#DebtDumpChallenge

#DebtDumpChallenge

#DebtDumpChallenge

by

Have you ever made a goal that seemed almost unreachable? Something so big that it is scary to say out loud because if you say it out loud, you might actually have to do it. Well, I’m about to do that, I’m going to share our big goal…

We are going to pay off our house by November 20th, 2019!!

Yep, this is scary to put this in writing, since there will be so many eyes on our financial goal. Paying off the rest of our house isn’t going to be easy. Our original plan was to pay off our house in the next five years, but we are so on fire to be completely debt free (and my husband picked up a second job) so we can pay it off early.

We have been homeowners for the past eight years. The first home we owned for five years. We have been in our current home for the past three years.

By the time we have our home paid off, I will be 32 and my husband will be 35 and we will have been homeowners for nine years.

Furthermore, four of those years we weren’t making enough to be paying down on our home. My husband and I are working so hard to pay off our home for a lot of reasons.

Below are a few of the main reasons we want to pay off our house ASAP…

3 Reasons to Pay off Your House:

ONE

Freedom

Can you imagine having no mortgage in your thirties? We don’t want our biggest expense to be our home. No mortgage gives us the ability to spend and be more generous with our funds.

Our desire is to go on overseas mission trips with our family annually and be able to help meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of others. By paying off our house, we will have extra funds to be able to do that.

TWO

No More Interest Payments

Even with our 3.625% loan, we are paying SOOO much in interest. I don’t want to be throwing away money to a bank if I don’t have to. Many people spend almost double their home price in interest rates throughout the life of a typical 30-year loan.

Let me give you an example. If you have a home that costs $200,000 with a typical interest rate right now of 4.5%, over thirty years, you will have paid $164,814 in interest. So, the total cost of the home would be $364,018.  This fires me up!!  I don’t want to pay monthly interest that only benefits the bank.

THREE

Debt Sucks

Debt sucks period. Most people think that they have to have debt to live, but that isn’t true. How often have you heard or maybe you say that I’ll always have a mortgage or I’ll always be making car payments? This is a lie, that is being fed to us daily.

We don’t have credit cards. We pay with cash/debit. Once you get in debt, it is hard to get out of it.  If you are in debt, you have to get really intentional about paying it off fast.

My husband and I started the #DebtDumpChallenge to encourage others to pay down their debt while we pay down ours.  We wanted to create a community of people who are all-in on paying down debt, so we can experience financial peace and do what we are created to do.

 

This community has almost sixty families participating and we have a collective group debt dump goal of over 1 million dollars!!  We are so excited to be able to encourage and support these families as they transform their financial futures.

 

Here are the deets on the #DebtDumpChallenge (the challenge is closed, but we will be updating our progress throughout the year!):

 

Where: #DebtDumpChallenge (Private Facebook Group)

 

When: Join before December 1, 2018. The challenge will last from Nov. 1, 2018- Dec. 1, 2019.  We will not be adding new members to our Facebook group after December 1st, because we want everyone to go all in and be part of the group for the whole year. 

 

Why: This group is created to encourage each other to get out of debt.  Share your victories of paying down debt so we can celebrate with you.  My husband and I will post videos, tips, and content to encourage each other along the way.

