I’ve become…

So I’ve become one of those moms (now I’m pretty sure this happened with my sweet girl…but I noticed it today with my little man)….the mom that doesn’t care what others think (that’s a big deal for me)…so what happened…our little man wanted to wear his rain boots  on the wrong feet when it wasn’t raining to church and guess what…I let him (not a battle that I wanted or needed to face to get to church on time)…too many times moms judge other moms and don’t show grace…who cares if he has on his rain boots or hair isn’t perfect or doesn’t match (I strive to make sure they match) but we have to show grace and recapture it daily…maybe the other mom is going through something (do we ever ask…NO)..but then we judge or gossip about)…so take that time this week to give each other some grace!!!

IMG_20160320_084439

http---signatures.mylivesignature.com-54494-55-C10F290BD732C9F11756EB17CC038772

I’m learning to be…

I’m learning to be me! Yes, I’m 30 years old, been married 10+ years, have 2 amazing children, lived multiple places, served my country, and I’m just now learning who I am. I am a peacemaker. I like to stay in the shadows. I hate (all caps) being the center of attention.  I hate (all caps again) conflict and will avoid it at all costs…even when it affects me negatively. I love Jesus (I confess that I need to be more in the Word). I try to carry other people’s burdens. I worry. I procrastinate all the time. I love especially the unlovable. I smile especially when I’m nervous. I laugh at weird times. I cry while watching sad movies. I write especially when bad things happen. I will go over and above for you. I care too much at times. I over-analyze everything. I don’t wear makeup alot (one, I’m not comfortable putting it on and two, I don’t want the attention…I’m weird…I know). I almost never leave the house without my hair done (my mom is a hairdresser….so I get it honest) I love coffee especially on a mommy date with a close friend. I love pinterest (I need to do some of those 4000+ pins). I only have a couple close friends. I love my family. I love it when my hubby tells me I’m beautiful (sometimes I have a hard time believing it honestly…something I’m working on) I don’t have good depth perception. I love to coupon. I love to budget. I don’t bring cards, I normally don’t send cards. I love a good pair of flip flops (and would wear them all year). I’m patient (most of the time). I want to make sure people are happy and not mad at me…I strive with everything I have to make people like me…so is this a good thing?..not always! I’m sure I’m learned a lot more about myself that I just can’t remember at the moment (mommy brain). Oh yeah, my sweet little man’s smile can melt me (I think he is figuring that out…) and my sweet girl’s funny faces can make me laugh on the worst days (little man is picking up on that too)…

8474578165_883045f641_z

In the last year, I have found who my real supporters and friends are, the ones who know who I am and are good with it. I’ve had to quit some relationships while growing others….that’s hard for me because like I said, I want to be friends with all. I’ve learned to quit putting my everything into a relationship when it is not reciprocated. It is hard, most definitely! Do I drive myself crazy with it (I use too)….but I’ve finally learned that being me is perfect for me…

 

http---signatures.mylivesignature.com-54494-55-C10F290BD732C9F11756EB17CC038772

IMAGE: http://shauntee.com/tag/falling-in-love/

We’re Debt Free (and you can be too!)

As of a today, we are officially DEBT FREE!!!! Thank God and Dave Ramsey!!!

decal_debt_free_green_lg

It’s been a LONG road since January 2012. We’ve paid $25,000+ since then. It is crazy looking back on it all. Our debt was our van and medical.

I’ll let you in on a secret…YOU CAN BE DEBT FREE TOO!!!

Let me tell you how that you can be debt free! It’s hard work…but TOTALLY worth it!!!

First Step: Create a Budget and follow it! (There will be changes to your budget and that’s okay…keep working it)

Second Step: Pay the minimum on any credit cards or medical bills or vehicle payments while putting  money into your savings account to reach $1000.00 (Emergency Fund…only for Emergencies!)

Third Step: Once you have your Emergency Fund funded (remember when you use this for an emergency, you will always be refunding it for emergencies)…use what you were putting into your Emergency Fund to pay on the smaller CC, Medical or Vehicle Payment while continuing to pay the minimum on everything else. Once you have paid one bill off, use that amount and add it to the next smallest bill  and continue until you are DEBT FREE!! (this will give you small victories to prove to yourself that you can and will do it!)

