Sunday, December 14, 2014

FANCY BEAUTIFUL CASH-ENVELOPE SYSTEM WALLET

Hi everyone :) :) :)

How are you tonight? I was going to wait until Monday to share this. Then I decided to post this tonight. I work in retail and tomorrow is going to be a very L-O-N-G day.  I'll be working for a full 9 hours.  

One of the things that I'll be ressurecting again are my "It makes "cents" to me Friday" posts.  One of my BIG goals is to be completely and 100% debt free.  So I'll probably be blogging about that at some point. However, I'll also be talking about how I live as a single person on a very tight budget, how I get by etc...and it's mostly to keep myself accoutable by making it public....but hopefully it'll encourage you all, too. No matter what your financial situation is, there is always something you can do, even if it's just one small step. The point is that you are trying :) :) :) At least, that's how I look at it right now.

I'll be sharing links to various blogs that I follow that have encouraged me in my debt-free journey and learning how to manage my time and resources better.

One thing that I am learning to do is use a cash envelope system for various spending categories.  It's something I first heard about when I read Dave Ramsey's book "The Total Money Makeover" and "Financial Peace University" You can click on the link here to visit his website.  He's pretty hard core with his financial advice, BUT it's all with the goal to give you financial freedom....and so I find it very encouraging for me. Plus, I love listening to all the testimonials of people who've become debt free. It encourages me that it's possible for me to achieve the same goal.

Here's a photo of the cash envelope wallet that I got when I took a Financial Peace University Class last April. The blue one came in my kit. The burgundy one was gifted to me by my aunt. 






















The cash envelopes always include a little info on how to use them.  What's great is that you can choose the categories you want to create and I find the idea of budget for various categories is so smart. It will hopefully keep you from overspending.








































Plus, it includes a little spending log where you can record every time you spend money from a certain category. The idea being that you'll always know what you have available and once the money is gone, you don't spend anymore in that area, until you have a chance to put more money back into that particular spending category.








































Now there's a really cool blog/Facebook page that I follow called "A Time for Everything" You can click here to find Melissa's page on Facebook.

She makes some amazing cash divider wallets that are compatible with the Dave Ramsey cash envelope system. They're super functional and super cute.  I purchased her "carry it all" divider wallet. I waited an entire year before I purchased mine last January.  Click here for a description of what this wallet does. 

This is what my wallet looks like.  Melissa offers different, really fun and beautiful fabric pattern combinations.
  





















I also purchased the downloadable PDF file to print out my own spending logs to go inside my wallet.  It was only a few dollars and so worth it. I just printed out some color sheets and I've got a manilla envelope that I'll paste it on before I put them into my wallet. I'll save that little project for another blog post.
   





















This wallet comes with two divider sections, a place to put coins and it also holds my checkbook, too :) :) I've had this wallet for quite some time and never used it much until recently. So it's a discipline, for sure, but it's one that I'm going to get into the regular habit of doing everyday.
























The reason is because I've got a super tight budget.  so if I don't designate different spending categories, I won't be able to afford anything. I also just recently started a new job position at work that also included a raise. That's been a huge blessing, but I still want to make it a point to live within my means.  It's been difficult, but oh so worth it.  

I'm just doing the best I can to manage my money in a biblical way, while recognizing that I need to give myself a lot of grace and forgiveness and extend that to others who are dealing with struggles in this area.  I know that I have my own financial struggles of 1) how will I pay off my student loans once and for all 2) and still manage to help my dad and 3) find a place for us to live in September 2015. 

So that's where I guess an element of faith and trust steps in. I'm doing my best with what I have right now to manage my money God's way.  At the same time, I recognize that I'm having to trust God to provide in those areas when the time comes, and not worry about it, because that's in the future and all I can do is concern myself with today. Believe me, God gives us enough grace for this day. Then tomorrow, He'll give us the grace we need to get through tomorrow, including with budgeting struggles and challenges :) :) :)  There's more I could say about this, but it's late on a Sunday night and I'm mega tired :) :)

Well, I guess that's good enough for now. I'll be talking more about this in the future. I just wanted to introduce you to my cool fancy functional cash divider wallet :) :) :)

I'm still trying to figure out what spending categories I want to use my cash envelope wallet for specifically.  One thing I have to budget for is haircuts and getting my hair colored. I don't do either very often because of the expense, but it's still something I need. So that's one category that I budget for. I also budget for gas for my car.

