Just Run....

My mind races all day long UNTIL I run. Seriously! I have a worrying and anxious spirit and the only time I am truly at peace is while running. 

Let’s go backwards so I can share how I started running. During high school, I was on the dance team and was fairly active weighing in at about 112-115. I went to college and Lawd I gained Freshman 20. I had never been that big and was uncomfortable. I started really not liking how fat my face was or that every time I sat down I unbuttoned my pants. I came home one weekend from school and ran into an old neighbor and she said “Oh Fenise, you’ve gotten so fat”. I felt terrible and lazy. I should have never gotten fat like that. I know! Never would I have thought I would become that girl with a body image disorder but I did. 

Summer came and I began doing something about it. I wasn’t going to wade in the waters of self pity. After summer school Biology classes before I went into work waiting tables at the Peabody, I hit the pavement running downtown. Never had I ran before! I just started running away from the thoughts of unhealthiness, being fat and not liking my body. 

19 years later, a couple of half marathons later, pushing Amira in a Jeep jogging stroller still through downtown Memphis streets, I find peace in running. 

 

 Andrea Fenise Memphis Fashion Blogger shares #40before40 Run A Full Marathon Goal 

The thing I find so thrilling about running is the high. The high you get after you reach a threshold that gives you energy to keep going to push yourself pass your limitations. Every run, I try to push myself either to go a little faster or a little further. It has been a direct parallel to my approach of designing a life for myself. 

After every goal I set for myself is accomplished, I make another. I push myself a little further. Now I have a goal to RUN A FULL MARATHON. 

Running a marathon for me is huge! I remember my first half like it was yesterday. I didn’t train a lot. It was a spare of the moment thing but I smashed it. I ran, sat in my stride and pace and felt like the world stood still for me. The birds sang a special song for me. And all of the world cheered for me. I want to feel that same feeling adding an extra few miles in. Lol! 

so, here’s to sharing my race journey, training tips, running gear and diet. 

Sowing Seeds Digitally

Much of our lives is lived through screens whether it’s 5x something cell phone screen or a computer screen, every facet of our lives it seems is influenced by what we see digitally. Technology has changed our lives for good mostly, I believe.  

I now can pay bills through my cell phone, have conversations at an instant not just when I get home lol, but mostly human interaction through digital screens has transformed my life. I have built a sustainable career from online businesses and social media. Not just the career, I’ve met some amazing people who I share my story and purpose through character length paragraphs. WOW!

Often times, I’m blown away by the exchange of inspiration we share when clicking “post” or “submit”.  How sending words or ideas through the internet space reaches people, still has me in awe. 

The beginnjng days of blogging still has me captivated. Back then in blogging, people would share simple steps in pursuit of a journey with complete strangers on the World Wide Web. I would wake up early before pharmacy school to watch the progression of other’s journey and feel like at the end of completion I watched my BFF in my head who lived all the way in New York reach a goal. 

Now look at me, that person sharing a journey and women like Tiua Bowie following along and sowing seeds to help me see it all come to fruition. 

Here’s the stor, Tiua reached out to me via Facebook to book a fabric sourcing consultation.  I had a million and one things going on and forgot to message her back. So after I finally sat down I responded answering her question but didn’t feel the need to invoice her. Why? Because I felt like it would take me more one to actually type up an invoice when I could just answer her question. She said “ I don’t mind paying”. Jokingly I said, “No girl but you can donate to my garden fund”. 

Ya’ll she did!!!! She PayPal and generous donation to my garden fund. Here I am sharing my story, both of us are literally sowing seeds and I am making progress towards a full vegetable garden.  

Look at how this digital world is changing lives, inspiring people and connecting us all. So here I am with rosemary, cucumber, squash, onions, cilantro, tomatoes, and zucchini that is already planted and just waiting to grow. 

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Grow a Full Garden

Growing up my mother grew the most beautiful flower beds. She had a magical green thumb, thanks to Mrs Bessie, our neighbor, who gave her domestic guidance. My mom grew up in the inner city with a not so great childhood story and fond memories of lessons taught by her mother to tell. My grandmother was a city girl who lived a pretty fast life in the 60s and 70s.So sitting working in the yard and teaching my mom about birds, bees and plants was not what her thing, ya know. 

