Author Archives: Darcy Cronin

About Darcy Cronin

I'm a Mother/Coach/Blogger/Business Adventurer from Portland OR. My family consists of my Hubby of 12 years, our 8yo Kieran, 5yo Makenna, and 1yo Teagan. I love dreaming about a better future, and making it happen.

My New Title: Mother/Blogger/Coach/Small Business Adventurer

I finally did it. I quit my “day job.”

The writing had been on the wall for the past year and a half, after I made the first tiny leap by sharing the seeds of my new dream, and then proceeded to plant them. It took many months to convince Hubby, and my Sugar Daddy Scenario helped him see that I wasn’t going to send our family off a personal fiscal cliff.


So, after taking my full unpaid maternity leave, I sent my farewell email to coworkers, which included a quote that I had posted on a vision board my cube:


Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. – Steve Jobs


I had a very sweet outpouring of replies from coworkers, but this one is a quote that I will keep forever as a reminder of why I am taking this leap of faith to pursue my dreams:


Please do not stop being part of something bigger. Your kids are clearly your joy and you are a wonderful mommy and earth friend. Sharing those parts of yourself really helps those of us totally clueless to find little bits and pieces we can start changing to be better.


Take care and bless you for making the choice right for you. I hope it is everything you wanted and is a lifetime of joy.


This came from a coworker who is on leave battling cancer, another reminder of how we only have this one life.


So, I am embracing a new title: Mother/Blogger/Small Business Adventurer


And while I haven’t earned a penny yet, I feel more abundant than ever before.


I hope to finally have the time and energy to bring this blog to the next level, and would love ideas from my few faithful readers.


What’s your personal title? What quotes inspire you?


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Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

50th Kiva Loan!!!!!

My total Kiva “investment”

My Kiva Experiment is working…I’m excited to share that I just lent out my 50th loan through Kiva.

As you can see in the image to right, my initial deposit of just over $1k has been relent over and over to total $4,550 in value…now that’s what I like to call return on your investment! 

I’ve now lent money to 50 groups of people in 26 countries. Eventually I would love to give loans to people in all 73 Kiva Countries, but the truth is that I’m called to lend more in some areas of the world, especially Africa. I’ve also decided to be rather random and spontaneous in my selection process, so it often depends on who happens to be featured first. If it’s a vocation/place that I would like to support, I’ll often lend to the first one on the list, like I did this time.

However, I do take enough time to read through the lending details, since I would rather give to lenders who have loan terms of more than 18 months. If I can find a loan that six-months, then it means that money can be lent twice in a year. That’s not my only criteria, but my aim is to keep the average loan length under a year.

When I started my experiment, I also decided to only lend out in increments of $100 dollars. I figure that keeps ten loans going at any one time, and that’s plenty to keep tabs on.

Lastly, giving this last loan really made me smile. It was a loan to the Hodari Group in the Congo. The groups buys second hand clothing in large bales that has been shipped from around the world. When I visit sis in the Peace Corps in Ghana, we went to the second hand markets…the direct translation was “Dead White Guy Market,” since they figure the person must have died to give away such nice clothes! My Twin Sis has also worked a great deal in the Congo and I have an inspiring friend in my Rotary club, so I’ve made several loans to the Congolese. It’s such a beautiful war-torn place…if you really want to help there, you can donate to my friend’s EduCongo project to build schools.

Have you started lending with Kiva?
Use this link to lend your first $25 for free!

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Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Introducing Teagan & Announcing Darcy’s Utopia

Hello beloved Sustainable Family Finances readers,

I’ve been busy making babies lately. 

Teagan Brenna Cronin – 5 weeks old

This belated post is to share the exciting news that I have a new baby girl, Teagan. She’s already given me the best birth story imaginable and more joy than I even anticipated. 

My second baby is a new blog and business optimistically entitled Darcy’s Utopia. The blog will reflect on my experiences implementing Simplicity Parenting (while leading new workshops in Portland, beginning in January). I’m very excited about these new endeavors, and would love for you to follow along as my family grows.

Yet, even though I haven’t written regularly on this Sustainable Family Finances blog lately, I’ve decided after a great deal of thought that I’m not ready to abandon it. In fact, given that we are currently down to a single “Sugar Daddy” salary, I’ve been forced to focus more on my finances lately. Plus, I’m still passionate about all things earthy and green, so I’m certainly not ready to give up writing about my family’s efforts to-do-as-little-harm-as-we-can-manage. I only hope that I will be able to take the time to reflect more regularly.

