Season’s Spending… The Top 5 Ways How to NOT Blow Your Budget on Christmas Shopping

For those of you who have hit the #BlackFriday sales before reading this post, my apologies but save those receipts!

For those of you who are contemplating this coming Cyber Monday,  while trying to figure out what to get for whom and how much money you don’t have for any of the latest and greatest, this post is for you!

Here’s a quick list on How to Not Blow Your Budget on Christmas Shopping (given you have a budget) –which actually is first on the list.

#1. Have a Budget.  Get a set number you are planning to spend.  The goal is to spend cash only; and once the cash is gone, the shopping is done.  Make sure this is a realistic number where you do not have to dip into your savings, a college fund, or even your emergency fund.  That’s right, Christmas gift shopping is NOT an emergency!

Setting a budget can help you avoid overspending (and dealing with debt for months to come)….”

#2. Make a list and Check it twice!  (Hey it’s Christmas, I had to get at least one song in here).  However, it’s true.  Make a list of all those for whom you want to purchase gifts.  Now check that list again and ask yourself, “Is this a genuine gift I am giving or am I simply trying to impress this person?”  No one is impressed when you’re broke!  (Do me a favor and Tweet this because someone is thinking about skipping a Debt Freedom payment).

#3. Ask yourself, “Can I make a gift?”  I have received thoughtful handmade gifts.  Take for example my prayer box.  It was handmade with a few slips of nice stationary paper inside for me to write my prayers and/or intentions.  Check out my Instagram page to see the prayer box  my good friend made for me.  Have you stopped by Pinterest lately?  Check out and follow some of my boards to get some great gift ideas. Continue reading

Conscious Trust

“Test will come when you are practicing conscious trust in and dependency on God.” ~Some wise person

One week. One week of conscious trust. When was the last time you walked in what you were saying? You know that old saying, ‘walk the walk and talk the talk’. Have you ever purposefully decided to become fully aware of every little moment and give each one of those individual moments to God?

I am talking about trusting God with your next power move right down to depending on Him to help you with something as minimal as doing your own hair. Yep folks, I even whispered to God, “Lord I trust you to help me do this hair and not look like a chia pet when I’m done.”

Of course my trust was put to the test. My air conditioner suddenly stop blowing cold air, in the middle of summer, and IN TEXAS! Have you ever been to Texas in August?! Here’s how God said let me show you how I will reward you for your trust and dependency on me. What I thought would be at least $1,000 to fix, turned out to be a little less than $300.  Awesome!  Well not so awesome if you are just broke and don’t have $300.  I get that; which being Broke, Busted and Disgusted is covered under the Finance section of Restyled Mom, and you should read it.

My week of conscious trust was dedicated to giving EVERYTHING to God. Here are some of my prayers and thoughts I conscientiously gave to God -some thoughts deeper than others.

  • Lord I trust you with seasoning this meal I am preparing. (Everything people.)
  • Lord I trust you with my family – though it’s just the two of us, I trust you have us where you want us, right now, at this very moment.
  • Lord I trust you with my career.
  • Lord I tTrust wordrust you with the patience to actually clean my closet.
  • Lord I give you my faith and trust that you will shape my heart to be the women you desire. I am depending on you to cultivate my faith and my heart  for your glory.

“Blessings on all who reverence and trust the Lord –on all who obey Him”  Psalm 128:11  (Share the encouragement and Tweet this)

No matter how great or small, make a conscious effort to fully trust God with it all.  Leave me a comment what you will consciously entrust to God.  I’d like to pray for you.

Sincerely,

Your Restyled Mom…who wants you to Trust

Fresh Out of Whine

While watching Scandal (one of my many TV faves), one of the characters (Cyrus Bean) told Mellie, “Your answer will define your future.”

Oh how this resonated within me and made me ask myself, “What have I been speaking into the universe to define my future?”  My friends and I often have discussions about our goals and aspirations –some farfetched and some quite attainable.  However, one thing we always stay attuned to is the scripture found in Proverbs 18:21.  “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love to talk will have to eat their own words” (God’s Word Translation).

