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

 

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

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

#TrueSelfie

In an era filled with multiple selfies, on tons of social media sites and hashtags such as #SelfieSaturday or #JustMe, followed by “like” buttons, tell me…Who do you think you are?  Can you truly answer this question? And when I say “truly”, I mean get honest with yourself. Right down to the nittrue selfiety-gritty truth.

If I gave you an envelope and told you to list on the outside how you think others see you, what would you list?

Meanwhile, inside that same envelope, on a piece of paper, how would you describe yourself?  Is it in line with how others see you? Is there a mask you wear displaying one thing on the outside, yet hiding how you actually see yourself on the inside?

For me, this was a challenge and a huge REALITY CHECK.  Over the years, how others have described me versus how I have seen myself has been an eye opener. I realized I have been my own road block standing in my way and at times, sending myself on a detour. I have suffered from False Evidence Appearing Real Syndrome, also referred to as the “F” word. You know the one… F.E.A.R.S. Be it fear of rejection, fear of yet another broken heart, or even fear of success. Yes! You read that correctly –Fear of Success –amongst a host of other things. I told you, I am looking at the nitty-gritty TRUTH!

Don’t get me wrong, I still have my days when I have to “check myself”. However, at the beginning of it all, I love my Savior, Jesus Christ. In becoming a “Restyled Mom”, I make it an obligation to remind myself that the only fear I need is the one in Psalm 139:14, which tells me that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made”. Another translation reads, “Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous –how well I know it.” (New Living Translation)

Now don’t run off and try to tell people, “God made me complex, so just accept it.” No. This is a unique complex that says you have been designed exactly how God wants you, but you have to start accepting the good parts of yourself.  It’s not all bad; I promise.  Jeremiah 1:5 points out that God knew you before He formed you in your mother’s womb.  However, you have to be willing to move out of your own way and walk in that Godly design. And if you’re sitting there thinking I have this figured out (whatever you have defined this to be)…think again. I too am on this journey with you of being a Restyled Mom and constantly praying to walk in my handcrafted, designer’s original #TrueSelfie.

Sincerely,

Your Restyled Mom…who is rediscovering her #TrueSelfie