My Blogging Hiatus…Girl Where Have 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?

The Prelude of Becoming Debt Free

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So this past week I had to pay over $300 dollars for four new tires for my car in order to past my city inspection and to continue to drive in Japan.  Months ago dipping so deep in my pockets would have drove me to pitch a secret fit, but due to my elimination of so much of my debt, I was cheesing from ear to ear when I pulled out my plastic BFF……….Ms. Debit Master Card to pay for my tires.

Oh she looked so pretty sitting up on that counter in the tire shop, yelling “Go on ahead and swipe me……Petrish got money in the bank!”  I looked on with such pride as the Japanese salesman swiped my card, who mind you managed not to laugh at my ghetto sign language while choosing my tires, and took a deep breath thinking….this is how it’s gonna feel when I’m DEBT FREE.

SadIy, I don’t ever remember making such a large purchase without waiting for a payday, or carving out a plan to make sure I can still make ends meet.  So that feeling motivated me, and I can’t wait to feel like that everyday.   In fact I can smell my debt free martini and I can’t wait to take a sip.

So for those of you that are on your own debt free journey, don’t trip when life throws you a crises and you have skip a month on paying down that debt.  Use that experience to take care of your business, and be grateful that you’re in the situation to take care of your crises.

Yes honey….I give you permission to enjoy the prelude of becoming debt free.

Mothers in Combat Boots

 

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This week I went to pick up my girlfriends son from school who burst into tears when he saw me and remembered his mom was currently out at sea.  It broke my heart, for I knew my efforts to make him feel better, could only be a temporary fix for he just wanted his mommy.  Then an amazing thing happened when we got in the car and my 8 year old daughter decided to console him.  I heard her say, “Don’t cry, don’t you know your mom is a hero?  Someone has to fight the bad guys on the ship so we can be safe.”   OMG…..she get’s it!

Before coming to Japan I deployed on two back-to-back deployments and I missed 3 of her birthdays in a row.  Trust me when I tell you on those days your combat boots feel a little heavier and your uniform is worn with a little less pride.  Most mothers in combat boots were wearing their boots way before the birth of their child.  We all have our own reasons to continue to dawn the boots, but at the end of the day there is always a cost.  What was happening in the back seat of my car is one of those cost, and even I myself while out at sea on deployment, have wondered if it’s really worth it.

This Memorial Day is special because I have proof now that my daughter has forgiving me for leaving her behind, and I can know forgive myself for choosing this path.  I love you….Faith!

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So I salute all the mothers in uniform who are away stomping the ground in their combat boots.  Many of the very people your protecting believe you have no business out there, but fail to realize that its a way to take care of their family and yours.  I pray that your children will understand one day, and like my daughter, see you as their personal hero.

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