Because there’s only 32 days left in 2018, and no one has time for big ass lists, I’ve created a very short, very easy to read list of 4 things you need to do, to get ready for 2019.
1. ONLY FINISH WHAT’S IMPORTANT
Hands up if you’re guilty of getting to November and realising you’ve left everything on your to-do list to the last minute 🙋🏼♀️
This is not the time to be smashing shots of espresso and depriving yourself of sleep to try and get on top of things. It’s time to be selective about what needs to be done before the end of the year, so you don’t end 2018 channeling 2007 Britney Spears
Choose your most important tasks, make sure they’re realistic and achievable and get it done. Forget everything else.
2. LIST YOUR BIG GOALS FOR 2019
If you’re anything like me, you’re always thinking ahead (too far, sometimes 🔮) but there’s something really exciting thinking about the start of a new year and all of the things you could achieve.
However you choose to do it; lists, mood boards, giant posters stuck to your wall or writing on your bedroom mirror so you see it every morning – start writing down your BIG GOALS for the next 12 months. Don’t hold back.
Seeing it all laid out in front of you is better than popcorn at the movies 🍿 (yep, I went there)
3. BREAK DOWN AND PLAN THE FIRST 3 MONTHS OF THE YEAR
One thing I’ve learnt is that there is such a thing as planning too far in advance, because things always change. I’ve also learnt that once you put plans into place and start taking action, your direction and what needs to be done becomes a lot clearer; meaning things are always evolving and changing.
My ideal (and what I’ve found to be the most functional) way of planning, is by doing it in 3 month chunks. If you have a Canvast, that means filling in your dateless months, adding in important dates and deadlines, filling out the goal setting pages, steps to get it done and all of your self care.
What goals do you want to achieve in January? For example I’ve given myself a deadline of 31st January for a milestone in the process of a new product creation. Another goal is to exercise at least 4 times a week. How will I do this? By adding workouts to my ‘doing for me’ section, because I am a creature of habit and if it’s not written down I simply won’t do it. LONG LIVE MY CANVAST HELPING ME GET SH*T DONE 🙌🏼
4. SWITCH OFF AND ORDER A MARTINI
What’s the point of the festive season if you can’t blast Mariah Carey in your PJ’s, drink until you tell everyone in your contact list how much you love them and switch off to celebrate the last 12 months? NOTHING, I TELL YOU! NOTHING!
Perhaps you slayed 2018, perhaps there were things you didn’t get done, perhaps you had everything that could possibly go wrong, go wrong – but guess what? We’re all still standing and we all get another 12 months in 2019 to start all over again.
I strongly encourage you to celebrate, reflect and take all of the lessons from this year, and use them to have an amazing 2019. Gather your tools, your support group and your mighty heart and get ready. Because I have a feeling 2019 is going to be GOOOOOOD 💫
I’d like to introduce you to Amy and Sarah, the two parts that make MOOSKi Adventures; twin sisters who quit their day jobs to pursue their passion.
I met Amy and Sarah when they were two weeks into their open-ended trip around Australia, and I was lucky enough to meet them for a few adventures of our own once I joined in on the van life!
We (very) quickly became friends, bonding over our love for the simple things in life and taking those big leaps of faith. When my own trip came to a sudden halt (RIP COCO YOU MOTOR-EXPLODING MF) Amy and Sarah invited me for two weeks in their own van to keep on exploring the Northern Territory.
When I meet women like Amy and Sarah, the first thing I want to do is introduce them to everyone I know. They have an absolutely infectious thirst for adventure and life in general; with most of our days spent climbing some sort of mountain and our nights spent by the campfire discussing all of our future goals.
It’s funny, the older I get, the better I get at finding people like Amy and Sarah. You just know they’re keepers. I would encourage every single one of you to head to their profile and see the amazing work they do, you can really feel how much they love it.
Who are MOOSKi Adventures and what do you do?
We are twins Amy and Sarah, living out our dreams of lapping Australia in our self-built camper ’Betty’. We work as photographers and videographers on the road to help fund the travels and build the MOOSKi Brand.
