In Budgeting, Guest Posts on
July 5, 2017

Proven methods to pay off debt fast

Debt can be overwhelming. Can’t it? Do you find yourself stuck paying the interest every month and not seeing that loan number lessen? You’re not alone! Thousands of Americans are finding themselves in the same situation. I want to share with you some proven methods to help pay off debt as soon as possible – because, let’s face it, debt makes you a slave to the lender. That’s a hard pill to swallow. Let’s get you out of debt and on your want to freedom, shall we?

I want to share with you the 3 methods I used to help pay off $21,000 in 15 months. It’s all things you can do – kids or not. I promise!

 

Budget, budget, budget. Oh, did I mention budget?

If you want to get out of debt as soon as possible, it’s crucial to stick to a monthly budget. Budgets are usually looked at as constraining, but I think about it as a tool that I leverage to gain my freedom. You can still get coffee every now and then, simply put it in your budget. By utilizing a budget, it allows you to see how much money you actually spend a month and out of that what you may or may not need to buy. Most of the time, you don’t need that extra pair of shoes unless they are falling apart on you. Budgeting allows you to see how much money you can throw at debt at the end of the month instead of buying $100 worth of clothes that will most likely sit in your closet.

 

Live Off of 25% of Your Monthly Income

I know this sounds insane. I do! By cutting back and simply living on the bare necessities, you’ll be able to throw 75% of your income towards debt! How amazing is that?! We utilize this method and that’s one way that we’re planning on paying off $150,000 in student loan debt in about 3 years. It’s not like we’re living life missing out either! Not at all. We still go out to the movies every now and then. I get to have a latte once in awhile. It’s just not every day. There’s also a ton of free things you can do around your community. So, we’re still living life to the fullest and having a blast doing it! Don’t think you can’t use this method because it sounds crazy. I think you’ll realize it’s a lot easier than you initially thought. Once you’re on a good routine, you don’t even notice it.

 

Debt Snowball Method

This method is by far the best method I’ve ever read when it comes to paying off debt quickly. The Debt Snowball Method is for those of you who may have large families and can’t live off of 25% of your income. But, it’s a proven method (that I’ve used) to roll your money into one giant debt payment at the end of it.
For this method, you need to focus on your smallest debt while paying off the minimums on all your debt. Once that small debt is paid off, take that payment and roll it into your next smallest debt.

For example, let’s say that I have $500 in credit card debt with a minimum payment of $50 a month. I also have $1500 student loan debt which totals $150 a month and I bought a car right after I graduated college and now I have $13,000 in car debt with a monthly payment of $250.

So, I’ll pay the minimum amount on all my loans. But, if I have any extra money each month – I’ll put it towards my credit card debt to try and pay off that debt as soon as possible. Once that is paid off, I’ll take the $50 that I used to put towards my credit card debt and put it towards my student loan debt. Now I’m making monthly payments of $200 a month. Once your student loan debt is paid off, I’ll take that $200 I used to pay for my student loan debt and add it to my monthly payment for my car debt. Now I’m paying $450 towards my car instead of just $250. Which will allow you to pay off that debt sooner than you ever thought!

You’ll be paying off your debt without even noticing it because you’re so used to paying off all those minimums nothing really changes in your budget and you become debt free sooner which gives you  an additional $450 back a month to invest in yourself!

 

Those are the three proven methods that I used to pay off $21,000 in 15 months and that’s the same method that will allow me to pay off $150,000 in 3 years. To follow along on my debt journey, feel free to head over to my blog and I share with you more tips, tricks, and resources you can use to help you pay off your debt sooner than you ever thought possible!

 

In Product Reviews on
June 30, 2017

Grey + Gingham

Today I am going to share with you an adorable small shop that I LOVE called Grey + Gingham. I came across this shop by total accident. I saw an ‘insta-friend’ post an adorable pic of her son wearing a cute bandie from this shop and thought, “OMG, I need to have one!”

Grey + Gingham is a small shop started by Leah, who discovered her passion for sewing and turned it into a fun side business. She is so creative and is very talented. All of her products are hand sown and the patterns that she uses are lovely.

Know anyone expecting or need a gift idea for a close friend’s kid? Surprise them with one of these super cute bandies! They are so affordable too- priced at only $9.50 each. If you love these drool bibs as much as I do, you can snag 3 pairs for just $25. Below are some of my favorite patterns for summer.

 

My favorite picks for girls

Strawberry Bandie

Purple Bloom Bandie

Pink Seersucker Bandie 

Sweet Daisy Bandie

 

My favorite picks for boys

Navy Gingham Bandie

Twinkle Twinkle Bandie

Blueberry Bandie

Banana Bandie

Another few items that I love are the bandie and bow combos for girls! Although I am very happy that I have a boy, I cannot help but wonder how adorable “my little girl” would look in one of these. I just love how a little bow can compliment an outfit so perfectly. The matching bandie and bow combo is so sweet- and now Leah has me dreaming of having another baby. How sweet are these? You can purchase this set for $14.00 or buy the bows individually for only $5.50!

