Homeownership Guidance, Advice and Blogs

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.

What Happened in Sedona

Earlier this month I visited Sedona, Arizona for the first time. I fell in love with the city!!! It’s a sacred space, one heavy in spirituality and homage to Native Americans (plus, the food was amazing! If you like vegan or paleo, that is). I went for work but it turned into a personal growth lesson/aha! moment when our trainer sent us on a mission.

We were discussing the power of giving and receiving, and our group found that we were far better at giving to others than receiving with no conditions. So Leisa sent us to lunch with the task of spending at least $5 on a stranger. Which we could not do anonymously. I immediately felt uncomfortable.

I love giving, but I get uncomfortable with receiving.  I’m also an over-thinker so I kept imagining the recipient not accepting my gift (rejection may be worse than receiving). 7 of us went to lunch so we decided to pool our money and treat a couple. We landed on 2 women and Deanna went over and just…offered to buy their lunch! No back story as to why we were doing this incredibly generous thing, she just let the ladies know that we noticed them and wanted to buy their lunch.

They cried.

Turns out, they were sisters on their first vacation ever without their kids. They hadn’t seen each other in years, and were elated to be together and have a calm, quiet weekend. They were floored by our generosity and promised to pay it forward. We left happier than they.

My aha! moment came when I realized that, if I had been in the sisters shoes, I may not have accepted the gift of a free lunch. I would have wondered what they wanted from me, whether this was a trick, or something else beyond simple goodness. I would have questioned.

I learned in Sedona how receiving can be just as important as giving. And if we do not open ourselves up for both, we’ll miss out on so many of life’s gifts. I am hereby open to receiving!

And so it is.