WEEK 2 : Every Day You Make Progress

I haven't been this inspired in a very long time. It feels therapeutic, liberating and intoxicating. For as long as I can remember, I have always dreamed about the possibility of what things could be. How I could manifest all of my dreams and desires. I knew that with discipline, hard work, courage and a lot of creativity anything can happen. 

Now let me be real, my glass hasn't always been half full. I've had days where I've almost fell into the glass wondering where the hell the rest of my water is. But, I snap out of it. Rehydrate myself --- metaphorically speaking and stand tall and firm in my innate ability to create and do whatever my heart wants, even if it seems totally out of reach. I have to believe that with every step I'm getting a little closer. 

I found this quote and wanted to share it with you all. It's one from the legendary Sir Winston Churchill.

"Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb."

Because remember I said I was inspired?! I decided that while I'm on this journey of #40before#40, I would go back to the days of early blogging back in 2005 and 2006 when I was inspired the most by bloggers.

Blogging back then was sooooooo different from today. The platforms were different. During the early OG blogging days it was more for self expression and journaling. I remember waking up some mornings before going in to work reading Chicky Finance and seeing her updates on her financial journey. There was this one super dope girl from New York I followed that just blogged about her life, her hair, her career and everything else in between but it was SO inspiring. None of the bloggers I followed then were "experts". They were just expressing themselves in a digital world, sharing themselves and things of interest to them. 

I decided that #40before40 will be written the same way. I feel like it's more organic, thought provoking and intimate that way. Plus,  I'm not an expert in any of the 40 items which is why they are still unaccomplished at 37 years old. HA! 

These posts will be sort of like journal entries. I'm sure I'll share pics, success and failures or just general this is what I did today in pursuit of XYZ. As Winston Churchill stated, Every day you make progress. 


Because I committed myself to the goal and put it out for the entire world to hold me accountable, every single day, I was conscious of staying on budget and creating extra income to add to my goal. I set a budget for the month and legit wrote it out on pen and paper so I'd know it was real. Another thing, I added a financial log in Notes in my phone to keep track of every penny I spent. The thing with my financial situation is that I have money but not really good at directing and making things go where they need to go. I really believe if I master saving FIRST then paying bills I will see major progression. 

I got paid last week from my job so as soon as direct deposit hit the bank. I withdraw 10% from my paycheck and adding to savings. I adopted Warren Buffet's philosophy on saving. I save first then pay bills with what's left. Not the other way around. I paid all bills for the upcoming 2 week period and set aside money for miscellaneous expenses like food, gas, and toiletries. I took Daniel to dinner and treated Amira to a mani and pedi --- it was a miscellaneous line item already included in the budget. NO SPLURGING.

Andrea Fenise Memphis Fashion Blogger shares #40before40 series
Andrea Fenise Memphis Fashion Blogger shares #40before40 series A

THEN...the spending stopped. I'm not buying anything absolutely anything that wasn't already allocated in the budget. I had money left but baby I DID NOT want to spend it. I think if nothing crazy happens I may be able to reach my monthly goal quicker. We will see. My washing machine broke this week and I had the money in my savings to at least buy a used washer. I decided nope. I will set aside some extra money from my paycheck or just go to the laundromat. 

The money I calculated is for the emergency fund. I'll have to set aside a separate savings for other expenses. I could pick up a sewing project to make the money. HMMM. 

When you have your eye on a prize especially if you are an overly ambitious person you can do it. I became more consumed with the idea of taking more steps rather than the notion or idea that I was scaling back. 

$220 $500

AS OF JANUARY, my monthly goal was set at saving $500 per month. Week 2 I am at 50% of goal with $297. I don't want to look at the #40before40 goal right now LOL. I just keep saying to myself. "Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful.  

$220 $5,967


I remember when I first began reading blogs back in 2007 I followed a financial blogger, Chicky Finance, who had a personal challenge similar. Her personal challenge was to save a particular amount of money and when she reached her goal she would stop blogging and disappear. She shared her journey almost daily, giving us a documented experience of reaching milestones. Well, she is no longer searchable on any search engines. She reached her goal. And, I'd like to do the same---document my journey and share it with you. 

