The reasons I have for being grateful and thankful this Thanksgiving.

Being Grateful: Eighty-First Edition (aka Special Thanksgiving Edition)

The reasons I have for being grateful and thankful this Thanksgiving.Hello everyone! Happy Thanksgiving to my US friends and readers! I’m still in disbelief there are only five days left in November.

Being grateful goes hand-in-hand with giving thanks, and there are many things I’m thankful for this year. I like to take Thanksgiving as an opportunity to reflect on all that has happened since this time last year.

I hope you’ll all be inspired to take the time to remember what you’re thankful for today.

Thankful for the Power of Community

I think that sums it up well. Lately, I find myself more and more thankful for people. Which is funny, as my faith in humanity kept going down the more years I spent working with the public. Go figure.

These days, I get to spend time with awesome clients who are doing awesome things, and I also get to connect with fellow awesome freelancers doing equally awesome things. So much awesome!

It still blows my mind that I’m able to write for a living, all thanks to this little blog of mine. There are times I wonder what would have happened had I not began blogging. Do you guys ever find yourselves tracing the dots backwards like that? That kind of rabbit hole can freak you out (in a good way, mostly!).

There’s no doubt in my mind I wouldn’t be in the situation I am today had I not connected with the amazing people in the personal finance community.

I didn’t even know side hustling was a thing. I didn’t know people made money from blogging. And I certainly didn’t think I could earn more than I did at my day job by freelancing online.

I only discovered that through blogging and watching others become successful. I owe so much of my success to the people that inspired me to take action, and who continue to help me on my journey, wherever it may take me.

Thankful for Friendship and Inspiration

On that note, I wanted to thank those who have made a big impact on me this last year:

  • Kali, for being an awesome friend, a tremendous source of inspiration, and for taking a chance on me and being my first client. I definitely wouldn’t be here without your help and you’ve always been so selfless. Thank you for being an amazing person!
  • Cat, for being a kick-ass coach who gave me the push I needed to overcome my fears as a freelancer. I also wouldn’t be in the position I am today without your encouragement, support, and for passing your knowledge onto me.
  • Melanie, also for being a huge source of inspiration (both in freelancing and debt payoff) and friendship. It’s comforting to know there’s always someone I can talk to whether I need to vent, celebrate, or possibly break down.
  • Tonya, for being one of the first people to stop by here and for continuing to support me. There are always great nuggets of wisdom in between the sarcasm and wittiness of your posts, and I’m thankful that you continue to keep it real. I’ve always looked up to you, and I’m glad we’re friends!
  • Kayla, for being one of the first people I spoke to at FinCon this year! It was great getting to hang out, talk more, and become better friends over the course of four days, and I’m happy we get to chat regularly.
  • Chonce and Kristi, for being so welcoming and kind at FinCon (and Kristi for being the second person I spoke to at FinCon!). I’m so glad we’re all getting to “work together” with Kayla and I can’t wait to see how you two grow your businesses next year.
  • Michelle, for listening to me and giving me great advice. You’ve been an inspiration more than you know. Your happiness and attitude toward life is contagious and I know you’ll continue doing great things next year!
  • Melissa, for checking in with me even though we’re both super busy (though I give you more credit as you’re planning a wedding!). You’re always so sweet and I hope we finally get to meet next year!

There are so many other people to list here, but it would take more time than I have. If you’ve ever commented here, shared something of mine on social media, reached out to me via email, or hired me, I’m thankful for you. Thank you for being part of my life in some way!

Thankful for Family

I know I say this a lot, but I’m seriously thankful I have amazing parents. We’ve had our rough spots, of course, but those days are long gone.

My parents raised me in a very hands-off way, and even though they spoiled me (yay being an only-child?), they never forced anything on me. I’m thankful they allowed me to grow into the person I am today, and I’m also thankful for their unconditional love and support.

When I wanted to quit my job and try freelancing, they never suggested I do otherwise. While they didn’t completely understand the concept, they trusted I was making the right decision. And even now, as I contemplate moving hours and hours away, they’re upset, but want the best for me.

Not everyone is close with their family, and not everyone has a strong support network. I’m very thankful I have both; that I have such incredible people I can count on.

Thankful for My Position in Life

I’m thankful for the lessons I learned early on in life (from my parents) that have allowed me to be where I am today, financially speaking.

I made saving a priority as soon as I got my first job, and I never stopped. Yes, I have student loan debt to deal with, but I can sleep soundly at night knowing I can handle most anything life throws my way thanks to my emergency fund.

This has opened the door to so many opportunities. The other day I received an email that one of my favorite groups would be touring next year. Of course, not near me, but one show is in NY. I pretty much already plan on going.

I took a step back and realized not everyone is in that position. In fact, most of my peers are living paycheck to paycheck, and some can barely afford basic living expenses.

Going back to the “retracing the dots backward” thing, there are times I wonder where I would be if I didn’t have any financial know-how. That legitimately scares me. I could still be living with my parents with $0 to my name, not able to take advantage of anything in life.

