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A Completely New Life 4 Years Later

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How many of you have been reading BFS from the very beginning – way back in early 2010?  I was laying in bed last week and it dawned on me that not only has it been nearly 4 years, but I am living a completely different life!  Can you believe what can change in 4 years?!

Past vs Present – Changes

Here have been the largest changes:

  • In 2010, all of our grandparents that we grew up with were still with us.  That was both sets of my biological grandparents, my step-dad’s mom, and both sets of my husband’s grandparents.  We have since had to say goodbye to hubby’s maternal grandma and my step-dad’s mom.
  • I had just started blogging in early 2010…my world opened up a lot that year.
  • In early 2010, I was working in the same cubicle job that I had since mid-2005.  In early 2014, I have been self-employed for 2.5 years.
  • In 2010, we made about $80,000 before taxes with our main jobs.  Now we make about $125,000 a year before taxes with our online business.
  • In 2010, we had been living in our first house for almost 3 years.  Now that house is paid off, is used as our rental property, and we’ve been living in our forever home for more than a year.
  • In 2010, we were just making close friends after a long dry spell of being semi-hermits.  Now we have 10 close friends that we can really depend on and they can depend on us.  I also have 7 great online/blogging buddies that I can talk to online with regularly and see in person 1-2 times a year.
  • In 2010, we were used to taking one, solid vacation a year.  Now I travel significantly at least 4 times a year to visit friends in other states, make it to conventions, and for fun.
  • In 2010, we were positive that we wouldn’t ever want kids.  Now we are rethinking that.
  • In 2010, I was in between volunteer jobs (foster mom for Pugs and Meals on Wheels).  Now I am a “Big” in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.
  • In 2010, I was nearing 180 pounds on the bathroom scale.  I lost 30 pounds in 2011 thanks to Weight Watchers and hover around 155-160 now consistently by edging up, hitting the program again, losing 5-10 pounds, and then taking a break.  It’s an odd cycle, but it has kept me in a way better range for nearly 3 years.
  • I cut off all of my hair in 2013 – went from having bobs to 12-15 inch ponytails to having something close to a pixie cut consistently for more than 6 months.  That probably only seems huge to me, but I love it and it feels like it changed me a lot, lol.

Past vs Present – Stayed the Same

Here is what has stayed the same:

  • I am still married to the same Mr. BFS – we’re going on to 9 years.  We’ve been together as a couple for more than 12 years now.  🙂
  • We have the same dogs – Miss Doxie is almost 16 years old and Mr. Pug is almost 12 years old.
  • We have four of the same close friends.
  • We drive the same cars – my 2005 Chevy Aveo and my husband’s 2007 Toyota Prius.  We are saving for a new-to-us car though since we think we only have a solid 1-2 years left with both of those.

My Take

Overall, I wake up in a different house, do a different job, hang with mostly different people, and have different hobbies.  But I have the same husband, watch tv with the same pets, drive the same car, and there are a few familiar faces in our group.  The last 4 years have had the happiest and saddest moments of my life.  And before 2010, I had never been truly self-motivated.  In 2010, I still thought that I could work the same job for a total of 30 years and retire modestly without going cubicle crazy.  Now the idea of commuting to a dead-end job every day makes me gag.

Yep, it is astounding what 4 years can do…

What’s changed for you since 2010?  Ever amazed by how fast it seems but how much can change at the same time?

FYI:  I worked at a dead end cubicle job from 2005-2011 for about $30,000 per year.  I went self-employed in July 2011 and make between $70,000-$90,000 through blogging, professional pet sitting, hubby's reffing, and our rental home.  If you’d like to start your own site (link to my free step-by-step guide), I highly suggest checking out Bluehost (my referral link with a nice discount for you, PLUS a free custom header banner from me!).  Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!
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18 thoughts on “A Completely New Life 4 Years Later

  1. I really like that you listed your family losses first. A lot of folks lose sight of the really important stuff when there’s so much activity around us. Sorry for your losses and congratulations on all the success.

  2. In 2010, Mr PoP was earning minimum wage, the last three years he has been at a job that he loves averaging about $90K per year. A world of difference.

  3. In general I think not much has changed for me since 2008, but now that you’re asking me to reflect I see that much has. I got married in 2010 so that was a big shift. I also started blogging about PF and have moved 3 times locally. Our friends have shifted quite a bit because our older friends graduated and we made friends with some younger students. I guess things mostly seem the same because I’m still working on my PhD and live in the same city.

