My Financial Independence Journey

Waqaa & Hello!

I am going to highlight each of these slides and how I began my financial journey. First and foremost I am not a financial advisor, this is not financial advice. I am merely sharing what I have learned on my journey since getting my finances in order. In the early 2010’s I opened a Roth IRA with Vanguard. I set up automatic monthly investment to my Roth IRA for a few years. And then life got in the way and I was not able to contribute and stopped. This January 2021 I got serious about my finances and investments and went down the rabbit hole of investing, cryptocurrencies, various side hustles, and learning everything anything money.

In January I opened up my Vanguard account and familiarized myself with my Roth IRA again. My funds had been allocated in mutual funds that had HIGH expense ratios. I moved my funds to ETF’s (exchange traded funds) and mutual funds with low expense ratios such as the S&P 500, Total Stock Market Index, and Total Stock Market International. The specific funds that I invest in are VOO, VTI, VFIAX, VTIAX, and VTSAX. Again these are my personal investments and this is not financial advice. The maximum amount that you can contribute to a Roth IRA is $6,000 per year. The deadline to contribute is when taxes are due which is typically April 15th. Make sure when you contribute to your Roth IRA, brokerage account or rollover IRA that you move the funds from the Federal Money Market and invest it in a specific ETF (exchange traded funds), mutual fund, or individual stock. Do not forget to do this step otherwise your money will not work for you.

Along with ETF’s and mutual funds I also invest in individual stocks. The stocks that I invest in are things that I use everyday such as my Apple, Disney, Etsy, and other things that I use on the daily. I also have researched and invested in other various stocks that could potentially become beneficial down the road. Those specific stocks are in the renewable energy sector and other areas. I spend at least 30 minutes everyday and try and learn about something new with regards to investing, the stock market, cryptocurrencies, and anything and everything related to investing!

With my Employer Retirement Account when I initially opened it I apparently opted to have a financial company allocate my funds. I was scared for the longest time to move it around because I wasn’t sure what to do or what funds to pick out. And honestly I thought it would be complicated to do. I finally found the courage and time and opted out of that service and allocated a majority of it into an S&P 500. The other smaller portion I invested into an International Equity and World Equity fund. I also contribute the maximum amount that my employer will match.

After maxing out my Roth IRA for 2020 and 2021 I opened up a brokerage account. I will not do justice by trying to describe a brokerage so I am sharing a link to Personal Finance Club’s blogpost created by Jeremy. Click HERE to get to the post regarding what a brokerage account is. In my brokerage account I invest in VOO, VTI, VFIAX. I also invest in other individual stocks and ETF’s.

I also rolled over two of my old employer retirement accounts from when I worked at the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation. I had around $100K that I rolled into a Vanguard Rollover IRA. Back story I worked at YKHC for over 10 years and I don’t remember when I started my retirement account with them but I am thankful that I did. I just recently rolled over the $100K to my Vanguard and just finished allocating it today. I had a little more fun with a small portion of it and invested it in some risky stocks. I also have one more old employer retirement account that I need to rollover. Once I roll it over to my rollover IRA I will look into a Backdoor Roth IRA and see if I can do that. Again I will not try and explain what a Backdoor Roth IRA but click HERE. Jeremy from Personal Finance Club does an excellent job explaining what it is.

I work full-time as a School Nurse. I had two part time jobs at one point as a Contact Tracer. I have my small business Sew Yup’ik. I teach classes via Zoom and in-person. And I try to find any and every single side hustle there is out there. I am currently in the process of going down the rabbit hole and researching Turo a car sharing company. I am also looking into ways that I can monetize my Sew Yup’ik Youtube channel, and my Sew Yup’ik Instagram page. Like I said I love to learn anything and everything if it helps me to become financially independent.

I would not have gotten serious about my finances, budgeting and daily tracking if it was not for stumbling across The Budget Mom’s Instagram page. I started following The Budget Mom in 2019 and got serious about daily tracking my finances and budgeting. When I started following her I had $81K in debt with my student loans and car loan. I started tracking my daily finances. I created monthly budgets. Challenged myself to no spend days. And threw whatever I could to my student loans, and car loan. I was able to pay $71K of my loans and still have $10K left of student loans. I could be paying it off but instead I am choosing to invest that. I am also secretly hoping President Biden will cancel some student debt haha but I won’t hold my breath. My goal is to reach Coast FI meaning that I want to invest enough money so that it can work for me and I will not have to invest another penny down the road. Again I wont explain it but check out this blogpost from Personal Finance Club on what Coast FI means.

All of this information is what I have done for my financial journey. I will continue to educate myself and keep going. My ultimate goal is to work when I feel like it and set my own schedule. I hope that this information is helpful. If you have any questions comment below. If you are not following me on IG or FB head over to my Sew Yup’ik pages I share a lot of my information on those platforms. And again my motto as always is don’t buy dumb sh**.

Please let me know if you would be interested in a post regarding my children’s accounts.

Quyana Cakneq!