Somehow thanks to women like Mrs Bessie who taught her "womanly" things like keeping a house and a garden, my mom just got it. Like most mothers, they try to teach their daughters what they know and hopefully sprinkle a little extra love to be even better than they were. My mom tried her best to teach me about plants but I always made excuses about my eczema flaring up when I'm outside. I thought, "Hmmmmm no Ma'am, I'm going to be a pharmacist. I don't need to know anything about gardening, flower beds or anything domesticated. It wasn’t going to be my thing. The thought of having a garden just wasn't something I'd ever imagine I would want to have as a dream goal.

Fast forward, 20 years and look at me. I'm trying to recollect any of the wise words my mom tried to whisper to me about being careful not to  shock the plants, what soil to use, how to see if a plant is still living or not. Because now I want my own garden. My own place to come outside and disconnect from the world only to connect to my own world. 

After getting off the roller coaster of grief and wanting to break free from sewing for others, I found so much peace in my garden last year. It was the one thing that allowed me to be quiet, pay attention and sit back and allow things to take it's time to grow. We hear so many wellness experts suggest getting out in nature to create and restore balance and to feel renewed. There is so much truth in it. I began gardening on my own time and for my own reasons. It was a spiritual challenge. I desperately needed to create a balance of masculine and feminine energy. Like I always say, the universe sends sweet messages and signs when you need them either to let you know you are on the right path or redirect you. At the time, I was reading Alice Walker's In Search of Our Mothers Gardens and just like that, I realized why it wasn't meant for me to garden at 10. It was meant for me when I needed it the most because I needed to search for my own. 

HERE I AM IN SEARCH OF MY OWN GARDEN. I AM NOURISHING BOTH MY BODY AND MY SOUL. EMBRACING FEMININE AND MASCULINE ENERGY. SUSTAINING AND CREATING LIFE THROUGH GOD'S GIFTS OF PLANTS. 

Last year, with the help of my neighbor Bo, I started my own little garden. I worked that garden endless with absolutely no knowledge of gardening. I trusted my self and my green thumb. I talked to the plants just like my mom said she did and everything grew and grew abundantly. I had found my own garden. There was this little prayer I prayed to "my garden" the one I was in search of spiritually. And she listened to me and answered my prayers. 

I'm not working this garden alone this year. I have my love Daniel who has a magical green thumb, craftsmanship and love for nature and me to help me along the way. 

I hope you follow me along my journey of growing a full garden this year and the years to come before 40

 Andrea Fenise Memphis Fashion Blogger and Memphis lifestyle blogger shares #40before40series goal grow a garden
 Andrea Fenise Memphis Fashion Blogger and Memphis lifestyle blogger shares #40before40series goal grow a garden
 Andrea Fenise Memphis Fashion Blogger and Memphis lifestyle blogger shares #40before40series goal grow a garden
 Andrea Fenise Memphis Fashion Blogger and Memphis lifestyle blogger shares #40before40series goal grow a garden
 Andrea Fenise Memphis Fashion Blogger and Memphis lifestyle blogger shares #40before40series goal grow a garden

It's the beginning of April and we have one little strawberry bloom peeking out.

Last weekend, we rotated the soil and tilled it. Daniel extended the garden out some and laid this beautiful brick border out for me. How cute?! He also pressure washed the driveway. HOW sweet?! We moved the lemon balm, lemongrass and strawberries and planted a bunch of mint. I have to add more vegetable plants over the next couple of weeks and I'll share what I've planted, gardening tips and progress with you all. 

DON'T JUST SHARE WHEN IT'S GOOD?

I'm sure you can make a well-educated assumption about what this post is all about. It's all good to share when things are good but it is only fair that if you are being fully transparent and taking people on a journey,  you share the bad too. 

A journey, we hear that word quite a lot in millennial narratives (along with narratives). It is defined as an act of traveling from one place to another, meaning going from one place to another. What we don't hear or see is the non-linear, zig, zag, round and around steps in a journey. 

This financial journey of mine to get from one place to another with progression and freedom as my main goal hasn't been a straight shot. I feel like I'm in a traffic jam on 75S in Atlanta. If you drove through Atlanta you know what I mean.  You leave the house fully gassed up, maps show no traffic and then BOOM--- at a standstill. At the beginning of the year,  I was so eager and ready to accomplish this goal of saving $5,000 by December and then everything started distracting me.