The more I thought about it, the more I realized the words I was speaking were not words to build.  I was beginning to whine (a lot).  I would say things like ‘I only want to serve the Lord; nothing else matters”, followed by, “no lying, cheating man matters”…see where my heart really was?  It surely wasn’t on serving the Lord.  It was more focused on the hurt rather than the One who could heal that hurt.  Last year, I felt like I was all over the place –mentally, emotionally and spiritually.  I was in a one man battle, trying to understand such things like why am I in my thirties and not married; why does it seem as if I am near my break through BUT STILL NOT ACTUALLY BREAKING THROUGH; why when I try to pray, it seems so hard to do.  I mean praying is just a conversation with my closest friend.  Right?

As I am sharing a little of what my “whinery” was stocked with, I am also chuckling to myself while I write this post because here are the facts.  Continue reading

Got Goals?

It’s about 49 days shy of being 2016.  What are your Top 3 Goals for the New Year?

There’s an Instagram post I usually see, around mid-January, which reads something like “if you’re just now planning your goals for the New Year, then you’re already late!”  I’m paraphrasing, but this statement is so discouraging!  However, this post is to ERADICATE the aforementioned ever applying to you; and in turn, ENCOURAGE you to #ShineIn2016!

I usually get started on my New Year’s goals in the New Year, of course.  Though this time, my approach to the new year will be different.  Last year, I completed my 2015 goals worksheet on January 1, 2015.  While I will complete my goals worksheet again for 2016, I have started early –comparing my 2015 accomplishments (some not so accomplished) to what I am working towards in the coming year.  Failure is not an option and there is no room for doubt. (Tweet This) 

Just as it takes time to break a habit, it also takes time to form one.  As of today, November 13, 2015, I have decided to go into 2016 already Rockin’ It!  With that said #RestyledMom, let’s not get so far into 2016 waiting for our budgets, our diets, our attitudes, our _____________ (fill in the blank) to fall in line before deciding to kick your goals into high gear.  You’ll glance away for what feels like a second, and before you know it, it will be 2017.  The only thing you’ll be kicking is yourself –wondering where did the time go?!

Jump start your goals now!  I want you to Step Out on Faith and Tweet @RestyledMom, to let me know how you are going to #ShineIn2016.  Don’t just bring in 2016.  Come in already Shining!

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Sincerely,

Your Restyled Mom…who wants you to #ShineIn2016

Shout Out to Your Destiny

Discouragement is always lurking its ugly head around the corner like a stalker.  How many times have you been elated, on a natural high, just thinking about the positive moves you are making or will soon make?  How many times have you had your plan of attack in place and then WHAM!?  Out of nowhere, the sink gets clogged, your child is acting like a total ‘buttmunch”, and/or the ex calls (ironically right when you are getting to your ‘I’ve moved on’ point).   It has happened to us all, but let’s try to start looking at this differently.

When life is hitting you with those sharp, closed fist punches, stand tall and give a Shout Out to Your Destiny!  Sounds strange?  Yeah, I know.  However, there will be things that will come in an attempt to rob you of your joy, your self-motivation, your happy feelings (I really enjoy Frankie Beverly and Maze J). Nevertheless, stand tall and think about the fact that you are destined for greatness, and your greatness is only as great as you are willing to make it.

Ephesians 2:10 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Continue reading

Fashionable Exchange

How often have you looked in your closet with disgust?  You want to liven up your current wardrobe but don’t want to break the bank shopping for the latest fashions.  How many of you have that one friend who seems to be on top of it when it comes to this fashion styling situation?

