Money Monday – 26JUN

Week 25

All is well and fairly slow in my world. Most of my free time is spent thinking about how to create the life I want. As you know it is not something that comes to you overnight. The focus is on…

  • Being healthy (meal planning & physical fitness)
  • Making progress on baby step #6
  • Doing the things that make me happy (eliminating things that don’t)

ROOMMATE HUSTLE (Goal is $700 and half utilities)

A roommate is desired, but not necessary. The income will help towards paying off the house and building my Online Hustle. Last Monday the girl that was supposed to move in bailed out in a passive way. She traveled alot for work, so collecting her rent would have been the next best thing to FREE money. I was bummed about it falling through, but I want to believe that everything happens for a reason.

On Friday I got a email from another candidate who would be a good fit. She came to the house and loved it. We hit it off and she plans to rent from me unless something comes up. Once she completes the TransUnion SmartMoves tenant screening application we will move forward with a lease agreement. She wants to move next weekend.

Based on questions she asked I could tell you lives paycheck to paycheck and does not know Dave Ramsey. She asked about flexibility for paying the $250 deposit and the monthly payment due to her financial situation. I hope to introduce her to Mr. Ramsey if she does move in.

FREE STUFF

Festival Admissions

Norfolk has a festival almost every weekend. Some are free, but others cost money to enter and to enjoy food & drinks. I like to attend the event, but hate paying the inflated prices. I have found a way to get out paying the entrance fee and you can use this in your city.

Next time you want to attend a festival or event, but can’t or don’t want to afford the entrance fee sign up to volunteer. Yes, VOLUNTEER. For a few hours of your time you will most likely be granted free admission. Now you can splurge on a $7 funnel cake…just kidding keep the money in your pocket and enjoy the experience.

Reusable Bags

At the Bayou Boogaloo there was a Yelp! booth giving out reusable bags. The timing could not have been more perfect. I spilled gasoline on all the bags (12) I had collected over a years and had to throw them out.  Throwing them out was a relief because I wouldn’t need to pick an choose which one’s would have to go when I got to that category in my KonMari efforts. I do not recommend anyone collect free reusable bags unless they are needed.

SPLURGE

We are all on a journey to financial peace, but it doesn’t mean we have don’t get to treat ourselves with a little splurge from time to time. Today I stopped into Fresh Market to pick up a pint of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream, which was recommended by a friend. I was surprised to find that it cost $9.99 and thought it better be some amazing ice cream.

Let’s get some perspective on the cost…$9.99 seems like a lot for pint and no one in their right mind should pay that much for sugar and milk. It isn’t any more expensive than making two trips to Cold Stone or Marble Slab.

The Brown Butter Almond Brittle was delicious and very rich. If I am being completely honest, I might buy it again as a rare treat

How was the last week of your journey?

 

Cutting Cost by Changing Brands – WalMart vs Lidl

Listening to audiobooks has become a new past time for me, since work is pretty slow. Alot of what I have been reading is about getting things and life in order so it is more enjoyable. Believe it or not the advise is to get rid of or stop doing things. Once the seeds of information are planted in my head I start thinking about how to apply my new found knowledge.

Given that one of my goals is to make good financial decisions, I am looking at where I spend money unnecessarily. One of these area is brand loyalty. The seed for this was planted almost one year ago when I received 3 different brands of laundry detergent as a house warming gift. Until that point I had only purchased Tide. It is about time to buy more detergent, so I thought to myself “if I am willing to use other brands when they are free, why wouldn’t I use other brands to save money”. I know this won’t be a major saving but I do expect it to add up over time.

Lidl, a European grocery chain, has moved into a nearby city. It is supposed to be like Aldi, but better. Now I am challenging myself to try a different brand for everything not just laundry detergent.