Do you use a cash enevelope system or some other sort of budgeting system? If yes, what categories do you budget for?  I'd love to know what you do.

That is the news from the ocean shores of California today.  

Love and hugs,  Heather :) :) :)     

Friday, December 12, 2014

FEELING CRAFTY AGAIN !!!!

Hi everyone,

It feels good to be back again. I've been meaning to get a blog post up for awhile now and then life happened and I'd keep pushing it to the back burner. Well, after this past week, I decided I need to get my creative juices flowing again and just go for it :) :) I'm so sorry that I haven't posted anything in a long, long time !!!!

Here on the coast of California, we've been going through a super storm of sorts.  It was much worse in the San Francisco Bay area then it was here in Monterey, but we were prepared and well-informed via weather services on Facebook, radio, tv etc.

Today was my day off from work this week and I decided I wanted to have some crafty  fun.  Well, I didn't actually start a project, but I did find a few craft items that I was intentionally looking for and whole bunch of stuff that I hand't planned on. You know how it goes. There's hidden craft stashes everywhere in my house...LOL :) :) :)

Below is a photo of just a small fraction of what I found. I just threw it on the futon couch and took a photo. Tonight, I'll sort through it all and see what I what I can make out of all this stuff.

What prompted me to search for some craft items was my "Lace in the Attic" book. It's a whole book full of knitted Victorian lace edgings. I don't think the book is available in print anymore. My copy was purchased at a used book store years ago. Then I found all of this other stuff, including a finished pink lace edging that I had knit....probably to be used in a project for a shelf liner? I don't even remember now.  It would make a cute edging for a pillow case or something.

As I was going through my closet looking for some things, I decided to also go through my grandmother's old wooden sewing box.  It was something that I inherited after she passed away. One thing I remember using when I was a young girl, was this crimson red velvet pin cushion that her mother (my great-grandmother) had made using an old canning jar rim and ring. 

I took all the straight pins, and other things off of it, cleaned it up and put everything back on it. 



 It was really dusty from not having been used in years. In fact, I think the last time it was actively used was before my grandmother passed away in the mid-1990s.  Other than a little rust around the lower edge, it's still in great shape.  I always loved this pincushion and I have it on display on top of the wooden sewing box. 

I've always wanted to make my own and I will someday. However, I noticed that if it's made from an old canning jar rim, then maybe I have a glass Mason jar that would fit it?  Keep in mind, I have no idea just how old this pincushion is. I think my great-grandmother made it before my father was born, but I'm not entirely sure about that one.

In any case, I raided one of the cabinets in the kitchen, grabbed an empty wide-mouth glass Ball jar and voila, instant Mason jar/pin cushion thing....so cute and it was free :) :) :)  The lid doesn't screw down all the way, but enough that it'll work for this project of mine.  I think it looks cute, don't you?




Here's another view of my glass Ball jar with my great-grandmother's pincushion sitting nicely on top.

























That's my little craft project for the day. Oh wait, there is one other thing. You'll notice that my Ball jar pincushion is sitting on top of a white lacey curtain panel. I have two of those and they were purchased from Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic line at Target.  They were originally curtain panels, but I haven't used them since I moved back to the Monterey Bay peninsula. 

I am debating about what I can make with them. Here's a close up of the beautiful lacey edging. Any ideas?
























I couldn't bear to part with them because they're so lovely. They are a little faded and yellow with age, but I think with some loving care in the washing machine, they'll bounce back. 

That is the news from the ocean shores of a very rainy California coast today.  Please feel free to "visit" and leave a comment here on my page. I really do enjoy hearing from all of you :)  Love and hugs,  Heather :) :) :)

P.S. Do any of you know how I can change my font, so it's cuter and looks more like someone handwrote instead of it being a plain generic font like the one I'm using now? It's been such a long time, since I put up a blog post, I don't remember how to change the font anymore.

