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changing perspective

To keep… or to toss?

That’s the REAL question.

My husband and I sat down at the kitchen bar and went over EVERY little thing we could think of that we spend money on. Having these kinds of real discussions regarding your finances is a vulnerable and wonderful time! It’s hard ya know? Finances are very personal and they weigh differently to men and women. What I value and want to see happen financially is not always what my husband wants. Finding that common ground is SO important!

Our list of random things we spend money on went like this:

Gym membership

Netflix

Hulu

Apple Music

Amazon Prime

Sam’s

Dish Network

bills

Let’s start with the gym. It is ONLY $22 bucks a month. And we have NOT been in 3 months. {FACE PALM}

We had the discussion of what to do with it. It’s very inexpensive but we are NOT using it… yet we both WANT to. It is hard for us to find the time between our busy schedules, my husband traveling a large portion of the time, having a child who isn’t old enough to be IN the gym, and let’s not forget having the TRUE motivation to go work out. We talked at length and decided to keep it until February. If we haven’t used it at least twice a week (on a GOOD average) then it’s gone. If we start using it like we desire to–then it stays.

Netflix. We can’t get rid of that! That was a pretty quick conversation. However, we DID make a change. Our bill is going up in January to $13.99 a month. I looked at the plans and we are currently on the 4 screens at a time/ability to download on 4 devices plan. We lowered it to the 2 screen plan for $10.99 a month. The ONLY time we ever need more than 2 devices is when we go on trips…which happens often. On an airplane we will each have our phones watching a downloaded tv show/movie from Netflix. That cannot happen on this new plan. However- Netflix is AWESOME in the fact that you can change your plan at any time and just pay the prorated difference. For now, this plan works. “But is is JUST 3.00 a month you saved.” You are correct. But that’s 3 dollars that WE get to keep. That’s a redbox movie and a 20 oz Dr Pepper to split. That’s a date night. And THAT is worth it.

Hulu. It’s going “Bye-Bye-BYE” as Justin Timberlake would say. {Well-now you know my age bracket!} For $7.99 a month we can get 99% of the same shows that are either on Dish or are on Netflix. My daughter will NOT be happy because she loves her some Cake Wars on Hulu… but I bet you anything we can find some of those episodes on Youtube. #THATISFREE

Apple Music. My husband doesn’t have an iPhone {which drives me crazy} so this one was up to me. I use my Apple Music every single day of the week! It is $14.99 a month and I DEFINITELY get my moneys worth… but I set that to cancel at my next payment date. I have used Pandora a lot this holiday season and though I cannot be AS selective with the music, it really is okay. I’m a big girl. I can do this. I think. I hope. I pray.

Amazon Prime. My number is up with them. They discovered [through their detective ways] that I am no longer a student. I purchased Prime last year as a student so it was half price. Starting in January it will go up to $99 a year. That’s not bad-right? But we don’t use the Prime Video often at all as most of the content can be found on Netflix or tv, and due to our cutting back on spending we really don’t have a lot to order this year. We got our moneys worth last year and ordered some large items, but I don’t see us doing that again this year so— buh bye!

Sam’s Club. I need to verify but I believe we have a membership through March. I jokingly {not so jokingly} told my husband that before our membership runs out we are going to stock up on some TP and paper towels! That is all I REALLY buy there! I mean if I am there I will be a gigantic bag of almonds because they are cheaper than Kroger, but overall, I don’t buy much there. I have found that for a family of 3, we can’t eat the yogurts before they expire, and I can’t eat all those bananas! I hate bananas… but I buy them because they are healthy. {yuck} So all in all, we might spend a LITTLE more on TP and other paper goods but not enough to cover the membership. I never buy gas there even though it’s a little cheaper because it is out of my way. So– there goes another savings of (I think) around $100!

Dish Network. Every month I pay for a TV service provider so that I can watch something I’ve either already seen or own the DVD of. {FACE PALM} It’s so true! We watch 20/20, Dateline, This is Us, Teen Mom [hey- this is a judgement free zone] and reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond. We pay a significant amount for that and even though my husband recently got them to lower the bill by $40 bucks, we pay over $80 each month! So here is the plan- I called to find out when our contract is up. Valentines Day. I confirmed this… we will cancel on that day and 30 days later we can come back as “new customers” and receive the same equipment and channels for 1/3 of the price. Basically this means that in January we will be doing the Whole 30 plus fasting social media for 21 days with our church, and then turn right around and have no cable for 30 days. Sounds like a stellar start to the New Year, huh?!