Week 1 Results

  • Lidl did not carry red onions or canned pumpkin (seasonal item)
  • Lidl had cilantro in the plastic box, but not in the bunch. If I was thinking, I would have picked up the cilantro at Wal-Mart
  • Lidl carried bags of Granny Smith Apples, but you could not purchase single apples.
  • A trip to Walmart was required
Lidl Walmart
Tilapia Fillets  $4.99  $5.14
Cilantro  $1.69  $0.89
Grapes  $3.17  $6.35
Bell Pepper – Red  $0.99  $1.57
Lime  $0.25  $0.25
Bell Pepper – Green  $0.49  $0.58
Cucumbers  $0.49  $0.25
Russet Potatoes  $0.89  $0.93
Avocados  $1.29  $1.28
Strawberries  $2.99  $1.78
Crushes Tomatoes  $0.79  $0.82
Yellow Onion  $0.92  $0.78
 $18.95  $20.62

In total I saved a whole $1.67.  To me the savings is not worth making two stops at the grocery store. This trip was to pick up a few items, but next week I will have a longer list. We will see how they compare.

Other  value to consider:

  • Walmart has a pick-up service. You can shop online, schedule your pick up time and like magic your grocery shopping time was cut in half. At Lidl you have to spend the time in the store.
  • Lidl is farther away.
  • Walmart is a one stop shop most of the time.
  • Lidl did appear to have a better selection of fresh fruit and vegetables.

To be continued next week…

 

Where did I leave off? – 3 years ago

As I get back in the groove of things it only makes sense to see where I left off. It looks like I stopped blogging about 3 years and 1 month ago. A lot has happened since April 24, 2014.

March 1st I had been laid off from my job after about 6.5 years. Financially I was surviving because I have completed baby step 3 (fully funded efund) and had $15k in the bank, then I received a 6 month severance package (about $35K) and I collected unemployment ($440 per week). To cut cost I had moved home.

Here is a list of what happened in the past 3 years:

  • May 2014 – Left for Air Force Basic Military Training, which would be followed by 3 months of technical schooling.
  • Oct 2014 – Returned home and enjoyed the holidays before looking for a seriously looking for a job in Jan 2015.
  • Jan 2015 – Launched serious job search, which means I applied to 25 jobs per week. This lasted about 3 months and sucked terribly.
  • Mar 2015 – Received military orders for 3 months of on the job training and relocated to VA. The job search continue, but not as aggressive.
  • May 2015 – Landed new job relocated to NC.
  • July 2015 – Started new job. Three weeks into the gig the company announced that it was being acquired.
  • Jan 2016 – Laid off for the 2nd time in two years. Study form PMP certification and job searched.
  • May 2016 – Received PMP certification and started new job. This job relocated back to VA.
  • July 2016 – Closed on a house
  • Aug 2016 – Went to Disneyworld
  • Oct 2016 – Started working on building an online business as a side hustle.
  • Oct 2016 to present: The time has been spent settling into the house and learner to be a decent homeowner (not so fun).

2-3 years in transition is enough to make anyone question their sanity. I have to say that all of this would have been extremely challenging had I not read The Total Money Makeover and intentionally put it to work in my life. Even with this personal finance experience behind me there was always a part of me that worried about the money. Even today as things become more stable by the day, week or month, I think about managing money.

It is my intention to fill in the gaps of the past as well and share the journey ahead with you.

Hey friend!

Have an outstanding day!!

If I Was A Rich Girl – Lyrics & Video

My inspiration for the blog title…When in college I fell in love with reggae music and this was one of my favorite songs played on the radio and at the club.

The song is “Rich Girl” by Louchie Lou & Michie One, but there are two other versions available by Lady Saw and Gwen Stefani.

by: Louchie Lou & Michie One

by: Lady Saw

by: Gwen Stefani

LYRICS

[Chorus: Louchie Lou]
If I was a rich girl
Na-na – na-na-na-na-na –
Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na
Say I’d have all the money in the world
If I was a wealthy girl (step up!)
No man could test me, impress me
Reject or reselect (oh gosh!)
Cuz I’d have all the money in the world
You can’t test this wealthy girl

[Verse 1: Michie One]
What kind of rich? That a million rich
Them a kinda rich where ya make man switch
What kind of rich? That a million rich
Them a kind of rich where ya make man switch
And if me rich!
Woulda take a man off of the streets
And if me rich!
Woulda build up a school and teach
And if me rich!
Things woulda run neatly
And if me rich!
Coulda live out mi life properly

