The Beginning – 2020!

Whoever’s here reading and following along – THANK YOU! And also, hi πŸ™‚ 

If we haven’t been introduced yet, my name’s Karissa and I’m so glad you found me. Or, us, I should say. Because this blog really is about me and my family, and everything we’ll face as we work hard to eliminate the debt that we’re carrying into 2020. 

We’ve done this before. Maybe you remember?

A few years ago we paid off $43,500 in debt in just one year (our OG One Year of Simplicity), and in the wake of that success – launched an online course teaching other families how to set and slay their own financial goals. 

But like any story of success, it wouldn’t be a real story without a few setbacks and flat-out stumbles. 

We find ourselves entering 2020 with a bunch of debt that we didn’t have at this time last year. Our relocation from Virginia back to Hawaii in 2019 was the most expensive move of Geno’s career – and with four kids and three animals to get across the world, our heads were left spinning with the amount of unexpected + out of pocket expenses we had to swallow. 

I could throw all the excuses at you here but the truth of the matter is, our savings account was hit HARD and we charged a lot on credit. Now,  we want to cut it loose. 

This blog will be our story of that

If you’re still here with me, let me switch gears for a sec and share a little bit about my family! 

We live in Honolulu, Hawaii – a very beautiful, and also very expensive place to be. Geno and I met here in our early 20s when I was a student at the University of Hawaii and he was a brand new baby sailor, fresh outta bootcamp.

Sixteen years and four kids later, our family continues to serve our country with a whole lot of pride, and a mild to moderate amount of exhaustion πŸ™‚  Exhaustion for this lifestyle in general, and the emotional + financial rollercoaster that it’s been. 

We’re a submarine service family, and submarine deployments are long and silent. When your partner’s gone for extended periods of time you might end up with a majority of the family’s decisions – financial and otherwise – in your hands. 

And maybe that goes well for a while… 5, 10, 15 years because you’re good at it. But eventually, when life becomes overwhelming in general, those feelings of “man up” may give way to feelings of frustration and resentment.

At least that’s how it’s played out for us.

In a marriage, both parties should at least be keyed into the finances. It’s been difficult for us to stay consistent with sharing our roles over the years – maybe because he’s been gone so much. Or maybe because I’ve become a bit of a control freak with our money.

Probably a healthy mixture of both.

The weeks leading up to 2020 were filled with brutally honest conversations about what needs to change. It’s never easy having those conversations with your partner –– dishing out the constructive criticism and receiving it.

Once you’ve laid all your cards on the table, the real challenge for your family begins: devising a plan of action.

We’re returning to what we know works for us: our One Year of Simplicity. 12 months of hunkering down and doing whatever’s necessary to wipe the slate clean (or clean-er).

In 2020 we’ll dig through the 12-month program that has helped our family and so many others pay off their debt. We’ll revisit what’s worked for us over the years and what hasn’t, and how we can make it better. And we’ll share all of that with you right here.

Check back each week to see what’s new and exciting! You can also subscribe to our One Year of Simplicity by dropping your email into the box to the right >>> This will ensure that you’re notified every time we throw up a new post!

Thanks for being here!

love + coconuts,  


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