Taking a Break – Adopt US Kids Campaign and PSA
- Created on 17 December 2014
I’m taking a blogging break from focusing on all things as they relate to money. Not blogging itself.
I have a wonderful chance to share some information about a topic that’s near to my heart – adoption. I haven’t talked about my journey through infertility on this blog, mainly because it doesn’t seem to fit. However, that 10 year journey is a huge part of why the Debt Free Divas blog exists.
Make Hard Choices to Dump Debt Faster
- Created on 15 December 2014
We talk a lot about cutting back. It’s easy to talk about cutting frivolous spending or things of no real consequence.
Well…sometimes it’s easy.
You will live without cable, gourmet coffee, or clothing upgrades. You will, trust me.
Unless your debt is small or your income is large, you’ll likely need to make hard choices in order to make significant headway dumping debt and pursing a debt free lifestyle.
BIG debt requires BIG decisions. What are you willing to sacrifice in the short term, so that you can win financially? The following is a representative list - a good place to start when exploring the hard choices necessary for financial growth.
Americans Blowing Budgets on Food
- Created on 10 December 2014
A MarketWatch article cites a recent Principal Financial group survey of 1200 respondents and their food related budget woes. I don't remember from Statistics why 1200 people makes a national trend, but the results are interesting anyway.
A huge group found eating related activities wreaked the most havoc on 2014 budgets. 40% to be exact. The largest breakdown (22%) found dining out to be the #1 cause of going off-budget this year.
Variable expenses are tricky. They require planning and discipline to manage effectively. Assuming you are already creating a specific budget each month (or pay period), reigning in menu-based variable expenses is easier with the following approaches:
New Year, New You - Share Your Debt Free Journey (All Phases Welcome)
- Created on 08 December 2014
I've been noodling this project for some time. I love hearing progress updates and encouraging #teamdebtfree in your pursuit of debt free living.
In the past, the Debt Free Divas have highlighted people who've already accomplished debt freedom (either consumer debt only or including the mortgage). That's wonderful. I love it. We'll continue to do it. Those stories spread hope. However, there's also value in hearing from those currently in the trenches as well.
Recently, one of our faithful contributors shared her in progress story of working towards a debt free goal as a single mom. She has dumped $150,000 in debt so far and is well on her way to be debt free in 2015. Her in progress story inspired people all over the country. People she'll probably never meet. She's giving hope simply because she dares to share.
Dumping Debt As a Family @ Enchanted Homeschooling Mom
- Created on 03 December 2014
I recently had a fabulous opportunity to talk about dumping debt (a favorite topic of choice) over at the Enchanted Homeschooling Mom blog. Jill is the author and creator of a home schooling, members only community designed to connect families with resources and support during their adventures with a non traditional educational approach. That community is growing and I was honored to share my thoughts on making debt elimination a family affair.
Pop over to find my 5 reasons families should and can attack debt together. The process is challenging enough. Having a team on the same page can smooth out the rough edges.
I also provide practical action items to make it happen. Leave a comment and let her know you stopped by!
The Winner Is... & 5 Tips to Keep Christmas Spending in Check
- Created on 01 December 2014
...all of us!!!
All who have committed to paying cash for Christmas spending and taking no new debt into 2015 that is. However the winner of our Pay Cash for Christmas $250 giveaway is...
Drum roll please...
Why I Skip Black Friday
- Created on 28 November 2014
My first – an only – experience with Black Friday shopping occurred circa 2003 after opening our Laundromat. We decided to replace a broken TV with a rock bottom priced, Black Friday sale find.
WonderMan determined that we would target a certain massive-box retailer, known for rolling things back.
As Black Friday neophytes, we had no idea that 6 am was when serious shoppers left the stores to go back home. By the time we arrived, total chaos had ensued. Of course, the 10 flat screens for $20 (exaggerating slightly) were already long gone.
No matter. We just checked out the remaining sales and selected a TV/DVD combo for around 80 bucks. That’s when chaos went ridiculous.
5 Ways to Jumpstart College Readiness
- Created on 24 November 2014
We're all looking for ways to reduce college costs. This guest post by Aja McClanahan points out practical steps that should be considered. Learn more about Aja and her family's creative journey out of $100,000 worth of debt and into a mortgage free home.
Watching the CNN documentary, Ivory Towers, left a knot in my stomach. The frustration and hopelessness experienced by some of the students was so familiar. The film features students with hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans and no real prospects for gainful employment. I remember being there so vividly. We are determined that our kids will have a different reality!
To this end, my husband and I are already thinking about higher education for our children, 5 and 9, right now. After research and practically walking out some strategies, I've come up with a list to help anyone jumpstart college planning.
5 Ways to Make Budgeting a Family Affair
- Created on 19 November 2014
Beginning a journey out of debt begins with exercising your budget muscle. Whether using pen and paper or a nifty online application, capturing an accurate picture of income vs expenses is the objective.
Think of the budget as the guide rails on the road to financial maturity. Each month (or pay period), project which expenses will be satisfied with available funds for the current period.
The budget helps you determine exactly how much income you have left to attack outstanding debt. In order to build a budget that works for your household:
Meals @ Home This Month Update
- Created on 17 November 2014
We’re half way through November and I’m curious…how has the challenge been so far? Have you noticed anything about your food purchasing patterns? Have you tried any interesting recipes? Have you thrown in the towel completely?
Challenges are good because they allow for focused effort over a limited time period. I love to use challenges to break up the monotony of budgeting, frugal living, and dumping debt. They add a little sparkle. Let’s face it, if dumping debt was super sexy – everyone would do it.