Thanks again for your time and support!

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Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Sugar Daddy Budget Comparison

Long-time readers and friends may recall that when my Hubby was faced with a very potential layoff a few years back, I got busy creating a Sugar Mama Scenario

So, when I set my sights on working for myself part-time from home after baby #3 arrives, it meant reviving the old budget and creating a comparison with our current/anticipated finances. This was partly to validate my own assumptions about our budget, but more to convince Hubby that I’m not going to put our family in financial jeopardy by pursuing my dream of blogging and being a Simplicity Parenting Group Leader (more on those plans soon…)

Thankfully, our financial circumstances have improved significantly in the past few years. We no longer have my student loans and we own our Swagger Wagon. These two line items used to be nearly $700 of our monthly expenses. We have also been diligent about saving for a rainy day, and have enough savings to live on no income for several months if we ever faced that hardship.

Childcare has been our biggest monthly expense for some time now, even with our Big Guy now in grade school and only needing after school care and summer camps. Adding another childcare tab would bring our budget way out of balance: a full 3/4 of my income would need to pay for childcare. This was the most convincing aspect of the whole budget comparison, but once Hubby could see that we could still be in the black each month on his income, he was able to understand my perspective on our finances.

Honestly, since I became pregnant (now 27 weeks), Hubby has been a bit panicked about our finances. The idea of one more mouth to feed terrifies him. It’s also because I’ve been quite seriously “threatening” to leave my financial secure career for a part-time pursuit of my passions. For me, the dream of having a third child came at the same moment as wanting a complete shift in my life and creating an independent career.

So, I was relieved that our recent Money Honey check-in went so well, especially given the level of changes we are planning for with a growing family. Hubby’s fears haven’t gone away entirely, but his confidence is growing. Through this process I’ve reflected more deeply on our divergent views on scarcityIn my mind, abundance and wealth is all about your perspective. 

Has your family made the shift to a single steady income?
What were the challenges and advantages?

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Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Planting Seeds for the Future

Yes, I realize “Snowdrops” are bulbs, but they are my favorite 🙂

It may be freezing out, but I’m ready to start planting seeds for my family. While I’ve been thinking about my permaculture design lately, it really goes much deeper. I’m ready to take some leaps of faith this year, but even that requires a great deal of preparation.

I just purchased the Right-Brain Business Plan book and accompanying online course. I’m excited about getting my creative juices flowing and continue baby steps toward creating my dreams.
It’s hard to believe that I started writing this blog three years ago now. And while I haven’t written nearly as often in the last year, I’m finally feeling ready to write again. For so long I felt unmotivated, but I’m feeling inspired to express myself again. I know that this is how I grow and learn, and hopefully how I manifest dreams into reality.


Part of my challenge has been feeling stifled by the blog’s focus on Finances, which I know is rather silly and of my own doing. For the first year and a half, this focus really suited my needs and helped me grow in ways I never completely believed possible. We reached our family goal of traveling to Denmark, and I owe this blog to that dream come true. Yet, I’ve felt hemmed-in by feeling like I need to have a financial bent on every post to satisfy. And I’ve honestly felt hypocritical by my loosely monitored personal finances.

Add the fact that we received a personally significant inheritance, and it made me feel even less compelled to write. I couldn’t bring myself to write about how my financial dilemmas included whether or not to upgrade to stainless steel appliances on our new beach cabins. While still being the same down-to-earth mama, I felt distanced from  readers who maybe wouldn’t relate anymore.

Now that virtually all of our net worth has been plunged into building our beach cabins, I feel as though I’m back to square one as far as our finances go, only now I have to worry about paying two sets of bills. Plus, I’m just barely coming up for air after a year of tiresome work on the venture, and I dream of the day where my beach cabin to-do list is merely maintenance level tasks.   

In short, I’m ready for bigger and better dreams. Although they are truly more simplified and sustainable. My dreams are about creating my own personal utopia, Darcy’s Utopia. And by the next time I write, the blog will go by the new title.

So, while my seeds may feel very tiny in this moment, and my dream even still a little unclear, I am excited about this new phase of my blog/life.

What seeds are you ready to plant?

Darcy

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Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.