Summer Finance

Where’ve you been? Oh, sorry.  That was me gone too long.

Yes, I’ve been an absent blogger.  But, I’m back.

While I’ve been pondering where I’m taking this blog, this is how I’ve spent my summer and I’m happy to discuss the financial angles of each.

  • Managing the costs of various expensive household items
  • Coaching a new client
  • Being interviewed by Millionaires Unveiled
  • Blown away at the increase in my investment accounts

Fixing $tuff

As for #1, we all have to deal with things breaking.  These occurrences typically happen in succession.  Every homeowner knows what I mean. To compound matters, the latest malfunctions were simultaneous with my decision to move forward with a costly upgrade.  Luckily, I can fall back on my financial wizardry to pull me through.  Before handing over my credit card, I determined which aspect of life I could tolerate less: opening my garage door by myself or living without an extra air conditioner.  The garage door won. I don’t think I’ve opened my garage door since 1994 and my shoulder started to hurt just thinking about it.  After all, I get back and neck pain from sleeping.

To avoid a money crunch, here’s where the financial shuffling happened.  I was not about to start lifting my garage door, so that was fixed first, but delayed until after the beginning of my following credit card cycle.  What could wait was the air conditioner.  The unit in a nearby room will have to suffice until I’m ready to buy a new one with, of course, 12-month interest-free financing.

The curb-appeal upgrade was also purchased with 12-month interest-free financing.

Whew…everything covered.

This is an example of being proactive in managing expenses, not reactive.  According to the Federal Reserve Board’s latest report, an unexpected $400 expense is something that 40% of Americans would find catastrophic.  We write these blogs to help you overcome the anxiety attacks associated with unexpected expenses and land on the proactive side of life.


I met my coachee from a live financial planning presentation that I conducted in a local school.  She’s a wonderful lady that feels the need for one-on-one help.  I plan to make her my project.  If I were going to a coach, I would want them to make me their special project, not give me textbook answers.  If I went to a personal trainer, I would want them to assess my current physical condition and turn me into Jessie Graff.  Jessie Graff, for those that don’t know the name, is a female athlete on American Ninja Warrior where contestants demonstrate superhuman strength and techniques to conquer physical obstacles.  Well, maybe I won’t turn into Jessie, but my trainer should make me the best me, using benchmarks of progression.

My client is a typical suburbanite with a family, a good job, and lots of debt.  She knows she earns a respectable salary but feels she should be more comfortable with her financial status.  She has no background in finances as her talents lie in the artistic side of reality.  Thank God for people like that, otherwise, we’d all be looking at stark white walls and bland wooden floorboards.  I give this person lots of credit for recognizing her weaknesses and making the effort to change.

After discussing some basics, my first recommendation was to stop taking money out of savings to pay monthly bills.  Then, I offered ideas to reduce spending and become more mindful of their spending.  We looked at her retirement account funds and found excessive fees.  Those accounts will be transitioned into something less expense-heavy.  I text her in-between sessions for added guidance.

I have so many running ideas to get her more connected to her financial situation and I intend to integrate them into our sessions one at a time. She’ll be thinking about money every minute of her life by the time I’m done.

Millionaires Unveiled

I had a fun interview with Clark Sheffield and Jace Mattinson of Millionaires Unveiled.  You can listen to their podcasts here  That’s right, within the past two years, I crossed over the two-comma finish line.  My residence value is included in my total net worth and we had a little discussion on this point before they started recording.  My thought is this, if I sold my home, I would have that value in assets as cash, so why wouldn’t it be part of my net worth?  They didn’t have a strong opinion either way, but there are some arguments against including residence value in net worth.  I don’t care because I’m not far from reaching $1,000,000 in strictly invested assets.

In a future post, I will be elaborating on how easy it becomes to manage your money when you put your focus in order.  More on that to come.

Firing My Financial Advisor Was My Best Decision

I realize the economy is doing really well, but that fact, combined with good investment decisions, has catapulted my investment account balance.  I don’t want to emphasize how much I have but, more importantly, how it got there.  It happened with knowledge and persistence.  People don’t understand how focused energy manifests into real wealth.  But it truly does.

If I didn’t fire my financial advisor back in 2015, my balance would not have doubled in value.  Did you catch the subtle time frame of earning almost 100% in value?  2015 -> 2018, that’s three years.

Looking ahead

The purpose of many financial blogs is about retiring early. I’ve realized that early retirement is not for me.  I’m in a place where my retirement benefits outweigh the thrill of early retirement.  A few more years of working won’t kill me, and if I do absolutely need to get out of the working world, I can draw on my resources to make the transition.  I spent many years getting to this point and it wasn’t easy.  However, it’s the rudimentary foundation that I spent years building and where I’ve ended up.

I don’t want this blog to be about blogging, I want it to be about real-life common-sense money management.  Many financial blogs are about making money with blogging.  This is how much I’ve made with my blog so far: very little.  Well, maybe about $8 from the sale of my book, but I’m not certain those sales were sourced from the blog.

I will be developing courses on what I’m good at – teaching people about finance and getting people excited about managing their money.  It will involve simple, fast, easy actions to achieve financial satisfaction.

Come back around for my soon-to-come vlog sessions.


Posts of Interest:

Financial Freedom – Get It

Feed The Pig

Exercise Your Financial Control



4 Replies to “Summer Finance”

  1. How exactly did you double your portfolio in 3 years?! Most estimates say that’s a 10 year scope.
    Good to see another blogger defining and re-defining her blogspace.
    I’m going on 8 months and it has taken a few turns.
    And you are right there are a lot of blogs out there about blogging and retiring early. I think I notice that because of what I type into the search engine. It’s where my mind is right now, but there are some money management blogs out there too!

    1. Hi,

      Thanks for the question.

      My husband and I have been investing aggressively since 2015. Without going into all the calculations, we’ve added new money and re-allocated some, to invest in stocks like NVDA, NFLX, and AMZN. NVDA was in the $20 – $30 range in 2015, AMZN was $600, and NFLX was $100 after it split. NVDA closed at $218.11 today and the others have done quite well.
      I have a 500-share holding in a REIT from 2005, when it was $25 a share. After I fired my financial advisor, I changed the dividend reinvestment option to Yes and it’s been compounding ever since. The stock is at $60 and the dividends buy 2 or 2 1/4 shares each month. The share count is near 600.
      I also had a DRIP account in CMCSA that had only a few shares in it. I focused on that investment, getting it up to 124 shares. It split 2 for 1 and I worked it up to 300 shares and the dividends are reinvested. I love compounding.
      My Roth IRA contributions (that my financial advisor neglected to remind me about), have been invested in CRM and VEEV. They have both doubled.
      You might have read elsewhere in my blog pieces that I switched to a Health Savings Account. It’s been only 3 years and I have almost $9,000 invested in two Vanguard funds. Not bad for a medical insurance account, considering I would have nothing if I maintained plain vanilla medical insurance.

      With the latest drop in stock prices, it’s slightly below the doubled amount that I wrote about in August and I’ve been working to diversify to offset the volatility of the stock investments.
      I have other DRIP accounts and try to split money so that each gets a little bit here and there.
      I attribute my gains to focused attention, research, and cautious risk-taking.
      I hope that answers your question.
      Thanks for reading and best regards,
      Dora DeLellis

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