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Family Finance Freedom Goals

Building a business from the ground up!

Meet Holly! After building a successful small business with her husband and holding the CFO position, she decided to step away to focus on raising their children. However, she knew there was still a need for her to contribute financially. Holly was looking for something that offered flexibility, but also made her excited to jump out of bed every morning.  Read on to learn more about Holly’s journey!

 Can you share a little bit about your personal, career and educational background? 

When I look back over the first half of my life I am amazed by the diversity of personal and work experience that I have been fortunate enough to have. I grew up in Tucson, AZ. and after I graduated from high school, I spent a year as a Rotary Exchange Student in Finland.  This was a phenomenal experience and opened my mind and heart to the joys of travel, along with understanding and connecting with other cultures.  Upon my return, I attended Kenyon College for two years and then embarked on another exchange to Bali, Indonesia. When returned home, I transferred to the University of Arizona where I completed my undergraduate degree in Liberal Arts. 

 After finishing my undergraduate degree, I lucked into a position as a teaching assistant in a preschool classroom at a mental health facility for children. This challenging and rewarding experience led me to my first career as a Special Education teacher.  I completed a Master’s in Special Education and taught for almost 10 years. During the summers I worked at Teton Valley Ranch Camp in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where I met my husband, Terry.

 I loved being a teacher and expected that this would be my career. However, after having our second child, my husband and I realized a teacher’s salary in Arizona didn’t make enough financial sense for me to continue teaching.  I spent the next few years at home raising our two young children and helping my husband grow our small business, DSA Vacations. 

 What was it like growing a small business from the ground up? What were the highs and lows?

After Terry and I got married in 2001, he joined me in Tucson. Terry decided to follow his dream of starting a travel company focused on travel to South Africa, where he is from.  In September of 2001, DSA Vacations was born in the back bedroom of my childhood home.  I was involved in growing our company every step of the way.  Initially, my role was his confidant and emotional supporter. After our second child turned two, I started going to the office to “help,” and ultimately became the CFO.  

When you start your own business, you wear all the hats. Both Terry and I had backgrounds in education, so we were on a steep learning curve.  Every decision seemed enormous and precarious.  Fortunately, we both thrived on the creativity involved in this process. We had to become experts in managing our staff, marketing campaigns, developing relationships with airlines and so much more. Because of our hard work and determination, our company now generates 10 million in sales, has over 15 employees, and has branched out to Asia and the Americas!

As exciting as this time was, there was also a lot of stress. It started to feel like DSA was consuming all our time.  When our 3rd child was born in 2010, I decided to step out of the day-to-day activities and focus on raising our children.

 How did you find Moms Making Six Figures? 

After our youngest started kindergarten, I start to think about going back to work.  Although we had built a very successful business, I still needed to start contributing financially again to our family. I spent almost two years thinking about what I wanted to do next.  I wanted to do something meaningful, flexible and lucrative. Basically, I was looking for my “dream job.” I considered returning to teaching, going back to school, or even starting my own business.  However, each of these did not check all the boxes I was looking for. In January of 2017, my cousin Angie Hancock Gange, got in touch with my brother and he mentioned I was looking for a new career. We got in touch, and almost immediately I knew I had found something special.  I recognized the structure of working with Moms Making Six Figures allowed for major success. Not to mention, an incredible team of very successful woman to help me every step of the way.  With Angie’s help, I launched my business and I have never looked back.

So, what is life currently like these days for you and your family?

It took about a year for me to really accept I had found my “dream job.”  I was able to start my own business without taking out a loan, like I did the first time, and I immediately made a profit.  I still have complete control over my time, which allows me to be a totally hands on mom and to travel whenever we want.  I work with an incredible group of people and I am now building my own team here in Tucson, with their help.  I work to educate about healthy living and environmental issues that are beyond important to me.  With Moms Making Six Figures, I know I can hit my goal to get our family permanently out of debt and pay cash for our children’s college educations.  I feel like I have rediscovered myself.  I am proud of everything I have accomplished and excited about the future.  So, to sum it up, life is great these days. 

