My Favorite Reads & Moments of The Week

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My Favorite Moments

Getting back to what I love…..BLOGGING.  I got to meet a lot of new people this week and read some really great stuff.  I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me in regards to my blog and finances.

A total of seven of my young Sailors were promoted to the next paygrade today, and I was smiling from ear to ear.  To witness these young people who have dedicated their lives to protect our country and see them be repaid for their sacrifices is priceless.

Favorite Reads of The Week

I stalked some awesome blogs this week, and the below reads really tickled my fancy.  If you got some time check them out.

1. By Brian at Luke1428.com who wrote a great post about the early mistakes he made when he started blogging.  If you are a newbie blogger, I really urge you to read this post!

2. By Holly at Clubthrifty.com who wrote a funny post entitled Birken Bags are Stupid. Period.  If you follow my blog, you’d know I love a good entertaining post.  This post talked about how bags have somehow become a symbol status, but with a twist that will make you laugh out loud.

3.  By Alexa at Singlemomsincome.com who posted 10 Small Business Ideas For Women. Before you think….ohhh know not another list. Well this post talked about utilizing Amazon FBA as a side hustle.  I have never heard of this program and it was really interesting.

4.  By Cat in Debt at Frugalrules.com who posted Don’t Worry, Everyone Has a Car Payment.  I loved this post because it discussed how the average person believes that its normal to have debt….and trust me, it is so not normal.  Great read!

Thanks to everyone who took the time to comment on my blog this week.  Have a good weekend and whatever you do…..Find time to have fun.

Love

Petrish @ Debt Free Martini

 

When Debt Finally Meets Budget – Humor

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I thought I’d lighten up the mood with some financial humor.  For those of you who have not allowed budget to come into your lives, trust me if you’re in debt…..your living below your privilege.  Having a budget at times I know can put a cramp in your style, and may cause people to frown upon you and claim your way to cheap.  Coming from a gal who use to think she was too fabulous to be referred to as frugal, I can stand firm in my convictions and say to you…..GET OVER IT!

The first step to getting rid of debt is to analyze where are you spending all your money.  The second step is to create a budget.  The third step is to stick with your budget.  The final step is to marry your budget. Debt is not normal and he is not your friend.

So tell me what was your biggest challenge when you started dating budget?

Have a good day.  Make sure you laugh out loud at least once today……love Petrish @ Debt Free Martini

Can Eating Fresh Save You Money?

 

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Ohhhh….Ohhhhh….I’ll answer that….YES IT CAN! For the past couple of months I have been eating fresh and staying away from processed food not to save money, but to stay healthy, and to my surprise I have cut about $70 bucks off my monthly grocery bill.  People only think that the only way to save money at the grocery store is to sit for hours and clip coupons, and burn a heap of gas to criss-cross around town to score deals. Lies….All Lies. Below are 5 easy steps I incorporated to spend less for my groceries.

1. Purchasing more vegetables and fruit.  Incorporating more vegetables and fruit in my diet really has cut cost. Processed and microwave food is quicker to prepare but of course there is an added expense for the convenience.  The key is to find a spot to purchase these goods for cheaper like a farmers market.

2. Buy only what you need. I use to over buy and throw my money in the trash because me and my daughter would never finish the leftovers, or the items would just spoil or expire.  I plan my meals two weeks out, and create a menu that I can freeze to avoid waste.

3. Always utilize a shopping list.   When I use to go to the grocery store without a shopping list, I always bought extra items that just look good or was curious to try.  Now I never leave home without my list, and stay on budget for each trip.

4. Use coupons for what you really need or use.  I know a lot of people will probably disagree with me here, but I only use coupons for items that I actually need or intend to use immediately.  It makes no sense for me to purchase 10 bags of Cheetos because they are on sale when I can use that money towards something we need now, and I can use that dollar saved toward a bill.  A dollar is a dollar, and if you pay down with enough of them…. your debt will disappear.

