Category Archives: videos

Welcome to Sustainable Family Finances: Vlog #1

I hope you’ll watch instead of read, but here’s the transcript from my first Sustainable Family Finance vlog:
Hello and welcome my name is Darcy Rose Cronin, I would like to welcome you to my very first vlog post for Sustainable Family Finances.
I started this blog seven years ago together with my identical twin sister, and, boy, a lot has changed in the last seven years mostly mostly for the better. But I still have my own struggles and I have a lot that I want to share with you so let me share a little bit of the back story.
Basically, I started this blog together with my sister at a time when I was working full-time for the city and I was in a career that I wanted to be in, and yet my position itself with had just
started to feel creatively stifling. I realized that I just no longer had an opportunity to write and
that I was no longer in a position where i was able to work directly with sustainability which had been my passion since I was 13. So, my sister Miel had been working successfully in her
international development career and on the side had been working with her first husband on a blog called DINKSFinance.
 
After a year-and-a-half, it was the startup heyday of blogs and so after not too long she was earning about two thousand dollars a month as a side income and had continued to tell me when we would have conversations “Oh, you need to write a blog post on that oh you need to write a blog post on that, and for a long time I very much pushed aside, and was like are you crazy on too busy and I have that two kids and a job and not in a single like
you.
 
Then finally I came to a point where I had lived in Denmark on exchange and a close friend of mine was getting married and he sent me a wedding invitation. I was just really deeply
saddened by the fact that i hadn’t been back and think at that time it was about in a decade. Most of all that my family had never, my husband and children, had never been to visit my host families and what I just considered to be my my motherland. So I just realized that I needed to do something to make that dream a possibility.
 
This blog was the kind of the vehicle that I chose to to create in order to make that happen. So, basically after about a year and a half of me working on this side, even though I didn’t actually earn any money on the site itself, I was able to save up through it and become more conscious
about our spending and to a lot of just kind of tweaks that we were able to make it so that we could afford the trip and so that was kind of my initial success with this blog.
 
But after my father died, which is now five years ago I there’s a lot to it but basically it was challenging because we were getting the family inheritance and suddenly I felt like well now that I mean I’ve written significantly about me and my struggles of paying off my student debt and just all of what those will the struggles of my finances at the time were and suddenly I was able to pay off my student loans and buy a car outright man. Before, we had been at one point when it looked like my husband might be laid off we were looking at whether we could do without a car so you know suddenly our finances were definitely changing and I felt like one of the key things with this blog had always been that I really wanted to be authentic with it with with my audience and that in and of itself with a struggle. When I first started out I actually for the first several months posted under the name of Green Mama, because i was just too afraid to put my name. But after a while, pretty much everyone that I knew that I really cared about knew that I was the one who was behind it blogging anyways. So at that point it just seemed really silly to kind of hide behind me that that alias.
 
But nonetheless it was definitely a lot for me to kind of step out of the closet to just be open about my finances. When I first shared with a friend of mine that my sister, Miel, had been posting her net worth online, she very much thought that it was bragging, and she was very critical and thought that there was a good reason why our finances should be taboo. So I listened to a lot of those fears and over the years I’ve definitely come to a place where now I have put our net worth out there online. Although it’s not something that, I don’t know, it’s kind of funny, I’ve never had a conversation in person with someone about it per se. So in some ways it kind of feels like it’s out there in cyberspace and not maybe that anyone even cares or pays attention to it. But regardless, it is out there an online, and no i’m not, and I guess what I’m what I’m saying is that I just really believe that us being conscious of our finances and being as honest with ourselves about it in the relationships that we have is that being authentic about it can make a big difference in our lives.
 
So let me check my notes… So, back to the place where I was struggling, like I said, so much has changed in my life. At the time we just felt like we were even though we both had formerly more money than we ever had, we were basically still living paycheck to paycheck. Happy with our higher level of income and lifestyle, and at the same time with struggles. I have to say that in five years later now we are lucky enough to own, and built Olivia Beach Camp Cabins in Lincoln City. We have what is now absolutely my dream home and I love all of this life that I’ve created. And, yet there are still definitely struggles, and in lots of ways I i feel like I’m still kind of just working to make ends meet.
 
