I’m Jenny. I’ve been an insurance agent, a senior marketing analyst, a freelance writer, an author, a blogger, and a secretary…among other things. I’ve been online a long time and love social media, even though I have a few accounts I should really start from scratch because they’ve become noise and clutter instead of learning and conversation.

My husband is Mr. Brickie. He has worked in warehouses and factories, as a marketing consultant, and is currently a bricklayer. We have been married fifteen years.

We were running a marketing business and the hours plus the extra hustle necessary when the economy went in the toilet in 2008-ish made us sit down and think, “What could we do differently?” After asking hundreds of people online and offline what they did for a living and if they liked what they did and what their normal day looked like it became clear that the new goal was for Mr. Brickie to drop out of marketing altogether and get hired on as a Union Bricklayer Apprentice. We knew dropping his income to an apprentice level would mean we would lose our home to foreclosure. We talked to the kids and decided we were going to do it.

Thus, a five-year plan was born.

Turns out it was a six-year plan but he made it. He’s a Union Bricklayer Journeyman with all the benefits and pay scale to go with it. He is in a union in Illinois but we live in Indiana, so he ends up working in both states. When you work in a different state you make what those bricklayers make so sometimes he makes more and sometimes he makes less. Recently, he was invited on to a team working in a steel mill with fire brick. So now he is learning how to do refractory bricklaying and it turns out he likes it. Refractory bricklaying is neat because if you work the overnight shift you make a few more dollars per hour and it’s usually a long day and anything over eight hours is time and a half….so it adds up!

We are also in the process of buying the duplex we rent an apartment in right now.

This is the beginning of a new five-year plan.

  1. Close on our duplex and become landlords.

  2. Pay off credit card debt.

  3. Pay off Mr. Brickie’s car.

  4. Pay off duplex.

  5. Be in a place where we are planning our next duplex/triplex purchase.

At the end of this next five years we will have an 18 year old, a 17 year old, and a 14 year old. That means any simple plan is going to meet with some serious resistance at some point because children are natural chaos machines. I very much tried to simplify the goals and not make them too big and too over the top. We have been using our tax returns to pay our rent for years already, so we’re used to not using that money for fun stuff.