7 Easy Steps To Simplify Your Life Today

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I had originally written this series of posts in honor of National Simplify Your Life Week, which falls during the first week of August, I decided to make a shortlist of 7 easy steps that almost anyone can use to simplify their life starting today. With the New Year fast approaching I thought it might be helpful to post this again for anyone looking to simplify their life and have more FREE time. Continue reading “7 Easy Steps To Simplify Your Life Today”

Living Debt Free And Loving It!

If you have followed along with Dave Ramsey’s baby steps that I’ve been posting about over the past couple of months then you know what I’m working towards.

I really want to become debt free and pay off all of my bills so I have no financial obligations. Well, maybe not none per se  but as few as possible. Can you imagine how good that would feel?

I know how that feels and I really want to feel like that again, soon! Once I reach this goal I will be able to do a lot of things that I’ve always wanted to do but haven’t been able to do.

Once I have freed myself from these financial burdens I will be able to help others, including my children, to learn to build their wealth.  I want to teach them by example how to be debt free and stay debt free. This is something I am seriously committed to doing and hope maybe you will want to join me on this journey.

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Paying Off The Big Bills

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Well, I don’t have a mortgage or a car payment at this time but if I did I would definitely be working on this one. This would be a very big step towards becoming debt free for anyone according to Dave Ramsey.

There are a couple of ways to work on this. You could just apply extra money towards the payments to pay it off quicker. You could also consider refinancing to get a lower rate so that you can achieve your goal of becoming completely debt free!

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Saving For Our Children’s Future

OK, so I’ve been paying off bills and saving up money for emergency funds. I’ve also been looking into investing some money for retirement but what about my kids’ future?

Well, my oldest three went into the military and therefore have some benefits to help them get their education. My fourth child is super smart and I have no doubt that she will be able to get some scholarships and I will try to help her out as much as I can.

My next three children have some scholarship money available from their adoptions. My special needs son also has some scholarship money that we have been able to use to provide for his current education. The money not used could possibly be used for his education later on.

My youngest two will probably need some type of account set up for them. Who knows where their paths will lead. I know right now they have plans to follow their big brother’s foot steps in the military but that may change in the future. There are a couple of different educational savings plans recommended by Dave Ramsey that I have been looking into for saving.

I do want them to have the best future possible and I plan to do the best I can.

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To Invest Or Not Invest

I have been trying to follow Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps to get out of debt and save a little bit of money. Now that I’ve made some progress it’s time to make another decision.

Mr. Ramsey emphasizes how important it is to save for your retirement no matter what age you are at. I am no longer working a public job so I haven’t been paying in anything towards my future.

He suggests investing at least 15% of your income into pretax retirement funds like Roth IRAs. He also suggest investing in your company’s 401k plan where your employer could match your investment. I did do this when I was working.

He also goes into more explanations about how and where to invest your money. I will need to do a little bit more research on this before I make any permanent decisions on where or what I will do.

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Building Up An Emergency Fund

I’ve done a couple of posts here and here about getting out of debt, and hopefully staying out of debt. One of the ways we can stay out of debt is to be prepared for unexpected circumstances.

Now that I’ve gotten my $1,000 emergency fund built up and I’ve been working on getting those bills paid off it’s time to build up that emergency fund so I can handle anything that comes my way.

Ideally this will cover between 3 and 6 months worth of expenses. I should definitely be setting up a separate savings account for this to keep it from tempting me to spend it on something I might want.

You can read more about this approach with Dave Ramsey’s book here.

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What is Financial Freedom And How Do You Achieve It?

Cover photo by Jayson Hinrichsen on Unsplash

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What is financial freedom?

That doesn’t seem like a trick question but it can mean so many different things to so many people. Financial freedom is a goal for so many of us. For a lot of people it may include things like:

  • not living paycheck to paycheck
  • not having to work overtime to make ends meet
  • being debt free
  • having a significant amount of money in savings
  • having money set aside for college
  • having money set aside for retirement

For others, including myself it not only includes the above but also things like:

  • having money to plan for future events
  • having money to help others
  • not having to worry about bills
  • not being afraid to check your bank account
  • not having to worry about unexpected financial emergencies

Sound almost impossible doesn’t it? Well, it’s not. I promise. I haven’t made it there yet but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. It does require a lot of work and some sacrifice on your end. Continue reading “What is Financial Freedom And How Do You Achieve It?”

Paying Off All Of My Debt With The Snowball Method

As I mentioned in an earlier post I finally got all of my hospital and doctor bills paid off. I am still working on getting my emergency fund built back up and then I’ll be working on paying off my other debts like credit cards. I plan to use Dave Ramsey’s snowball method to get them paid off.

I’ve made me a list of all of my debts and how much I owe. I’ve put them in order from the smallest to the largest as well. Then I will work on paying off the smallest while making minimum payments on the rest. As I knock them out, one by one, I will put that money towards the next one on the list.

I’ve used a similar method before and it worked very well. I am still paying off bills that I accumulated during and after my divorce.

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Is Bigger Always Better?

This weekend we went looking at a couple of houses. Seems a little crazy after all the work I’ve been putting into making our little house work for us, right? I just happened to have scrolled apst a couple of listings on Facebook which got me to wondering if we really should look into exploring our housing options.