  • Group Goal | $1,225,693.55    [$488,307.21 PAID OFF] 39.36% 39.36%
  • Jamberlee | $47,091.00 100% 100%
  • Ash | $10,000.00 68.06% 68.06%
  • Mankinator | $45,000.00 3.33% 3.33%
  • InKahoots | $47,000.00 100% 100%
  • Paige Turner | $10,000.00 30% 30%
  • Bryca | $18,000.00 83.33% 83.33%
  • CaMel2013 | $15,000.00 0% 0%
  • D-Zone | $17,006.00 70.56% 70.56%
  • Jane Doe | $13,000.00 0% 0%
  • Lackadaisia | $19,495.00 10.46% 10.46%
  • Segullah | $1,000 0% 0%
  • C/K Trump | $20,000 100% 100%
  • M & M’s | $5,000 0% 0%
  • Micrah | $3,500 75.00% 75.00%
  • Elizabeth | $2,000 105.00% 105.00%
  • D-Money | $16,000 41.25% 41.25%
  • Toss it | $12,000 0% 0%
  • Starrmom | $3,650.00 40.55% 40.55%
  • ThirdBird | $12,000.00 17.50% 17.50%
  • Purposeful Living | $6,000.00 0% 0%
  • The Myers Pack | $10,000.00 58.46% 58.46%
  • Hoffman30cass | $50,000.00 0% 0%
  • csvg | $16,000.00 0% 0%
  • SingleMama | $13,500 100% 100%
  • It’s a wonderful life | $35,000.00 65.02% 65.02%
  • Lisa | $70,000.00 11.94% 11.94%
  • Levater | $20,000.00 55.00% 55.00%
  • DogLovingCat | $7,900.00 0% 0%
  • DebtBeGone | $6,000.00 57.75% 57.75%
  • Down With Student Loans! | $30,000.00 7.74% 7.74%
  • JKLJ | $34,000.00 100% 100%
  • Lemur | $5,000.00 0% 0%
  • Memes2687 | $1,362.00 0% 0%
  • jpdump | $30,000.00 18.25% 18.25%
  • Bradandjanelle | $9,500.00 25.26% 25.26%
  • FreedomFighters | $5,000.00 0% 0%
  • DJen | $25,000.00 100% 100%
  • MV | $8,000.00 55.38% 55.38%
  • BenO | $20,000.00 0% 0%
  • GiffordsGetAfterit | $25,000.00 0% 0%
  • LeroyJenkins | $10,000.00 10.71% 10.71%
  • SMD | $15,000.00 10% 10%
  • Lobo Roxo | $17,478.55 14.59% 14.59%
  • A&B Debt Free | $18,000.00 2.78% 2.78%
  • Pepito | $40,000.00 139.18% 139.18%
  • Cookie Monster | $2,300.00 0% 0%
  • GaleForce | $10,000.00 150.95% 150.95%
  • MoneyMagic | $65,000.00 0% 0%
  • Piddler on the Roof | $13,500.00 1.67% 1.67%
  • DRECHEL | $5,000.00 100% 100%
  • TheDahlyLlamas | $40,000 32.35% 32.35%
  • Hatashley | $35,311.00 67.02% 67.02%
  • Texas Cowboys | $90,000.00 4.44% 4.44%
  • Nelliott | $30,000.00 21.83% 21.83%
  • Family Ties | $5,000.00 0.50% 0.50%
  • The Johnson Clan | $20,000.00 32.12% 32.12%
  • MotherOfFour | $17,100.00 100% 100%
  • BrownFam | $5,000.00 100% 100%
  • Terrica | $35,000.00 23.29% 23.29%

I’m going to be really transparent with you and let you know how much we owe on our house.

We owe $47,091 on our home.

Just so you have a better idea on the numbers side of our homeownership journey, we bought our home three years ago for $180,000. The current value of our home is $250,000+ right now.  Each month I will give an update on how much we are able to knock off of our principle.

I just want to let you know why I am sharing this with you. For one, it will put some extra fire under us to get our house paid off.  Secondly, I believe we are created to make a difference in the world, and so many of us are held back by finances, including myself.

Group Goal

The ticks have tocked and the challenge is closed...

Day(s)

:

Hour(s)

:

Minute(s)

:

Second(s)

#DebtDumpChallenge

Is Fear Holding You Back?

Is Fear Holding You Back?

Is Fear Holding You Back?

I didn’t realize until lately how fearful I truly am. Do you ever feel like you know yourself so well and then something happens and you figure out something new about yourself?  Our own perceptions of ourselves are probably skewed. Maybe most people knew I was living in fear, and I was out in la-la land.

To be honest, I discovered that I was so fearful once I felt like I needed to start my own website and write inspiring content to encourage moms.  I don’t think I would have done it if I didn’t feel like God was wanting me to. It’s scary being real and vulnerable with the cyber world. What are people going to think or say?  But the most frightening part is when the people I know see what I’m creating. What will they think of what I write?  Will they think of me differently?

If you haven’t guessed, I’m a people-pleaser by nature. Being a people-pleaser comes with a lot of benefits, but wedged in there are some major flaws.  I care about what others think and sometimes so much so that I won’t be bold or daring. I can be paralyzed by fear, and give up before I even begin. But I don’t want to live like that anymore.  I want to sieze the day (carpe diem) and live life to the fullest.

I can’t make a positive impact on the world if I am comfortable. My comfort zone is not where I want to stay.  

I want to climb over that zone and be challenged to grow, and boy do I have a lot of growing to do. Writing posts and putting myself “out there” isn’t comfortable for me.  I’ve never been one to be the center of attention.

One of our families values is being brave. We created a family mission statement based on what values we want to describe our family.  