What does a week in the life of MOOSKi Adventures look like?
A week with us consists of shooting new photo and video for personal projects, lots and lots of editing, lots and lots of eating, meeting new people, exploring epic new places and pitching to potential clients.
What made you want to quit your regular jobs to travel and create MOOSKi?
We felt like we couldn’t go much further in our hospitality jobs and we both have an extreme passion for travel. We loved taking photos on past trips and we craved full-time travel, so finding a way to combine both photography and travel became our biggest motivation.
Vanlife came up in conversation and it was a no-brainer. We always wanted to try out van life and travel our own country, so two months later we bought Betty – our home on wheels!
How do you make money from MOOSKi adventures?
We make money by providing photography and videography content for Tourism companies, events, campaigns and brands, as well as some blogging and social media marketing.
We also have our own range of MOOSKi Merchandise with 10% of proceeds from our ‘Mandala’ Collection being donated to animal welfare organisations.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to do something similar?
For starting a business/running a business on the road, the best advice we could give is to follow your heart, make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons and that it truly makes you happy, regardless of the money or following.
For starting vanlife – buy/build/convert a vehicle that is best suited to your needs (location of travel plans, on/off road/your budget, your knowledge and skills.) A good combo of these and you can absolutely be living the dream.
Is there anything about your old life that you miss?
Even though we have each other, we do miss seeing our family and friends often, but we can always message, facetime, or even have a guest visit in Betty!
What’s been the hardest part of travelling/living in a van and trying to make money from your creative pursuits?
There is nothing about van life itself that is too hard for us, as we are quite minimalistic. It’s a given that sometimes you will go a while without a hot shower/shower, and not see your family or friends, but when we are out exploring the country and meeting new friends, it is a small sacrifice for living this lifestyle, and there is nothing we would change.
As for running MOOSKi Adventures on the road there have been some harder parts to it, we struggled with internet connection and service, always trying to hunt down free wifi before finally upgrading our phone plans, and some states have little to no service which made it a little hard but not impossible.
Being freelance workers you never know when your next paycheck will come in so there is the pressure to pitch and find work, but before we left on the trip we did save a fund to help us out, but still with the intent to work on MOOSKi and build the brand over the course of our trip.
Can you tell us about a big dream you have?
It is our dream to continue travelling full-time internationally with our photography and videography work. We would love to work with international travel brands, and even start our own travel workshops in locations around the world, where people come to learn our tips on photography and videography.
Do you set goals and who keeps you accountable?
We are big believers in the fact that goals are the stepping stones between your reality and your dreams! We are lucky have each other to keep on top of our goals and we keep each other inspired and motivated to work harder to achieve them.
Was there any part of you that feared making that decision? Taking the leap? What helped in that situation?
We didn’t have a single fear about the travel side of things, we are our happiest when on the road and it doesn’t worry us at all…but as for running the business on the road this was new ground, we didn’t know how we would go when leaving the contacts we had in NSW but what helped the situation was having each other, and no matter what happened we had each other to fall back on and that gave us the confidence to take the leap.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
To spend more time doing things you love and less time doing things you don’t and to be grateful for all you have.
What’s the worst advice you’ve ever received?
Being told we HAD to go to University and HAVE a well paying job to be successful and happy. We never went to University but worked hard and saved our money to travel for months at a time and decided to turn our passion for travel and photography into a business instead. We are the happiest we’ve ever been!
Biggest fuck up?
Working ourselves too hard to the point of physical exhaustion and mental breakdowns. We have learnt to take it easier on ourselves and live a more balanced life, also noticing the signs earlier and prioritising our health and happiness before anything else.
CANVAST QUICK FIRE QUESTIONS
What would you be doing if you weren’t travelling and doing Mooski adventures?
We feel we would always be travelling no matter what, whether it be in hospitality or another path. We always loved the idea of owning our own bar/cafe.
Paper and pen or tech?
Both. We use pen and paper for sketching our designs, goal setting, mind maps, and trip planning but use tech for general lists.
Messy or organised?
Organised – We feel lost without having everything in order.
What does a regular day consist of for you?