Lastly, I have to rave about these adorable teethers. Not only can you pick out a cute bandie, but you can snag a matching teether for your baby in your favorite pattern too. Each teether is made from Natural Maple Hardwood and is sealed with organic beeswax and olive oil. The teethers sell for $13.50 each- but you can bundle them with a bandie for just $21.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can we all take a second to admire Landon rockin’ his Patriotic Star Bandie. Another one of my favorites is the banana pattern because a nickname that I often call him is ‘Laney Bannany”- it couldn’t be more perfect. 


Be sure to check out Leah’s awesome shop, Grey + Gingham. Her products are perfect for expecting moms and would be a great addition to your next baby shower gift! Or if your a mom like me, now is the perfect time to splurge on a cute summer look for your little one!

 

 

In Motherhood on
June 28, 2017

10 must-have items for your newborn baby

Getting through the first weeks with a newborn is not easy, as any mom out there would agree, but there have been many baby items that have it made it that much more bearable for us – and I wanted to share them with you! Keep in mind that these items are not uncommon, however are certainly ‘must haves’ for the new mommy and daddy. As promised, here are my favorite recommendations thus far:

 

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. 

1. Medela Soft Shells

These things were lifesavers for me. If you plan to breastfeed, these were the best recommendation I ever got. If you are breastfeeding, your nipples will get extremely sore and cracked – so sore to the point that you don’t want to wear a shirt or even shower! These shells make it a lot more tolerable. You insert them into your bra or cami and your nipple sits in a dome, so that it doesn’t touch anything. They are also great for when your milk supply comes in because it collects and catches any leakage (before your shirt gets soaked).

2.  Kimono Tees 

These are for the baby. I would suggest getting a pack of 3, since you’ll use them quite frequently. They open and snap in the front, instead of having to put something over the baby’s head. These are great because while the baby’s umbilical cord is drying up, you don’t need to irritate it by putting a traditional onesie on. Our baby was comfy in his kimono and we had him wear it to bed every night until his cord fell off.  

3. Breast pump

This is a must have, even if just for back up. Your breasts become so engorged the first few weeks that you may need to pump after your baby eats, just to relieve the pain you feel. Whatever you pump, make sure to freeze for later! 

4. Rock and play sleeper

This is great for when you need a break or baby needs a change of scenery. Ours rocks and vibrates, and baby sleeps very well in it. We also take it with us when we go visit family, which is great because it’s compact and lightweight.

5. Muslin Swaddle blankets 

These come in so many awesome patterns and are so soft. We swaddled baby every night before he went to bed for the first month or so. We found him getting the best sleep when he was swaddled. The tighter the swaddle, the better they tend to sleep – but remember, not too tight!

6. Pampers Swaddlers 

These newborn diapers are amazing. They have a strip that runs down the front of the diaper that lets you know if your baby has peed or not. The strip is yellow and will turn blue when saturated with urine. It is an easy way to know when to change the diaper at a quick glance. 

7. Baby Lounger

This portable baby lounger is a God-send. We took it with us anytime we left the house to go visit friends/family. It is a pack-and-go (it folds up into a backpack for convenient travel) bassinet that is fun and engaging and keeps baby comfy and safe when you leave the house. We purchased the Lulyboo Baby Lounger To Go and love it. It is good for the first three months or until your baby outgrows it.

8. Baby mittens

You wouldn’t believe how long your babies nails can get, even right after they are born – you may even need to give your baby a manicure right when you get home like we did. Mittens are important to have on hand as babies tend to scratch their faces in their sleep or while moving around. 

9. Binky

We were very hesitant to use a binky at first, but it really helped soothe the baby when we were changing or bathing him. We don’t encourage him to use it all the time, however it is better than him sucking on his fingers. We asked our doctor and he eased our fears by saying it can help with the hiccups and reduces the risk of SIDS. If you are concerned or on the fence, check with your baby’s doctor and make the right decision for your family. Also, make sure to buy the 0-6m size, which is much smaller and fits the newborn face better.

10. Micro Steam Bags

These are great, affordable sterilizing bags that you can use up to 20 times per use. You just insert water, the items you want to clean, and then microwave for 1-3 minutes depending on your microwave wattage. It’s simple and easy and makes the whole sterilizing process 10x easier!

 

I hope that this has helped some of you ‘new mom-to-be’ out there. I know a lot of these items seem so obvious, but they really were lifesavers for us! I would love to hear what some of you seasoned moms have to say about products or items you think are your favorite ‘must have’ items. Make sure to leave me a comment below! 

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