had “luckily” reached our deductible and would only have to pay 10% of any additional costs…but as every other delivering parent knows, 10% of a whole lot is still a whole lot.
Luckily we were able to stomach the costs but it totally shifted how we managed our money and led to one of the best investments we’ve ever made – our Health Savings Account (HSA).
Last week, my husband and I did the unthinkable and flew from California to Philadelphia with our 2-year old…in first class. We were well aware that having a baby on our lap in these premium seats would be taboo, but honestly it feel like a baby anywhere on a plane is taboo – so what’s the difference?
Well, let me tell you right here and now – there is a difference. A huge difference. And not just for our comfort and our baby’s comfort, but for the whole entire plane. When you can keep your baby happy, it will make everyone around you happy. When our plane landed at the end of our trip, the patrons around us stood up and actually congratulated us on a perfectly silent flight – they actually congratulated us. Now that was a scenario I hadn’t envisioned ahead of time.
So before you book your next flight with your baby in tow, please please please consider these reasons for opting for first class tickets. I promise, you will not regret it.
I love, love, love free stuff. Soooo, so much. If it’s free, I’ll definitely give it a try. No matter what. Of course, sometimes I get what I pay for and it sucks. But then I will eventually stumble upon a gem that I can’t get enough of. The kind of thing that I can’t believe is free and then I become totally hooked.
So obviously through my years of entrepreneurial pursuits I’ve gathered some pretty amazing free tools that help me do whatever it is I’m passionate about at the moment. These are those tools. Some might not be strictly business, but as we all know, when you’re an entrepreneur your life and business become so intertwined that at times they are indistinguishable. Which is the BEST part of being an entrepreneur.
So here we go! The absolute best free tools for entrepreneurs:
I’m a huge fan of making homemade juices, so I’m obviously doing everything possible to make them better and better. I’ve done tons of experimenting (some worthwhile, some not so much) and I’ve come across some interesting things. First and foremost, juicing has been an awesome addition to our diet. So much so that even my toddler gets excited when we pull out the juicer.
If you’ve already made the plunge into homemade juices, then hopefully these tips will be helpful. And if you haven’t, then I highly recommend you try it out and then come back to put these tips to good use. 🙂
Here we go:
If you’ve already heard of Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, then you probably don’t think I’m crazy. Otherwise, I imagine you’re wondering why the heck you should spend your time reading a book about “tidying up.” Either way, I PROMISE you will absolutely love this book. While it is certainly 100% about cleaning up, it somehow manages to also be a truly inspirational book that promises to transform your life (i.e. by tidying up your home you will ultimately tidy up your problems).
As you already know, I love love love using Zazzle as a creative outlet…and of course, to make a little extra money 🙂 . So when a new and somewhat odd product is introduced, I usually jump on it right away to see what I can create. And to my delight, occasionally these products actually make me some money. Which I LOVE.
I know this sounds ridiculously corny, so I’m hesitant to even write an entire post about it, but I’m telling you – this one simple activity is how my husband and I have (and are) achieving all of our dreams in record timing. It’s why I’m able to stay at home with my son, how we bought two investment properties, are learning a second language, have spent our summer traveling, have become vegan, the list goes on and on…
So here’s the really simplistic, dumbed-down gist of how we’ve made it all happen: Every few months (if we’re lucky, weeks), we sit down and formally Goal Set. I’m emphasizing formally and capitalizing Goal Set on purpose – it’s that big of a deal and that big of an event for us…it’s better than a date night (actually, we love it so much that it basically is a date night). But most importantly, it consistently and reliably always works – sometimes it’s scary how much so.
So here’s what we do, and how you can (and should) do it too:
For the most part, the classic American dream includes home ownership. A comfortable job, a vacation once a year, and a place to call home. What’s funny is that the vast majority of us are relying on 30-year mortgages to “own” our homes. So, in some sense, we really aren’t owning them – we just feel like we are. And it’s so commonplace to have a mortgage that nobody really second-guesses it.
To be fair, there are some benefits of having a mortgage. But does that really mean that it’s a good idea for everyone? Should it be the norm? I’m not convinced. Here are some of the biggest reasons I think it’s a good idea to pay off your mortgage (and why we’re doing it):
Related post: How to Pay Off the Mortgage Early