A big breakkie to start the day off, followed by some laptop work, catching up on editing or emails, then relaxing or exploring the area we are currently in.
Fav music track at the moment?
Loving Tash Sultana, listening to her new album.
Surrounded with friends and family in a beautiful nature spot, listening to music and having a feast!
We both have a horrific track record for being late!
Out and proud vice?
Gratitude thoughts on the daily
Plan ahead or wing it?
We do a bit of both..
With our travels we used to plan down to the day and now we have completely switched and it is now 20% planning and 80% winging it.
For business we do a lot of planning, mind mapping our brand ideas and where we want MOOSKi to be in the next 2 – 5 years etc, we can’t wing it too much as we need an income to keep us going!
Sarah loved ‘The Power of Now’ and Amy prefers auto-biographies, a favourite being Anthony Keidis’ Scar Tissue or anything MJ. On the road we have been listening motivational podcasts but also enjoy the True Crime podcasts as it keeps us super alert on the long drives..
Next adventure destination?
After we complete our lap of Australia we hope to take Betty over to New Zealand for 6 months.
You can find Amy and Sarah on Instagram @mooski_adventures
It’s no secret I’m a paper and pen lover. Unfortunately, emails can’t be sent in the form of a hand written letter anymore (god damn I miss my penpal!) – so after feeling COMPLETELY overwhelmed by my inbox, I decided to take a stand.
Yiota from Ola Digital introduced me to the Inox Zero Theory. It’s an approach to email management, aimed at keeping the inbox empty — or almost empty — at all times. I know there’ll be some of you who think you’re too far down the rabbit hole of emails, but never fear. I started with over 700 emails in my inbox and thought, “how the fuck am I supposed to ‘delete, delegate, respond, defer and do’ for every single one of these?!”
I made the executive decision (cause I can…#boss) that only the emails on the first two pages were worth looking at; if I hadn’t actioned or replied to the ones on every page after that, they were too far gone.
So I placed every email from page 3 onwards into a folder called “Previous to September” so I could still access them if needed to (don’t, for the love of god delete them) and spent last night actioning, replying to, deleting and filing the rest. I would also recommend spending a good chunk of time unsubscribing from all of those emails you accidentally signed up for (hey Dominos) or no longer want to receive.
And let me tell you, I feel like a brand new woman! I’m currently sitting on 9 emails in my inbox…NINE!!! It’s amazing what the feeling of being organised can do for your soul. It makes knowing what I have to do today a lot clearer and I feel way more aware of what’s important, without the dark cloud of a full inbox hanging over my head.
If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed, like you can’t get on top of things and you’ll never catch up, give the Inbox Zero Theory a go. Don’t stress about those unanswered emails from page 3 onwards, if it’s important enough, they’ll follow up.
Our schedules can seem overwhelming at times; save the money, drag the ass to gym, cook the good food, update the instagram…the list goes on. But none of this matters if you burn yourself out in the meantime. Aaaaand que mental breakdown.
Routinely (like, schedule that shit in) you need to take a step back and remember what’s really important.
When someone mentions how important their relationships are, how often do you think that includes the one they have with themselves? I don’t know about you, but I’m guilty AF of spending too much time on social media, rushing through life and not taking enough time to chill TF out and look after myself.
However, I always find that when I am killing the life game and giving Oprah a run for her money, I’m so much better at being there for my friends and family. I’m so embarrassed to admit this, but during a time of complete brain fog and not taking care of myself, I’ve even forgotten my own nieces birthday. It’s a horrible feeling and one that I try really hard to not repeat.
Whilst I’m no expert at this yet (do I need to mention the forgotten birthday again?) there are a few ways I do this:
Constantly check in.
It’s not selfish to say no to things in order to maintain your self care. It’s SMART. Listen to your body. Mine always starts doing weird shit when I’m stressed and overwhelmed. Don’t make me repeat myself, it needs to be something you schedule in. Creating a morning routine is a perfect way to check in with yourself daily.
Spend time alone.
For those who are in relationships especially, it’s easy to rely on your significant other for emotional support. Some people get really uncomfortable in their own company, but if you learn to be self sufficient and strong on your own, you become an extremely resilient person. And resilient is a trait you want to add to your list.