I feel like in some ways that with this starting with this vlog that I am at a whole new chapter of my life and at the same time I think that we all, my sister’s net worth is maybe double mine. Yet, it’s been uncanny that at times we’ve basically have the same exact issues with our finances and so I think it doesn’t matter whether you’re living a dream house yet or whether you’re still working to manifest it, that by focusing on what you want that you’ll be able to being conscious of your finances that you’ll be in a better position to be able to help make them sustainable. L
 
On my journey here one of the things that has been a bit of a struggle with when I first started blogging about our finances my husband, who I affectionately refer to as Hubby, on the blog, he just, even though I tried to try to convince him otherwise, he thought that because I wanted to write and in the context of our finances that I wanted to be the one with a hundred percent responsibility for them. And, over the years, I ended up picking on that burden almost pretty much a hundred percent. You know, none of the mail was opened by him, none of the bills were paid by him, and when we first started out our relationship I very intentionally set up a relationship so that we would feel very equitable. Yet, after particularly with three years ago that i left my city job, and that’s another whole story in and of itself, but in that time I haven’t had a steady income for the last three years and then have this burden of trying to come to make our our finances work on a limited income.
 
So we’ve struggled with it and and definitely has been and will be more recently have gotten counseling and along with that right around the same time that we started our marriage counseling. When we started working with a financial advisor and I highly recommend Linda Moreland with Thrivent and we’re having another your session with her today. We’ve had a lot of breakthroughs with our marriage counseling, but I think that part of it has been with our finances, and even though we’re definitely not all the way back to where where I’d like to be, I’m at a place where I feel like I’m ready to talk about our finances again, and be public about the struggles.
 
I think that with so they wrote them I said so with this first vlog post, I i just want to say that I’m not here to tell you all the answers or to expect that your life will be anything it’ll mirroring mine, and at the same time I I know deep in my heart that sharing and being authentic about my family finances, and me just being here on the journey together with my sister and all my other Sisters that I’ll be able to help you, and we’ll be able to help each other. So I’m very much looking forward to this journey and as at this new year I’ve been working with Mike Dooley. If you haven’t gotten his Notes from the Universe and all sorts of other wisdom he has a Love Your Life 30 Day Project for living your best life. So, I’ve been working through the exercises of that and I just like to teach you I’m kind of the visualization that created for myself around my finances. This year my theme is manifesting miracles and transformation and this last year was absolutely about a huge awakening for me and personal transformation, so I’m hopeful that this year will be about creating those miracles out in the world. So this is what I would love to see for myself:
I feel at peace with money and creating sustainable abundance for a family. I’m grateful for our amazing home and beach cabins, and being able to earn money from sharing them. I love being an Airbnb host and Google Local Guide. I love teaching Imagination Yoga and being able to vlog as a new joy in my life. I also love essential oils and and hope to be earning an income here soon from from Young Living Essential Oils. I love having a career that supports and celebrates my lifestyle. I’m happy to earn an income that serves my community and gives me everything that I desire. Most of all, I want to be able to be generous and to be able to connect with others.
So, I hope that this vlog post feels generous, and I guess I hope that you will continue this journey with me. I appreciate you so much. 
 
Sat Nam.
 
Peace,
Darcy Rose
 
 

Talking about Earth Day with your kids

I’m blown away by a video that poet and rapper, Prince Ea, did for Stand for Trees. It is quite simply the most poetic expression of pure truth, here on Earth Day 2015. I hope you’ll take a moment to watch this incredible call to action…then continue the conversation in the comments.

I showed my kids the video this morning, and I think they were really moved. I realized recently that I’ve been so wrapped up in raising three kiddos and launching my part-time businesses that I haven’t really had “the talk” with them about environmental issues and my previous (and now regenerated) passion for sustainable living. I’m sure there are more conversations to follow, but this was a good starting place for a conversation.

After twenty-five years of calling myself an environmentalist, I’m finally ready to take my sustainability commitment to the next level. It’s unconscionable not to at least give this planet our best try, and I actually think it will be inspiring to create a “global warming of our hearts.” I know my kids would love to be part of the solution and have bright and shining spirits to share with the world. This is just the beginning, a new leaf.

I wasn’t familiar with Stand for Trees, but there website is really impressive and there programs and impacts are explained very clearly. They seem to have a really savvy approach. I’m hopefully they will be part of the solution. Green Empowerment, the non-profit organization Miel leads, is another group poised to make a powerful positive impact on our planet. Their work is already underway, we just need to support them.