I have some friends who I think shop every other day (though this may not be the case) and always look the “bomb.com”.  Take fashion blogger and stylist Renae Antoinette, of The Ultimate Style Diary, she is a wonderful resource for up to date, stylish advice.  Renee has been styling since our days back at LSU.  Her hair is always on point and her clothes –always fashionable. This fashion icon in the making can wear the same utility vest multiple ways, and it looks new each time!  Hey, I give props to my style friends, and to Renae, I give her the ‘Propers’…yeah, I made that up.  Okay.  I got a little sidetracked.  Talking about fashion does that to me sometimes.

Often, I have felt like I have absolutely nothing to wear.  Even if I go to the mall, which I dread, it seems I cannot find that ‘something’ that is just right.  Times like these call for a Fashion Exchange Party.

I like to invite my girlfriends to my home for a fashion trade party, where they bring garments that are no longer in their rotation.  We all have a few pieces, tucked away, that have not seen a happy hour in eons.  I prepare light refreshments, maybe a little wine, and some great music (just to fill the air).  While the girls mingle, items are arranged via a rolling rack (conveniently purchased at Ikea).  I love setting things up as if it’s a pop up store front.

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#RestyledMom #TheFrugalTeam

Friends are invited to bring 3-5 gently worn or new items they are willing to trade for another friend’s gently worn or new item.  Are you wondering about the size differences?  Well, don’t!  Really.  Do not worry much about size differences because a good local tailor can fix that.  I scored a great strapless dress that was a little too big in the boobs area.  I took that baby to the tailor and for $13; I was rocking a zipper replacement and a great fitting dress.

Continue reading

Broke, Busted and Disgusted

Those who know me, know that I am a single parent, working off one income and making it work with the rocks that were thrown at me.  Okay, maybe it wasn’t rocks; but some days, it sure felt like it.  Though I am blessed with an awesome family and great friends, I must admit that my pride gets in the way some times.  I guess I think to myself everyone has his/her own set of issues.  There is no need in me being an added issue –especially where money is concerned.  Though some may not want to admit it, money has a way of driving a wedge between people.  Be it a family member or a friend, when money gets involve2c8bae4311f19b8b27efaa7a6f9c2253d, it can sometimes get tricky, awkward or just downright ugly.

I think my breaking point came when I looked at my bank account and thought to myself “if I lost my job tomorrow, we would ONLY make it one month.”  I assure you within that same month I would have to  my home and reluctantly move in with my parents.  This was when I knew I had to get serious about my finances.  Now, I have never been one to just spend money for the sake of spending it.  On the contrary, I was always looking at ways to make my money grow.  However, it was not growing, and my savings account looked like a high school student’s first bank account.  This alone brought me to tears.  My thoughts quickly turned to taking care of my daughter, as well as questioning what type of money habits were I passing down to her.  What financial legacy was I creating?

Unfortunately, my parents never really sat down and discussed money matters with me.  I guess they figured there was not a need since I wasn’t a big spender.  On the other hand, I also was not a big saver.  It was time to start telling my money how it needed to work for me; instead of me constantly working for my money.  It was also time for me to get my kiddo on the early path to financial success.

Within 8 months and with dedication, I finished paying my student loan debt AND paid off my credit card!  Talk about beginning to walk in debt freedom.  Yes, I still have other debts to demolish, but I am working the plan!  Every dollar has a home.  No more getting to the grocery store counter and praying the debit card is accepted because I forgot to check my balance before leaving home (and of course I left my phone at home, so no conveniently checking the balance).  Now, I am armed with my grocery list AND have my cash in my envelope.  I already know, THIS IS IT –all the cash I have for this shopping trip.  I will post a sample budget later that you can use as a starting point.

If you are a single mom like myself, or simply have reached your point of BROKE, BUSTED & DISGUSTED, then know from one Restyled Mom to another, you are not alone and you can do it! Don’t just have a plan, but work the plan, and most importantly –GIVE THE PLAN TO GOD.

Let the Restyled Mom community know what your breaking point was when you realized it was time to break the chains of debt.  We all need encouragement and welcome opportunities to grow in knowledge and grow together.

Sincerely,

Your Restyled Mom…who is working towards a better financial future