Be gentle with yourself.
All of this is not easy, and learning to forgive yourself when you need to is a big part of self care. This might mean taking a day off from the gym, watching Netflix all day, save hitting reply to that text for tomorrow or going to the beach and just sitting with your toes in the sand and breeeeeathe. I always find when I open my Canvast and start writing things down, or reading the monthly intros I’m back in the right direction in no time.
Just remember, your friends matter, your family matter, calling your Grandma and eating well and exercise matter, but ALWAYS nurture, respect and love the shit out of the most important person in your life – yourself!
Ever wondered what it’s like to create the business of your dreams? For most of us, it takes months, even years of tedious planning, brainstorming and sleepless nights before we make the decision to finally pursue it full-time.
For Claire McKeen at Keen Collective, this wasn’t the case. Claire can laugh about it now, but the story of how Keen Collective came to be is a great reminder that sometimes an unexpected push is all you need.
BORN: Scotland (but asked daily if I am Canadian lol)
WHAT YOU DO:I help businesses bloom!
WHO YOU ARE:The Keen Collective
Can you tell me a little more about The Keen Collective and what made you want to start your own agency?
Well I have always wanted to start my own business! When people asked me when I was younger what I wanted to do… I said, I wanted to be a business owner, but it took me a fair few years to figure out what the business would look like. Then one day I thought, why are you trying to force other ideas when you could just do what you know… and TKC was born!
What does a week in the life of Claire McKeen look like right now?
I am still only about a month and a halfish into doing this full time, so my weeks are anything but consistent… as I go through this adjustment period of figuring out routines. Each week I spend about 2 days actually in one of my clients stores, they own the coffee shop next door, so I set up shop there and it gives me the opportunity to really understand how they work, how customers buy, create content for their socials and bounce ideas off not only the owners but the other staff as well. The rest of my time is split between working at coffee shops, working at my parents (they have a dog lol), or working at my ‘home office/spare room’. Next month I am trialling a coworking space to hopefully find a bit more routine in my week! The rest of my week is usually filled with spending time with my boyfriend and family!
How hard was it to take the leap and be your own boss?
As much as I would like to say that I was brave and heroically quit my full time job to pursue my passion… my leap was more a huge push! Long story short, I was working at an advertising agency where some of our services offered slightly overlapped. I was still in the major setting up stage of The Keen Collective and didn’t actually have any clients signed, so at that point I decided to not tell my employer (yet), until I had found my feet a little more. Flash forward a couple of weeks, they found out… were not happy and I ended up resigning. Looking back, I wouldn’t change an absolute thing! We have to learn lessons one way or another, and I don’t know if I would have been brave enough any time soon to make the leap myself so I truly think it was the universe just making the choice for me! Flash forward just over a month and I am working with six clients.. Plus my mortgage is still getting paid – phew… everything really does happen for a reason!
What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
My biggest risk has probably been not defaulting to looking for a new job after leaving my last one, making the choice to becoming self employed is risky when you have a mortgage and bills to pay! I own my house by myself too, which is probably a good thing for this situation because I am not letting someone else down if things go wrong (touch wood!)
How do you maintain your career/business and also nurture your friendships and relationships?
I don’t think I have ever really had a huge issue with this. I don’t have a lot of friends who I see regularly, so I guess that makes it easier haha. Because I live with my boyfriend, it is a lot easier than if we were still doing the back and forth between our places. It’s just about time management and taking a break from work when you need to, but also knowing when you need to just buckle down and get some shit done!
What lessons have you learnt along the way?
My top lessons learnt are:
You learn just as much, if not more, from bad managers as you do from good ones
Everything happens for a reason… every person, situation, job… then one day all the dots will connect
It is extremely important to value other people’s time
What is the number one piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?