See if I was a rich girl, na-nanana-nanana-na (ya hear!?)
See I’d have all the diamonds and the pearls
If I was a wealthy girl
I could pick and choose
Gamble, play the horsies
And never never never never lose
Cuz I’d have all the money in the world
If I was a wealthy girl

[Verse 2: Michie One]
Money money money money money money money!
Money money money can’t buy love
Money money coulda give it to me plenty
Money money, money can’t buy love
Money can buy you a car to drive in and
Money can buy you a house to live in and
Money can buy nice pretty things but
No money couldn’t couldn’t buy no license loving

[Chorus: Louchie Lou (Michie One)]
Say, if I was a rich girl
(Would you ever switch girl?)
Never see a rich girl
(Would you ever switch girl?)
If I was a
(If you was a)
If I was a
(If you was a)
If I was a wealthy girl

[Verse 3: Michie One]
Rich!
But me would never switch
Ragamuffin business, say mi born inna it
Rich!
But me would never switch
Ragamuffin business, say mi grow inna it
And if me rich, coulda feed up mi whole family
And if me rich, Jah Jah know mi woulda…trash and ready
And if me rich, things woulda run neatly
And if me rich, coulda coulda have enough pickney

[Interlude 1: Louchie Lou & Michie One]
Worldwide thing, this is a worldwide thing
Rich is getting richer while the poor a get the sting
Worldwide thing, this is a worldwide thing
Rich is getting richer while the poor a get the sting
Reap, you reap what you never did sow
Rich today, you could be poor tomorrow
Mind your back, and watch your enemies grow
Money, it is nice but can lead to sorrow

[Interlude 2: Louchie Lou]
Nana-nana-nana
Nana-nana-naaaaa
Naaaa, nana-naaa-na
Nana-nany-na
Nana-nana-nana
Nana-nana-naaaaa
Naaaa, nana-naaa-na
Nana-nany-na

[Interlude: Louchie Lou & Michie One]
Worldwide thing, this is a worldwide thing
Rich is getting richer while the poor a get the sting
Worldwide thing, this is a worldwide thing
Rich is getting richer while the poor a get the sting
Reap, you, reap what you never did sow
Rich today, you could be poor tomorrow
Mind your back, and watch your enemies grow
Money, it is nice but can lead to sorrow

[Verse 1: Michie One]
What kind of rich? That a million rich
Them a kinda rich where ya make man switch
What kind of rich? That a million rich
Them a kind of rich where ya make man switch
And if me rich!
Woulda take a man off of the streets
And if me rich!
Woulda build up a school and teach
And if me rich!
Things woulda run neatly
And if me rich!
Coulda live out mi life properly

[Chorus: Louchie Lou (Michie One)]
Say, if I was a rich girl
(Would you ever switch girl?)
Never see a rich girl
(Would you ever switch girl?)
If I was a
(If you was a)
If I was a
(If you was a)
If I was a wealthy girl

***THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO

A Journey into the Future and Back to the Past

I am so excited to be sharing my journey from broke to wealthy with you. It started almost 10 years ago in 2007 with a copy of Dave Ramsey’s “Total Money Makeover” and $104,616 in debt.

This is not my first blog, I have started and stopped several blogs through the years. Today I have been encouraged and motivated to share my story with others who are in a similar situation as I am in today and was in many years ago.

Ironically, I was wise enough to save a copy of the content for my previous blogs so I will be adding them (back dated) to this blog. There is a possibility that pictures and graphs were lost. 😦

Your turn: How did you find this blog?

W is for Wish Lists & Bucket Lists

 Thank you for joining me on this journey from A-Z.


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Wish Lists & Bucket Lists 

 

Wish list and bucket list are the best. They have saved me from going crazy on this journey, especially when I was paying off all that debt. They are similar but different:

  • Wish list is for things I want
  • Bucket list is for experiences I want

When I paid off a debt I would reward myself with one thing of one of the list. Now that all debt is paid and everything else is taken care of I can work my way through the list as time, money and opportunity permit. To honest I have only marked off a few things since reaching this point. As time goes by I find that there are things I no longer want to get or do.

