Budget Tips, Christian

Tithing During My Debt Free Journey

Tithing has been on my mind and heart an awful lot lately. I have started a new bible study over Proverbs and it talks a little about it. Tithing is the act of giving your first 10% of your income to God. I have often thought about it as I do my monthly budget. God has always had a line in my budget, but I am now thinking about increasing it. The Bible talks about it in Leviticus 27:30, “Every tenth of the land’s produce, grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD. It is holy to the LORD.” Leviticus is talking about produce and fruit because that was a valuable currency, but it is now translated into the money that we make. 10% seems like a lot when you start doing the math. I have always thought that I was a generous person, until I started this Bible study. Last week, I was talking with a friend who is also trying to pay off her debt. She was telling me how she just sold some clothes for $17. While it was very little, she brought it up that she was excited to tithe the $1.70. Her message to me really stood out. “It’s important to me to tithe 10% of anything I make. Regardless of the amount. Showing God my heart, you know?” No. I actually didn’t. I was so speechless about her message that I actually just sat there staring at it for a minute or two. Sure, on the weeks that I went to church, I would throw a $10 or $20 in the basket as it came around. I had seen my parents do that for YEARS. Actually, I remember being really small sitting on my dad’s lap in church. When the offering plate would come around, he would hand me the folded up check and I would get to put it in there.  I remember being so incredibly excited about dropping it in there. But it is easy to give when the check is coming out of someone else’s bank account.…

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Budget Tips, Food, Money, Uncategorized

13 Daily Habit Changes that Will Change Your Bank Account

Recently I read the quote “You aren’t going to change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” Ouch. That hit hard. I wanted the success. I wanted to work from home. But, when I was tired after working two jobs for other people. The last thing I wanted to do was work on my own blog and my own dreams. I knew that I had to reconsider what I was doing daily and if it matched up with my goals. Shocker, it didn’t. I was working every single day and paying off debt, but I wasn’t getting anywhere on any of my other goals. Bartending is not my calling and I don’t want to be there the rest of my life. I needed to make a change. Remember that your daily habits aren’t going to change overnight. They are small intentional things that will take a little bit of time to change. If you haven’t read S. J. Scott’s Book, Habit Stacking: 127 Small Changes to Improve Your Health, Wealth, and Happiness, I STRONGLY recommend this book! I also began applying this to my finances. What things do I do daily that match up/ don’t match up with my financial goals. There were a ton of things that I do daily, but thinking of how they affected my financial goals was eye opening. I started implementing SMALL daily changes. I started with one or two of these habits and have worked up to doing more of them as time progresses. 13 Daily Habits That Will Change Your Bank Account 1) Making coffee at home or at the office It is no secret that coffee is crazy over priced. If you can get into a habit of making your coffee at home daily instead of swinging buy Starbucks to get it every day, your wallet will thank you big time. Any coffee shop usually charges $3-6 for a cup of coffee. Even McDonald’s “McCafe” drinks are $3+! At one point I figured out the math that with the purchase…

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Budget Tips, Making Money, Money

Financial Apps You MUST Download for your Debt Free Journey!

Do you ever feel like you have a million apps on your phone but you are still searching for the best one? I have been working hard at pay off all of my debt and in the mean time, I have been compiling a list of my favorite tools. There are so many financial tools out there to use that it can be hard to know which tools to use and which ones overlap to do the same things! I have spent a ton of time looking and trying different apps for my phone to get cover all of my needs. Here are a list of my favorite financial apps that have helped me on my debt free journey! Ibotta It is no secret that I love Ibotta. I have shared this multiple times on Instagram. Ibotta is a grocery rebate app. I am all about saving money on groceries. Instead of saving money up front like with coupons, it is a receipt scanning app. The app will pay you for scanning your receipt when you purchase certain items. I love Ibotta because there are a ton of different things on there. Alcohol, produce, meat, frozen foods, and household items can all be found with rebates. Checking it regularly can mean getting cash back on things that you are already getting! When you sign up for Ibotta, you will get a $10 welcome bonus when you redeem your first rebate! (Who can beat free $10!) Acorns Acorns one is pretty new to me, but I have been checking it out lately and I am totally in love so far! It is an investing app for dummies. I have set up my debit cards to round up the purchase so money goes into my investing account when I make a purchase. Acorns also allows you to set up recurring payments. It takes all of the guess work out of what to invest in, because you can just choose your risk level. The app does the rest for you! I have figured out that if I started investing $600 a month (which…