I can’t remember where this piece of advice came from… it might have been from a podcast or I could have made it up in my head.. But something that has made a huge difference in my life is.. ‘Don’t do anything that you really just don’t want to do’. I found myself being around people, going to events, and just generally doing things that I actually just didn’t want to do. About 2 years ago I just started living by that mentality. When I changed my thinking around this, I found that I became a happier person and was putting my time and energy into things that I genuinely wanted to. Let go of the idea of FOMO… and enjoy that fact that you actually would rather stay home on a Saturday night instead of getting drunk (plus spending too much money). I heard Erica Davies say on a podcast the other day JOMO – the joy of missing out… and I couldn’t have related to it more!! I have never been a party girl… I am such a homebody and I love it.
Have your priorities/the things you align with changed over the years?
For sure, as I have matured things have changed, and I think I have got a lot more laid back about everything… distanced myself with people that I didn’t align with anymore.
However my overarching priorities, I feel have always stayed very consistent. Things like setting up myself for the future, a good career, family and all that good stuff always have been at the forefront of my list of priorities. The only thing that I made a decision to put on the back burner was travel, I went on four decent holidays over about three years with one of them being a three month trip to UK/Europe, and a big part of me wanted to just keep going, but I said to myself, I can’t do it all. So I bought my house, but now I do want to pop travel back up my list of priorities in the next year.
Who do you look up to or go to for advice?
I rely heavily on advice from my parents… whenever anything happens I am straight on the phone to my mum haha. My dad owns his own business, and mum takes care of all the behind the scenes, accounting elements, so they are really switched on and business savvy.
In terms of who do I look up to, this really does vary depending on what mood I am in and what I am currently going through. As absolute basic bitch as it sounds, I really do look up to Beyonce… if you have ever watched her documentary Life Is But A Dream.. You will know that she has an insane work ethic and high standards for the quality of her work. On a day to day level, I do watch a lot of YouTube and look up to the likes of Zoe Sugg and Alfie Deyes, the business empire they have created and how far they have come from simply having dedication, good ideas and a camera is phenomenal!
Can you tell us about a big dream you have?
I keep saying that I would love to own a coworking space called ‘Keen Company’ lol… but I feel like that dream is evolving to just be a space… a creative area that I can create beautiful content in, that is inspiring to work in and can be shared with other creatives too.
Do you set goals and who keeps you accountable?
This is something I need to spend more time on, I for sure have goals but I need to remember to go back and adjust them when things change in my life! Depending on what the goals are, I will tell my boyfriend and family about them to help me stay accountable, but overall – I keep myself accountable for them!
Biggest win to date?
Making more money in my first full month of business than my previous ‘safe’ salary job!
Biggest fuck up?
The previously mentioned losing of my job! Haha. Main thing is, learn things from your fuck ups….. Like learn not to leave your email accounts logged in on any computer that is not your own…
QUICK FIRE 60 SECOND QUESTIONS
What would you be doing if you weren’t being a boss and running TKC?
100% still sitting at my desk dreaming of running my own business, staring at my ‘don’t quit your daydream’ quote
What does a regular day consist of for you?
Coffee, work, food and banter with my boyfriend
Fav music track at the moment?
I literally cannot stop listening to Cardi B, it is becoming a problem
Summer day up the coast with my boyfriend, floating around Cotton Tree…followed by a family board games night with a drink or two!
It wouldn’t be a secret if I told you 😉
Out and proud vice?
CARDI B – and now Love & Hip Hop – it is so cringe but so good
Plan ahead or wing it?
I am king wing! Not much a of a planner at all (until it comes to my clients haha)
At Home With… Series 2 is out! Loving it (by Anna Newton & Lily Pebbles)
Next adventure destination?
UK to visit family (bf is from there too) with a bit of Europe on the side!
At Canvast, we’re HUGE believers in continual self development and learning.
I get it, it’s 2018 and those words get thrown around like confetti, so if you haven’t personally experienced the benefits of self development, you’re probably thinking it’s all just a bit of hocus pocus.
Well I’m here to set the record straight. The best, smartest people in the world, are those that continue to learn (it really is a never ending process) – I’m going to share a few of the tricks some of the best use to up their gangsta self-development street cred.
