2018 Money Stories

2018 Money Stories

As we wrap up 2018, I’ve asked several women from all over the country to share a little more about their money highlights from 2018, such as biggest challenges, accomplishments, lessons learned. We all have a little to learn from each other and hope this can serve as inspiration for you as well!


Name: Car

Age: 33

What was your biggest money accomplishment in 2018 and how did it make you feel?

Hiring an accountant to get my finances up to date and manage it monthly

What was your biggest money challenge in 2018? 

Going into debt and trying to crawl out of it

When you think of your current money situation, what are the top 3 feelings that come up?

Hopeful, scared, anxious

Did you do anything differently about your finances in 2018 that helped you?

Hiring a professional

What is one thing you want to do differently with your money in 2019?

Get out of debt and stay out, make a ton of money


Name: Rae Lambert

Age: 31

City: New York

Business: Small Space, Big Taste (Website: www.smallspacebigtaste.co, IG: @smallspacebigtaste, FB: www.facebook.com/smallspacebigtaste)

What was your biggest money accomplishment in 2018 and how did it make you feel?

2018 has been my best year yet. After starting a new job and quickly realizing it wasn't the right fit, I took a big risk by going freelance. While my husband wasn't working. While also moving from San Francisco to New York City.

The risk paid off big time! I've made more money this year than ever before and have so much freedom and flexibility! Don't get me wrong, I work a lot, but now it's on my terms. Now I can work while traveling, choose what projects I take on, all while growing a blog I just launched, Small Space, Big Taste.

What was your biggest money challenge in 2018? 

My husband spent the past year leveling up his skills to switch to a new career. It 100% paid off since he now has an amazing job, but leaving my job and moving across the country on just one income was very stressful at times. In hindsight it all worked out for the best, but there was still a lot of second-guessing.

When you think of your current money situation, what are the top 3 feelings that come up?

Deserving, empowered, independent

Did you do anything differently about your finances in 2018 that helped you?

Now that I'm freelance, I get paid less often but in much bigger chunks. When a big cash injection from a project lands in my bank account, I immediately transfer 30% to a savings account earmarked for taxes so there aren't any surprises down the road.

What is one thing you want to do differently with your money in 2019?

Growing up poor (food stamps and rent help at times) I often find myself acting from a poor mindset. Doing everything myself is not possible anymore—because my goals are BIG and there's so much to do—but it also doesn't make financial sense.

I'm going to outsource more next year to make the best use of my time and money. For example, why not pay a video editor if they can do it in half the time and twice the quality if I have the money to spare and can be earning money do what I do best instead?


Name: Anonymous

Age: 26

City: New York City

What was your biggest money accomplishment in 2018 and how did it make you feel?

I started saving for retirement! Wohooo

What was your biggest money challenge in 2018? 

Rebuilding my credit score

When you think of your current money situation, what are the top 3 feelings that come up?

Anticipation, anxiety, growth

Did you do anything differently about your finances in 2018 that helped you?

Yes a hundred percent! I rebuilt my credit score from a job loss, started saving for retirement, started building my personal savings, paid off ⅔ credit cards and worked down the other credit card, and (mostly)stuck to a monthly budget.

What is one thing you want to do differently with your money in 2019?

Better budget and get down the balance of my last credit card. Maybe take on a side hustle?


Name: Jenn

Age: 35

City: Arkansas

Business: Bachelorette Flip Pad (Website: bachelorettepadflip.com, IG: @bachelorettepadflip)

What was your biggest money accomplishment in 2018 and how did it make you feel?

I was able to purchase a 2nd home- an investment. So far, I'm successfully owning two homes on one, self-employed income!

What was your biggest money challenge in 2018? 

I'm a Realtor and the market shifted greatly in 2018 which meant less income. I had to monitor and adjust and HUSTLE to make it work!

When you think of your current money situation, what are the top 3 feelings that come up?

Hopeful, Eager, Determined

Did you do anything differently about your finances in 2018 that helped you?

I withdrew all my savings from mutual funds & moved to real estate which offers bigger returns

What is one thing you want to do differently with your money in 2019?

Have a much larger saved nest egg


Name: Zoe

Age: 19

City: Iowa

Business: Necessary Behavior (Website: necessarybehavior.com, IG: @necessarybehavior, Twitter: necessarybehavi, Facebook: Necessary Behavior)

What was your biggest money accomplishment in 2018 and how did it make you feel?

The biggest accomplishment for me was teaching myself how to budget. It allowed me to actually start adding money to my savings account (which has previously been sitting at a cool $0.19 for many years), but also allowing myself to have a budget for things that were fun.

