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. 

Getting Out of Debt: Goals

Monday, February 20, 2017

Earlier this week, I posted all about how Josh and I want to get out of debt and that we plan to use Dave Ramsey's method.  Once our taxes come in, we will have step one completed.  Step two will be the hardest and most time consuming part for us.   I figured making small goals for myself once per month or once every other month will help me to stay on track.   These are my goals for the rest of February and March.

Start Meal Planning

This is a big one for me.  I am THE WORST when it comes to making a plan before I go to the grocery store.  I usually have a vague idea of what we need and the rest is just guessing.  I end up buying too much or too little, so our grocery bill is a fluctuating mess!   My Mom, on the other hand, is great at meal planning.  Ever since I was little she always had a detailed list to take to the grocery store and had our meals planned for the entire week ahead.  So, when I go home to MD this weekend, I plan to down with Mom and go over how she plans everything.  My goal for this upcoming month is to sit down and plan everything out for 1 to 2 weeks the day before Josh gets paid.  He will be deployed for most of the month so our finances will be a bit out of whack, and I think this is something that will help.  His meals are already paid for, so I really only need to worry about my food which will make things a bit easier.   I also want to prepare any meals that I can in advance, such as breakfast smoothies, so that I'm not tempted to be lazy and buying something I don't need.

Sell Things We Don't Need/De-clutter

As soon as I finished Total Money Makeover, I dove right into Spark Joy.  We've never been packrats or anything but there are definitely things we could stand to get rid of.  Book and DVD's seem to be our weak spots.  We're not going to go crazy and get rid of everything but I did come across about 8 or 9 DVD's that I just don't watch and don't see myself watching any time soon. There are a few books that I know I'll never read again that I could sell, and we have a ton of mugs with no sentimental value that we don't use or need.   My goal is to sell as much as I possible can and then donate the rest. This will probably be a slow process, but any money made off of items I sell will go right towards whatever debt I'm working on at the time.

Work On a Written Budget

This is one thing I always say I need to do, and then never do.  Our finances are going to be a bit tricky in March with Josh's deployment beginning and me getting a new job.  Hopefully by May I'll have it down.  But I still plan to play around with our budget in March and April to see what works and what doesn't.  Dave Ramsey recommends that you have every dime accounted for, which I plan to do.  However, I am going to have to do a budget twice per month rather than once because my pay fluctuates so much.

Work Two Jobs

While I am super excited about getting a full-time job, I'm really hoping to keep my job at Friday's as well.  Our tip-share is paid to us in cash and I don't have direct deposit on my paychecks which would make it easier to deposit into a separate account to go directly onto whichever debt we're paying.   I think this will really help us out with getting things paid off.  Plus it would keep me busy and I wont have time to go out and spend money.  This is going to mostly depend on my managers at Friday's and if they're willing to let me keep just two nights per week.  Fingers crossed.

Brother of the Sun Tour

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Today I'm throwing it back to August 12, 2012. 

On August 12th, Mom and I made our way down to FedEx field (Redskins Stadium) for the Brothers of the Sun tour! For those who don't know, it is a tour that Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw did together along with Grace Potter and Jake Owen as openers.  Needless to say, for a country music fan its the best concert ever.  I got the tickets from a guy I worked with at the time, his girlfriend won two sets of tickets off a local radio station! I happened to be driving with him the day she won the second set and offered to buy the tickets right then and there.  It was a great show!  Kenny Chesney belongs on a stage and Tim McGraw is just beautiful!  We did have one minor issue with the place ... $50 for parking, really Redskins? Anyways, here are some pictures, I'll try not to go too crazy.

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