 

Family Finance problem-solving

Steps in the right direction…

This week we talked with Angie Wright. Her story is one a lot of moms can relate to as they weed through various “work-from-home” careers out there. Angie found herself in serious debt after investing her precious time, energy and money into a business that drained her on all fronts. Understandably, she was skeptical to learn about Moms Making Six Figures. Would it be different than her past experiences? Read on to learn more about her journey!

Can you give us a little bit of your background? What were you doing before Moms Making Six Figures?

Of course! I was born and raised in Oceanside California. I went to Vanguard University in Costa Mesa and studied Intercultural and urban studies. When I graduated in 2000, I was a youth pastor for 3 years in the Los Angeles area. I loved working with youth and when I moved back to Oceanside in 2003, I started working with teenagers in group homes. My heart and passion still lie with helping at-risk youth. I eventually became the Director of a crisis program for teens through the YMCA, but in 2014 the program lost funding and I was let go. 

After all of that happened, I decided to stay home with my kids. I have a 10-year-old son named James, an 8-year-old daughter, Janise, and then our two-year-old son, Jasiah. I loved being at home with my kids, but I knew I still needed an income. I tried anything and everything to be a stay at home mom and contribute financially.

What were the types of jobs you did to maintain your lifestyle as a stay-at-home mom? 

Initially, I helped run a daycare with my mom in her home for about a year. After that, I dabbled in some direct sale companies. I sold juices, jewelry, and the biggest one was LuLaRoe, which I worked with for about two and a half years. The initial investment was a very hefty $5,000 for the clothing and roughly another $3,000-$5,000 for all the equipment needed. I enjoyed my time with LuLaRoe because I loved helping women feel beautiful and I love the clothes myself, but it was a very hard business to be in. I spent countless hours advertising on Facebook, ordering more inventory and getting severely into debt. Not to mention, working events where I had to literally haul 300-500 pieces of clothes back and forth from my home.

I realized I was spending so much money and time away from my family that the business just was not worth it anymore. So, I left.

What did you do with your left-over inventory? Were you able to sell it before you stopped working with LuLaRoe? 

I had the option of returning inventory, but below wholesale because I would have had to pay a restocking fee. The process was so arduous, instead I decided to discount my remaining inventory to other retailers and my current customers. I definitely did not make my money back because I had to discount it way below wholesale to sell it all. 

One of the hardest parts about selling LuLaRoe is that we were not able to pick the patterns of the clothes. We could pick the style and the size, but they would send us whatever print they had. To tell you the truth, there were some prints that no one wanted to buy, and retail consultants would end up getting stuck with them!

So, tell me a little about how this journey led you to Moms Making Six Figures? 

In January of 2018, my friend, Jennifer Becker contacted me and wanted to share more about her business. I knew if anything, we would be good source of referrals for one another.  We had become friends when our daughters started kindergarten together in 2016.  I knew she did some sort of work-from-home business because she had a table set up at a fundraiser at the school. Unfortunately, I was too busy setting up my 300-piece display and did not have time to go check it out.  So, I told her that I would be open to hearing more.  Little did she know I was struggling financially and having regrets for starting a LuLaRoe business.  

Jennifer came over to my house, we sat at my kitchen table and she shared with me what Mom’s Making Six Figures was all about.  By the end I was literally in tears because for some reason I saw a hope and a future in her presentation I hadn’t experienced with any other company.  More than that, Jennifer was so genuine. I believed she would be a supportive friend and business partner, which is something I never had before.  

How have you found Moms Making Six Figures to be different from your career with LuLaRoe?

At first, I’ll admit I was a little skeptical to jump on board based off my previous experiences. In the past, I had become “star struck” with other business presentations and none of them had worked. They all left me broke, in debt and hopeless. However, I decided to give it a try to see if there really was NO startup cost or fees. If what Jennifer had said was true, I thought, what’s the risk? 

Jennifer helped me get my business rolling by mentoring me, helping me educate others and so much more. I was amazed that I truly did not have to spend any money to become successful in this business. Month after month, I have received a paycheck without having to sell any products, carry inventory, or invest any money in supplies.  I haven’t had to lug 100+ pieces of clothing to fairs and vendor events or bombard my Facebook friends with posts about buying my products.  My work now revolves around the relationships I build and sharing my experience with others.  

