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spending habits

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

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

Biggest wastes of my money in 2017

I shouldn’t do this to myself… but in the 12 hours I spent in the car over the past week I had a lot of free time. I came up with several purchases I made that I totally regret. Care to join in? These are NO specific order.

1. Cable

I literally watch (or rather listen from a distance) about 20 minutes worth of GMA while I’m getting ready in the mornings. I hear just enough to know the latest stunt our president has pulled and catch the high temp for the day. In the evenings we watch Netflix OR reruns of “Everybody loves Raymond” or “Friends.” How ridiculous is that?? We have our shows for sure… but they ALL show up on Hulu the next day!! It’s crazy. I figured up we spent over $1500 this year on Dish Network.

2. Oil changes at the same dealership.

Thankfully I didn’t make this mistake ALL year. {this may not be the case in all states/all dealerships} My first oil change was free but they told my husband I needed a tire rotation as well. Let’s just say that rotation MORE than made up for the price of that “free” oil change. I purchased the extended warranty so I knew that keeping up with the maintenance was crucial but I also did my research and discovered as long as I can prove that I had the work done in a timely manner then it did not have to be from the dealership where I purchased. So- you see a local shop advertising oil changes for $20– go for it!! You get a coupon in the mail for $10 tire rotation- take them up on it. Just KEEP THE PAPERWORK!!!

3. Pedicures

This one is hard to admit. But I did spend a LOT of money on my toes this year. I love doing a mom/daughter date at the nail salon. And on a rare occasion I am okay with this. But I didn’t do it rarely this year– I did it OFTEN! When I began adding it up I felt sick at my stomach. I have sensed purchased a nice pumus stone to buff my own feet and have spent time looking up which essential oils can be applied to help with hard/cracked heels and toes. I can’t say I will not splurge on a pedicure in 2018 but I CAN guarantee it will not be often.

4. Monat

I had several friends selling Monat and I dove in. Why not? For some there were dramatic results. But for me, well, I have pretty good hair. I use good conditioner purchased at a discount and I allow my hair a break from heat (drying, curling, straightening) so my hair not what you call “damaged.” I spent over $180 dollars this year on the products and I cannot tell a difference. Not knocking the products at all! Just saying that for ME it was a waste. I will say this… when I realized I was not getting the results I expected {and I can’t even tell you WHAT I expected} I stopped using it daily and now use it once a week. It will last longer this way AND I feel like I’m still getting use out of it.

5. Cheap essential oils

Yes they WERE cheap, but I basically paid for things to smell good. I had a hard time spending the money (initially) for nice oils {like plant therapy, Do Terra, etc} but in turn I wasted nearly $100 this year on brands that were not true essential oils. Don’t get me wrong- it was HARD to pay for nice oils but at least I knew what I was getting!! To put it simply- if you are using a diffuser/oils to make your house smell like peppermint and that’s it– save your money and buy cheap! If you are wanting healing properties and wanted to ingest/ put on your skin, buy true oils from a trusted company! And if Young Living or DoTerra is out of your price range look up Plant Therapy. They are a trusted company who has super reasonable prices. [no one is paying me to say this!!! This is my opinion only]

And I’ll say this… I’m not throwing away my cheap oils. They can still be used to make the house smell yummy. Just this morning I used the type of candle that holds a tea light and has a place for oil/wax on top. I poured some of my cinnamon bark on the top and lit that candle. I just won’t be using those oils to add to my bath or rub on my skin. I’m working hard and not being wasteful!!

6. Organization and the tools to achieve it

I spent so much time, energy and money attempting to become organized in 2017. The problem with that is this… I didn’t need to get organized– I needed LESS stuff! All the labels, bins, tubs, calendars and compartments were (mainly) a WASTE. It didn’t hit me until the end of the year that I was never going to organize ALL THIS STUFF! I just simply needed less. Once I began my overhaul my life become easier and {surprise surprise} instantly more organized. It doesn’t take time and energy to organize less because well, there is an automatic organization that comes with less. Giving away, donating and trashing– all of which cost nothing has gotten me more organized in NO time!

Donate what will help you out with taxes! We had some furniture that we were done with. That was worth donating and getting the tax deductible form.

The mismatched socks were tossed. The worn out rags were tossed. Served no purpose-tossed!!!! That was easy!

The clothes that were in good shape were given to a friend who welcomes hand-me-downs or mailed to my sister.

The bottom line is that I quit focusing on getting organized and started working towards having LESS.

7. Subscriptions

I no longer get any magazines! Well, I say that. My mom got me a Southern Living subscription for Christmas but that was a gift. But I no longer pay for magazines or any other subscription such as Ipsy or FabFitFun. Here’s the deal… magazine articles are 99% online. I would get a magazine in the mail and then hop on Facebook and see half of the articles (the big ones) were free online. Unfortunately over half of what I got in my FabFitFun was nothing I wanted. I gave some away and the rest was stashed in my closet. It either wasn’t my color or wasn’t even my style. Sure it felt like a “bargain” in that the price was $60 per month and the value was substantially more BUT it’s not a bargain if you don’t need it!! I’ve made the best of it (re-gifted, saved for later) but that bad boy is cancelled. As far as Ipsy goes, it’s just $10 a month but a large portion of the products I didn’t care for. What I did like I have saved and even have a set of makeup places in my overnight bag just waiting on trips. But all in all it was a waste of $120 this year.