Just go for it

I am going for it. I am applying for a Family Nurse Practitioner Program. When I finished nursing school in December of 2018 I was convinced that I needed that I needed to have an actual real nursing job before I applied to a Nurse Practitioner program. It has always been a dream of mine to be a Emergency Medicine Nurse Practitioner and return back to the YK Delta and work in the sub-regional clinics to provide care to the Yup’ik communities. Growing up in chaos has always had me preparing and overly preparing for the next step. It doesnt matter if I am driving, preparing for a test, anything I am always going over in my head what road I will take, when I will turn left, what lane I will be driving in, and when I will turn my blinker on. I have always prepared myself for my next move no matter what. When I would have surprises occur in my life I would panic and freak out. My body would go into a fight or flight reaction and I would always fight because that is what my body was used to. When a crazy event would happen in my life growing up I would always fight and as an adult that would be my first reaction. So applying to FNP school after completing my BSN was not in my head.

This was taken after completing my BSN. I did not walk during graduation but instead snapped this to celebrate my completion of the program.

I always felt that I needed to have actual “real nursing” experience. And what I mean by nursing experience is inserting IV’s, foley catheters, assisting in codes, and all that hands on experience that I do not get on a day to day basis as a school nurse. After completing my BSN I thought that I wasnt smart enough. I didnt have the experience because I was only a school nurse and I felt that I needed that hands on before applying. However, as a school nurse I am getting that nursing experience just in a different way. I was not confident in my skills as nurse and I always felt that I needed “real” experience. I now realize that I am good enough. I have the experience. I can do it. And I will do it. I do not need to have worked on a Med-Surg Unit to apply to FNP. I do not need to have that hands on experience before applying because I will learn it while in school and through my clinicals. And I do have the experience I just dont have it as a nurse.

This was after completing my AAS in Nursing in December 2018. I started my program 6 months pregnant and graduated when she was 18 months old.

My love for the Emergency Room started in February in 2008 when I was hired on as an Emergency Room Technician. I loved it. I loved every aspect of the ER and I felt so comfortable. And that comfort was because of my childhood and growing up in chaos I craved chaotic environments. I strived in that environment and it felt like home. And in that time working in the ER I was accepted into nursing school the first time. But that first round of nursing school did not work in my favor. I was young, arrogant, and felt I knew better than the instructor and I had a hard time keeping my mouth shut. Thankfully, I was failed out of the program due to personality conflicts between myself and the instructor after the first semester. Looking back I was creating chaos for myself and instead of keeping my mouth shut I chose to argue back. It was a hard lesson for me to swallow but I am thankful that it happened. I have learned from it and I can say that I am thankful for that experience. I worked in the ER for almost 3 1/2 years and had plenty of hand on experience with assisting the nurses and providers. But because I wasnt a nurse during that time I always felt that experience wasn’t “good enough.” I know now that it is good enough. And I am good enough. I am confident in my skills, and I know that along the way I will learn those skills I need in school, clinicals and on the job.

My daughter Syd was a huge motivation to finish school and continue on my journey.

I felt a strong urge and incline to share my thoughts because if you are wanting to do something in your life and you are afraid to do it, DO IT!

Have the confidence in yourself to know that you can do it. Take the leap. Make that call. Apply for that program, job whatever it is. You are good enough. I am taking my own advice and taking that leap. Its scary. Really scary but I am comfortable and feeling confident in myself.

I have all the support in the world and I am so thankful for that. My husband has been my rock through everything. He was by my side when I was failed out of the nursing program the first time. He has watched me change jobs because I was never happy. He has always had my back and has been supportive no matter what. I am so thankful to have my best friend by my side pushing me to follow my dreams. Thanks boo.

And here is my husband who was supportive through everything and still is to this day.

I am excited and scared for this next chapter.

But I am ready. And I am confident in myself and I believe in myself. And I can do it!

Sew Yup’ik YouTube Channel

Waqaa!

I have created a Sew Yup’ik YouTube Channel and I would love for you to head over and tell me what you think.

What types of tutorials would you like to see?

Would you be interested in a live class with me for a donation?

I am open to any and every suggestion! I love to share and teach and I am hoping to create more tutorials around salve making with traditional plants, making moose jerky, salmon processing, akutaq making and sew much more!

Quyana Chuck Norris!

Here is my youtube link to my channel!

Sew Yup’ik YouTube Channel

Ways to support a small business

There are many ways you can support a small business without actually buying anything. Here are some of the ways you can support a small business that are free.

Share a Post

Like a Post

Repost

Comment

Tag a friend

Give a shout out

Encourage them

Leave a review

Engage with their posts

As a small business owner I do not have any employees but myself. Sometimes my almost 4 year old daughter Syd loves to help me, and my 3 month old often sleeps on the job. So any like, share, post or anything helps me and it is much appreciated.

Quyana cakneq!

Mama’s Positive Affirmations

Mama’s Positive Affirmations

You are a good mom. I am a good mom.

You are not a bad mom. I am not a bad mom.

You are not your thoughts. I am not my thoughts.

You are safe. I am safe.

You are not alone. I am not alone.

Tomorrow is a new day.

You are not in charge of anyone’s happiness but your own.

You don’t owe anyone anything that includes space.