It comes down to your priorities. Maybe you have those perfectly in line. Or maybe you need to reevaluate them. I know that for US, this year is about paying off as much debt as humanly possible. If that means not having Apple Music and Dish for 30 days (And who knows? Maybe we will end up 6 months and just get it back in time for football season?), then those are sacrifices we are willing to make in order to reach our GOAL!

What is your goal? Figure that out NOW! Maybe it is to pay off one credit card and move right along. Maybe you can’t sleep at night for fear that you won’t be able to pay your bills. Whatever your situation is, decide what your GOAL is. Once you have prayed/meditated over that goal and decided this for SURE what you want… NOTHING will stand in your way!

Thanks for reading.

For now,

Cara Roxanne

I am on a BREAK!

Ya’ll this stinks!

I am on a spending break until July 1st. And guess WHO of all people demanded I do this?????????

ME!

I read a book called “The Year Without a Purchase” (you can read about that here.) and it got me to doing some thinking. Obviously the book was a TAD extreme (or it wouldn’t have made it into a book), but the premise was quite simple. I take that back. The premise was EXTREME but the PURPOSE was simple: Cut down on consumerism. I would read a chapter, then take notes, and then express my thoughts and give a play-by play of that chapter to my husband. We both agreed it was a bit much but I love financial books {Takes all kinds… don’t judge} and was curious about it.

While the hubs and I were talking we both came to the same conclusion that we didn’t really NEED anything. We went through a list of what we expected this year to look and what we would need for it. Last year we bought a new tv, new luggage, tons of clothes, new coffee pot–the list goes on for ages. But all of this rambling between us made ME realize that I really don’t NEED anything. {My wants though–awww… my wants}.

I vowed to go on a spending hiatus for 30 days without telling a soul. I mean I could have blogged about it right then but I wanted to see if I could actually do it before I put it out there. It’s February 2nd now, and I haven’t bought a thing that wasn’t on my list.

Here’s my spectacular list of things I can buy:

anything consumable (food, drinks, cleaning products, TP, paper towels… you get the idea)

contacts (I can’t see  how much money I am saving if I cannot see)

School supplies (that’s a given–i’m in school)

Gifts (for others… not for me)

This was supposed to be 30 days, and I MADE it. And not only did I make it, but I can see a difference in ME. {and my wallet}

First of all, I feel a difference because I am proud of myself. I know it may seem dumb, but as the girl who has free time so I stroll through the mall and can ALWAYS find a bargain, this is huge for me. My spending is by no means out of control. I buy everything on sale,  I stop and think (sometimes for days) about nearly every purchase, and I look for THE BEST deal. But at the end of the day, 99% of the time I am buying things that I DO. NOT.NEED! I have more clothes than can fit in my closet. I have more shoes than can fit on the shelves. I have more purses than the man selling them out of his trunk in NYC. I NEED nothing. But I GET consumed thinking that I do.  Whether it is because it’s super cute, or because a friend has one, or out of boredom, I am the QUEEN of convincing myself I need something that I don’t.

Second of all, my focus IS shifting. I used to hop on Instagram and spend way too much time looking at the boutiques I follow and oohing and awwing over their new merchandise. I still see it, and sometimes I click on it to see it better, but clothes (purses, jewelry, etc) are not impressing me like they used to. And this is only after 30 days! Woot!

This isn’t for everyone and I get that. We have more disposable income than we have had in our 7 years together. {Praise the Lord for turning our situation around} This isn’t about saving money (while it DOES save money if you don’t spend it-duh), this is about me not being consumed by things which I do not need.

You may think i’m crazy and I’m okay with that. I think my husband kind of does too. He thinks this is silly and that when i’m bored it’s totally fine for me to walk around TJMAXX…and he’s right. It IS fine. But for me right now I am trying to gain a new perspective and look at things differently. I’ve never really said NO to much that I wanted to buy. I rarely talk myself out of something– if it is within reason, and the purchase will not effect our ability to survive, then I buy it. I want to change that.

Here’s to positive change!

For now,

Roxy

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