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The Luxury of Minimalism

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I’m away from the online world this week, so here’s an awesome post from Revanche at A Gai Shan Life.  She and I have only met in real person once so far, but I consider her one of my closest friends.  If you don’t already read her blog, open it right now in another tab and check it out after you’re done here.  Revanche lives in constant pain, she lives supporting others, she lives for her family and friends…key word here…she LIVES.  And she’s been blogging about it all in heart-wrenching and uplifting detail for more than 10 years. Our Spring Culling I maintain a strict policy on JuggerBaby’s (JB’s) toys. I refuse to break my neck in an unintentionally hilarious pratfall dancing over the seemingly inevitable mountains of two-year-old appropriate possessions. The one challenge to this rule is one that I can’t, in good conscience, say no to. We see my aunt twice a year and without fail, she has a pile of used toys, books, and clothes, carefully cleaned and curated for JB’s health and education. She’s not wealthy, she’s the self-described “poorest of the whole family”, so she’s gotten good at rescuing abandoned things at the church and … Read more…

Suffering from Burnout? The Signs and Ways to Recover

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Have you ever worried you were suffering from burnout? It's a REAL thing and knowing the signs of burnout is one of the most important steps for keeping your mental health and physical health from deteriorating. I'm pinning this to remind myself!

A person can be their own largest liability.  Ever work yourself into a tizzy?  Been too exhausted to do your best?  Think you’re ready to quit even though it’s the best job you’ve ever had? Could you simply be burned out? Burnout is a HUGE differentiating factor between success and failure in many fields, especially pet sitting.  I’m starting to understand the full ramifications from my own experiences, stories from other pet sitters, and from attending the 2016 Petsittingology Conference. Signs of Professional Burnout These are a combination of signs I’ve either noticed or found at the Mayo Clinic online: You become more cynical and pessimistic than usual. You start dreading calls and texts offering you new business instead of being excited. It’s hard to want to go to a job and/or it’s hard to start when you’re there. You start spending less time at each job or task. You start to justify a worse work ethic. You start eating and/or drinking more to cope. Your sleeping or eating habits are changing for the worse. You are developing unexplained aches and pains. Luckily, even if you are suffering from burnout, there are ways of bouncing back. Ways to Recover from … Read more…

Let’s Get Personal about Self-Inflicted Expectations

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How do you value the relationships in your life? Does your family know that they are important? Do you clients and customers know that relationships come first to you?

The Petsittingology Conference last week was extremely informative and fun.  It also made it caustically obvious that my time management skills have been subpar.  I have not been able to juggle my online world, the pet sitting world, and my “real” world.  Guess what?  That’s okay.  I was defining my own success incorrectly.  It’s not about being amazing at it all at the same time.  It’s about having the fewest regrets.  My Goodbye Grandpa Dream I had a dream two days ago.  I was strolling with my grandpa on their property in the forest.  I was thinking in the dream that this was probably our last walk.  We didn’t talk about anything earth shattering, but I was able to tell him that I missed him.  He said something like, “now don’t go getting sappy on me”.  He smiled and did that sarcastic chuckle thing, I looked towards him to laugh back, but he was already gone. I broke down in the dream, but weirdly enough, I felt okay when I woke up. It was a peaceful walk.  It was nice to be able to tell him I missed him.  And it was comforting that he wasn’t any more lovey-dovey in … Read more…

Don’t Kill Yourself Over Debt or Anything Else #WSPD16

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DON'T KILL YOURSELF OVER DEBT. There ARE ways out, do not let depression and money lead to thoughts of suicide. Read this lady's experience with depression and debt and get help.

This blog post is part of the World Suicide Prevention Day blog tour. If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit www.Suicide.org I’ve Been There I’ve felt the hollowness of depression.  I’ve had moments where a fight or bad news was all I could feel.  I’ve had whole periods where I didn’t seem to have one big thing that took up my brain, but I still felt like there was no real point in living.  In my younger years, I’ve thought that death seemed like a valid way out.  BUT if I had ever really gone through with it, I would have missed the good stuff between then and now. And there is good stuff.  Hell, there’s frickin’ awesome stuff. Fast forward a few years, and my dark thoughts on bad days are just of me simply driving away and starting a transient life way different than my current one.  Yep, not the permanence of death.  Just escape.  And we have all wanted to escape at some point. A New Perspective Can Be Gold What changed?  My perspective.  With time comes a shit ton of perspective. Whether this depression is … Read more…

My Grandpa Passed Away – Goodbye to John

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My grandpa, John, just passed away – 2 months after my grandma and 1 month after my aunt.  They battled for months, but my grandpa was seemingly okay just 10 days ago.  I’m glad he didn’t have much time to suffer but saying goodbye hasn’t been easier. My grandpa, John, was a strong, stubborn man who could talk to anyone (even if they rather he didn’t…yeah, so maybe I inherited something…).  He was a geologist (met my grandma in college) and enjoyed travel.  He made it nearly 89 years and defined “I did it my way”.  He was a brother, a husband, a father of eight children, and a grandfather to 10 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren (and my cousins have 2 more on the way). My mom and I lived near my grandparents when I was little and visited often later.  To me, he was Grandpa (except for a few of my young teenage years when I thought “G-pa” sounded cool as hell and he humored me).  He taught me 5 card draw poker before I hit elementary school, seemed to enjoy my sarcasm more than most, and always made me feel wanted. I truly appreciate that I was able to visit both of my grandparents dozens … Read more…

More Hospital Visitations and Future Planning…

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I was going to write an actual post about dark humor to tie in with my life update for you, but I’ll just get to the point. Back to the Hospital – Grandpa You may have read here that my maternal grandma passed away in mid-July after a long battle with congestive heart failure. Then one of my way-too-young aunts lost her own fight with cancer in early August. Well, now my maternal grandpa went into the hospital last weekend with what they diagnosed as late stage cancer but can’t biopsy until a blood infection is cleared up. My grandpa seems to be handling all of this better than expected. Life is getting back to something resembling a routine now that the first, emergency part is being worked out. Stick Around 🙂 I feel like I’m sucking all the goodwill out of all of you with all of these sad updates, but life happens and I decided I rather have everyone up to date since y’all are my people too. As for the blog, I’m still writing and already know my next post will be the August income and net worth update like y’all expect. Probably on Monday. Still chugging … Read more…

Six Years Later…

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Crystal has been blogging for SIX years. It's amazing all the life changes that can happen while being self employed and how far online business can take you. Reflecting and looking for insights is always fun. I like learning about how others have managed the entrepreneur life.

I am a different person since I started blogging here in February 2010. It’s been more than 6 years and the personal AND financial journey in that time has been significant. Has the basics of personal finance changed much? Nope. But I don’t feel the same about them. Main Life Changes in 6 Years 27 year old Crystal was in year 5 of a dead end cubicle position for a super conservative company and it was obviously a bad fit for me. 33 year old Crystal has been self-employed since July 2011 and works online and as a professional pet sitter. 27 year old Crystal had very few friends. The ones I had ended up drifting away as their lives moved on. 33 year old Crystal has a solid group of close friends. We all really met and started hanging out in 2011 and 2012, and it has stayed awesome. 27 year old Crystal was a dog person who happily owned two dogs. 33 year old Crystal has become a cat and dog person who actually only owns a cat. Sadly, Miss Doxie and Mr. Pug passed away in 2014. I am finally able to even think about adopting another … Read more…