Personal Update: Some BIG Changes to my life

Published on June 14, 2017 By Lauren

It has been a crazy past 4 months for me…

I won't get into all the details but there have been things that I've been unhappy with in my life, causing my to make some drastic personal changes.

I stopped taking care of myself; putting work and the kids above myself.  That left me empty, spiritually bankrupt, and disliking the person that I saw in the mirror every morning.

So – I had to make changes….BIG CHANGES

The biggest change is that Monday, Mark went back to work at his old job as an Actuary.  If you recall, 3 1/2 years ago Mark quit his job to come home and work with me, I even wrote a blog post about How Being Broke is Enough and our reason to make this decision.  He has helped me run this website for the past 3+ years which has given me some time to learn what I love about running an online business and what I hate.

Why did he go back to work you may be wondering?

First, it was not a financial reason for him to go back. We make plenty of money through this website, my book sales, Aldi Meal Plans, The Personal Finance Planner sales, my Financial Renovation course, speaking engagements, and media appearances.

It was a very personal choice for both of us.  Working together as a married couple was great at first, we loved spending so much time with each other. After 3 1/2 years of it, we were ready to spend time apart during the day.

When he quit his job we had a colicky newborn and 3 other children that needed us.  Our youngest child is now almost 4 and our oldest is almost 12.  Life has changed a lot over the past 3+ years and we were ready to have some separation during the day.

That brings me to my next big change – this website.  Don't worry, it isn't going away 🙂  Things will be changing on here as well.  First, I will be focusing more on personal updates.  One thing that I miss about this blog is the personal side. I got so wrapped up in providing you good financial content that I lost myself in it.

I was working 40-50 hours per week, growing my business and launching new products….but I was sucking at home.  My kids were in childcare every day, and I lost myself in the busyness of being a working mom.  Truth be told, it was killing me. I hated myself and my life.

I had to take a step back and for the past 3 months I haven't worked at all, Mark has been running the website.  What I found during those 3 months is that I miss being a full-time mom, I don't take care of myself AT ALL, and I don't like writing boring personal finance content.

So what should you expect moving forward from me?

You will still get great content but only once a week or so.

You will get a lot more personal content, and I may even add some couponing back into the mix.

More fun videos from me 🙂

Just for fun – here are some other big changes to my life over the past 3 months:

1.) I got a rockin' tattoo.  This was right after I got it done and it hurt SO bad! This has been something I've wanted to do for years and finally decided to just do it.  I have lived my life in fear of what others have thought of me for way too long, it is time for ME to be happy and this was one of the ways that I show it.

2.) I am not working in my office space during the summer but will be staying at home with my kids full-time instead.  I love my office, but I love my kids more and I just can't do both well anymore.

3.) I will be spending much more time with my kiddos and less time working. I plan to ship out planners at night after the kids are in bed, and write some blog posts when I feel inspired.

So – you will see me on here and on TV doing my favorite frugal living segments.

I am SO excited about the changes that I am making, they are good for me and my family!

These little people are happy too!

I love you all so much and am so thankful for you!



(PS – I know there are typos in this article, but part of my transition with this website is letting go most of the people that work for me. Including my editor. If you have a hard time reading a blog with a lot of typos, you may want to stop reading now…I am an imperfect person who does my best.)


  • Good for you! Life is full of seasons – you’re just entering a new one. I use your planner monthly and, while I have not mastered money management just yet, I have made improvements that I credit you and your ideas for! So, thank you! 🙂

  • Beautifully​ written and so inspiring, continuously. So happy for you that you made these decisions and feel so confident about your new path!

  • you will never regret this decision! They grow so fast. You have the rest of your life to work. I look forward to the more fun, personal side of the blog!

  • Lauren I have 3 little ones myself so I know how hard it can be. I myself am going through similar issues and will be making the necessary changes to be happy with my life. Because it is true we only get one life and kids grow too fast and you’ll never get those treasure moments back thank you for inspiring me and godon’t bless you and your family.

