Friday, October 4, 2013


Hi everyone,

It's been a LONG, LONG, LONG time since I've blogged. I took a look. It's been since about mid-August...and did I mention it's been a LONG time?

Okay, so lots of things have been happening and I'm finally back into the blogging routine. Let's pray that I can keep it up. 

Starting next Friday, I'm going to start blogging about my journey of getting out of debt and what I do to save money on the things I buy every week and how I track my spending etc.  The only really BIG debt I have left to pay off are my student loans from college. Yes, they're hanging around my neck like a big fat albatross and I want it GONE.

So I'll be blogging more about that on Friday. In the meantime, I bought this to get me started on my journey.  It's really hysterical how I even decided on this particular monthly/weekly planner.

I was surfing on YouTube looking for videos on the cash envelope system and how to make my own.  There'll be more info on that on next Friday's post.  I stumbled across a really cool video where this young lady had a binder similar to this one, where she wrote down all her bills and when she/her hubby got paid every month. It's an excellent visual to help keep one on track financially.

In any case, I saw this notebook at my local RiteAid but it was $9.99 and I thought it was too much money. Oh, little did I know what I was in for this day. Oh, and as a side note this all happened last Wednesday. It was my day off from work. 

My father came along for the ride because well, my dad is just plain cool. So it was a chance to spend some time with him, too.  So we decided to go to my local Walgreens on Alvarado Street in downtown Monterey. BIG MISTAKE.  Parking is free on that street BUT trying to find a parking space during lunch house was a BIG MISTAKE.  It's like asking the sun to stop shining. I was in no mood to circle the block a gazillion times waiting for a space to open up.

So we went to Staples in Seaside. Well, I was in planner heaven there, because they not only had EXACTLY what I wanted and needed, but they had at least 7 different styles. However, the prices were a total deal breaker. The least expensive one was about $22 and the most expensive one was around $40.  Heck NO!!!!  I wasn't going to pay that much money for something so basic.

So we went back to RiteAid and I ended up buying this planner for $10.74 including tax. I also got a little cash back to put gas in the car.  Here are the two things that I really love about this planner so far:

I love that this planner has a view of the entire month on two pages. It's the size of an 8 1/2 x 11 in sheet of paper. That makes it easy to read. There's plenty of room to write stuff down. My plan right now is to right down my paychecks each week and also to record when my bills are due. I do this on the calendar on my smartie pants phone, BUT I also wanted a literal physical paper visual that I could refer to as well.

There's also a weekly planner to go with the monthly calendar pages. It looks like this:

This is a look at the month on a week-at-a-glance basis. This is where I'll be tracking my daily spending. I'm saving ALL of my receipts for a couple of reasons:

1) It will help me to keep track of my spending and help me to divide it up into categories

2) It'll justify me not having to clean out my purse every day since this is helping me on my way to fiduciary independence. Well, that last bit is a stretch, yes...but it's a good excuse, right?

Seriously, though, I am tracking my spending for the entire month of October, just to simply see where my money is going.  Once I've done that, I'll put it into categories and see what can be adjusted so that I can put more money towards paying off student loans and my orthodontist.

Okay, now on to some more fun stuff. These are some "random" photos from the last few days. I go to a women's Bible study at my church on Tuesday mornings.  My friend Sarah gives me a ride there. Last Tuesday we stopped in at a local coffee shop in the Carmel Valley.  They have the CUTEST vintage coffee tins. Of course, I was in vintage heaven and this tin was my favorite by far :) :) Plus, when I saw where this used to be made...well.. Oh, I can't even imagine buying a giant tin of coffee like this now:

I also spotted the coolest vintage VW bus the other day in the Whole Foods parking lot. This was definitely the real deal.  I've seen this one around town a few times. I think the only thing missing was some hippies and a surf board attached to the roof of the vehicle.

