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roxyrambles.com

Faith, Family, Finances, Funnies, and Flarps

Making progress πŸ’ͺ🏻

We have been so BUSY! With good stuff!!

Since I last posted…

*We have have paid $12k on my bonus sons student loan πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰

*We are in the middle of cash flowing summer vacations

*We have now paid over $35k since we began this journey in November!

INSERT HUGE CELEBRATION HERE

For those of you considering changing your lifestyle, or trying to pay off debt… it CAN be done! It’s crazy how “simple” it is. I put that in quotes because it is HARD work and dedication like none other but the principals are simple.

On my Instagram page (moneyonmymind02) you can follow more up to date progress. I encourage you to follow financial pages (debt free hashtags, frugal, etc) as I have found this to be a huge source of encouragement. What’s crazy though are the {dare I say} cat fights I occasionally see in regards to Dave Ramsey’s plan versus the avalanche method. In DR’s plan you pay smallest to biggest whereas the avalanche goes by highest interest rate. I’ve watched people call DR fans “cult members” and I’ve seen others bash the avalanche method for not doing it right πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

I always chime in and say it is YOUR journey! We started with the snowball plan due to having small debts that we wanted done quickly. That made sense! But then we jumped over to the avalanche method to knock out a high interest credit card. Here’s the deal- follow whichever plan you want! Mix it up! If you are intentional in your finances and are slashing through debt– who cares what plan you are on?? I’ve seen people start with automobiles and leave small debts waiting. For them it made sense to knock those out first. Who am I to judge?

Start somewhere. We took some HUGE leaps and dumped a lot of monthly bills to get going fast. Not everyone can or wants to so that! (Lemme tell ya… I don’t miss cable but I do miss my cleaning lady! 😭😭) Do what works for YOU!

We’ve made some major progress. We are working towards pre-paying (I guess you’d say) our summer trips. So this month there’s no “snowball” so to speak but we still have a plan and that is the most important part.

Anyone knew to the journey? I’d love to hear from you!

Thanks for reading!

For now,

Cara Roxanne

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This is how we date night

Date nights are crucial! πŸ’

Going on this debt free journey has forced to examine (and re-examine a billion times) our budget. Looking for ways to squeeze money out and pour into debt. BUT- we refused to be so intentional with our money that we forgot to be intentional with each other.

MoviePass.com is the way to go! (No-they aren’t paying me nor do I get any benefit from writing this). Download the app, sign up and wait for your card. Check your area for which theaters accept it. I live in small town Arkansas and there are 13 theaters within 45 miles that accept it. So don’t worry about that!!

You sign up at 9.95 a month per person. $19.90 for two people. You get a card in the mail that looks like a debit card. When you are inside the theater you check in, pick your movie and then walk up and order your ticket. The money is automatically on your card! We’ve gone to evening shows and matinees are the money is SPOT on!

Every year around November we purchase the refillable popcorn bucket. Our date nights now are $11.72. That’s a regular size drink (refillable at our theater) and the refill of popcorn.

We are movie lovers! It’s our go to date but it’s so costly we haven’t gone much lately. Now- we are BACK! If you go to one movie a month you have paid for it! But if you can go multiple times?? Whoa baby! What a deal and a fun date!

Comment with any questions. Thanks for reading!

For now,

Cara Roxanne

On to the next one

Now that Citi and I broke up (best decision ever πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚) we have moved on to the next one… my bonus sons student loan.

My husband did a Parent Plus loan which is so stupid! The interest is so high and the options for refinancing are virtually zero. So– here goes!

The goal is to have this knocked out my November! It’s a super aggressive goal but we’ve done this type thing before.

The plan of action:

*Monthly payments are automatic on the 2nd for $111.

*Pay an additional $400 every Friday.

=$1711 paid each month.

But I know what you’re thinking… that won’t get it knocked out that quick.

So here comes the “fun” part. And actually it is kinda fun! It becomes like our focus and motivation! Every extra dime goes to this loan. I’m on call? Goes to the loan. Husband gets a bonus? Goes to the loan. Spend $50 bucks less on groceries? Goes to the loan… you get the picture.

With gazelles like intensity and a hatred for our debt we go forth! πŸ’ͺπŸ»πŸ‘

It becomes difficult to stay motivated. (Written about that too many times to count) I’d much rather be throwing that much money towards a trip to Europe buutttt— not yet. But one day! πŸ™ŒπŸΌβ€οΈ

How do you stay motivated? I’d love to hear from you! For more inspiration and updates follow my Instagram page @moneyonmymind02

Thanks for reading!

For now,

Cara Roxanne

Knocking out debt πŸ’ͺ🏻

An up date from a precious post… we have now freed up over $1087 each month! πŸ™ŒπŸΌπŸ™ŒπŸΌ

Lets see a recap…

And as of yesterday– Citi and I parted ways. πŸ’πŸ»β€β™€οΈ it feels so good to cross that bad boy off the list!

