The Most Wonderful Break Up You Need to Experience

break upI have a wonderful, fashionably aware friend, whom we will refer to as Melissa. Melissa is aware of all the latest trends in beauty and fashion.  She seems to know a little bit about a lot, and I adore her style sense.  Unfortunately, my friend is not money aware.  Actually, let’s put it like this, she does not seem to be money aware until the money is almost gone.  Melissa was laid off from a well-paying contract job as a project manager.  Within the one year of her contract, Melissa earned close to six figures.  However, and I think you know where this is leading, Melissa was not saving at her maximum potential.

So what is this maximum potential? For a single woman, with no kids, no rent/mortgage to pay (the parents were accommodating), Melissa should have been saving at least half of her income and living off the rest.  Notice I said at least.  If Melissa could have factored in her bills (i.e. student loan, car note) and lived off a budget, she probably could have saved more than half her earnings.  Wouldn’t it be awesome to have an emergency fund built with HALF your income?  Here’s where I get really real and sisterly with my good friend when I say…It’s time to break up.

Breaking up should not be hard to do when you’re broke or when you are trying to reach goals (no matter what your income level). Break up with the monthly beauty box, which ranges from $10-25 or more a month.  This equates to approximately $120-300 in savings for the year.  That $30/month gym membership, which truly is super modest, it is costing you $360/year.  Calculate just those two yearly totals and you get approximately $460 saved for the year.  How about putting that on the student loan, credit card and/or car payment?  Break Up…

If you are financially stuck, I strongly suggest you break up with some of your “stuff” you think you cannot live without. Break up with that gym membership, grab a resistance band from your local sporting goods store (usually about $5) and go online to find awesome workout plans.  Break up with that beauty box for a moment and apply those monthly payment as extra towards your debts.  Break up with that car if you must –downsizing may result in an upsize to your bank account!  I broke up with cable and opted for high-speed internet and streaming services.  This break up has allowed for an increase to debt reduction, as well as paid for the little ones extra curricular activities -without adding a strain on the budget.

I am not saying totally go cold turkey and have nothing, but I am saying begin investing in your financial future; invest in your debt freedom; invest in your financial legacy that will be passed to your kids.  Experience the Best Break Up Ever!

debt (money management international)

Picture: Money Management International

What are you willing to break up with? Share, share, share…let’s break up together!

Respectfully,

Your Restyled Mom…who is encouraging this break up

Tis the Season…to Not Go Broke! A Mind Blowing Budget (part 2)

iThe best budgets are Not the ones constructed and kept in your hbudget p2ead; but the best budgets are the ones written out.

Around this time last year, my church announced offering Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University (FPU) classes, and I knew this was God’s confirmation.  It was time to put action with the plan to begin my debt freedom journey.  FPU was by far one of the greatest investments into myself.  Yes.  There will be times when you should invest wisely into Y-O-U!

Somewhere between your next cyber purchase or in-store layaway deposit, in the back of your head, you’re thinking of the mounting bills.  Tell me, “Where’s the Comfort and Joy in that thought?” Do understand, it’s okay to buy gifts, but take the time to also think about their significance and how much is enough.  Do you really need to get one more toy, TV, or ___________________(insert any item here)?

Since I want you to #WIN as we move into 2016, I’ve provided you an idea of a budget.  Of course, you’ll want to doctor it up, but I want you to  Start winning NOW!  Let me know in the comments what you think.

Though this is a “sample” budget and the figures are not factual, I want to express to you a few things:

  1. February 2016 will mark my 1 year anniversary of NOT having a cable subscription.  I asked myself, “Self? Do you really need that monthly cable subscription?” Clearly, you see how “Self” answered.
  2. It takes time to get your budget down. You’ll find the need to adjust and then readjust some more. Some months you get it right; some months not so much. However, Don’t Get Discouraged! Keep going.
  3. Don’t deprive yourself, but Do work on becoming disciplined. For me, BLOW money is a combo of last minute ‘mommy I forgots’ (i.e. I need money for…), as well as those moments when I deserve something pretty (just don’t go overboard).
Payment Amount Category/Debt Remaining Balance
$1,400 (bi-weekly)
$120 Tithes (Always my first) $1280
100 Grocery (I write out a 2 week menu that includes leftovers) 1180
50 Gas (I try not to joy ride) 1130
400 Mortgage/Rent 730
100 Electric* (I’m like that dad on  the TV show “Everybody Hates Chris”.  I can feel the kilowatts going up when lights are left on in empty rooms! 630
50 Water* 580
65 Day/ After school care 515
150 Auto 365
50 Cell phone* 315
50 Internet* 265
50 Life insurance* (have additional life insurance outside your job) 215
8 Monthly subscription* (i.e. Hulu, Netflix) 207
50 Savings 1 157
60 Extracurricular activity* 97
50 Clothing* 47
40 Blow (for those wonderful last minute “mommy I need” moments”) 7

*Monthly payments not broken down into bi-weekly payments

Restyled Moms, Don’t let your 2015 debts become your 2016 regrets.  Give your plans to God and watch him shape them for your BEST.  Here’s to your Prosperous 2016

Sincerely,

Your Restyled Mom…who is living on a #budget and looking forward to a #debtfree future

 

Tis the Season…To Not Go Broke! A Mind Blowing Budget (part 1)

Budgets start in your head, but they shouldn’t stay there.restyledmom.com (2)_edited

As we cruise into Christmas (15 days from today’s date), have you stopped to check your bank account or that credit card balance?  How many times have you looked at the ending balance of your bank account and wondered “where did all of the money go?”, or thought “there just isn’t enough to take care of the things needed, let alone try to get the things wanted’?

I’ve been there, on both ends of the spectrum.  I’ve looked at my bills and my bank account, and thought to myself “my account must have been hacked” –knowing all the while I was the hacker.   I have sat many nights allowing my story to be one of a broke and broken single mom.  I fed into my spirit that only one income would never get me to where I wanted to be; and I would forever have to ‘rob Peter to pay Paul’.  I was praying, but I was not truly giving it to God; I was just talking to Him –going through the motions, but not exercising my faith.

This holiday season, I want the first part of your ‘Budget Build’ to start with feeding your soul positive input.  Sometimes, the preparation for the journey simply begins with mentally preparing for this budgeting lifestyle or possibly repairing how you once looked at things.  For myself, I now speak and plan in faith.  I have a vision for my future and I pray it is aligned with the vision God has for me.

In Part 2, I’ll share with you a sample budget with a break down of a few categories.  Hint, cable is no longer included.

Sincerely,

Your Restyled Mom…who is no longer living to pay debts but now living with plans to prosper.

 

 

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

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.

Updated photo

#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