Seven years ago, I was a single mom living in Fort Worth, Texas with my teenage son, living paycheck to paycheck. I had a decent job as a financial analyst, making an okay salary. It was enough to pay for our two bedroom apartment and other living expenses, but we could never seem to get ahead.

My son was fifteen and struggling in school and was diagnosed with a mood disorder. Every day was a new nightmare, and I was worried about losing my job, leaving us penniless. I was trying to cope with our situation, but..

I knew something had to change.



I decided what I wanted to do with my life – Sell everything, live on a sailboat, and make money with a blog or vlog. All I needed was a sailboat, sailing lessons, and someone to help me sail the boat. Like a partner. No problem, right?


I started reading every personal finance book and website I could find, including The Richest Man in Babylon, The Millionaire Next Door, Think and Grow Rich, and my personal favorite, Live on the Margin.


I made a budget. Not just any budget, I trended out a 5-year plan to follow.


I earned a promotion at work. And when I grew out of that position, I moved us to Arizona and started a better job with a new company. I earned promotions there, and then moved again. Each step of the way I added to my skill-set and qualifications to make the next leap. I tripled my salary in 5 years.


I learned how to invest my money. Then I used the funds to make a down payment on a house. I sold the house for a profit 2 years later.


I launched this blog and my Alexa flash briefing, Sixty Seconds Savings Coach.


And everything else seemed to fall into place. If you believe in your dreams, you CAN make them come true. It doesn't happen on its own. You have to get up and fight for it every day until its a reality. And that's what I did, and still do every day.

I switched jobs, we moved to Phoenix, and a year later, my long-distance boyfriend moved in. Along with my niece and my mother… and my son, who still lives with us today.

We got married! I convinced him to live on a sailboat!!

We had TWO babies.

Shelley's Kids Stroller

In 2019 we moved to Bend, Oregon for another job. We bought an under-priced house in Bend, hoping to sell it in a couple of years for a profit. I feel like we lucked out. Bend, Oregon is an amazing town, surrounded by mountains, rivers, lakes, and a gazillion local breweries. We have a weekend destination list a mile long. Weekend adventures will do, for now.

We've taken sailing lessons, and will finish our sailing certifications in late 2020. Its all but inevitable at this point, and I am so excited as we get closer to our goal. The goal has changed over time, as our family dynamics have also changed. The price tag went up, but that's okay.


What will we do after we move aboard our boat? I'll have more time to grow this site – I treasure the opportunity to help others through the same kind of struggles I've experienced. In addition to that, who knows? You may find us on Youtube one day, on our own sailing vlog. 😉

If there's one takeaway from my story, I want it to be this: It doesn't matter where you're starting from – you can achieve your dreams.

If you made it this far, thanks for reading my story. Subscribe to my newsletter to stay up to date on new content.

Wild Coast, OR 2019

2 thoughts on “Bootstrapping Life as a Single Mom”

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