Search

roxyrambles.com

Faith, Family, Finances, Funnies, and Flarps

Tag

living on cash

Debt Free Progress!

Drum roll please!

We have paid off $6372 of our debt in the past 7 weeks!!!!

I’m so encouraged and motivated!!! It REALLY is happening, y’all! We have taken anything extra we had, cut back on our “fun” money while still enjoying life, and have used our gazelle like intensity to pay off our debt.

Dave Ramsey says to get MAD at your debt. That’s where we are. MAD. ANGRY! We have made some stupid decisions that took minutes to do and will now spend YEARS undoing them… but we are doing it. Step by step. Pay check by paycheck. Dime by dime.

By cutting back, sticking to our budget, and planning AHEAD we have managed to make a huge dent in our debt. BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT EVER!

debt free

Stay tuned! Thanks for reading 🙂

For now,

Cara Roxanne

 

 

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

Going through the Big D…

And I don’t mean Dallas. Or Divorce.

DEBT!!!!!!

Debt will drown you, suffocate you, beat you up, ruin your marriage, wreck your life, and cause discontentment like you have NEVER known before.

Debt will KILL you…emotionally, physically and financially.

Okay so you think i’m being intense? I get that… maybe the WOW factor will work for me like it does for Dave Ramsey? Nah… i’m being extreme. But Debt… guys, it has GOT to go.

The day we looked at our debt.

debt

So I mentioned before that in a long car ride my husband and I had a true/intense conversation about debt. We were listening to Dave’s podcast and discussing topics he was covering that day. We decided that we were FINALLY on the same page and wanted to do something about our debt. Here’s the thing… like many people in the world, our debt doesn’t really effect us. Together we make a comfortable living and having a few credit cards, car payments, and student loan debt is not something that keeps us up at night. {All the praise to HIM for He has blessed us beyond what we deserve.}

That being said… we decided a year ago to become faithful tithers. We have been tithers before but somehow along the way we slacked. I’d forget to bring the checkbook, promise to double up next month, and just forget. Then I felt like I couldn’t pay off my debt to God so I kinda felt defeated and didn’t want to tithe anymore. We decided in our spiritual lives and walks with the Lord that we wanted to get back to tithing. So we made that a goal this year. It’s been wonderful! I can honestly say that I have not missed the money we are tithing on. When I stop and LOOK at my budget I recognize that a large chunk of our money goes to the church… but when it comes down to it, we aren’t missing it. And praise the Lord for that! He has allowed us extra income when we needed it and He has been faithful to us as we are attempting to be faithful to Him.

My point… while our debt doesn’t keep us from living life, through the process of tithing and wanting to be Godly with our money, I began getting convicted about our debt. This topic came up during the long car ride {i’m such a baby… it’s only 4 hours but WAHHHH! I hate that drive} we began talking seriously about working on our debt. So we started!

We wrote down ALL of our debt. House, cars, student loans, credit card, furniture card…anything we could think of! That was scary! To see the bottom line of how much we OWE people was scary. Sure, we can pay our monthly bills but I don’t want to OWE anyone anything! In reality, it is partially a way of life (Don’t scream at me DAVE RAMSEY!) We couldn’t have bought a home and paid cash for it. We couldn’t have paid cash for our vehicles. For us at least, having some debt was “normal.” But like Dave says… having debt IS normal… BE WEIRD! I want to be weird. Weirder than the day is LONG!

Back to it:

Write down all of your debts.

Write down the minimum payments

Start from the smallest to the largest ignoring interest rates

Go to town!

We were fortunate to get a nice Christmas ($$) present from my parents. They may or may not be happy to know that we used that to pay off small bills. I had a TJ MAXX card that carried a small balance (Why not– for every $100 I spend I get $10 gift cards!… gosh i’m dumb) I had a Victoria’s Secret card that carried a fairly small balance (But I get a free pair of panties every month when I spend $10) and so on… we were faithfully making payments each month to two medical related events and we paid those off as well. Oh and Verizon [don’t get me started on how we ALL pay full price for our phones and they screw up before they are paid off]. We paid off that as well.

We took that Christmas gift and paid off 5 creditors!!!!!! So now…

I take the minimum payments from each of those and pour those over into the next creditor. It looks like this:

VS- $27 monthly

TJ- $35

Doc 1- $50

Doc 2- $50

Cell phone: $42

So now I have $204 dollars “extra” each month to pay on the next creditor. That creditors minimum payment is $116. Now I pay them $320 a month which means I am more than doubling up each month. That is how the snowball is created. This month we will pay that creditor off and then take $320 to roll over in the next creditor which has a minimum payment of $111. Once we reach the point of working on this one we will have $431 to pay each month… that’s how you get it done!