      • I keep a pretty dress hanging in my room all the time that Abby wore when she was two. She is now 21. It’s a reminder how much I loved those days, but also how fast time goes. Enjoy those precious moments.

  • So glad that you are making changes that are best for you and your family. Family comes first, and it can be hard at times, especially when you are self-employed. I look forward to the more personal side of your blog.
    Take care!

  • You have to do what’s right for you and yours. And it sounds like that is what you are doing.

    Wishing you a happy, healthy summer with your family.

  • I have folllwed your for several years now:-) partnof what I loved in the beginning was the personal side! I’m happy that will come back. But more than that, as a mom of 5, I understand and empathize! The Lord made us wives, then mommas! Spending time w our babies is so important! Prayers for you and your husband on his new journey! (Ps I LOVE my husband SO MUCH, but I can’t imagine him being home ALL DAY w me! I’d be a little nutty!!

  • So thrilled for you and that you’re making decisions to be true to yourself and take care of yourself!!! Congrats on all the new changes!

  • Yah Lauren!!! Sometimes following our heart is the hardest step to make, especially after doing something for so long that at one time was also following our heart. Does that even make sense to anyone but me? LOL
    Have you read the book, Present over Perfect by Shauna Niequist? If not, I think it’s exactly what you may be needing right now. She too did exactly what you’re doing And I think it will Bless you!
    Lori D.

  • I’ll admit that I was skipping a lot of the financial posts because it wasn’t “fun” LOL I’m excited to see the changes and am so happy for you. I’m working on getting that happiness back myself!

  • To love ourselves above all others is still something that I struggle with! We are often taught to think about others and to care for their feelings, and some of us (myself included) do this to a fault and it becomes detrimental to our own health. As I grow older I realize that my own projections of other people’s thoughts are often misleading to my own personal happiness! I hope to teach my children that they are ultimately in control of their own happiness, and it sounds like that is just what you’ve done!

  • Wow, it just got super dusty in here. I can’t tell you how thrilled this post makes me and how glad I am to hear you saying no to doing more and yes to taking care of you. Good job, mom!

  • I’ve been struggling with balancing business and new baby, and worrying that spending more time with my little one during these precious years is going to negatively impact future work goals. I wish there was more time in the day and that I could be in two places at once, but that’s not reality. Life is short and you have fill it with what makes YOU happy. I’m happy you figured out the path you’re suppose to be on!

  • Hi Lauren,
    A reset is great! Enjoy the summer with your children! I really look forward to hearing more from you and your perspective in your blog posts! Hope Mark settles into his new workplace quickly!
    Warmest regards, Nicole

  • Oh that was so wonderful, life is to short not to enjoy your kiddos, wish mine were little again….enjoy this and good luck to hubby…..

  • This is so refreshing. I was a PF blogger but gave it all up and sold everything last year. I was pregnant with my second, had no desire to make this my full time gig (but really think I could have if I tried hard enough) but I have a career I enjoy. The biggest reason I left the pf blogging realm tho was because I didn’t enjoy my own site anymore or most of the sites I was reading on a daily. They all started so nice and personal and over the 4 years I had my hand in it, transitioned to impersonal sponsored ridden websites with no voice or personality anymore. I completely understand the back end of making money and needing to promote yourself/site/courses/products and no judgement against those who do (kuddos!) but it wasn’t for me. I wanted to have fun, read about up’s and downs, actually family/personal lives and relate. I was never into blogging to sell stuff and buy expires on building my brand and I started to feel like a lone wolf. So to some it looks like I quit but the reality is that I’m not blogging anymore (and part of me really misses the voice that comes with it. I love sharing stories and connecting with people, I may look into starting again in future or seeing if someone will take me on once a week/bi week/monthly sort of thing so I can scratch that itch) but I have no regrets with leaving. Money was nice while it lasted but not stressing about pumping posts out on Sunday night is so calming. I look forward to hearing more from YOU.