So, I’m committing this Earth Day 2015 to offset my family’s carbon footprint 100% by 2020.

Sorry, but I’m not ready to apologize.

What are you going to stand for?

How will you offset your impact and work together to fix this thing?   

With light and love,

Darcy

Story of Broke

I’ve been a not-so-secret admirer of Annie Leonard “Story of…” series since just after I started my blog. Her latest “Story of Broke” really makes me motivated to take action. 


After watching it, I kept thinking about how outraged I was when I first learned how much the government spends on warfare compared to education. There was a graph that made it appallingly easy to under that our 
national budget was completely ill-prioritized. The thing that makes me sadder today is that was almost exactly 20 years ago (I vividly remember being at the Eugene Celebration and visiting all the environmental and social justice booths. I soaked it in like a sponge.) I also somehow naively thought that once I was old enough to start voting that things would get better…


Watching Annie’s latest video in the midst of an Occupy movement that will likely be moving to a different level (at least past the emcampment here in Portland) makes me finally believe that we may be gaining enough momentum to transform the economy. It’s time to move more than the deck chairs on the Titanic. I still feel a bit overwhelmed by the whole situation, but I certainly am not willing to wait until my kids start asking me why we spend our common money on all the wrong things.


Most of all, I love Annie’s message that we aren’t broke!! It’s really the kind of mental shift we need to make in order to realize that we do have the power to fix our situation. It’s both very simple and very complex, but I also believe that it’s very much worth us all doing what we can to take action. Watch the quick video, and I think you’ll agree.


“The United States isn’t broke; we’re the richest country on the planet and a country in which the richest among us are doing exceptionally well. But the truth is, our economy is broken.”








Story of Stuff
Story of Citizens
Story of Cosmetics
Story of Bottled Water
Story of Electronics
Meeting Annie Leonard


What action does Annie inspire you to take?



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

Inside Job



Hubby and I finally had a chance to watch Inside Job, an academy award winning documentary about the implosion of the economy (and how there were plenty of warnings that went unheeded). While infuriating, the film showed how the housing bubble was created by greedy bankers willing to gamble the so-called American dream. Yet, a systematic deregulation of the financial industry was also to blame. Not to mention appointing the fox to guide the hen house (and giving them tax breaks to boot!)


The filmmakers manage to make a complex issue very simple. They also make it engaging, although I wish there were some specific action that I could take. I’ve personally been detached from the Occupy Wall Street movement…with my comfortable job, I’ve been far too been to get involved. Yet, this film really makes me think twice and want reform:

While Occupy Wall Street is a fledgling movement, it should remind all of us that we have a say in what happens in our economy. More than that, we have a responsibility to hold our leaders accountable.











We highly recommend Inside Job (narrated by Matt Damon.) 

What did you think of the film?



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

Financial Infidelity

It’s been a while since Hubby and I had a true “money honey.” We finally managed to have a date night (god bless visits from grandparents!), but our only financial discussion was more big picture than day-to-day bills. 


At any rate, I was a bit taken aback when Hubby called me up at lunch to discuss our bank balance. I had recently paid our two credit cards and paid a delinquent T-mobile bill to my sis…more on that topic soon. I hadn’t actually hidden any expenses, but the truth of the matter is that I have made several purchases lately. With the exception of some summer clothes, all of the items were discussed in advance. 


Yet, I do have to admit that I was somehow hoping that he wouldn’t notice the $1k missing for the initial vet bill. We discussed the cost in advance, and I agreed that I would call him before making a decision about any potential surgery. The truth is that I knew Hubby wouldn’t be happy about the cost, but I felt like it was my call (and our responsibility) as a pet-owner to get x-rays done to find out his situation. I’ve also decided that we will opt out of the surgery, partly based on the x-ray results that show arthritis in both knees and hips and partly because Hubby couldn’t stomach the cost.


But the whole situation leaves me wondering how much leeway I have as a spouse to make decisions that I feel are best for our family. I think my version of so-called financial infidelity is more family oriented than the shop-aholic who hides purchases…yet I think there is always a fine line when it comes to purchases you know your spouse may not agree upon. 







Are you financial faithful?


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