I will say that ANYTHING extra we have received this month (husbands bonus from work, sold a few things on eBay) we have applied to our debt snowball. What’s so crazy is that with each thing we have paid off up snowball has grown but so has our momentum!! I guess that’s the point Dave Ramsey has been making for years. Sure-you could start paying off debt by looking at the highest interest rate but by attacking the big ones first, but it is the momentum that keeps us going! We are celebrating with each payment and enthusiastically checking the balances of our debt and our accounts to see if there is something left over for us to use toward debt.

If you are JUST beginning to even think about changing financial habits let me tell you that as corny and crazy as this all sounds– it’s kinda been fun! I am constantly looking for ways to shave off money in my grocery budget. I’m finding things to do around the house to avoid taking a quick trip somewhere. (I want there to be money left in my gas envelope so I can go to Starbucks!!) It’s kind of a game, and it’s a challenging one.

I am consistently reading financial blogs and making notes of things to try. Maybe that’s how my blog can be for you. Take what works for you and throw the rest away!

We still have our things that we will NOT give up. I’ll write about those later. But I say that to encourage you. If you are thinking that getting out of debt and living on a budget means you NEVER have any fun– I want you to know that you are WRONG! I want you to hear someone who is living it tell you that I still have fun! We went to the movies Friday night with some friends and had a blast. And we had popcorn and coke too 🙂 I’m not giving up every single thing in life that I love in order to get out of debt. But I AM willing to make true sacrifices NOW so that I won’t have to LATER.

Thanks for reading.

For now,

Cara Roxanne

 

CA$H

Living on cash is not always easy.

I wish I could say that it was but sometimes it requires a lot of discipline.

I am SUPER forgetful.

I will make my grocery list, have my coupons organized, have my list organized by aisles and sections of the store… I will do my best to stay within my budget and I will straight up let the cashier ring it all up only to realize I left my cash at HOME! This WILL happen.

Living on cash for us means just that–we only spend cash. Now I will say that the scenario above has happened… and I swiped my debit card. {OH THE HORROR!!!!} I also came home, got the cash I MEANT to take with me and went straight to the bank and deposited it. That wasn’t a “Freebie”… I had to replace what I had just used.

We use cash for the following things:

Groceries

Gas

Fun

Extras

Clothes

Each pay period a set amount of money goes into each envelope.

“What happens if there is money left over?” You decide.

Our plan is to keep the extra money in the envelopes and not use it somewhere else. For example, I put $100 dollars aside each month for clothes. I don’t spend that each month. That will often pile up because we may not need anything. But when it is TIME to need something there is money to spend. I rarely have extra money in groceries left over.. and occasionally I have borrowed from the gas envelope to pay for a quick trip to Kroger. That’s okay! {for us anyway} The bottom line is that this is the cash we have and if we choose to spend the clothes envelope to go out to eat and to the money we CAN… but can’t buy clothes that month.

SPENDING CASH MAKES A DIFFERENCE.

cash

I don’t know why, but it does. I don’t think of myself as an over-spender by any means but even for me I spend less when I use cash. Even if I had a pre-paid debit card with money on it, I would spend more by swiping. {Can someone explain that to me??} Cash makes a HUGE difference for us.

We have income coming in each week. Fortunately we are on opposite pay days but it that happens to mean we get paid each Friday. So after I pay my bills each Friday I then go withdraw the set amount of cash designated for that week. And then it goes straight into the envelopes.

EXTRAS

Dave Ramsey will tell you to plan for emergencies by having $1000 saved up. DO THAT! Do it now–today–this week!! But the point of that is to recognize that things WILL happen. So our EXTRAS envelope helps with that. We have our $1000 in savings for the emergency fund but I also recognize that things happen we can’t/haven’t budgeted for. In my budget binder I have a sheet titled “Things to plan for that we can’t really plan for”. {I am so creative–riiiighttt?} My list has things on it like: oil changes, air conditioner vent things (legit how I have it listed), light bulbs, birthdays, essential oils, hang-outs.

I do NOT want an envelope for light bulbs. And I don’t want one for things like propane tank for the grill. So I summed it up and called it EXTRAS. Extra stuff WILL come up. You will have planned perfectly and bought your groceries, filled up your car, bought your kid a new coat, and then someone will call and invite you to dinner. Well you don’t wanna show up empty handed now do you?!?! #EXTRAS

The neighbor who is just too cute to turn down will ask you to buy popcorn for his school fundraiser. #EXTRAS

You will burn something in your oven and you MUST buy a candle. #EXTRAS { I mean- that’s never happened to ME but I’ve heard of that…}

Have you ever gotten to the end of month and realized that you don’t recall a fun night out or buying anything extravagant yet you have $18 dollars to your name? {My hand is raised… you just can’t see it} If you are TIRED of that happening then you MUST make a change!! Maybe you make really good money and so creating a budget and/or cutting back hasn’t crossed your mind? I get that! But what if you could have MORE?

hand

Maybe the cash plan isn’t for you. Just find what works. I PROMISE you that each little thing you do will have an impact on your financial health.

Thanks for reading!

For now,

Cara Roxanne

 

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