Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Our very own "tiny house"

It won't be long now and we'll be moving into what I have dubbed our 'tiny house". It's not tiny like on Tiny House Nation but it's very small and definitely comes with storage challenges. I can't wait to document the chances we makes and put our own touch on it. It needs love but in the end it'll be amazing. I'll post pictures as I go and with any luck it'll inspire you. :)

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Simpler spending = less hassle

I've always had a budget, I'm not even sure I could function without one. The problem is I have a habit of thinking "it's just 50 cents more than I planned on", "I'll just get it now instead" Right about now you're probably admitting you've been known to say the same things. Welcome to the club :)

I figured there had to be a simpler way. Keeping track of my grocery and gas transactions for the month can be a pain, I really don't want to deal with the checkbook daily if I don't have to. I've heard people talk about using cash in envelopes but I hate the idea of's just not safe. So off I went to find something that suited me. Turns out American Express has a (free) prepaid card called Serve. It has a few options to load cash to it but my favorite is to go to the ATM and then walk a few hundred feet to the Money Center at my local Walmart and load the money instantly onto my card. (There are other places you can do this too but I like this one). The best part about this card is the sub-accounts that come with their own card. Brilliant! So that means that my "food" card is completely different from my "gas" card. A few clicks on their app and I can move funds from one to the other according to my budget. Outstanding! Keeping track is easy..look at the bottom of your receipt :) I have another method. Ya' know those checkbook registers you get with your checkbooks? (the ones you never use) I took one and labeled it "food" and "gas" on the other. I put mine where you're supposed to keep cash. Then I just keep track...very simple and they fit perfectly. There's zero chance of overspending into bill money!

So how does this simplify things? Well it's easy..I do my budget as usual and then go to the ATM and take out the entire food and gas budget for that pay period out. Then I load it to the cards.. When I do my bookkeeping for the rest of the pay period/month I now only have one entry for the two major headaches. Now all I have in the register is the bills, small automatic transfer to savings,other budgeted items and the one ATM transaction (instead of a bunch of small transactions). Simple. In order to stay on budget there should be nothing else!

Does it work?? Yes! I was out shopping and got everything on my list..I also got on autopilot shopping picked up cereal (that I didn't need). It took me a second to realize my checkout amount was $5 over my budgeted amount but still within my card limit. That little voice in my head said to just go home, so what if you were'll just buy it next worries. No! The whole point is to stay on budget and the list, not make excuses.. so I walked right from the cashier to customer service and returned the cereal. It felt good to be back on track! I'll buy it next week,when it's on the list. :)
Stockpiling will come later..right now it's all about creating new habits.

A little back story

This is the first official post of what I hope to be a series that inspires you. I'm willing to bet you have too much debt, too much stress and possibly too much aren't alone. In fact those things are exactly what this series is about getting rid of well..too much.

 For years I've been saying to my husband "If we don't do something drastic to change our situation, something drastic will happen to us." I hate when I'm right. Sure we planned for the next week, next month..maybe even a few months out if we were lucky but we never really got around to our true goal, less.

Apparently fate decided we needed a wake-up all...sudden unemployment! Crap! Let's just say our savings accounted didn't line up as well as we'd hoped with the job market. Anyways, we're starting to get back on our feet now (finally) and I've decided that this was THE wake-up call. Things will change now! I'll spare you all the yucky details but basically we're downsizing from roughly 1,200 sq feet to 750 with close to zero actual storage. It's a good thing I love to be creative and organize! No seriously, I do! I've also decided this was a great opportunity to refine our finances. Our past plan had some holes that need patching.

So yeah, that's what this series journey into making the most out of a horrible situation, a very tiny space and aiming for debt free.

*Please keep in mind that not all of these lovely ideas a mine, I just use them. I'll happily give credit whenever possible or at least tell you where I found what inspired me.*

Friday, October 24, 2014

Onward!! (To simplicity)

Sometimes you just need change! That's exactly what's going on in my life..all in a good way. Anyways, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share with you all the changes I'm making  to improve our life..financially and organizationally. Maybe it'll inspire you to find places that need change in your life.  Maybe my idea fits you perfectly.. 

Follow me on this journey to a simpler,less stressed out life!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Spring cleaning for the brave

Okay so if you looked around my house (the most used areas) you'd see that we're pretty minimal. We like it that way..less to clutter the mind,stress you out and to clean. Let's face it..less to clean is fantastic! Anyways we decided that this week we'd go through the worst parts of our house..oh man! I'm so ashamed! We used the simple "one year rule".. if we're not going to use it in the next year or won't miss it if we don't see it in a goes. :)

As I said before, we like minimal, clean.. the living room is great example..