You are amazing. I am amazing.

You are okay. I am okay.

You are exactly where you need to be at this very moment.

You do not have to enjoy every moment. It’s okay to not like this moment.

You can do this. I can do this.

You are strong. I am strong.

You are loved. I am loved.

Step outside and take three deep breaths. Breathe in love. Breathe out the anger.

I am grateful for my health.

You are a survivor. You are giving your children the best possible life.

You are alive. I am alive.

I am here. I am ready. I am prepared to ride out this wild storm. I am strong. I can do this.

Here are my positive affirmations to help me in my postpartum depression bouts. When I am suffering I will turn to these to help me through those deep, dark moments. The one that I will repeat to myself over and over again is:

You are not your thoughts.

I am not my thoughts.

My thoughts can be so scary at times but I know that those moments will pass. I know that there are times when I am overly exhausted and I need to remind myself that I am okay. My goal is to post my affirmations on post its around my house. I will repeat them every morning when I wake. I am a good mom. I am safe. I am not alone.

Postpartum depression and postpartum rage can be so scary. I know that I am not the only suffering and I find comfort in knowing that I am not alone. Navigating through those emotions can be so difficult when I am trying to heal my childhood trauma wounds. Becoming a parent opens up wounds that I must have hid deep, deep down in my heart. But I am trying every day and that is the important part. I am doing the work. I am showing up and learning. It’s hard. And somedays are harder than others and I avoid going down that road because its hurts my core. I know that I have to go down to that dead end so that I can heal and move forward.

My self-healing journey has been a long, long road but I am so thankful where I am today. And I am excited where I am going to be 1, 5, 10 years down the road. I deserve to be healthy. I deserve to be happy. I deserve to enjoy my life to the fullest. My children deserve a happy, healthy mama. My husband deserves a healthy wife and partner but mostly friend.

Find your people. Find what works for you. Keep going. Don’t ever give up. Know that you are not alone. Reach out to me if you have no one and I can be your person. Motherhood is hard. Self-healing from childhood trauma is hard. And navigating those headwaters can be scary but know that you are not alone.

You are not alone.

You are safe.

You are loved.

You will be okay.

Fireweed Tuesdays

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I finally got enough energy to finish two qaspeqs last night! Whew. I think I finally recovered from my whirlwind of a weekend.

Weekend consisting of fishing and berry picking, and berry picking.

And then this afternoon on my quick lunch break I was able to pick a bucket full of fireweed. I am hoping to make fireweed jalapeno jelly, fireweed raspberry and another variation of fireweed jelly before Saturday.

My next few weeks are going to be insane! I head to Kotzebue July 23-31 to visit with family and be a camp counselor at Camp Sisualik! Which I am so excited about!

Then I get home for a day and then head back the next day to Nome for 4 days to teach a qaspeq class at the Rural Providers conference.

And then I am home for about 10 days and then off to Bethel for a week!

Whew! I will be excited once all my travels are done. And I can finally relax and continue working thru my orders.

Life is wonderful! Especially when you fill with smiles, positivity and laughter!

Wednesdays Rock!

Wednesdays Rock! when they are filled with fish head soup, fish egg spread, akutaq, pike and seal oil, finishing a qaspeq, and finishing a beautiful wall hanging that I inherited from my mama bear Jeanne.

The fish egg spread was ahhhhhmazing! And now its all gone! In my tummy and I shared with my coworkers and friends! I cant wait to make more.

I was able to finish this lovely qaspeq for one of my first friends in kindergarten. I loved how bright and fun it is!

You cant have fish head soup without the akutaq so I had to make a fresh batch. Akutaq is eskimo ice cream made with Crisco, sugar, milk, and berries. This time I used my fresh blueberries and salmon berries and it tasted scrumdiddlyumptious! Don’t knock it till you try it 🙂

And my mama bear Jeanne gave me this beautiful wall hanging that she was going to toss aside but I gladly snatched it up! The only thing I had to do was add the binding. I love how beautiful and simplistic it is. This is her view from looking out her store in Cooper Landing.

I am hitting the road and heading to Milky Chance this evening in Anchorage. I hope to goodness the roads are not jam packed and I can make it in time to see the show!

Happy Thursday! Seize the day!

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Kenai River Festival Weekend

It was a whirlwind of sewing, visiting, setting up, taking down, enjoying the fresh air and making new friends.

The Kenai River Festival was this past weekend and it was a festival full of good food, live music, artist vendors and more! I had a wonderful weekend of awesome networking, sales, and lots of laughter and fun!

This was my first show/festival that I have really done a whole weekend of setting up and taking down. It was a whole lot of fun and learned a lot. I don’t know if I will be doing another one for awhile as it consumes my whole weekend and weekends are my rest time since I have a full time job. Maybe after a good nights rest and a weekend of relaxing I might be ready to rock and roll.

I have two diva frame wallets ready for new homes and I will share the details on the Items for sale page and I will update what I have left of the qaspeqs for sale. I finally set up my square so I am set to take credit/debit cards.

I hope you had a wonderful weekend! And hope you have a good week ahead of you!