I am so grateful to Jennifer for introducing me to Moms Making Six Figures and for the continuous support she offers.  On top of that, we have an entire team of supportive women I can turn to for anything at any time.  Because of my new career with Moms Making Six Figures, I will have the financial freedom to support my family and give back. 

I will once again have the time to use experience in social services and as a youth pastor to help those in need.  I have always dreamt of opening a center for at-risk youth since beginning my work with teens back in 2000. I am confident Moms Making Six Figures will help me realized this dream!

Finance Money Taxes

Simple Ways to Manage Expenses So Tax Write-Offs Are Easy

Life is expensive—and even more so when you have kids. Does it seem like your expenses just keep piling up? Wouldn’t it be nice to easily locate permissible tax write-offs come tax season?

Now that it’s a new year, it’s a good time to take charge of and manage your expenses. We all know the benefits of managing our spending, such as getting out of debt or increasing our savings. But did you know that there’s the added benefit of simplifying your tax write-offs?

With all of your spending clearly tracked, locating expenses that can be written off on your taxes will be a piece of cake!

Filing taxes can be time consuming and an outright drag, but with a few simple changes to your spending (and banking) habits, you’ll soon be breezing through the process. Here’s our list of life hacks on for managing expenses to make tax write-offs easy!

Up Your Budgeting Game: Embrace Technology

You’ve heard about the importance of budgeting—it’s nothing new and remains important. Technology exists to make your life easier, so why not apply technology to ease the stress of budgeting?

There’s a wide range of free financial software available nowadays to help you track your expenses—some of our favs are Mint, LearnVest, and mvelopes. Features include links to bank accounts and automatic calculation of income and expenditures. If you mostly use cash, many apps allow you to manually input information. Data is presented in charts and graphs that are so clear and easy-to-read, your 5-year-old could probably make sense of them.

When it comes time to file your tax returns, all of this data can be easily retrieved. Just remember, setting a budget is easy, but the most important thing is sticking to and frequently reevaluating it.

Switch to Debit Cards

When it comes to credit cards, many of us have a bad habit of maxing them out and only paying the bare minimum. This means you’re spending more than you have, which only increases your debt. If you must use a credit card, charge only what you can afford to pay off in full. The more you can pay in full, the fewer payments you have to keep track of for tax purposes.

Making the switch to debit cards is easy and has the added benefit of hard spending limits. This is particularly helpful if you don’t trust your spending habits, or those of your kid who’s away at college!

Record as You Go

When it comes to tracking your expenses, it’s best to record them as soon as they occur. If you wait to record your purchases from your receipts (and let’s be real, who saves their receipts any more?!) at a later date, you’ll end up losing track of transactions or accumulating a huge disorganized pile on your living room table.

Tracking spending in real time not only ensures accuracy in your accounting (guaranteeing the most write-offs come tax season!), but also helps with accountability since you’re forced to record every dollar that you spend in writing.

Cancel All Unused Accounts

How many subscriptions are you paying for each month?

How many are you actually using and how many could you do without?

Oftentimes, we subscribe to a service and then forget about it. How can you keep track of your spending if you’ve completely forgotten what you’re spending your hard-earned dollars on? For example, if you subscribed to a magazine about newborns two years ago and your baby is now a toddler, that’s a subscription you can do without. Or that weight loss membership you haven’t used since last year? Good riddance!

Get the Family Involved

Involving all members of your family will help you feel more responsible by leading by example. Some ways to get the kids invested in smart budgeting include:

Teach your children to budget and keep track of their pocket money—an intuitive smart phone app can make this more fun.
Avoid giving your college kids a credit card. Instead, get them a debit card and teach them how to track their spending.
If your kids are old enough to run errands for you, make sure they have electronic receipts for any purchases emailed to you so that you can easily input the transactions into your finance management app.

By making sure everyone else is accountable for their spending, you’ll likely feel encouraged to be more responsible and organized yourself—helping you stay in better control of your spending.

