If It Ain’t Broke…But It Is!

Hmmm, the level of consistency that it takes to ACTUALLY blog is more challenging than I expected…BUT, lets celebrate the small victories…right?

So…..where do I even start? I started off 2018 super-energized, and with a BANG! One of my goals for 2018?

To get a grip of my finances: pay off debt, build my depleted savings (read: $0.00), and LEARN HOW TO LIVE ABUNDANTLY WITHIN MY MEANS!

Full disclosure: A part of me didn’t want to write this post because of shame, but i clapped back real quick, and told myself that there’s no shame in trying to BE BETTER! Moving along…

Facts, I have been absolutely clueless on how to manage my finances, and just grew SICK AND TIRED of the daily…self-imposed struggle.

So I decided that it was time for some drastic changes. Since locking myself up in my tiny home of a studio for the rest of the year, though preferable, wasn’t an option, I began looking for ways to start my journey towards improving my finances and building wealth

To be clear, I’ve been extremely blessed to not have any student loans, but I’d accumulated some pesky credit card debt by just making TERRIBLE decisions…that mostly involved eating out at restaurants, eating out at restaurants, food, more food, and some other obscure and unnecessary purchases.

Just as I was reeling into the debt spiral of no return (I seriously had no idea how I was going to dig myself out of $5,000.00 worth of debt I had accumulated in less than 2 months), Roe, one half of @brownkids came to the rescue, and saved the day.

First of all, Roe and her other half, “E,” are #lifegoals, but THEN she put together the most bombtastic 10-day debt diary  where you could take a casual stroll with her as she holds your hand through each day of the diary—see her IG story highlights for all the gems.

My suggestion? Walk RUN on over to her page right now, and you if you don’t fall in love with her by the end of the diary….you’re simply not human.

What I loved about the debt diary? Roe took it beyond the rigidness of generic budget building, and constructed a wholly human experience that reached into our hearts and souls while gently sparking radical transformations.

I entered the year with nearly $5,000.00 worth of credit card debt (amassed in about 2 months, btw).

It may be chump change for some, but at the rate that I was going, I don’t even want to think  about where I would’ve ended up had I continued living the YOLO life.

Can we also talk about the fact that my card has an interest rate of 29.99%!!!! How, Sway???? WHO DOES THAT!—working to see if I can get that lowered, because I honestly don’t even know how that happened.

But if I made a little more money, all of my money woes will just magically disappear? Right?? Right???

Newsflash, Michel: If you can’t manage the money you already have, how in the world do you expect to magically become financially savvy once you have more money???

These are all questions I had to ask myself….

I had no idea how to even approach my debt, but can we just take a moment to relish in the amazingness that is Roe’s debt diary?

Once I got through the debt diary, and all the wonderfulness that came along with it…I was able to build a sustainable budget (on google docs, no less) that has helped me stay on track(ish) since completing the diary.

[We’ll talk about the emotional roller coaster of a ride that  caused me to live…recklessly…without financial boundaries for the last two weeks of February at a later date…maybe a post on emotional spending? We’ll see].

FEBRUARY 2018 FINANCIAL RECAP

Mkay, It’s only been about a month since I truly got serious about my finances, and here’s all the magic that has happened so far.

VICTORIES

  • I was able to build up my emergency savings to $1,000.00  – It’s just a start, and my goal is to be able to have savings that will cover 4 months worth of expenses by the end of the year.
  • I paid off a total of about $2,336.00 towards my credit card debt, bringing my total down from about $5000.00 to $2664.00…YAY!!!!!!!– the 29.99% APR rate is hurting my feelings something awful, so I plan on giving the AMEX a call to see what we can negotiate, cuz that rate is for the birds. All tips and suggestions are welcome!  My goal is to pay everything off by May!
  • I created a realistic budget that allowed me to track every single dollar that went in and out of my account…and guess what? I found that I had enough money to pay all of my fixed and variable expenses without a hitch, AND that I had enough money to throw a good chunk of my income towards my credit card debt.
  • The real MVP this month was my tax refund of $2,000.00; I was able to throw it my credit card debt, and make some significant progress. To be honest, I probably would’ve squandered my refund had I not buckled down and gotten serious about my finances.

NOT SO HOT MOMENTS

  • I spent about $250.00+ in the last two weeks of February, in which ALL purchases were motivated by my emotions. Yep, I hadn’t realized how much my emotions dictated my financial decisions until I decided to create a budget.
  • What feel-good things did I purchase?
    • $56.00 of food and restaurants
    • $50.00 pedicure
    • $94.00 worth of cleaning supplies and a hand-held vacuum from Target
    • $15.00 candles at Ross
    • $35.00 shoes at the thrift store (I actually don’t regret this purchase, but it was still outside my budget)

I couldn’t even return the purchases because I lost the receipts!

It was just emotions taking me over…caught up in sorrow…lost in the soooong…LOL. Enough of that…I’d love to bury my head in the sand and not have to think about these here finances, but the way my goals are set up…I just simply don’t have that option.

So, I had a bit of a mishap, but it definitely didn’t throw me off target too much. Just think, those could’ve been $250.00 that went towards my credit card debt! Nex

My goal? to provide a recap of my progress, or lack thereof every month. Hoping it will keep me accountable, and keep ya’ll from making the same mistakes

There you have it! The good, the bad, and the ugly of my pursuit towards a Boss + Simple Life.

What are some blogs, Instagram accounts, etc. that have helped you get on the right track?

I’d love to hear about it!

