Budget Tips, Money

13 Tips to Stay Motivated on a Budget

I have heard so many people say that they have created a budget, but after it's done, they don't know how to stay motivated to stick to it! Here are 13 tips to staying motivated on a budget!

  “I Just Don’t Want To….” has been my motto a few different times while paying off my debt. I am going to call it the seasons changing as well as life just happening. Let me tell you, being in your early 20’s on this journey has been TOUGH..  When you spend 2 years paying off debt, you are likely to have highs and lows. Life happens and it is easy to get side tracked by all of the things going on in other people’s lives when you are trying to stick to a budget. Budgeting gets harder and harder when you aren’t able to keep up with normal life events, let alone extra things. I recently asked my Instagram “what do you need help with when it comes to budgeting?” I would say one of my top answers was “motivation”. That hit me pretty hard since that seems to be one of the things that I have been struggling with the most lately. Let me make this clear first, if you are miserable on your budget, CHANGE IT. Budgeting is not meant to make you miserable. If you find yourself not motivated to stay on budget, it might not be you. It might be your budget. Budgeting is NOT meant to punish you. If done correctly, you should be budgeting so you can say YES to things you want to and no to the things that aren’t necessary. BUDGETING DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU AREN’T ALLOWED TO HAVE FUN!! So if you are consistently finding that you are breaking the budget, it’s time to evaluate what is wrong with your budget. But, if you are just in a valley and having a hard time sticking with it. You might just need a little tool to stay motivated. “How do you stay motivated to stay on budget?” 1. Weekly/Pay Period Budgeting I don’t know how many people I have seen that post their budget at the beginning of the month, but by day four, they have completely blown it. “Maybe next month,” they say.  You do not have the willpower…

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Millennial Stuff, Money

Books that You MUST Read to Change Your Finances Today!

Reading has always been a HUGE part of my life. During my debt free journey, it is one thing that has kept me motivated and taught me a lot that I didn't know about finances. Here are a list of just a few of my favorite books!

Reading books has always been a huge part of my life. I am such a huge reader and I have been since I was super little. Reading to me came at a young age and it has stuck with me throughout my entire life because I was good at it, and to me it was fun. While the genre of my books have changed tremendously, I still curl up in bed or bring a book with me to the bathtub as I take a bubble bath at the end of the day! It has always been my belief that reading will teach you far more than most classes ever will. I have learned more about finances from reading a few books. Sure, college classes will teach you some very specific things, but how specific do you really need to know. I have learned a ton in just the last year of intentionally reading almost every single day. One of my favorite things in the world is when I get to suggest books to people, and they tell me they LOVED it. This isn’t an extensive list of all of my favorite books, but instead, it is a guide of a few of my favorites that have helped direct me on the path that I have been on with my finances. This list covers the books that I read during my debt free journey and ones that I hope to read as I continue. I actually put off writing this post for a while because there are always going to be more books that I want to add to any list of books. While I don’t feel like this will ever be complete, I hope that it helps you get a start on your own reading list! Here are a few of my favorite money books.   Total Money Makeover (By Dave Ramsey) This is a no brainer. Pretty much every one who is working on paying down their debts will tell you that they have at least skimmed through this one. This book completely saved my 20’s. It has changed…

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Baby Step Three, Budget Tips

5 Things I am Adding Back Into The Budget in Baby Step Three

When I started my debt free journey, I cut a lot of things out of my budget. Now that I am done with baby step two, I am adding a few things into my budget! Check out these 5 things that I will spend money on again!

