Tag Archives: debt

Brittany’s October Debt Progress Report

This week you can also find Brittany’s October Debt Progress Report along with some other amazing financial posts at the Financially Savvy Saturday Link Up! Click the button below to get there.

brokeGIRLrich

The graph below summarizes my short term debt progress across all of my individual loans. The blue column represents my debt totals for individual loans as of October 1, 2014, and the green columns represent my debt totals for individual loans as of October 31, 2014. Looking at the debt progress in this format really emphasizes how paying more than the minimum has a HUGE impact on your debt decrease. My Great Lakes Student Loan 3 is my current focal loan, and I paid as much as I could above the minimum requirement in October. Because of that, it’s total decreased by just over 9% this month, whereas in prior months it was moving down at a rate slower than 1% decrease per month. You can also see that its total is decreasing at a rate much faster than the two loans that I am making minimum payments on. What was once my largest and most mentally defeating debt actually no longer holds the title of “largest debt”. Can I get an Amen?!?!

ind. progress

The bar graph below represents the long term and short term progress I have made on my overall debt. The grey bar represents my original total debt amount, the blue bar is my total debt one month ago, and the green bar shows how much debt I have today. Sometimes it’s hard to feel like you are making progress when you look at your BIG number on a month-to-month basis, but looking back to the beginning can remind you how far you have come.

total debt progress

Having ONE target loan will increase the rate at which you can pay off your debt and decrease the amount of money you will pay towards interest to help you become debt free sooner!

Because I was paying above the minimum monthly requirement on my focal loan, the percentage being paid towards interest was small—only 7% of my total payment went towards interest. In contrast, 21% of the total amount I put towards the loans I am making minimum payments on went towards interest!! You want to pay as much as possible toward the principal because that is what helps speed up the process of eliminating debt. The chart below gives you a visual representation of these numbers.

percent toward interest

It might seem like cash flowing money right now is rough, but if you make minimum monthly payments until all of your debt is gone, you will end up paying MUCH MORE than your original loan amounts in the long run.

Tell your Income Where to Go

The pie chart below summarizes where I delegated my earned income during the month of October. About 55% of my earned income went towards debt—that includes my minimum monthly payments and extra cash flow. Just below 32% went towards my living expenses (food, rent, etc.), and 13% of my earned income was put into long-term savings this month to prepare for holiday season travels and any surprise wedding expenses I haven’t considered in my budget. As much as including wiggle room in my budget pains me, I am continuing to do it. L Deep breaths…and I’ll be thanking myself in about three months.

pie chart

October Roadblocks: October was the first month since this summer that my credit card bill wasn’t (in my own opinion) HUGE at the end of the month, and no other surprise expenses snuck up on me. I’m still saving up for my wedding/holiday buffer—which even though it feels like it’s hindering my progress on paying off debt, is not a roadblock. Saving AHEAD of time is smart, not debilitating. I’ve got a life to live here, right?!?!

October Dollar Hollaaass: No additional income on my end throughout the month of October; however I have been doing a lot of research in freelance writing and am looking to take a (baby) step in that direction come November.

For more information on how to gain control of your finances check out our info on Getting Started by clicking the link in the menu bar at the top of the page. How do you stay motivated and track your debt progress?

Follow us on FacebookPinterest, and Twitter!

Follow on Bloglovin

♥ Brittany

10 Scary Facts about Debt

10 scary facts about debt

Halloween is just a few days away, and we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get a little bit spooky this week. Don’t let these 10 Scary Facts about Debt become your own personal nightmare!

1. Currently, more than 40 million Americans hold student debt. The population with student loans is actually greater than the entire population of Canada, Poland, North Korea, Australia and more than 200 other countries. It’s also about four times greater than the population of Sweden.

2. The average American pays $600,000 in interest during his/her lifetime.

3. Forty-Three percent of all American families spend more than they earn each year.

4. The average age at which Americans expect to be debt free is 53 years old!

5. Seventy percent of college graduates in 2013 are graduating with debt.

6. The very last time the United States Federal government was completely debt-free was January 8, 1835. when Andrew Jackson was President.