So here’s the deal..

We are doing some avalanche work right now. It’s basically the opposite of Dave Ramsey’s plan. And don’t get me wrong– I am such a fam of Dave Ramsey. I listen to his podcasts every day on my way to and from work JUST for the inspiration and tips. However– when we knocked out our small debts we knew there were 2 that we wanted done quickly due to interest rates:

A Credit card that had over 24% APR and my bonus sons’s student loan at 8.6% interest rate.

So here’s the deal… we chose to get off course for a bit. It goes against the snowball method but it serves a different purpose for us. The credit card had an average of $350 in interest each month. And the student loan, well, that interest rate is ridiculous but my husband did the Parent Plus loan so we don’t really have any options on it.

Maybe you’re trying to decide between the two. Maybe you have tried both. It’s OK! The bottom line is knocking that debt out, right? Some people can get super stuck/committed to one and lose sight of the purpose.

I hope your journey is going well! Hang in there. Stay motivated and if you feel like throwing in the towel(or the hat? I dunno phrases are not my thing) reach out first! Email, instagram… I’m here to help!

Thanks for reading!

For now,

CaraRoxanne

One of the biggest ways we save money…

This will blow your mind. So you might want to sit down and prepare yourself …

Are you ready?

Ok.

WE PACK OUR LUNCH!

I know it sounds crazy and “out there” but it’s true. My whole family packs their lunch.

When we started this journey back in November we were (by we I mean HE) spending around 35-40 dollars each week on food. God love him… my husband loves food! He is constantly on the road and while he ate “cheap” he ate out (sometimes) for breakfast and lunch. That was adding up and KILLING us!! That was nearly $200 a month that I couldn’t keep track of and I wasn’t counting on. After a come to Jesus meeting regarding his eating habits he finally agreed to pack his lunch. He still gets $40 a month for food while traveling but I can honestly say he ends up with a LOT of carry-over each month.

We smoke a ham once a month. He will make sandwiches out of that (it’s cheaper than lunch meat, healthier and way better!). He packs his cooler (he eats so much!! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚) with his sandwiches, apple, banana, chips, granola bar and waters every night. I’m so proud! This was a HUGE change!!

But for us it means paying off an additional $2400 per year or paying for a trip! When you look at it THAT way it puts it into perspective. That small change has made a huge difference in our finances and probably in his health!

I have good options on hand. He won’t keep doing it if I only have peanut butter and jelly as an option πŸ˜‚ But if I continue to purchase good options he will faithfully pack that red cooler each night.

What small change can YOU make to have an impact on your finances?

Thanks for reading!

For now,

Cara Roxanne

Uninvited

Have you read this book? I’m all for anyone reading it BUT if you are a woman it’s A MUST! Download it on your kindle, get it for free from your library or send me your address and I’ll mail it to you. It is a MUST read.

Here’s the deal– I’ve spent my entire life living with that feeling of rejection. I always had my family who supported me no matter what but I often was rejected everywhere else. I assumed I would reach a magic point in my life when rejection either didn’t happen or I didn’t care. Well… I’m still waiting on that moment to arrive.

Rejection stings. Feeling “uninvited” or out of place. Or maybe you are like me and you simply struggle to find your niche. This feeling doesn’t have to overtake you! While I’ve always known that my Heavenly Father was there with/for me, I don’t think I ever meditated on the fact that HE was rejected. The feeling I have when I don’t fit in, or don’t get invited, or don’t feel like I belong… my Father felt that way. He is who I need to cling to.

I’ve always blamed it on me being a loud mouth. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ I mean, facts are facts. I’m too much for some people. I’ve spent years taking my temper and my tongue but some will always leave me out because they remember how I’ve been or know how I can be. It hurts! Especially when I know I am NOT who I once was.

Being vocal and outspoken has its perks but has so many negatives. I can’t change who I am but I can continue to work to improve on myself. I want so desperately to NEVER reject others. That’s probably not very realistic but it’s my goal. I work hard to include even when others don’t do the same.

If you feel rejected or alone PLEASE read this book. And reach out. I’m here and I’ve been there. But above all… if you feel rejected seek the One who was rejected and despised and loved anyway. I’ll never be Jesus, but I sure want to be like him.

Thanks for reading!

For now,

Cara Roxanne

This has turned into all out adventure!

I started the journey to become debt free. It’s ended up being a crazy adventure!