How to Manage Expenses: Less is More

The bottom line is: The less disorganization and overspending you have to deal with, the easier it is to keep track of your expenses. The responsibility ultimately falls on you to keep your spending in check, which will help you keep your sanity when it’s time to file your taxes.

And who knows? You might just uncover a tax write-off you never noticed before! Cheers to that!

Debt Free Finance Money Work at Home

Simple Steps for Working Moms to Become Debt Free

Being Debt Free – Oh the Freedom!

“I’m in debt. I am a true American.” – Balki Bartokomous

Many of us aspire to get ahead in life, but then things happen—it seems like, no matter our financial situation, debt sneaks into our lives and holds us back. Just when you think you’ve got some extra money saved, another bill pops up that needs to be paid off. Sound familiar?

The harsh reality is that many people are struggling with all kinds of debt. From credit card balances to student loans to taxes to car loans to medical bills and everything in between, being in debt has become a way of life for many of us. Add to that the fact that you have a family to take care of and the situation becomes even more stressful!

The good news is that you’re not the only one drowning in debt. The even better news (no bad news here!) is that you don’t have to accept it as a way of life. You have options to get out of debt and actually start saving money. With some discipline, clever thinking, and the right attitude, you and your family can be well on your way to experiencing the freedom of a debt-free life!

Tips for Becoming Debt Free

1. Create a Realistic Budget

Before doing anything else, you need to establish where you are financially. Everything you spend money on has to be accounted for—whether it’s bills, kids’ daycare or extracurriculars, food, or entertainment—record each item and the amount of money you spend on it every month.
After compiling a comprehensive list of items to include on your budget, decide what you and your family can do without (cable, for example). Oftentimes, it’s only when we see something in writing that we realize how much we spend on unnecessary things.

Speaking of putting things in writing, don’t forget to make a list of your debts and face them head-on like the strong mom that you are. Once you complete this exercise, you’ll be able to determine how much money you need to dedicate to debt repayment each month. This will help you envision the best plan for reallocating money from that list of unnecessary expenses (like your unused gym membership) to pay off your debt.

Look at that, your total debt is decreasing already!

2. Stop Borrowing!

Stop signing up for credit cards.

Forget about test driving that car you’ve been eyeing but really can’t afford the car loan for.

Remember, when you borrow, you’re only digging yourself further into debt. The more you dig, the longer it will take to get out!

3. You Can and Should Start Saving

Think of it as an emergency fund.

Life happens—If an emergency comes up and you have no savings, chances are you’re going to turn to credit cards to fund those emergencies.

Start small and work your way up. As a mom, ensuring that you can take care of the kids, particularly in an emergency, is undoubtedly one of your top priorities. Savings will be the safeguard between you and endlessly mounting debt.

This way, you can get out of debt and have peace of mind that you’re (somewhat) prepared for emergencies.

4. Pay off the Smallest Debts First

Let me tell you why:

You’ll be able to remove smaller debts from the list faster than that big loan with insane interest rates.

Once those debts are paid off, you’ll be able to contribute more to the bigger loans and pay them off faster.

Seeing debts removed from your list will give you an incredible confidence boost. Good job, mom! (Go ahead and do your happy dance!)

Don’t forget to automate your payments—the more automatic and effortless you can make the debt repayment process, the better.

Working From Home – A More Permanent Solution

There’s so much more you can do to become debt free. Getting discounts on your car insurance, cutting back on your lifestyle, and meeting with a financial advisor are all smart steps to help get you on the right track. However, if you want to permanently and quickly leave your debt-filled days behind you, then becoming a work-at-home-mom is an excellent option.

Ultimately, your ideal situation is having an ever-increasing income. And if you’re in the corporate world, you know that a traditional job doesn’t offer immediate financial growth.

Working from home has that earning potential. As a work-at-home-mom, you have the power to double or even triple your earnings from one month to another! You can take an active step towards becoming debt free—for good!

Our goal at Moms Making Six Figures is to give moms and their families the freedom to do what they want without feeling tied down by financial burdens. For more details on how to live a permanently debt-free life, visit our website at momsmakingsixfigures.com or call us at (858) 837-1505.

