One Day At A Time

One Day At A Time - Kirsten McCayI was chatting with a friend this morning and she asked how everything was going for me. My immediate reaction was “amazing” because quite frankly almost everything in my life is super amazing right now.

But then I thought deeper into how everything was going for me in my life right now and although almost everything is going extremely well, there is one area in my life that I have been COMPLETELY slacking in, so it has been going downhill pretty quickly over the past 6 months, and that is finances.

So I mentioned to her everything is perfect other than I’m pretty much out of money. As soon as I wrote it, however, it didn’t really seem to matter to me. And that made me think more into it because in the past, I would have been freaking out not having any money, but in reality, I’m not.

The “old” me is yelling at me to “get your shit together” “get a job” “work your businesses” “work more, train less” “stop eating at Whole Foods” “suck it up and work more” and “stop being so irresponsible”.

But when I actually bypass all the chatter and stop to think about it, I’m not scared, I’m not nervous, I’m not worried, and I’m not willing to give up what I am searching for in my life right now to work more, make more money, and feel more secure.

For the first time in my life I am taking it one day at a time.

Writing that and sharing it publicly makes me nervous because I still care a little bit what people think about me and I feel like it’s a very irresponsible way to live. But I am being brave and learning to embrace it. I tell others to own their lives and be proud of who they are and the decisions that they make, so I need to practice what I preach and do the same.

So I am! I am living my life the way I want to live it. I am taking it day by day, moment by moment. I am learning a lot about myself and growing daily as a human being and it feels like it’s what I am supposed to be doing right now.

And I hope the same for you. I hope you are doing things every single day that you love. That you are making choices out of passion, not desperation. That you are choosing love over fear. And that you wake up every single day with excitement and a smile on your face. If not, take a breath, write down 3 things you are grateful for, and make sure to do at least one thing today that makes you happy. PLEASE!

And then let me know how I can help you love your life more!

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See you soon!

My New Etsy Store – Fitness Diva Kir

My New Etsy Store - Fitness Diva Kir | Whenever I told her about a new nutrition or client I met with or about a training plan I wrote for a triathlete, she would tell me I needed to put some simple training and nutrition plans in an Etsy store. When my friend (and marketing coach), Tara, told me to get an Etsy store, I hesitated. Not because I don’t trust her, but because I don’t make jewelry, sell clothing, or even like crafty crafting at all.

I know friends (including her) who sell on Etsy their DIY and homemade artsy stuff. That is great for them, but it’s SO not me!

Whenever I told her about a new nutrition or client I met with or about a training plan I wrote for a triathlete, she would tell me I needed to put some simple training and nutrition plans in an Etsy store.

I was hesitant because I feel like everyone is SO different, that it wouldn’t be beneficial to write out a general program for someone to follow. For nutrition and triathlon, everyone has a different schedule, goals, lifestyles, time commitments, budgets, tastes, etc, so how could one program benefit more than the one person it was designed for.

She understood my reasoning but brought up apps like “Couch to 5K” which has been used by thousands of people who successfully completed their first 5K. This was appealing to me because I would love to help thousands of people reach their goals!

But I wasn’t ready and we shelved it…until the next time she brought it up and I resisted again. If you have read any of my other stories about Tara, you will begin to see a pattern here!

But eventually, like most of Tara’s ideas, I caved and gave it a shot. I wrote out a beginner triathlon 12 week training plan that can be done in less than 4 hours a week. And although everyone’s lives are different, unless you have extenuating circumstances, this program will work for ANY beginner triathlete looking to do his/her first sprint triathlon.

I even did a test run with 10 new athletes this past summer with 100% success!!

Check it out here…

https://www.etsy.com/shop/FitnessDivaKir

I would love feedback if something is unclear or confusing!

And PS…ANYONE can do a sprint triathlon! If you don’t believe me, read this article…Why The Birthday Present I Gave My Mom On Her 50th Made Her Cry

Reach out if you want help finding the right race for you!!!

See you soon!

Baby Steps: Saving Money

Baby Steps: Saving Money | Whether it's something you want (NormaTec Recovery boots) or something you need (house painted), things cost money, and often a lot of money. Most people don't have a huge savings account just sitting there waiting to be spent. Whether it’s something you want (NormaTec Recovery boots) or something you need (house painted), things cost money, and often a lot of money. Most people don’t have a huge savings account just sitting there waiting to be spent.