This series will be pinned to the sidebar for the duration of my journey--3 years  and I will update as items are started, the process and the completion. I’ll probably also write an update post about them each one as I go along--the good and the bad. I hope you join me, encourage me and are inspired to make a list of your own. 

So, here's the thing-- I wanted to start with number 2 which is Save An Emergency Fund because I saw a recurring theme years after years of why I wasn't reaping benefits of many of my desired experiences. Honey you gotta have money. 

Andrea Fenise Memphis Fashion Blogger shares 40before40 series with Save an Emergency Fund 

I will admit right now--- I AM NOT A FINANCE GURU AT ALL! Therefore, I have searched the web for finance bloggers I like, bought a few new books and spoke with some of my friends who have great money habits to help a girl out. I do plan to get very educated and confront some of the financial fears I have head on though. It is not cute to be broke. You can't have these amazing experiences without money. Money is a tool to allow you to live the best life full of experiences. I realized everything on my last primarily requires money. So I had to put on my big girl skirt and devise a solid blueprint to financial freedom. 


The first thing I did was ask myself how many months of savings would allow you to feel comfortable. The way I think is like this, okay, I want to take an entire summer break off from work. How much money do I need? I need a solid 3 months of my expenses plus a little cushion to say adios to the office during the best time of the year. If I wasn't going to bask in the sun for the months but just wanted to feel secure in my finances, get sick God forbid and can't work, three months would be sufficient to carry me. 


I'll have to be very transparent with many of these experiences. I don't really mind because well sometimes it's quite refreshing to see that people have real life issues or real life journeys, right?! I'm pretty frugal and live below my means already. Years of entrepreneurship and sacrifices have caused me to not really master my finances. I made money sometimes not enough, sometimes a lot but the income wasn't steady so now. I am playing catch up with savings now that I have a steady and solid stream of income with a full-time job. I actually have income to save now, tootsie rolling. Ok, here's my plan. 






I plan to save 10-40% of my income from work and additional streams of income to contribute as much as possible to my emergency fund goal. 

I have so much to share and I'm kinda of excited to update you with my progress hopefully no shortcomings. However, if I have some I'll promise not to keep it a secret.Like I said, I will pin the series on the sidebar and try to update weekly or at least biweekly. That's kinda being fake. If you'd like to join me just comment below and I'll be sure to share resources, hold us accountable and upload some challenge worksheets to the blog to help keep us on track.  






40 BEFORE 40

My birthday has come and gone and this one was a special one. I turned 37 and while I am so happy to look good and feel good, there are so many things I feel like I need to do in particular before I turn 40. I feel behind like I have to sprint through the last few years of this decade. I am adamant about curating the woman I want to be so I made a special challenge, 40BEFORE40. I have to get some things done. You know! I am sharing this journey with you so that hopefully it inspires you but also to have some special accountability partners too. 

Andrea Fenise Memphis Fashion Blogger shares 40before40 journey

40 BEFORE 40


1. Take swimming lessons

2. Save an emergency fund

3. Start a 401k

4. Enroll in culinary school

5. Take Amira to Paris

6. Go to Africa at least twice

7. Live in another country

8. Write a book about my life.

9. Open an apothecary

10. Go camping

11. Take a road trip across a coast in an RV.

12. Run a full marathon

13. Go to Mexico

14. Speak Spanish fluently

15. Film my dream documentary for YouTube

16. Write a self help book for young girls

17. Stand in the ocean

18. Visit a jungle in South America

19. Visit a chiropractor to realign my body

20. Get a soul contract reading


21. Grow a full garden

22. Host a garden dinner party

23. Grow a flower garden

24. Visit a bee garden

25. Get married

26. Sing in public

27. Start a collection of luxury vintage pieces to pass to Amira

28. Open another business

29. Become full time self employed again

30. Start saving to buy a house

31. Write a letter to someone telling them to fuck off

32. Write another letter apologizing

33. See a Broadway play

34. Go on a solo vacation trip

35. Get a pen pal. 

36. Learn how to make sushi

37. Make a gown for an ALIST celebrity

38. Make a Amira a coffee table book of her portraits 

39.  Decorate a full ancestral altar

40. Learn how to code