3e4fec9af402eab3e90ff9b0955db268

http---signatures.mylivesignature.com-54494-55-C10F290BD732C9F11756EB17CC038772

IMAGE: http://theparsimoniousprincess.blogspot.com/2013/01/were-debt-free-of-car-payments-and-baby.html and https://www.pinterest.com/cshell0717/debt-free/

Results…

So how many times, have you worked hard on something and see no results from a project, to cleaning the house (impossible with kids at times…i know…you should see my living room…toys and laundry) or the in my case, the GYM!! In January, I joined the gym! I’ve been going pretty much 3x a week (thanks to a HUGE push from the Hubby)…I’m not a gym person and I don’t enjoy going honestly! Although, I had to tell you that I have seen a difference in myself. I’ve seen a few physical changes (I still have the baby bump as I call it from my two kiddo’s c-sections…but I can definitely see a small change)

exercise-quote

(One AMAZING Step in this Gym Journey: When I first started the second week of January, I could only due this one butt machine at 45 lbs and I was struggling…guess what TONIGHT I DID THE SAME MACHINE at 100 lbs!!! It was awesome for me to see me accomplish this!)

So many times (I don’t know if you are like me) but you start a project and never finish or get side tracked or just give up….I’m working this year to follow through, not just at the gym, but in every area from organizing my house, to friendships, and so on…

(Maybe the gym isn’t for you…but why not? I know the gym at times could not fit into your budget, I TOTALLY get that…but you can do things at home too…)

Find something to do for you this year…something you enjoy…and go for it!!! Let me know what it is, so I pray for you or help you on your journey…

http---signatures.mylivesignature.com-54494-55-C10F290BD732C9F11756EB17CC038772

IMAGE: http://quotesgram.com/couples-exercising-quotes/

My NEW Motto is…

blogger-image--2060802576

So many times, I know for me (I think I’ve spoken about this in earlier posts too…so I’m guessing this is heavy on my heart) this is something that I deal with…I won’t say “keeping up with the Jones”…but maybe “keeping up with the other moms” who seem to have it all together, know all the “tricks of the trade”, make all their own natural products, coupon like couponing queens, have an amazing meal plan, kids always look their best, they always look their best, dinner is on the table when the hubby gets home, dishes are done, laundry is put away, house is spotless…you know…”those moms”…guess what, in REALITY, THEY DON’T EXIST! Do you know how long it has taken me to figure this out? YEARS! I’m always wondering if I’m doing it “right” and what is right…honestly, what is the truth…if there are moms out there that can truly take that trophy for the BEST MOM in the WORLD…I want to meet her!

Even-on-the-days-you-feel-like-you-are-failing-best-mom-in-the-universe-

(I’ll let you in on a little secret…THAT’S YOU!) Let me explain…you might be a stay-at-home mom or work out of the home mom, your house is a mess, dishes are piled up, laundry has created a mountain in your home, toys have taken over, you never know what you going to be eating for dinner (that’s me), couponing sometimes happens (most of the time, NOT), you took a shower (YAY! forget makeup and oh yeah, brushing you hair that’s as far as you go as to dressing up), kids are bathed and so what if they have on their pjs when you go to the grocery store…did you find herself in any of those…I found me and you know what…that’s OKAY!

Give yourself some grace, put on some pretty lipstick (or chapstick), your cutest outfit (or most comfortable pjs), hold your head up high and know that YOU ROCK! (You’re kids think so, your hubby thinks so and guess what…GOD KNOWS SO…that’s all the matters)

http---signatures.mylivesignature.com-54494-55-C10F290BD732C9F11756EB17CC038772

IMAGE: http://nobellagrace.blogspot.com/2015_04_01_archive.html and http://www.todaysthebestday.com/motivating-mother-julie-clark/

Stop Growing Up!