In today’s world, many people just charge these things on a credit card and then worry about paying it off later, but most of those people are also broke and in debt up to their eyeballs which is stress added onto stress.

So I have a better idea! Save for what you want (and need). Like the olden days where you don’t buy something unless you have money for it! I know that sounds boring and impossible, but buying something you actual have money for is far from boring, in fact, it’s exciting. And saving up for that thing is very possible.

When I was 12 years old I really wanted this pastel blue Swatch sweatshirt. It cost $30. Keep in mind this was the early 80s and we were poor. Most of our clothes were hand-me-downs from our babysitter and my allowance was $2 a week.

But I HAD to have that sweatshirt, so I saved my $2 a week for 15 weeks and walked right into Joslin’s and paid for it!

As a waitress in my late teens and 20s, I really began to see the act of saving for something add up.

I used the “envelope system” for my budget since I was paid cash every day. The things I had to pay for (rent, utilities, school loans, etc) were the first set of envelopes marked with how much I needed to make each day to make the payment each month.

The next set of envelopes were the things I was saving for that I needed (car, insurance, family visit, etc), the next were what I wanted short term (clothes, shoes, movies, out to eat), and the last were what I wanted long term (money for Christmas presents, snowboard pass, vacation, etc).

As you can see I was very different then!!

Each day I would come home from work with a wad of cash and distribute it into my envelopes. After the necessities, I would start putting money into the other envelopes. On the days when I made a lot of money, even the very last envelope would get a few bucks!!!!

Over time, this would add up and when I grabbed my Christmas shopping envelope to buy presents, it would have $500 in it! Where did all that money come from? It was a couple dollars every day for a year! And yes…that came to $500!!

These days I don’t earn cash, so I have a list of all the things I am saving for in the foreseeable future.

These include things I want (the recovery boots I mentioned, races, massage, trips, tattoo), things I know I will buy anyway (running shoes, bike tires/tubes, swim suits, registration for Kona), things I will need in the future (phone, computer), and things I don’t want to spend money on but know I need to at some point (painting house, AC).

Each week when I do my budget, I allocate a percentage of my income to these things I am saving for (10%) and divide that amount by the number of things I have on my list (20) and put that amount toward each item on the list. Some weeks that amount is $5, some weeks that amount is $2. BUT IT ALL ADDS UP!!!!

For example, in 2012 when I really started focusing on my dream of racing the ironman in Kona, I added it to my list. By January 2013, the year I was going for it, I already had over $200 in my “Kona fund”. By the time I qualified (September 22) and had to pay for my entry, I had $422 saved. Now granted the entry was more like $800, but I had to pay it then and there if I wanted to accept the slot, so I charged the other $380. BUT if I didn’t save up the $422, I would have had to charge the entire $800!!! And this was seriously by saving $2-$5 a week!!

Think of how many times in a week you waste $2-$5. Off-hand I can think of at least 5.

So here is your homework…

Write down something you have really wanted but kept saying “I can’t afford it”. Over the next week write down every penny you spend through the week. See where you can take $2-$5 away from something not as important (drink at the gas station, fast food, cigarettes, alcohol, going out to eat, coffee, soda, the gym membership you haven’t used in 6 months, the online subscription to something you can’t even remember, the atm fees, satellite tv, etc) OR if you really can’t (or don’t want to) cut any expenses from your life, pick up a little job a couple hours a week, all you need to do is make $2-$5 so it can even be pet walking or lawn mowing or direct sales or even selling stuff on eBay or Amazon.

Now start saving and go and get that thing you want!!

PS This works with getting out of debt too. Paying down a few dollars on a consistent basis over time pays off debt!

PSS Have fun and work for something you REALLY want!!!

Keep me posted!!

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See you soon!

3…2…1…WE’RE DEBT FREEEEEEEE!!!

3...2...1... We are debt FREEEE!I have been listening to Dave Ramsey’s podcast almost every single day for the past 2 years. It used to be only 40 minutes (schneriously???) but then last year they upped it to three 40 minutes segments a day…EUREKA!!