Maybe we shouldn’t have looked because now it does make me not as content with our current home even though the houses we looked at were not necessarily nicer, but they were considerably larger. In fact one of them would have been really perfect for our family.

The first house was nice, really nice. It had the right amount of bedrooms and two bathrooms. There was more room than we currently have but the layout just wasn’t quite what I wanted. Don’t get me wrong, we definitely could’ve made it work for us but it just wasn’t ‘The One‘, if you know what I mean.

The second one was not in as great as shape and it was a bit older. I liked it from the moment we walked in the door. (Actually I liked it from the time I saw the pics on Facebook.) I could see us setting it up here close to the house we are in, overlooking the same pond, and the picture was so pretty. I really could imagine the view from the kitchen window, looking out onto the back deck where the kids could have a lot of fun. There were plenty of rooms and two bathrooms! You just don’t know how much I miss that second bathroom.

The kitchen was considerably larger than the one we have and it had triple the cabinets we currently have. There was a large master bedroom with a master bath and a tub… ahhh, Calgon take me away… please. Not to mention the closet space in all of the bedrooms. It’s funny the things you miss. The front room could have been a living room, a dining room, or just about anything we desired.

Off the kitchen is a utility room with plenty of space for our washer, dryer, and freezer which are all currently outside. There was just so much space… I mean a lot of space. I don’t even know if I have enough furniture to furnish it since we’ve downsized and gotten rid of so much!

Have I mentioned the homeschool room?

I have to smile when I say this because as soon as I walked into the room everyone was giving me suggestions as to what to use it for. An extra bedroom, an arts & crafts room, a dining room. I just turned around with the biggest grin and said it would be the homeschool room. With patio doors that led to the patio and a wall full of windows that would look out onto the pond it would be perfect.

There were built in bookshelves which would save me a lot of money at IKEA! There were even some window seats built in one side of the room. I could already picture some cute little cushions on them and a couple of the kids curling up there to read their favorite books.

Now you are probably thinking this must have been a pretty pricey dream house but in reality it wasn’t. It probably was when the current owners bought it many years ago. The wear and tear of raising a family shows in the house, which was actually a triple wide mobile home, but it also shows the memories that the family had.

The current owners are looking to downsize as the kids are grown and out of the house. They were eager to share some stories with us and they enjoyed having kids in the house. Yes, our brood went with us even though they didn’t realize we were house shopping. 

Sigh… yes, it would be great to get a bigger house. Well, maybe it would be great because that would also mean more payments. I have been working towards my goal of paying off debt to get away from payments so this is not helping me with that goal. We started calculating costs to move and set up the house, well and septic, and then everything else and it almost doubled what they were asking for it. It’s a lot to think about.

Also a bigger house means more electric, probably. It also means I would most likely spend more time cleaning it. Then again, maybe I wouldn’t because it wouldn’t be as cluttered as our house is now. This house definitely needs some TLC though. That doesn’t scare me though because I know that we could work on it little by little and make it our home.

Uh Oh! I used the word HOME! That’s how I knew I had probably made a mistake by coming to look at the houses. Yep, so now I’m kinda in a little limbo of my own making. Do we stay where we are and be content with what we have or do we try to make this work to have the bigger home that we’ve been dreaming of?

I really don’t know what the answer is. I’ve been doing a lot of praying before the Facebook posts even showed up. So now it looks like there is a lot more praying to do. I just can’t stop thinking about how lovely that view would be out the windows. Or sitting on the back patio with a cup of coffee early in the morning watching the mist rise off the water as the sun comes up.

Like the picture at the top of the post says ‘Asking is the beginning of receiving…‘ so I am going to pray and ask God to make this possible, if it is in HIS WILL for our little family. If not, then I will be content with this little house on the pond.

I will keep you all updated on our decision but until then please say a little prayer for wisdom and guidance for us while making this decision.

Thank you all!


Wealthy Affiliate, The New Way To Make Money With Affiliate Marketing?

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Maybe you are like me and just kind flopping around trying to get this affiliate marketing thing to generate enough income to justify the amount of work you put into it. The little successes you see from time to time are just enough encouragement to keep you going but you know there has to be a secret to earning more.

Or maybe you don’t have a clue on where to start but you know you need to earn a little extra income because your minimum wage job just isn’t cutting it.

Or maybe you are a stay at home parent, a single parent, or unemployed for other reasons and really need an income to help support yourself and your family. Continue reading “Wealthy Affiliate, The New Way To Make Money With Affiliate Marketing?”

Becoming Debt Free One Bill At A Time

As I’ve mentioned before I am working on paying off some of my hospital bills from February. I had been so sick with a kidney infection and had to go to the hospital a couple of times. Needless to say that without insurance these trips got very expensive.

However I am please to report that this week I have finally paid off the final bill that I’ve received. Yay! What a relief!I have also been looking at Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps and plan to start working on Step #1 which is to save $1,000 for an emergency fund. I did have this saved earlier this year but due to hospital bills and other unforeseen circumstances this has since been depleted.

There are so many different ways to save even when on a budget and if you check out my Pinterest Board Momma: Be Debt Free  you can check out some different ideas there. I haven’t made a set plan yet but I’ve put $25.00 back in the pot as start towards that $1,000. I’m hoping to reach this goal by the end of the year.

I’ll be posting a new post about the second step soon!This post does contain affiliate links which help to support our blog.