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Budget Tips, Money

The Ultimate Guide To The Cash Envelope System

  Cash Envelopes are the best way to curve your spending because it has been proven that cash is mentally harder to spend than swiping your card!  This system is nothing new to the budgeting world. In fact, this is probably how your great-great grandma carried her budget! If it worked for her, it could definitely work for you! Cash Envelopes are exactly what they sound like. Envelopes or Clips to hold cash that is specifically allocated for a certain category. Things like eating out, groceries, and misc/personal spending are usually the most popular categories for your envelopes, but they can be so many more than that. Cash envelopes allow you to assign a certain amount of money to a category. Once the money in that envelope is gone, there is nothing left for you to spend! They take a few months to get the hang of, but soon you will be rocking and rolling your way to spending less! How to Set up Cash Envelopes? Gather all of your materials To get started you will need envelopes, a pen, a small notebook (small enough for a piece of paper to fit inside of the envelope), clips, and a place to put them! I also use sticky notes to label each clip. I use an old recipe box to keep all of my envelopes organized. The old, decorated milk jug is my coin jar where I put all of my loose change. It actually adds up pretty quick and it is a nice extra $50 every other month. I have seen people use all different kinds of envelopes as well. There are plastic envelopes (which will hold up a little bit longer), or paper envelopes with a ledger if it makes it easier for you to track. Or you can decorate your own. I started with basic office envelopes, but I have been thinking about upgrading! Make a list of budget categories that cash spending would help with These can be all different kinds of things based on your budget and your family. Because I am a waitress, I have…

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Millennial Stuff, Money

Refinance Student Loans: Why I Did It and Is it Right For You?

The refinance on my student loans went through! Having student loan debt has probably been one of the most complicated things for me to figure out on my debt free journey. When I started my journey, I had about $7,500 in debt in my own name, but I also had student loans in my dad’s name. They were “parent plus” loans, which ultimately means that my dad was technically responsible for the payments on them. However, I knew when I took them out, that I was ultimately responsible for making the payments on them. When I started looking into my student loans more, I realized my interest rate was high. I was paying 7% interest on $25,000+. It ended up calculating out to $8 a DAY in interest. (I took these loans out in 2014). I don’t regret taking out my student loans, even though I don’t have my degree yet. First, I started with ton of research online. Actually, almost 2 months worth of research and all of it brought me back to one company. So I finally decided to refinance my student loans through SoFi, (Social Finance).  Why did I refinance my student loans? 1) They were in my dad’s name. Because I have been throwing all of my money at them, I have paid off about $3,000 in interest off in the last year. When it comes to taxes this year, it will all go to my dad’s name instead of my own. Ultimately, it is fine, but that tax break would have went right back towards my debts. 2) My credit score had gone up 120+ points since I had originally took out student loans. This helps because when I took out loans, I had almost no credit. I didn’t get approved for very much, but my dad did. Now that my credit went up, I can actually get approved for the amount that my education costs. 3) 7.4% interest rates. Refinancing it brought it down to just under 6% interest, which is a pretty decent savings over “the next 7 years” that the loan is…

