One of the things I’ve been working on over the last few months is finding a better balance for me personally, and for the family overall. With my wife and me working full-time jobs, the three kids in school, twins working part-time, activities, social events, volunteer activities, blogs, etc. it can get confusing figuring out who’s coming or going.
Considering our twins are seniors in high school this year we had a major uptick in activities related to college search, scholarship application, and a pretty good major push of end of year stuff over the next two months. It can get crazy in our house at times.
Did I mention we will be throwing them a graduation party too, oh and my wife doesn’t work a normal work schedule either. She typically works weekends, and late during the week. Damn you retail.
I paint this picture not to complain, but just to give you a slice of what life is like in the debt discipline household. Most days I’m up at 5:30AM and in bed around 11PM.
So, you can see there is certainly a need to find better balance.
Turning to Technology
One of the big issues I find it just keeping track of everyone’s schedule. We have a large paper calendar that my wife does a great job of keeping updated, but it doesn’t do any of us any good when we are away from it to figure out what’s on it. I’m constantly asking the kids for their work schedule, so I know what and how much to cook for dinner.
We’ll I think I’ve found the answer. We just started using an app that allows us to share a single calendar across our smart phones. Not sure why I didn’t think of it sooner, but here we are. Since all five of us always carry our phones why not leverage the technology and keep the calendars synced on our phones.
We’ve refocused on decluttering our home. Less stuff means a lot of things, less to clean, wash, put away, lose, find, move, storage, etc. Less stuff equals simple, and when you have a lot of activity or other things occupying your time the last thing you want is a pile of stuff in your way to have to mess with. This is still a work in progress, but we are throwing things away, donating, and generally just cleaning up to make things easier to manage around our house.
The Power of the Word No
I’m about to contradict myself, but here goes. Over the last two years I’ve said yes to several things. Volunteering being a big one of them. I’m beginning to scale that back and only focusing on the opportunities I really value. Championing financial literacy is at the top of the list. If it doesn’t align with that I often say no if asked to get involved.
We as a family are going to learn to have to say no to things again, similar to how we did during our “get out of debt” journey. Our goal over the next four to seven years is to help three kids get through college with little to no debt as possible. That means saying not to things we have said yes too in recent years. Just this week we turned down buying tickets to Comic Con in New York City. An event we have gone to over the last few years. A savings of roughly $500 when all said and done, and the start of getting familiar with the word no again.
Just recently I took my feed reader of close to five hundred or so blogs and cut it down to under a hundred. I was like a moth drawn to the flame of the feed reader glow. I was spending way too much time reading other blogs. It’s nothing personal, but I had to cut it down to the ones that I connect with the best. I do appreciate those who continue to read and comment here.
Now here’s where I veer off course. I recently registered two new niche domains. In the coming months, I’ll be launching two new websites. One in the personal finance space and one in the video game space. I know this sounds counterproductive to this whole post, but I have my reasons.
Debt Discipline is my baby. I’ve learned a ton blogging here over the last few years. I turn down opportunities every day for sponsored posts and money-making chances through the blog. I just don’t want to do certain things on this site. My goal with the new sites is to take what I’ve learned here and expanded it on these sites.
I plan on automating both sites roughly 90% so I don’t need to eat up much more of my time, but my hope is that it could turn into a passive income stream I’ve been looking for. The video game site will also give me an opportunity to help show my youngest son the possibilities of an online business.
Debt Discipline will remain the same, a place I get to ramble about my family and the regular topics I normally do.
Wish me luck!