5. Utilize your dollar store.  Trust me when I tell you that the Dollar Store is your friend.  They have a lot of the same items that you will see in the grocery store, but only for a dollar.  In Japan the dollar store is called the 100 Yen Shop and they sell awesome natural food products and teas that you can snatch up for only a buck…..delightful.

So the myth that the only way to save at the grocery store is to utilizing coupons in my mind…..is just a myth.

What do you think?

Evicting Anxiety

 

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So if you have followed my blog you already know that I will be retiring from the military on April 30, 2016.  Lately I’ve been feeling so much pressure about this, that without notice Anxiety has moved back into my home and has claimed my spare bedroom once again.  One of my co-workers told me once that all military people are really institutionalized and that’s why we suffer so much once we submit our pink slip in hopes to become civilized civilians.

I fantasize about wearing my pencil skirts with modern vintage tops almost everyday.  I can’t wait to be in board meetings and not have to continuously adjust my combat boot straps, to ensure my uniform is still looking flawless.  I want female co-workers to give me some Ohhhh’s and Awwww’s about my hot shoes of the day, and have the opportunity to give the juicy details of how I scored them during a great sale.

I can feel you wanting to slap me and say wake up, and realize the importance should be about having a good job that can pay my bills, and not the hollywood idealism that every work day as a civilian for me will be a good reality show. A reality show filled with catty talking, fashion bragging, very little working, with a hefty check electronically deposited in my bank for working little and looking fabulous a lot…..

My truth….I haven’t been a civilian for over 22 years, and I am use to being upper management and in charge.  I realize that I will have to start from the bottom, or maybe from the middle, (with my education and professional background) but all in all….I am clueless on what life will be like as a civilian.

Can someone evict Anxiety?

Tailored-made Financial Plan

Pink Slip Notification

So as I have previously mentioned, I officially have a military retirement date of April 30,2016. I tell you what, even though I am so excited to finally have the opportunity to trade in my combat boots for stilettos, the thought of giving up my military life and check, scares the hell out of me. I mean yes I will be getting a retirement check (residual income) until death with free medical and a bucket full of veterans benefits, but still just knowing that my whole life is about to change, has prompt Mr Anxiety to moved back into my townhouse and occupy my spare bedroom.

It wasn’t until about last week, as I reviewed my first draft of my Five Year Post-Military Plan, that it dawned on me that I have an unique opportunity to start anew. So with that realization, I now have to change my financial plan journey to Debt-Free Country, and factor in the major change that is about to happen in my life. I also realized that paying off debt is still important, but buying another home and saving more money is even more important right now.

HOLD UP!!! I can feel some of you shouting at me right now, and I’m gonna have to ask you to calm down and bare with me.

My new plan will slow down the timeframe that it will take for me to pay off my debt, but will allow me to save and secure a home for me and my daughter at the same time. I feel after 22 years in the Navy I deserve to have a piece of the American dream….and I will have it no other way.

My truth….Everyone’s financial plan to becoming debt free must be tailor-made to suit them….I think this plan is gonna look great on me….HOLLAAAAA!

What do you think?

My Blogging Hiatus…Girl Where Have You Been!

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So due to my military obligations, I had to take an unexpected blogging hiatus. Now only a true blogger can truly understand what I’m about to say…..I CAN’T LIVE WITH OUT MY BLOG!  The hardest part of being in the military, is being forced to make it your priority regardless of your personal needs or your families.  Well I’m officially back and thank God during this mandatory hiatus, wonderful things have been happening to me.  So to catch everyone up I have decided to list the top 5 great things that has happened during my blogging hiatus.

1.  I sold my home!!  Break out the champagne baby! For those of you that have been following me from the beginning, losing this home was the catalyst that forced me to look at my true self and vow to become debt free. This home forced me to acknowledge my warped financial habits and change my financial path forever.

2.  FICO Score increased 57 Points.  Yah baby!  I still continued to pay down my debt and decided to hit my debts reflected on my credit report first.  The short sale did not put a dent on my report and the 57 point increase looks sooooooo good. Wait….let me turn it to the side so you can get a better view.  I know… .gorgeous right?