7. If you have $10 in your pocket and no debts, you are wealthier than 25% of Americans.

8. In 2013, outstanding student loan balances reached more than $1.2 trillion, which is more than any other type of debt, except a mortgage.

9. A typical credit card purchase ends up costing 112 percent more than if cash were used.

10. Nine of 10 Americans claim credit card debt has never been a source of worry, but 47 percent would refuse to tell a friend how much they owe.

pumpkin butt

I tried to find some debt horror stories that would be worthy of campfire story telling but most of what I discovered online was more self-pitying that bone-chilling, so I guess we will end the list with a full moon dedicated to debt instead :)

You can also find this post on the Financially Savvy Saturday Link Up–along with some other great financial reads!

brokeGIRLrich

Do you have a debt horror story? Please share it with us in the comments!

Follow us on FacebookPinterest, and Twitter!

Follow on Bloglovin

♥ Brittany

Sources: 
1. http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2011/12/14/six-waltons-have-more-wealth-than-the-bottom-30-of-americans/
2. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kyle-mccarthy/10-fun-facts-about-student-loan-debt_b_4639044.html
3. http://www.biblemoneymatters.com/being-normal-costs-an-average-of-600000-over-a-lifetime-heres-why-we-are-fighting-back/
4. http://www.cbn.com/700club/guests/bios/Howard_Dayton060506.aspx
5. http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/credit-card-industry-facts-personal-debt-statistics-1276.php
6. http://www.fidelity.com/inside-fidelity/individual-investing/college-grads-surprised-by-student-debt-level-exceeds-35000
7. http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2011/04/15/135423586/when-the-u-s-paid-off-the-entire-national-debt-and-why-it-didnt-last
8. http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2014/05/student-loan-debt-rising-gale-harris
9. http://thecoachnate.com/get-rid-of-the-broke-folks-in-your-life/
10. http://www.fiero.nl/cgi-bin/fiero/showThread.cgi?forum=Archive-000003&thread=20090907-6-053971&style=printable

Student Loan Debt: 5 Things I’d tell my Pre-Graduate Self

According to a study conducted by The Project on Student Debt, 7 out of 10 college seniors who graduated last year left with more than a new degree–they also acquired an average of $29,400 in student loan debt. That means 70% of college graduates enter the workforce with a net worth that is in the negative because of their student loans. That. Is. Crazy. I was lucky enough to complete four years of college without acquiring any student loan debt thanks to an athletic scholarship and super amazing parents that were able to chip in to cover the rest. Then came graduate school a few states away from my home and with that–unfortunately–I hopped on the student loan debt bandwagon and found myself with a Master’s Degree and $60,000 student loan debt!

Obviously I can’t (and wouldn’t) want to go back and change everything. I LOVED moving to a different part of the country and exploring an environment outside of the one I had lived in for the past 22 years. I LOVED the people I met, the graduate program I went through, and the experience I had. After living it, I can’t say that I would hop in a time machine and make a drastically different grad school decision if the option was there–even to get $60,000 of student loan debt off my chest (gol’ darn emotions and memories). However, looking back with my wise and student loan debt ridden eyes, I can say that there are definitely a few things I wish I would have done a little bit differently…

1. “Budget”: I have always been pretty good about money. I’ve never been a frivolous spender or someone who had no concept of spending less than what you earn, but I didn’t completely understand what a “budget” was. I thought I was on a budget because I KEPT TRACK of what I was spending AFTER I had already spent it. For example, one month (during football season) I spend over $400 on going out to eat, bars, and beer and didn’t know it until AFTER I had already spent it. My thought process was, “Well next month I’ll spend less”. I didn’t always stick to the plan to “spend less” because I was missing the key concept of a “budget”…I didn’t dictate HOW MUCH I was actually going to spend. Keeping track of what I was spending was a starting point, but it didn’t stop my money from disappearing without me knowing where it went.