Finance Success Work-Life Balance

Work-Life Balance: Do Women Want the Same Thing as Men?

It’s no secret that men and women think differently than each other. Maybe it’s biology, maybe it’s our history of laboring at home while men work in a completely separate sphere. Although it’s probably some combination of the two, let’s be real—when it comes to gender, some things haven’t changed all that much. Even though women now make up more than half of the U.S. workforce, we continue to be responsible for 40% more housework (on average) and two times as much caregiving as men (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics)!

As most of us can attest, what this means is that work-life balance is often far more complicated for women than it is for men—after all, we have a lot of responsibility on our shoulders, from creating and raising little humans, to keeping the household from falling apart, to supporting our significant others, to providing financial security for our families. This complex and multi-faceted role that we play means that women simply have different mindsets when it comes to careers.

While it may seem like women and men largely want the same things for their family, such as healthy, happy children and a safe home, the details of what success really looks like tend to diverge widely between men and women.

We differ from men in several key ways in terms of how we conceive of our long-term goals and how we define achievement, both of which can greatly influence how we think about our own careers as parents, spouses, and employees.

1. Women Prefer Flexible Schedules

According to a recent report from the AAUW (American Association of University Women), women are far more likely than men to take time off from work after having children, whether temporarily or until their children are grown and out of the house. An estimated 17% of women work part-time following the birth of a first child, while 23% of women leave the workforce altogether for years, if not decades. In contrast, only 2% of men work part-time and 1% leave work following the birth of these same children.

While there’s a multitude of reasons for this difference between genders, as women we clearly choose to spend more one-on-one time with our children than our male counterparts. Some of this stems from practical factors, such as women tending to have almost double the length of parental leave and many women opting to breastfeed children without engaging in the potentially painful and disruptive process of pumping.

Yet, some of us simply choose to prioritize quality time with our children over seeking professional advancement. After all, when our little ones are so young and defenseless, it can be tough to leave them in the care of strangers—the “mommy guilt” alone can be crippling!

2. Women Are More Self-Directed

It’s been proven that men and women think very differently. This means that we tend to work in unique ways, many of which actually benefit the work-at-home mom. Women are far better at multitasking than men, meaning that we’re hard-wired with the ability to simultaneously manage multiple customer histories, inventories, emails, etc., all while making sure that the kids stay fed and (sometimes) clean.

This option is also extremely beneficial because, while women tend to be punished in positions that don’t offer flexible schedules, we excel in more accommodating work environments. As a result, women working in home industries with adjustable work hours tend to become more ambitious than in a corporate environment with a rigid schedule. With the reins in our hands, we’re are also happier and less stressed out, making us feel more fulfilled overall.

3. Women Have Stricter Definitions of Success

For women, success is all about work-life balance. While men tend to define success in terms of income, wealth, and possessions, women are far more likely to consider ourselves successful only if we are both financially stable and have meaningful relationships—we truly want it all. Sure, we may be realistic with our ambitions, recognizing that we might not be CEOs of Fortune 500 companies while working 20 hours a week, but we still want to provide for our families and have something tangible to show for ourselves outside of our role as mom.

When it comes to excelling at business, men and women see things very differently. Women tend to prioritize work-life balance—a more artful juggling of work and family make a woman feel more accomplished.

When push comes to shove, a woman is far more likely to leave even an extremely successful career in order to accommodate family needs.

That doesn’t mean that we’re not driven, however—many of the women who end up leaving fulfilling careers due to family circumstances still feel like they aren’t reaching their full potential. If these women had it their way, they would prefer a challenging and high-achieving position, if only it worked with their hectic schedules.

4. Believe It or Not, Women Can Have It All!

As women, we want to be both fulfilled in our jobs and our home lives, yet many of us forget that these two aspects of our loves don’t need to be in direct conflict with each other. By becoming a work-at-home mom, you can actually have it all by setting your own hours, spending quality time with your children, and providing financial stability for your families.

Many of our team members end up even more financially successful in home business than was ever possible in their more traditional corporate job. Contact our experts today and start your journey toward becoming your own boss and running a lucrative home business!