I always love this time of year because everywhere you look, there is a retrospective on popular events, people, music, movies, television shows, news headlines, etc. of the year past. I love to read and watch every single one to remind myself of what treasures the year gave us. With 24 hour news channels, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, blogs, texting, emailing, etc. it is easy to get inundated with information and forget the details along the way. Retrospectives help us remember the highlights. I am excited that this year, I can blog my first retrospective and keep it as a small part of my time capsule of life.
2013 was a tumultuous, exciting, scary, amazing year in my life. For those who do not know me, I am 35 years old. And I have had a number of crazy years in my life, but to date, this one takes the cake. I began my year working for Merrill Lynch as a Financial Advisor. I loved my job, but felt as though I was missing something. It was wonderful working with my clients and helping them achieve financial goals; however, I often wished that I was not limited to working only with people who had $250,000 or more in assets. In addition, I also wanted to start a newsletter that I was going to call “Financially Blonde.” Unfortunately, life at a large financial institution is limiting, and I could not achieve either of these goals.
A Child Is Born
Somewhere around February, I began to formulate my thoughts for the perfect financial services company. This company was one that didn’t focus on assets, but focused on the financial health and well being of its clients no matter what their financial shape or size. In particular, this company would target young people as they were starting their financial journeys because making smart financial choices as soon as possible, leads to easier choices down the road. I consulted with friends, family, clients and industry specialists about this company, and I got various responses. And the funny thing was that the responses completely aligned with the age group of the person questioned. I found that Baby Boomers did not understand the concept at all, and they all wondered how I would make money. Gen Y or Millennials said there was absolutely a need, and my Gen X consultants were somewhere down the middle. Given the fact that there was the most support from my target market, I made plans to leave Merrill and start Next-Gen Financial.
In August, I officially started Next-Gen, and a month later began my blog Financially Blonde as the fun way for me to communicate with my friends and clients about how to have fun, live fabulously and be financially fit. In addition to the blog, I also finished my first book which is a great tool in taking the first steps to achieve financial health. I am now three months into both endeavors, and I have never been happier professionally. I have the ability to help people truly achieve their hopes and dreams in life through strong financial health, and there is nothing more rewarding. I love being in the trenches with my clients, holding their hands and cheering them on as they work hard to live a more financially rewarding life.
Not All Fun and Games
As with every year, there are ups and downs. Professionally, there were a number of ups. Personally, I had a number of downs. Isn’t that always the case? You can’t have it all. I lost three family members between January and April of this year. Even though, I know better than anyone that there are no guarantees in life, it is still always a struggle to say goodbye to those we love. I have been married for 10 years, and earlier this year, my husband and I really had to fight for our marriage. We have an immense amount of love for each other, but sometimes life wears you down and you have to regroup and determine what is important. I am happy to say that we celebrated 10 years in October and without a single reservation. I have a 7-year-old son who has ADHD and sometimes transition is difficult for him. And second grade was one of those difficult transition times. But with the help of an amazing child psychologist, I am happy to report that he too is doing great heading into 2014. Here is a picture of us from my son’s first football game.
I only began this blog three months ago; however, there are a few blogs that I am particularly proud of and would like to highlight.
1) Don’t Buy It – Try It – I let my readers in on my secret of “free” facials and makeovers at Sephora.
2) Make It Hard – I highlighted the importance of making shopping a fun challenge to not only save money, but to look fabulous as well.
3) The Me Market / Vegas Baby– As a financial planner, I am always asked about investing, and these two blogs capture the essence of my message to clients.
As I am new to the blogging community, I have been actively blog stalking and finding blogs I love. Here are a few that either have retrospectives or previews into their 2014 blogs. I can’t wait to continue to follow them.
1) The Heavy Purse
2) Frugal Rules
3) Young Adult Money
4) Frugal Beautiful
5) Commonsense Millennial
I hope you enjoy a wonderful send off to 2013 tonight, and a fun, fabulous and financially fit 2014!