At least once every “hour” of his 3 hour a day radio show, Dave has people either call in or show up live in Tennessee to do their “debt free scream”. This is where singles, couples, or families have paid off all their debt (some even pay off their mortgage, but that’s not a requirement to complete ‘baby step 2’…paying off all debts but your mortgage… to do your scream) and get interviewed by Dave who asks questions about why, how, etc.

The two minute interview culminates in the person (or people) who are now debt-free counting it down (3…2…1…) and then yelling at the top of their lungs “WE’RE DEBT FREEEEEEEE!!!” and the crowd goes wild! It’s AWESOME!!!

Ever since I attended Dave Ramsey’s FINANCIAL PEACE UNIVERSITY over 6 years ago I have been “working” toward being debt-free with little success (HELP! Baby Step 1…AGAIN…UGH!!!).

I decided to get serious (well…more serious) about a year ago when I declared to the world (or at least my friends… (My next big thang!) that I was really going to finally kick this one in the ass! AND I DID!!! As of September 23, 2015, we have paid off all our debt other than our house! YAHOOOOOOO!!!

We are heading to Nashville, TN after my 7 marathons next month to do our own debt-free scream out in front of Dave Ramsey’s building where he does his radio show. We can only be there on a Saturday so he won’t be there, but I’ll video it so it will still be official!

When he interviews people who got out of debt, he asks them questions in order to help others who want to get out of debt get inspired, motivated, or just get some ideas on where to start. I wanted to answer some of the questions he asks so that YOU may get excited about getting out of debt too! I hope this article will help each and every one of you believe that you too can be debt free!

Q: How much debt did you pay off?

A: $30,957 since we started getting serious and keeping track

Q: How long did it take you?

A: 15 months

Q: What was your household income during that time?

A: Varied a LOT because we were traveling all over the place and just working here and there. I would say we ranged between $2,000 a month and $6,000 a month

Q: What happened 15 months ago that make you think you should and could get out of debt?

A: We had been “trying” to get out of debt for about 6 years with no traction. We went to FPU and that started us thinking we should, but we were still spending more than we were making every month. About a year ago we just got sick and tired of being stressed about money ALL THE TIME and we decided to buckle down and JUST DO IT! We wanted the freedom to be able to travel more and we needed to be out of debt to even consider it.

Q: Did you sell anything?

A: Yes. I am always selling things. Books, DVDs, etc. The big thing we sold at the end was our RV we had been traveling in the past 2 ½ years.

Q: What was the hardest part about getting out of debt?

A: Sticking to a budget. Both of us have that “entitlement” mentality of “I deserve this” so we had to break some bad habits of buying whatever we “needed” which was usually insanely expensive trips to Whole Foods for me.

Q: What was the hardest thing to give up?

A: For me it was racing triathlon. It’s my favorite hobby (well, only hobby) and I gave it up for one year.

Q: What were other things you gave up?

A: We also gave up cable (don’t miss it), we only ate out a couple times a week (used to be triple that), I buy more food at Wal-mart (and less at Whole Foods), and I could only do a running race if I got a free entry (I used to race every weekend).

Q: Did your friends think you were weird?

A: They do anyway! So no more than usual!

Q: What advice would you give others who want to get out of debt?

A: Work together WITH your spouse/family to have a plan and stick with it. The biggest thing that kept me going was listening to every podcast every single day for the past 15 months. And don’t forget to tell everyone around you your plan. That way they aren’t shocked when you don’t show up with gifts at Christmas and birthday parties or they aren’t surprised when you decline their offer of dinner at an expensive restaurant or joining the family vacation.

After the questions, Dave would say, “Kirsten and Rick paid of $30,957 in 15 months making between
$2,000 and $6,000 a month. Let’s hear a big debt-free scream…”

And Rick and I would reply excitedly, “3…2…1…WE’RE DEBT FREEEEEEEEEE!!!!”

So what is next? I’m sticking with Dave which means BABY STEP THREE which is to save between 3-6 months of expenses in an emergency fund. My goal is $18K by this time next year! I’ll keep you posted!

Join our FINANCIAL FREEDOM group…

https://www.facebook.com/groups/FinancialFreedomROCKS

And find out what I do to make extra money each week…

http://beachbodycoach.com/esuite/home/RealResultsROCK?bctid=2688606650001

See you SOON!!!