Besides that, finally having a paid position as a sexual assault advocate and preventionist was really neat too. I've been doing this work for about two years as a volunteer and have been receiving pay through gratification of the work that I do, but it's always nice to have a couple extra dollar signs coming with this line of work.

What was your biggest money challenge in 2018? 

My biggest money challenge was having multiple people bail on an apartment I was renting and having to, at the absolute last minute, figure out how I was going to pay $1,500 every month until I found another roommate.

When you think of your current money situation, what are the top 3 feelings that come up?

Stressed, hopeful, foreseeing growth

Did you do anything differently about your finances in 2018 that helped you?

My first year of college I didn't get a job and babysat for income, in between asking my mom for money. I didn't like the idea of having to settle down in a brand new town, brand new school, and have to settle into a brand new job. Reflecting on my past work experience, I was over retail, hated the food industry, and had been waiting for a "real" job to come about. Luckily, I found a position for a campus sexual violence advocate and prevention educator, applied, and got the position. The position allows me to pick my hours, I have my own office (with a couch!), and I'm working towards something I care about. Holding out and living tight for some time while I waited for the perfect job was totally worth it.

What is one thing you want to do differently with your money in 2019?

Start building my 401k and investing some of the money I have saved this year.


Name: Ali Daniel

Age: 29

City: California

Business: Punch Drunk Soul (Website: punchdrunksoul.com, IG: @punchdrunksoul, FB: facebook.com/punchdrunksoulpage)

What was your biggest money accomplishment in 2018 and how did it make you feel?

I had a month where I did $17,000 in sales. It felt awesome! But what was even more exciting was that it felt easy, and I enjoyed the process. It wasn't overwhelming or stressful like past launches have been.

What was your biggest money challenge in 2018? 

Slowly paying off medical and credit card debt. I wish I could pay it all off in one lump sum, I hate doing it so slowly.

When you think of your current money situation, what are the top 3 feelings that come up?

Hopeful, sometimes frustrating, exciting

Did you do anything differently about your finances in 2018 that helped you?

I read the book "Profit First" and it helped me restructure my business income in a way that feels much easier and smarter. I started focusing on less spending and more paying off debt first which put my mind at ease.

What is one thing you want to do differently with your money in 2019?

I want to start donating more of it and saving more for retirement by investing.


Name: Jacqueline

Age: 36

City: Toronto, Canada

Business: Mom Money Map (Website: https://www.mommoneymap.com)

What was your biggest money accomplishment in 2018 and how did it make you feel?

We attained a new passive income stream through a rental property. This is the first time we’ve purchased real estate with the intention of getting regular cash flow from it. Initially, it was terrifying because we used equity from our principal residence for the down payment. While we had done our due diligence, it took a while for us to feel comfortable using borrowed money to invest. In the end, we’re glad we did it. We spent a good chunk of time reading real estate books and talking to real estate investors this year. It was satisfying finally executing and now getting a recurring income stream from it.

What was your biggest money challenge in 2018? 

My daughter was born at the beginning of 2018. It’s been a special time.

We live in Canada where many of us are fortunate to have the option of 12-18 months maternity leave. Even though the government provides some paid benefits, there is a huge drop in income that you have to plan around if your company doesn’t top up.

You also feel the financial stress from the new expense of baby products, which can be costly.

When you think of your current money situation, what are the top 3 feelings that come up?

Anxiety with managing cash flow and ensuring bills are paid on time. These days I feel like the mommy brain takes over. I have to write everything down to ensure the finances get managed properly at the end of each month.

Curiosity. I am constantly thinking of ways to add income streams and trim expenses. I often wonder how other people manage their money. Money still seems like a taboo topic. I’ve been trying to engage in more money talks with family and friends. It’s certainly made for some interesting conversations around the dinner table!

Determination to retire early. On our white board at home, we have this goal to retire by 45. There is a greater urgency to achieve this goal earlier now that my daughter is here.

Did you do anything differently about your finances in 2018 that helped you?

The rental property has helped bring in funds. We also put more money into the stock market and the P2P platform Lending Loop earlier this year. We get regular dividends and interest from this.

To bring in an additional $100 or more each month, we started selling things from around the house on Kijiji, VarageSale, Facebook Marketplace, Letgo and Ebay. This had the added benefits of helping with baby proofing and reducing clutter.

To trim our expenses, we renegotiated our Internet bill. We made a concerted effort to cook and walk more.

What is one thing you want to do differently with your money in 2019?

We want to focus more on optimizing tax advantages.

How to Financially Plan for 2019

How to Financially Plan for 2019

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