2017 was a year of growth for me. A lot happened and big changes took place. And while graduating with my Masters was a huge accomplishment, the change I’m most proud of his year is my attitude towards stuff and having a clearer view of what I want for my life. And that my friends is priceless

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

 

Don’t judge yourself

Here’s the thing… we all spend money differently. Period. Plain and simple.

I have friends who can’t live without getting their nails done on a regular basis. I know those that eat out ALL the time. There are others that choose to spend a small fortunate at the grocery store and Sam’s and find entertainment in that. No judgment here- to each his own. (that is one of my all time FAV quotes)

We spend OUR money differently. And that is A-OK. Differences make the world go ’round.

money

WE choose to spend our money in our own ways. Ways that make US happy and make sense to us.

  1. we like cars. Not fancy cars per se, but nice cars.
  2. We LOVE to travel. I would not eat out for a year to save up for a trip if I had to.

On the flip side, we save money in our own ways. We don’t have HBO or Showtime or any fancy extra add-on networks. We don’t have a home phone. We don’t buy expensive clothes. We don’t eat out that often. Those are OUR things. But that doesn’t mean someone else is doing it right?

We have 3 trips planned for this summer and I couldn’t be more excited:

  1. Washington, D.C. as a family (and we are meeting family there as well)
  2. Puerto Vallarta for me and the hubs
  3. Dallas, Tx for the Dixie Chicks concert (can I get a woot woot???)

These trips required several things. Budgeting to make sure we could afford them, using hotel points (my husband travels CONSTANTLY so 9 out of 10 times when we are in a hotel, it’s free), and spending time on Pinterest, groupon and other blog sites to find out the cheapest and best ways to go about these vacations.

It’s so easy to look at someone and think “man they are spending their money all wrong.” I’m guilty of that! I often hear people talk (or they come to me directly) and gripe about finances as they ramble on and on about how much they spend at the mall this weekend. I have learned to let it go. I can’t fix everyone and guess what– they don’t need fixing!! It’s their money to do with what they wish. I learned to let it go when someone once made a tacky comment about how much we travel. Yep-you dang straight! We LOVE to travel and that is what we CHOOSE to spend OUR money on.

Final point… don’t judge others for how they spend their money!! You may spend your money on having a ski boat and a jet ski. They may spend their money on clothes and handbags, and others just wanna save all their money. Don’t judge. Just keep your finances in order with what works for YOU and let everyone else just do their thang!

For Now,

Roxy

But I “can’t” do that

This was what I said EVERY.SINGLE.TIME I read a blog about saving money, making money, paying off debt, etc. I would read these blogs about “How we paid off $40k in 30 minutes”. (Okay, not 30 minutes, but it was so some stupid-ly short amount of time.) The bloggers tips were like sell your rental property (which we own none of), cash in your 401k (which we aren’t going to do), get rid of your boat (we don’t have a boat), sell or rent out your timeshare (and we don’t have that either.) It honestly felt more DIScouraging to read these types of blogs than it did encouraging. To be fair, some posts were encouraging and gave me frugal ideas to stretch my budget, so reading them wasn’t completely in vain. But overall, I just felt like we didn’t have the resources to do what these people did.

money

I start with that story to say this… you HAVE to make it your own. Simon Cowell would boot people off of American Idol back in the day because they sang the song just like it’s original performer. They never made it “their own” and in turn, they got the boot. That’s my point. Take ideas you read from blogs, on pinterest, in Dave Ramsey (I so love/hate that man) books and flip them to make sense for YOU!

The goal in therapy (i’m in school to be a therapist in case you didn’t read my About Me–shame on you) is to help the client come up with solutions for their problems and tools to help themselves. It’s not my goal as a {one day} therapist to say do this or that. It’s to give the client tools and let them figure it out on their own. (clarify– this is of COURSE to an extent and not someone that is in imminent harm/danger to themselves or anyone else.)

My advice– if you are looking for financial freedom, KEEP LOOKING! Read the books, the blogs, search on Pinterest for frugal ideas, ways to save money, etc. Some will NOT apply to you. {“First thing we did was sell our yacht”– what the what???} But some things WILL apply to you. It is not fair to assume that what worked for someone else will work for you. But it IS fair to say that it may spark interest or an idea in YOU that could transform your finances.

My husband and I have done a complete 180 in our finances for MANY different reasons. I will write about those later. But the whole thing got started by getting fed up with our financial situation and wanting to make changes. Little by little, dollar by dollar, Redbox free code by Redbox free code, we have come around. Stick with it. Don’t say you can’t.

MY steps may not be your steps. But stay tuned. Those steps are coming soon.

Be encouraged.

For now,

Roxy

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