3.  Submitted my Pink Slip.  After 22 faithful years of military service in the Navy, I have submitted my pink slip and will officially swap my combat boots for stilettos on April 30, 2016.  Just the word retirement brings an instant smile on my face.  Don’t tell me to stop smiling….cause I just can’t stop.   Yes….I’m still smiling.

4.  Created a life plan.  So now that I know for sure that I will be leaving the military, I have created a life plan and I am so excited.  Retiring from the Navy at such a young age gives you a unique opportunity to start a new career, with a life warranty of retirement pay (residual income) and free medical benefits.  For my second career I plan on pursuing my life long dream of becoming a real estate investor and creating an portfolio of rental properties.  I refuse to let my hot mess financial past hinder me for making this dream come true, and I am totally motivated to do what it takes to make it happen.

5.  Paid down $2,183.78 of debt.  It is always a pleasure to pay down debt and get closer to drinking that imaginary Debt Free Martini.

So now you have been officially caught up with what has been going on in my life. Thank you so much for all the bloggers who checked up on me and all my new followers who courageously decided to follow my blog during my hiatus.  I look forward to getting to know all of you.

I’m back….stand by for heavy rolls.

 

Financial Hump Day Tune Up

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For those of you that are unaware, July 1st was the official HUMP DAY for 2014, which means that you only have 6 more months to fulfill your yearly financial goals.  This is a good time to reflect on how well you are doing, or to kick yourself in the butt for straying away from your financial path.  Personally, I am kicking myself in the butt, for I don’t feel that I have done everything I could to fulfill my goals of becoming debt free.  So if you’re in my kicking your own butt club, first and far most….welcome….and here are some suggestions to get yourself back on track.

1.  Recommit to your budget.  Take the time out to sit down and have a recommitment ceremony with your budget.  Always remember, there is no such thing as a cookie cutter budget.  Your budget should be tailored for you, and should never feel like you’re on a crash diet.  Its easier to stick to a budget that slightly alters your life, and allows small awards to keep you motivated.

2. Reconnect to your debt free mentality again.  Adopting your debt free mentality again, will allow you to feel that first passion you had when you were so sick and tired of debt.  Find that fire again and start fantasizing about how good its going to feel to be debt free, and having the freedom to concentrate on building wealth.

3.  Re-embrace your frugal spirit.  Find frugal and invite it back into your life.  Tell frugal you’re sorry for the abandonment and come up with an agreement of how the both of you can disintegrate debt together.  Quality time with Frugal will give you the opportunity to find ways to save more money, and pay off more bills.

4.  Educate yourself.  Since I have been on this journey I have learned so much about money, and ways that I can use it to enhance my life.  Educate yourself now, so you’ll know how to invest your money once you have reached your financial goals.

5.  Forgive yourself.  This can be the hardest thing to do, especially when you feel you should be doing so much better.  Don’t give up, and try your best to stick to your budget.  Remember the important thing is to keep moving forward, and pay down as much debt as you can.  Every single penny counts, and its one step closer to living a debt free life.

I hope this is motivation for someone out there who like me, feels like they should be further along than they are now.  Snap out of it….we can’t change the past, but we sure can change the future….just start today.

What motivates you to stay on track when you stray from your financial path?

 

Ohhh….Look What I See!

 

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Japan is famous for their love for creating lavish outside spaces and parks that change your mood and evoke peace.  Me and my daughter went out today and stumbled into this beautiful park.   So sorry I have no idea what the park is called, but it’s somewhere in Yokosuka, Japan on route 16….I promise.

 

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I cannot read japanese, but I all I know that this building is old and beautiful.

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It got more beautiful as I walk towards one of my best friend that I have been working with for over 20 years.  I’m pretty sure you have met him….he goes by the name Ocean. Yes…I am a Navy girl for life!

