blue and orange polka dot jumpsuit long sleeve

What’s Next?

blue and orange polka dot jumpsuit long sleeve Jumpsuit: RESA (limited and different print), similarsimilarromper / Handbag: Sancia / Pumps: Charles David (similar and here) / Sunnies: Forever21 (sold out)

was talking to my girlfriend Brandy while we were at a baby shower over the weekend celebrating our good friend Lauren. We talked about our careers, current and the future, home projects, you know, life.  I told her how my major home renovations are done, hallelujah but there are still some things to do. As I shared what we were up to, Brandy encouraged me to share it with you. It’s a bit personal, and I’m not sure how much to divulge because I want to be sensitive to everyone’s situation and I always want this to be a positive environment where you can feel encouraged and capable. So I checked with Benjamin the best way to explain and if it was a good idea and he gave some guidelines and listed things, “I dare not mention” lol. So, I’ll share a bit about our plans most importantly, advice I’ve read around the web in hopes it encourages you and since I am always open to sharing my life and thoughts here, this makes sense to share (and also, we’ve been asked a lot, what we’re up to next!) The specifics aren’t important, but the plans are.

So what’s next? If I’m not busy monitoring home renovations, what will I do with my time? What will I blog about?

Well it ain’t kids if that’s what you’re thinking. LOL, if you’re new around here, you can read this post on us choosing the otherhood.

There will always be something to blog about and things I’m learning so I’m not worried about content, in fact it might be a little easier to focus on it now that I’m no longer managing no-shows workers and asking them to correct their work *wink*

What we’re saving up for next

Retirement. The unglamorous answer we all know we should be doing if we aren’t already. I joke I’m working for money that will pay for our meals when we’re in our 70s. We have to focus on this a bit more heavily now that we sold the townhome earlier this year which was an investment property that provided monthly income, but not one that made it seem worth it in exchange for our time and trouble.

For the immediate future we will be focusing on –

  1. Retirement – with greater focus and intention.
  2. A new-ish car for me in the next 2-3 years.

I still drive a 2006 SUV and we’re going to make it hang on for a few more years as we save up for my next one which I’ll also run into the ground, Flintstone style. *wink* I’m just not into new cars, a car with no payments is my kinda car so let’s hope my car will still be OK with no expensive repairs for a few more years as I save up for the next one to last me another decade or more.

If you’re a woman who is having a hard time with keeping up with the joneses or your favorite Instagram influencer, check out this book by Rachel Cruze, Dave Ramsey’s daughter.

I did a review on Love Your Life, Not Theirs: 7 Money Habits for Living the Life You Want years ago, you can see some of the important financial notes I took from the book to share here. I also did a Q&A with her about how to pay off a mortgage sooner, dealing with debt and saving with children. I know it’s hard to see new pretty things everywhere on Instagram and browse websites now, the temptation gets me too. I often fall into the trap of wanting more and I think this book is so good – and an easy read. I need to read it again actually!

My intention of sharing this with you is to share real life. Home stuff is lovely, and I hope it inspires you to dream and save up for it. Clothes are beautiful and worth the investment if it makes you feel 100% (as are flowers), and antique purchases can stand the test of time for those of us who love traditional home decor. All of those things can be purchased as long as buying it doesn’t get in the way of your financial goals. As I said in this blog post about getting out of debt, I want you to know that the products I display on social media and on this blog are either gifted or paid for with cash. I take responsibility in making sure I don’t show you a lifestyle with a credit card balance due behind it. And I say this in hopes that my financial lifestyle is one that you find suitable to follow and encourage you to hold off on purchases until you know your pocketbook can say yes – I say this as a friend to another friend.

I still have wish-lists for projects and things around the house, naturally. But, I will have to slow down and wait for those things as I will be going at a slower pace because, I just shared our goals.

Financial advice from around the web

I read a blog post (can’t remember where) and this young lady said, I realized I could either look like I was rich, or actually build wealth, but not both. I love that. That made me woke, my friends. I thought I’d also share some additional great advice around the web, one from a favorite Shark Tank investor, Kevin O’Leary.

By the time you hit 33 years old, you should have $100,000 saved somewhere. Make that your goal. Thirty-three [and] $100,000,” Kevin O’Leary tells CNBC Make It. (source)

  • Its more important to be debt-free by the age of 45 than anything else. “If you want to find financial freedom, you need to retire all debt — and yes that includes your mortgage,” Kevin O’Leary told CNBC Make It last year. “So, when you’re 45 years old, the game is more than half over, and you better be out of debt, because you’re going to use the rest of the innings in that game to accrue capital.” (source)
  • Every dollar that you save, properly invested and protected, has the ability to grow 5% – 10% each year. As your money grows, it compounds on itself, and grows even more. According to Stanley and Danko, it takes the average millionaire 22 years to accumulate a million dollars from the time he gets serious about his financial life. (source)

How I view this stage of life, and work life

This year has been financially hard for most everyone, I am not excluded. I am blessed to still be able to work creatively, but like most full-time entrepreneurs, I never know when my next paycheck is coming, or how much I’ll be making every month. This virus along with the social changes around the world has impacted a lot of businesses to put campaigns on hold, reevaluate how they do conduct business in more ways than one, and people are holding off on purchases.