Here are a few things from the lists

  • iPad
  • iPhone
  • Photo scanner to scan in all those old pictures.
  • Skydiving 
  • Richard Petty Driving Experience
  • Visit Bora Bora
  • Take nieces and nephews on Disney Cruise
  • Grand Canyon

What’s on your Wish/Bucket lists?

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V is for Value the Splurge

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Value the Splurge

Most people wouldn’t say that I spend money often. Actually when I spend money they have jokes about it. During the almost 7 years of my Total Money Makeover journey I have learned to value the splurge. The splurge can be big of small.

Examples:

  • If I want a cheeseburger, I would value a Smashburger or In-n-Out burger more than value burger from Burger King or Wendy’s. I’d be willing to pay the higher price for the value.
  • One time our flight got to our connecting so late that we would have to be back at the airport in 5 hours. The closest hotel was $248 for 5 hours, so we crashed in the airport. It wasn’t worth it to us.
  • I love ice cream and will pay the premium for Blue Bell over Great Value.
  • In general I value eating healthy more that eating cheap. The cost of health care is pricey
  • I value experience over things.

What do you value that you are willing to splurge on?

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U is for Underwhelming Unemployment Experience

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Underwhelming Unemployment Experience

I have only been unemployed for a few weeks. When I was laid off I was looking forward to the time off. Now I wish I could go to work. I want to use my brain and interact with people.

During my time I go to the gym 1-2 times per day just to get out of the house. Now I have started signing up for volunteer opportunities. If I was in a position to actively pursue a  new job, I think things would be a little different. Filling to collect unemployment is a chore, I had to call them everyday last week and was on hold for 45-60 minutes each time.

One think I have learned during this time off is that the flexibility I have with my time is AWESOME. I can truly understand why people may choose to go into business for themselves.

Have you ever been unemployed? What was your experience like?

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T is for Thoughts on Giving

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Thoughts on Giving

Today my heart is a little sad. I have a friend who is was big giver before she got married. Now that she is married she no longer give because her husband doesn’t enjoy giving. Together they make about $150K, so if they committed 10% over a year we are talking about $15,000 ($1250 per month).

It isn’t the amount that saddens me it is the comments from my friend. She talks about finding organization that he will like just so she can give, otherwise she can not give. I just wish her desire to give mattered more to him than a specific balance in the bank.

How fun would it be to be able to give $1250 per month to any charitable organization you want? How heart warming would it be? What projects would you want to support?

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S is for Sinking Funds Galore

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Sinking Funds Galore

 

Some people like sinking funds others hate them. I have grown pretty fond of them over the past couple of years. Now I have 14 sinking funds. Most of them are for one time or lump sum payments, while the others are temporary.

One Time/Lump Sum Funds

  • Life Insurance -$7.92 per month
  • Renter’s Insurance – $5.67 per month
  • Christmas Fund – 20.83 per month
  • Identity Theft – $3.00 per month
  • Car Insurance – $56.74
  • Travel – $50.00
  • Car Repair – I keep this capped out at $500
  • Giving – I move 10% of any income I get to this category.

For those in blue font, I simply make one transfer from my checking on the 1st of the month (payday) to my savings for $144..16. The best part is when a bill is due I know the money is in there, so I just transfer the amount to checking and write the check. No worries about how it will impact my budget for payday.

Temporary

  • Severance Pot – This is where I am holding my severance money and I move money on the 1st and 15th of every month to take care of current expenses.
  • Unemployment Pot – This is where I am storing all my unemployment income (less giving and investing) until I need it.
  • Investment Pot – This is where I am holding money to be invested. On the 1st and 15th of every month there is a sent amount of money contributed to my Roth IRA and other investments.

How do I keep track of all this?

I use an excel spread sheet called Savings Allocation Worksheet. Here is a snip it from earlier in the year. Black means money in and Red means money out.

Sinking fund

 

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