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Getting My Financial House in Order

I’m looking to August to be the catchup, clean up, organize, get ahead of the game month.

First up.  Finances!

Before I left my corporate job I saved and saved and planned and planned.  I socked money away wherever I could.  I made sure to do the high cost house maintenance jobs while I still had a reliable income etc etc.

And it worked!  I left corporate land feeling good……and that’s when I dropped the ball.

Well, not so much “dropped the ball” as “let the ball slide slowly to the floor and roll away while I thought about other things.”

I’ve always been good with money in that I’ve always saved it and been cheap frugal.  I’ve been referred to as someone with “deep pockets and short arms” which is very true.  But I’ve never had much of a plan beyond “don’t be poor.”

That is, until I came across this book (the link will take you to Amazon).

It’s a blunt title but it’s the perfect title too.

It’s truly designed for the self employed and it’s written in way that even folks like me whose eyes glaze over whenever anyone starts talking about stocks or 401K’s can read, enjoy and practice. 

The authors understand the ups and downs of the freelance world and take you through step-by-step to build that sense of security that comes from having your financial legs under you.

In the first few chapters they help you figure out what it is that you want.  I was kind of stunned to realize that, beyond the aforementioned “don’t be poor” I had no idea what I really wanted.  The revelations were eye-opening and reinvigorating.

The rest of the book deals (in a very do-able way) with how, exactly, you can meet your goals while working with an unpredictable income.

Whether, like me, you want your handcrafted business to be your full income or if it’s just your side-thing I think this book would be worth a read.

(I am not being compensated for this book plug.  In truth, frugal me got it from the library first and only after I’d read it and realized how good it was did I actually buy a copy)

So, that’s the financial side and, next up, the real world side.

I’ve been so pleased with my new workroom.  Of course, certain bugs had to be ironed  out but, overall it’s made me feel much better, more organized and productive.

The garage/workshop on the other hand……..

looks like this:My lack of organization and my hoarder I’ll-use-this-someday mentality have combined to create, well, a total mess.

I have project after project stacked precariously on top of each other and the Blair Witch Room is even worse (and not just because the things in it are blurry):I know I’ve blogged about this before but this time I mean it!  There is a dumpster coming on Monday and I’m going to be ruthless with myself.

It wont end up being magazine-worthy but it will be a huge step in the right direction!

OK.  Off to work!




About cheltenhamroad

I’ve been surrounded by amazingly creative people my whole life. My mom can, and does, make anything. The family has on occasion speculated that she just whipped up my dad one day when she discovered some left over fabric and stuffing. My three sisters have mad skills ranging from needlework to cooking to out and out ART. My father’s desk when I was growing up had a model train set going around it, oh, and he made that desk-from scratch. I’m the youngest and, as you can imagine, it’s a hard series of acts to follow. Truth be told, I’ve spent many, many years suppressing the creative instincts I learned at home. But I realized (rather late in life) that few things bring me more joy than making and creating. For the longest time when I went to stores I didn’t think, “I want that” I thought, “I can make that.” And, with a deep breath and a leap, I’ve started on a very new, kinda scary path. I’ve given up my steady, dependable (dull!) corporate life to spend my days happily humming away in my garage designing, creating, painting, decoupaging and sawing and, since this blog will be an honest take on things, there is also a fair amount of tripping, spilling and swearing. Through this blog I hope to share with you the struggles and (hopefully) triumphs of a very non-businessy business person. I also hope to make this blog a resource for people who like to work with their hands and who are, like me, always looking at things and thinking “I could make that!” I’ve lived many places since I left Cheltenham Road; I currently live in Los Angeles California. So, with this preamble- Welcome to Cheltenham Road! Please come on over and make yourself comfortable – the place is always open.

7 responses »

  1. How great you got to leave corporate! What do you do now, the coasters on etsy? Congrats! I’d love to do my etsy full time someday……

    • Thanks Jesse. Etsy is great but I can’t rely on it for everything. I have some terrific brick and mortar stores that buy from me as well as the big HandCrafted show (like Unique LA and Renegade).

  2. I can totally relate to your “I’m going to keep this because I might use it someday” mentality. My garage looks very similar to yours! Please post an after photo because I need all the motivate I can get.

    PS-I’ve found that very creative people tend to have packrat tendencies (I refuse to use the term “hoarder” ). Just as long as you’re not keeping old pizza boxes, dead cats, expired coupons, etc., I’ll think of you as resourceful and innovative.

  3. Thank you so much for posting about this book!! My husband and I _so_ need it!! 🙂 We have been self-employed for @15 years and we always hear “set a budget” but we’ve never known how because we don’t know what our income will be every month. Frustrated, we’ve basically winged it with some success and some failure. Rather than the “don’t be poor” financial mindset, we’ve lived by “don’t be homeless”…..poor, in a home, we have done!! 🙂 So, after this I’m heading to Amazon to buy it!! Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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