Tears…tears…tears! Our little man is growing up! He got his first haircut and we are getting him off of “Mommy milk”…so sad! Yes, he is 2 and people think we’re crazy that he is still nursing (We’re not trying to get him off “Mommy milk” because of others, but we feel it is time…I’ll post soon about my birth experiences and “Mommy milk” experiences…sometimes you just want to stay stop growing up! Our sweet princess will be 6 next month…literally where has time gone!!! I’m so blessed to have two amazing kiddos (the best in the whole world…a little biased I know)… So this post is just a reminder to love on your babies (whether biological, adopted and even the 4 legged kind), give yourself a whole lot of GRACE and enjoy every single moment of everyday!!!!

image

http---signatures.mylivesignature.com-54494-55-C10F290BD732C9F11756EB17CC038772

IMAGE: http://newleafwellness.biz/2012/07/17/how-to-stop-time/

 

How we budget!

budget-passport-healthy-480x480

So how do we budget? (now, know that we aren’t perfect, we still need to work on our budget…get ready, I’m going to be very open and honest with you about our finances (this is very difficult for me to be this open; so I want to be an encouragement that you can make it too no matter what your income is) We are HUGE fans of Dave Ramsey.  We are currently following his 7 steps to financial freedom.

dave-ramsey-baby-stepsCurrently, we are on Step 1 and Step 2

 (You will always have to repeat step 1 due to emergencies)

So back to our personal budget…my hubby gets paid $11.00 an hour. So he brings home around $380.00 weekly (net income = income after taxes are taken out) Our current monthly bills average around $687.50. (this does not include our mortgage…I’ll explain that in a second and show you a breakdown of our bills) Our food budget is $80.00 per week ($240.00 a month) and our gas budget is $50.00 per week ($200.00 a month)

Monthly Bills

  • Church Tithe: $200.00 ($50.00 weekly…this can differ based on gross income, we give 10%)
  • Straight Talk (Cell Phone): $90.00 ($25.00 weekly)
  • Life Insurance: $65.00
  • Time Warner (Internet): $50.00
  • Trash: $17.50
  • Car Insurance: $$75.00 (This is for 2 vehicles with full coverage)
  • Netflix: $10.00
  • Energy United: $150.00 (this can be different based on energy used)
  • Van Payment: $220.00 ($60.00 weekly)

So Dave Ramsey suggest doing a cash only envelope system, and I do think that this works…but for us, it was difficult to stay to our budget, know how much we spent and keep up with it…so we decided to do something a little different…

Here is what we do:

  • When my hubby gets paid (Remember, he gets paid weekly), we put the paycheck into a checking account called Bills
  • We move $60.00 into our gas account (another checking account…our bank allows us to open as many accounts as we want)
  • We move $25.00 into our Straight Talk/Netflix account (this amount can be either $25.00 or $35.00 depending on when the Netflix bill is due…we have a separate account for these two, since these two companies do not allow direct payment from our bank)
  • We leave in the Bills account what is due that week (We know this from a spreadsheet that I created to show which bills go out each week…if you want a copy)
  • Whatever is left over, we move into a Food/Fun account
  • For our van payment, we move $60.00 a week into a Van account (that is automatically moved each Monday) and then the van payment is taken out at the end of the month (I actually move $240.00 a month into this account and extra has really helped us a Christmas each year)

(Eventually, we want to separate our Food and Fun account and set up an account for our electric bill since it can be large each month and set up an automatic amount to go into our savings each month)

So instead of using the cash envelope system, we use multiple debit cards, so we call it our electric envelope system (one for Bills, one for Food/Fun and one for Gas)…also, we don’t use food stamps or WIC. (Our children do receive Medicaid)

For our mortgage, we receive VA Disability from our service in the United States Air Force, so that amount goes into a separate account, the mortgage payment is then taken out and this little bit that is left over is a savings account for major emergencies.

We make it work on this income and it is not easy, but we are “LIVING LIKE NO ONE ELSE, SO LATER, WE CAN LIVE LIKE NO ONE ELSE”…thank you, Dave Ramsey…

We still don’t have our budget perfect and spend when we  shouldn’t and we haven’t gotten it down to a zero balance budget yet…so let me know how you are doing with your budgets!!

IMAGES: http://www.cristinarobinson.net/how-we-do-our-budget/ and http://www.twokidsandabudget.com/baby-steps-to-financial-freedom-part-3/

http---signatures.mylivesignature.com-54494-55-C10F290BD732C9F11756EB17CC038772