Also, I'll be in the very slow process of overhauling my blog by myself, until I can afford a professional service. I already have a great business in mind for that.  So there will be some changes coming to my blog, too, including changing the blog name and the photo header :) :) :)



















Sunday, February 23, 2014

HAPPY SON-DAY

Hi everyone,

I pray that you all are having a beautiful Sunday.  This is one of my favorite Scripture verses. It's been a favorite for a very long time for so many reasons.  Enjoy this Scripture photo. 

If you share it on your blogs and/or Facebook pages, please credit it back to me here at Heather's Blog-o-rama and/or to my public photography page on Facebook here at Heather Danielle Photography. Thanks, everyone. 
































I pray that this Scripture photo will be an encouragement to you today :)

That is the news from the ocean shores of California today.

Love and hugs,

Heather :) :) :)

Saturday, February 22, 2014

IT MAKES "CENTS" TO ME FOR FRIDAY - FEBRUARY 21st

Hi everyone,

Okay, so I know this is post is a day late, but I wanted to get this up tonight before I forget and then Sunday rolls around ;) :) :)

In my continuing effort to work on paying off my student loans and getting out of debt, I'll be going through the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University Class with some mentors.  Click here if you want to learn more about that. You can also visit the Dave Ramsey page on Facebook here.

I was on Facebook one day when I noticed this awesome little "cheat sheet" for remembering the baby steps to financial freedom. I originally saw this on the Dave Ramsey page on Facebook. Here is the handy reminder for those baby steps:







































So that is my plan. My goal is to reach Baby Step 7 within two years.  It's going to mean a lot of hard work and sacrifice, but I'm willing to do this, because the result will be worth it.

So I'll be talking about that once I get the class started.  The first thing that I did was to make an accurate list of all the debts I owe, which isn't many. Student loans is the big fatty financial mountain that is standing in my way.  It is big, but it is not impossible.

It is really neat, because I can already start envisioning making the scream "I'm debt free" :) :) :)

Oh, I think the "Baby Steps" might look a little different for some people maybe.  I am not saving for college since I'm already out of college. I also do not own a home. I live in my aunt's home. So in that sense, I'm good, because I don't have a mortage to pay off.  It'll be interesting to see how these baby steps will apply to me as a single person.

I know this journey will not be easy. However, I'm so willing and excited to reach my goal and that is more important to me than having it easy all the time :) :) :)

That is the news from the ocean shores of California today.

Love and  hugs,
Heather

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

PRETTY PINK FLOWERS

Hi everyone :) :) :)

How are you all doing?  It's been a long time since I last wrote a blog post, but I'm back and ready to go again :) :) :)

In fact, I was sitting in church on Sunday and a sweet friend of mine sat down next to me. She also happens to be an extremely talented painter and artist.  She earns a living selling her paintings on-line.  We had a nice little chat about that and I felt really inspired. She was really encouraging to me.  She and I are gonna get together soon and talk about details, because I"m interested in starting my own online store as well.

So we'll see.  It's still just talking, researching and praying and talking, researching and praying some more.  If you have an online store or home business, I'd love to hear about your experiences.

In the meantime, I made my ual coffee run at Whole Foods this morning.  There's this beautiful plant that has the loveliest pale pink blooms.  I think it's more of a bush, but they have it set up like a tree.  It's hard to explain.  In any case, here's a photo I took this morning:








































I'm not sure what kind of flower it is. It reminds me of sweetpea or lilac, but I'm probably wrong on both counts. Do any of you know what this is?

That's the news from the ocean shores of California today.

Love and hugs,

Heather :) :) :)

Friday, December 27, 2013

IT MAKES "CENTS" TO ME FOR FRIDAY - DECEMBER 27th

Hi everyone,

How are you? I'm doing really well.  I am happy to report that I am feeling better and no longer sick. That's been like that for awhile now and the antibiotics really helped.