Tailgating pics

Tailgating could have been my second major ;-)

2. Get a Job. I go back and forth about this one all the time. I was in a program that was more than a full-time job commitment between classes and clinicals, not to mention homework and studying. I had actually applied to 17 jobs during my first semester (and got calls back from a few), but I was living in a college town and just didn’t have the connections I needed to work in the bar and restaurant industry. I felt like bars and restaurants were the way to go since you take home cash that night and can easily make more than minimum wage. Scheduling was a problem because I wasn’t finished with work or clinic until 5pm or later most nights and restaurants wanted me there earlier to begin the dinner service. All excuses aside, between my schedule and my mindset at the time, I should have gotten some sort of job to create some sort of income.

3. Find another way. This is controversial. Dave Ramsey says, “Don’t loan money to family. Give it as a gift or don’t give it at all”. I definitely know that philosophy is completely correct, but I wish I would have tried asking grandparents and parents for some sort of “loan”, even if it was loaning me the money to buy my books each semester or helping me pay my rent each month. I don’t know if this actually would have happened, but if you have family members that have extra money and want to “invest” in your education, ask if they want to loan you some money (you can both sign a written agreement if it makes you feel better) while you’re in school and start paying it back after you graduate at a low interest rate. That way, they’re investing their money wisely (because we know you’re responsible and would pay them back quickly ;-)) AND you don’t have to eat 7% interest from DAY ONE! It’s worth a try!

Beach Pics

I couldn’t believe I lived so close to “the sea”!

4. State Schools. This one is SO hard for me to put on here, because I didn’t do it, and wouldn’t do it if I had to do it all over again. I loved the experience that I had, but if you’re someone who’s looking to go back home or stay near home (or in the same state), a state school is the way to go. Most of the time they are great schools and cost way less per month than most others (aka a great value).

5. Work/Study & Internships. This is an easy way to “make money” or get cheaper tuition without a scheduling conflict. Most work/study programs are within your program or will work with your program to make sure your hours don’t conflict with academics. Internships are usually within your program and can range from simple to very involved. Not only are these great ways to make extra money, but it’s a great way to make connection and meet awesome people!

Graduation School Pic

Celebrating the end of an amazing (and extremely difficult) two years!

Have you learned any lessons about finance recently?! Follow the “Reply” link at the top of this post to share your thoughts with me and Brittany! If you could reach out to your pre-graduate self to give advice about student loan debt, what would you say?

Student Loan Debt: 5 Things I’d tell my Pre-Graduate Self can also be found on the Financially Savvy Saturday Link up happening over at BrokeGirlrich. Be sure to click on the button below to head on over and check out all the other savvy posts!

brokeGIRLrich

Follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter!

Follow on Bloglovin

Sam

My Life on a Budget: A Year in Review

 

Year in Review Sam EditionJust a little over a year ago Brittany and I decided to start Fun on a Budget Blog to document the outcome of 20-somethings trying to live well on a budget. We wanted to share our financial battles and triumphs as we fought the good fight against our debts and gave our best effort to keep living lives that kept us happy and excited to get out of bed each morning.  We had a few different purposes in starting Fun on a Budget:

First, we wanted to support other people that were in the same situation as us. Debt is one of those topics that most people are ashamed to talk about, so we knew that there were probably many silent sufferers out there that could use some help.

Second, we wanted to learn more about how to be better with money…and we have learned A LOT!! A huge amount of research and many conversations happen each time we prepare for a post, and from those actions new knowledge is gained.

Finally, Fun on a Budget Blog was a way to stay motivated to keep our focus and momentum strong because after all, paying off debt can be a long term and difficult goal to achieve. Fun on a Budget Blog has 100% fulfilled its role in being a tremendous motivator for staying focused on our end game of getting debt paid off as quickly as possible. Every month we sit down and write up an entire report about how much debt we’ve ditched or how much money we saved, and this gives us the opportunity to reflect on what we are doing well and what we need to start doing a little bit better. Don’t get me wrong, I do hope that people like our budget blog, and I hope that if some Googler stumbles upon it (probably on the 5th page of search term results, haha), that it will help him in some way—but at the end of the day, if I it’s just me, Brittany, and our moms reading the darn thing, we are okay with that. We’re okay with it because we truly enjoy not just living on a budget, but writing about it.