Books are an endless source of wisdom and ‘ah-ha!’ moments. I truly believe the more books you read, the smarter and more eloquent you become. Reading facebook updates and instagram captions doesn’t count, either!
Studies have shown that people that read books are more stimulated mentally, less stressed, smarter, have improved memory and are better at writing – not to mention it’s relaxing AF!
My current reading list includes ‘The Power of Now – Eckhart Toll’ ‘The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho’ and ‘Tribe of Mentors – Tim Ferris’
Listen to podcasts
If you haven’t yet been introduced to the world of podcasts, I am about to change your god damn life. Listening to a topic that you’re interested in is a great way to spend your time and get the creative juices flowing.
The best part about podcasts is that you’re learning in your in-between time. Can I get a clap for multi tasking?! You can podcast while you’re driving, painting, doing laundry, and if your SUPER talented you can podcast while running on a treadmill AND checking out Paul the hot PT. 3 things at once?! Stop it you clever little so and so.
There are literally podcasts about everything. I checked this, I even found one about earwax.
My podcast go-to’s are:
*Oprah’s Supersoul Conversations – just be careful listening to this in public, I’ve cried in almost every episode.
*The Smart Twenties Podcast by Sam Brown – because everything she talks about resonates with me in some shape or form.
*Being Boss: Mindset, Habits, Tactics and Lifestyle for Creative Entrepreneurs – a refreshing and realistic look and approach to owning your own business.
But I have to mention the podcasts that ignited my absolute OBSESSION with podcasts and that is Serial and This American Life; they are the TV Series of podcasts and document fascinating stories about murder investigations and military mysteries. Think Making a Murderer for podcasts. SWOON.
Try a new skill
I know, I know. This sounds like something you’d read on a pinterest board. But as we get older we really forget to experiment and just play a little!
I’ve been saying for years that I want to learn how to play the guitar, or try learning trapeze but have put it off because I’m worried I’ll suck (at the guitar that is, I’d SLAY the trapeze) – you and I need to learn to let that fear go.
I also learnt about Skillshare from Sam (Smart Twenties, talked about her above, kinda obsessed) which is an online learning community that offers more than 18,000 classes in design, business, photography and HEAPS of other stuff. So you literally have no excuses for not having a go anymore.
The thing with personal growth is, you soon start to realise that you might be on a different page to the people you would normally surround yourself with. By networking, you meet a bunch of different people who are passionate about the same things you are. And most networking events have snacks. I love snacks.
The people and support networks you meet when networking, are also great people to collaborate with and even compete with. Wait, what? Yep! By competing with others (friendly of course) you’re more likely to push yourself to do things you wouldn’t normally do. If they’re anything like the people I’ve met, you’ll both be celebrating each others successes and singing each other’s praises from the rooftop in no time!
Have fun and follow your passion
Try a new recipe, learn a foreign language, just put yourself out there. This year I decided I wanted to play women’s AFL. I had never played in my life. It has been the best decision I’ve made, I instantly made about 22 new friends and I feel part of a small family (even though they are terrible influences when it comes to alcohol consumption)
It’s important that you don’t take yourself so seriously ALL the time.
Forget your fear
If you’re scared of public speaking, I double dare you to go to a public speaking class. Get out of that comfort zone. I know it sucks, but the benefits far outweigh that shitty anxiety feeling you get in the lead up.
Let me tell you something, if you spend your whole life avoiding something out of fear, you’re going to regret it. The sense of absolute achievement you will feel is a game changer, you’ll realise that there’s actually nothing that can hold you back.
If you’re part of the Canvast gang, use your Canvast goals page this month to implement one (or all) of the above! Let me know how you go, and if you need extra encouragement, reach out! (I’m an EXCELLENT cheerleader)
Budget on fleek? Chances are, not likely. Research suggests that a huge number of women live pay day to pay day, and only a small number of us even use a detailed budget!
C’mon ladies, how are we supposed to be Beyonce worthy independent women if we can’t get our finances together?
Yes, living on and sticking to a budget can be boring as fuck, but it also could be the difference between living on baked beans through your retirement or being able to eat copious amounts of cheese and drinking wine on a yacht in the Amalfi Coast.
