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Jen and Madi
Hello! We’re so glad you stopped by! Madi and I are mother-daughter, best friends, and go everywhere travel buddies who also enjoy many similar hobbies. We started a blog since we’re extremely close and thought it’d be fun to collaborate on yet another aspect of our lives together.
My (as in Jen’s) focus is mostly on the financial writing, recipes and travel posts for our blog, in addition to the business aspects of running and growing a business. Most of the content is currently written by me since I’m able to work on our adventure full-time.
A little about me (Madi): I’m currently working two jobs, while part-time blogging by writing posts related to decorating, DIY and millennial life, plus assisting with content editing, marketing and social media. I’ve grown up in Bellingham, WA but moved down to Santa Barbara, CA to finish college where I got my degree in Communications. I know Mama Jen has been so happy with me back in town as I’ve realized being in our hometown truly is one of the best spots on the West Coast! I’m excited to share with you what I’m passionate about and hopefully inspire others. As our little blog grows, I’ll be able to focus on this more and hopefully someday it’ll be full-time for me too :) enjoy!!
WHY “HAIRS OUT OF PLACE?”
For anyone of you who have your own blog, I’m sure you’ve read a million times to have a blog name that describes you and your business. For any one who knows either of us, our top describing feature is our crazy, big naturally curly hair and there’s nothing more in my life that describes me better than that! Yes, that’s probably a risky name for a money blog, but most money blogs have boring names and that just isn’t who we are ;)
While a huge goal of mine is to help others with finances and frugal living, Madi and I both have way too many interests to just have this be about money! So instead, we consider this a lifestyle blog since it combines our desire to help others live life fully yet frugally, along with our hobbies of decorating, crafting, cooking, adventuring and photography.
To us, Hairs Out of Place not only describes our crazy, wild hair but it also describes LIFE in that it isn’t perfect or organized and can often get pretty messy! Plus, we’re just fine being “out of place” since we’re happy with where we’re at in life, live for ourselves and family, and don’t compare ourselves to others.
We’ve actually had to tackle some huge major challenges as a family in the past 5 years that came at us unexpectedly. What I’ve found is by having our finances in order, our house be cozy, calm and as organized as possible, it makes it easier to handle what life throws at us.
I’ve been a stay-at-home and side hustling mom for 16 years and my background is primarily in accounting, banking and helping non-profits. We’ve successfully lived on one income that entire time because we lived well below our means and practiced good financial habits.
Photo taken in NC at my sister’s house with her cute mini donkey :)
I actually grew up in a poor, single family home and living on one income after we got married was not easy. Money was extremely tight and we regularly purchased used clothes for our kids, gave them second gifts for holidays, drove old cars, and bought food from discount stores.
However, by keeping many of our frugal ways as my husband’s career grew, making saving a priority (and by not using credit cards!), we’re actually able to retire very early, still have a good income and pay for our kids college. Will we be rich? Not at all! But we’ve spent years working hard to build numerous sources of passive income to help us as we get older and frankly, it just give us more options in life! And yes, we could “technically” retire now, but we have one more kid to put through college and are holding off on our travel around the world plans until then :)
Why I started blogging:
If you’d asked me a few years ago to describe my dream job, I would’ve said something where I’m able to write, help others with finance, a job that enables me to have flexibility with family commitments, and it includes my hobbies of photography, cooking, travel, and decorating. I’d secretly wished I was a freelance finance writer, but never considered that as a realistic option. It wasn’t until this past year I gave serious thought to blogging since it TRULY lets me focus on every aspect of my dream job. While of course I wish I’d started blogging years ago, with the support of my amazing family, I’m finally going for it and launched Hairs Out of Place on October 1, 2017.
While I’d thought about financial writing in the past, I couldn’t get over the feeling that I was “supposed to” get a 9-5 day job. After completing the courses I needed to sit for the CPA exam and after applying for (and turning down) numerous accounting jobs, I realized my heart wasn’t in the 9-5 desk job path and I wanted to start my own business from home so I could continue having family flexibility. Add that to a few major family emergencies that came up, and I ended up being a stay-at-home-mom many years later than I’d anticipated.
My mom has a brain injury from a brain surgery gone wrong when she was in her 40’s, after my step-dad’s death 5 years ago, I became her part-time caregiver. The following year, my mother-in-law developed early onset of Alzheimer’s, we moved her to town and also help care for her. So while my kids are older, I’m still a “stay-at-home-mom” because I found myself helping to care for both of our moms while we still had kids at home too! Both of these situations are daily reminders to live life to the fullest, prepare for your financial future and don’t ever take anything for granted <3
Before I planned to go the CPA route (and when the kids were younger), I’d had a very successful part-time eBay business where I was a Power Seller for 3 years making $1500-$2000/mo. only working 15 hours/week. Being that my blog currently makes $0, I’m sure some are questioning why I’m not just back on eBay! eBay was a lot of fun and if I needed money ASAP, that’s exactly where I’d be. In my opinion, blogging is WAY harder than selling on eBay! But because I have an amazing and supportive spouse who works hard to pay our bills, I’m able to pursue blogging (which I LOVE!) and it helps create another semi-passive income stream for us when we retire.
I honestly hadn’t planned on being a stay-at-home mom for 16 years and I have always considered myself very career oriented. As fellow mom’s know, once you actually have your kids, your heart is torn between being home with kids or going back to work. We chose the “stay lower income when the kids were younger” because all kids truly want are their parents time and love! PLUS, every time I would try to re-enter the traditional workforce, it seemed like another family emergency would pop up.
Thank you for reading about us, our background and our little blog! We mean with all sincerity, we’re here to help others create a healthy wallet and happy home by using our background, personal life situations and interests to draw from.
Please feel free to email us if you have any questions or feedback! :)
<3 Jen and Madi