The master bathroom remodel adventure is upon me.

The tools are honed and prepped: research, timelines, cash flow planning, contractor. With a rudimentary understanding of the scope and depth of the issues in the master bathroom where water was damaging the walls, next steps in this process are less murky. We are ready to dig in. Since speed of completing this project well is important to me, I have taken my time on the prep.

In the previous post, part 1, my contractor and I had met to agree on general sequence of events, decision points, and cash flow plan (I shared my budget and he was gracious to help me find options and solutions to the problems we both know we are solving, and other potential hidden problems). Keeping my perspective helps me stay encouraged because I can see both how far I have come in the past few weeks from no real knowledge to how to solve this forward to today in getting the appropriate helps and understanding how the money, time, and other finite resources get used. Clearly separating out what I need versus what I merely want feels really good as the contractor and I imagine the end result – a beautifully updated bathroom that maximizes my overall house functionality while not overbuilding for my home and my neighborhood.

Who knew being a homeowner was going to be this expensive and complicated?

Continue Reading…

Master Bathroom Remodel

August 4, 2017 — 47 Comments

Recently, I found water getting into the wall of my home’s master bathroom.

Before I can find out precisely how much damage there is, I am going to have to start demolition and pull the shower enclosure out. This is major work. I did not plan to do a master bathroom remodel. I would prefer to ignore the problem and hope it goes away. Being proactive pays dividends. Praise God, I have great friends, good research skills, and a funded home repair fund. I still would rather avoid the master bathroom remodel and not know what I am buying. God has gifted me with the tools and information to handle this project.

Finding the problem was just the first part of the master bathroom remodel. Writing out the plan for the remodel was the second step (and now mostly done). Researching all the components and elements of the remodel has taken a lot of time. Finally, this week, the contractor and I had an in-depth discussion regarding the remodel. We agreed on who was responsible for which materials, for instance I will get the floor and wall tiles, the contractor will get the mud, shower pan, and grout (with sealant!).

In finalizing the plan, we agreed on start date, check in dates, and overall budget.

What I WANT to do is Continue Reading…

Wins and losses

July 21, 2017 — 43 Comments

What wins and losses have you experienced in the last year? Wins are the goals, big and small, that you have accomplished like the anniversary vacation, or being able to ease back on working hours, or a topped off savings account. Losses are what we want to avoid, but expect life to dish up like home repairs, or car expenses, or other money decisions you just did not see coming. In the year to come, you can expect to experience both wins and losses.

Have you aimed at what you want?

Have you scanned the horizon for “threats” to getting what you want?

Do you have a plan for how to accomplish what you need?

Are you clear about what you NEED and how that may be different from what you need?

Recently, I found water getting into the wall of a bathroom. This is one of those surprises that can upset our money goals. The win is having savings that can go immediately to repairing this problem. The win is being comfortable with budgeting so when the repair number is agreed on, we are both clear on the expectations. The win is knowing that most projects overrun the initial budget and the savings can cover an additional 10% – 20% before more drastic steps need to be taken.

Because I spend a little time each month and each week looking at my income and comparing that to my expenses, I will be able to cover these repairs and still have some money left for my adventure fund for this coming October.

I want my home to stay in good repair. I want to spend time with my friends in October. I know that threats to being able to win in this situation include losing my focus, not using cash to stay connected with how much I am spending, communicating in a way that is unclear to my contractor.

I have a plan. I will be updating you on this journey as it unfolds. This will be another part of my story as it relates to personal finance. What twists are happening in YOUR story of finding peace in your personal finances?

Celebrating success. Coffee and chocolate and caramel? Oh My!

Celebrating success. Coffee and chocolate and caramel? Oh My!

Working hard and then celebrating YOUR success

Celebrating success is a vital and delicious part of your changing your daily thoughts and behaviors in the context of your personal money management. Celebrating success can be accomplishing huge goals, then following through with huge rewards to yourself and loved ones – like a trip to a beautiful island getaway as a family or getting that “toy” you have wanted for so long. Celebrating success is more often a smaller gesture – calling a loved one to share how you avoided a frivolous impulse purchase or successfully negotiating a conflict point. Continue Reading…

Early Voting

February 17, 2016 — 1,014 Comments

Early Voting is now underway here in North Texas. As we work to get our careers and personal finance going in better and better directions, taking part in the elections and primaries as a part of early voting is an excellent habit.

Why vote?

Early voting implies Continue Reading…

School as an Adult

December 2, 2015 — 1,131 Comments



Are you considering going back for a degree, certificate, training or some other form of formal program of school as an adult? So was Coach Julia in the fall of 2013. Continue Reading…

MBA Journey

November 23, 2015 — 1,140 Comments

It’s been a while since I updated this blog as I complete my MBA. I would love to hear from you this Thanksgiving week about how YOU celebrate big goals (see below).

FinishLinesTo my frequent readers, my apologies that I prioritized client meetings and graduate school work (the whole MBA journey) ahead of updating this blog.

To my financial coaching and career coaching clients in this past 18 months, WOW! You are amazing and willing to do what it takes to put your households ahead of “average” here in the States. It has been my honor and privilege to walk alongside you as you hone and launch your income and outgo progress.

I absolutely adored getting my Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) from Tarleton State University. There were so many fine people who contributed to the richness of my MBA experience. You will hear more about that in the days to come here on this blog. Today’s post is about crossing a finish line. Accomplishing a milestone.

How am I celebrating this MBA milestone you ask?

I am celebrating in a variety of ways, all paid for in cash of course. One of the more frivolous ways I am celebrating is by watching the James Bond movies from 1962 forward to the latest, Spectre, in order to make my own decision about who played the best Bond. I have used WorldCat (an MBA treasure) to find most all of the DVDs at one or more local DFW library. The remaining two movies that exceed a “regular” commute, I will rent thru an online video streaming service.

Celebration Budget for this MBA Completion will be as follows:

Fuel for the vehicle to go pick up reserved movies*                $5.00
Rental fees with applicable taxes for online video streaming   $6.50
Use of already paid for home internet                                    Free
Cleaning out graduate school files as I watch the movies        Free
Gourmet popcorn for the home Bond Marathon                     $5.00

Being able to debate “Who plays the best Bond? Connery vs. Lazenby vs. Moore vs. Dalton vs. Brosnan vs. Craig” with my friends who love movies even more than I? Priceless

Grand total: Less than a $20 bill. The remaining money will be spent watching Spectre at a local bargain movie theater during a matinee showing.

So, lots of fun and interaction with friends planned for a minimum of cash outlay (spending). How are YOU celebrating the milestones in your life?

I know you have great ideas. Email your best ideas to or give a shout out on our Facebook page or Twitter feed and I will send you my 10 favorite “Milestone Celebration” ideas in a free report as we set of for financial success in the 2016 calendar year.


*The library lending limits will allow me to do one “pick up” round and one “drop off” round as I loop DFW and other North Texas counties between appointments.

Command or Cop-out

July 24, 2014 — 4,543 Comments

If you are in command of your financial situation, you have a written plan, with goals broken down into objectives and timelines, and you communicate your plan to your loved ones. Continue Reading…


July 3, 2014 — 4,851 Comments

USflagThe colors of the US flag never fail to inspire. Were you aware that the colors stand for character qualities? Every time you see the colors fly consider: Continue Reading…

Breaking Bad

June 26, 2014 — 4,780 Comments

Have you ever wondered what a life spent chasing money looks like? Watch “Breaking Bad” and you will quickly get an idea of the damage you do to yourself and to others if you choose money above other more valuable items such as reputation, relationships and impact on others.

Continue Reading…