Help Debt Is Stalking Me!! – Humor

Help Debt Is Stalking Me

Here is a little humor to add to your Thanksgiving weekend.

When you’re in debt it can be hard to just relax and have a good laugh sometimes.  It’s ok to practice frugality but you have to find some type of enjoyment while doing it.  If you’re not having any fun while getting out of debt, you’re doing it all wrong.

Enjoy your weekend.  Make sure to remember to laugh out loud at least once today.

Love,

Petrish @ Debt Free Martini

It’s Thanksgiving…..Who’s Talking About Debt?!

Thanksgiving is a time to put all your cares to the side and be grateful for the blessings you have in your life.  During modern times we can get so consumed with our daily lives that we forget to stop and reflect on the many treasures we have.

For years I was never satisfied with my status and what I had in life.  I compared myself to others and always felt that I fell short because I wasn’t as accomplished as my counterparts.  I was never enough, not smart enough, not ambitious enough, and never pretty enough.  It’s amazing how our minds can trick us to only see the bad and not the good that we possess inside ourselves.

It took some time, but through prayer I realized that it was up to me to create the life that I wanted.  I also realized that it was my responsibility to be happy and vowed to never make it someone else’s.  This is when I started laughing at myself.  This is when it was ok for me to start loving myself and start anew.

I’m thankful for my Faith in God and the protection he gave me to survive 3 tours on a Naval Ship, 3 Aircraft Carriers, 4 horrible shore duty tours, and 3 tours in the Middle East without a scratch on my head.

I’m thankful for my beautiful daughter who loves life and makes me laugh out loud everyday.  Her first name is Faith and her middle name is Olufumilayo, which means God has giving me joy in Swahili. Need I say anymore….

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I’m thankful for my family and being raised in a traditional West Indian Jamaican hilarious culture.

I’m thankful for learning how to love myself and finding the strength to express my corky thoughts and ideals through this blog.  I have met so many wonderful people and I look forward to my future as a professional blogger.

What are your thankful for this Thanksgiving?

Ex-Shopaholic Misery

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????So being an ex-shopaholic I think I am an expert on ways to shackle your shopping habits and save more money to throw at your debt. This year I have totally changed my spending habits and have come up with ways to feed my shopaholic addiction and still stay on budget.

1. Limit your purchases to the sale racks.  I know this can be hard for some people. To be honest I personally hate sale racks for they always resemble a knock-off thrifty garage sale special, and sport a display that says….pure confusion. It can be exhausting to sift through all the garments, but scoring a ruffled modern vintage top for $7.00 is always totally worth it. The key is to only buy items that you know you’re actually going to wear and purchase items that are off-season for pennies.

2. Shop at the Thrift store.  This point has been discussed so many times, that I refuse to go in-depth. I am very picky on what I purchase at Thrift Stores and Garage Sales. In fact I normally only purchase household items and books, but with patience you can find great deals that will not put a dent in your pocket.

3. Store Department Coupons!  When people hear about coupons they immediately think about the grocery store. Yes…one episode of extreme couponing on TLC, there will be no doubt in your mind how effective couponing can be at your local grocery store. What people don’t think about is coupons can also be effective in department stores to purchase clothes and household items.

For an example I purchased an outfit while on leave with my family that totaled $88.99.  Well after utilizing my moms $15.00 off coupon combined with my sisters coupon she pulled up on her cellphone from an App….I only paid $34.99 for the outfit!  Yes thats a whopping 50% off an outfit that I can’t wait to rock this holiday season.

4. Inventory Time!  Go through your closet piece by piece and you will be surprised of the items of clothing you have that you never worn, or only wore one time and for some reason forgot you had it.  I decided to declutter my closet and I  was so surprised to find items that I have long forgot about.  Instead of buying more clothes I started wearing these refound garments…..and it actually appears that I have updated my wardrobe….Lol!

5. Limit your purchase per payday.  In the beginning of this journey to pursue a debt free status, I knew that I couldn’t just stop spending cold turkey.  What I did was limit myself to one outfit a payday, then after a couple of months I limited myself to one outfit a month.  Now that I know what’s in my wardrobe, I only buy items to compliment what I already have, such as a camisole, matching jacket, or the right accessory to complete a specific look. This way I don’t waste money.

So what are your ideas for curbing your shopaholic ways?

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?