I’m sure by now you’ve seen the news….we finally welcomed baby #3 to our family! Charlotte was born on 10/17/15 at 2:35 pm weighing in at 8lbs 9oz and is the smallest baby I’ve ever had (definitely not complaining about that!).
In other exciting news, I’m getting geared up to head up to Nashville this weekend to visit with Dave Ramsey’s team at the Business Boutique Conference! I’m super stoked but I’ll be honest, leaving my newborn baby girl is stressing me out a little. Conner was 8 months old before I ever left him overnight and Collin was over a year old before I left him overnight. So this will definitely be a new adventure for me. Prayers are definitely appreciated. 🙂
I’m finally an official business….which sounds and feels a little weird since technically my business is sharing with the entire world my family’s successes and failures with money, but at least now my family is protected if someone ever decided to be nasty. I’m finally The Budget Mama, LLC and I’ve reached my goal of opening up a business savings account for my business emergency fund!
I’ve been saving money from my blog for awhile now, but honestly it’s been tough without a specific “place” to store it so I’m happy to finally have a savings account designated for business emergencies and of course, taxes. To set up my LLC, I used LegalZoom which was super easy to do and for my business savings account, I’m using Capital One 360 which is the bank that houses my family’s emergency fund as well.
A few other new developments with the business side of things — I no longer am selling Young Living so you’ll notice that I’ve earned no commission from them this month. I still love using their essential oils and think they’re the best but I don’t think the business side of things is where I belong currently. And the other development is that I finally found one mission that I’m happy to support with my blog earnings. I’m still trying to find other missions to support (I’m super duper picky about this sort of thing) because I truly believe that this income is a blessing from God and that I need to give back as much as I can.
Okay on to my Income Report!
My total income after expenses was….$2,049.54!
|Thank you gifts||$55.00|
|Hosting (paid every 6 months)||$133.99|
Here are my blogging goals specifics:
Finish creating my pinning schedule and strategy.( Done. ) Create my Facebook sharing strategy.(I haven’t finished Amy’s class yet, but I’m marking this as done as at least for now, I’ve found my groove with FB. 🙂 ) Keep pageviews at 200,000 and increase to 500,000 by the end of the year. (You can read how I more than doubled my pageviews here .)(My pvs in October were: 369,070. — seriously, if you aren’t working Pinterest for traffic, you should be! ) Professional blog design. (Worked with Pixel Me Designs )(Done) Find three brands to establish a working relationship with for underwritten posts.(Done!) Complete media kit by April 1st.(Done) Complete Business Plan by April 30th.(Done) Finish my next book by my birthday (March 29th ) and publish by June on Amazon.(Done – Grab it here.*) Increase my minimum writing goal from 500 words per post to 700 words per post.(Done.) Keep editorial calendar with at least two weeks months of posts, written and scheduled & a month out with planned posts.(So, far so good. Here’s to hoping that I keep this up in October! ) Attend one blog conference.(Done.) Research and implement better SEO tactics and improve search engine traffic on my site.(Done)
- Bring Alexa Global rating below 100,000 and U.S. rating below 15,000. (Both my Global and US rankings went up thankfully! Global is currently: 163,967 and U.S. is currently: 32,303)
Okay, so as you can see from my goals below that my first goal is to workout using the Tupler Technique from Lose Your Mummy Tummy * and now that I’m no longer pregnant, I’m finally getting back into the grove of doing them! I swear by these exercises, even though they’re painful if you just had a baby (the suggestion with some of these exercises is to do them while breastfeeding….man do they hurt), but y’all, they work. I’m literally back into my pre-pregnancy clothes and even though I still have a lot of toning and tightening left to do, I don’t feel out-of-whack like I have after my other two babies. I just wanted to throw this out there for any other mamas out there struggling to get rid of the dreaded mommy tummy! 🙂
Here are my boys carving our Jack-o-lanterns….don’t be fooled by my boys all wearing shorts – it was cold out but none of the Fearon boys like to wear long sleeves or pants for that matter. #thestruggleisrealyall
Oh and a random side note for all my fellow Catholic ladies — Blessed is She is having a pre-sale of their Advent Journal and Jesse Tree Calendar! I just ordered my journal because I absolutely LOVED their Lent one! Click here to view the journal.
Here are my personal goals specifics:
- Begin working out using the Tupler Technique to fix my diastasis. (I am following the workouts in Lose Your Mummy Tummy *) (Just started doing these again – my goal is do these every day and to re-read the book cover to cover.)
- Spend 30 minutes every day in active play with the boys (walking the neighborhood, playing hide-n-seek, “monster”, or other games they want to play). (I’m so happy that I’ve finally been able to do this again! I’m not as active yet as I want to be but my goal is to make this consistently happen before the end of the year. )
- Write in gratitude journal every day. (I am using Money Saving Mom’s gratitude journal, Choose Gratitude * – amazing!) (I missed a few days with this one, but overall I did better than I did last month!)