To be honest, most of my life I haven’t been very brave. I play it safe. I’ve never broken a bone or played a sport. When I was growing up, we were taught to use the cost-benefit analysis for any big or risky decision.  

I’m now trying to live without fear and be brave. I want my children to be brave and overcome their fears, so I better practice what I preach.

Identity Shift:

In the past, my identity was shaped by what others said to me and how I viewed myself.  I’m in the process of God rewriting my identity. His perception of me is what matters, not how others see me.  Fear isn’t going to be a descriptor of me anymore.  

Each morning I wait for Him to speak a phrase of how He sees me in my planner. It is my practical reminder that I can look at throughout the day. God knows me better than I know myself, and my identity shouldn’t be wrapped up in how the world sees me.

The next fear I’m going to tackle is to be on video.  Yeah, that is super scary. I don’t like seeing myself on video, let alone posting it and sharing it with the world.  But I know that my message is important and needs to be shared, even if it is terrifying in the process.

So please give me some grace as I step out of my comfort zone. I don’t want fear to rule my life or cheat me out of the good things in store for me.  I’m sure that facing my fears head on will make me grow in new ways and give fear a smaller foothold in my life.

Are you struggling with fear too? Is fear holding you back? What can you do today to push fear off to the wayside and be brave? I’d love to hear your comments below.

Is Couponing Worth it? Confessions of a Former Extreme Couponer

Is Couponing Worth it? Confessions of a Former Extreme Couponer

Is Couponing Worth it? Confessions of a Former Extreme Couponer

Have you been considering couponing? Groceries are expensive and coupons can cut down on the expense, but is couponing worth it?

Couponing used to be a game to me. I have walked out of a grocery store with bags of groceries and didn’t pay a dime. There was strategy and thrill to the savings game. I loved when I could get items for free.  It was even better if the coupon covered more than the cost of the item. Hello! Getting paid to buy things is swweeeett!

The extreme couponing shows did not draw me into the couponing fad.  My introduction to couponing began far earlier, when I was ten years old.  My family would sit at the dining room table for breakfast with different sections of the newspaper. The ads and coupons were left to the wayside, so I started looking through the ads and matching coupons to the sales. I would clip coupons for my mom to use when she went shopping. When I went off to college, I continued clipping coupons mainly for toiletries.

 

A sneak peak of a few of the shelves in my ‘grocery store’ back when I was a couponing queen…

The older I became, the more I used coupons and figured out the strategy. Our first year of marriage (2009) our average monthly spending on groceries, toiletries, and cosmetics was $74. We weren’t living on mac n’ cheese and we had a lot of dinner guests.  Couponing was great financial defense for us.

I literally was the crazy couponing lady. I taught couponing classes and even had my own ‘grocery store’ (a huge cellar that was full of my grocery finds and canning ventures). Not only that, I kept up with numerous couponing websites. We went two years without paying for cheese by using coupons.

So what changed?

Well, several things. Here are four reasons why I don’t coupon like I used to.

4 Reasons Why Couponing Isn’t Worth It

ONE

Couponing has Gone Downhill

The excitement of couponing subsided when I couldn’t get the deals like I used to.  I started couponing before extreme couponing shows existed. Grocery stores started to wake up and change their couponing policies. Double coupons don’t exist anymore along with a slew of other policies like grocery price matching.

TWO

Almost all Coupons are for Unhealthy Foods

Most coupons are for processed junk food, there are exceptions, but the majority are for cereals, dressings, candy, etc. I started assessing what I was buying and realized that I would never buy the majority of the stuff if I didn’t have a coupon for it. In addition, my husband started having food sensitivities about five years ago and the majority of processed foods are a no-go for him.

THREE

Couponing is a Time-Sucker

The amount of time I would spend looking on couponing websites, printing coupons, clipping coupons, strategizing and then doing the grocery shopping just stopped being appealing.  I can’t even fathom the number of hours I have spent on couponing throughout my life.  Once I became a mom, I knew that I needed to prioritize my time better and extreme couponing didn’t make the cut.

FOUR

Couponing Websites Encourages you to Spend

Couponing Websites do so much of the work for you by matching up deals with the right coupons.  I used to follow multiple couponing websites and they all promote grocery deals, Amazon deals, really any deal that exists at you multiple times a day.

The push to help you save money actually made you spend more money on crazy discounted items you didn’t need.  Couponing sites make their money through the ads and affiliate offers, so that is why they push deals on their money-savvy following.

I got suckered into one of the couponing deals and bought 100 knock-off magic erasers that were made in China. I’ve never bought a magic eraser in my life, and I sure didn’t need 100 of them.

