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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

Uninvited

Have you read this book? I’m all for anyone reading it BUT if you are a woman it’s A MUST! Download it on your kindle, get it for free from your library or send me your address and I’ll mail it to you. It is a MUST read.

Here’s the deal– I’ve spent my entire life living with that feeling of rejection. I always had my family who supported me no matter what but I often was rejected everywhere else. I assumed I would reach a magic point in my life when rejection either didn’t happen or I didn’t care. Well… I’m still waiting on that moment to arrive.

Rejection stings. Feeling “uninvited” or out of place. Or maybe you are like me and you simply struggle to find your niche. This feeling doesn’t have to overtake you! While I’ve always known that my Heavenly Father was there with/for me, I don’t think I ever meditated on the fact that HE was rejected. The feeling I have when I don’t fit in, or don’t get invited, or don’t feel like I belong… my Father felt that way. He is who I need to cling to.

I’ve always blamed it on me being a loud mouth. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ I mean, facts are facts. I’m too much for some people. I’ve spent years taking my temper and my tongue but some will always leave me out because they remember how I’ve been or know how I can be. It hurts! Especially when I know I am NOT who I once was.

Being vocal and outspoken has its perks but has so many negatives. I can’t change who I am but I can continue to work to improve on myself. I want so desperately to NEVER reject others. That’s probably not very realistic but it’s my goal. I work hard to include even when others don’t do the same.

If you feel rejected or alone PLEASE read this book. And reach out. I’m here and I’ve been there. But above all… if you feel rejected seek the One who was rejected and despised and loved anyway. I’ll never be Jesus, but I sure want to be like him.

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

What I learned from a 21 day social media fast

1. It wasn’t as hard as I anticipated it being

Like I was pretty freaked out thinking it was going to be so difficult! I pumped myself up with pep talks. And then-BOOM! The day came to give it up and it wasn’t that bad. Then it became super easy. And now I’m debating on social media moving forward.

2. Facebook will email you if you take a break

It’s insane! I got emails from Facebook that said “______ just updated their status.” “_____ added a new photo”. I think FB was freaking out that I was like dead or something.

3. No one noticed I was gone

I guess I shouldn’t say that. But the truth is that the people I most closely “follow” {makes me sound like a stalker} are people I see or talk to on a regular basis. I did hop onto FB and instagram this morning and after about 30 seconds on each, I shut it down. I realized that I felt overwhelmed by all the photos, words and videos. I have NOT missed that. But my point is that the world kept on going. People continued to live their lives and post about it. No harm in that! But was my social media presence truly missed? Not at all. That’s something to chew on, isn’t it?

4. We are a vain society aren’t we?

Over the past 21 days I have taken less photos. I still went and did some cool stuff but I didn’t document it by a photo. Isn’t that strange? Perhaps it is because I wasn’t going to be posting it for others? That is sad! It hit me that we as a society are kinda vain. Gosh- that includes me!! I don’t like having that realization.

5. I felt less stressed

Mentioned above, but it is so true! I didn’t feel pressure to check in to a restaurant. I wore less makeup. Perhaps because I wasn’t going to be posting any pics? I’m sure you are well away of our “frugal” lifestyle and financial changes. We had several days that we STAYED HOME! Didn’t go and do anything special. Just legit played board games and watched Hulu reruns. If I had been on social media on those days [i feel strongly] I would have felt down. I would have seen other families/couples out doing cool stuff while we sat at home vowing not to spend a dime. I would have felt pressure AND temptation to get off track. Talk about stress!

6. I take less pictures

That part makes me sad. I did take a few–I’m still ME! But not near as many as I would have without the hiatus from social media. We went with our friends on a hike in the National Park here in Hot Springs. It was cold, but perfect at the same time. We all stopped and watched a chipmunk for a few minutes. I had never seen one that close! I chose not to document it with photos. {regretting that now}. But the point is that I just experienced it. There’s a lot to be said for that.

7. We use social media for everything!!

I was trying to remember the name of a store I love down on the River Market in Little Rock. We went there yesterday and stayed the night {on hotel points! Promise!!} yesterday and I wanted to run into my store. I knew I followed them on Instagram but couldn’t recall the name. Man- we use social media for so much!! One of the places we went had a sign for a discount if you “check in” on Facebook. I wasn’t buying anything so it was fine but even discounts come through social media!