  • proud to be following someone authentic who’s doing what’s best for her and her loves! all whole inspiring and helping others. happy summer Lauren!

  • I love you for this! No, really! I heard every single word you said. I’m soooo glad I took the time to read this. It made me feel better about how I’m doing with my own blog vs family life. Thx pal 🙂

  • Good you do you . Don’t worry about the rest life is too short. Don’t miss out on those kids growing up and what you want out of life

  • Lauren,
    I know I don’t know you personally , but can I just say I’m so proud of you!!! Thank you for taking care of yourself and your family first. I’m sure it wasn’t an easy decision to make, but I’m glad you are brave enough to make it!! ❤️

  • Good for you! I hope achieve the riches that are the most important, love and quality time with your husband and kids! I’ll be honest, I haven’t checked in on your blog in a while, I checked in everyday when you were “That Lady” with the coupon posts and family stories. Have a Happy Day…Everyday!

  • Good for you!!! As has been said above multiple times, they really do grow up so fast. I live in an area where it is really hard to get a job that makes it possible to get home around the time the kids get home from school. I finally did find a great job that allows me to do that but of course, it doesn’t pay as well as the jobs you’re forced to work 50+ hours, or work evenings, or weekends, or take call. The meal plans, couponing, budgets, and other advice you’ve given have really helped to make that transition possible. Thank you so much.

  • Thank you for sharing. It is easy to get wrapped up in our work and not spend enough time with those we love. A great reminder for all is us.

  • Hi Lauren,
    Thank you for all that you have previously shared. I have recently started my own blog, and I have to tell you, that even though I have not made any money on it, I have already felt the stress it can potentially have on the thing I love doing the most…taking care of my family and my home. I certainly don’t want to throw in the towel on my blog just yet, since it was almost a year in the making, but I can certainly feel that it starts to creep into every aspect of my life, when I am trying to fall asleep at night, when I am out with friends or the worst, when I am spending time with my family, I find my mind wandering to my business instead of being present in that moment. I am glad to be reassured of what I have thought all along, that sometimes…you can’t have it all.

  • You (and your husband) put in the time, so hopefully this will make the transition to a new chapter easier. God bless you as you seek a more balanced life for your family. Looking forward to hearing from you this fall!

  • love you to the moon and back!!!!love everything about you! the success I have made has been amazing and finding you was a blessing. I referred others, many new parents etc. you guys rock!!!!!

  • I have followed your blog for 3+ years and you have been such an inspiration to me. Life is too short to be unhappy so good for you for choosing happy!

  • I have been using my personal finance planner. I have paid off a few bills,too. I’m happy for you and your family. I completely understand because family is important and even though people always use the term work life balance that simply does not exist. You enjoy yourself and time with family. Live, Love and Relax.

  • Hi, Lauren! As a “newly-retired” stay-at-home-mom, I can vouch for the joy of never regretting one moment spent with your children. I could have done so many things better in my parenting, but I’m so grateful that the Lord chose me to be my kids’ mom and gave to me the privilege of enjoying them all these years. Your sweet children “will rise up and call (you) blessed; (your) husband also, and he praises (you): “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”
    ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭31:28-29‬ ‭NIV‬‬

  • I’m beaming with happiness for you! You are making the right choice. Staying home with your kids is hard sometimes but you don’t miss much! Good for you putting your family, but mostly yourself, first!!

  • I am admired by the fact that you put up with your husband at home for that long. I love my man deeply, but away time at work is a great time for both of us to just appreciate what we have. Well done to both of you for making that choice to help your family and marriage.
    While my boys were young I worked at home and loved it. However, now they have grown, my life is also going through some changes, I can finally think about me. In fact, my husband is also thinking of himself for a change and not just what’s best for all of us.
    Never feel guilty about your choices in life. And never listen to negative talk aimed at your decisions. Only you and your family know what is best.
    Enjoy life!