It’s very easy to cast judgment on others when it comes to money. I find myself dying a bit inside whenever I hear of people wrecking havoc on their financial situation. But sometimes, it pays to have a little sympathy. Had I not grown up the way I did, that person who lets money slip through their fingers could very well have been me.

There are always going to be times when I feel like I don’t have enough. Almost everyone can use more money. However, I’m not struggling, and that’s always something to be thankful for.

Writing Around the Web

I’ve already said I’m not a fan of Black Friday, so I was happy to write about 8 things you can do besides shop this Friday on Young Adult Money.

Going along with the theme of the last section, I shared 5 reasons why I’m grateful I made saving money a priority for GenFKD.

Happy Thanksgiving!

How are you giving thanks today? What’s one of the biggest things you’re grateful for this year? What are your plans for this weekend? 


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The reasons I have for being grateful this week: reuniting with my cats, and finding gratitude in the basics we take for granted.

Being Grateful: Eightieth Edition

The reasons I have for being grateful this week: reuniting with my cats, and finding gratitude in the basics we take for granted.Hello everyone! How have you been? It seems like crunch-time is approaching with Thanksgiving being a week away. I still can’t believe it.

Does anyone else feel like there’s no real warm-up to the holidays anymore? Or maybe that was an illusion from being in school…I keep saying, “It doesn’t feel like Thanksgiving/Christmas,” but what does that even mean?

Okay, enough with the pondering. It is what it is. I’m just looking forward to lasagna next week. I convinced my mom not to buy a turkey since it’s only the four of us, and I don’t eat much. (Seriously, a 2 year-old can eat more than me.) It’s not worth the money!

Being Grateful for the Basics

Every now and again, I’ll go back to the basics for this series. While I’m always grateful for my family, friends, and health, the events of last weekend brought that home for me.

I’m conflicted as to how much text I should devote to this, because I don’t believe focusing on the bad (or listening to the news 24/7) helps anything. It breeds so much negativity. I think Tonya said it better than me.

Obviously, what happened is horrible and senseless. It kills me inside to see people out there who don’t hesitate to kill innocents. But completely giving into despair is what they want, and I prefer to focus on what good I can.

It’s for that reason, immediately after everything went down, I began to feel grateful for everything I have. I listened to an interview with a survivor who said she was “lucky” to be alive, and I realized, in a way, we all are.

I’ve shared before that I almost didn’t make it back when I was a baby, as I was born with some odd complications. I took that for granted for a long time, especially during my brooding teenage years (ahem).

Only in the past few years have I fully come to appreciate how precious life is. I know that’s sappy, but there are a million little things that have to happen for us to be here – for the entire world to be as it is today. It’s a little overwhelming to think about, but it fills me with gratitude to get to experience that in some way.

Regardless, every day that we wake up feeling okay is a good day. I’m not a morning person, at all, so sometimes that’s difficult for me to remember, but I urge all of you to stop taking little moments like that for granted. Simple reminders like that can be powerful.

Lastly, we should be grateful for each other. For all the monsters out there, there are beacons of light that outshine them. Strive to be that light, and welcome others into it when they need it.

Being Grateful for my Cat!

All right, enough of the heavy stuff. It feels like I haven’t mentioned my cats here in ages, so here you go!

This past weekend, I finally got to pick up my cat, as my parents were babysitting her while we were away. I didn’t really have the chance to miss her while we were gone, since we were in a different environment.

However, as soon as I got home, I felt lonely! It’s amazing how much of a difference a tiny animal can make in your everyday life, but she makes things so entertaining. I’m glad to have her back.

As for my other cat, we decided to leave her with my parents. She was the “family” cat as we got her together back when I was 18. When my parents moved, we took her in, as we didn’t want her to go through that long drive. Of course, she ended up coming with us when we moved…

We’ve taken them to my parent’s house a few times on longer trips, and they both love going outside on the enclosed porch. We left them there in August when we went to Texas, and I didn’t have the heart to take my other cat away from her little paradise.

She’s perfectly at home with my parents, whereas our little cat is happier with us (apparently she found her place on the BBQ). Plus, they no longer go crazy chasing each other around. I think, at best, they tolerated each other, so it seems like things are better this way.

I know, I sound like a crazy cat lady, but hey. Quality of life is important for our pets. I’m just making sure they’re happy where they are, because they sadly don’t get much of a choice and can’t give their input.

Writing Around the Web

On Young Adult Money, I gave 5 gift ideas perfect for personal finance nerds (like myself), though I had a hard time coming up with them! I wonder if we’re all hard to shop for because we probably don’t want much? It seems like more and more people are going toward minimalism.

I also gave a few tips on how to stick with your debt repayment plan, which can be hard when you’re looking at a timeline of years.

I continued talking about debt on Frugal Rules with why debt shouldn’t be a normal part of your life. I answered one of those survey things while reading an NBC story online, asking what your biggest debt worry is, and the most popular answer was “I don’t worry about debt.” Umm. Considering 8 in 10 people have debt in the US, I find that hard to believe. Or they think it’s a normal part of life, in which case, they should read my post, and then continue on to find out how they can be proactive about paying it off!

