Saturday Sit-Down!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Hey ladies!  I am so excited to be featured today on one of my favorite blogs!  I am answering some questions on Erica's blog as part of her new Saturday Sit-Down series!  Be sure to check it out!

Also,  I know I've been a major slacker this month but I plan to be back next week with a deployment update, debt-free update, and a post about our furry boy!

Recommendations? Anyone?

Thursday, March 23, 2017

All right, y'all!  This is going to be a short one.  Other than Dave Ramsey's financial books, I really haven't read much this year.   I can't seem to get into ANYTHING!  I need some recommendations of really great books, ones you couldn't put down.  Must be Fiction but other than that I'm pretty much open to anything!  Annnnd Go!

Three Things

Friday, March 10, 2017

I saw this going around the blogosphere and decided to give it a go since I've really been slacking here lately.  Between working a new job and adjusting to my husband being gone, I have had zero time to myself. 

Three thing's I'd never give up: 
My family and friends, travel, and books.

Three favorite vegetables:
Corn, Green Beans, and Carrots.

Three shows I watched faithfully from beginning to end:
Gilmore Girls (probably seen it all the way through 10 times), Chicago PD (I've been watching since episode 1 and still watch faithfully), and Flashpoint (obviously I didn't watch it while it was on but I watched all the way through on Netflix).  I rarely watch shows faithfully.

Three places I want to visit inside the US:
Portland, Oregon; San Diego, California; Boston, Massachusetts

Three places I want to visit outside the US:
This question is just mean!!  Hmmm... Ireland, Austria, and Peru.

Three things I always have with me: 
Military ID, a book, and my phone.

Three things that are always in my car:
Sunglasses, Jumper Cables, and an unnecessary amount of water bottles.

Three most recent calls were from/to:
My best friend, Alex, the place I'm going to board my dog, and my friend Randi. 

Three books I read and loved in college: 
Seriously, I don't have a clue! I don't remember a thing that I read in college lol

Three most often used makeup products:
Mascara, Eye Liner, and Cover Up.

Three things that make me laugh:
Cat videos, videos of people falling, and my husband.

Three things that make me cry:
Anything involving shelter dogs, military homecoming videos, and sappy movies.

2017 Goals: February

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Can't say I got much done on the goals front this month.  It's been stressful between the new job and preparing for Josh to leave, plus there was a last minute trip home in there.  Hopefully March will be better once I get settled into a routine and get used to this new job.

1.  Switch to a Vegan Diet
I didn't really make any progress with this but I'm also happy to report that I haven't regressed either.   I'm still eating Vegan dinners, and when I bother to eat breakfast (I know) I eat a vegan breakfast.  Lunch is the only one I'm working on.  I'm pretty good with that for now.  Over the next few months I plan to play around a bit with my meals.  I have a few meals that are my go-to's but I want to try a few new things for breakfast and dinner before I focus on lunch.   I'm feeling good about where I am with this goal right now. 

2.  Focus on my Health
This was a big fat freaking fail!  I only went to the gym maybe 3 times and I ate like crap.  I'm hoping to get back on track now that I've started my new job and we're past the start of this deployment.   I've also majorly failed in waking up early.  I've been waking up between 8 and 9 every day but I want to be up by 7 at the latest.  I just epically failed at this goal this month.

3. Focus on Bolt's Training
I've been doing more obedience training at home with him, but I still want to get him into classes.  This will have to happen in April after we get our finances in order with all of the recent changes.  I did find an amazing place to board him while I'm out of town this month.  They'll include him in doggy daycare and he'll get to play all day.  I really like this place and I'm excited to see how it works for him.

4.  Photo 365 on Instagram
Again, this one is going really well.  I'll miss a day here and there but I have only missed 6 or 7 days this whole year, so I'd say that's not too bad.   If you follow me on Instagram, my hashtag is #JLRich365.

5. No Spend Year
Well, the Army really hasn't given us a choice in this one.  Josh had to buy so much stuff for his deployment and it wasn't optional.  However, I will say that we didn't buy anything that wasn't needed or required.  I'm counting this as a win for this month. 

6. School
I am actually taking this one off the list.  I was accepted to the Paralegal program at the local community college, but I have decided not to go that route.  Instead, I am going to take classes online at UMUC for a BA in Legal Studies, but I'm not going to start until next year.  Right now, working and saving money is more important than going back to school.

7.  Finish the 50 States Challenge
Fail, just fail. 

Book Reviews: February 2017

Friday, March 3, 2017

I don't normally read non-fiction books, but this month was the month of non-fiction.  I'm really glad I read each of these books, though.  I feel like I learned a lot.

LOOOOVE!  I really needed this.  I have been wanting to do something about my student loans for a while.  As you can tell by all of my recent financial posts I am following Dave Ramsey's seven steps.   I really like how he explains each step in detail and gives good logical reasons when it should be don this way.  And I know that it's basically a way to market his plan, I did love reading the success stories from different people.  This was a huge motivator for me and I highly recommend this to anyone looking to get out of debt no matter how large or small those debts might be.

