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My Year in Review: 19 in 2019

A LOT has happened this past year: good, bad, and ugly AF (this isn’t an understatement). To catch ya up, here’s my year in review with 19 things that happened in 2019. Including how I live full-time in a RV.

1. Developed a Mouth of a Sailor

First and foremost, I started cussing like a mo fo. What the F**k!? Has come out of my mouth in 2019 more times than my entire life combined multiplied by 100. Yep. My manners have gone out the door. Hopefully they’ll make their way back!

2. Read Lots of Amazing Books

Speaking of dropping f-bombs, I read Mark Manson’s best-selling book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**K!.  I learned it’s about damn time to give less f**ks (or essentially stop worrying about things that don’t matter). I also read The Happiness Project, Crazy Rich Asians, Where’d You Go Bernadette (sooo hilarious!), Wild, 4-Hour Workweek, and more.

3. Sold Almost Everything I Own

One by one I sold every piece of furniture that I owned from a massive garage sale, Craigslist, and Offerup! I also sold my car, clothes, shoes, welp, you name it, I sold it. Was it freeing? HELL YES! I proudly live by the motto from the Great Depression, “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” In other words, I already used most everything to the pulp and I started making my long-time dream of living tiny come true by purging and getting rid of things. Here’s four lessons I learned from selling everything I own to travel.

4. Owned Only Four Pairs of Shoes

Running shoes, causal heels, and two flip-flops were the only pair of shoes I owned for the majority of 2019. It was great not having to spend time wondering what shoes to wear! Now that winter is here, I did add a pair of boots/heels to my tiny shoe collection.

5. Spent a Month in Hawaii in a Tiny House

I had a sabbatical that kicked off by spending a month in Hawaii. I set no alarms, made no appointments, and took a step back from work. There was no agenda, except to have no agenda.

6. Swam with the Dolphins

In Hawaii, I decided to take an excursion to swim with dolphins. This wasn’t swimming with trained dolphins in a pool. This was jumping into the ocean and swimming alongside hundreds of wild dolphins. It was awesome!

7. Hit up the Beaches and Experienced a Luau

If you leave me to me own devices in Hawaii for a month, then of course I’m gonna spend a significant amount of time laying out on a beach. I also went to a traditional Hawaiian luau.

8. Hiked Through Volcanoes

I visited the volcanoes in the national park on the big island. I trekked through dried lava and saw amazing wildlife.

9. Went Without a Car for Three Months!

I continued my sabbatical traveling in the mainland states without a car. I took trains, planes, and buses. In total I spent THREE MONTHS without owning a car. I did a couple days of renting a car through turo.com, ride sharing, walked, and took public transportation. I wish I was one of those cool financial bloggers who is car-free and LOVES it! In my experience, temporarily not having a car was not easy! Here’s my honest take on life without a car.

10. Bought a (new to me) Car with Cash!

I’d been planning and saving up to buy a used car with cash for over four years. Being a female and negotiating with used car salesmen was comical plus frustrating to say the least. You can check out my journey of walking into a car lot secretly packin’ cash with my hot pink one-suit jumper and fanny pack here.

11. Almost Met Warren Buffet (SERIOUSLY!)

I visited the Midwest and Omaha, the home to the infamous investor Warren Buffet. My very last day there I decided to go for a run, shower up, and then get some ice cream. As I was enjoying my ice cream, two people were geeking out because online they saw that Warren Buffet and Bill Murray were just there. DANG IT! I shoulda skipped the run and went straight for ice-cream.

12. Bought an RV and Now Live in It Full-Time!

After watching one too many tiny house tours on Youtube and testing out living small, I decided to buy an RV. I choose an RV over a tiny house because I wanted flexibility to move (towing the thang myself, ekk?!). I also knew that it’s hard to find places to legally park tiny homes, but there’s RV parks everywhere. Here’s more on why I decided to live in a RV full-time. If you wonder what is it really like living tiny? Here’s my expectations of living in a RV versus the reality!

13. Had My First Ever Demo Day (Chip-Gaines-Style)!

I didn’t karate kick through a wall, but there’s been some massive tearing down and demolition that I did in my RV. In a nutshell my RV came with built-in (nailed to the wall) bunk beds that I tore down and am converting into a walk-in closet! Check out the pics here.

14. Realized I Suck at Painting

OMG, painting walls is a major undertaking and not my finest skill. The RV came with off-white speckled walls that looked like they jumped straight outta the 80s. I decided to paint the walls, ceiling, and kitchen cabinets. Whew, I’m tired just thinking about it!  Note-to-self: living in an RV while remodeling/painting is NOT A GOOD IDEA!

15. Drove Halfway Across the Country with My RV

I attached my 20-foot travel trailer to the tow hitch on my new (to me) SUV and hit the road! I’ve driven cross country countless times before, but this was different hauling my house behind me! I did it!

16. Spent only $25k The Entire Year (While Traveling)

I spent the majority of the year traveling full-time in 2019 and still only spent right around $25,000 for ALL my living expenses over the year. You can get the breakdown on how much I spent on food, travel, housing/accommodations, and EVERYTHING here.

17. Here’s the Ugly: I Got Divorced

There was no celebration or divorce party: it was a massive loss and experience full of more pain and hurt than imaginable. This paragraph is all I want to devote to sharing online this aspect of my life (thanks for respecting my privacy!). I won’t let this experience define my worth. I also don’t want to live in shame and pretend like it didn’t happen. It happened, it sucks, and I’m doing the best I can to heal, learn from mistakes, and move forward.

18. Experienced Humility Like Never Before

This past year I’ve experienced humility: God is God and I am not. I learned that a lot of life is out of my control. I will never understand or make sense of this messy year of my life. All I can do is say, I am no stranger to pain, suffering, and experiencing loss. God only knows why things happen as they do, all I can do is surrender to His will. I am sorry to anyone that I’ve ever judged or criticized in the past.  

19. Created Something New

Life and managing money is hard. Period. When s**t hits the fan, I’ve learned the hard way the worst thing to-do is to handle the situation on your own. That’s why I created a new mini-class + coaching session to help people in an area that is so raw and oftentimes messy: money and life. Check it out right here, I’d love to work together!

That’s my year in review and 19 things in 2019. Onward to a new decade!

P.S. How was your year? I want to hear from you! If you hustled through and paid off a ton of debt, built your emergency fund, or started investing, I want to congratulate ya and hear your story!

best money class ever carly michelle

Hi! I'm Carly

I’m a Finance grad and creator of Best Money Class Ever, a 4-week live virtual personal finance class. I paid off $35,000 of debt and saved a nest egg of over $100,000 by age 26 (earning only around the median household income!).

If I can pay off debt and build savings at a young age, anyone can with a little education and solid plan.

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