dollar talk

Have you ever gone to make a purchase and while you're swiping your card you silently pray "Lord, please don't let my card be declined?"

I have. 

What a crappy place to be, right? Well, today I want to talk to you about one of my favorite elephants in the room. 

Money.

Last week, I posted this picture on Instagram:

I was shocked/pleasantly surprised by the response I received on this post. Alas, I thought it would be as good a time as any, to do this post.

I haven't always liked to talk about money. This is actually a super recent thing, like within the last year. I've always had a really weird relationship with it. On the one hand I like it because it allows me to do/buy stuff. On the other hand, when I would buy something I'd feel super guilty and it kind of made my palms sweaty and I'd want to take off running in the opposite direction. Realizing the latter was an unhealthy view of money, I knew something needed to change. 

Brief Holly History: I was never really taught how to handle money. I mean, my parents told me I needed to save and that credit cards were a no-no. But, I never really understood how money works and how to make it work for me.  

In high school I got my first job. I worked part-time and got paid every Friday. And wouldn't you know that money always "magically disappeared" by Monday...some mysteries may never be solved (Just kidding. It was me, shopping at the mall).

And that habit transferred into my adult life.

A few years later I was living on my own. Responsible for rent, and utilities, and grocery shopping, and gas, and car maintenance and HOLY COW, when did I become and adult? I was thrown into the arena of life and had NO earthly idea what I was doing.

THEN a miracle happened. 2 words (or a name, rather): DAVE RAMSEY. I'd grown up overhearing Dave, on the radio but never really knew much about him, aside from him being that money guy we listened to on our way home from school. About 2 years ago I started listening to his podcast on a regular basis and the lightbulb finally came on. 

MONEY IS NOT SCARY! And it's not supposed to be. Money is simply a resource that I AM IN CONTROL OF. Once I realized this, the money "game" changed for me. I decided to become more aggressive with the way I approach my finances. Rather than being afraid of money I decided to get excited and kick money in the face. Here's what I did. I sat down and wrote out a, wait for it, BUDGET. Yes, I just said the "B" word. Something Dave Ramsey says is "A budget is simply telling your money where to go." What a simple and profound thought. If I sit down and write out what bills are due and what other expenses I have and deduct it from the amount that is in my account - I no longer have to worry about whether or not I will have "enough". HELLO, somebody! 

I totally get that some of you hate making lists and organizational type stuff. But, allow me to shed some light on this for a moment. While sitting down and writing out a budget may seem tedious and boring - I assure you, the payoff if FAR better. You no longer have to guess where all your money went, instead you know where you're money will be going. There's so much power in that! Another pro to writing out a budget is that you'll see where you're spending unnecessarily. As you may have gathered from the picture at the top of this post, I like to eat out. When I sat down and looked at my spending habits I realized I was spending WAY too much money at restaurants and coffee shops. When you start looking at your money you'll start to see where some spending habits could be tightened up.

Another bonus - Think of all the money you'll be able to save and give! That was a huge motivator for me! My money wasn't going to save itself, so I had to! Dave recommends creating an "Emergency Fund" which is $1000 in savings. That way if your transmission goes out, or you have an unexpected doctor visit, you're covered. I love the idea of having security and not going into freakout mode, when my car makes a weird noise. 

I am by no means a financial guru and I cannot tell you what to do with your money. But what I can tell you is this; there is freedom in knowing where your money is going. A weight will be lifted when you know that you've budgeted for that weekend trip or going out to eat. I'm not perfect and I'm still figuring out what works best for me, but I highly encourage you to take charge of your finances and if you're like me, get freedom from the fear of money. 

Here are some of my FAVORITE Dave resources:

daveramsey.com - He has tons of resources and info to help you get started, no matter what your financial journey may look like.
everydollar.com - Dave and his team JUST launched every dollar. It's a free online budgeting tool, that I am OBSESSED with!
The Dave Ramsey Show - New episodes every weekday! I love listening to these because it keeps me fired up to make money work for me!
rachelcruze.com - This is Dave Ramsey's daughter! Her sight is another awesome resource for all things monayyyyy. She also does weekly Vlogs and blog posts!

