Category Archives: blog goals

Darcy’s Utopia

When I started dreaming about writing this blog about a year ago, I was both inspired and terrified. The idea of putting my experiences and family values up for public scrutiny was pretty intimidating (not to mention the time commitment!)

So, I made the decision to post under the alias “Green Mama” as both a way to show solidarity will fellow aspiring eco-mothers, and to avoid the potential sting of personal criticism. Thankfully, I’ve heard only a wealth of positive feedback and am now at ease as a “blogger.” But the one request I have gotten is to share my identity, and at this point it feels more comfortable and genuine to share all of myself with you.

My name is Darcy. I know that most of my so-called “readers” are friends and family, so this may not be a big surprise to you. But regardless of whether we actually know each already, I hope my openness will bring us one step closer and create a connection to support us both in our journey to sustainable abundance.

As a young adult I read the British novel, Darcy’s Utopia, and fell in love with the heroine’s unapologetic philosophy on life. I didn’t necessarily agree with all of her values, but I did relate to the idea that we each have the power to envision and create our own utopia. Here’s to us each creating our own utopia…

One last note, my original “About Us” post still stands true. Although my partner and Twin Sis has been stationed in Africa since May, so we haven’t had a chance to really expand the business side of this blog. If you have any tips, we’d appreciate your advice. First we need more regular readers…

If you enjoy my blog, please post a comment and share with a friend!

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

Reaching Goals

“The reason most people never reach their goals is that they don’t define them, learn about them, or even seriously consider them as believable or achievable.  Winners can tell you where they are going, what they plan to do along the way, and who will be sharing the adventure with them.”
– Denis Waitley

A friend of mine recently started a blog dedicated to sharing her favorites quotes, Wise Word Bandit. While I can’t claim to have reflected about quotes as much as her, I’ve always loved the eloquence and timelessness of a great quote. The beauty of a quote is that it can be so simple, and yet resonate so deeply. This quote speaks so much to why I put my  last bits of energy into creating this blog.

For me, this blog is more than just about defining my goals and taking baby steps to achieve them. It’s also a process of learning, which I love. Don’t get me wrong, I was thrilled to complete my Master’s and mastering motherhood has kept me plenty busy with its own learning curve. But I was starting to long for a deeper goal-oriented way of learning, and writing this blog has been successful on that personal level. I can only hope you’re gleaning some insight from our story.

Aspiring to reach your potential means believing in yourself, and trusting in the Universe. While I have my moments of doubt, I make an effort to listen to the mumbling of my brain and filter out the thoughts that leave me feeling unworthy. Believe me, my Twin Sis had to give me several pep talks before I was ready to launch my goals into reality.

So, let’s continue to dream and plan and share this adventure of sustainable abundance together.

How can I help you reach your highest goals?

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

Money Honey #2

I’m barely to Connecticut Avenue, and my goal of monthly money meetings with Hubby is already proving a challenge. I doubt you noticed, but we missed our “scheduled” February meeting. It’s not that we didn’t try, but you know how life gets in the way, and the springlike winter weather hasn’t helped (but our yard is looking darn good!).

The good news is that since starting this blog, we have been chatting more regularly about finances. Nothing formal, but at least we’re keeping tabs on our priorities and communicating more than usual.

We also had a bit of a breakthrough. This past Flex Friday we went to sign our loan documents for the Clean Energy Works program. The program is financed through Shore Bank Pacific, a unique local and “sustainable” bank. (I’ll share more about them tomorrow) Long discussion made short, we agreed that this is the right bank for us. Despite the fact that it’s going to take us even more effort to merge our money , it feels right to switch to a bank with environmental and social values. Believe me, switching all our accounts  is not really something I want to spend my “free” time doing, but feel like it will be worth the time investment both personally and societally.

Otherwise, we’re still getting the kinks worked out with our new budget template and I’m hoping to unveil it once my sis gets back from the Congo. Thanks for your patience!

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

The New Affluence

I’m a big fan of public television, and I often watch programs while I’m writing. The other night I was excited in a nerdy kind of way to find a program with financial expert Jonathan Pond (I admit I hadn’t heard of him, but I am pretty new to this whole finance arena). At any rate, he has a new book called The New Affluence: Achieving financial security in a changed economy.

It turns out that I really liked his approach to managing your finances; he spoke of the need to simplify, live a life of abundance of your own terms, and create a secure financial future for your family. Despite the occasional investment jargon, he was speaking my language!

Here are my copious notes:

  • Redefine affluence and change our investments accordingly
  • Redefine investment risk – safety, simplicity, predictability
  • Living debt-free is the new holy grail, not tax deductions

Day-to-Day Financial Life:

  • Stop conspicuous consumption and ask whether you need to buy so much stuff
  • Automatic savings transfer – make it easy to forget you ever had it to spend
  • Eliminate debt – imagine a debt free life, be realistic and reduce slow and steady
  • Career – excel in your current career, assess future options and determine whether you need a career change, consider a meaningful career – make a positive difference

Your Home and Family:

  • Making your home a true investment – make extra mortgage payments when possible, owning your home is best retirement plan, if you’re not a home owner – now is a great time to buy
  • Pay for college – look into state and community colleges, choose an age-based investment option
  • Use life insurance as a nest egg – build up cash value, continue making premium payments, consider whole life insurance rather than term
  • All-in-one fund – target date, lifestyle
  • Municipal bonds – short term better, due to prospect of inflation
  • Savings tip – set aside a small amount regularly “good for the soul”

Hopefully you’ll get something out of my notes, it was definitely an effort on my part since it was pledge week and I had to sit through it while researching/writing. I did end up renewing our OPB membership with small monthly deductions so that I could get his book and personalized financial planning consultation. I’ll write more once I get his personalized planning report! Thanks OPB!!

Does any of Pond’s advice resonate with you?

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

Manage Your Money Challenge

I’m excited to share with you a family finance challenge for March called the  Manage Your Money Challenge that is being done by the Enemy of Debt blog.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve struggled over the years trying to make sure all our bills are paid at the right time. Life is easier now that so many of our bills are paid automatically, but keeping track of when everything is paid still boggles my mind a bit.

The challenge promotes at a calendar-based budgeting system called pocketsmith, and offers a free trial of the program. After a month I’ll let you know what I think. If you check it out, let us know what your thoughts are.

Do have a good system for tracking when your bills are paid? 
Are you going to give pocketsmith a try?

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