Search

roxyrambles.com

Faith, Family, Finances, Funnies, and Flarps

Tag

living on cash

DEBT FREE!

I have blogged, instagrammed, prayed, and blogged some more about the topic of debt. BUT I can officially announce we are DEBT free.

If you have followed this page at all, you are aware of the fact that the journey to becoming debt free was a tough one! It was full of sacrifice and hardships, tears and a ton of sweat and sleepless nights. (Okay it sounds more a prison than I meant for it too)…. but the bottom line is that it wasn’t easy. If it were easy we wouldn’t know ANYONE that had debt.

cars-paid off. credit cards-paid off. You name it-paid off. *EXCEPT THE HOUSE!!!*

Following Dave Ramsey’s steps means that during the debt snowball you pay off ALL of your debt from smallest to largest except the house. So while we have a mortgage- we are still considered to be DEBT FREE! And guys- that was not an easy 3 years. Well, more than 3 years but under 4. It was a challenge.

We gave up a LOT. We said No more times than I can count. We clipped coupons as a hobby. We sent every extra dime we had to paying off our debt and it officially paid off- PUN intended!

I LOVE all things debt free journey related so reach out with any questions or to discuss!!!

Love,

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

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

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

Making changes to your envelope system

envelopes

I am such a fan of the envelope system. The FIRST step we made in starting this Debt Free Process was to start living on cash. We had done it some in the past but never stuck with it 100%. We both agreed to jump in with both feet!

I’ve mentioned before the envelopes that we use. After I traded my car, I did not need as much in the gas envelope. My husband’s fuel is covered through his work so the envelope is only for me. I realized after a few weeks that I had a LOT of cash leftover in that envelope… BUT, we had really gotten into trying new food at home and were spending more at the store. Easy fix! But– I still took time to read on Dave Ramsey’s website to see what he would say. πŸ™‚ Once I had his permission {I know, I know} to make this change, I did it.

The cash we take out each month is still the same amount BUT it gets divided up differently. Make those changes! YOU are in control! Perhaps your family requires a TON of money for food but you live in a place where you take the bus? Or maybe you only have one vehicle. That’s OKAY!

I’ve mentioned my Love/Hate relationship with DR before… and part of the reason is that he comes across as though there is no margin for error, or change. I want to do it RIGHT and let’s face it- Dave Ramsey has this down to an art! So I was struggling with swaying from the “plan.” Make the plan your own! You know what your needs are and you HAVE to take those into full consideration on this “plan.” The PLAN will NEVER work if you aren’t on board. And it’s HARD to get in board when it seems so rigid, right?! I know I felt that way! I don’t anymore.. I have made peace with making changes. InΒ  some areas I follow his plan 150%, but in others, well, my husband and I don’t agree with them. {Mainly the emergency fund… DR says $1000 and we say we want it to be more to feel comfortable.}

Make it your own. Take each step and apply it in the BEST way to fit your NEEDS!

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

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