  When I first started budgeting, I was clueless as to where my money was going. I was spending money on pretty much anything and everything that I wanted, when I wanted to spend it. Restaurants, pedicures, clothes, makeup, food, and so many other things stole my money before I even had the chance to think about where it was going. Originally, I thought “I am paying in cash, so it could be worse. I could be putting it all on a credit card.” I was unknowingly throwing $1,500 out the door every month! But when I realized that I had no money going towards savings or any of my goals, I knew it was time to get a budget down on paper. I started budgeting and putting money towards my goals. This was when I started my debt free journey.  During baby step two, I cut out a lot of things from my budget. It was key to me paying off $15,000 in the first 12 months of my debt free journey. Cutting things from my budget was one of the big ways that I was able to pay off debt. A while back, I wrote a blog post on the things that I do still “waste” money on. A lot of those things are the things that people usually add back into the budget during baby step three. Things I am adding Back into the Budget in Baby Step Three: Coffee Shops I am excited to add coffee back into the budget. While I didn’t totally cut it out of the budget, I only gave myself coffee money a few times over my debt free journey. If I did get coffee, I used discounts, rewards programs, or gift cards. I used Ibotta to get free cash back on my grocery purchases and cashed them out for coffee gift cards! In the last two years, I have probably spent less than $50 of my own money on coffees. Now, during baby step three, I plan to add $25 a month back into my budget for coffee stops. I love…

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Debt Free Journey Reports, Money

10 Things I Did On My First Day Being Debt Free

After working on paying off my debt for over 26 months, I am finally debt free! Check out how I spent my very first full day of being debt free! I bet it isn't what you would expect or maybe it is exactly what you expect?

I finally did it! I am finally debt free! In case you missed it, I paid off my very last student loan after 26 months of working my tail off! Two years ago, I posted my plan to pay off all of my student loans. However, at the time, I had hoped that it would only take me 12 months. I more than doubled that timeline, but I still accomplished it. If you are new to this blog and you haven’t read my story, here it is. My name is Elyse. I am 24, not married with no kids and I am DEBT FREE! I never really thought of myself as someone who was in debt. With no credit cards and no car payment, I was not the average American.  All I had was a few student loans. Everyone has student loans, so it never really crossed my mind that I was in debt. But, it wasn’t until a few weeks before my 22nd birthday that I got a loan for a Jeep and my very first credit card. I should say credit card(s). There were two or three that “showed up” that month. For that month of December 2016, I thought it was so cool that I finally had a credit card. I was excited over it actually. I was learning about all the different rewards I could cash in and it was fantastic. Even though I had never needed a credit card, I was determined that I needed them then. I even went on vacation using mostly my credit card. I had racked up a pretty decent amount of money on my credit cards and started picking up extra waitressing shifts to get it cleared. While I have never paid interest on my credit cards, I have definitely gotten close. I was excited about all of my new things, until my student loan bill came due. I had officially been “on break” from college for 6 months. My grace period was over. A $415 student loan payment showed up in the mail. I didn’t think that I had $415…

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Debt Free Journey Reports

2018 Debt Free Journey Report

2018 was an amazing year for me! I put $18,200 towards my student loans and I will be debt free a few months into 2019!

My Story! If you have been following my story at all, you probably know my story. If not, I tell my story at the beginning of every monthly report for those who just stumbled upon my blog. I gain different followers every month and I don’t want anyone to feel blind as they find my posts! If you have read my story, feel free to skip ahead to my monthly report. I tell this story so I am not just some stranger, but instead someone who just might inspire each and every reader to follow the same journey! I want everyone to know where I started to help encourage them. My name is Elyse. I am 24, single with no kids and I am proudly on my way to being completely debt free. I never really thought of myself as someone who was in debt. With no credit cards and no car payment, I was not the average American.  All I had was a few student loans. Everyone has student loans, so it never really crossed my mind that I was in debt. But, it wasn’t until a few weeks before my 22nd birthday that I got a loan for a Jeep and my very first credit card. I should say credit card(s). There were two or three that “showed up” that month. For that month of December 2016, I thought it was so cool that I finally had a credit card. I was excited over it actually. I was learning about all the different rewards I could cash in and it was fantastic. Even though I had never needed a credit card, I was determined that I needed them then. I even went on vacation using mostly my credit card. I had racked up a pretty decent amount of money on my credit cards and started picking up extra waitressing shifts to get it cleared. While I have never paid interest on my credit cards, I have definitely gotten close. I was excited about all of my new things, until my student loan bill came due. I had officially…

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Debt Free Journey Reports

October 2018 Debt Free Journey Report

October held all kinds of surprises for me, but it was still overall a good month! Find out how I had $600 worth of unexpected expenses and still put over $1,115 towards my last student loan!

