Monday, August 14, 2017

BIRTH MONTH!!!!!


BIRTH MONTH!!!!!! We finally made it to August!! We are expecting our second little guy to arrive any day now, and we could not be more ready. Although I don't think it's really sunk in that when this pregnancy is finally over I will have a second baby to take care of haha! But ready or not, he should be here in less than two weeks! August is my birthday month as well, and we had a really good time celebrating! Birthdays are one area we decided would definitely be worth it to scale back on to put more of that money toward debt. To be honest, I didn't even realize the difference. Tom and I had a great dinner together, and he bought me the perfect gift - a book on creating a successful eBay business - and Madi and I bought fun notebook journals together and had a coffee date. My family came over for take-out dinner at my house, and we had a really good time just hanging out and eating cake and ice cream. I got some birthday cash from my parents and grandma, so I picked up a couple of nice little clothing items on (you guessed it) eBay for next summer. Very low key and fun and relaxing.  It might have been my favorite birthday yet.

We took a weekend "babymoon" Dave Ramsey style. Free babysitter (thank you grandparents), free hotel room (points from Tom's job, booyah) and entertainment that will make us money (a full day of thrifting for the "bay"). I'm sure there might come a time in our lives that we will splurge on big trips and birthday parties, but I'm really enjoying being creative and simple with our celebrations. It really helps me to focus on what I'm actually celebrating.

My eBay project is ramping up nicely! I just hit a little over $3k in my 31-day trailing sales, so that's a huge milestone for me! So exciting! I have been using every bit of my profit to beef up my inventory for my "shopping maternity leave" and invest in some equipment (lighting kit, inventory storage), but I expect to be able to take some money out next month, so that is my next goal! I'm really excited to see what kind of damage I can do to our car loan balance with this project.


My eBay business is taking over my room! This is my photo wall and lighting kit! 



All of my listed inventory and the tip of my "death pile" iceberg. 
My new best friend - a handheld steamer! Much easier on dress clothes than an iron! 

Money money money!!!! 

It's important for me in this journey to keep circling back to the "why". I have the type of personality that wants to go big or go home, so I tend to stress out easily if I'm not hitting my goals (which lbh are probably a little high) or making the progress I want to be making as fast as I want to be making it. I have to make myself step back like at least every day if not multiple times a day and say "why are you doing this". I want to be debt free so that we can honor God in the finances he's given us and so that we can set our kids and family up to succeed financially and so that we can use our money to bless others rather than being a slave to our paychecks. When I focus on that, I am able to view this journey in a bigger picture and take a deep breath and rest knowing that we are doing what we can do and that every dollar matters. If one month looks better than another month or it seems to be taking longer to pay off debt, we still have a roof over our head and food on our table and healthy happy babies and a beautiful marriage and we are taking steps in the right direction. The rest will fall into place.

It's really good accountability for me to have this blog, so thank you so much for reading! I am really excited about some side hustle opportunities coming up this fall, so here's to hoping for big debt payoff numbers to report in the next few months!!

xoxo,

Maxie

Thursday, July 27, 2017

July Wrap-Up

Walker "helping" me sort items to list on my eBay page :) 



We are wrapping up the final week of our first month back on our debt payoff plan. With minimum payments included we paid off a total of $640-ish in debt this month, bringing us to a grand total of $17,354.19. It's less than I originally calculated that we would be able to do for this month, but I am not disappointed by any means. Progress is progress.

I think that's one of the things I can take away from this month, that everyone's story is their own, and we all have different things that come up, both good and bad, that will affect our debt free journey positively and negatively. We had a couple of unplanned for expenses that were unavoidable this month, and that's just part of the ride. The important thing is that for the past 27 days we have made conscious decisions regarding our spending and told our money where to go instead of the other way around. It feels really good, and I am just as excited to start August.