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Money, No Spend Month Tips

5 Ways to Avoid Derailing Your Progress From Your No Spend Month

Many of you have been following my No Spend Month Challenge. I have done three no spend months and plan for many more in the future! They are great for the budget and awesome for a financial detox! No spend months have helped me learn a ton about my friendships and my spending habits! If you have been participating in a no spend month, you may already be planning your first purchase as the month is coming to an end. I don’t want you to think of the end of a no spend month as permission to go crazy. When you give yourself permission to spend, I hope that you remain intentional about your spending. During my last no spend month, I was able to put $2,450 towards my student loans because I simply avoided purchasing anything. I only spend $84 on groceries for the month and $104 on fuel for my vehicle. Throughout the month, I did spend about $70 on eating out. That is far less than I normally spend. I didn’t spend any money on clothing, home decor, or entertainment. A no spend month requires a lot of discipline, will power, and motivation. It sets you up for a great detox of your budget and allows you to take a step back and see where else you could cut spending in your budget. After putting that much focus on not spending, it can be hard to transition into intentional spending again. It can be hard not to completely blow your whole month’s budget in the first few days of the month because you may feed deprived after a no spend month. Here are 5 things to help you avoid derailing your progress that you made during your no spend month. 1) Plan for one reward. Do it. When I talked about preparing for your no spend month, I suggested that you create a reward for the end of the month. It should be something that you can look forward to during the month. Maybe it is a small home purchase or a dinner out, but I suggested…

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Budget Tips, Money

15 Things I Did To Pay off $15,000 on a $30,000 Income

Have you ever felt like you were just a hamster, running on the same wheel every day but not really getting anywhere? You just wanna pay off everything or just run away? That is kind of how I felt in 2016. I had been paying minimums on my student loans. At the beginning of the year, I didn’t have any credit cards or car loans, but that changed by the end of the year. I was working what felt like a billion hours every week waitressing, but every night after my shift I was going to the bars with my coworkers because we “had a rough shift.” Even though I was working a ton, I had zero savings to show for it. I had pictures from a few travel adventures (which I definitely don’t regret), but nothing really extravagant to show for all of the hours that I was working. By mid- November, I had no money for the new car that I “needed” and barely enough money to go on the trip that I had planned for my birthday. On top of that, my other student loan account was due for $190 a month in January. Where was I supposed to get that money. Add in $3,000 of interest had accrued on my student loans since I had taken them out. $3,000!! What? I was over it. 2017 was going to be different. I picked up Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover, which had sat on my bookshelf for quite sometime, and started taking notes. In 2017, I paid off over $15,000 including the Jeep that I “needed,” that birthday trip to Texas on a brand new credit card ($700), and a ton of student loans (including that $3,000 in interest). I want to be up front. This isn’t one of those “We sold our house and paid off all of our debt overnight” stories. I am happy for those people, but this is a “I worked my butt off and said no a lot” story. I spent a stupid amount of hours working during this year. There was ALWAYS…

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Millennial Stuff, Money, Relationships

My Single, Millennial Debt Free Journey: The Pro’s and Con’s of Being Young and Single while Becoming Debt Free

I am in my early 20’s, single with no kids and I have been working on my Debt Free Journey since January 1st, 2017. A lot of people have said, “Oh, well with no kids to feed, it would be easy.” This journey isn’t easy whether you are single, married, divorced. Becoming debt free is a hard journey no matter what. There are constant, daily struggles of a debt free journey. If you haven’t read my whole story, I started this journey just a few weeks after I got a loan for my Jeep right before my 22nd birthday.. I realized how deep in debt I really was because my student loans were all coming due. Then, I started to freak out. I had never ever had a vehicle loan because my I have always driven $1,500 or less vehicles. My Jeep is the most expensive vehicle I have owned at $3,000. Mentally, I didn’t know what I was supposed to do because I was 22 and already overwhelmed by my debt. Not really how I imagined spending my early 20’s, but I am so thankful that I have spent the last year getting rid of as much debt as I could in a year. My student loan companies had started calling to talk about payment plans and I started getting bills in the mail for them. At 22, I got my first credit card to “help build my credit” after I didn’t get approved for my Jeep loan. (Thanks Dad for cosigning my Jeep, but also unknowingly encouraging the start of this journey.) Having no one else to worry about when it comes to my budget has been great. There are HUGE perks to being single on this journey, but I have also found some things harder because I am single. Here are just a few of the pro’s of my young and single debt free journey: One of the best things about being single is no “budget committee meetings.” I am the committee. When I sit down to decide on my budget, what I decide is what it…