So, here we are one year later, and it just wouldn’t be right not to reflect on how being on a budget has impacted our lives, right? I must say that I originally assumed I would post about how my budget has impacted my debt only, but once I started taking a deeper look at all that has happened (or not happened) and changed over this past year, I realized that the debt numbers are only half of it!

Debt by Numbers: How Being on a Budget for a Year has Impacted my Debt

Year in Review Total Debts
In just one year I have cut the number of total debts I owe by 75%, went from having paid off one debt to having three fully paid loans under my belt, decreased nearly all of my debts to less than the original amount I was loaned (interest is the WORST), reduced my minimum monthly payments by $228.34 , and decreased my overall debt by over $18,000.

Income Distribution

From August 2013 to August 2014, my income was delegated into four different categories: debt payments, living expenses, flights (home and for trips) and savings. 42% of my income went towards my debt snowball, 43% was used for living expenses like rent and food, 7.5% went toward flights to visit family and friends, and the final 7.5% went into my savings account–which was primarily used for moving across the country.

Current Debt Comparatives YIR

The chart above gives a more detailed look of how being on a budget can have a significant and positive impact on getting rid of your debt.

 Yeah, Yeah, Yeah…So you paid off a lot of debt, but what else have you done??

Well, you might be surprised

One of the most rude frequently heard comments that comes out of someone’s mouth when he/she learns I believe in sticking to a budget is “Oh, I couldn’t put myself on a budget because I still want to do things.”  Give me a break…I was on a budget from August 2013 – August 2014, and I did A LOT of “things”.

During my first year on a budget I…

Fun Pics

And I did a little traveling too..

Travel Pics

The good, the bad, and the really really good

I would be lying if I ended this post with my fabulous traveling pictures and told everyone that being on a budget is all rainbows and ice cream cones all the time. It’s not. You aren’t idiots, and you already knew that.  I whined like a child when I had to miss friend’s weddings, wear running shoes that have holes in them, go hungry during happy hour, and had to start drinking water at the bar after I ran out of money (but felt pretty happy the next morning hangover free).

When you are on a budget you cannot do 100% of the things you want to do, buy 100% of the things you want to buy, or travel to 100% of the places you want to travel. You must pick and choose, but whenever I feel down about being on a budget, I remind myself that one of the most important and impacting choices I made in this past year was to LIVE on a BUDGET. Because that choice brings good things to me now—like paying off debt quickly and never bouncing checks—and will bring really-really good things to me in the not-so-far-future—like being able to save for retirement and use money to travel and celebrate in the present —the blips of “bad” that I’m experiencing just don’t seem so bad.

Brittany lived on a budget the past year too! Check out how she fared by clicking the link: Brittany’s Life on a Budget: A Year in Review

For more information about transitioning to life on a budget click on our“Getting Started” link in the menu bar at the top of the page, and get your free printable budget by visiting our “Materials” page.  We have a couple of options for you there.

But enough about me…I want to hear about your experiences on a budget–what works and doesn’t work? What are the best and worst parts of holding yourself accountable with money? Follow the “Reply” link at the top of this post to share your thoughts with Brittany and I!!

Follow us on FacebookPinterest, and Twitter!

Follow on Bloglovin

Sam

My Life on a Budget: A Year in Review

title pic

Just a little over a year ago Sam and I decided to start Fun on a Budget Blog to document the outcome of 20-somethings trying to live well on a budget. We wanted to share our financial battles and triumphs as we fought the good fight against our debts and gave our best effort to keep living lives that kept us happy and excited to get out of bed each morning.  We had a few different purposes in starting the Fun on a Budget:

First, we wanted to support other people that were in the same situation as us. Debt is one of those topics that most people are ashamed to talk about, so we knew that there were probably many silent sufferers out there that could use some help.

Second, we wanted to learn more about how to be better with money…and we have learned A LOT!! A huge amount of research and many conversations happen each time we prepare for a post, and from those actions new knowledge is gained.

