Posted in budget, finances, income

2017 budget goals

In this new year, there’s new budget goals! I hope to pay off some credit cards, lay off the spending, and build up a savings. I know we’re already a month in, but, what are you still shooting for?

Goals need to be written, something tangible, something specific, something measurable and have a deadline. Break up the huge goals into smaller bite sized ones. I mean, you can’t eat a whole cake in one bites right? Neither can big budget goals be accomplished in one moment, otherwise it wouldn’t be a big goal, right?!

Anyhow, last year I stopped using credit cards. It brought me into crazy debt that I couldn’t pay off. This year the goal is to stay credit card free and to pay off some of those obligations. I also have new obstavles, but I shall not allow it to stop me. How does being laid off from a job spin your world?

I’m on a quest to be more and do more. I want to be a work at home mama, so I can be more available for my family. I want to focus on my growing business and allow that to be my sole income. A few of my friends are succeeding in this without being torn from home or their kiddos, I can do this! Want to know more about how you can do this, too? Reply below or message me on Facebook!

So what’s my budget goals for the year? No credit cards. Pay expenses on time, every month. Build up a savings account, even if it’s only $50 a month (I need to start somewhere!). And become a work at home mama with my growing business, which means earning the same monthly income or more before the end of the year.

Posted in budget, finances, income, Job Hunt

3 places to job search

Sometimes, making ends meet financially is harder than it looks. Yes, you can budget. Yes, you can sell all that stuff you no longer need. But after that’s all said and done, are your expenses still higher than your income?

I’ve been there! Sometimes I still feel like I am, especially in seasons like this one where we’re so focused on spending time with family and gift giving. I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling the pressure of just making it until the new year with one pay day left in the year!

Well, if looking for a better paying job or maybe getting a second job is the path you’re on to be more financially stable, where are you looking to achieve this? Where do you start? 

3 places to turn when looking for a job:

LINKEDIN – LinkedIn is a professional platform similar to Facebook where you have the ability to connect with former coworkers, friends, clients, vendors, groups, etc. Each user can upload their resume, not limited to the length like a regular resume (generally 1-2 pages) and if there’s an article about the company or position the user can attach it to the particular job. This is also a platform that allows others to put a good word in for you! There’s job announcements and articles that you can like and share and comment on as well. It’s a great way to get connected in the employment world!

INDEED.COM – Indeed.com is a very popular job search engine that pulls job announcements from all over the internet and places it in one spot. How convenient! When you find an announcement you like, simply click on it and the site will take you to the original post. Double convenient! You can upload your resume in indeed.com and allow employers to find you just as you search for them. Win-win!

INFORMATION INTERVIEWS – Conduct information interviews. What is that?! Well, it gives you a chance to meet the key players in a company. There’s no pressure on you not them. Do not bring a resume to this information interview! Call or message someone at a particular company you’d like to work in and ask to set up a 20-30 min information interview. The goal of this is to stick to the timeframe you set because you want them to know you think their time is valuable! Meet in a space that’s unbiased yet convenient for both of you. And bring a few questions to ask the person about the company and a particular position. You can ask about their requirements and what they look for in a candidate. You are trying to gather information about the company and position(s). In turn, they may ask about yourself. This may give you an edge to get that upcoming position! 

These three simple ways to find a job, hopefully a better culture, salary, and utilize your education and skills a lot more would be ideal right? Hopefully a place you can utilize that passion, your occupation desires. I hope you find this useful and it helps you to get debt-free down the road, too! 

Posted in budget, Debt management, income, Payday

Paycheck budgeting

Depending on how often I’ve gotten paid throughout my adult life, it’s affected how I pay bills. I’ll admit, it was much simpler when I got paid once a month and just pay all my bills with each check. And it forced me to budget what was left over much easier. And I always felt broke for the rest of the month.

Then there’s the weekly paycheck. I’ve been through the weekly. It felt like I actually had money, but it forced me to divide my bills up into 4 pay checks and hope I get everything paid off at the end. It was quite stressful for me.

More recently, I’ve been paid twice a month or every other week. The results are quite similar for these two, at least in my experience.

Now, I divide my monthly payments into two payments. For the most part, the bigger payments I actually divide in half. The smaller payments, I can divide it into two payments each or I can pay one bill one week and another at the next check. It’s all about keeping track of what’s being paid and how much is owed when.

The last thing I want to do is miss a payment and end up paying late fees. I’ve been known to pay late fees and right now, I’m trying to avoid that! I could save so much money if I stop the late payments!

I’ve attempted the Excel spreadsheet budgeting, but it hasn’t been very effective for me. I’m going to start using a calendar to show myself when and what I’m paying and how much is going where. I’m a visual learner, so I need to see my due dates and payments. It is a new way of tracking my budget and payments that might be a lot of work, but I’m sure it’ll be useful for me in the end. I’ll post later on my progress.

I want to do the cash spending as well, so any spending money for the week or specific time period is to using cash only. I still need to work on this as I’ve already failed with this paycheck.