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And there you have it….the ever so beautiful ocean.  Feeling really peaceful right about now.

Hope you enjoyed.

 

Negative Thoughts While In Debt

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When most people realize they are in a financial mess, they become paralyzed or just continue to go more in debt in hopes it will just disappear…..poof!  Lately I have had to shrug off some negative thoughts I use to have in regards to my debt, due to some minor setbacks, and trust me when I noticed anxiety was moving back into my spare bedroom to disrupt my life….I had to draw a line.  So I wanted to discuss the most common negative thoughts that can haunt your mind, when debt shows up and shows out.

1. Becoming Debt Free Is Impossible. When there is a tremendous amount of debt, you will feel so overwhelmed, and your mind will try to convince you that it’s impossible for you to become debt free. Trust me, the day you write down all your debts on a sheet of paper and do the math to reveal your total debt….will be a day you will never forget.  I am not debt free yet, but I have faith that I will be someday, and so can you.  A debt free life can be our reality.

2. PAYING OFF DEBT IS WEIRD. I never knew I was weird until I became a little more frugal, and my friends could not understand why I would deny myself of modern day technology and skip expensive coffee drinks just to pay off some debt.  Having debt has become the norm, so be prepared to be viewed as weird.  In this case….weird is good.

3. YOU ARE A FAILURE. The realization of financial stress can make you feel like a failure.  It can also intensify when you realize how much money you have wasted or could of saved if you had stashed 50 bucks every payday in that savings account.  Oh…and save yourself the trouble of factoring how as little as 7% interest could have magically turned that stash into six figures over time, for it will make you sick to your stomach, and cause regret to take a summer vacation in your mind. This is the part when you evict your regrets, for you can’t change the past.  It’s never too late to start….just start today!

4. IF NO ONE KNOWS IT DOESN’T MATTER.  Your problem is not going to go away by itself. The creditors will not go away, and your credit report will eventually reveal your true self. Let the Joneses be the Joneses….you need to live like the Smith’s…..WITHIN YOUR MEANS.

As I write this….I wish I could believe that I’m not speaking to myself also, but I am. Knowledge for you….encouragement for me.

What are some of the negative thoughts you have had to overcome while getting out of debt?

The Bitter and The Sweet

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So for those of you who have been following me you know that the short sale on my home was the catalyst for the creation of my blog.  Well, a few weeks ago I got the good news that finally on June 16, 2014 I would be closing on my home after four years of drama.  Then last week I was notified that my underground oil tank was leaking, and has contaminated the surrounding dirt, and received an estimate of $9,040.00 for removal in order to proceed with the closing.

I was devastated for I realize that this bill will kill everything I have been working towards too, and trust me I never want Debt thinking he can just move back into my home and throw his feet up on my couch and tell me to go get him a beer.  (Let’s be real if debt was human…you know he would be a man.) So while my lawyer is working on trying to get me some cash credit back from the bank, I had to pay this bill or risk not closing on my home.

In my mind (which is a dangerous place to be) I thought since I have to pay and go more in debt, why not spin this in a way that would benefit me.  So I decided if I can get a personal loan for $5,000 dollars, one…I would not use all my money that I have managed to save up, and two…I can use the personal loan to continue to build credit.  So with embarrassment in my purse, shame in my pockets, and insecurity written all over my face, I walk in the bank and asked for a loan.  Thank God that the only negative ding on my credit report due to me paying off so much of my debt, was my mortgage.  With the explanation of why my home was in the process of a short sale, the bank came back and said…Petrish your APPROVED!

The Bitter…..Knowing that I have to take some steps backwards by getting more in debt, and realizing that I have to continue to put money into a home that I will never live in.

The Sweet….The feeling that I can now walk in a bank and get credit which I couldn’t when I started this blog.  The feeling that I am giving the opportunity to prove that I can be trusted with a loan.  Best of all the feeling that one day I will be able to acquire a loan and purchase another home for me and my beautiful daughter.

What’s your bitter and sweet on your journey to becoming debt free?