Oh, did I mention that I've got braces on my teeth? Well, it seems like this one particular bracket kept breaking off and I had one week where I visited the orthodontist twice.  This was a pick I took of some of the utensils they have set up. Oh, it looks much scarier than it actually is. They just set up the standard tools in case something is needed, it'll be ready.  Thankfully I haven't had any issues for over a week now. So I'm just praying that my teeth will cooperate and be less stubborn and just move into alignment. It'll all be worth it in the end because when these braces come off, guess what I'm gonna do? I'm gonna party down with a nice big fat candy apple :) :)

We are studying women of the Old Testament in our Tuesday morning Bible study. I've been making these Scripture photos every week for myself and for the other ladies in my Bible study. It's fun and I hope it's an encouragement to everyone. Feel free to borrow this. If you do, please credit it back to me here at Heather's Blog-orama.  OR please credit me back to my public photography page here at Heather Danielle Photography on Facebook.  While you're there, feel free to "like" my page. I welcome all friendly and nice visitors to my site.
My goal is to have a website or an Etsy shop where I'll start selling my photographs. Two goals:
1) To earn enough money each month that I don't have to pick up extra hours at work
2) eventually reach my goal of working from home and becoming completely and totally debt-free (except for the hoouse 'cause you gotta have a place to live )
Oh, here's the Scripture photo before I forget it. It's from Romans 12:21 and we were studying about Abigail last Tuesday morning:
Okay, that's good enough for now. My laundry has just finished drying and I should probably be thinking about getting ready for work this afternoon. Afterall my bills won't pay themselves (insert big smile here)  Thanks for hanging in there with me. Pray for me. Pray that God would give me wisdom. Plus I hope that what I'm about to start on with this journey to financial independence will be an encouragement to some of you out there in some way :)
That is the news from the ocean shores of California today. Love and hugs, Heather :)


Becky L. said...

Good to know what you're up to these days. Debt free is good. We are working on that. I actually returned 2 items that I really shouldn't have bought. Just more money than I should have spent. Looking forward to more posts. Missed you!

Heather's Blog-o-rama said...

HI Becky,
It's so great to hear from you :) Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog :) :) I know how you feel :) In my case, there's some things that I truly do need, but the funds aren't in the budget, so I just wait :) It's amazing how quickly the money flies out of my wallet :) That's why I'm hoping this public blogging and my monthly/daily planner will prove to be useful tools in getting out of debt completley one day :) Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

Angie Abella said...

Great to be hearing from you again!!!! Good luck on your endeavors! Give me a holler when you have your shop up and running and I'll do a post highlighting your photography!

--Angie (Sunny Patch Cottage)

Heather's Blog-o-rama said...

@Angie - Sunny Patch Cottage,
Oh thank you fro stoping by my blog and leaving a comment ;) :) I love visitors. Oh, that would be soon as I get my website up and running, I'll let you know. I'm doing this all debt free of course, so it's taking some time. I can't decide between an Etsy shop or a gallery on SmugMug or both? Both have advantages and disadvantages... :) :)

Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

Kristina said...

I have a planner almost like yours. So glad to hear from you.

Heather's Blog-o-rama said...

I'd love to see a photo of what your planner looks like and what you use it for. That would be really cool. If you ever blog about that, send me a link. I'd love to read that post. Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

Angie Abella said...

If you're doing hard copy prints, I really recommend MPIX (.com I think) that does business printing. They are a major company that does printing of all sizes, and they're based right here. :) It's either MPIX or Zenfolio...both are facets of the same company, one is more individual stuff the other is business. The company is awesome to work with too! We get 8x10's for like a buck or two, where studios charge $12...we simply upload and send in..totally worth it. :) Something to keep on a sticky note for later. :)

Heather's Blog-o-rama said...

HI Angie,
Oooo..THANKS for the tip. I'll check it out tomorrow. Now is that for printing out my photos to sell them elsewhere? I thought about using Walgreens for some basic stuff, because every once in awhile they have really good freebie deals and it would be a way to get myself started and stay within budget... Thanks again for the tip and I'll TOTALLY put it on a sticky note for later ;) :) Extra love and hugs from the ocean shores of California,
Heather ;)

Angie Abella said...

They are for professional printing--not the basic things you get at walgreens or walmart--they are much higher quality--like portrait studio quality (because studios get theirs from facilities like them!). You can set up on Zenfolio to sell as well, and they do the printing and sending--they offer from wallets to gallery sized wrapped canvas and everything in between, professional grade printing. If you have a retailer's sales tax ID (you get through the state when you start a business to pay your sales tax), you can use the business side of their site, which drastically reduces cost--from $12 for a 8x10 to $2 or so, for high end prints. Shipping is always priority flat rate envelope unless otherwise chosen, and carded in thick cardboard to prevent bending, packaged to where you can send them on to a customer if you so desire, or have them send it on from the plant. It is totally worth the cost, for professional quality photos!