Through this journey so far, I have watched my husband and I “jive” like never before. We are on the same page and are communicating so much better!! πŸŽ‰β€οΈ

Crazy things have happened to me though:

1. I don’t enjoy shopping anymore.

You read that correctly. Somehow this has become who I am. Even walking in a store with a plan can be exhausting. Example: I went into Old Navy 2 weeks ago to pick up a pair of jeans for my daughter. (In the budget… btw) I also had some “fun” money in my pocket leftover. I decided to stroll through the clearance items(fav pastime) and found myself disgusted. I know, right??? What has happened to me?? I looked at some cute stuff and just kept thinking how I didn’t want any of it. I LITERALLY had money to spare and didn’t spend it. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

2. This financial lifestyle change is changed a lot more than our finances.

I am finding myself more content. I am enjoying putting together outfits from my already paid for wardrobe. I am content to drive past Starbucks and come home and make me some afternoon coffee. I’ve come to enjoy sitting outside on our paid-for outdoor living area in the afternoon with a hot tea. Somehow I’ve just learned contentment. And it happened when I least expected it. I assumed NOT being able to spend money would make me want it more!! I was wrong. ☺️

3. I don’t feel as attached to my “things” yet I appreciate them more at the same time.

I OFTEN walk around my house with 2 empty Kroger sacks. I find things to throw out. I don’t put a lot of thought into it I just throw stuff away. It seems less overwhelming than having a family meeting and asking everyone to spend hours going through stuff and throw things out. I look forward to doing this! Yet at the SAME time I am finding old things and appreciating them. I was looking for sandals the other day and ran across 2 old purses. I had forgotten about them. It was like Christmas morning! With pride I switched my purse out and was happy to carry it around!!

This journey quickly became an adventure. Perhaps I reached that magic number in the 30’s. I’ve always heard that there’s a point in your 30’s when you become YOU. I never understand that until now. This has been a WILD ride and I’m lovin’ it! ❀️

Thanks for reading!

For now,

Cara Roxanne

No spend weekends

Weekends are my triggers! Hands down. Every time!! I’m good Monday-Friday but Saturdays get me every single time!

Saturdays used to be shopping for things I don’t need, eating out breakfast-lunch-dinner with coffee and ice cream breaks in the middle. #notkidding πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Now I have to go into weekends prepared and pumped up to conquer it ✌🏼

This weekend I’m on call so that helps. I have to stay close to home and be able to run to the hospital if I’m needed. So that makes it easy in the fact that I KNOW I can’t drive to Little Rock to shop and I can’t get caught up in going to the movies. But I STILL have to plan!!

1. Take clothes to consignment shop (I earn 50% commission)

2. Smoke salmon and asparagus. Way better than going out to eat!! (Plus- no bra or pants needed! πŸ™ŒπŸΌπŸ™ŒπŸΌ)

3. Time to binge watch some Netflix/Hulu. I’m saying NO to Redbox because I already pay for this stuff!!

4. Walk downtown. Exercise without a wallet in hand.

If I don’t plan- I fail! How do you handle frugal weekends? I’d love your tips!

Thanks for reading!

For Now,

Cara Roxanne

I mean… Elvis had money!

This weekend we went to Graceland. My child has been begging (LEGIT) to go. We’ve been to Memphis so many times and have been by but we never seemed to have the time to devote to the whole tour part. So off we went this weekend! With cash in hand (errr wallet) we had a plan and a budget! Some fun facts for you!

1. You CAN follow Dave Ramsey’s steps and STILL have some fun! We have been setting money aside for a few months, looking up prices/options/etc., and knew what we could do

2. You can eat your way through Beale street and not spend a fortune! We met friends there and they have a fabulous plan on trips: eat what you want because the calories don’t count. πŸ™ŒπŸΌπŸ˜‚ We ate a small meal, walked a bit and had a dessert. Then shopped, people watched, ate again. It’s the perfect plan!! Surprisingly we never got stuffed and we did not break the bank.

3. Elvis had money. That’s a fact. It’s also a fact that he had ZERO taste!! Graceland was almost comical. I mean it was super cool, don’t get me wrong, but he had no taste!! It was interesting being there looking at “the Kings” house and thinking about how his money didn’t make his life any better. Sure he had a racquetball court and 3 TVs in a room… but that isn’t what makes us happy. Things cannot bring happiness!

It was a great trip! And worth the wait. It was like pressing refresh ya know? We spent money, ate out more than we have in months (in 29 hours πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚), and we came back feeling motivated and energized.

If you are on Babystep 2 I highly encourage you to cut yourself a break!! I don’t mean go on a shopping spree and charge $7k on crap. But I DO mean that you need a break! Go out to eat at a nice place. Look for a cheap weekend get away on Groupon. Allow yourself a little breathing room so that you can stay ON the program! Even diets give you a cheat day. Give yourself a BREAK every now and then… you deserve it.

Thank ya, thank ya very much for reading ✌🏼

For now,

Cara Roxanne

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