October 2016 Budget

Jen SmithBudgeting, Debt, Personal Finance18 Comments

Today is our first anniversary! I remember thinking the day would never come and now it’s been a year. Crazy. Our first year has been pretty great. I only cried a few times and they were both on our honeymoon so I got it out of the way early. Related: 3 Habits for Blissful Money Management I started this blog last month to keep me motivated and help people who want to get out of debt. When I started I didn’t even know what financial freedom was or what it looked like. I want to help you discover that there’s … Read More

Is Being Debt Free Worth it?

Jen SmithDebt, Personal Finance26 Comments

I had a great talk with Millennial Money Man yesterday and my favorite piece of advice he gave me was to “write what you’re passionate about.” It took me literally five seconds to think of the one thing I’m really passionate about right now: Getting out of debt. A lot of people don’t understand why we’re doing this. They’re living great lives with money in the bank, shiny cars in the driveway, all with a six-figure negative net worth. So why would I deprive myself in my 20’s, the “best” years of my life, to sacrifice 60% percent of our monthly … Read More

Make Extra $$$ With These 10 Seasonal Jobs

Jen SmithPersonal Finance, Savings15 Comments

I’m trying to wake up earlier. I keep reading about really successful people and they all wake up before the sun. I’m not that ambitious but my alarm did go off at 7 on my day off so I’m feeling pretty confident so far. It only get’s harder when Daylight Savings ends in November and I’ll be up before the sun even if I sleep in. Then throw in the exhaustion of the holidays… yikes. Holidays are hard; I can’t imagine them with kids. But they are also the easiest time to make extra cash. Waiting tables, delivering pizzas, putting … Read More

How to Think Like a Millionaire (So You Can be One!)

Jen SmithPersonal Finance11 Comments

think like a millionaire

 I just finished Keith Cameron Smith’s book The Top 10 Distinctions Between Millionaires and the Middle Class. It blew my mind to learn how deep some of these traditional money mindsets are ingrained in us, and how constrictive they are! 10 Distinctions is an amazing book that everyone who wants to be successful with money should read multiple times. It’s a short, easy read, that gets to the point and makes you reconsider the assumptions you’ve had about money, at least, it did for me. Without giving too much away, here are the points and what I learned from reading the book. 10) … Read More

A Month of Dinner Recipes for Families on a Budget

Jen SmithBudgeting, Frugality10 Comments

Eat Out Less

Growing up I did not have a Suzy Homemaker mother who taught me my grandmother’s secret dinner recipes or how to separate the yolk from the egg white. The extent of my cooking experience came from the instructions on the back of the Chicken Voila bag in the freezer section. In college, I became a vegetarian but I was more than satisfied eating dinners of Steam-in-Bag vegetables and fake meat corn dogs (honestly better than real corn dogs.) But when I got married and we decided to pay off our debt I knew I had to learn my way around … Read More

3 Habits for Blissful Money Matrimony

Jen SmithPersonal Finance10 Comments

Marriage and Money

As of this month my student loan has a 1 in front of it. That started as a 5! I realize I couldn’t have done this without my amazing [frugal] husband. Through this journey, I am constantly reminded how important it’s been to be on the same page with our finances. Our shared goals and vision for the future have made the hard months bearable and the pitfalls easier to climb out of. By the time I met Travis I’d seen more couples divorce in my age group than I want to count. It was so significant to me that … Read More

Tips to Help You Fund (and Keep) Your Emergency Fund

Jen SmithPersonal Finance, Savings18 Comments

Emergency Fund Tips

Everyone who’s ever had an emergency will tell you money is key to making good decisions. We make bad financial decisions when we’re broke and desperate. That’s why having an emergency fund is vital to starting any personal finance journey. We currently keep a mini emergency fund of $1000 while we’re paying our debt and so far it’s worked out great. Now we have a five-month emergency fund because we’re debt free! But it’s hard to save, hard to know how much to save, and hard to avoid the temptation of $1000 sitting in your bank account screaming to be used. … Read More

Budgeting is a B Word – Budget Myths Debunked

Jen SmithBudgeting, Personal Finance11 Comments

Budget Myths Debunked

Everyone I talk to about debt tells me “I know, I need to get on a budget.” In my head, I’m like “duh!?!” But the truth is, I remember what it’s like to be single on a 36K income staring 60K of debt in the face. It’s horrifying, overwhelming, and seemingly impossible. So I just ignored it. I let the interest pile up and said I just can’t do this. Flash forward two years and the budget is a vital part of my life. I am by no means a master budgeter and I’m always the one that ends up … Read More

Buy Clothes, Save The World!

Jen SmithFrugality, Personal Finance10 Comments

Secondhand Clothes

Get ready to feel really good about yourself. I know you’re concerned about your carbon and slavery footprint (You are, right? Good.) but just don’t have the time, energy, and resources to buy locally sourced and stitched clothes to cover your body. It’s hard enough to remember which produce to buy organic, then we have to figure out which blouses are organic cotton? The struggle is real. But you know what’s also real? We consume 80 billion pieces of new clothing every year.   Fast fashion has made design turnover faster than a server at Chili’s. And it comes at … Read More

10 Free Activities For Couples Paying off Debt

Jen SmithDebt, Frugality, Personal Finance14 Comments

10 Free Activities

When my fiance told me he wanted to pay off his student loan debt as soon as possible the little voice inside me would not stop reminding me of all the things I’d miss out on if I couldn’t spend money. Also Read: 10 Free Activities for Couples Holiday Edition! I too had once had the dream of paying off my student loans before I turned 30 but somewhere along the way the compounding interest and dinners out with friends paralyzed me into thinking it simply couldn’t be done. So when I got on board this crazy idea that we’d … Read More