My Story! If you have been following my story at all, you probably know my story. If not, I tell my story at the beginning of every monthly report for those who just stumbled upon my blog. I gain different followers every month and I don’t want anyone to feel blind as they find my posts! If you have read my story, feel free to skip ahead to my monthly report. I tell this story so I am not just some stranger, but instead someone who just might inspire each and every reader to follow the same journey! My name is Elyse. I am 23, single with no kids and I am proudly on my way to being completely debt freeeee. I never really thought of myself as someone who was in debt. With no credit cards and no car payment, I was not the average American.  All I had was a few student loans. But, it wasn’t until a few weeks before my 22nd birthday that I got a loan for a Jeep and my very first credit card. I should say credit card(s). There were two or three that showed up that month. For that month of December, I thought it was so cool that I finally had a credit card. I was excited over it actually. I was learning about all the different rewards I could cash in and it was fantastic. Even though I had never needed a credit card, I was determined that I needed them then. I even went on vacation using mostly my credit card. I had racked up a pretty decent amount of money on my credit cards and started picking up extra waitressing shifts to get it cleared. While I have never paid interest on my credit cards, I have definitely gotten close. Towards the end of the month, I was cleaning off a bookshelf, getting ready to move (again), and found The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness. This $15 book completely changed my life path at the time. Dave describes being debt free as such…

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Millennial Stuff

5 Steps to Setting Realistic, Attainable Goals and Crushing Them

How easy is it to set goals and then totally forget about them! Check out this guest blog post from Daily New Year's Blogger, Austin for 5 steps to creating those realistic, attainable goals!

Hey Readers! I want to introduce to you, Austin, the blogger at the Daily New Year! I was super excited when he was up for doing a guest post for my website! Check out his tips for setting goals and totally crushing them! If you are also interested in working with me, check out my page about working with me!    I’m what I like to call a “goal getter.” I love setting goals, tracking my progress, achieving new things in life, and I love seeing others do the same. That’s why I’m so impressed with what Elyse is doing with The Savvy Sagittarius blog and her #debtfreeat23 campaign. It’s incredible to see her progress week after week and month after month. She has total focus and discipline. Goal setting is a passion of mine, and it’s one I want to share with the world. If you’re reading this post, maybe you’re new to setting goals, or you’ve never set a goal before. Or perhaps you feel a sense of disdain for goal setting due to a setback or failure you experienced earlier in your life. That’s okay! I’ve met and talked to people at a variety of different stages in their personal development journey. If you’re still with me, I hope it’s because you want to set some goals of your own, and that’s awesome! I want to help you crush them! Are you ready? Here we go!   1. Write Down Your Goals and WHY You Want to Achieve Them. I don’t want to bore you with stats, but writing your goals down makes you 42% more likely to achieve them. When I first sat down to write out my goals, I tried to think about my life in the long term. That’s what Elyse is doing on her About page:    “After everything is paid off, I plan on buying a house and raising a few goats and a few puppies. I can’t wait to live a life full of adventure after I have no payments.” Before she set out to be debt free on January 1st, 2017,…

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Debt Free Journey Reports

September 2018 Debt Free Progress Report

My Story! If you have been following my story at all, you probably know my story. If not, I tell my story at the beginning of every monthly report for those who just stumbled upon my blog. I gain different followers every month and I don’t want anyone to feel blind as they find my posts! If you have read my story, feel free to skip ahead to my monthly report. I tell this story so I am not just some stranger, but instead someone who just might inspire each and every reader to follow the same journey! My name is Elyse. I am 23, single with no kids and I am proudly on my way to being completely debt freeeee. I never really thought of myself as someone who was in debt. With no credit cards and no car payment, I was not the average American.  All I had was a few student loans. But, it wasn’t until a few weeks before my 22nd birthday that I got a loan for a Jeep and my very first credit card. I should say credit card(s). For that month of December, I thought it was so cool that I finally had a credit card. I was excited over it actually. I was learning about all the different rewards I could cash in and it was fantastic. Even though I had never needed a credit card, I was determined that I needed them then. I had racked up a pretty decent amount of money on my credit cards and started picking up waitressing shifts to get it cleared. While I have never paid interest on my credit cards, I have definitely gotten close. Towards the end of the month, I was cleaning off a bookshelf, getting ready to move (again), and found The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness. This $15 book completely changed my life path at the time. Dave describes being debt free as such a rewarding and achievable thing. In his book, he says it will take work and it will be hard, but it…

