Friday, August 31, 2012

Things that start with "M"

As usual, I want to do something different at Christmas to make it more fun and interesting :) My husband and I try to be creative every year and find a different theme. Last year we had to buy things that had been USED and we couldn't spend more than 50 bucks! It was actually a LOT of fun. It made shopping a challenge, but in a good way. (At least for me.. he will probably beg to differ)

This year we are going with the letter M. Our gifts HAVE to start with an M. And things like "men's shirts" don't count. It has to start with an ACTUAL M. Like a money tree. Or a massage. OR a Mercedes. :) And our budget is $100.

So ... here goes. Another fun season of Christmas shopping. Better get started. Time is running out :)

What are your plans for Christmas? Have you every tried anything to spice it up?!

I've said it before...

Weekends are budget BUSTERS! I know they are rolling around EVERY single week, but somehow they always sneak up on me and BUST my BUDGET!

It makes me so mad at myself because this is LACK of preparation on my part. From time to time we ALL fall off the wagon, so here's to getting back on track!

Here are some practical ways to not let the weekend bust your budget:

1. PLAN FOR IT! You know it's coming... plan for it. If you already have plans set in stone you are LESS likely to get off track and spend money you hadn't planned on spending.

2. Make a list of free things to do in your area! Museums, library, nature walks, local parks.. anything that you ALREADY have a pass to get into. My family has already paid for passes to Jump City, Mid America Science Museum AND Magic Springs. Plus we go to the library a lot. There should be NO reason why I blow my budget on the weekends.

3. Plan for non-free activities. If you know there is a moving coming up that you are going to want to go see, BUDGET for it. Set aside the money for the cost of tickets, popcorn and drinks. If you are planning a weekend get away trip... don't wait til THAT weekend to simply charge it all... save a long the way!

4. Have friends over, enjoy a weekend at your house, spring clean, get out decorations, come up with a craft you and your kids can do that ONLY involve things that you already have in your possession.

Make it fun... you will be GLAD you saved the money!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

A good deal on a fantastic program!

For those of you who are interested in trying out Dave Ramsey's program, here is an AWESOME way to get started!

Click HERE to purchase an awesome marriage set! Getting money right the Dave Ramsey way :)

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You will recieve...

Dave Ramsey's Couple Checkup
The Total Money Makeover
The Total Money Makeover workbook
Financial Peace Revisited
Financial Peace Planner
Cash Flow Planning DVD
Dumping Debt DVD
The Great Misunderstanding DVD
2 starter envelope systems

This is a fantastic way to learn about Dave Ramsey's money plan, get some awesome material, AND own several of the DVD's. i have never seen a set like this be so inexpensive. So I hopped on it!

Can't wait til it comes in==-only 6-12 days! YYEEHAWW!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Pinterest project #1

First you take a glass. Some people use bottles (wine bottles, glass jars, etc). I chose a vase.

You take 3 tablespoons and heat it for 30 seconds in a measuring cup. Then you add a half a cup of mod podge and a LOT of food coloring. Whatever color you want.

This is what mine looked like :)

Pour it in the bottle. Move it around. I kept my measuring cup in the sink and poured it in and out several times til every part of the vase was covered.

Then you put it in the oven on 170 for about 20 minutes. I kept mine in a tad bit longer.

Then TADA! You have tinted glass!

I chose green because in our front room we have a green couch with bright colored polka dots. So I needed something bright and cheery! I plan to put marbles in one, sticks in the other, and not too sure about the other :)

Thanks Pinterest!! This was fun and EASY!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Now what?


You made the budget. You have the WHOLE family on board. You have your *GOALS* set and you are ready to rock and roll.

Only... you didn't budget for much rocking and there's hardly enough to roll...


Easier said than done, I know...but you have laid out the ground work so you deserve to sit back and relax for a bit.

At whatever costs you MUST stick to your budget. Your plan. Your get out of debt plan. You MUST look at the BIG picture.

Go through your closet. Go through your kids toys. Take NOTICE of what you already have. By doing this, I can ASSURE you that you will find something that will seem new to you! You will find an old shirt that you love, you will run across your kids long lost favorite toy. By going through what you ALREADY HAVE, you will find "new" things.

So the budget making-get out of debt with gazelle like intensity-program hasn't left you MUCH money for fun. Make a free plan. Look at your sources. Did you buy a years pass to the ZOO? Then use it. What about your local library? Why not spend half a day in there. You can rent video games, movies, books, and your kids can play and learn in a safe, educational environment.

When that first credit card is paid off, CELEBRATE! When you realize that for 3 months straight you have not strayed from your budget at all, CELEBRATE. When your kids are on board and excited about the "FREE" things you have doing, CELEBRATE. When you realize that fights with your spouse over money have subsided, CELEBRATE.

Look at the picture. Don't give up. And SMILE! :) THIS WILL BE WORTH IT!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

This is how you do it!

Here's the deal... my husband should REALLY be writing this post because HE did the hard work. But, he doesn't blog, so that only leaves me to tell the story...