I think it's important to emphasize that there is no right or wrong way to get out of debt. There are of course really helpful guidelines, like the Financial Peace "Baby Steps" from Dave Ramsey, but what truly matters is your mindset and the finish line. For example, the first time we paid off debt we sold at least 60% of our belongings including some big items, like Tom's motorcycle and 75% of my wardrobe, to get a jump start. The last year or so we have really tried to embrace the idea of minimalism and living with less, so that being said there was a lot less crap laying around my house to sell this time. Hence the side hustle haha - I now buy other people's crap to sell LOL. Again, the first time we paid off debt it was just me and Tom, and we were both working and out of the house more often than in it, so we were able to take our food costs down to a bare minimum. This time around with Walker we have realized that it's really important to have legitimate sit-down family dinners together (i.e. cereal is not a legitimate sit-down family dinner to me), and that's not something we're willing to give up, so we've had to revisit that item in our budget and make sure there is enough allocated for those groceries.

For people to be successful in this idea of financial freedom, I think it's paramount to make it your own thing. Find what works for you and ditch what doesn't. That being said, if your "thing" is binge shopping on Amazon, you need to find a new thing, but be okay with your timeline and your ideas and your budget being different than everyone else. Give yourself a couple weeks to make a plan, find your groove and then HUSTLE and get it done.

On a different subject, we are so excited to welcome baby West into the world in just a few short weeks! We have done everything we know to do to prepare for having two children, but I'm pretty sure in the end we are going to be just as tired and overwhelmed as we were in our first few weeks with Walker. At this point my body is so done being 9.5 months pregnant in this heat, so bring on the chaos! I am ready!

Thanks for reading, and as always, please feel free to share in the comments or message me with any ideas you have on debt-free living, debt payoff, etc. I'd love to hear!!

Maxie

P.S. You can  follow me on Instagram or Bloglovin' for updates!


Monday, July 17, 2017

Rave Damsey Week 3



Just a few of my finds from the Goodwill this week!! 


Happy Monday!! Just wanted to post a quick update this week on our debt free journey! We are just over two weeks in, and this month so far we've paid an extra $230 on my credit card! Which is pretty substantial considering that the last three months we've baaaaaarely made it or had to borrow from savings to get through the month of just our day-to-day expenses. Right now I'm not really to the challenging stage yet - it actually feels really good to say no to extra purchases knowing that I'll be able to take that money off of our debt balance. I'm still in the "honeymoon" phase. Tom seems to be holding up well despite the fact that we have had nothing but plain popcorn to snack on for the last two weeks haha! It's amazing how much money you can cut out of a grocery budget by eating simply though.

Right now it kind of feels like we will NEVER get through $18k of debt, but I am just focusing on sticking to the plan and reminding myself that every dollar counts. I felt this way at the beginning of $45k in debt too, so we will ignore those feelings and set our minds on hitting our mini-goals.

It's not a surprise to anyone who knows me that shopping secondhand is one of my favorite ways to save money. It's like a treasure hunt! I have been frequenting Goodwill lately, and I never cease to be amazed what I can find in there. This week I bought an unopened jumbo size box of Up&Up diapers for $15, normally $29! It's something that will randomly save us money as West grows, so I can look forward to an extra $30 payment on our car in like six months when I don't have to buy that pack of diapers at Target haha! Thrifting is a great energy outlet for me, and I love being able to save our future family money. I've also been finding tons of stuff I can flip on Ebay for a little profit, so that has been a really fun side hustle the last few weeks. So, thanks, Goodwill!

Side note - I have talked to SO MANY people in my life that are skeptical of or grossed out by resale shops and/or buying used things - I have no idea why haha, I can't even imagine our family's possessions or wardrobes without resale. Maybe I shouldn't be giving away all of my secrets, but I have found COUNTLESS clothing items new with tags or clean, perfect condition, and then even the most random things like unopened diapers and Bath and Body soaps for pennies on the dollar of retail cost. All it takes is a little digging! Give it a chance, I promise you will become addicted. It's so much fun! Just don't steal all the good stuff because, you know, I'm still here...

Thanks for reading! If you have any great budget hacks or any kind of debt payoff ideas/strategies, I would love to hear from you!!

XOXO

Maxie