So, what do you say? Let's get out there and tell our money where to go. 

Do you have any money advice you'd like to share? I'm all ears, so tell me below! 

 

See ya,
Holly 

bye, netflix

Two weeks ago I did something. Something, you might think is a little crazy.  I cancelled my Netflix account. I know. I know what you're thinking; "What the heck?!" "Absurd!" "Blasphemy!" "GIIIRRRRRL, you're out of control!" All of that crossed my mind, too. Here's what finally made me say "Adios Muchacho" to Netflix.

I love to read. Like, LOVE it. But, no one would know that because you never see me with a book. 

Why? 

Because I wasn’t reading one.

My abounding goodreads account would totally have you fooled, but really, up until 2 weeks ago I hadn’t finished a book in over 2 years. 

How sad. 

So, when I realized this, while making my new years resolutions (yuck, I don’t like that word. It reeks of lost dreams..dramatic, but true) I decided to make reading a PRIORITY. So, after about a week long, internal debate with myself, I logged onto my Netflix account clicked a few buttons and voila, it was cancelled. Now, instead of spending countless hours binge watching shows I don’t really even care about, I can spend that time elsewhere!

If you still watch Netflix, I am not hating on you! This was just something I personally decided to do. 

Can I tell you, it’s been AWESOME! I’ve  finished 2 books and am on my 3rd already! 

I realize my past few posts have been about giving something up. Becoming selfless, going makeup free, and now I’m talking about getting rid of my Netflix account. Have I totally lost it? (NO!) But, I think that’s what life’s about. Giving things up, letting things go and refining your life, to make it better. One of my favorite sayings is “If you don’t like something about yourself or your life, what are you doing to change it?” I’ve asked myself that question, a lot, in the last 3 months and it’s really challenging me. I realized I didn’t love the way I viewed myself, so I myself asked what I could do to change that. And for me, it was going a week without makeup. I didn’t love that I was spending tons of time vegged out and watching t.v. when I could be spending my time doing a handful of other things to enrich my life, so for me, that meant canceling my netflix account. You might ask yourself these same questions and the answers will probably be different, and that’s ok! I love that the Lord has given us a choice. We choose the kind of life we want to live and are given the opportunity to change it! So, why not? Why not get out there and live the best life you can? Enjoying your family and friends, the people God has put in your life to influence, challenge, encourage, and grow with?!

I would like to acknowledge, there are some situations we face in life, that we can’t necessarily change on our own - and that’s tough. But we do have the choice of our actions and attitudes. Maybe you’re facing a situation at work, that you want to change, but aren’t able to.

You could choose to have a “glass half empty” mentality, gossip to your co-workers about upper management and do the bare minimum to passively aggressively show contempt.

OR you could choose to have a “glass half full” mentality, keep your mouth shut when all you really want to do is gossip (been there), and do the best work you can do. And pray for your leaders. Lord knows we’re all people facing decisions that are bigger than us. So, why not pray for the people who can make that change?!

The two books I mentioned finishing are: 

“The Traveler’s Gift: Seven Decisions that Determine Personal Success” by Andy Andrews 
This book was a super easy read that made me think!

“Wrecked: When a Broken World Slams Into Your Comfortable Life.” by Jeff Goins
This book was phenomenal. Also a super easy read and has challenged the way I look at life and the call God has placed on each and every one of us. I will talk about this book, some more in a future post. 

If you’re a fellow reader and like to know what other people are reading too, you should come on over to goodreads.com! You can keep track of all the books you want to read, have read or are currently reading. You can do reviews, create different bookshelves and follow your friends! I love this site because it’s super easy for me to add books to my “Want to read” shelf, so anytime I’m at a bookstore I can browse through my list! Hope to see y'all there! 

Have you decided to "give some things up" this year? If so, I'd love to hear about them! 

Also, Do you have a favorite book? If so, let me know - because I'm constantly updating my "Want to read" list! 

See y'all soon,
Holly