However..every house has its dirty little secret and ours was the so-called office..basically the room where things went to die.. after awhile we just gave up on that room, although I can't remember why and it turned into this..
yes, that's as far as I could open the door

It took awhile but we managed to find the floor and recreate a vital part of our life..Behold! The office!
This is the exact same space!

There are bits and pieces that still need work but it's fully functioning and has been dearly missed. Oh and the pile from above..what wasn't recycled become donated and very few things went to the landfill. I realize everyone has there own method of decluttering but this was simple and worked best for us. One day of hard work is now going to make a difference in our lives for years to come. Here's where we work, study and manage the peace and with organization.

If like most of us you're having trouble getting started and just don't know what you should keep..try this. I found it on Pinterest and thought it was fitting. You'll be amazed and what you really treasure, really need.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The 911 Binder *Do this Today!*

If you can't tell I love binders. Honestly though I truly believe that every household needs this binder now. Why? Because it could save you heartaches, headaches and stress. I'm not the inventor of this idea (I couldn't tell you who is) but as usual I tweaked it. Please note, my camera hates me today so the pics are blurry but I promise, you'll get the idea.

So what's in this binder..everything vital!

The first part of this binder uses old baseball car holders (office store) and it holds credit cards, store cards and Social Security cards. This way those cards aren't in your wallet so you aren't racking them up,they aren't taking up space but most importantly they're all safely tucked away and accounted for.

Behind those pages I used cheap page protectors to hold vital records for the members of the house. This includes birth certificates and message licenses. Now within the first few pages you have all the info to prove your identity if needed.

Next I used old divider folders. The next category is "Legal". Yep, this is where you put your will, power of attorney, divorce papers..things of that nature. Again each thing is placed in a sheet protector.

Next comes "House". This is where deeds and anything house related copies of your insurance policy or any warranty info. Again each thing is placed in a sheet protector.

Lastly is the "Personal" section. There's the part where you keep a list of any former addresses, a list of important phone numbers/addresses and a copy of your resume. This section sounds silly until you have to fill out a resume or anything that asks for years of info that you struggle to remember.

So why do you do this? Well for me it made perfect sense. Not only can I find all my most important pieces of info in seconds BUT in case of an emergency the person who needs it most can find it too. This is certainly something you would keep in a safe or in hiding.  Now, if an emergency struck you can find all emergency paperwork you would ever need in case of identity theft, fire or when you or your loved one passes. If something happened to you and you needed to tell the guardian of your kids where to find the legal documents that cover them, ID for the kids and info for their doctors, get the would only have to give them one location. What a relief it would be for all involved to go, get the binder and be able to breathe easier and take care of the problem at hand. Even something as simple as filling out paperwork becomes a breeze when everything you need is all in one place. This is honestly the best thing I've ever put together.

When I put mine together I didn't have a real two key rings took its place :)

Saturday, February 15, 2014

This is that moment!

You can feel it building, that pressure that feels like everything around you if pushing on you..trying to crush you. You push it aside, you ignore it, you even make excuses for it.. and then the day comes where ignoring it just isn't possible.. Something has to change!

I love my life overall, I especially love the people in it. I wouldn't change them for anything in the world. In fact the drastic change I'm working on is for them. I want to see them smile more and laugh with ease. I love them.

The change I'm making is self employment. I'm not here to talk about the company so no, this isn't an informercial. This change comes from hunger. I'm hungry for less. I want less stress, less bills, less endless hunting for jobs I don't even want. Yes I'm aware that I will work tireless hours and become well versed in rejection. News flash: I do that now! I work as a mom, homemaker, jack of all trades, full time student and wife all day long..easily 18 hrs on my feed wearing a million hats. I love those hats but they don't get us any farther to our dream of less. I'm halfway through my Masters and still somehow I don't have what it takes to earn a standard paycheck. (It still baffles me) My husband with fantastic credentials and experience breaks his back in a thankless job that pays the bills and I'm endlessly grateful. He's the catalyst for this change. :)  He believes in me and my ability to take this leap of faith and turn it into greatness.

This won't be just a second income. It will be a key to freedom from the traditional job world! It will work, it has to work and I will make it work!

I'm tired of waiting on others to see my help me up the ladder, give me a change... I'm taking my chance. Snatching it from the depths of the "someday you'll be good enough in societies eyes to deserve it" bucket and running!

"Be the change you wish to see in the world"- Ghadi

Make today your day! Make the change happen! Suck up some pride, give up those things you know you don't truly need (you know the ones) and believe in yourself enough to say "I want this bad enough to give everything I have for it". You give everything for everyone else..why isn't it your turn?