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Uncategorized

What is a No Spend Challenge?

Maybe you have heard all of these finance gurus talking about "No Spend Months," but you have NO clue what they mean. Here are a few starting points..

  I have been talking a ton about No Spend Challenges lately, but I have received a TON of questions about them! I have done a few No Spend Months during my debt free journey that have allowed me to get ahead on paying on my student loans. To me, a No Spend Month is like a diet “cleanse” or detox. When you do a body detox, you are attempting to feel better by cleaning out the toxins and excess weight that your body is holding onto. When I do a No Spend Month, I cut out any “fun spending” and look at the fun things to do for free instead. I am cutting out excess spending to see what is more important. During October 2017, I was able to put my whole full time paycheck towards debt and just live off of my waitressing money because I barely had any expenses. In January 2018, I was able to put over $2,500 towards my student loans right after I lost my full time temporary job. These challenges have played an essential role in my debt free journey at a few of the most challenging points since I started. Maybe you have heard people say things like “No Spend Month.” Or, this month I had “15 No Spend Days!” Well here is where it finally all gets explained if you are feeling in the dark! Here are a few of the frequently asked questions to help clear up any confusion! What is a No Spend Challenge? Like I said above, a no spend challenge is kind of like a detox. It is a period of time that you allow yourself to say no and cut out any excess spending. I cut out EVERYTHING. No Restaurants. No extra coffee stops. Not ordering pizza when you don’t feel like cooking. This challenge is designed to get you to think about where your money is going. This challenge does not include bills. When I say that I didn’t spend any money all month, guys. My bills are still getting paid. Money is still going…

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Christian, Money

5 Things I Learned From David and Goliath about my Debt Free Journey

The story of David and Goliath has been used to tell many lessons, but here are just a few of the things I learned while I was reading it and applying it to my Debt Free Journey. #davidandgoliath #debtfreejourney #lessonslearned #godonmyside #godlydebtfreejourney #withgodanythingispossible

David and Goliath is a bible story that has been used many, many times over to make a point about winning battles when God is on your side. It is the story of a young boy who steps up to battle to fight Goliath, a well trained warrior.  They are representing their lands, but David is just a small shepherd who’s job was to tend to his father’s sheep. He wasn’t a fighter. David stood up to fight against Goliath. While David was scared, he was confident that God was on his side. God would protect him, and he did. Most of us have heard the story about David and Goliath. If you have been to church even once or twice, you probably have a good idea of the story. I remember growing up and watching the Veggie Tales story of David and Goliath as well. If your childhood wasn’t filled with Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber, then you seriously missed out! If you don’t have your own bible to read the story, I strongly recommend checking out the “She Reads Truth” Bible. The story of David and Goliath came up in the devotional that I have been doing. It really made me think about David and Goliath in a day to day aspect. Sometimes it seems like such a kid story because I was told the story probably a million times while growing up in bible studies and Sunday School. But David and Goliath isn’t just talking about a young boy defeating a giant. It is told as a reminder that overcoming obstacles isn’t impossible. It is about reminding you that you can do anything. Here are 5 things that I learned about my Debt Free Journey from the story of David and Goliath. 1) Your opponent may seem huge. “He was nine feet, nine inches tall and wore a bronze helmet and bronze scale armor that weighed on hundred twenty-five pounds.”  (1st Samuel 17:4) Goliath was huge and he was well trained, but in the end, David still wins. Sometimes it really doesn’t matter what your “opponent” may be.…

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