Recent Posts

How to Stop Procrastinating and Get Shit Done

As I sip my coffee and ignore the long to do list sitting on the left edge of my desk I wonder why I am avoiding life? I know if I just got started it would all be done by now. It’s what I tell my daughter when she whines about homework or chores, “if you had started already it would be done by now.”Sage advice, but clearly not helpful otherwise I wouldn’t be avoiding cleaning the bathroom.Why not? Why am I procrastinating?
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Monthly Budget Planning: February 2018 Preplan

The first of my monthly budget review posts. I am sharing the details of my first real budget with plans to update you on how well I stick to this plan when I make the budget for March. The bad news? It takes me WAY more money to exist in a month than I thought. Good news? I paid off my first credit card! Woot!
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Book Review: You Need A Budget by Jesse Mecham

If you are new to budgeting you should read this book. Simple as that. It doesn’t drown you with tons of personal finance knowledge and focuses on the personal aspect of personal finance.  While Jesse encourages readers to slay debt, he also believes we all need to make the decisions that are best for us.
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Plans for the New Year: 2018 Goal Setting

The past few years have been total shit. Full of stress and stress and then some more stress. I have finally hit the point where it is too much and I have to change and I have picked Five areas to work on to try and completely revamp my life in 2018.
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Book Review: Broke Millennial by Erin Lowry

Broke Millennial by Erin Lowry is a great primer on how to be an adult and handle your finances instead of avoiding them and hope it all just works out. Filled with the information we should have learned either in school or from our parents and probably didn’t. Definitely going to be part of my gift for any recent graduate in my life.
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Buy Nothing Day 2017

Today is Black Friday and there are so many deals out there. But the truth is I don't need them. I am not shopping today. In fact, I am kind of coming around to the realization that while I don't mind shopping I kind of hate spending money. I hate having to log into my budget software and see my balance drop lower and lower. Maybe it’s holiday hangover (thank goodness not a real one) or the fact that you can’t blink your eyes today without seeing information about a “great” Black Friday deal but I’m feeling very bah humbug today. It’s officially Buy Nothing Day, ironic since I’m pretty sure most Americans unofficially celebrate Buy Everything Day today. Since I’m buying nothing, I’m going to spend the day making something. Spending the day at home in my office working on building my new business will be less stressful, more rewarding, and ultimately add income to my life.
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Sinking Fund: Envelope Method Your Savings

One of my very few memories of money from when I was small was my mom explaining her Christmas Club to me. The bank auto transfers $20 from every paycheck into a savings account which they will disperse to you in October for holiday shopping. A memory that has stayed with me for years, but mostly relevant in December when I again remember that I didn't save for Christmas all year long. Fuck. It's almost December again and well you can guess how much I have put away for holiday spending. As I grow into my personal finance superpowers I am trying to keep my husband informed so we can make decisions together. My attempt at trying to explain the sinking fund went something like this: Me: We need a slush fund. Him: I'm not sure you need more wine. Me: To save for important expenses. Like our medical expenses or to fix up the house. Him: Me: Besides, wine makes everything better. Do you think I should budget extra for wine? Him: Probably. But how is wine connected to saving for medical expenses? Me: because that's what its called when you put money aside for important shit. Him. I don't think that's the right word. Me: slush? Him: Well, now that I think of it, it does fit. Maybe we I shouldn't talk finances while drinking. Anyway, let's talk about sinking funds. Prior to deciding to be a personal finance master I never heard the term sinking fund. It definitely seems like something I want to avoid (because who thinks sinking is a good thing) but essentially it is applying the envelope method to your savings. A way to handle reoccurring or large expenses that don't happen every month. To start I have chosen to just have one savings account at Capital One 360 because they offer a better rate than my local bank. The fact that they also don't have a brick and mortar location will make any transfer requests take at least a day so there won't be any immediate spending. Balancing between saving and paying down debt is hard. Because my first inclination is to put every penny into debt. But emergencies happen. And large expenses happen. And I don't want to be caught off guard. Sinking Fund Categories I want to focus on our debt snowball, and then saving money in an emergency fund before funding too many sinking funds. While saving for some known expenses is important, we need to cut spending so I'm trying to get this list down to a few essentials for now. MEDICAL - doctors visits & medications. And between the three of us, this would need to be at least $1500. One of…
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Side Hustle: I Need to Generate More Income

Let's talk about income. If my family is really going to get out of debt then Increasing our income is the best way to do that. And frankly, I need a change from thinking about how I got into debt to thinking about how I’m going to get out of it.Building the Right Side Hustle Having a “side hustle” is all the rage right now. Every finance blog I have come across has a post somewhere talking about the importance of making extra money on the side.  I’m no different.  Increasing your income is the best way to get out of debt fast.  Not to mention that you can budget to your heart's content but much like a starvation diet if the budget is too strict you will fail and eat all the Oreos in the package. At once. With wine because you are classy like that. However, not all side hustles are created equal. There are two ways to bring in extra money one: one or one: many. I’m sure there are better names for this principle but I haven’t found them yet. Both my husband and I are self-employed. We no longer trade hours for dollars and have made more money than we would have otherwise. But our business still has a problem. It has a one: one ratio. We make jewelry & accessories. (This reasoning plays out no matter what you make, or what services you provide.) When we make a piece of jewelry we can sell it once. Each order is a separate item we can only sell to one person. Retail, wholesale, it doesn’t matter. I can not sell that item to 2 people because it is only one item. This is a one: one ratio. A lawyer, a designer, an artist all primarily function the same way. Typically you get a client, agree on an assignment, complete work and get paid. I have had a lot of side hustles over the years and they have all been one: one. Don’t get me wrong there is nothing inherently wrong with having a one: one business. They are a quicker way to get extra money in your life, but one: many are more profitable. Income generated from a one: many project allows you to make one item and sell it to many people. I can write a book, make stock photography, or create a class. These kinds of items are typically front-loaded with effort but have a long tail for sales to build over time. Let's say I wanted to build a business as a tutor. Tutoring is literally called one on one help. Finding a few people to tutor is easy, though you are limited in the amount of money you can make by the hours you can devote, and the price people are willing to pay. You can transform this one: one into a…
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About Jessica Johannesen

I am a 30 something mother working hard to dig my family out of $200,000 in debt and create financial freedom.

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