Couponing has changed so much in the last ten years and so have I. I’ve been able to gain back time and I’m not buying food just because it is on sale or free.

Buying healthy food has been a necessity and a priority for my family because of food allergies and the desire to eat whole foods, and coupons don’t cover that. Most coupons are good for processed foods and we all know that processed foods aren’t good for us.

I haven’t quit couponing cold turkey. I still clip coupons here and there, but I have learned to save money without using coupons. Check out my downloadable guide on easy ways to save on groceries without clipping coupons. 

Do you coupon? Do you think couponing is worth it? Leave a comment below on how you save money on groceries.

3 Benefits of Downsizing Your Home Even with a Family

3 Benefits of Downsizing Your Home Even with a Family

3 Benefits of Downsizing Your Home Even with a Family

We thought we were moving way up when we moved out of our 749 sq. ft. apartment into our 2,500 sq. ft. home on a quarter-acre lot. Our five bedroom home (for just my husband and I) needed a lot of TLC since it was foreclosure. But once we fixed it up enough to move in, the house seemed empty. We didn’t have enough furniture and decor to fill the space. So what did we do? We filled it up of course. We bought couches, end tables, blinds, and all the things to make the house feel lived in.

The huge house and massive lawn seemed idealistic when we were looking at homes, but in reality, it was SO much work. I never could keep the house clean and this was before I had kids. If I’m really honest, I felt like I was doing good if I vacuumed the basement once a month. Yikes!

Instead of having tons of house guests over to stay in our large home as we planned, we had house project after house project that took up our precious time. Rarely did we have people stay in our guest room that we felt we had to have. We envisioned frequent dinner parties at our home, but they were few and far between.

The home we tried to fill so it wouldn’t be empty, quickly filled and now we had to make space for our child’s arrival. I wish I could say I purged, but we didn’t. We just rearranged and reorganized our possessions.  We put our guest bed on risers so we could store more stuff under it. Our poor guests had to take a running leap just to get into bed.

In the five years we owned our large home, we learned so much.  When we decided to move, we knew we didn’t want a big house or the large yard. We didn’t want a fixer-upper or a place that was hard to keep up.  If we could live by a park where OTHER people maintain it, that would be ideal.

We ended up buying a 1500 sq. ft. home with two less bedrooms and a way smaller yard.  Not only that, we have added another child to our family. Even with our 1,000 sq. ft. down grade, our smaller home has felt like such an upgrade and here is why.

Here are a few of the benefits of downsizing your family home.

3 Benefits of Downsizing:

ONE

Less Cleaning and Upkeep

A smaller house is so much more manageable when it comes to keeping the house clean. The average home in America is 2,641 sq. ft. according to 2018 statistics. That is quite a bit of sq. footage to clean.

Since our house is 40% smaller than our first home, that cuts out 40% of the cleaning I would have had if we never moved. I don’t miss that extra space or mowing the extra lawn. I have more time to do what I want with my family instead of cleaning and working on our home.

 

TWO

We Buy Less

My mom has this saying, “People are like jello, they mold to fit in whatever size home they are in.” This statement is so true.

When we had a bigger house, we bought so much to fill the space.  By having a smaller place, it limits the amount we own. We only have so much space and storage, which forces us to keep what we need and let go of the rest.

THREE

Brings Financial Freedom

This is a simple fact, smaller homes cost less than larger ones in the initial home price. The average new home price in America (July 2018) is $394,300.  In most real estate markets, smaller homes will sell for substantially less.

The amount of savings by downsizing shaves years, and perhaps decades off of a mortgage. Beyond that, smaller homes cost less to maintain with utilities, giving you more cash in your wallet each month.

If you are on the fence with the idea of downsizing your family home, I would recommend taking the leap. Downsizing has been one of the best decisions we have made.

My husband and I would have never guessed that our smaller home would house an insane amount of guests even without a guest room. We now have people over often for dinner without having a formal dining room. The world tells us that we need the newer, bigger and better home. Let’s stop buying that lie literally.  Less is more.  For us, a smaller home has been a financial blessing and has encouraged us to get outside more.

We are living in our dream house. It doesn’t look like a dream home you would see on HGTV and we are ok with that.  We didn’t need a big home or a large yard. Our downsizing, upgraded our lives.

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the benifits of downsizing your family home. Have you made the leap?  What is holding you back from downsizing? Please leave a comment below.

 

Pin It on Pinterest