8. Traffic on my blog was down

Without the occasional “here’s my new post” on social media, I saw a slight decline in traffic. Kinda hurt my feelings! Like come on- I have to remind you to read this?? (Totally Jk) Social media CAN be a good thing!

9. I kinda enjoyed the privacy

It was interesting to realize that no one knew what was going on in my life. And I liked it! Social media provides open doors for conversations such as “how was dinner last night? We’ve been wanting to go there.” That type of stuff happens to me a lot. And I love it because I love people and it provides small talk and open doors for friendships. But it was pretty darn nice to know that we were just doing our thing without anyone really knowing where we were. (That sounds like we were doing something bad. Can’t figure out how to better word thatπŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ)

10. My return will be different

I don’t think I abuse social media but I definitely am a “post too much” kinda woman. I don’t mean to me!! We do fun stuff. We go cool places. My child is just so cute and says the funniest things! I’m USED to posting on a super regular basis. But now that I’ve had a break… it’s going to be different. I haven’t decided my new “rules” but I’m praying and mulling them over. I so enjoy keeping up with people. My family is scattered and I enjoy seeing their photos. Makes me feel like I’m apart of their lives even though we are far apart. I was telling my husband on the way home this morning that “I’ve literally spent hours of my life looking through peoples photos and they were people I didn’t even like in high school! Why do I do that!!??” It’s a distraction. If I have felt stressed or been bored I have grown accustomed to hopping on social media. No more. I realize how much time I have wasted that I will never get back.

It was difficult not having social media during the Golden Globes, Oprah’s statements that eluded to her running for President, the Government shutdown!! I mean that was super tough! But the bottom line– no one REALLY cares what my opinions are on issues like that. And if they DO care they will probably reach out and ASK me! The feelings I experienced while not being on social media taught me a lot more than these 10 things. What a good lesson that was for me.

What are your thoughts on social media? Have you ever taken a break before? I’d love to hear from you!

Thanks for reading!

For now,

Cara Roxanne

A successful no spend month

How in the world can you have a “Successful” no spend month? Doesn’t it sound horrible before you even get started? Here are some tips that will help! Promise!

no spend

  • Have a GOAL! Just like with anything in life-if you don’t know what you WANT out of it then there is no way to gauge if it was successful or not. Are you hoping to pay off a small debt? Maybe do some deep cleaning at home? Organize the garage? Whatever it is- know it and have it written DOWN! Put it in your phone to go off as a reminder. I HIGHLY recommend if you go that route have it set to go off several times over the weekend when it is temping to get off track.
  • Have a PLAN! What will you do to fill your time? Are you going to clean/organize/purge? Go for a hike and hit up the library? Put those on the list. When you are only spending necessary funds (household bills, gas for cars and groceries with NO extras in the cart) you’d better have some things planned. It is tough! And we are getting ready for another one in February. Hop on Pinterest to find ideas of free things to do. Call your library to get a list of events coming up. ALL you have to do is NOT spend money outside of the necessities. You can cash in those free drink coupons at Sonic and use those gift cards. You just CANNOT (under any circumstances) spend more than what the gift cards cover. The point is to accomplish a goal. It’s only 30 days! (or less if you pick February!) You CAN do it! Just know what you will do instead!It can be so rewarding and give you motivation to keep going but you HAVE to have a plan.
  • Recruit a friend to join in! Perhaps you have a close friend who might want to join. Or in our case, a couple who wants to try it with us. Make it fun! Together you can come up with a several ideas for goals and ideas of things to do instead of spending money. And let’s just face it-it provides accountability as well. You were NOT meant to do life alone so don’t do this alone!
  • Track your progress. If you survive the 30 days (which you will), wouldn’t it be nice to go back and read how it felt in the moment? We forget, don’t we? We forget the pain {big and small} but having a way to look back on it can be therapeutic and helpful for continuing to manage your finances! Blog it, journal it, put it in your phone. Just keep up with it! And celebrate! If your goal is to save $500 then have a dance party with every $100 you put aside!

