Hey everyone! I hope everyone had a great weekend, and if you have today off (I do!) I hope you are having a great Monday off as well. I can’t believe it’s September, this year is flying by so quickly. Halloween stores are already open and I’ve heard that stores already have Christmas decorations out.
Today, I decided to post a picture of my wedding dress. It looks so much better in person, and I can’t wait until I can show all of you a picture of the one that I actually bought.
Hopefully W doesn’t look at this post. I was inspired to share my dress by this girl, and her dress is beautiful! There are additional pictures of my dress on my Twitter.
My dress will be white though, and in the picture included in this post, it is pink. Yes, that means I tried it on and bought it when I only tried it on in pink.
For some reason that’s all that the bridal store had! I fell in love regardless, and some of my bridesmaids and even W’s mom wanted me to buy it in pink. I just couldn’t though!
This whole summer has been great, and we have had great weather. However, the past couple of weeks have been filled with 100 to 105 degree heat each day, and it is definitely no fun when paired with the high humidity.
August was a great month. We went on vacation to New Orleans and that was a lot of fun.
Also, August was great for our budget even though we did a little bit of spending. September will be a fun month as well – my wedding dress is supposed to arrive this month, and my best friend gets married this FRIDAY.
This was our first full month without paying a crazy amount to student loans, and it felt great. August was a little slower than usual for side income as well, so I’m glad we were able to save that money instead of having to put all of it towards student loans. WOOHOO for my student loans being gone!
Since August was slower for side income, I would really like to find additional freelancing gigs. Once I make the switch, I will have more time available (at least 60 hours each week will be freed up), so I will want something to fill in at least some of that gap.
I do have a question about switching to self-employment. What is a tip that you would give to someone making the switch? It can be anything about making money, budgeting, saving money, taking a vacation and so on! Also, what do you think a person MUST do before they leave their job? I just want to hear what everyone has to say 🙂
Once I make the switch, I definitely want to save money as much as I can. Now, this doesn’t mean that I will be cutting everything fun out of our lives, it just means that I want to save money on food, save money on personal items, and save money on pretty much everything. We will be frugal – not cheap. Most of the things that we do will focus on having fun, being healthy, and enjoying life, and not revolve around money. We want to be smart with our money. However, I will say that I don’t see us getting rid of our cell phones, cars, cable, etc.
We are also very close to the amount that we would like to have in our emergency fund before I make the self-employment switch. See below for further information!
We are still thinking about our dream house, but once I make the switch that will be on hold. We haven’t fallen in love with anything yet, and the area that we want to live in doesn’t have a single house for sale…
My August extra income post will be live tomorrow, so make sure to come back!
August Goals Update
- Run 20 miles per week and lose weight. PASS. I did pretty well with eating healthy and working out.
- Make an extra $10,000 (after expenses) this month. FAIL. I was slightly under this because of expenses. I also forgot to account for the fact that I took a week-long vacation in August and didn’t have reliable internet access. If I didn’t take a vacation, then I’m sure I would have beat this goal, however, almost $10K with a vacation included? I’ll take it! August was also a little slow for extra income, but September will be better.
- Replace the garage door. FAIL. Haha I don’t even know why I have this on the list because it will obviously never get done!
- Make an actual plan for my switch date. PASS. You will find out soon!
- Keep our food budget under $450. We have been doing very well with our food spending, but I would like to limit both our grocery and restaurant spending to less than $500 this month.
- Create a meal plan. I haven’t made a meal plan in forever, and our food budget has definitely been hurting because of it.
- Do more free activities. We have been doing a lot of free and cheap things lately, but we would both like to attend more free events such as festivals and so on. Usually we blame the heat or our laziness for not getting out more, and we would like to change that.
- Fully fund our emergency fund. I would like to have around a full year of expenses in our emergency fund just in case something were to happen to my freelancing. I used a lot of out EF in order to pay down my student loans, and I would like to fully fund it again. We are almost there, and just need a little bit more income to finish this goal.
- Run 20 miles each week and lose weight. COME ON MICHELLE!
- Make an extra $10,000 this month. Same as last month – I definitely think this is possible. I have been doing very good with my extra income lately. I still do want to diversify my extra income methods a little more though because I want to be ready for anything that happens once I make the freelancing switch. So much of this extra income goes to taxes, and you also have to factor in benefits that I am losing when I am 100% self-employed.
How did you do in August? What is your main goal for September?
Taynia | The Fiscal Flamingo says
Oh la la!! It’s so pretty. I kind of like the pink. Kind of.
Thanks! It was pretty in pink, but I’d rather have it in white.
Love the dress! The lower part looks like a ballerina’s tutu, very nice. I am up to running about 20 miles a week too, I do it first thing in the morning so it is much easier.
Running right in the morning seems to be easiest for me. That way I can get it out of the way immediately!