Besos,

Michel

 

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Confetti: there’s a party in my head

The glittering scintillating metallic-y multi-colored tiny bits of paper that flutter amidst a celebration…that’s what it feels like inside my head sometimes. A million things fluttering around at once…altogether so captivating…but goodness gracious, I NEED TO FOCUS!

Imagine trying to go through all that confetti mess once it settles 😦

It’s like a never-ending cycle of mess on mess on mess…

But guess who’s determined not to let a lifetime of confetti get in the way of being great? ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anybody else feel like their mind lives in a land of confetti? Let me know if you do…and feel free to leave any tips in the comments on how you sort that mess out. I’d love to hear about it!

Hasta luego!

-Michel

 

 

Living Beyond the Extraordinary

As I write this post, I’m battling the same doubts and fears that have crippled me for years. Except, this time…I’m fighting back.

I always wondered why God had skipped over me on the conveyer belt of gifts and talents. I desperately wanted to be anything besides ordinary…but I couldn’t fathom how dreary ol’ me would ever be extraordinary.

But, God… He saw me…and saw something precious. All I could see was the timid little girl who was scared to dream, who never felt beautiful, and who believed that she would never be enough. Never be enough to be loved, to be held, to be cherished. The little girl who believed when the world told her that she was no one.

But, God…He saw me…and saw something precious. Only this time, it was me telling myself that I’d be no one. Telling myself that the woman I’d become would never be extraordinary. How could I? Devoid of gifts and and talents (or so I thought), I felt like didn’t have a place in this great big world.

But, God…He saw me…and saw something precious.  I almost believed it…I almost believed that I was no one. I almost believed that God had, indeed, skipped over me. And just as I was about to acquiesce to an unmemorable ordinary life…something happened.

But, God…I saw Him…and saw something precious. Yet still, even though He assured me that He hadn’t skipped me, I started doubting the very gifts and talents that I had longed for. I questioned whether, in fact, I was qualified enough to be a good steward of those gifts.

But, God…He saw me…and saw something EXTRAORDINARY! For years, I ran…I ran so far from extraordinary. Why? No one tells you that being extraordinary is terrifying. No one tells you that being extraordinary is not about you, but about using your gifts and talents for others. And today (nine years later), I’ve decided to stop running.

I’m terrified. I’m terrified because my life is far from perfect…I’m terrified because I’m still fighting the same fears and doubts, but this time I’m fighting back with the strength of a God who thinks I’m extraordinary.

I will write. I will write for every girl who feels invisible. I will write for every woman who believes that God skipped over them. He sees you…

Funny enough, I had no intentions of writing this post. But what I’ve learned, and what I’m learning to accept is that God’s plans are NEVER my plans. I don’t know what this journey will entail, but what I know is that I’ll continue to write about all things extraordinary!

-Michel Rosario

Welcome to The Boss + Simple Life!

Hey, Everyone!

Thank you for taking the time to stop by my blog! I’m super excited that you’re here! A couple months ago (October 7, 2017, to be exact), I decided to start my journey towards simple living, and pursuing my dreams.

I wanted to a way to track my progress, while helping other women along the way. There are far too many reasons as to why I decided to start The Boss + Simple Life, but I’ve decided to add some of them below.

So, here are a few (not even close to all) reasons why I created The Boss + Simple Life:

  • I was 100% unhappy with my life—spiritually, financially, professionally, relationship-wise, etc. My health was suffering, I was progressively gaining weight, and was finding it extremely difficult to get through each day. I honestly didn’t think I could get through another year of the same thing. I’m pretty sure I hit rock bottom. Let me tell you, it’s not a fun place to be, but sometimes you gotta get familiar with the bottom before you decide it’s time for a change.

 

  •  My superpower? I have the insane ability to forget just about anything and everything—try me, I promise I won’t disappoint! Oh, and please don’t ask me how many times I’ve lost my cellphone (domestically and internationally). Short version? I’ve struggled with attention and concentration for as long as I can remember, and became extremely frustrated with having it affect every single area of my life. I determined that most of my issues could be traced back to the issues listed above. This is why I decided to incorporate a 90-day experiment that will I’m hoping will  help me develop skills to increase my attention and concentration and time management…among (many) other things. I’ll tell you a little more about my 90-day experiment in my next post!

 

  • I felt alone—I felt like I was the only one STRUGGLING! I tried seeking professional help to develop new and functional skills to improve my concentration and attention, but folks just wanted to prescribe medication (I’m not against medication, but I wanted to make sure I tried other options, first). Also, seeking help as a Black woman was terrifying. Practitioners didn’t look like me, and the available resources weren’t created by people who liked me either, so I created my blog in response to those experiences.

The truth is that I’ve been talking myself out of getting started for a while because I didn’t feel “ready.”

I felt like I needed to have my life in order (HA!) before documenting my journey: a perfectly formatted blog, the perfect tech equipment (new laptop, camera, lighting, etc.), and the perfect content.

My bank account gave me a slice of humble pie that set me straight almost immediately. But if I waited until I had everything in order, I’d never get started!!!

So feel free to follow along as I figure out how to embrace boss + simple living in my tiny 486sq. ft. studio. I figured that I couldn’t sit around and wait for things to turn around; I actually had to TAKE ACTION.

I’m being intentional about making sure that my journey also includes building financial freedom/wealth, while relentlessly pursuing my passions and dreams! I still don’t exactly know what I’m doing, but I’m so glad I got started!

Thanks for following along, and I looking forward to hearing why you decided to embark on your own a boss + simple life journey!

-Michel