  4. In 2010 I made a living writing for MSN Money. Recently that company fired all its writers on the same day. Now I write for Money Talks News and freelance for other sites and also, increasingly, for women’s magazines.
    In 2010 I was single in Seattle and traveled a lot (always frugally). Now I am happily partnered in Anchorage, Alaska, and travel a lot less.
    In 2010 I was too shy to speak in public. Since then I have done programs at a couple of different professional conferences.
    Before 2010 I wrote only for others. But in April of that year I started my personal website, aka my playground for words, aka “the place I put all the s–t that I can’t get onto MSN Money.” 🙂
    Life really *can* change. The trick is being able to change along with it.

  5. Wow! I like that your a “Big” how exciting! As a child I can imagine having someone to talk to who wasn’t mom, you know? Hmm 2010 I got divorced and moved out. Starting from scratch building myself up over time. Got a slightly better job. Same friends, a new cat. Car now no car. Happier and better than ever before! Planning to move this year

  6. Wow, I’m so inspired by the big changes you’ve been able to make in a relatively short period of time. It gives me hope that I can make big changes too.

    My condolences on the loss of your grandparents. It’s always hard to lose people we love.

  7. Four years ago, we were deep in debt. I worked all the time, often 12 hours days when you counted the commute. We had a two year old who spend most of her time at the sitter’s while we worked to pay our bills and buy more stuff. Now, we are debt free except for the mortgage. Jim has almost doubled his salary, and I average three days a week at work. A lot ideas for this change came from reading blogs like BFS. You see lots of change in yourself, but also take credit for inspiring so many others, like me, to get in gear and make our own changes.

  8. I was a nice guy in 2010! Haha now I’m an animal.

    I still remember this reader Crystal that would come to my site and always make my day with these HUGE comments. Often longer than my articles. You have done a phenomenal job. You should be proud.

    In 2010, I was finishing school, living in my condo with a friend.

    I recently sold that condo for a handsome profit, have gone on many trips, and have experienced things I never could have imagined.

  9. Happy New Year, Crystal. Impressive turn around for you and your husband (I remember your post announcing that he is leaving his job to work with you). For us the last four years have been quite dramatic as well – we went from being aout $160,000 in debt to having having almost half of that in investments (this December). I also changed from a suit wearing, stuffy university prof to a much more open minded, entreprenuerial and fun blogger (well, I still have the professorship as well). Big change and I don’t intend to stop.

  10. Fantastic look back and one that makes me reflect on our last few years. Its’ been a whirlwind trip. I finished an undergrad degree, moved to a different city and started dental school, hated dental school and quit, got married to my best friend, moved halfway across the country again and started a job/PhD. Crazy times and I look forward to what is to come!

  11. Hmm in 2010 I was starting my career, T was job hunting I believe or underemployed and we didn’t see each other a lot because of our opposing work schedules… I guess you could characterise us as a young couple struggling to get a start in life. Now we’re married, have travelled around the world and have progressed in our careers … though with his new job we are kinda back to opposing schedules which isn’t ideal!

  12. @a terrible husband, I almost didn’t include the loss part since it does seem to be like asking for sympathy, but it is important to remember those that aren’t with us anymore. Even publicly. Thanks for being okay with it. 🙂

    @Savvy, hope yours is doing well too!

    @Mrs. Pop, yay!

    @Emily, I giggled that it took you a moment to point out that you got married – that’s a heck of a change. 😉

    @Donna, I love how your journey is going. Hope your next 4 years are super happy.

    @Alicia, sounds like your life has changed big in good ways overall. Good luck with the next 4 years too!

    @Susan, thank you. Hope you get the changes you want!

    @Kim, I love that I sometimes inspire others. It makes this feel like more than just a place for me to chatter.

    @Martin, you were definitely one of the bloggers that inspired me to start. Thank you.

    @maria, woot about the investments! Good luck to come too!

    @Dee, you too!

    @Lisa E, been there, done that. 😉

    @Cash Cow Couple, wow!!! Your life is completely different!

    @eemusings, I’m sorry you two still don’t see each other as much as you’d like.

    @LH, I sort of hope not, lol. I like where we are right now. But changes happen…that’s life. 🙂

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