Finally, Fun on a Budget Blog was a way to stay motivated to keep our focus and momentum strong because after all, paying off debt can be a long term and difficult goal to achieve. Fun on a Budget Blog has 100% fulfilled its role in being a tremendous motivator for staying focused on our end game of getting debt paid off as quickly as possible. Every month we sit down and write up an entire report about how much debt we’ve ditched or how much money we saved, and this gives us the opportunity to reflect on what we are doing well and what we need to start doing a little bit better. Don’t get me wrong, I do hope that people like our budget blog, and I hope that if some Googler stumbles upon it (probably on the 5th page of search term results, haha), that it will help him in some way—but at the end of the day, if I it’s just me, Sam, and our moms reading the darn thing, we are okay with that. We’re okay with it because we truly enjoy not just living on a budget, but writing about it.

So, here we are one year later, and it just wouldn’t be right not to reflect on how being on a budget has impacted our lives, right? I must say that I originally assumed I would post about how my budget has impacted my debt only, but once I started taking a deeper look at all that has happened (or not happened) and changed over this past year, I realized that the debt numbers are only half of it :)

Debt by Numbers: How Being on a Budget for a Year has Impacted my Debt

Debt by the Numbers-Comparison

In just one year I have cut the number of total debts I owe in half, went from having paid off zero debts to having three fully paid loans under my belt, decreased nearly all of my debts to less than the original amount I was loaned (interest is the WORST), reduced my minimum monthly payments by over $200.00, and decreased my overall debt by nearly $25,000.

Income distribution

From August 2013 to August 2014, my income was delegated into three different categories: debt payments, living expenses, and savings. Just over half of my income went towards my debt snowball, 37% was used for living expenses like rent and food, and the final 11% went into my savings account–which was primarily used for Christmas shopping and wedding savings.

Ind. loan progress

The chart above gives a more detailed look of how being on a budget can have a significant and positive impact on getting rid of your debt.

 Yeah, Yeah, Yeah…So you paid off a lot of debt, but what else have you done??

Well, you might be surprised :)

One of the most rude frequently heard comments that comes out of someone’s mouth when he/she learns I believe in sticking to a budget is “Oh, I couldn’t put myself on a budget because I still want to do things.”  Give me a break…I was on a budget from August 2013 – August 2014, and I did A LOT of “things”.

During my first year on a budget I…

what i did 2

what i did list

And I did a little traveling too…

travel2

travel list

The good, the bad, and the really really good

I would be a big, fat, dirty liar if I ended this post with my fabulous traveling pictures and told everyone that being on a budget is all rainbows and ice cream cones all the time. It’s not. You aren’t idiots, and you already knew that.  I hopped on the waaambulance a handful of times during my first year on a budget, for a variety of different reasons—missing the bridal shower and bachelorette of a bestie, missing the wedding of another, keeping my own wedding small, and no longer being Anthropologie’s #1 customer—are a few that really got under my skin and left me flustered for days.

When you are on a budget you cannot do 100% of the things you want to do, buy 100% of the things you want to buy, or travel to 100% of the places you want to travel. You must pick and choose, but whenever I feel down about being on a budget, I remind myself that one of the most important and impacting choices I made in this past year was to LIVE on a BUDGET. Because that choice brings good things to me now—like paying off debt quickly and never bouncing checks—and will bring really-really good things to me in the not-so-far-future—like being able to save for retirement and use money to travel and celebrate in the present —the blips of “bad” that I’m experiencing just don’t seem so bad. :)

Sam lived on a budget this past year too! See how she fared by clicking the link: Sam’s life on a Budget: A Year in Review

For more information about transitioning to life on a budget click on our “Getting Started” link in the menu bar at the top of the page, and get your free printable budget by visiting our “Materials” page.  We have a couple of options for you there.

But enough about me…I want to hear about your experiences on a budget–what works and doesn’t work? What are the best and worst parts of holding yourself accountable with money? Follow the “Reply” link at the top of this post to share your thoughts with me and Sam!!