My Money Design says
The dress looks beautiful! You don’t want to go all out and leave it pink? 🙂
I’m jealous of your vacation in New Orleans! That sounds like fun. It’s a place that’s been on my list of spots to travel to for a while now.
What’s my advice for someone becoming self employed? “Have you thought about health care?” We’ve got a few people at my work that have struck out on their own and that is one of the biggest road blocks that they forgot to anticipate. Not surprisingly it is also one of the biggest early retirement hurdles I can think of because health care is expensive on your own!
Another piece of advice for the self employed: Don’t burn your bridges. We’ve got a lot of people who leave work and suddenly take on a big-time attitude. I cringe to think what will happen if things don’t work out and they need their old job back. Or even if they need a favor of some kind. It’s always just a good idea not to do that.
Haha a pink dress would be interesting!
Yes, I have thought about health care. Luckily I can just hop on W’s plan once we get married.
Nicole @ Treasure Tromp says
excellent goals! I especially love the one about doing more free activities! good luck!
C. the Romanian says
It was a great month for you, Michelle and that wedding dress looks great. I am personally not a fan of the “oatmeal” color and I am glad to hear that yours will be white. I am sure you will look stunning in it!
Regarding your question about what somebody should do before leaving their job, I really can’t help. In my case, the best thing I did was to plan a vacation one day after the one that was going to be my last and it was one of my most amazing vacations ever because I felt completely free.
Good luck with your September plans – I also want to start working on a meal plan, so it would be really interesting to read about yours.
Another great month! Looking forward to reading about your switch to full time self employment, very exciting! Our goal for September is to get some more exercise (frugal exercise, no gym). The summer was busy and we’ve been slacking off a bit. Time to get back into a routine!
Kasey @ Debt Perception says
August wasn’t so bad budget-wise for me. Under budget in most categories but ended up spending over $400 on medical bills! Ouch! Main goal for September is to meal plan as well!
Oh no! Medical bills are always the worst.
The wedding dress is beautiful!! That’s so exciting!
As far as making the switch I think having adequate savings is the first step which you probably already have. There are gonna be slow months but as long as you are diversified you’ll be fine. I am trying to work more saving and diversifying my income along with bringing several steady income sources.
I am excited to hear more about your quit date!!
And yes, we are definitely trying to build up our savings as much as we can. Slow months scare me! Thank you for your tip 🙂
I kind of like the pink dress, but I would never have been able to do it either. Mine was an off white color when I tried it on, and I also ordered it white. I turned out perfect, but it was a bit nerve racking to not see the actual color before ordering the final one.
I think you’ve got it all covered for your switch to self employed. If you have a year’s worth of expenses, I’m sure you could weather some slow times if it came to that.
Thanks Kim! Surprisingly a lot of people liked the pink, but I would rather have white, especially considering since I have tan skin.
James Salmons says
What to do to prepare for self-employment? As someone who has done that for most of my life I think I can say you sound well prepared. The two most important things are to have your emergency fund in place (you have done exceedingly well there) and having proved on a significant way that your self-employment income is a real deal and not a pipe dream. You are not jumping into untested waters here either.
I love your thinking and life choices.
Thank you so much James! I really appreciate your kind words 🙂
Your dress is gorgeous! Menu planning is part of my September goals too … I’m terrible at it!!
DC @ Young Adult Money says
If you can make $10k per month consistently, that’s really motivational for me because I always thought if I could make $10k working for myself that would be the ideal situation since I’d have control over my work and be able to outsource and focus on building businesses and incomes. I really have had fun following your “story” so far and look forward to see where you go with it!
The wedding dress looks great and I’m excited for you and your fiance!
Thank you DC!
you should check out financialsamurai.com. Dont make make any moves until you check out sams excellent posts on how to leave your job with maximum benefits. There is also a book – http://www.financialsamurai.com/how-to-make-money-quitting-your-job-2/ – if you want additional details I guess but just reading the blog posts will give you some ideas of the things you should look into before leaving your job.
Thanks Alana. I am a regular reader of his blog. Unfortunately, I would not be able to make money from leaving my job though.
Girl Meets Debt says
Gorgeous dress for gorgeous girl! I can’t wait to start looking for my perfect dress too 🙂
Thank you! Seriously, the picture does not do it justice. I cannot wait until it arrives in the right color.
What style dress do you think you would want? Tell me! I love hearing about weddings! haha
I hope you can reach your debt payment goal. Good luck!
The Norwegian Girl says
Loving the wedding dress, Michelle! Bet it looks beautiful in white too:-)
My main goal in September is to save money by cutting out alcohol and shopping! And try to spend less on groceries!! I seriously need to do some intense saving after this summer…
Thank you! And yes, we are trying to save in the same areas 🙂
Good luck on your goals! An the dress is really pretty. You will be one adorable bride 🙂
Thank you 🙂
Eva @ Girl Counting Pennies says
It seems like you still had a great August and achieved some goals!
