OFB + Self-Employment Update

Sally 3

We’re only 12 days into 2016, and we can already tell it’s going to be an interesting year. We launched our business Letterfolk at the end of October, and life hasn’t slowed down since. We still haven’t even had a chance to get to our New Year’s resolutions! Isn’t the whole point to start them on January 1st? But no, we refuse to believe that. And we actually do have several resolutions, financial and otherwise, that we’ve talked about, but we just haven’t gotten them down on paper yet. So that’s still to come!

In the meantime, we wanted to give a little update on self-employment, life, and where OFB fits into that mix.


So first, self-employment! Whew, it’s a lot of work! It’s definitely more work and stress than we imagined it would be. On the flip side, it’s been really fun to watch our business grow and receive such a great response. We’re doing all we can to manage it all, which has meant hiring some part-time help and looking into warehouse space for our little biz. Even still, we’ve been kind of surprised by how steep the learning curve is for starting your own business. There’s just so much to balance and so much to look into to make sure you’ve got your you-know-what together. Johnny’s in almost-daily communication with our accountant, and we’re just trying hard to run a business that would make us happy if we were our own customers.

The days kind of blur into each other, and most weeks we’re averaging 4-6 hours of sleep per night. And then there’s the crazy rush nights when we restock where we’re up until 3 or 4am, which leads to major caffeine binging. Right before Christmas, we were getting so little sleep that I kept falling asleep during the day as we packaged stuff. And at night sometimes I’ll be talking to Johnny as we’re both sitting on the couch on our computers, and he’ll just suddenly be asleep. It’s kind of funny in an unbelievable way. In short, we’re working hard right now. And we really wouldn’t have it any other way. We love looking forward to Mondays, we love calling the shots, and we love that we’re doing it together. And if being tired is the price we have to pay right now, so be it.


With two young kids, there’s never a dull moment. I remember hearing people with multiple kids talk about how they never got an uninterrupted night’s sleep, and I’d inwardly scoff and think, “Well, when I’m a parent, that will never happen.” Well, it’s happened! And it’s still happening! Winnie just finished cutting her first tooth, which meant she was waking up several times a night for over a week. And before that both girls had terrible colds that had them coughing for two weeks straight. And before that Sally was really into waking up at 1:00 a.m. for a bathroom break. Last night was the best night I’ve had in a while, and I still woke up once at 4:30 because Winnie wanted an early morning snack. So nighttime is rough! During the day, both girls are watched about 10 hours per week, and we try to fill the rest of the time with at least one of us giving them our undivided attention. Sally recently turned three, and she’s really into playing pretend, especially reenacting Christmas morning dozens of times a day. Winnie is standing up, holding onto furniture and is even beginning to take a few steps while holding on. Between keeping our girls fed, clothed, and well-loved, we’ve definitely got our hands full in that department.


And finally, OFB! We plan to continue posting regularly and getting in a good groove this year that works with our schedule. We’ve talked about where OFB fits in or whether we have time for OFB right now. And while our time is limited, we can’t imagine a life without OFB. And, let’s be honest, it’s a great way to keep us on track financially and hold us to our financial goals, especially now that our income is so unpredictable with our business. So for mostly selfish reasons, we’re gonna continue to update and post helpful financial information on here. And hopefully we can finally get around to figuring out our resolutions (financial and otherwise) for 2016 and share those.

So that’s us 12 days into 2016. How are the first few weeks of 2016 looking for you?

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  • Reply Money Beagle January 12, 2016 at 11:30 am

    Sounds like a lot going on but sounds like you’re really enjoying it. Don’t let yourself get burned out. Take a break now and then. Even if you don’t think you can, trust me, you can make it work and you need to.