I am proud of the collaborations I have as a blogger/influencer and my photography clients. I have personal goals, projects I’m working on, a ministry God has put on my heart that takes up time, and new hobbies I plan to explore and it has been my desire for years to volunteer and serve our veterans – I’ve been waiting for the right time (then COVID hit). I hope to dedicate time to all of the above as I continue to work hard as a blogger and photographer over the next decade to help, encourage, support my husband and continue to contribute to our future together. There’s a time to hustle, time to rest and enjoy, and time to slow down and reset and then start over again! Oh life!

I hope to continue to share our journey, projects around our home and garden, and still do what I love as long as I continue to love it! I also hope to write lengthier posts, so I hope you like to read haha! If you have any advice as we enter this area, please do share. We get advice from our parents who have set great examples and we love to learn from those who have gone before us what has and hasn’t worked!

Thank you for being here and letting me share grown up talk and dreams and share them as they come to fruition. I hope whatever it is you want to do in life whether it’s start a new business, go in another direction, save for a home renovation or even retirement, you feel capable, empowered and driven to make those dreams come true. I’m cheering you on. xx

blue and orange polka dot jumpsuit long sleeveblue and orange polka dot jumpsuit long sleeve

Diana Elizabeth wants you to know she is waking by artificial grass. She might consider this when they are done with lawn maintenance, hmmm is it cheaper in the long run? *wink*

Diana Elizabeth is an author, photographer, and obsessive thrift shopper. You can typically find her in the garden wrist deep in dirt, at a local estate sale or planning her next epic party. She continues to blog weekly.


  • Carmen

    Hi Diana,

    Such a great post! Hopefully I can carve some time to start reading your blog more often again. ;) Money managing topics are my kind of thing, so thank you for sharing the links above, I will check those out soon! I too drive my 2008 Honda Accord I got 12 years ago. The car is still doing great, so why change it? Because my neighbor has a BMW, and another 2 Mercedes? I ain’t falling for that trap lol. It makes me really happy to see that you’re the type of person that saves up first for whatever goal you may have and to me that’s inspiring! I am currently in the process of refinancing our home and our goal is that with the low interests rate we got offered, we are able to shrink that loan sooner rather than later, we’re not getting any younger so it seems smarter to just get that huge debt taken care of in ten years as opposed to 20 or 3o years. With the super high interest rate we have currently, we will never be able to tackle such a horrible debt. By the way, congratulations on all your home renovations, it’s been fun seeing the transformations!

    • Diana Elizabeth

      Hi Carmen!! Thank you so much, I sure hope you do too, I know life can get so busy especially with a toddler now and so many other ways to quickly get information, but if you ever need a break, the blog is always going, 3x a week :) I totally agree with you on the car, I am not a shiny new to fit in person, I love trends though but that’s a smaller scale, clothing opposed to a vehicle that depreciates in value every day. Yes you can totally shrink that mortgage time down, my parents taught me to add more to the principal every month, even $100 to bring it down and pay it off sooner. Get that 15 year fixed, add more to principal and you may be done paying for your home in 10 years instead of 15! Thank you for your words and encouragement!! Tell me what you learn and I’ll tell you what I learn so we can get ahead in this game of life, while enjoying it at the same time!! xo

  • Cindy QG

    Love this post! Word!
    I’m telling you, one day you’ll wake up and you’ll be over 60 and wonder where the time has gone! Learn to live within your means asap. Don’t spend all your $$ on things. Invest in others, travel to learn about different cultures and therefore yourself, and invest in your older self. Excited to see where you’ll go with this topic. I’m forwarding this to my niece and nephews! xo

    • Diana Elizabeth

      Hi Cindy!! I always love hearing from you :) Thank you for the encouragement and the advice. It’s like I know, but it’s still so hard but time stops for no one and we gotta prepare right? I agree the best investments are traveling experiences and spending time with others. Those enrich us. I’m always ready to listen to any advice you can give :) xo!

  • Meg

    Love it!! Congratulations and I’m so excited for whatever you blog about next ☺️

    • Diana Elizabeth

      Thanks babes, I actually thought about you and thought, Meg would approve of this post Next stage of savings not something glamorous, but necessary. ❤️


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