Chase your dreams for FREE

As the lyrics to one of my favorite songs go:

Are you a dreamer also and just don’t know how to take action? Keep reading…

I sometimes find myself surprised at what I stumble upon at the local library. We’ve gotten kids books, music, audio books, downloadable books,DVD’s, and even watched a magic show or two. I’ve seen puzzles and games there, and they even have computers with games for kids or internet access for people who need it.

They do a lot of free events also, like the summer reading program or the Random Acts of Kindness December where kids can earn free books. We do these things every year and my kids love the library and to read. Seriously can’t think of anything better than my kids getting smarter while feeling entertained for free. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

While my kids have gone once a month and filled a bag of a bazillion books for years, I haven’t really taken full advantage for myself. I occasionally grab a trashy audiobook for my commute, or the book we’re reading in the book club I’m in, but just recently I realized something epic.

I’m NOT too old to learn new things. Im NOT too old to follow my dreams. I’m definitely NOT smart enough to know everything there is to know out there either. So why not take advantage of the free resources I have available?

As you have likely noticed, I AM a dreamer and I always dream big. I’m on a journey to improve the financials of my family and really into the F.I.R.E. movement (Financial Independence Retire Early). I have also been interested in real estate investing for years. The library was that next step for me that took me from dreaming to doing. I have already read 6 books this year, and have gained the confidence and knowledge I was lacking to just go for it already.

What have you been dreaming about and what are you waiting for? I bet there’s a book that can turn you into a doer at your local library. ๐Ÿ“š Still scared that you won’t be able to turn your dreams into a reality? I bet there’s a book for that also, and seriously..don’t be scared..it’s free, so you have nothing to lose and only knowledge to gain. ๐Ÿค“

Messy Hair Donโ€™t Care

11ish years ago..I was getting ready for a date with my boyfriend (now husband) and I asked “how does my hair look”. Keep in mind I had spent a LOT of time and effort on coloring, washing, blow drying, and flat ironing. He responded “well, it’s a little frizzy”. ๐Ÿ˜ณ Now if you’re a man reading this, I would encourage you not to be as honest as my husband was to my question. Sometimes it’s ok to lie, and in fact encouraged in certain scenarios like the above.

I share that story as a reminder that..with or without investing my time and energy, my hair is likely still going to be a little frizzy. So why bother right? If you read my post about my No Spend Year, you know I started off with a goal of not buying any clothes, shoes or accessories. Then you may have read my makeup free post, and how I’ve been rocking 2019 makeup free.

Since I’m on a roll, and have set some lofty financial goals for our family this year, I started thinking about other areas that I spend a lot of time and money on. I do believe I spend on average around $750ish on my hair. How much do you spend on average? This is for upkeep on coloring every 10 weeks to cover up grey, shampoo and dry shampoo. I’m already a pretty big minimalist compared to some in the hair arena, since I don’t really use any products besides dry shampoo..a LOT of dry shampoo. But if I spend $750 a year for 40 years of hair maintenance, that adds up to $30,000 over my lifetime. ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ’ธ๐Ÿ’ธ๐Ÿ’ธ

See above mention on my lofty financial goals? I have decided I could allocate that $750 towards my final debt payoff, or for a down payment on our first investment property. Either one will give me better returns than a few people saying “oh your hair looks really good” for a day or two after my hair appointment. ๐Ÿ’โ€โ™€๏ธ

So I’ve decided to try and skip the salon and add that to my No Spend Year. In the process, something else unexpected happened. I stumbled across all these women rocking the #grombre on IG, and it turns out this is trending now. So I will be totally trending, will get to see what my natural color that I’ve covered up the past twenty years (mixed with greys) will look like, and also set an example for my daughter who said “I don’t know why you would want to cover up your natural beauty anyway”. Dang..little wise old soul for the win. ๐Ÿค“

And as a side bar, I also have stopped wasting time and money washing every day or every other day like I used to. I can use that hour of time to read, or write a blog post for you lovely folks, or hang with my family. I stole a hat from my husband, and can rock that dirty pony for up to 5 days. You read that write..5 days! My dirty pony goes great with my makeup free face. I have honestly never felt more confident than I do now and that is ALL that matters.

