Kali Hawlk

Financial Writer & Marketing Manager

Around the Web: February 2015

Holy moly this month FLEW by and it obviously left me behind, as evidenced by the lack of new content around here. That was completely unexpected and I’m blaming (most of) it on the fact that I have spent hours upon hours of time I would have otherwise been writing dealing with the process of selling our current house and buying property.

Lenders do not make it easy for those with self-employment income to take out a mortgage, even a reasonably-sized one that is literally hundreds of thousands of dollars less what the bank initially told me we could “afford.”

Because I was self-employed with no W2 income from June to December in 2014 — and I haven’t been able to file my taxes for 2014 yet because I’m still waiting on documents from clients and investment companies I have accounts with — that time period is viewed as a “gap in employment” because I can’t prove my income without a tax return.

I’ve been jumping through various hoops for the lender all month, and just this week we got the official word that we were good to go and would secure the loan we requested.

This experience is definitely good fodder for a future blog post, and I hope you’ll find the eventual write-up of my experiences valuable if you’re interested in making income on your own (full-time or part-time!) and also want to purchase a home where you’ll finance a percentage of the cost.

In the meantime, accept my apologies for not producing anything for you here this month — and get caught up on what I did manage to write (and more!):

What I’ve Written Around the Web

Where I’ve Been Featured Around the Web

What I’ve Loved Reading Around the Web

Around the Web: January 2015

Want more financial content for your eyeballs? That’s good, because today kicks off a new post I’ll be doing at the end of each month for folks who want to get their fill of my writing on money — and other great stuff from Around the Web.

I’m not sure what the structure of these posts will look like yet, so throw some suggestions in the comments if you have ideas on what you’d like to see in these writing recaps. (For example, my friend Cat at Budget Blonde always has a personal snippet or update that she includes in posts that recap content.)

Let me know if there’s anything in particular YOU want to see here next month.

What I’ve Written Around the Web

Where I’ve Been Featured Around the Web

What I’ve Loved Reading Around the Web

Work & Career

Inspiration & Motivation

Brand & Business Building

Money & More




Sometimes, You Should Break the Rules

pay off your mortgage

I’ve waited to publish this post until everything was very much official, and now it is. The paperwork is signed. The listing is online. There’s a big honkin’ sign in our front yard.

Our house is officially for sale and on the market. And we obviously weren’t afraid to break the rules (however unofficial they might be) in the playbook of smart financial moves to get it there. Continue reading

Thank You, Emergency Fund: Letter from a Grateful Millennial

Emergency Fund Paid for Vet Bills

Dear Emergency Fund,

As much as I hated the fact that we had to interact two weeks ago, I am beyond grateful that we were able to do so. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for doing your job: you were there for me when I needed funds for an emergency.

It’s easy for folks to dismiss you, Emergency Fund. I’ll admit, I’m not your biggest advocate myself. I like keeping you slim and trim because we don’t have much financial responsibility and we can run on a tight budget.

Here’s the thing, though. Unexpected expenses are unexpected. They strike at any time (and usually at the worst of times, actually). So you’ve always been with us, but we’ve also focused on other financial priorities. You weren’t front and center when it came to money goals.

But, as you know since you paid for this incident, we had to take one of our little furballs to the vet two weekends ago.

And not just the vet, but the emergency vet.

And not just for an exam, but for procedures including anesthesia and for a 3 night hospital stay.

And four different medications to administer to kitty once he came home.

It was extremely stressful and scary, because kitty faced a life-threatening situation. Had we waited just one more day to bring him in, the situation would have been much more severe and dire. It was bad enough to see one of my four-legged, furry kids in pain and scared.

And then the vet gave us our estimated bill. For $2000. Continue reading

Welcoming 2015 with a New Look and Focus

Welcoming 2015

Happy 2015! Regardless of how you feel about this time of year and the inevitable slew of optimistic resolutions that come with it, you can’t deny that flipping over to a new calendar leaves us feeling like there’s nothing but a clean slate in front of us — and I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

Starting a new year can be a much-needed mental “reset” button for some. For myself, I know I like the feeling that there’s a fresh set of months ahead of me, just waiting for me to get out there and make them all great. Continue reading

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