Finances

Our Financial Journey

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Hi friends, I didn’t share a post last Sunday because last week I was super sick with the flu (ended up dehydrated and in the hospital) and didn’t do much blogging or writing or much of anything. But, I did do a whole lot of stressing about our finances.

 

It’s not that we’re broke because we aren’t. We have a little bit in our savings account, and we do save a little each month.

 

But

 

We are living paycheck to paycheck. And while we’re living, it’s stressful and not fun and then when you go to the ER in an ambulance (because you sent your body into shock by hyperventilating about the flu) you stress more about all the bills that will be headed your way.

 

Why I’m sharing this with you.

 

A few months ago, right as I was starting this blog, I felt strongly that I should talk about our finances and our financial journey here. I still have no idea why, and I honestly kept pushing it off, but here we are. I’m going to get real and vulnerable and share all the facts and details and I’m going to share our journey as we move from living paycheck to paycheck to living comfortably, saving, and not stressing about when that paycheck is going to come in.

 

So let’s get started.

 

My financial history.

 

Growing up I was a huge saver. Any time I got cash it went right in my piggy bank and for the most part, it sat there until I went on a shopping trip with friends or I got excited about something. I had a job during the summers in high school, and that money would go into my bank account and mostly just sit.

 

My first semester of college was when I started to spend a little more, but it still wasn’t a lot. A splurge for chocolate after a long day at work, getting some chicken wings and wedge fries from the deli on an occasional lunch break. I was tracking my spending and I was earning money and it was all going well.

 

So what changed?

 

Honestly, I’ve been trying to figure this all out. I feel like once I got out on my own (on my mission and then marriage) I realized that I could buy whatever I wanted! I had money and I could spend it. My problem was that I didn’t know when to stop.

 

Oo that book is on sale? Well, I guess I need to buy six more so that I can get that free shipping they’re offering. Oh, how about those chips? We can’t have just one bag because we’ll eat it too fast. Need something quick, hello Amazon Prime. And that is how my savings account dwindled as I spent my money on whatever I wanted.

 

Making not so great money choices

 

All our lives Griffin and I were taught that we should save, but we got into a habit of saying that we had the money now, so why should we keep saving it? (Oh if I could go back in time and tell my 21 year old self that someday I’d want a house or savings or savings to be closer to buying a house, maybe I would have saved harder and better.) Our big problem was that we knew we should save, but we weren’t great at keeping that money in savings.

 

Honestly, this is something we still struggle with.

 

We also moved to a more expensive apartment (just because we could and wanted a change) and then we moved states, breaking our contract early and having to pay a few $1000 in rent because we couldn’t find anyone to take over our contract. Ugh. I really don’t love renting.

 

Anyway.

 

We made some poor money choices. Now we have some debt (on credit cards and with hospital bills from giving birth and then we’ll have some more with my short stay last week.)

 

We aren’t in trouble financially, but we aren’t in great shape. Money is something I am trying to change my relationship with and it’s something that I don’t want to worry about all the time.

 

So what does this mean?

 

I’ll be sharing my journey along the way. I’m planning to write about how we are saving money, how to budget (and stick to it, something we really need to do!) and extra ways we’re making money. Honestly, I don’t know what else will come from this, all I know that it’s time to start talking about it. I guess that means there’s someone out there who needs my experience and tips as much as I do. Or maybe I just need to learn more about finances and one of the ways I learn best is by writing my experiences.

 

I don’t know.

 

This post was messy, but it’s the beginning of a journey that I’m excited to go on. One of my goals for 2019 is to cultivate our finances and save save save! And I’m excited to share our journey with you.

 

One last thing before I go, I am hoping to read any and all (or at least a few) books about finances. I’ve already read Financial Peace by Dave Ramsey (which I highly recommend if you want to start taking control of your finances) and You Are A Badass At Making Money by Jen Sincero. But, I need more recommendations! So, if you have any, please send them my way!

My favorite resources to save + earn extra money:

Ibotta: Ibotta gives you rebates every time you go shopping! It’s super easy to get money back because you’re already going shopping. You can get $10 right now if you sign up with my link or using my code: rioeknr

Ebates: If you shop online (which we do all the time!) you can get money back instantly from a ton of different places when you make a purchase. I recommend downloading the Ebates extension to your Chrome browser so that any time you’re shopping online you can get cash back! If you join today you can get $10 back on your first $25 purchase!

Prolific: I know there are a lot of survey websites out there, but Prolific has been my favorite by far. Setting up your account takes a bit longer because that’s where you answer all of the screener questions. Which means any survey that comes to your account, you’re already qualified to take! The payout has been great with Prolific, and what you earn really depends on how long the survey is. Prolific is an easy way to earn extra money every month.

 

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2 Comments

  1. I absolutely love using Mint for my budget. I keep a spreadsheet to keep track of how much I actually have in my checking account as I’m paying credit card bills and things, but I use Mint for the majority of my budgeting. It’s a really good visual way to see where I’m spending my money and it’s helped me out a ton!

    1. Taylor says:

      Thank you for telling me about that! I haven’t used Mint before but I’m definitely going to check it out! We’ve just been tracking our budget either by hand or on a spreadsheet but it hasn’t been working, so I’ll definitely give Mint a try!

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