Simone's Blog: Money Magnet

As the Director of Affiliate Relations at HomeFree-USA, I’ve always been fascinated with how people handle their money. Like everyone else, I’ve had my financial ups and downs. In fact, it took me 32 months to pay off $32,000 in credit card bills and build up a six-month emergency fund. While that was a very difficult period, I am grateful – and wiser -- for the experience.

Through my personal experiences and working at HomeFree-USA, I’ve gained a ton of insight that I feel compelled to share. You’ll find those lessons here. Feel free to take the thoughts and ideas that resonate with you most and put aside the rest for later. I look forward to sharing my journey.

My Year of Joy and Purpose







I’m back!

It’s been a while since you’ve heard from me, so it’s time to catch up.

Over the last ten years I’ve been hard at work on myself. Mentally, physically, spiritually and financially, I committed to learn, grow and generally be better. I said no to a lot, but also learned how to say yes without crippling myself. I won’t lie: it wasn’t fun, but it was incredibly fulfilling and completely worth the time and effort.

In 2017 I had a milestone birthday, and decided it was time to loosen the reigns a bit. Here are just a few things I’ve done in the last year:

  • Took several long weekend vacations domestically, and 4 international trips (Austria, Mexico - twice, and South Africa)
  • Went to three music festivals, two of which were out of town
  • Volunteered to become the Alumni Council President for my high school
  • Spent a week at an upscale health resort
  • Started, ended and renewed several relationships (all for the better)

None of this would have happened if I was still living in my previous reality.

  • Without saying no to previous trips so I could have money saved and invested, I never would have been able to take these vacations.
  • Had I still been living close to the financial edge, I would have felt obligated to work for money instead of volunteering at my school (an opportunity that has already opened more professional doors).
  • The health resort was a gift from my mother (bless her!). Before I learned how to receive a gift I could not repay, I would have said no and missed out on an opportunity of a lifetime.
  • My health is always something I have to be especially mindful of. Had I not spent years working on being stronger, sleeping more, eating better, and listening to my body, I would not have been able to adjust to long flights or go to events that ended late and still show up to work on time the next morning.
  • Had I not been diligent about doing the best job I could at work, I never could have completely unplugged without something falling through the cracks.

For the first time ever, my life looks the way I knew it could. I was always impressed with people who say yes, wondering how they did it while not getting fired or going into financial ruin. I now know the answer: they worked really hard, in ways I nor others will likely ever see or understand.

I’m telling you this to remind you that the work you're doing on yourself will pay off sooner rather than later. It may take longer than you’d like, but once it happens you’ll look back and realize it really wasn’t long at all. Whether it be mental, physical, spiritual or financial (or like me, all four), the months or years you spend improving yourself will pay off in ways you couldn’t imagine, and for decades to come. Continue to push forward, say a few more no’s so you can get to the days of saying yes without injuring yourself, and you’ll be thrilled with the results.

And so it is.

Starting a business: One of the best and worst financial decisions


My parents haven’t worked for anyone since the 1970s; they consciously decided to be entrepreneurs. Although they have been successful, it’s important to recognize and accept that everyone is not designed nor equipped to start a business.

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The Four Agreements for Your Money


One of my all-time favorite books is The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz. Primarily a spiritual book, the agreements are meant to be applied to all aspects of daily life, including how we handle money.

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6 ways to avoid identity theft


Let’s face it: phishing, hacking, or any other term used to describe people seeking your personal information so they can steal and use it, is real.  Although the threat continues to loom regardless of how much we protect ourselves, here are five ways you can mitigate identity theft:

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Always a member of the wedding party? Part Two


Last week was part one of our discussion on minimizing the cost of being in a wedding party. Below are a few more ways that I, my friend Latoya and others have successfully lowered the price tag on celebrating some of life’s most important events.

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