  • Hi Lauren. Just found you. Glad your home with your kids. Nothing in life is more valuable than being home with your kids. Seeing the milestones they hit. Being home when they get home is important. The conversations you can have are critical at different times of their lives.
    Be Blessed in all you do and I will put you on my prayer list.

  • I was inspired by your original story and how you pulled yourself together and made things work out. This is no different. I like the less professional you- typos and all, and happy your kids have their Mommy back. Used to love the podcast you and Mark used to do.

  • I am so excited for all the changes. I have been a subscriber for a while now and although I have always loved your website and newsletters I really missed your personality in your more recent posts. When I first stumbled onto your blog it was still mostly focused on frugal living and then when it started to focus more on financial planning I found I didn’t visit as much. I am so happy that you are finding yourself and focusing on those that are most important in your life. That is what is inspiring!!

  • Wow, I am absolutely beside myself. How often does a blogger lay this kinda content on the people? Never. Real life. Real person. I love your authentic self and its such a pleasure to see you. My best to you. Big Huge Hugs!

  • I wish you the very best of life, Lauren. You have worked very hard, but the kiddos grow up so fast and you want to see how well they grow up. Have fun with all that they do!

  • Good for you! As a FTWM I can relate to the push to succeed at work as well as at home. It is a hard balance, but kids are only so young for only so long, and while money is nice it cannot turn back the hands of time. I love your posts typos and all-we are all human. The typos keep you real and down to earth. Fantastic tattoo!

  • My son is going to college for actuary, I see that’s your husbands career. Hope it’s a good choice for my son. Kids now days are going to have so much student loan debt when they get out of college. Thanks for all your tips and always put God and family first and your career will follow and give you many blessings! Congrats on your changes!

  • Hey Lauren,

    Glad to hear you are putting yourself first. Just like on a plane you put your mask on first so you can help the ones you love. You seem like a great mom and wife I hope all the best for you and your family. I was an avid listener of your podcast. I love them! Do you ever think you will go back to that?
    Thanks – Britney

  • I have been a subscriber for almost 5+ years now. I applaud you for always being your true self, and sharing it with all of us. Although I am not a wife or a mom (yet), your story is still empowering because it shows me that no matter what stage of life we are in, all women have struggles–its how we handle them that shows our true character. Looking forward to the new content. God Bless 🙂

  • Good for you Lauren! You need to do what is best for you which results in what is best for your family. As for the blog, etc. we all love you and will roll with with you! Have a great summer and thank you for sharing. It is hard to be Super Mom all the time and Mom is the one who loses in the end.


    Mary Harkins

  • I was a full time working mom, like you, stressed and not taking care of myself! I was not the best I could be for all of us…..I was devasted when I lost my job as my life had been poured into it!
    A year later I’ve come to realize it was the best thing to happen to me….my children love me being around and I’m doing a job that I can work around their schedule! You only have one life….awesome tattoo girl!

  • I’m excited for you! I came to your blog long ago for the things you talk about getting back to! I love the planner though, so keep it!

  • Good for you! Your little ones only stay little for a very short time; enjoy them now before they become annoying teenagers! So happy for you and your family.

  • Props to you for doing what is in the best interest of your family. I think the personal updates are way more intriguing, typos and all! Can’t wait to see more.

  • I’m so happy to hear that you are putting family and yourself first. I like what you provide but I wouldn’t enjoy it half as much if I knew that you were suffering because of it. Stay strong and live well.

  • Awesome–will keep following whatever your schedule is! Go towards your peace and joy! (I’m originally from Binghamton now living in Missouri –have been rooting for a fellow upstater from afar!)