I gave this book a 5/5 on my GoodReads

This book was a bit weird for me.  I found some of it to be really helpful and some of it to be a bit silly.   I don't think inanimate objects have feelings and since I'm not a particularly emotional person, I'm not going to choose what I keep based on a feeling.  I did like the advice on getting rid of stuff by category and I did like the illustrations of how to fold clothes.  If you can get past the author and how neurotic she sounds, it can be helpful.  I don't know that I'd go out of my way to recommend it though.

I gave this book a 3/5 on my GoodReads.

While I didn't find this book as useful as Total Money Makeover, I did learn a few things.  I'm not very knowledgeable about investing so this helped a lot as far as giving me a place to start.  I also learned a lot more about interest and bank math, which sadly, I didn't really know much about.  If I had read this book at a different time, I may not have liked it as much but for me it added fuel to the fire, reading it after reading Total Money Makeover.   I would definitely recommend reading this book.

I gave this book a 4/5 on my GoodReads.

Getting Out of Debt: My Motivation

Monday, February 27, 2017

When I was reading Total Money Makeover, one thing that stood out to me was him saying that you need to have a "why" or some sort of motivation for getting out of debt.  It could be to secure your retirement, to ensure your children have a better future, or just because debt is annoying.

I have a few things motivating me, one is that my parents, as much as I love them, were and still are not very good financial planners.  They will both probably work until they die.  That is not the life I want for Josh and I, so securing our retirement is definitely a motivation for me!  Another is that debt is annoying.  I get so annoyed every payday because 85% of our paycheck is gone by the next day.  It's frustrating and annoying as hell.  The idea of having another 10 years of this makes my hair grey.  That is also one of Josh's main motivations.  Not having money on payday is obnoxious.  While those things are definitely huge motivators for me they're not the biggest motivator.   My biggest motivator is ...


 Josh and I had a date night this past Thursday because he got the official date that he is leaving and it really hit me that day.  I was really down and wanted some intentional alone time with my husband.  Once we got home and went to bed I was scrolling on Instagram and came across Cassie De Pecol's account.  In case you don't know, she just completed an around the world trip in 18 months, visiting all 196 countries.  She is the fastest female to do so.   Anyway, I was scrolling through the photos and since Josh wasn't asleep yet I shared it with him.

We spent a good hour scrolling through the pictures and talking about some of the places such as Afghanistan and Syria and the other war torn places that she visited.   Then we came across a photo of Mongolia.  Mongolia has been at the top of my list for many years.  I would love to experience life as a Nomadic person and cross the country on horseback.  There is so much about Mongolia that intrigues me and its one of those countries that I will make a point to travel to sooner rather than later. I told Josh this and it really surprised him, and it got us talking about the places that are on the tops of our lists.

We realized that we really had a lot of places in common, and some of his top places are some of the places that I've been and loved such as Rome.  The more we talked about it, the more we really wanted to travel.  Since we're both not making much right now and travel is hard to arrange with the military since things can change at any time, we want to focus on getting out of debt so that when he gets out of the military we can travel.  Also, if we happen to get Germany (I'd love you forever, Army) as a duty station, we want to have a lot of this debt taken care of so we can take advantage of the travel opportunities there.   Even if we end up on the west coast, like Washington, we want to be able to travel out there since we'll most likely end up in the southeast after he leaves the Army.

Traveling more has always been something I want to do, and after our cruises, it is climbing on Josh's priority list, too.   To motivate myself, I have saved some pictures of different places I want to travel to and will be placing them around the house (yes, I'm going to be that person), and in my wallet to remind myself to think before buying something.  What's more important, this thing I'm going to buy or travel.

While there are obviously other things that will motivate me to get our debt paid off ASAP, I think travel will be my biggest motivation and the one thing that makes me push harder.

Are you working on paying off debt??  What is your biggest motivator??

Wilmington, North Carolina

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

After our cruise in 2012, Josh and I made two stops on our drive from FL to MD.  First we stopped in Savannah, GA to visit our friend Heather and then we stopped in Jacksonville, NC to visit our friends John and Kristin.  John was in the Marines at the time and was stationed at Camp Lejeune in NC.  We were only able to stay over night and spent the first day at the beach near Jacksonville and the second day we spent the day in Wilmington.

The first thing we did when we got there was eat, of course!

We had some great food at this place and I would definitely recommend stopping in if you're ever in Wilmington.

The rest of the day was spent just walking around and taking in the sights.  We really had no plans in mind.  We did stop at a bar and grab a beer and then found some random ice cream places for some yummy ice cream, but that's about it.  Downtown Wilmington is a cute little town and I'd definitely recommend a stop in if you're going to the beach in the area. 

Hayley Larue Design