Here I am, literally with $500 savings, still sitting in my emergency fund with no forward movement towards the goal. So a quick update, I don't have the full-time employment as before. The biweekly paychecks with a pretty much a set amount aren't coming in. Plus, I have had life changes since the beginning of the year. We got engaged and of course with engagement comes a wedding, maybe. I am now trying to decide should I halt the emergency fund saving switch my route and save for our wedding OR halt the emergency fund to save for a house and not a wedding OR do what I said initially which is save the emergency fund and move towards the next step, whatever that may be. 

So my biggest question, IS WHERE DO I GO FROM HERE? I'm so confused!

 Andrea Fenise Memphis Fashion Blogger and Memphis Blogger shares financial journey

I must be honest with myself and others I am sharing this journey with and say that I have a lot of "things to do" financially and don't know the best route. I have money from a tax refund that I could allocate a percentage to my emergency fund to show progression.  I also know that not having a secured check in the form of a 9-5 I can't say for sure I can save a percentage as I did before. I am making income from the two businesses I kept afloat while working the "job" but we know how entrepreneurship is at times. 

I know one thing for sure, I must keep moving forward. I need to visually see myself accomplishing something. I really don't care if it's just $5 dollars here or there. I want to see some things get done. And honestly, I haven't done anything in the last month or so. TOTALLY NOT GOOD. Hopefully, my next update you will see a progression in the savings bar or at least an update on another goal. 

MARCH SAVINGS GOAL
 
$0 $500
#40BEFORE40 GOAL
 
$0 $5,967

Y DIJE QUE SI!

On Valentine's Day my boyfriend, Daniel, proposed to me. WOW!! I honestly still can't believe it. Like seriously, I am going to be someone's wife. The proposal was quintessentially,  US. It was just he and I like I've always wanted it. I don't like big fiascos and productions OMG, it makes me so nervous. 

 Andrea Fenise Memphis Fashion Blogger shares 40before40 get married goal

 I will begin sharing more personal notes and blog posts about my #25 40before40 goal on a much deeper level than the idea of just getting married. Here's the thing, I knew I deserved to be a wife. I know in my heart there is a spiritual challenge ahead for me to be a wife and there is a divine purpose in me becoming Daniel's wife. 

I did say this prayer to God and I was very specific in my prayers to God about becoming a wife, the husband that I specifically asked God to find me. This journey will not turn into what's going on now with women being a certain way in order to be ready for a husband. NOT AT ALL. It is more so me showing the outward results of working on myself, the power of manifestation, love, family, joy and happiness---all of which I had to convince myself I too deserved. 

I'm so excited to share this journey of  Getting Married before 40.

READING BILINGUAL CHILDREN'S BOOKS TO LEARN SPANISH

For quite some time, it has been a dream of mine to be bilingual. I can think back to as far as middle school, I began my fascination with other cultures and languages. It could be my zodiac sign, Sagitarrius, natural explorers, lover of culture and people but I have an undying desire and quest to speak multiple languages and immerse myself in the cultures around the world. Instead of daydreaming of the day of walking through the streets of Peru or Cuba speaking with the locals, I devoted myself to learning how to speak Spanish. I began to search for practical ways to learn and decided to start with learning on a basic level for conversational Spanish. One way that has helped me accelerate my Spanish speaking skills is by reading bilingual children's books. 

The idea came from one of my former patients when I worked in healthcare back at Walgreens. He was British married to an African woman with trilingual children. OMG! He was reading a children's board book and of course, being curious,  I asked him what was he reading and why was he reading a child's book. He showed me the cover and it was a bilingual Spanish book that he was reading to teach himself Spanish. LIGHTBULB!!!!!! He explained the best way for him to learn was starting at the beginning of learning a language and building a vocabulary just like children begin to learn their native language. 

 Andrea Fenise Memphis Fashion Blogger shares how she began to learn spanish by reading children's bilingual books

Bilingual Books are books written in two different languages. They aren’t usually translated word for word, but rather the same storylines are written in each language. If they are written well, bilingual books can be a valuable resource for parents and educators to use with children. It becomes a comparative lesson almost when you can compare words in two languages with storylines. 