Read daily Bible reading and journal about the scriptures read every day.(I finally got back on track with this and can I just say that I love St. Paul’s letter to the Romans. I’ve read Romans before, but re-reading it daily has given it a whole new light.)
- Schedule a paid date night and paid family night/event once a quarter. (Our lives are about to get so gosh-darn busy that this is going to be a challenge to pull off, but I’m hoping we can make one date night happen before the end of the year!)
Increase daily water intake to full eight glasses of water a day and continue detox regimen with lemon essential oil.(Done for this month!) Spend thirty minutes to one hour two times a week working with Conner on preschool learning activities. Spend same time working with Collin on tot school activities.(Conner is learning to write his name so we’ve been practicing about 3 times a week with writing the different letters in his name. He has a love-hate relationship with it. :-/ ) Drastically reduce the amount of personal time spent on Facebook, by leaving groups and un-liking pages that just clog up my newsfeed. Use the News Feed Eradicator extension for Chrome to keep me from being sucked into Facebook’s “should-have-left-it-in-high-school” drama.(Made this one happen consistently!)
Our budget was totally wrecked this month. We weren’t expecting to have to fork over so much money for food at the hospital. Even though we brought gift cards with us to the food places surrounding the hospital so my hubs could eat, we weren’t expecting for me to have to be induced….and then be in labor for 22 hours. This resulted in my hubs being too nervous to leave the hospital grounds for fear that he would miss the birth of his daughter and he almost did, because the moment I started begging for the epidural was the moment that Miss Charlotte decided it was “go time” and my hubs was at Starbucks (with a gift card thankfully) trying to eat a somewhat decent meal.
Lesson learned is that we can’t always predict what our budgets should be, we just have to be prepared for when our budgets do get rocked. That’s why we have a savings account set up so we can handle these budget mishaps and if you don’t have a “slush fund” set up, I encourage you to watch this video where I explain how we use our and consider setting up one for yourself.
Here are our financial specifics:
Pay off student loans by December 31st. Total balance at the beginning of the year: $20,106.81(DONE!!!!!!!! ) Contribute the max allowed percentage to hubs’ 401(k) plan and continue contributing $30 a week to my Roth IRA. Will increase my contribution amount if goal of paying off student loans is met before the end of the year. We will be decreasing the amount contributed to our emergency fund in order to build up our retirement funds.(Done.)
- Go back to carrying cash only for all purchases. (For the all-cash challenge, we did way better than I expected. We did fall off the wagon the week after Charlotte was born and were swiping our debit card a little bit too much (our out-of-whack budget totally reflected that!) but overall, I say it was a success because we worked hard to pick ourselves back up and try again.)
- Plan and implement a spending freeze. (I still haven’t been able to get my hubs to agree to a date yet for this….)
Set aside $10 every week towards our Christmas fund for a debt-free Christmas (it will be our third one!).(Done! We have enough Swagbucks* earnings to pay for Christmas this year).
- Complete Financial Peace University by December 31st. (This one may just have to be carried over into next year as we still have not jumped back on this!)
Money Making Mom by Crystal Paine * – I am so thankful that Crystal allowed me to be on her launch team for this book. It’s such a motivational read to any mom out there looking to earn an additional income from home. I encourage you to read this one if you are considering starting your own business, blog, or just searching for a way to bring home some bacon. 🙂
Teach and Grow Rich by Danny Iny * – If you’re interested in starting an eCourse, I highly recommend this book. It’s a quick read but gives you a punch in the gut, because I don’t know about you, but I’ve purchases a few eCourses that I thought would be amazing only to be completely disappointed in them. I’ve been wanting to create an eCourse for forever (it’s on my 2016 Goals List!) and this book gave me some much needed insight into the best way to gauge the right material for my course so I can better serve y’all. 🙂
Dumroll Please….My Favorite Book….
Undone: A Story of Making Peace with an Unexpected Life by Michele Cushatt * – My goodness y’all. This book wrecked me and gave me the peace that I needed. Michele shares her story of not only surviving cancer but of living a life “undone” and a faith that restores everything. I love how she shares her weaknesses that she didn’t even realize that she had with her faith – this is definitely a must read book and if you’re going through a challenging time or know someone that is, make sure this book is on the must-read list! It’s incredible.
Have you grabbed my book, Real Life on a Budget yet? If not you can grab it here. 🙂
What big accomplishments have you mastered so far this year? Share them below – I’d love to cheer you on!
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Congrats again on sweet baby Charlotte!
Congrats also on the awesome income and page views this month. I am impressed! I agree that Pinterest is where it’s at. I get 90-95% of my traffic from Pinterest.
Have fun at the Business Boutique Conference. What a great opportunity!