PS: Your dress is so beautiful!
Andi of My Beautiful Adventures says
Oh my god, I love it! I would stick with the pink haha!!!
Haha the white is much better!
Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies says
Not quite making $10K in EXTRA income is definitely not bad at all! You are killing it =)
Thank you so much Anna 🙂
Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life says
The dress is adorable! Congrats! Always impressed by your side hustle income. Four months making $10,000 and I’d have more than I’ve ever made in a year. Thanks for the continued inspiration.
Thank you so much!
Dear Debt says
The dress looks so pretty!! You are still doing great with side income. I think you will be so happy being self-employed and you will continue to succeed!
Dear Debt says
Such a pretty dress! You are doing great with your goals.
Connie @ Savvy With Saving says
I absolutely LOVE the dress!
So exciting that wedding is coming up fast!
My goal for September is just to get enough sleep…. I have a lot to do and I better have the energy for it.
And yes more sleep is always good.
oh yeah, i have really missed your meal plans! you always had really good recipes!
congrats on the running. i am impressed and envious!
I miss them too! I really need to start posting them again.
KK @ Student Debt Survivor says
What a beautiful dress. I think making close to 10K in less than a month (minus that week you were on vaca) is pretty amazing. If you had that extra week you’d be at your goal for sure. I’ve been trying to increase my running and cut back on food too. It’s tough but I find reading everyone’s updates inspirational.
Tammy R says
What a beautiful dress! Don’t worry if W sees it. It’s not bad luck. CJ helped me pick out my dress, and we’ve been married almost 16 years!
Thank you! And haha if he sees it then oh well.
Wow, good job! I think I should make some goals for myself too. I often make to-do lists and I’m always so much more productive when I have them.
And your dress is adorable!
Yes, make a goal list!
So pretty, Michelle! And I wouldn’t worry about being SLIGHTLY under 10k :p New Orleans looked like it was totally worth it!
Michelle's Finance Journal says
Your dress is gorgeous~ All the detail on the bodice and the flow of the whole dress is absolutely beautiful.
Your dress is soooo beautiful! You will be such a stunning bride! I’m happy to hear that you had a great vacay in New Orleans!
Thank you Niki!
CeCe @Pink Sunshine says
Your dress is pretty! Pink is my favorite color and it was one of my wedding colors but I wouldn’t want it for my wedding dress color. I don’t blame you.
The Warrior says
Love seeing the incredible progress but more importantly the constant side income. Keeping the numbers balanced can be difficult, but the consistency is impressive.
Look forward to how much more you will be killing once you make the “switch”.
Shannyn @frugalbeautiful.com says
OMG STUNNING! Sorry, all caps were totally necessary for that. I love it in either color but it will look fab in white!
Haha thank you!
Your dress looks beautiful! Congrats! That’s really impressive that you were able to make almost $10k in one month WITH a vacation. I hope to diversify my income in some way during the next several months as well!
Thanks! What is your plan to diversify?
Budget and the Beach says
The dress is so pretty. I think I’ve pretty much given you all the advice I could give you in past comments and having that huge emergency fund is key. I think you’ll be fine! Nice job on your goals. The only sort of goals I have this month is to keep my spending in check because I’m traveling this month, and learn how to podcast…at least “beginning podcasting.” This month will be really tough for video freelancing because it’s been dead. Hopefully I can make a decent amount in side income.
Thanks! And thank you for all of the advice. I hope your income picks up.
Lisa E. @ Lisa Vs. The Loans says
That dress is so gorgeous!!!
Tara @ Streets Ahead Living says
I need to get better with my tangible goal setting. I have a habit of setting lofty goals that are not really reachable. Congrats on passing your weight loss and run goal!
I would recommend ways to save money food wise is to get good at meal planning. I know you work a lot so you probably need to depend on quick cooking on nights you’re busy but even buying ready made meals at the grocery store as opposed to eating out can still save money.
Daisy @ Prairie Eco Thrifter says
What a beautiful dress, Michelle! Good luck on all of your goals. I am working on a weight loss goal too. Interested to see your progress!
Shannon @ The Heavy Purse says
Oh, Michelle. Your dress is beautiful and I can’t wait to see you in it. I like pink (hello, have you seen my website) but I am old-fashioned enough to prefer traditional white. An emergency fund would be my tip but it sounds like you already have that covered. Even though you know that your monthly income will fluctuate, experiencing it always feels different than knowing. 🙂 Your EF will help keep you from panicking the first time it happens. Or panicking less. 🙂
Alexandra @ Real Simple Finances says
The dress is so cute! I can’t wait to see it in white. 🙂 Great job on August’s goals! Maybe you should organize some sort of PF blogger running contest… I need some motivation to get myself moving.