Follow us on FacebookPinterest, and Twitter!

Follow on Bloglovin

 Brittany

Brittany’s August Debt Progress Report

The graph below summarizes my short term debt progress across all of my individual loans. The blue column represents my debt totals for individual loans as of August 1, 2014, and the green columns represent my debt totals for individual loans as of August 31, 2014. Looking at the debt progress in this format really emphasizes how paying more than the minimum has a HUGE impact on your debt decrease. My ACS Student Loan was my focal loan, and I completely paid it off by the end of August because I paid as much as I could above the minimum requirement. In contrast, loans I am currently paying only minimums on decreased by an average of just 1.4%.

Next month there will only be three loans to report on!!!

Next month there will only be three loans to report on!!!

The bar graph below represents the long term and short term progress I have made on my overall debt. The grey bar represents my original total debt amount, the blue bar is my total debt one month ago, and the green bar shows how much debt I have today. Sometimes it’s hard to feel like you are making progress when you look at your BIG number on a month-to-month basis, but looking back to the beginning can remind you how far you have come!

total debt progress

Having ONE TARGET LOAN will increase the rate at which you can pay off your debt and decrease the amount of money you will pay towards interest to help you become debt free sooner!

Because I was paying above the minimum monthly requirement on my focal loan, the percentage being paid towards interest was very small—only 3% of my total payment went towards accrued interest. In contrast, 38% of the total amount I put towards the loans I am making minimum payments on went towards interest!! You want to pay as much as possible toward the principal because that is what helps speed up the process of eliminating debt. The chart below gives you a visual representation of these numbers.

It might seem like cash flowing money right now is rough, but if you make minimum monthly payments until all of your debt is gone, you will end up paying MUCH MORE than your original loan amounts in the long run

It might seem like cash flowing money right now is rough, but if you make minimum monthly payments until all of your debt is gone, you will end up paying MUCH MORE than your original loan amounts in the long run

Tell your Income Where to Go

The pie chart below summarizes where I delegated my earned income during the month of August. Just over 51% of my earned income went toward debt—that includes my minimum monthly payments and extra cash flow. Just below 49% went toward my living expenses (food, rent, etc.), and no money was put into long-term savings this month.

pie chart

Roadblocks: I did some “back to school” aka “back to work” shopping that was a specialty category separate from my allotted spending money for the month, but I kept that expense fairly low (probably lower than the amount I used to allow myself for clothes alone each month…yikes). I also had a credit card bill that was higher than normal because I used it to purchase a couple of plane tickets to head back to the Midwest for a wedding midmonth. We actually had two weddings we wanted to go to in August, but budget and work schedules only allowed for us to attend one :(

August Dollar Hollaaas: No significant increases in income this month, and I am aware that it will probably be that way for the rest of the year…so I am mentally prepared!

Looking Ahead

Up until this point, I have been choosing my focal loan based on its size. In order to reach my short term goals of paying off individual debts quickly (thus reinforcing my efforts with something to celebrate a couple times a year), I have made the smallest loan my focal loan and thrown all extra cash at it at the end of each pay period. Starting in September, I am going to tackle my debt a little differently.

Because my car loan has a very low interest rate, 97% of my minimum monthly payment is going towards principal. In contrast, my Great Lakes Student Loan 3 has remained stagnate for a year, and this is because less than 20% of my minimum monthly payments have been going toward interest. When that happens on such a large loan, it becomes nearly impossible to stay afloat— and more importantly, impossible to get ahead. That is why I have decided to start tackling my largest debt now.

The most crucial piece of keeping momentum to paying off your debts is to find ways to stay motivated. I know that watching the most stubborn loan I have FINALLY start to decrease will be more motivating than anything else, including paying off my car.  Even better, my car debt will continue to decrease at a steady rate as I make only minimum payments—so I will have visible progress across two loans.

Announcement

For more information on how to gain control of your finances check out our “Getting Started” page by clicking the link in the menu bar at the top of the page.

Follow us on FacebookPinterest, and Twitter!

