2018 Year-End Review with the Happy Hour Ladies


2018 Year-End Review with the Happy Hour Ladies

Today is the last Friday of the month and my regular listeners know that on the last Friday of the month, I host the happy hour on the podcast where I gather great friends with me to drink cheap drinks and talk about money topics. Not only is it the last Friday of the month, but it’s the last Friday of the YEAR, so welcome to our third annual end-of-year Happy Hour special. The ladies and I are going to share our highs and lows of 2018 with you and then set out our plans for 2019. I hope you enjoy!

What are we drinking?

Melanie from Dear Debt — Vodka Martini (vodka and dry vermouth)

Tonya from Budget and the Beach — Chardonnay

Liz, Mrs. Frugalwoods, from Frugalwoods.com — Black Box Red Wine, Cabernet Sauvignon

Shannon — Tito’s vodka, club soda, and a splash of cranberry

Podcast Notes

  • This is the third year-end review with the Happy Hour ladies (click for 2016 and 2017 podcasts). This includes highs and lows of the year and goals for the new year.
  • What were your 2018 highs and lows?
    • Melanie: Highs include Lola Retreat in NYC this past spring, doing this podcast and catching up with the ladies, her cats, and the Ratchet Ride on Tuesdays and Thursdays (spinning class). Melanie is on a self-love journey right now – to love herself, be alone, and find out what she wants. Lows include dating too soon, departing from a friend, and practicing good boundaries. All of the highs have a corresponding low. It has been a great re-building year.
    • Liz: Highs include the safe and healthy birth of her second daughter,  watching her girls grow and her husband be a father, publishing her book (Meet the Frugalwoods), and promoting her book on NPR and PBS. A low is not having enough time to devote to her blog, Frugalwoods.com. A high and low is the postpartum depression she went through. It was a low going through it, but it was a high to get back to feeling normal and back to enjoying life. Other highs are enjoying the homestead and feeling more confidence in what they are doing and an ongoing building of resiliency and self-sufficiency. Another low is the frustration of not getting everything done, like answering emails and messages and being digitally unorganized.
    • Tonya: Lows include work. She is just trying to figure it out. Being too future focused has been giving her anxiety and she hasn’t felt like she has been present in the moment. Tonya is hard on herself and feels like she is trying to beat others to it. She is realizing that she is not being compassionate with herself. Highs include rediscovering beach volleyball, having a greater appreciation for L.A. as she was getting ready to leave, realizing the support system she has in her friends, and saving enough to have a cushion for a big move. A high and low was moving to Boise. She followed through with it and she is trying to learn the lessons the city and the experience are teaching her. Shannon said Tonya has been doing some part-time work for the Financial Gym and has been a lifesaver for Alicia, the COO of the Financial Gym.
    • Shannon: Highs include opening the headquarters Gym in February and appearing on the Today Show. The Gym is always a high and low. They Gym now has over 1,300 clients and continues to grow, and they recently hired nine new trainers. All of the new trainers were manifesting dreams of working for the Gym. There are now 26 full-time people employed through the Gym, plus 10 part-time/contracted people. Lows include the months of April and May, personally and at the Gym. There were a lot of challenges and lower performance that arose during and after those months. It was hard to learn those lessons. Shannon is learning that not all quarters are going to be great, even if you are an overachiever. Tonya said that Michelle Obama’s new book, Becoming, talks about this exact topic (accomplishing).
  • Review of 2018 goals
    • Shannon: 2018 goals included opening the larger flagship Gym in February (check!), opening two more Gyms (no), and raising at least $8 million in Series A (no). Those two things will be pushed for goals in 2019.
    • Melanie: 2018 goals included continuing to build the Lola Retreat brand and doing more events (check!), scaling back on writing a little, having more long-term clients, focusing on personal well-being and mental health, cultivating a sense of wonder, staying curious, focusing on joy and pleasure, becoming a better listener, being more mindful and present, and finding peace. She has done a lot of these things and improved a lot in work-life balance.
    • Tonya: 2018 goals included doing things that scare you (check!), some domestic travel, saving more, and holding a goal-setting party.
    • Liz: 2018 goals included keeping everybody alive (check, except for Frugal Hound), promoting her new book, balancing having a baby with a book release, being realistic about what can be accomplished, and enjoying infant-hood of the new baby.
  • What are your 2019 goals?
    • Tonya: She would like to find work she enjoys, is meaningful, and that pays well, whether that’s working at home, full-time, part-time, in Boise or L.A, it is to be determined. “Pays well” to her means $100,000. She is a video producer and editor, as well as a podcast producer and editor, and she has been doing billing for the Financial Gym. She is looking for freelance work as well as full-time work. Contact Tonya here. Next year, she is focusing on mastering her mind. She is not setting big goals, but what she can do every single day to get 1% better, including being more self-compassionate. Boise is teaching her kindness and she wants to take that with her wherever she goes in life.
    • Melanie: She was watching the Red Table Talk today, where Jada was talking being emotionally independent and not relying on others for her happiness and worth. This is what Melanie wants to continue working on for 2019, where she relies on herself and re-evaluates her expectations of other people. She wants to continue to build Lola Retreat – it will be in L.A. and Seattle in 2019 – and hopefully hold three dinners and brunches, continue to write, and get a second book deal. Melanie wants to become more mindful and present. She would love to continue to do her spinning class two to three times a week and get physically stronger.
    • Liz: She wants to continue to enjoy her children, be present, and see the humor in it. She would like to carve out time for Frugalwoods and accept that she cannot do all that she wants to do. Liz wants to get into better shape, lose the baby weight, and feel better through more hiking, snowshoeing, and yoga. She needs to buy clothing that fits, which she hasn’t done in four years. She has been pregnant and breastfeeding and living in hand-me-downs. Her weight is similar, but her body is different then it was two kids ago. She wants really nice leggings, a couple of wool hiking dresses, and a necklace. She wants to do something about her hair – it is too long.
    • Shannon: She needs to raise about $10 to $15 million. If she gets the money in April/May, her goal is to open at least four Gyms next year. If she gets the money after June, she would like to open two Gyms. The order is DC and L.A., and then Dallas and Atlanta. Personally, she is focused on developing more as a leader and getting an executive coach. She is always working on her relationship with her son, Will, while balancing working full-time.
  • Cheers to 2019! Happy New Year!

TAKEAWAY: My biggest takeaway is to take the time and reflect on this past year of your life. I am sure there were highs and lows. I hope your highs outweighed your lows, but if they didn’t, there is always a new year to be hopeful for. Set some big goals for 2019 and keep me posted on your progress! I always love getting notes from you about how you are doing with your personal and financial goals.

If you want to work with my team at the Financial Gym to help you achieve your 2019 goals, you only have a few more days to lock in our 2018 rates, as our rates for new clients are going up in 2019. You don’t have to start your membership until January 2019, but you need to sign up before the end of this year. So head over to, or send friends to, financialgym.com to sign up today.

If you have any topics you would like for us to talk about during happy hour, please feel free to email me at shannon@finblonde.com or tweet to me at blonde_finance or join the private martinis and your money Facebook group and let us know. Until next time, take care!!

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