 Andrea Fenise Memphis Fashion Blogger shares how she began to learn spanish by reading children's bilingual books
 Andrea Fenise Memphis Fashion Blogger shares how she began to learn spanish by reading children's bilingual books

Here's a tip I will share with you of how I took some baby steps to make sure I am on the path of speaking Spanish fluently before 40. I go to my local library in the children's section and search for bilingual books. You can find everything from board books for toddlers that teach you colors, body parts, up to complete short stories. Learning a language can be pretty expensive when you start purchasing so many resources like cds, books, and even lessons. Bilingual books have been a great way for both Amira and I to learn a second language. It helps Amira to learn at a place that is comfortable for her with similar storylines as English books she's currently reading. We get to bond over learning something new together, which is always pretty cool. 

 Andrea Fenise Memphis Fashion Blogger shares how she began to learn spanish by reading children's bilingual books
 Andrea Fenise Memphis Fashion Blogger shares how she began to learn spanish by reading children's bilingual books
 Andrea Fenise Memphis Fashion Blogger shares how she began to learn spanish by reading children's bilingual books
 Andrea Fenise Memphis Fashion Blogger and Memphis Parenting Blogger shares how to learn spanish using bilingual childrens books 
 Andrea Fenise Memphis Fashion Blogger Memphis Parenting Blogger shares how to learn spanish using bilingual childrens books 

I am more than confident that within 3 more years, I will be able to speak Spanish fluently if I continue to read a bilingual book a night. Hopefully as I continue to share my journey, SPEAK SPANISH FLUENTLY,  with candid videos, short stories I've written and even bilingual blog posts, I will inspire you to do the same. 

WEEK 4 : Robbed Myself to Pay MLGW then Paid Myself Back

Ok you guys, it is February the 2nd 2018 and I, Andrea Fenise J. (will not just publicly give out my government name lol) has $500 saved. Like ya'll ?! I can't believe it. 

I HAVE ACCOMPLISHED ONE OF MY FIRST MINI GOALS FOR 2018!!!!!!!!

 Andrea Fenise Memphis Fashion Blogger shares a weekly #40before40 series installment

I know $500 maybe chump change to you thousandaires and millionaires--so please don't pour Kool-Aid on my accomplishments...k?! I have sacrificed so many years of financial gain for the dream of entrepreneurship, so money wasn't just always flowing abundantly. It flowed and then dried up then flowed and dried up lol. I found myself robbing myself (my business accounts) to pay MLGW. I kept that cycle going for months and decided NO MAS. 

And now I am here! Making big girl decisions to give myself room to move around freely to have money set aside in the case of an emergency or not enough hours on my check.  The last week of January, was just that sort of an emergency. 

I had to rob my emergency fund to pay my super sky high utility bill which was like $300 dollars. I live in a super old house built in 1910 with hardwood floors, old windows, and the insulation isn't that great. We had some very frigid cold days and I am not here for cold at all. My heat was on H-E-L-L, spacer heaters were in heavy rotation and Amira consumed every ounce of electricity for a week.  Plus, I didn't have a full 80 hour check the pay period prior so things were a little tight. 

Thankfully, I had the money available plus extra income coming in from a freelancing project. I borrowed $300 from myself but paid myself back and added 10% to my January emergency fund. 

VOILA!

JANUARY SAVINGS GOAL
 
$220 $500
#40BEFORE40 GOAL
 
$220 $5,967

WEEK 3: IT'S TIGHT BUT IT'S RIGHT

HEY HEY HEY...It's week 3 and as promised, I'm telling ya'll all of my business. Week 3 was a bit of a challenge for me but I made it through. I had extra disposable income from Week 2 or last pay period due to my rent not being due until the 20th of each month. I took care of all the line items in my budget like utilities, self-care for Amira and I, gas and food in order to get those out of the way.   I did have some extra money that wasn't necessarily allocated to any particular budget expense. I didn't splurge or buy any unnecessary items although I was enticed. 

I'm not a big shopper but I do have a running list of things I "desire" and having a little extra money makes me feel like I should go ahead and purchase it because I have it. NO MA'AM PAM!! I promised unless it is really a necessity I can't make purchases until I have reached monthly goals. 