On GenFKD, I wrote about the biggest challenge millennials face when saving for the future. Which is pretty much just getting started in the first place, and realizing how important it is!

Let’s end on this note – I’ve been grateful for some inspirational posts lately. I’m trying to make time to read blogs more often, and Kali has been hitting it out of the park (as always). Making Hard Choices and Do You Have Enough? definitely resonated with me. Give them a read!

What are you being grateful for this past week? What are your Thanksgiving plans? Are you going to be one of those crazy people I absolutely don’t envy going out at the crack of dawn on Friday? ;)

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The reasons I have for being grateful this week, including visiting new cities, and learning how to balance work with longer travel trips!

Being Grateful: Seventy-Ninth Edition

The reasons I have for being grateful this week, including visiting new cities, and learning how to balance work with longer travel trips!Hello everyone! I hope your first week of November went well. Today is my last day in New York. I’m a little upset that I didn’t get to do as much as I wanted to while I was here, and everyone’s schedule was a little hectic, but I think I gained some much-needed perspective.

Being Grateful for Visiting New Cities

I know I mentioned this before, but I’m amazed that I managed to fit in multiple trips this month. I went into the city a few times, I went upstate, and then I visited Boston a few days ago.

As I’ve said, I’m looking for ideas on where I should move. Right now, Austin is at the top of the list, but I’m always open to other cities, especially because I’ve traveled so little in my life.

Boston was a shining example of why I want to visit other places. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had only been there once before to visit a college I was accepted to.

I also don’t consider myself much of a city person. I like my space, and I’ve never had to rely on public transportation before.

However, after spending a night in the city, I realized I could see myself living there. The architecture is gorgeous, their library is absolutely amazing, and it feels comfy and cozy. The public transportation was pretty great as well.

Unfortunately, the rent is ridiculous! I haven’t been met with this problem yet, as I’ve only been looking at cities with a cost of living below or slightly above the average in the US.

I know there’s something to be said for being happy where you live. I’m just not sure I’d be happy paying $2,500 for a tiny apartment! Then again, there’s so much to do there. I think I’d be forced into going out more often, even if that’s just going to the library.

Regardless, I’m thankful for the experience. Growing up, “living in the city” meant living in NYC. That’s way too crowded and expensive for me! I kind of figured “city living” always equated to that, but obviously, no two cities are alike.

Being Grateful for Experience While Traveling

This is the longest I’ve been away from my apartment, and I have to admit, it’s been extremely challenging. While I took my PC with me (along with my laptop), the set up I had wasn’t ideal. As many of you know, I’m a night owl, and having a “curfew” of 10:30 – 11pm because my PC was in my grandma’s room killed me. The internet was also in and out the entire time.

I’ve been contemplating how I want to execute future travel plans while still being productive with work, and this has certainly been a learning experience for me. Considering I like to plan things out and not be rushed, I always figured I would do the “slow travel” method of staying in a place for a longer amount of time. This allows me to work while not feeling too guilty about it.

While I probably wouldn’t have a curfew to deal with in the future, it’s still hard to be out of my element. I’m actually looking forward to returning home and getting back into a routine!

Being Grateful for Charity

Today, many different charity streams are going on for Extra Life. What is Extra Life?

Extra Life unites thousands of players around the world in a 24 hour gaming marathon to support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Since its inception in 2008, Extra Life has raised more than $14 million for local CMN hospitals.

One of my favorite content producers on the web, Rooster Teeth, is taking part in this for the third year in a row. The goal is to raise $300,000, and they’re steadily working their way there (while being one of the top teams).

Edited – They ended up surpassing their goal, raising around $520,000. It’s crazy what the power of community can do!

Writing Around the Web

On Young Adult Money, I gave my best advice on how to simplify holiday shopping (cough, don’t go at all, cough), and how to turn your financial goals into a game. I know not everyone is super motivated to save or pay off debt, but making it into a competition of sorts can be fun!

On Frugal Rules, I listed 11 things you can do besides watch TV. That might upset a few people, but I’m not a fan of mindlessly consuming content, which I find most people do with TV. Quite a few people in the comments shared their experience cutting out TV!

On MagnifyMoney, I shared how millennials can lessen the burden of moving back in with their parents. It can be a difficult situation to be in on both sides, and having a greater understanding of that (and knowing how to work your way out of it) can help.

Also, a quick side note, I’ve changed my Twitter handle. This is likely a sign of things to come, but it’s now @erinmcreates. If any of you have been sharing my posts via Twitterfeed and have my old handle in there, I’d appreciate it being changed. I still have @journeytosaving, but it’s an empty profile. ;)

That’s it, folks! I hope you enjoy your weekend.

What are you being grateful for this week? If you’re location independent, how do you manage traveling and work? How do you prefer to travel? Do you enjoy living in a city, in the suburbs, or in a rural area? 

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