So if you haven’t thought about your hair lately, stop and think about it. How much time and money are you investing? Are you happy with your returns? If so..great..keep doing what you’re doing and I will be that person who gives you compliments after you get your hair did. If not, feel free to come rock the dirty pony and #grombre with me this year!

Credit Cards and why I will NEVER carry a balance

I can almost see 18 year old, broke, irresponsible, partying, college kid me opening my first credit card offer like I had just won the lottery. Wait..you mean to tell me you’re going to GIVE me access to $2,000, and in return, I only have to pay you a minimum balance of $25?! What?! Why are you so nice and how did I get so lucky?! I was so impressed with your timing and that it was almost like you really KNEW me and were there for me with a credit increase when I was at my lowest..what would I ever have done without you?! Now I didn’t have to worry about that new phone I wanted, that dinner out, that new outfit, etc. Then you even told your other credit card company friends, and they also wanted to give me credit cards?

Fast forward to 24 year old me, who didn’t end up getting her degree, and had spent the past 6 years racking up $15,000 in credit card debt. I kept spending and they kept increasing my limit (I’m starting to figure out at this point they weren’t doing this to be nice). I was paying their minimums and it wasn’t even enough to cover the interest and was affecting my credit. I remember the exact moment where I thought that bankruptcy was my only option and feeling so overwhelmed and thought I would never get out of the hole I had dug.

I was on my way to a job interview for my first job in the insurance industry. I literally had to use two different credit cards for gas in my gas guzzling Durango to make it to the interview (insert whole other soapbox on the car). I was so broke and my cards so maxed out that I could barely even afford to make it to the interview.

Luckily, I got the job that started a very rewarding career path for me. I also got introduced to Dave Ramsey Financial Peace through a coworker at that job, and this was a totally new concept to me. I just thought everyone lived this way and walked around with debt, and honestly had no idea that there was any other way. I read that last sentence over and over, because I fancy myself a semi-intelligent person and it just sounds so stupid..but it’s the truth and a reflection of me being a product of my environment (also for another day).

I then met my husband two weeks after that and we knew right away that we were going to get married. Unfortunately for him, that meant marrying a smart, pretty, hilarious woman..who just happened to have a lot of financial baggage. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ I’m not even going to discuss the $30kish of student loans because that’s for another day.

Apparently my brilliant personality won him over, and he decided to hang out in his moms basement with me for 18 months to help dig “us” out of that debt. Talk about sacrifice. But we made it work and paid all of that credit card debt off, got pregnant with our first human, and saved up a down payment for our first home.

I think back to that $15k once in a while and wonder..what if I had never opened that credit card offer. What if I was able to pay my student loans off sooner, or what if I could have put that in a 401k, or as more towards our first house. And you know what? I do have regrets, but I learned a very valuable lesson that I will carry with me and pass along to my kids. It changed the way I view money, and things and debt. Looking back, I was not living within my means, and because of that 18 months of sacrifice and a rough start to our financial future..I will NEVER carry a balance again. If I can’t afford it..then I don’t need it. Plain and simple. I haven’t carried a balance in over ten years and it turns out I am just fine. What are your thoughts on credit card debt and has it affected you negatively or positively during your financial journey?

Stuffed animals run this motha

I swear it started with one innocent stuffed animal..then another somehow found it’s way into the house. Then..they started multiplying. I don’t recall going to 334 carnivals or claw machines and actually winning from them, or having that many grandparents gifting them.

Seriously..look at that smug face on the octopus..just livin his best life as king of the massive stuffed animal collection.

Is this only a thing at my house? And why is it so hard to part with any? My kids have a back story and emotional attachment to every furry little shit in there. Yet they haven’t touched, talked to, or slept with them in their bed for 3 years. ๐Ÿค”

I allow 5 stuffed animals in each bed. How many total animals do you have running your house? Any tips to destash and keep them out of my house in the future? Anyone want to guess my grand total for a prize? (prize may be a stuffed animal)