Which sounds more appealing? ….Thought so.
Taking control of your spending habits means you can get your finances back on track, which I promise will ultimately mean you get to do MORE of what you love.
I have created a simple, no bullshit, easy to follow budget than even the most frivolous spender can stick to – AND still have that monthly splurge at Sephora (if that’s what you’re into)
STEP ONE – Show me what your workin’ with.
You need to figure out how much you have to work with every month. Open your last pay slip and write down what you get paid after taxes. You may also be getting second or third incomes (yeah girl, hustle) – add these to the list.
STEP TWO – Fixed Expenses.
List all the expenses you have that are ‘fixed’ – these are your non-negotiables. Coffee and Chanel belts don’t count, babe. I’m talking rent, mortgage repayments, phone bills, electricity, health insurance etc. The boring life responsibilities that none of us really want, but the ones we just have, ok?
Now, not all of these expenses are billed regularly or are a fixed amount – but you can bet your bottom dollar that they’re still coming. Come up with a fortnightly average of those bills. For example, if you pay insurance yearly, calculate the amount you pay per year and divide it by 26 (fortnights per year) aaand ta-da! There’s your fortnightly amount.
Now, add all of these amounts together – this is the amount that you should (read: must) put away in a separate account that you can’t access when you’re three martinis deep, so when these bills arrive, you’re ready.
STEP THREE – Variable Expenses.
This step is where some of you lovely ladies come unstuck. Variable expenses such as gym memberships, clothes shopping, hair appointments and Friday drinks are ‘discretionary’ amounts. If you’ve never kept a budget before, this is going to be tough – but girrrlllll, you gotta curb that spending.
Trust me, I know how easy it is to convince yourself that you’ve earned three pairs of tights and two new sport bras from Lululemon – but if you find yourself relying on your credit card because you’re skint and waiting for the next pay to come through – there’s your issue.
STEP FOUR – Everyone Loves Leftovers.
Add all of your fixed and variable amounts together. Minus the expenses from your income and you will have an amount left over (hopefully – shit, if you don’t, call me, I’ll organise the intervention)
STEP FIVE – Long Term Goals.
The last step (and the most satisfying) is what to do with your leftover money. Ideally, this should be put towards your long term goals. Saving for a house deposit? Holiday in Greece? Credit card debt that’s killing your vibe? A retirement that’s baked bean free? The idea behind all of this is to make saving a priority over spending. You should decide how much you want to save every fortnight and work out where and if you need to cut back in your fixed and variable expenses.
If you’re still with me here – congratulations! But there’s still one last thing I’d like you to do.
You need to sit down and evaluate your budget. Let’s be realistic about where your money is actually going and if there are better ways you could be spending it. Are you genuinely happy with how much you’re saving, or do you really need to cut back on the smashed avo dates three times a week?
It’s time to get real. Analyse your habits and create a guideline for yourself. It’s ok to give yourself an allowance for brunch with the girls, or Kylies new bloody lip kit. But don’t, I repeat, DO NOT go over it.
If you’ve never used a budget before, it’s not likely that this will be an overnight success. Test the budget, make changes, get realistic. Budgets are a work in progress and let’s be honest, money is important.
Turn on a TV on any given day in Australia, and you’re almost guaranteed there will be a sport of some sort featuring. In a country where sport and it’s stars are idolised, it’s surprising that women feature in only 7% of sports programming on Australian TV.
Professional athletes are distinguished from amateur athletes by virtue of being paid enough to earn a living. Throughout the world, most top female athletes are not paid, or work full-time or part-time jobs in addition to their training, practice and competition schedules.
Born in Adelaide, South Australia, Nicole Romeo has played College Basketball in the US, in the Womens National Basketball League in Australia and is currently living in Spain, playing in the Euro cup.
We talked to Nicole, who despite the odds and challenges that come with being a female athlete, continues to make a career as a professional basketball player.
What does an average week look like for you?
