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!

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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Sleep. Whats Sleep?

Sleep. Whats that?

I haven’t been able to catch a good wink of sleep since the fish, berries, and business have been in full swing! Oh yeah and working full time. But, next Friday is my last day and I am going to pursue my business full time, school full time and hopefully a traveling teacher of qaspeq making.

I got to go home for 4th of July and it was so wonderful! I got to fill my bucket with blueberries and salmon berries! Lots of visits in my with stinkiest nieces and nephews and lots of visits with good friends and family.

I am having some serious berry picking withdrawals seeing all the blueberry picking and salmon berry picking photos. The berries are in abundance this year and I miss the walk to my favorite tundra spot. Urban living is a little different because you have to worry about bears, property lines, and getting lost. Ha! Bethel there is tundra for DAYS. You would be able to see a bear 20 miles away running to you. Haha. And I am not to comfortable being in the woods yet.

Dipnetting on the Kenai is in full swing! I got my first taste of it on Sunday and now I am hooked! I walked away with 3 Kenai River reds and lost about 7. Oops! I am learning this way of fishing which is definitely different from fishing on the Kuskokwim.

I tested out a new sewing pattern Prima Diva Wallet which I had some difficulty with. I don’t know if I will be making anymore. But it was a good challenge.

I had a Homer getaway with the girls which was much needed. We were tourists for the day. Homer is a beautiful place! And it is only an hour drive away which is awesome.

I was able to finish one custom ordered qaspeq with this beautiful Art Gallery buttery fabric. It turned out beautiful!

I was able to whip out some beautiful BB Bags and two of the three are sold. I will post the one that is for sale on the Items for Sale page.

We celebrated Easy E’s 11th birthday yesterday! Cant believe that kid is 11! Its been fun watching him over the last 6 years.

Salmon Life is the way to go. We use everything from the head, heart, eggs, backbone, skin and the whole fish. We don’t waste. I have yet to brine, dry, and smoke my fish because I don’t have a hanging rack, or smokehouse yet. Hopefully this month we will build one and I can take care of the fish in the freezer.

Life is busy. Life is good. I am excited for my next adventure!

Life is too short to be anything but happy! Do what you love. Follow your heart. If your unhappy find what makes you happy and jump. Don’t wait until your retired to do all the things you WISH you could do now. Make a plan and execute it.

Stay tuned for more fun posts! I got berries, fish, outdoor concerts, half marathon fun, and sewing more to come!

Happy Hump Day!

Qaspeq Wednesday

It was a good evening of sewing, visiting, and laughing! I showed Kris to make a 241 tote bag and it turned out super cute! She also cut and almost finished a 2nd bag. I love these bags because they are super cute, practical and fun!

I also finished these two beautiful medium women’s modern qaspeqs. The Cotton and steel Cat lady qaspeq sold but the other one is available to purchase.

I can accept card payments now. I finally set up my square, woohoo!

I hope you have a wonderful Thursday! It is another beautiful day!