I May have Messed Up - Storm Prep

Last week, the governor declared a state of emergency and our pantry was EMPTY!  We had been eating through our pantry prior to our trip to see my parents, so it was pretty bare around here.  With the imminent arrival of Joaquin predicted and our empty cupboard...I may have overspent on groceries, spending our entire monthly budget in one fell swoop. (I did not spend the weekly amount allotted f [...]

Oops... Again

Hey everyone and Happy Tuesday! No debt update this week. Along with my post from last week (here), I made another oops. Back in August, I began spreading my mortgage payment across the month on a weekly basis. I did this so that I wouldn't have to make a single, large mortgage payment at the end of the month. It worked awesome in August and I was able to pay a little bit on my student loans ev [...]

Raising Awareness

It's October. We all know what that means. Breast cancer awareness month, right? Pink everywhere! Which is fantastic! We all know someone who has been affected by breast cancer. But do you know what other "awareness" week is going on right now? Frontotemporal degeneration awareness. Fronto-What? Frontotemporal degeneration. Fronto (as in the frontal lobe), temporal (as in the tempo [...]

Ashley's September 2015 Budget Update

Things were pretty ho-hum in terms of spending and budgeting in the month of September. No spending was crazy or out-of-line with what would be expected. Here’s our budget from September:   Place Amount Spent Rent 1200 Electricity 251 Water 60 Natural gas 34 Cell Phones (2 lines) 82 Cable/Internet 97 Car Insurance 117 Trash 35 Pres [...]

Free Wipe Out Student Loan Debt Webinar

When it comes to debt elimination, college loans are often a huge portion of the total debt many from which families are trying to dig their way out. According to the Institute for College Access & Success in 2012, 45 percent of American households are struggling to repay $1.2 trillion in student loan debt. This is an increase of 500 percent over the past decade. More than one million, or 71 p [...]

Ashley's September 2015 Debt Update

Full disclosure:  I have intentionally put September's debt update off (which is why its now October and just barely going up). Anyone who has had some serious debt to repay (like me!) knows it's a road full of ups and downs. One month I'm flying high! Another month I'm down in the dumps. September was a down in the dumps type of month. First, I'm so over Navient. Over it! I'm considering doi [...]

The Cost of Travel

We are in GA visiting my parents (who met us here from TX) for a long weekend.  It is a weekend that I've dreaded and greatly anticipated for months now. I had budget $250 for the trip, but in reality it will really only be $100 to cover the gas to get here and home.  So that's good. We got a really sad piece of news upon our arrival.  The decision has been made to sell the lakehouse (shared [...]

Frugal Holiday Ideas

I'm starting to think about the upcoming holidays. Last year we went out for our holiday meals due to our tiny kitchen and lack of dining table.  We are in the same predicament this year, but I'd really like the holidays to be more special somehow. Here are the ideas I've come up with so far: Find a soup kitchen to serve and eat in for the holiday day itself.  *I'd really like to do this, [...]

Weekly Update #26- Oops!

Hey everyone, and Happy Tuesday! To jump right into this post- last week I made an error. Not necessarily a bad error, but I feel like now, more than ever, I'm skating on thin ice. Every Wednesday (my pay day), I have my checking account withdrawn to pay off my student loans. I put make the payment request sometime before the payday (normally a week in advance) so that on payday, the money is g [...]

3 Financial Issues

Hi friends! First, I just want to apologize for the fewer blog posts as of late. I've typically been really good about posting a minimum of 2 per Monday (sometimes 3) plus one more on Thursday or Friday. But the past couple weeks it's been tough to find the time for even one post! It's not that I don't have anything to talk about. Trust me - I could talk PLENTY about our finances/budget/etc. It [...]

Pumpkin Spice is BACK!!!!

If you are like me, you anxiously await the return of pumpkin season since….well, since the last pumpkin season ended around New Years. In fact, my mother-in-law gifted me a Starbucks gift card as a congratulation when I was first hired at the new job (so sweet of her, right?!). I purposely saved it and used it literally the first day that Starbucks had their pumpkin spice latte back. As in [...]

I've Become a Rewards Hog

JCPenney, Kohls, Rack Room Shoes and Petco are just a few of the places that I have rewards accounts.  So when I have to shop for whatever reason like back to school clothes, shoes, dog supplies, etc. I cut coupons, seek out sales and ALWAYS use my rewards number.  I should also add that when the twins shop and buy their own clothes, they use my rewards numbers, so that definitely helps. Need [...]

Guess What the IRS Sent Me

Imagine my delight (sarcasm dripping) when I opened some recent mail from the IRS and discovered a bill for ...wait for it...$18,000.  Yikes!!! I didn't panic as I knew I have the adoption tax credit that can be used over 5 years and this past year was just year two since the adoption was finalized, but YIKES!  That's a scary feeling. So I finally took the time to wait an hour on the phone [...]

Weekly Debt Update #25- Anniversary Weekend

Hello everyone and Happy Tuesday! With a weekend between last week and me, I'm feeling a lot better than I was last Tuesday. I spent the whole weekend doing nothing but relaxing, playing video games and watching football. It definitely wasn't the most productive use of my time, but greatly needed. As for this weekend coming up, GF and I will be celebrating our 3rd year together! It's crazy h [...]

Alternative Wedding Gift

Have you ever been to a wedding where they have said "your presence is our present"? In other words, saying there is no need for gifts? A couple months ago we got a wedding invite with that printed at the bottom of the invitation. The problem is we were NOT able to be present (as the wedding was being held in Austin at a time when we could not return). Also, these are relatives of ours that [...]

Weekly Update #24- Handling Stress

I hope everyone has had a great week. I want to talk to today about how I and everyone else handles stressful situations- both financially and non-financially. This week has, for whatever reason, been particularly stressful for me with regards to work related items. Nothing too bad- just timing, in the sense that a lot hit me at once this week. Between starting projects up and closing old ones [...]

The Year of Becoming an Adult: September Update

In October of last year I wrote about some of the financial goals we have for the year 2015. I called it “The Year of Becoming an Adult” as a way to acknowledge that, at the ages of 31 and 32, we really should have had these tasks taken care of long ago! It was long past time and 2015 was our year to tackle these important adult milestones. There were four things, specifically, that I had m [...]

And We've Got a Plan

As I mentioned in the last two weeks, my mind has been spinning with what my next plan of attack should be.  And I've finally decided that I what I need to do is sit still and wait. The debt cloud continues to hang over my head like a dark cloud which I'm certainly anxious to tackle. But I think even more pressing to me is what will happen in April when I am determined to leave our tiny spa [...]

An Anniversary of Sorts

This month celebrates a year with no regular child support.  I was trying to remember just how much he had contributed this year since he warned me that he would not be able to help last Sept/Oct.  I think over the last 12 months I've gotten right at $1000 total in support. While this definitely created a burden and we had to cut back a bit, we did it and we thrived.  One of my goals back in [...]

Best Day Eveeeeeeeer!

I was torn on the title of this post. Went with best day ever, but also wanted to write Everything is Awesome, inspired by the lego movie song (check it out here<and now you've got it stuck in your head! mwahaha!) I've had not one, but TWO big money-related success stories to share that happened just today! Success Number One. After posting my morning post about Navient sucking big (blee [...]