Living A Better Life Interview – Ms. Fiology
In our brand new interview series, we are interviewing various individuals from across the web. This interview series focuses on how they are living a better life. They can be living a better life by pursuing financial independence, minimalism, simplicity, and many more aspects. Are you interested in being interviewed? Continue reading!
Want to be interviewed?
If you want to be interviewed about how you are living a better life. Contact us at [email protected] and tell us why you’d be a great candidate!
Give us your best elevator speech!
My name is Deanna and I’m a 46-year-old single female on the path towards financial independence. Even as I write those words, I’m in awe that this is even possible. My life has been a wild ride thus far. At the end of 2017, I finished digging my way out of debt. All in all, I paid off $46,763 in about 3 & 1/2 years.
However, the more miraculous part of my story is that I was able to get sober in late 2009/early 2010 from drug addiction/alcoholism. I came from a good Christian home but I grew up with a lot of insecurities and was always looking for my worth in things outside of myself.
Unfortunately, I found a false solace in drugging and drinking. I was a high functioning addict/alcoholic for many years which I think is the worse kind because we can go under the radar for too long.
The fact that I’m even on this redemptive path towards financial independence overwhelms me with gratitude every day.
How are you living a better life than you were last year? 5 years ago? 10?
Oh my on this question! I’m sure by my answers, you’ll see the polar extremes of Deanna. Five years ago, I was just starting to work on my financial life. At that point, I had been sober 4 years and had really worked deep on the roots of all of my issues.
I had found peace and reconciled with my past.
Although, I was craving financial peace so I put out the call for help. Many people steered me towards Dave Ramsey and a woman from my church met with me and helped me get on a budget. That really was the first key to gaining control of my financial life.
Ten years ago, was another story. At that time, I had long since walked away from a promising teaching career and gave into a life of addiction. I had also accepted to be in a destructive relationship where I was beaten down by words.
I was at the lowest of lows in my life.
In August of 2009, I had a vision and prayed/asked for help for the first time in years. Furthermore, I got out of the destructive relationship and quit drugs. On February 1, 2010, I committed to full sobriety and quit drinking.
By the grace of God, I haven’t found it necessary to take a mood or mind-altering substance since.
What would you tell your younger self?
So many things! But I also want to say, I don’t regret the past. I certainly wouldn’t have chosen a life of addiction (nor was that my purpose) but through it, I’ve found my purpose. It was in my struggles that I became willing to really uncover the lies I had believed about myself. Furthermore, I became willing to reconcile with my past, forgive, find healing, and restore relationships.
Through that work, I’ve found new truths about myself.
None of those are easy things. For me, it took a hard bottom to be willing to do this soul preserving work.
However, if I could tell my younger self anything, it would be that I have a purpose here on earth and that someday, I’d find it. Moreover, I’d tell younger Deanna that I would know I found it when my life became about helping others.
What made you want to change the way you were living?
My lifestyle was unsustainable. Basically, it was a revelation that I was probably going to die or at best end up insane. Not everyone makes it out of addiction because it has such a strong pull on a person. Addicts may want to quit but when in the throes of it, cannot even imagine how to do that.
I was good at hiding my secrets but a few key people suspected that I was addicted. I believe it was their prayers that helped me get to a place of surrender.
Does financial independence play a role? If so, how?
Absolutely! When I was still in my debt pay off journey, a colleague turned me onto the ChooseFI podcast. I was blown away at the intentionality people in the FIRE (financial independence, retire early) community in an effort to live a better life.
I became inspired to keep going and furthermore, got really excited about investing. At that time, I wasn’t sure early retirement would be an option for me since I was starting so late. Although, I was dang sure going to try!!
Now that I’m investing and on the path, I’ve calculated I most likely will be able to get to financial independence by the age of 60. For me financial independence it about having choices.
I imagine, when I can confidently say my finances are secure enough to fund my the remainder of my days, I will be able to live my purpose in newer and more spontaneous ways. And my purpose is always about teaching and helping others.
What advice do you have for others in living a better life?
My advice is to write down your goals and dreams. Then look at the obstacles that are in the way of you achieving them. Furthermore, come up with a plan to tackle and remove these obstacles.
It comes down to intentionality, right? If we don’t know where we are going, we can end up anywhere. If we want to go somewhere specific, we need to plan.
What books/podcasts/blogs have you consumed that lead you to this point?
Well I think you know my two main gateway drugs into personal finance were Dave Ramsey and ChooseFI. Once I came in, I’ve tumbled down the rabbit hole. The main book which taught me about investing is JL Collins, The Simple Path to Wealth.
There are so many blogs and podcasts that catch my fancy these days and I tend to read articles or listen to episodes that pique my interest rather than following any religiously. Although, I do still listen to ChooseFI every week. 😉
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but here are several I like to keep up with:
- ESI Money
- Saving Joyfully
- Money with a Purpose
- Peerless Money Mentor
- The Retirement Manifesto
- Route to Retire
- Waffles on Wednesday
- Freedom is Groovy
- Financial Samurai
- Budgets are Sexy
- Tread Lightly, Retire Early
- Refined by FIRE
- Savvy History
- Pomplas Pennies
- House of FI Podcast
- What’s up Next podcast
- The Fairer Cents podcast
- Everyday Money Show podcast
What’s one area in your life you still struggle with?
Aah, yes! I guess the one area I most struggle with is my singlehood. I’m secure in it but I’d love to have a partner to share my life with it. At times I feel lonely and sad that I don’t have a best friend to share in the ups and downs. However, for whatever reason, that is not the current reality of my life.
Instead of feeling bad about it, I try to focus on the good I can do with my singlehood. I teach and help women in recovery and with their finances. Furthermore, I’m thinking about doing overseas missional type of work since I don’t have commitments holding me back!
If you had to give just 1 tip that you’ve learned along your journey, what would it be and why?
Time blocking. I find this to be the most useful tip I’ve been given. I do this with so many things in my life:
- Meal prepping
I find that when I set aside specific time to get a task done with concerted effort, I’m more successful.
Where can readers get in touch with you?
Readers can get in touch with me at my blog, Ms. Fiology. I love to interact with readers through comments and/or I have a contact page if you want to reach out to me privately. Additionally, I’m on the main social media platforms as Ms. Fiology so please connect with me!
Check out other interviews here!
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