  • Good for you and thanks for your honesty. I attended a coupon seminar you gave years ago at the library in Syracuse. Keep honest and being the best person first and your kids will have a great Mom. We need to support each other. Who would have guessed being a parent is the hardest job you will ever do. Peace and love

  • So well said & written Lauren. Good for you, for making such a wonderful transition. You’ll remember more about the things you did with your kids, then you will about what you posted online. :o)
    Somehow, us mom’s always put ourselves last…..I’m really good at that. :o)
    Nice Tat’

  • I am making some changes myself. One of them is to start a Blog, but this has been the challenge for me as well. I have wanted to start one, but did not want to do this just to start a Blog. Anyway I have been reading a book from Russell Brunson on becoming an expert in my own mind. He talks about creating your own Blue Ocean, which means finding your expertise. I also think in the pursuit it is important to find that balance if that means changing what your blog post schedule is then I commend you in this. For me to begin with I am focusing solely on content, but also will depend on the inspiration and personal side including a bit of storytelling as well. So I commend you on standing up for what you stand for. You rock girl.

  • I’m glad you’re changing. I might even visit your blog once more. I haven’t for a year, maybe two, because the meal plan prices went up, and I was tired of the constant financial sales pitches. It was a turn-off for me, but I am glad it made you money.
    Your story reads like a cautionary tale: You started out sharing what you were doing. Then you started doing what you loved. You loved what you were doing so much, that you did it to the point where it took you away from the things you loved.
    I’m glad you’re stepping back. I think you (the plural you as well as the singular) will be much happier. Good luck, and may your life be filled with joy.

  • Love you and can’t wait to see more of what is seeing you from time to time. Very proud of you and pray that the decisions you are making are more in line with who you are. The tat is beautiful. I am trying to talk myself into one very small one and haven’t quite got there – but so very proud of you that you took the chance. Heck I did hang gliding at one time in my life – running and jumping off a cliff with something a little larger than an umbrella – yeah – WHAT? Yep me.

  • Right after I commented, I went back to my suspect email folder (that’s where your email was. Sorry). The very next blog email was from a woman who was describing her morning self-care routine. There was another link in the blog to an earlier one that I preferred, where she had a personal “power hour” in the morning to help herself. I thought of you as soon as I read it. Here are the two links:

  • I always enjoy your blog, financial or personal. Love what you do and keep up the good work. Whatever makes you happy girlfriend 🙂

  • I am so happy for you!
    My kids are 12, 14, & 17 now- I miss those early days so much now! Enjoy every second you have with them! Praying for a smooth transition for all of you !

  • Hi Lauren,

    I never leave a reply to any blogger or guru I subscribed, you are the first one!
    Glad to see your courage to decide and choose your life with warm heart.
    So happy for you and I’m looking forward to see your update 🙂

  • My husband went back to work after 2 years of “Working together” . In my industry their is a sense of “Success” if we retire our husbands to come home and work with us. But the reality it doesn’t work for us all. There is a weird stress on the wrong shoulders and not what I think God wanted.
    It’s a long and awesome God story but in a nutshell we radically changed our life by my husband going to work, me becoming a full time mom, and only working about 10 hours week, and our income has gone up considerably. I am the happiest and most fulfilled I have ever been. And he loves his work! Our family is whole again.

  • Awesome Lauren! I am so glad to hear you are putting you and your family first! I’ve been following you for several years and LOVE your Aldi meal plans:) They have been my favorite! Things certainly change as the kiddos age. Mine are 8, 6, and 2 now and life is so much different than when they were tinier. You gotta adjust! Kudos to you for being willing to be flexible. “Blessed are the flexible for they shall be bent out of shape!” LOL!

  • Great decisions, and thanks for sharing your process of making those decisions. I’ve only recently “met” you, during these 3 months, so I’m glad to be getting to know you better. Your transparency is inspiring.

    By the way, I was surprised with your “PS” about typos because I didn’t notice ANY… and I’m someone who normally DOES notice them, even when I don’t specifically look for them (like when proofreading). So I think you’ll do just fine without an editor.

  • Good for you! I am happy for you and the decisions you have made to be more present with your family! God bless you in your new journey 🙂

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