For the most part my weeks are quite repetitive. We train twice a day 11-1.30 and 5-7.30. Mornings sessions are on court and the afternoon is a mix between lifting weights and agility/cardio sessions – with plenty of coffee in between! At the moment I’m playing in two different leagues (Lliga Femenina and Euro cup) meaning some weeks we travel more than others, so the training load is less but recovery becomes more essential.
What is it really like to move overseas for your career?
It’s so many things! It’s exciting; there’s always a new adventure, new culture and new people to meet. It can be intimidating because you’re leaving a lot of home comforts behind like your family and friends. You can question your decision, like what if the job isn’t the right fit or you don’t perform at a high enough level. You would think being surrounded by people all day, every day you wouldn’t get lonely, but it can be quite the opposite. But I get paid to travel the world and do what I love, which I will never take for granted. I have built some of the most amazing friendships with people all around the world from different backgrounds; that’s something I consider priceless.
How are you able to continue to do what you do?
Passion – I love the game!
Dedication- I can’t be a professional athlete unless I keep myself in the best physical shape possible. I control what I put into my body, seek medical attention like physio, chiropractor, massage and accupuncture and make sure I get enough sleep and recovery to perform at my best. I think the most important thing is mental toughness. You are in a forever changing environment, which means you have to be highly adaptable. Your life really functions in 6-8 month segments in line with the basketball seasons and the months in between, sometimes you have no one idea what your next step is.
It’s not a secret that there’s a considerable gender pay gap when it comes to trying to be a professional athlete. As females we face a lot more adversity trying to have a balance between life and maintaining a professional sporting career. Particularly in Australia where basketball is a semi- professional sport a lot of the athletes have full time jobs to support themselves whilst playing. If we were paid adequately things would be alot different.
What do you do in your months off from the professional seasons?
Romeo Basketball is a small business that I happened to fall into. I started training a couple of kids in the mornings and it quickly escalated within the year to training hundreds across Melbourne. The connection I made with each individual athlete in their willingness to learn, to get better and just their pure love for the game is basically how Romeo Basketball came to life.
I now have specialist programs running throughout various schools, academies and camps across Melbourne covering all facets of basketball, designed to improve skills and maximize enjoyment. It’s key objective is to motivate and inspire healthy and active lifestyle whilst providing a platform for social development and inclusion.
The best part of my job is when I have taught the athlete something new or given them a challenge that they may have never seen before or a skill they have yet to master. They come back to me a week later so excited to show me what they can do or how successfully they have applied what I’ve taught them. I find it so rewarding the fact that I have motivated that individual enough to go away in their own time, to better themselves.
Who inspires you?
I’m inspired by strong, independent, open minded people. I like to surround myself with people who are driven, know what they want and are able show empathy and kindness.
What are you currently working on?
I’m taking classes in Spanish. I’ve played in Spain for the past 3 seasons and have come to the realization that it’s time to expand past the barriers of just being able to say Hola and order myself a coffee!
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?
Know your value.
There’s a time in everyone’s life when you experience failure or told you’re not good enough at something. I’m a strong believer in feeling, observing, growing and learning in the pain and disappointments, but I hold greater importance in protecting my value and never losing sight of it.
Has there ever been a time when you thought about giving it all up?
No. I think if you’re passionate about what you’re doing, you make it work. Even when there are setbacks and all you can think about is quitting, you just physically and mentally can’t, because your passion overrides it. Here I am at 5’6 and have been playing basketball professionally for the past ten years and I still have to show photographic evidence to complete strangers to prove basketball is really my job.
What does 2018 hold in store for you?
Professionally, I’d love to win a European championship. I’m hoping to expand Romeo Basketball into more schools and academies across Melbourne so I’m working really hard towards that. On a personal level, I’d like to finish my season strong and of course just to be happy and healthy!
CANVAST HOT MINUTE
What would you be doing if you weren’t playing basketball?
Working with kids and having a shit load more time to indulge myself in coffee and smashed avo dates
A day of training?
Weights, on court training, shooting, film (scout), coffee and more coffee
Favourite work-out track?
Beyoncé never disappoints
Apple Pie- can never turn it down
Want to learn?
Sport you watch?
Pretty much everything other than sports that go for excessive periods of time like cricket, golf and car racing.