To flashback a bit... I sold my Honda accord for a NICE profit. I paid it off, put several k's back in the bank, and paid cash for a vehicle. DAVE RAMSEY WAS PROUD! I just know it :)

Then... it happened. I started getting the car fever. I hate when that happens. It really doesn't happen to me very often. I'm not real caught up in what I drive. In fact, i'm not at ALL caught up in what I drive. I sold a 2006 loaded (leather, nav, sunroof, blah blah) Accord and went and bought a 2003 Mitsubishi Lancer that had nothing. Not even CRUISE CONTROL! Ok?!? So I mean this is serious business here.

Anyway, so the 'new car bug' hit. I've had some dream cars in my day but never thought much more of it than it was a DREAM.

Then I realized that my dream car was not so far out of reach. I started looking online and found some good deals on vehicles. I was offered decent, but not great. money for my trade in on the "red rocket" (aka the Lancer) but I wasn't convinced I should do this. I'm cheap with my money. I don't like to spend it. I pay my bills and I want money left over. So if buying a new car meant that couldn't happen--then FORGET IT!

Okay enough of that--found the car I wanted. It was too expensive. This is where I say "Enter husband stage right." He told them that we would not buy it for more than X amount of dollars." They laughed. He stayed there for 3 hours. Finally he was shown real numbers. They were LOSING money on the car. Now I know you say that car dealers don't lose money and I would typically agree with you, but I saw it myself.

Here was the deal and "this is how you do it." (Can't work every single time, but try)...


The car I got is considered a "luxury" car. Even though it was less expensive then the family Camry sedan sitting across the lot, it is no doubt a luxury vehicle. Not high on people's priority list right now. (That is something I don't get... why wouldn't you buy a pimped out super cool car for CHEAPER than a Camry, Corolla, Accord or Civic??? Yea---don't get it. )

So this dealership had a luxury car that had sat there for nearly a month. It had been driven by many (including me--I drove it a month ago for the heck of didn't know but everyone parked it right back in the spot and said "we need something more practical."

If a car is not moving, the dealer wants to work with you more. The car I purchased cost me LESS than any other car I have ever bought. It cost me less than my Altima, Civic and Accord. It cost me less than the 4-Runner. It cost me less than my husband's Ford Expedition. I purchased this car for 8,000 less than the value of it. How did i buy a fancy car for 8,000 less than it's worth unles it's about to fall apart???....

I found a car that the dealer needed to move. I found a car that not many people were in the market for. AND I (by I I mean Jere... he did all the negotiations) stood my ground on how much I would pay for it. Yes, I paid slightly more than what we said was the bottom line. But afterall, buying a car IS a game. Who is gonna fold first? That's what car buying SHOULD be called.

So there ya have it. Stick to your guns. Don't go for the obvious choice in cars... don't look at the car on the lot that has 85 brothers and sisters JUST like it sitting beside it. How are you gonna get a bargain if that's the case?

That my friends... is how you do it!

Monday, August 20, 2012

You want WHAT kind of credit card?

There are tons of options today for credit cards. There is ALSO the option NOT to get one... so many people are anti credit cards and others use their card for everything.

bottom line-- it depends on YOU!

If you can be smart with credit cards then having one is a great idea. If you can pay off the balance every month, use it scarcely and only for necessities--then do it! But if you know that you once you have a credit card in your hand that you will blow and go--then you'd better not.

If you ARE a candidate for a credit card then I have some good news. You can check out ALL of your options in ONE place. Need help finding the perfect credit cards? Let me help you out there... credit card city has it ALL!

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Big purchases make me nervous

I'm just not one of those people that makes big purchases very easily. No matter WHAT it is, I just don't do it well... or quick... or without hesitation... or without a stomach ache.


Most people would be thrilled to car shop! The idea of picking out a new rig makes most people giddy, but for me, well it provides the need for prilosec in my life.

I'm a hoarder of money. Not that have that much by ANY means, but what I do have... is MINE. And I don't want to owe it to anyone. I don't want to give it away every month for the next 60 months. By the time 48 or 60 months is up... i won't even LIKE the car anymore. And I KNOW this. Everyone gets tired of what they drive. Everyone gets tired of their cell phone. Think about it....

IPhone comes out. 50 million people rush to buy one. Those same 50 million people want the new one a year later. I have plenty of friends that have literally gotten the newest IPHONE everytime it came out. It's a phone? BUT, we get tired of what we have and we want new stuff.

BUT, if we aren't accustomed to getting new stuff, will we be content? CAN we EVER be content with what we have if we keep buying?

I think the answer is...NO. Sorry. That was a total BUSTER to hear I know, but I think it's true. I think until we STOP buying, we will never be content with what we have.

WHOLE DIFFERENT SUBJECT i have begun talking about... sorry.

Back to it... I don't like big purchases. My DREAM car is in my driveway right now for me to drive over night. As if I NEEDED to be with the car more. I already know I want it. i have wanted this car since I was about 22 years old. That's been for a while now. And here I have the chance to buy it. I can afford it. It's stinkin' awesome. And I love love LOVE this car... but I woke up this morning just sick at my stomach and having heartburn. I don't spend money very easily. I do not like debt. I have worked really hard to fix/repair/build my credit and SAVE money in the process. I just don't want to watch all my hard earned money go away.

i work HARD. I put up with LOTS Of crap from my job. so this money is more than just money. It's like a symbol to me that I go to work everyday and ENDURE crap. I don't want to throw it all away.

So, I have my dream car in my driveway and a checkbook that looks sad b/c it's about to be empty, and I have heartburn. Is this car worth it?!?!?!