Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Recent Reads

 love to read!  When we first moved into our new condo we didn't have cable for the first 6 months.  Not because we were being cheap but we didn't want to waste an entire day waiting for them to show up.  During that time I really increased the amount of books I was reading and even though we caved and got cable I still read a ton.  I wanted to share a few books that I have read recently.

Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld - 2 stars
I have read two of her other books, American Wife and Sisterland.  Sisterland is one of my favorite books ever so I was excited to read Prep.  Unfortunately I had a really hard time getting into this book.  I kept waiting for something to happen or for it to grab my attention but it never really did. The book is about a teenager girl Lee that is an outcast and she attends a upper class prep school. My book club is reading her book Eligible this month. I just picked it up from the library so I will give that one a shot. 

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware - 2 stars
Unfortunately this book was a disappointment too.  There were a lot of characters in it but I didn't think they were developed very well.  I kept getting confused trying to remember who was who.  The book is a mystery and usually I can't put these types of books down but this one didn't really hold my attention. 

The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy - 4 stars
This is a self help type of book.  I really enjoyed it!  The book is all about doing small things every day that get you closer to your goals.  It shows how big things take time to happen and its what you do continuously that really makes a difference.  Definitely worth reading!

Have you read anything good lately?  I need suggestions!  Thanks!!

Digging My Way Out of Debt....AGAIN

In 2011 I was 3 years into my financial planning career and going to graduate school for my MBA.   A career in financial planning takes awhile to build so I was still waiting tables at night and on the weekend to make extra money to pay for grad school and to cover my living expenses. But then I tore my meniscus.  I had to take about 6 weeks off from the waitressing job and have knee surgery.  I had a crappy insurance policy with a $10,000 deductible so  within 6 months I found myself about $12,000 in credit card debt for medical bills.  It sucked! But I really slashed my lifestyle and slowly dug my way out.
I started 2015 completely debt free.  And my income really increased in 2015.  I thought I had finally made it.  In April of 2015 I had $10,000 in my savings account, was regularly contributing to my IRA and my business was really growing.  It was then that I decided to finally quit my weekend job of waiting tables.  It was the best feeling ever.  It made me think that going to school and working hard had finally paid off.  

Fast forward to February 2016 when I did my income taxes and realized I owed the government $10,000.  In hindsight I should have known better but I thought I had enough business expenses and write offs and that the tax bill would be closer to $2500.  It was a very scary feeling!  I remember calling my boyfriend in a panic and having a major meltdown!  A few days later I went to my bank and applied for a loan.  They gave me a $15,000 loan at 9% for 60 months.  I should have only taken out the $10,000 I needed for the tax bill but the banker said I was approved for $15,000 so I took it all.  WOW what a mistake!  Looking back I should have called my prior employer at the waitressing job and asked for my job back and started stock piling cash til April 15th when my taxes were due.

So this past year I have been treading water to get the loan paid off and I haven't really made any progress.  Actually I have made ZERO progress.  I took the $15,000 loan out in April and I currently owe $16,866.  How is that possible?  I started moving some of the bank loan onto credit cards that had 0% introductory rates.  Then I told my boyfriend I only had $7,000 left on the original loan that was charging 9% interest.  Being the sweet, generous guy he is he loaned my the $7,000 on the spot so I wouldn't be paying any interest anymore.  But instead of using all of it toward the bank loan I used some for living expenses.  Again bad decision.  So I finally got really fed up with this and decided its time to do something about it!  So this is what I am doing:

  • I am using a budget and the Dave Ramsey envelope system - this is working pretty well!
  • I have stopped contributing to my retirement accounts until the debt is paid back
  • I have cut a lot of things that aren't necessary out of my budget like massages, new clothes, my Audible account and have cut back on dining out
  • This week I asked for my old waitressing job back - I honestly can't believe I did this but it will really help me knock this debt out
My goal is to have it all paid off by August 2017!!  And then I can quit the waitressing job again and start getting massages again!  Its embarrassing to have a financial planning business and be in this situation.  That is why I feel the urge to clean it up immediately! 

Have you ever made a dumb financial decision?  Did you know it was stupidly immediately?  How did you fix it?

Recipes for the Week!

I love meal planning!  It makes me feel like I have my shit together.  I know if I don't have a few healthy meals planned I will either get take out, go out to eat or end up eating crappy food.  And I don't want to do that!  I typically pick a few recipes for the week.  I don't plan something for every single night because when D is off we typically go out for dinner.  Breakfasts are pretty much the same thing here and don't vary much.  Its typically eggs and veggies.  Pretty basic but it keeps me full better than anything else.  Since I have started eating more Paleo type diet breakfast has typically been the same.

This week I am planning to make:
Quick and Easy Paleo Granola  from MomasRx  - Her recipes never let me down!
Crock Pot Asian Beef  from Lexi's Clean Kitchen. 
Chicken Pot Pie Soup from My Heart Beets - Just sounds delicious and comforting.  Its still 80 degrees here but whatev.
Paleo Pumpkin Walnut Muffins from CarrotsnCake. I made these a few weeks ago and screwed them up!  So I want to actually follow the recipe and see how they are.  I accidentally used the entire can of pumpkin instead  of one cup.  Oops!  The flavor was still really good but they were just super moist. Baking is definitely not my thing!

I'll let you know how these meals turn out!  What are you planning to make this week?  Or do you just wing it?


Well today was a waste of a beautiful day off.  I made bad decisions last night and am spending today paying for them.  Too much alcohol last night!  I did do a great, quick workout this morning and I went to church so it wasn't a total bust.

The workout was a one mile run but every minute you stop and do 30 walking lunges.  For some reason I thought this workout would be super easy.  Man I was wrong!!!  My legs were on fire at the end.  I kept trying  to run as fast as I could during that one minute so I would reach a mile faster and not have to do any more lunges.  So it turned into a sprint and lunge workout that left my quads on fire!  Definitely one that I will do again.

Today was my first time at church in a few weeks.  It was great to be there.  I just started going to church earlier this year.  As I kid we would sometimes go to a Catholic service but not regularly.  As an adult I never went until this year.  A great friend from Iron Tribe kept inviting me and finally I went and really loved it.  Its inspirational!  Today the Pastor was talking about the biggest battle in your life is the one with yourself.  And that really hit me.  I think it is so true.  I often know what I should do for a happy and healthy life but then make bad choices.  Like last night.  I had an event to go to and after I should have just came home.  But instead I went out and tried to drink all of the vodka in my town.  Sometimes when I drink I have a hard time of knowing when enough is enough and last night was definitely one of those nights.  Its a continuous struggle with myself. 

Is there something in your life that you are continuously struggling with?  Would love to hear!