Posted in Debt management, income, Job Hunt

It’s PAYDAY!

Some people get paid monthly, some weekly, some twice a month, and then there’s people like us who get paid every other week.

I find it quite frustrating that my monthly take home is less than the rent that is due. Why is it that our cost of living is so high and our salaries so low? Many people out there will say this about anywhere they live.

Let’s break it down for you a little bit more frustrating for me. In my line of employment, the US Army requires us (defense contractors) to have masters degrees. If I were to do this job with a masters in a civilian position, we’re looking at more than twice our salary for the requirement.

So why don’t I get a job elsewhere? Well, for starters, wherever the “elsewhere” is, it means I likely won’t be assisting soldiers. I never joined the military (and if I tried, I likely wouldn’t have gotten past the physical), so in a way, this is my way to “give back”. I enjoy working on post. Maybe someday I can get a government position, but the job openings here are slim.

In the meantime, payday is quite frustrating. I do my best to pay bills and buy what we need, but it’s all generally ruling my life.

Today I paid half my car payment (I pay half every paycheck) and bought uniform shirts for my son for kindergarten. Why are shirts so expensive? How do low income families afford to buy their children uniforms for school?

We also need to figure out how to place money on his meal card. I will be registering him for the A+ program, which means I can drop him off before school and pick him up afterwards while YMCA staff supervise him. This will incur $150 a month that’s out of my usual bills. It’s throwing me for a loop at the moment.

I’m not sure how all of this will work, but I’m sure everything will come together as it always does.

God will provide, He will guide, and He is victorious.

Posted in income

Unlimited potential

I’ve been freelance writing for a few years on a site called examiner.com. It’s like an online magazine with writers of all types, who writes about topics of all kinds. I started off with topics more concrete, like local recipes and farmers markets, then picked up local Christianity. But the first two didn’t really interested me and the last one I regret letting go. So I took a break for a couple months, dropping these topics entirely.

The last several months, I’ve been writing with the topic of small business. I really don’t know much about small business, but I’ve been learning so much! There’s a lot to learn about the laws, loans, licenses, marketing, capital, etc. the opportunities are pretty endless.

I’ve heard of writers making up to $3,200 in two days! And here I’m lucky if I’ve made $75 in the last four years! But I haven’t been writing consistently, so that is a good reason I’m not doing as well as I could be. And I’ve noticed the tabloid type articles are the ones that bring in great views.

However, I do not believe in plastering rumors and terrible news about anyone or organization. It is so much better to uplift and edify! I’ve been encouraged to take on a new topic. Something more entertainment related. I haven’t quite figured out a title just yet, but I hope to submit a request by the end of the week.

If you want to write for examiner.com as well, use this link:
http://exm.nr/15Ph1mt

Any ideas on what you would want to read about?

Posted in budget, Debt management, income

Living paycheck-to-paycheck

It’s interesting how we allow ourselves to naturally live payday-to-payday, paycheck-to-paycheck. There’s gotta be more to life than this!

With that said, I’ll admit to doing this for many years. I was never really taught how to save or how to budget. I’ve learned that in the last five years or so and now I’m busy playing catch up.

It’s really rough when your expenses far outweigh your income. There’s something just not right with that thought. Then add in gas and food? Hmmm…

Part-time income is an option. Is it worth doing if it means missing out on my son’s growing up? Being that he’s a “mama’s boy”, I don’t believe it’s worth being away more than I already am. I used to work from home at night? Which allowed me to be home with him at least a few hours before he went to bed. It’s been helpful on his attitude and behavior, I think.

So, my options are currently to get a higher salary job, lower my expenses somehow, and getting part-time work from home. Food for thought: I know what I need, but how do I get there?

One option is to monetize a blog and start engaging in other social media to get more viewers. Interesting, and something I can handle. Now, to get that in motion and hope to earn enough that I can not only pay bills but be able to build a savings all while hanging out with my son and teaching him how to budget…

Posted in Debt management, Empower Network, income

Money Tree is currently bare

The title of my blog has been on my mind for a while. I’m currently not debt free, nor am I a money tree.

You see, I’m in the process of getting to that point of paying off debts and snowball effects. I have paid off two debts in the last two weeks. I think this is a great accomplishment, considering one of those two debts was $16,000+ years ago.

As I still have oodles of credit cards and loans to pay off, but as I snowball payments to the next accounts, I dream of these bills getting paid off quicker and quicker!

Then I recall I just rearranged my college loans and currently will be paying $400 a month. I’m not so sure I can afford that yet! I need to call the bank to see of there’s anything else they can do to help lower that.

This blog is to help readers see that whatever financial issues you’re having, you’re not alone. It’s how we handle these growing mountains of bills, and how to slow it from growing, that really matters.

Lets steward what we have towards uplifting and edifying. Sometimes we need to increase our income in order to afford our expenses. One great way to do that is by working an additional job, or possibly making money online, from home.

I’ve started a very different, encouraging, and fun business recently. Want to know more? Check it out here