I was in Whole Foods this morning and going to buy a gluten free shampoo, when I found another one that I use was on sale AND it had a coupon on the bottle.  While I do eat gluten free for health reasons, I don't necessarily have to use gluten free body and haircare products. 

Here's a photo of the shampoo that I use. It's a really good brand that leaves my hair soft and shiny. Plus, the area that I live in has hard water, which can sometimes make my hair feel like straw, but this shampoo seems to counteract that really nicely.  In any case, here is a photo of the shampoo that I purchased today:








































This was really cool.  I normally like to buy my products via Vitacost to save money. However, my budget is tight and I don't have enough money to place an order and get free shipping. So I have no problem just buying individual items at Whole Foods or another store when I absolutely NEED them. In this case, I needed a new bottle of shampoo, but it's one that is good for my hair and my skin.

I've used the 2Chic ultra sleek shampoo from Giovanni.  Just so you all know, I am talking about this product because I LOVE IT and IT WORKS FANTASTIC.  I was not paid in any way. I'm simply blogging about this because I love the product and at a fantastic price.

This bottle of shampoo normally costs $8.99 and with general sales tax of 7.5% comes to $9.66.

Now here's the cool thing. It was on sale for $7.19 AND it had a coupon pasted on the bottle for $2 off the purchase of any Giovanni product of $5 or more.....so I saved some major chaching...because I was able to combine both of those discounts along with my 10% mall employee discount and I only paid $5.18. 

That is a savings of about 46% off of the original cost. That's a great savings.  Now I can get shampoos for much cheaper than this, true....but this is one thing that I don't compromise on in terms of the quality of the ingredients.  I'm a really careful shopper and save in other areas, so I can afford this because it's important to me.

I also got paid today and gave every dollar a name.  I budgeted 10% of my gross paycheck for tithe and have that all in cash and ready to go for Sunday. 

God has been really faithful to me as I've been faithful to manage what is His to begin with.  It's been really interesting, because my budget is working out. I still have to be careful with how I spend my money and there are still things that I need and want. However, all of my current bills are getting paid easily and that is a huge praise ;) :) :)

It's going to take me awhile to reach my goal, but I will get there :) :)

Enjoy the weekend.  The weather here in Monterey is absolutely beautiful today. It's so warm. It feels more like summer than winter.  That is the news from the ocean shores of California today.

Love and hugs, Heather :) :) :)











Friday, December 20, 2013

IT MAKES "CENTS" TO ME FOR FRIDAY - DECEMBER 20th




 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hi everyone,
 
How have you been? I've recovered from being sick. The antibiotics that I have been taking have really worked their magic and the sinus infection is G-O-N-E.
 
The photo I posted above was one that I took a few days ago when I was out at Asilomar State Beach and it reminded me of how God can still the storm-tossed waves of our lives. 
 
So I've been working on a financial plan of getting out of student loan debt and then I got thrown a curve ball the other day.  I'm still working on saving up a $1000 emergency fund when an unexpected expense for the dentist came up. I have to save up money for an xray before I can continue in my orthodontic/braces treatment. 
 
So sometimes when things like this happen, other wants get put on hold....again...and that  might be the situation here. I'm not sure yet.
 
One thing I have decided to do is tithe 10% of my gross paycheck. I started doing that last week and I'm going to continue to do that with each paycheck.  It's just something that I felt like God had been laying on my heart for awhile. It's all His money anyway and I just manage it...and I'm simply giving back what belongs to Him first.
 
I think it will look different for everyone and I firmly believe that we can also tithe with our time and talents when money is really tight. 
 
I've noticed a couple of things: 1) somehow my budget is working out and everything is getting covered, even inspite of me tithing 10% off the top of each paycheck 2) You can never outgive God.
 
I know that the money I give will be put to good use for people in need.  
 
That's just where I am at right now.  I got paid today and haven't given every dollar a name yet, other than to budget for my tithe.
 
The Christmas holiday season at work is still crazy, but once I can get past Monday, it will be smooth sailing ;) :) I'm so looking forward to Monday.
 
That's the news from the ocean shores of California today.
 
Love and hugs, Heather :)