Follow on Bloglovin

 Brittany

How to Stay Sane and Maintain Friendships while Living on a Budget

Sometimes when you are fighting tooth and nail to get out of debt or save a large amount of money for a future expense, such as a down payment on a house or college tuition, your intensity takes you across a fine line, and your healthy determination becomes an unhealthy obsession. If—okay, okay, WHEN—this happens you have to take a step back and remove your blinders because money is just money, and being a miser not worth losing out on relationships and monumental occasions with your friends and family.

We all know that being financially fit is an important part of survival in today’s world, but there are other parts of life that are just simply MORE important. When you feel yourself over-stressing about monetary situations that are minor blips on the radar of life, fearing that your friends have forgotten you exist due to your new hobby of hermit-ing (pretty sure that’s a word I just made up), or shaming yourself for the lack of love you’ve been sharing with others, it’s useful to have strategies to get yourself back on track to living a life you love—and keeping your relationships with your peeps alive and well.

Just because you are “on a budget” does not mean you are destined to eat Ramen alone every night. There are some ways that you can make sure you keep a level head about money matters, maintain positive relationships with your friends and family, and continue to share love with your peeps no matter what kind of budget you are following.

word art

1. Brainstorm a list of your current life priorities, and put them in order. When you see that money isn’t at the top of the list, you can motivate yourself to quit acting like it is.

priority

Money can buy you things, but consciously examining your life priorities reminds you it’s not the only path to a full life. Don’t let yourself forget that!

2. After you master the art of saying “no” every once in awhile, make sure you balance that out by saying “yes” every once in awhile too. When you first start picking and choosing which activities or items to spend money on, it can be difficult to walk away without forking over dough. After a little time has passed and you begin to notice progress with your finances, it gets easier to say “no”, and you might find yourself having trouble saying “yes”. Make sure you stay involved in activities and relationships at the top of your priority list because these are the best parts of life.

photo credit: www.capescoaching.wordpress.com

photo credit: www.capescoaching.wordpress.com

3. Talk to people. The gift of gab…never. stops. giving.

talking on the phone

photo credit: www.elephantjournal.com

4. Share what you can. If your budget doesn’t allow you to dole out the big bucks to frequently treat your friends or family to the finer things in life, make a valiant effort to make the best of what you have and give what you can. Invite them over for home cooked dinner or lend them your favorite shade of nail polish. Stumble upon a buy-one-get-one-free coupon for an item you only need one of? Shop with your friend, and share the wealth. Get a promo code via email that you aren’t going to be able to use? Go ahead and forward that to a near and dear who will. When it comes to sharing, think outside of the box and give what you can. Others will appreciate it, and you will enjoy it.

cupcakes

If someone gives you half a dozen cupcakes, give four or five to your friends.

5. Plan activities that aren’t expensive. Who says your only social interactions have to revolve around buying food, drinks, or clothes? Nobody—that’s who! Take the reins, and set up wallet-friendly fun like brunch at your place, going for a walk or hike, cheering on your alma mater in a sporting event, or chatting while your dogs go wild at the dog park.

taking reins

Hiking the Bell Trail in Sedona, AZ was free and exhilarating.

6. Cut yourself a little slack. Whenever I feel like I’m not doing as well as I wish I was—with money, relationships, just being a good human in general—I remind myself that my (perceived) “failure” probably isn’t a very big deal in the whole scope of my life or anyone else’s for that matter. And please know that “I remind myself,” is actually code for, “usually after about five rounds of beating myself up over something insignificant..I remind myself”. Everyone is their own worst critic. If you feel like you messed up or aren’t meeting the standards you have set for yourself, you have to let it go and find a way to move forward. If you can’t do that, you just get stuck.

When you start to feel defeated about money or life, try to see yourself from your dog's point of view.

When you start to feel defeated about money or life, and all else fails–try to see yourself from your dog’s point of view.

 For more information about how to start making progress on getting out of debt or gaining control of your finances, check out our Getting Started tab at the top of our page.

Follow us on FacebookPinterest, and Twitter!

Follow on Bloglovin

 Brittany