Jessi Fearon says
Thank you so much Emily! 🙂
Marrianna Dougherty says
I read your blog posts all the time. In fact, I read every one of them. I get inspired by your successes and your planning and all of it. I discovered Dave Ramsey after reading several different blogs about simplifying life and cutting back on spending. I have a long way to go and Christmas is coming. While I’m not in debt, there are some things I want to purchase as gifts to myself to help me do some things I really want to do (I plan to purchase a camcorder on Black Friday or Cyber Monday). The other item I’m hoping will be on a great sale is a new vacuum cleaner. Dang it but mine has not been working as well as it should. I
‘m looking forward to reading about your adventures at the Dave Ramsey business conference for sure. And thank you for keeping us updated on your goals. Yours is a real transparent style of sharing and I appreciate it greatly.
I think Charlotte is a fantastic and regal name for a girl. Congratulations!
Jessi Fearon says
Thank you so much Marrianna! 🙂 I can’t wait to share how it all goes at the conference! And hey, I’m a firm believer in a vacuum cleaner that works – in fact, it is the one cleaning tool that I spent a fair chunk of change on. We got the Shark Navigator and it’s been the best vacuum we’ve ever had for sure.
Reelika @Financially Wise On Heels says
Congrats, you have adorable baby girl and handsome boys as well 🙂
I absolutely love your blog and you have done amazing job. Congrats for reaching your goals 🙂
I missed FinCon, but I will be attending at Minnesota Bloggers Conference in a few weeks, and a 3-day Video marketing conference in Los Angeles in December. I hope to learn new things and apply those to my business.
My biggest goal right now is to finally launch my Online Program (in a few weeks!). It have absolutely put my heart into this and I can’t wait to launch it! I had to put lots of time into this, but hopefully it will be life changing to many people 🙂
I’m so glad to read that you have been able to accomplish your goals, well done 🙂
Natalie @ Financegirl says
Congratulations, Jessi!! I have a sole proprietorship and I’m converting to an LLC effective January 1. It’s definitely the way to go. Having your own business bank account is such a must — it’s also easier to save, in my opinion. Congratulations on sweet baby Charlotte. I’m so happy for you and all of your success — family, business, and everything else. I don’t know how you do it all. You are amazing!!
Jessi Fearon says
Thank you so much Natalie! I definitely waited way longer than I should have on becoming an LLC and it was so much easier than I thought to get it all set up. 🙂
Amy @ DebtGal says
Congratulations, again, on the arrival of Charlotte! I was induced, too, but ended having to have a c-section.
Congrats on a fantastic month!! I’d love to take an eCourse that you teach; looking forward to seeing that come together for you!
My biggest accomplishment this year is getting our financial house much more in order. We had about $60K (YEEKS!!) of credit card debt at the beginning of the year. We used a home equity loan to pay it off and now have a single, much more manageable interest rate. We pay more than the minimum payment on the loan every month, because I want to get it paid off as quickly as possible. And we have not incurred any new debt this year – woo hoo!
Jessi Fearon says
Heck yes Amy!!!!!!! You’re such an inspiration – and one interest rate over several is definitely a more manageable approach to paying off debt! Y’all are rocking it! 🙂
Stephanie @ SixFiguresUnder says
What a great month for your family and your blog! I’m sorry that you were in labor for so long, especially after having to be induced! So glad Charlotte is safely here and has two big brothers to take good care of her! 🙂
Jessi Fearon says
Thank you so much Stephanie! 🙂 I was definitely hoping for a quick labor, but thankfully, I did have a quick delivery so once she decided it was go-time, 15 minutes later she was here! 🙂
Kristen @ Joyfully Thriving says
What an exciting personal and professional month! Congrats on the LLC! That’s something I need to get moving on as well. Glad to know Legal Zoom was helpful. I will definitely keep that in mind! And I’ll be praying that your time with Dave Ramsey is an amazing one…even having to leave Charlotte behind.
Jessi Fearon says
Thank you so much Kristen! LegalZoom definitely made the process easier and honestly, I have no idea why I was waiting so long. And thank you so much for your prayers!
Congratulations on the birth of your daughter! May God grant her many blessed years! And, I am very impressed with your progress on your goals. I hadn’t planned on starting a blog this year, so I didn’t include any blogging goals in my 2015 plan, but you’ve inspired me to think big for next year!
Jessi Fearon says
Thank you so much Sarah! And definitely think big because you’re going to do great things! 🙂
Congrats on the new baby! What a cutie. Prayers on leaving her though, I know that can be tough. I had to leave my first at 9 weeks to return to work and I sobbed the entire drive to work and most of the day. My 8th grade students were so good about it though.
Jessi Fearon says
Thank you so much Sarah and God Bless you – you have amazing strength because I don’t know that I could have done that with my first! And teaching 8th grade couldn’t have been a walk in the park ;).
Julie S says
Woot congrats on getting an LLC for your blog! You’re a big shot now 😉 Great goals update, would love to see you link this up to #GratitudeGoals 🙂
diane @smartmoneysimplelife says
Congratulations and a warm welcome to Charlotte!
You certainly haven’t been letting the grass grow under your feet this year. It’s totally inspiring to see how much you’ve achieved!
I hope Charlotte’s being a good bub. 🙂
Jessi Fearon says
Awe, thank you so much Diane! 🙂