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Blogging, Making Money

8 Blogging Resources That You Can’t Blog Without (That Won’t Waste Your Money)!

Hello and Welcome to a a list of the great blogging resources straight from The Savvy Sagittarius! Blogging can be so hard because there are SOOO many resources out there to use. These are just 8 of the tools that I use or have used that I couldn’t have been successful without! I have wasted money on things that I definitely didn’t need to buy and I have bought courses that weren’t worth my money or taught me exactly what I already needed to know. My goal is to help create a process for other new bloggers that doesn’t leave them super confused about what to use. In creating this list, I hope that other bloggers don’t have to feel like they are wasting their money to get to where they want to be with their blog!  I get asked all of the time what products I use for different things. I am always getting asked what I use for certain things! There aren’t a lot of things that I am willing to pay for, but I am finally creating list of the few that I have really found helpful since I started blogging. Instead of getting continually asked, I thought I would create a list! I also want people in the debt free community to see that while blogging is the start of a new business and costs a little up front, it can be one of the best side hustles. If you aren’t sure about it, check out my post 5 Things I Learned From My First Year of Blogging and Why YOU Need to Start One NOW! Maybe you haven’t started yet and you are trying to figure out if blogging is worth the investment! I sure love it, but if you don’t enjoy writing then it may not be for you! If you love communicating with people and telling a story, blogging might just be the perfect side hustle for you and your debt free journey! Here are just a few of my favorite online sources! Blogging Resources: I use SiteGround for my host site and I haven’t had…

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Debt Free Journey Reports, Money

2017 Debt Free Journey Report

In 2017, I paid off over $15,000 in credit card payments, car payments, and student loans with just my income. I worked many hours and put about 50% of my income to my debts. Here is a summary of 2017 on my financial peace journey!

I didn’t do a specific December Debt Free Journey Report, but instead I am just summing up the whole year into one post. What an absolutely crazy year for 2017. I have been sharing my story and working extremely hard to meet my goals. In case you missed any of my other debt free reports or my story, you can find them under my Debt Free Journey Reports. At the beginning of 2017, I said that I wanted to be debt free by December 31st, 2017. Ha. Little did I know, I didn’t actually make enough money for that to happen. I would have had to live in my parent’s basement and not spend a single penny on anything, and then I would have still been off on my income. Needless to say, I didn’t make my goal of being completely debt free. But I did accomplish a lot. In fact, I am not dwelling on the fact that I didn’t make my goal. Instead, celebrating all that I did. In 2017, I.. Paid off $15,000 in debt Debt January 1, 2017 December 31, 2017 Amazon Card $10.99 PAID JAN 17 Mary Kay Card $275.00 PAID JAN 17 Bank Credit Card $675.88 PAID JAN 17 Student Loan #1 $2,087.41 PAID APRIL 17 Jeep $2,500.00 PAID JULY 17 Student Loan #2 $3,550.00 PAID OCT 17 Student Loan #3 (PARENT PLUS) $11,634.62 $7,633 Student Loan #4 (PARENT PLUS) $13,218.78 $12,890 Completely Paid off my Jeep (2 1/2 years early). Paid off all of the student loans in my name Put a decent dent in the parent plus loans that are in my dad’s name. Paid off 40% of total beginning debt. Completed 2 No Spend Months. Maintained a “Pantry Challenge” or an “empty fridge challenge” mindset for eating the groceries I already have. Made 244 months of minimum payments. (Equals over 17 years of payments in 12 months) Got a new temporary job working full time for the Nebraska National Guard Moved into an apartment with my best friend. Worked a billion hours (exaggeration, but it felt that way)   Without accuring any interest,…

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