Year-End Review with the Happy Hour Ladies


Year-End Review with the Happy Hour Ladies

Today is not only the last Friday of the month, but it’s the last Friday of the year so that makes this a very special edition of the Happy Hour Episode. Regular listeners know that on the last Friday of the month, I gather great friends with me to drink cheap drinks and talk about money topics. This episode is special, because it’s our third annual year-end review. We’re going to recap what goals we set for ourselves in 2017 and how well we did at accomplishing them. We’ll share our highs and lows for this year, and finally we’ll share with you our big goals for 2018. As always, I had a blast with my friends and now here they are for the last time in 2017.

What are we drinking?

Melanie from Dear Debt — Cava

Tonya from Budget and the Beach — Petite Sirah

Mrs. Frugalwoods from — Hot Cocoa

Shannon — Cava

Podcast Notes

  • Shannon reminded Mrs. Frugalwoods that her 2017 goal was to keep everyone alive, maintain the homestead, and focus on strategic charitable giving.
  • Mrs. Frugalwoods’ highs of 2017:
    • Babywoods is thriving
    • She has achieved strategic and efficient use of time, due to lack of time
    • She finished her book, Meet the Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence through Simple Living
    • Homesteading went well – bigger garden, more organized, preserved more food, enjoyed their time there
    • Babywoods 2 is due February 2018
    • Uber-Frugal Month Challenge – over 20,000 people have taken it; positive feedback from participants
    • Strategic charitable giving – She opened a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) and mapped out her charitable giving
  • Mrs. Frugalwoods’ lows of 2017:
    • Understanding her limitations right now
    • Being okay with getting less done and letting go of perfection
    • She was asked to join a Board of an organization that she feels strongly about, but she had to turn it down
  • Shannon reminded Melanie that her goals were to take charge of her income and make more money from things other than writing (speaking/coaching/events).
  • Melanie’s highs of 2017:
    • Most professionally successful year
    • Contracted to plan several events throughout the year
    • Created and planned her first big event, Lola Retreat, with Emma Pattee
    • Income is on par or better than last year
    • Recognized by peers through the PLUTUS award – won best freelancer and the foundation service award for her suicide prevention blog tour
    • Travel to New Orleans, New York, Mexico
    • She adopted two kittens, Miles and Thelonious
  • Melanie’s lows of 2017:
    • Physical and mental health issues in Spring
    • Melanie and her partner of nine years broke up in August
  • Shannon reminded Tonya that her 2017 goal was to increase her net worth by more than $46,000 and to travel more. 2017 was to be a growth exploring year.
  • Tonya’s highs of 2017:
    • Net worth is over $60,000
    • Travel to Europe (Germany, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria), Colorado, Yosemite
    • Pepe, Tonya’s 17-year old cat, is still alive
    • Good overall health
  • Tonya’s lows of 2017:
    • Work was a struggle for the first six months; it did work itself out
    • Had a few things that she wanted to do that didn’t work out; learning to let go and not get bitter
    • Missed a friend’s wedding, because she got sick after her trip to Europe
    • She didn’t blog as much as she wanted to
  • Shannon’s 2017 goal was to open 10 Financial Gym locations.
  • Shannon’s highs of 2017:
    • The Financial Gym had $65,000 in the account two days after the account was at $0
    • The Gym now has over $1 million in the bank
    • She found a number of investors who support her and believe in what she is doing
    • She was able to come through on her promise to pay Bridget for at least a year
    • She employs six people; by January ten people
    • She and Bill are doing well and are co-parenting like rockstars
  • Shannon’s lows of 2017:
    • Started the year optimistic, but investors did not pan out
    • In March, she had $0 in her personal bank account and in the Financial Gym’s bank account
    • The process of raising money with venture capital investors is humbling, exhausting, and the worst type of dating – a lot of rejections
  • 2018 Goals
    • Shannon: the larger flagship Gym should open up in February, in Manhattan; open two more Gyms next year; raise at least $8 million in Series A
    • Melanie: continue to build the Lola Retreat brand and do more events (two to three); scale back on writing a little; have longer-term clients; focus on personal well-being and mental health; cultivate a sense of wonder; stay curious; focus on joy and pleasure; become a better listener; be more mindful and more present; find peace
    • Tonya: do things that scare her; some domestic travel; save more; goal-setting party in January
    • Mrs. Frugalwoods: keep everyone alive; promote her new book that is coming out in March 2018; balance having a new baby with the book release; be realistic about what can be accomplished; enjoy infanthood of the new baby

TAKEAWAY: Just because you may not have achieved your big goal for 2017 does not mean you failed. Our goals are like destinations on the road trip; it’s nice to get to the destination, but we can’t negate everything that happens during our journey to get there. Sometimes our journey is equally as important as the destination. I didn’t achieve my big goal in 2017, but I learned so much from the journey to get there and not achieving it makes me really excited for when I do finally get to that destination.

I want to take this moment to thank you for an amazing 2017. I’ve said this in the past and I mean it from the bottom of my heart, but I truly believe that I have the greatest listeners of any podcast. You are more than listeners to me. You’re my friends and family on this life journey and having you along for the ride is a joy beyond measure. Thank you for all of your support online and offline in 2017. I can’t wait to share more fun and educational stuff in 2018.

If you have any topics you would like for us to talk about during happy hour, please feel free to email me to 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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