  • Reply Holly January 12, 2016 at 11:46 am

    Whew, I’m glad you will still be posting here! I totally get if it won’t be as often, but what would I do without you guys?! My husband and I have paid off some debts last year by selling our new vehicle and buying a “junker”, but this year is the year that we really pinch pennies and get that other car payment done and some student loans paid off… in other words… I need your inspiration and motivation! And your boards totally make me drool… but you know… I’m pinching pennies… so maybe next year I’ll get to buy one! 🙂

  • Reply Cat@BudgetBlonde January 13, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    That sounds crazy and fun! Life is good for us right now. We will be having a lot of changes this year as we find out where my hubby is placed now that med school is pretty much done. We don’t know where we are moving yet, but we’re excited to find out!

  • Reply Sandi January 16, 2016 at 6:32 pm

    Hi, I’m just wondering what you do about expenses where you expect to be paid back by someone, for instance, you pick up some groceries for your sister or something. Is there an app where you can make that note and then mark it off when you get paid? That has been my main concern against using a budget app.

    • Reply Kenzie January 19, 2016 at 11:50 am

      I know this wasn’t directed towards me but –

      I use a spreadsheet and Ill put the expense in as normal, with a comment that it was sisters groceries/business expense/whatever. When (if) I get paid back for it I’ll subtract the reimbursement out. That way if there is some difference (groceries were $25 but sis only threw me a $20) I’ll still be tracking my expenses properly.

      For what its worth, I use Gmail and keep the spreadsheet as a Google spreadsheet on Google Drive. Then went and downloaded the Google Sheets app onto my phone, this way I have an “app” that works the way I want it to.

    • Reply Jordan January 25, 2016 at 12:48 pm

      I agree with Kenzie. I think you just need to put it down as a regular expense and then if you get paid back you can just add whatever money you get back to your grocery fund or whatever fund you took the money from in the first place. I use an app on the iphone called everydollar. You can check out this link for a little more info if you like.

  • Reply Michelle January 20, 2016 at 8:44 am

    WoW! I got tired just by reading your post. You can tell how exciting and intense everything is. You’re right, the learning curve is pretty intense I wasn’t prepared for how intense it would be the first year. Now I’m starting the second year and hoping to balance things out. By the way-do you take naps? And, am obsessed with your new business. It’s awesome and I will be placing an order sometime this year.

  • Reply Melanie January 20, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    Congrats on how busy and awesome everything is going! We are all cheering for you guys! 🙂
    It’s now 20 days into January–I’m definitely excited to hear your resolutions! My main resolution has been to cut down on restaurant eating and I’ve been doing great! I started towards the end of December a little bit before Christmas and at one point went 16 days without take out or a restaurant-tough but awesome! It’s been great having the bf on board with me which has led to us cooking together and supporting one another! He’s even doing his first budgeting ever and it’s re-inspiring me to hear his enthusiasm and weekly wins. So, we’ll see how the next 11 days of January go and see how the budget works out in the end! 🙂

  • Reply Ellen January 25, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    Come back! I miss reading your posts! 🙂
    Very proud of you all and your new business venture!

    • Reply Kacy January 26, 2016 at 9:24 am

      I miss your post please come back! 🙂

  • Reply Suzanne January 26, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    Me too! Hurry back 🙂

  • Reply Darren Foster January 26, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    Congrats on the new business, your letter boards look amazing. It sounds like hard work but you know that as with any business you get back what you put in. I’m sure you will get a lot back from it. Do you ship your letter boards over seas, maybe to the UK? They look really good. I think i want one 🙂

  • Reply Dollar-Adam February 10, 2016 at 4:23 am

    Of which appears nuts along with exciting! Life will work for us all right this moment. We’ll be possessing a lot of modifications in 2010 as we discover wherever my hubby is defined now that Mediterranean school is usually essentially carried out. Many of us don’t recognize wherever we have been going however, yet we’re thrilled to find out!

  • Reply Lydia February 15, 2016 at 8:41 pm

    Phew! I felt exhausted just reading that! haha I feel like these seasons of life go by so quickly but while you are in it, it doesn’t feel like that! Good for you guys though to be sticking to your guns and working hard on the things you love, family and self-employment included!

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