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When do our childhood dreams become disconnected from our adult reality?

Alan and I spent this weekend celebrating my fabulous cousin and her sweet new husband at a beautiful ceremony around St. Augustine, Florida. 
On the way home, we stopped at Arby’s for lunch. Our cashier had a far off distant look in her eyes. She seemed…read more. 
8 Ways to Save on Groceries

Last week, I saw this post on Facebook from One Beautiful Home.

It stirred up a lot of controversy! At one point in time, I would have also thought that $440 a month for a family of 4 was completely asinine. Our family was easily spending over $800 a month on food!  But, since we’ve started our debt free journey, we slowly evolved to be pretty on point with $440. Read more...

What Dreams May Come

Free stock photo of sunny, summer, dream, catcher

The other night I had a dream that  I died. I was 10 minutes late picking up a friend’s kid from school; the school closed and sent the kid to DHR. Somewhere in the process of fighting to get the kid back, I was killed. (Wow. That escalated quickly!)

If you’re into dream interpretation…which I find fascinating…death dreams usually represent…read more.

Our Cash Envelopes

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Yesterday was payday, which means at some point today Alan and I will make our way to the bank to get cash for our envelope system.

Paying cash for most of our purchases is paramount to meeting our financial goals because it forces us to stay in budget. For example, if my total at the grocery store is $101…but I only have $100, I am forced to put something back. Irritating? Sure. But, so, so helpful.

Over the past year, I’ve used this system…read more. 

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What made the cut…

I spent MLK weekend on Dauphin Island with my best girl friends. Its a small island near my hometown of Mobile, Ala., that has miraculously – and thankfully – managed to escape the commercialized tourist attractions many beautiful coastal beaches have become.

With not much to do, we spent the weekend talking about life’s gifts, challenges and opportunities. A few of us have worked, or are currently working, Dave Ramsey’s plan.

My girls read the blog, so we began talking about my journey and how Alan and I paid off $52,000 in 2016.

I shared that a major player was that we cut so much from our budget…and I was asked, “What did y’all cut?” Read more. 

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Gettin’ Old 

It’s gettin’ old, y’all.

Saying no to an impromptu dinner invitation because there is no cash envelope for last minute plans.

Waiting until next month to…read more. 

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Time Changes Things

In 2016, Alan and I paid off $52,000 of debt. Balances on credit cards, car notes, cell phones, and school loans gone over the course of 12 long months.

When we tell our close family and friends about our progress, they seem…read more.

…because #%$@ happens. It always happens. You may think it won’t. But it will…it most certainly will.

Take our washing machine, for example.

On Sunday afternoon, Alan and I spent a few minutes finalizing our November budget. We paid more than $3,000 on our debt, removed a few links from our chain and moved on our merry way.
Then it happened…read more.

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Big, Frizzy Hot Mess

When your budget looks like my hair…a big, frizzy hot mess… you’re going to need some encouragement.

A dear friend of mine recently asked me for just that. She’s working harder than ever, but cannot make ends meet between household expenses and medical bills. This post is for you, friend! And for any of you who may feel… read more.

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Progress

During the first week of August, Alan, E and I made a paper chain to help us countdown until we are debt free.

Each link represents $1,000 owed. With 99 links, it’s a long chain y’all!

Hopefully, it will be encouraging to watch it shrink slowly but surely over the next 2 years. Honestly, so far it’s been a bit of a downer to see such a long chain greeting you in the morning and sending you off to bed each night.

But, I am proud to say…read more.


Easy Dinner Idea

Consider this your personal invitation to gather all your Pinterest-worthy dinner plans and victoriously throw them out the window.

Sure, on some planet there could be a time and place for beautiful meals shaped liked animals and crafted into adorable little scenes. But it’s not here. It’s Friday and we are all tired. Read more.

My Debt-free Birthday

Last Wednesday we celebrated my 32nd birthday.

Birthdays look a bit different around our house these days. And we are okay with that.

They are simpler, more intimate. Yes, because we are working furiously to pay off our debt. But…read more.


Meeting Old Blue, Part 2

As Alan I drove away, we knew there was a potential kink in our plan…read more.

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Different and Doubt

Getting out of debt is not all sunshine and flowers. So, if I’m being completely honest, I’m struggling with what I like to call stuffitis. 

I look around and see a co-worker’s sharp looking business clothes, a friend’s shiny car, a child at daycare who is perfectly put together, a girl at the doctor’s office whose attire is on trend yet casually chic, a neighbor with a newly landscaped lawn.

I want to appreciate and admire, but…read more.

What We Do on Payday

It’s the happiest day of the month- pay day! Alan and I have found what we do, or don’t do, on pay day largely determines our success or failure for the reminder of the month.

I get paid solely on the last day of the month, while Alan gets paid on the 15th and the last day of the month.

However, these same principles apply even if your pay schedule is different. So, don’t think you have an excuse if your life doesn’t mirror ours. Every family’s situation is unique. But, that doesn’t mean you get to sell yours short by not getting it together financially.

Through trial and error (i.e. running out of money and having to sell things or pull from a different envelope to “make it work”) we’ve discovered these actions are non-negotiable must do’s to stay on track for the month…read more.

Meeting Old Blue, Part 1

Whew.

I took in a deep breath and slowly let it out. My fingers clenched the steering wheel as I successfully held back tears.

Something about this moment was…read more

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Being Brave

In December 2015, Alan and I decided we were going to get out of debt…again.

We loosely committed to becoming debt free before our first daughter was born in 2010. We became parents and our new found ability to handle money just up and walked out the door. Mainly because kids needs are expensive…but also because we “deserved” (i.e. wanted) nice things for our family.

And it just seemed too hard.

But, we had to make change for 2 reasons…read more 


How did we get here?

I asked myself this a lot before we decided to do something about it. I’m smart. I took AP classes in high school and graduated from college with honors and a minor in French. I always held leadership roles in student government and Greek life. I secured my first job within weeks of graduating college.

As for Alan, he was on his own and employed full-time while working toward his degree at 19. Additionally, about 5 years ago, he returned to school and completed his bachelor’s degree – while working full time, raising a daughter and keeping a wife happy. Because, you know, a happy wife is a happy life! (But, seriously, it’s true!)

Clearly, we are very capable. So, how did we end up so financially stupid? I know the answer. And you know it too. You may even believe it…read more


Trapped

That is what $135,852 in debt feels like. The funny thing is nearly eighty percent is good debt “because it’s for your education,” or however the lie goes.

So, here we are 10 years post graduation, scraping and clawing our way through this mess. Tired of working forty plus hours each week and bringing home what should be plenty of income for our family of four, but never having an extra dime or peace of mind to show for it.

Instead, we’ve been broke for the better part of a decade. Feeling like we are standing at the bottom of… read more