SOOOOOOOOO...... 

- I declined buying new concealer from MAC. 

- I declined buying magazines. 

- I declined buying new glasses. 

-I declined buying Starbucks. 

- I bought fabric to make a dress but returned it when I found a dress much cheaper already made lol. 

I was invited to the NAACP Image Awards Watch Party at the Civil Rights Museum and needed something to wear. I like to make my looks when I am going somewhere fancy but many of you know--I'm really not in the mood to sew. I bought fabric just in case but after procrastinating to cut the pattern and fabric, I just went to the mall. I NEVER shop in malls, like never. However, I am focused on getting to my goal and I felt like I could go to a trendy little store and come up on something just as fabulous. The plan was to find a cute little dress under $30. 

 WEEK 3: Andrea Fenise Memphis Fashion Blogger shares a saving for an emergency fund 

Well look a here--- a dress for $10.91 at Windsor!!!!! I paired it with my Givenchy choker and Style Junkie earrings. I received so many compliments and felt pretty cool that I also had some extra coins in my little Coach bucket bag and savings in my account too. 


Here is the it's tight part....

The challenge in week 3 was not realizing my next paycheck would be about 32 hours less. RIGHT! We were closed from December 22nd-January 2nd AND of course, someone is on probation so I don't get paid. I totally forgot about it. I did panic for a second. Now let me get into something else really quick, I approach money so strangely. I have a fear of dealing with money, being broke, or something. I really have considered seeking therapy for my financial fear. I'll get into it later. 

Those feelings I normally have came back and I almost relapsed back into "Oh hell, I'm broke what is I'm gonna do" mode. But I realized if worse gets to worst you do have $297 in savings. Then, I started thinking how much of a failure I'd be if I exhausted my new little emergency fund and had to start back over at $0. I thought, man I'll be super bogus to dip into my emergency fund when I'm trying to inspire others to get this schmuney.

No, No, No we can't allow bad thoughts to enter our heads. Instead, I proactively sat down and reevaluated my budget and declared that it is okay to only save 10% of my income this pay period. I know 40% sounds really good but I wasn't able. I would then repeat some of the same habits before starting this challenge. 

I left my debit card home for the rest of the week. I ate cereal for dinner a couple of nights and limited my spending all week long to make sure I would have an extra money. I needed to keep at least $150 on reserve in the case I couldn't make some magic with my paycheck. 

I DID IT!!! All bills and budget items are paid. The tank is on full. Groceries in the fridge. But here's the thing, I saved FIRST. I am definitely an advocate for saving at least 10% first, paying bills and enveloping money then if you have any leftover save some more. LOL. 

 #40before40 Andrea Fenise Memphis Fashion Blogger shares a 40before40 journey to save an emergency fund

AS OF JANUARY, my monthly goal was set at saving $500 per month. Week 3 I am at 75% of goal with $377. This is when things start getting tight or a little challengingI love seeing the monthly bar increasing but OH MY GOD, It looks like I'll never get to the $5k goal. 

JANUARY SAVINGS GOAL
 
$220 $500
#40BEFORE40 GOAL
 
$220 $5,967

As I move into Week 4, I have planned to make some major shifts to help achieve my goal quicker. I will reevaluate my income mainly in securing another solid stream of income. I will also try to develop a more refined envelope system and use only cash. Here's another thing, I realize I really should do---journal about money. I share my success next week. 

 

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. 

HERE'S HOW MY FIRST WEEK WENT....

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. 

JANUARY SAVINGS GOAL
 
$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.  

#40BEFORE40 GOAL
 
$220 $5,967

#40BEFORE40 : SAVE AN EMERGENCY FUND

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. 

SKETCH THE DESIRED OUTCOME

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. 

DRAW THE FOUNDATION OR THE BUDGET

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. 

EMERGENCY FUND BALANCE AS OF JANUARY 2018= $220

SAVINGS GOAL = $500 PER MONTH 

TENTATIVE GOAL DATE  = JANUARY 2018 

DECLARE THE INTENTION

"BEFORE I TURN 40, I WILL SAVE AT LEAST $5,970 PER YEAR"

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