You CAN do this!! And the fact that you read this tells me you are well on your way to a successful NO SPEND month! I’d love to share in your journey. Comment or email roxyrambles02@gmail.com.

Thanks for reading!

For Now,

Cara Roxanne

If… then what?

Let me start by saying this post is my political opinion. I have so many friends (and a husband) who view politics differently than me. And I love and respect each of them– and their opinions. (Hi babe!! Hey Kristie!!)

I’m so confused by “the worlds” fascination with providing Donald Trump had an affair and that he is a racist. He IS racist and he probably has had multiple affairs. So– if “we” prove it– then what??

What is the end game with proving these types of “allegations?” I don’t care if we sleeps with half the world. I don’t need any other “alternative fact” to prove that {in my opinion} he IS racist.

Let’s put more focus on what WE as a nation want to happen and less on proving he paid off a Lady to keep quiet. Who cares? That takes me to Bill Clinton (❀️❀️❀️❀️). He admitted it. Okay it took some coaxing but he admitted it. Then what???

Why do we try so hard as a nation, in our friendships, in our marriages, to get that “I told you so” moment? When did proving someone wrong become more important than the bigger picture??

I don’t like Donald Trump. I don’t like what’s happening in our world. I want to throw a tantrum and cry out “IT WASN’T SUPPOSED TO BE THIS WAY!” 😭😭 But that solves nothing. Proving Donald Trump is a racist won’t do anything. Didn’t we already know that?

I don’t know people. I don’t like what’s going on in our world one bit. It’s sad. We’ve lost sight of the big picture and we are wrapped up in being right and have lost our direction.

Thoughts?

Thanks for reading,

Cara Roxanne

Eating crow

In case you aren’t aware, I’m deathly afraid of birds. All birds. And no, I’ve never had some traumatic experience I just hate them. Disgusting creatures who I fear might want to eat my face if given the chance.

Anyway. That’s a post for another day

Last week I chatted with a friend over text. It was one of those ongoing all day fun kinda conversations. We covered pretty much every topic including finances/jobs/etc. I said the words “I’ve cut out everything I can but I am NOT getting rid of my car.” And there may have been a “Dave Ramsey can just deal with it” comment in there somewhere… but I can’t recall.

Well— two days after that conversation I was using some charts I created to try and determine some type of timeline on when we are going to be DEBT free and doing the scream on Dave Ramsey’s show! (And yes I FULLY intend to do that) I knew it would be a long road until we reach the end but I’ve been proud of us so far. I was looking at other ways to cut/slash and SAVE so we can make this snowball even bigger! I began to get this weird feeling in my stomach… was it– conviction?? I began to look at my car.

My beautiful, luxurious {sounds hysterical right? But they even say it in the commercial!} SUV and feel sick. It had to go. BUT I DON’T WANT IT TO GO AWAY!!!! It’s my dream car if that’s even such a thing. It rides good, drives good, has more bells and whistles than I know what to do with… {so many buttons that I always call 911 when I’m trying to turn the interior lights on. Finally I figured out how to feel the difference between the light and SOS button… and the cops are glad!} but it has to go.

Once I decided my car had to go I was ready to see it gone. Due to the price of my car and the fact it was so new I knew I would be somewhat upside down. I’ve had it less than a year so it was inevitable. I began looking online for a more reasonable car and test drive a few. I crunched some numbers and knew that for it work (and serve the purpose of going down in debt/payment) it had to be a significant change. I didn’t want to go through all the headache of changing vehicles to save $50 bucks. I saved a LOT of money by making phone calls to companies but this was going to take time and I hate spending hours at a dealership.

Anyway- called a friend in the business and explained my end goal and gave him my list of requirements(which surprisingly was VERY little)

I wrote the first half of the post from the dealership. And now, I’m home with my new Nissan Altima down below me in the garage. I told my husband “I like it. It has 2 bells and 1 whistle!” Gotta laugh at myself.

I’m growing. I’m finding comfort in simplicity and am completely satisfied/content/ and even joyful with my new purchase. My insurance lady just emailed me and I saved a good bit on my insurance. Apparently it’s cheaper to insure less bells and 1 whistle πŸ™‚

Here’s to saving more money! Thanks for reading. It keeps me accountable and provides encouragement!

For now,

Cara Roxanne

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