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financial

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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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

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

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

92 days until vacation!!!

I am in desperate need for VACATION!

This week (weeks) has been insanely busy! I am counting down the days until we head to Cancun! My daughter has the countdown going on our market board and I have one going on my phone. Like– this needs to happen SOON!

So we booked the flight and hotel back when we had no clue where our money was headed. It was like a wild teenager– just went and did whatever it wanted. πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Now that we are really keeping an eye on things we’ve had to stay intentional about this trip. Flight has been paid for but the hotel will want money upon arrival. So…

1. We have been setting aside money each week to pay at check-in. (We will use our credit card but don’t shame us! We have the money saved!!)

2. I spent time researching distances and transportation options to and from the airport to have a good estimate of what taxis will run us.

3. I’ve been setting aside my daughters allowance so that she has plenty of her spending money! (First time to Mexico and first to bargain… I anticipate a lot of shopping!!)

4. We have researched excursions and outings in the area and have a list of what those run

Bottom line– we are researching, planning and saving!! Preparation is KEY!

How do you financially plan for trips?? I’d love to hear!! Thanks for reading!

For now,

Cara Roxanne

I hate surprises

I don’t like surprises at ALL! I am a planner. Type A. Everything is mapped out. Everything has its place. Naps are penciled I’m so I don’t forget to do it. Bottom line? I hate surprises.

So imagine what these past 2 weeks have been like for a “planner”.

Husband had to get an unplanned crown… and I don’t mean the kind on your head. $687.00 after insurance.

Husband had a spot checked. $238 for a skin cancer biopsy

I had 3 fillings. $287.00

I HATE surprises– good or bad!!

Thankfully Baby Step 1 had us covered. Paid for it. Grumbled. Kept it moving

If you don’t have an emergency fund– get one!! Now! Go sell some stuff, drop cable, quit eating out and stop going by Starbucks. Do whatever you can to get that $1000 stashed away as quickly as possible. Because trust me– surprises happen. No matter how bad you hate them!

Thanks for reading!

For now,

Cara Roxanne

Some days it’s just difficult…

I was chatting with a friend yesterday who also is on her debt free journey. I find so much comfort in moments when someone else is right along with me… trying to follow the steps, make smart financial moves, and get out of this mess!

We were discussing ways to stay motivated. She suggested following hashtags (like debt free, financial peace,etc) on Instagram. I totally jump don that bandwagon and spent some time finding encouraging people to follow.

Guys (and gals)… some days it’s just plain hard! It’s hard to stay motivated. It’s hard to take hundreds of dollars every Friday (our paydays) and chunk it at debt. Some days it’s difficult to “confirm” the payments!! I often pause and think of what I could do with that money. Whether it’s $150 or $750… I could undoubtedly find something “fun” to spend that money on. And instead I have to remind myself that I’ve already had “fun” with that money. And now I am PAYING for all that fun I had. πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Sometimes I want to say forget it! Let’s go back to just paying the minimums on everything (I mean at least we were paying our bills, right?!?!) and book a flight to somewhere– anywhere!!

We have paid off over $13,000 since we began this journey just 5 months ago. It IS worth it. Sometimes I just need to vent and rediscover that motivation!

How do you keep yourself motivated? How do you push through the tough times? I’d love to hear!

Thanks for reading!

For now,

Cara Roxanne

And an additional $265

I’ve posted previously about saving over $600 a month by cutting back, literally cutting the cord, and making some phone calls.

And as you know from reading here I decided to downsize my car. Trading my car meant notifying my insurance company so that they could make the change of vehicle to my policy.

Well…

Between the car payment lowering, insurance going down, and the HUGE gas mileage difference… we have saved an addition $265 per month! πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰

$868.25 is our new monthly savings total! Talk about that debt snowball growing tremendously in just a few short months!! I am SO excited!!

Couple of things to note:

You CAN do it too! You may think you don’t have enough to cut but I assure you there are at least SOME changes you could make. Get specific with your bills and make some phone calls.

You CAN keep it up. I’ve had several emails from readers asking if I can REALLY do this long term. Here’s the deal– I can and I will! There are two reasons I can say that with confidence.

big

1. I have a “big picture” in mind. I know the purpose behind the madness. I know with every penny I pinch I am ONE step closer to obtaining this goal.

2. I allow LOTS of room for fun! Whether it’s using our “fun” money to go see a movie or spending hours walking around my favorite resale shop to find some deals… I allow the room for that! I look for bargains and I try my hardest to stretch every dime but I still get to do fun stuff! (That costs actual money) Life doesn’t feel THAT different than before except that I’m watching balances decrease. And that is a beautiful thing!

Keep going!! You can do it! πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ

Thanks for reading!

For Now,

Cara Roxanne

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