Friday, October 11, 2013


Hi everyone,

How was your week? Mine was interesting. It was a mix for me, but for the most part it was very, very good.

The photo above was taken in the Carmel Valley. I just love how the mist/fog sits atop the mountains in the morning. It always reminds me of when God spoke to Moses on the mountain top. That and it's just magical and beautiful, like something out of a story with knights and princesses :)

Okay, so this week, I "officially" start blogging about my journey to becoming completely debt-free.   I'll also be blogging about what I do to save money on every day things. 

So first off, I stink at keeping certain papers organized. Oh, I keep them all in one spot, but I don't file them. I'm talking about my bills from the orthodontist, my small student loan bills etc. I always pay them on time every month but I'l explain a little bit more towards the end of this post.

The only really BIG, UGLY LIKE AN ALBATROSS AROUND MY NECK debt that I have left to pay are my student loans from college.  Once those are paid off, I'll be completely debt free.  I"m working on increasing my income to make that happen.

However, I'm also looking at what I can do RIGHT NOW as well.  I am NOT an expert by any means, but getting this out in the open is helpful to me personally and hopefully it'll encourage you that you can do something as well, no matter how small to manage your money a little more responsibly.

Now for me, my overall bills each month aren't that many. I only have four in total.  But there are three that I have each month that once they're paid in full will free up a LOT of money each month that I can actually start paying on my student loans. Phew...are you confused yet? I am feeling totally overwhelmed, but a girl has to start somewhere right?

So these are the bills I'm going to pay off from smallest to biggest. Once the smallest bill is paid off, then I'll roll that payment over to the next bill and pay all that off. It's like a debt snowball :) :)

Here they are:

1) ECSI - a small student loan from college

2) Verizon Wireless - the plan is to pay off the rest of the contract period EARLY, so I can put that money towards paying off my student loans

3) Orthodontist - Once that is paid, there are no more monthly payments, regardless of how long I have to wear these braces on my teeth.

Once I get my organizational act together, I'll come back and update what the actual dollar amounts are here :)

One of the items that I buy often are USB flash drives.  When I take photographs, I leave them on the original SD memory card and then buy a new one when it's full. I also transfer copies to a USB flash drive. That way, if something  happens to the SD card, for example, I'll have copies on the USB flash drive.

My previous USB flash drive was completely full and I had to wait till I had enough money to buy another one. This is one of those things that I will definitely have to budget for on a regular basis.

This USB flash drive my dad purchased for me at Radio Shack. It has the best price of any place local to me. It is 16 GB for only $14.99 plus tax. So it ended up costing me a total of $16.11 (including tax)

I also received a register coupon for $10 off my next purchase of $50 or more. Normally I ignore coupons like that, but in this case, since I KNOW that I'll be needing this particular item on a regular basis, I can budget and stock up on more.  It will equal almost 20% with tax when it's all said and done.

On a comletely DIFFERENT note, I do budget for slightly more expensive things.  In this case, I also bought a gluten free conditioner.  I have a very strong intolerance to all foods that contain gluten in them.  As it happens, it seems that my skin and hair also respond to hair care and body care products that are also gluten free. So  I sacrifice other things so that I can afford this conditioner. It works great. It does the job well:

This is an 8 fl oz tube of "Red Raspberry" conditioner from Desert Essence. The whole line of products is wonderful, but I like this scent the best.  It costs $8.99 at my local Whole Foods store. However, I get a 10% discount because I work at the mall. So it only costs me $8.70 (including my 10% mall discount and tax) That equals $1.09 per ounce.  I don't use very much at all, so this product actually lasts me a very long time.

I'm sure there's a website where I can order more in bulk and save even more, but until then I'll continue to buy it at Whole Foods.

Desert Essence DID NOT pay me to talk about their conditioner. I'm just blogging about it because I LOVE this product. It works wonderfully well.  It also is fantastic because there is hard water in the area where I live, so it still leaves my hair feeling soft and shiny instead of dry and crispy.

That's the news from the ocean shores of California today. Love and hugs to you all, Heather

p.s. Update on Friday - October 11th at 9:30 a.m.  One of my BIGGEST inspirations in my desire to become completely and totally debt free is Dave Ramsey. Click here to go to his Facebook page. Click here if you want to visit his website. You can listen in live to his radio show every day Monday through Friday. The shows are also archived to listen to later on.

In any case, I saw a really nice, simple article on five easy ways to lower your heating bill. Click here to read the article.

I've got sone more posts all lined up for later this weekend and next week. I'm so excited to be blogging again. It's a real creative release. You all out in the blogosphere are awesome :)

I would LOVE to hear what you all do to save money on anything.  Stop on by for a visit and leave a friendly comment.  That's the news from the ocean shores California...again :) Love and hugs to your weekend, Heather :)


aimee said...

Welcome back Heather! Good for you on your goal to be debt free!! We are completely that way except for an almost paid off smartphone (which, had I been thinking clearly, would have been paid in full the same day I bought it). Now we are trying, with mixed results, to save for retirement.
On a different subject--my favorite memory of Carmel was the fog/mist on the mountainsides there--I have never forgotten that gorgeous, magical scene:)

Astrids dragon said...

Every little bit helps. I always back up my pictures on snapfish - it's free as long as you place an order at least once a year, even just one print! There are other photo sites out there too, not sure of their policy though.

Looking forward to see your accomplishments, good luck!