Step by Step How to Calculate Your Debt Payoff Date for Baby Step 2

Paying off debt can seem overwhelming. A way to help you stay motivated and intentional is to calculate a “payoff date”.

When you are getting ready to determine just how long it will take you to pay off all of your debt, you have to write it all out.

This was my Tip #3 from my blog, Getting Started Paying Off Debt.All of your debt can include but is not limited to your car, student loan debt, personal loans, financed furniture, credit cards, etc. The best way to gain momentum in paying off your debt is by making a list of your debt from smallest to largest. As you make minimum payments on all of these debts, start targeting the smallest debt with ANY money you can free up in your budget. As Dave would say, “Go at it with a VENGEANCE!!”. Maybe you worked a side gig this past weekend, throw that money onto that debt. Perhaps you only spent 80% of your grocery budget this month. Throw that extra money onto the debt. Once the first debt in your “debt snowball” is paid off, you will take the money you would have been paying towards the smallest debt and start putting it towards the next debt. This will continue until all your focus is on your last debt and you are debt free! This step can take people several years to complete based on the size of the total debt, their income or “shovel”, and their determination to GET RID of this debt! The more you can dream about the freedom you’ll have and the more you make sacrifices to reach that debt freedom, the quicker you will get there.

 

I want to break it down for you! 

First, write it all out smallest to largest.

I will include my Baby Step 2 Debt Tracker here for you. I explained this in previous blog, but to sum it up…Math would tell you to pay off your debt by interest rates–paying the highest interest rate debt first. But, getting out of debt is not determined by being better at math…getting out of debt is determined by a behavior change. And a huge motivator in continuing with the process is to WIN! Once you pay off that first debt in FULL, you’ll feel a WIN. And you’ll want more of that feeling.

Second, create a debt freedom chart!

There are some really cute downloadable charts you can get to track your pay off. Some people make a paper chain and hang it in their home…for each $100 or $1000 they pay off, they take a paper chain link off. At our house we had a chart with 10 columns and 8 rows. (I made it when we had 80,000 left in student loan debt.) squared-one-uYtyhKO3ygU-unsplashEach time we paid off $1,000 in debt, we shaded in a box. Around the chart, I have doodled quotes from Dave and even some of our mentors to get us fired up! We leave this chart on our fridge so that we can be reminded of what we have accomplished and how much we have left! As of July 2nd, 2020 we have paid over $50K in debt and we have about $48K to go!

Thrid, once you have your debt laid out and have a motivational debt payoff tracker established, you are now ready to see how much you can put towards debt each month.

This step can get a little complicated. In this step, you will have to create a budget or revisit a budget you already have. I won’t tell you what you should and shouldn’t pay for each month. But, if you are serious about becoming debt free, I recommend making sacrifices in this step. We don’t have internet. We don’t have cable. We don’t eat out often. We don’t have spotify premium…we don’t have premium anything really. We try to keep our dinner cost less than $5 for every “meal for two”. We eat leftovers. We stretch meat and more costly foods with cheaper sides like….beans and rice. You’ll hear Dave Ramsey and his fans say “Beans and rice. Rice and beans.” This means, minimal. Just enough to live. The quickest way to be done with debt is to live a very minimalist lifestyle for a short period of time. You aren’t buying many or any new clothes. You are working as much as you can. You aren’t going on elaborate vacations. This can be a super difficult pill to swallow, especially if you are used to having all of these things and more. Because we were working to pay off $100K+ in student loan debt while Tyler was still in graduate school (meaning he was not working), we decided that we would have to pace ourselves a little. We did pay cash to go on a very frugal (four days for less than $900) and extremely fun vacation to Inlet Beach, FL right before I had to go back to work as a teacher. Just remember, whatever you don’t put towards debt, is just extending the amount of time you are in debt. So if you decide to have a $100 wifi/internet bill each month, then you will be spending$1200 per year on wifi that could have gone to debt. That is something you and your family decide you cannot do without, though.

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Photo by Jp Valery on Unsplash

We use the hotspots on our phone. It isn’t always the easiest option, but it frees up $100 per month that we can put towards debt. Your budget can be as simple or as detailed as you want it. We used to be super detailed with our budget…making a line item for everything. But, it got complicated. It required too many envelopes. It was overwhelming. Now, we just keep it simple. We have a grocery/household item budget. If I need to buy shampoo this month, it comes out of the same line item as the ground beef I bought earlier this week. Here are our line items: giving to Church, Rent, Household/Grocery, Gas (for our home), Electricity, Trash, Gas (for our car), Auto Insurance, Renter’s Insurance, Life Insurance, Cell Phone Bill, Restaurants, Addie’s spending money, Tyler’s spending money, and Gift Giving to others. We also currently have three sinking funds: Traveling, Christmas, Flights home. The traveling sinking fund is there temporarily because we have family coming up to Alaska, and we want to be sure that we can go with them to different places in AK as they are up here. That is more important to us than paying our debt off one week early. Sometimes you can do that sorta thing, but if you don’t limit this type of spending, you’ll end up months/years behind your original payoff debt–it adds up! 

Fourth,  let’s calculate your debt payoff date!

After your budget is created and you feel as if you have everything accounted for, subtract the total predicted to spend from one month’s income. If you get paid every two weeks, take your two payments from the month before and use that to fund the next month’s expenses. As a teacher, our paycheck came at the end of most every month and it was the same each month. It didn’t fluctuate. So for example, when we got paid $2400 take home each month, we would spend about $1800 on expenses and put $600 (what we could squeeze out of the budget) towards debt.

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Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

Some months we could get more creative and put even more towards debt. In order to calculate how many months it will take you to become debt free, take your total debt and divide it by your monthly debt contributions. Let’s keep it easy. If you have $20,000 in debt and can put $500 a month towards paying it off, you will have it paid off in 40 months or so.. (we can’t forget that interest will be acquired). As your income increases, your expenses decrease, your payoff date can scoot up. 

At this point of your financial journey, you should not be investing into your retirement, you should not be saving for a home, you should not be taking out any more debt. At this point you should have $1K for emergencies, your rent/mortgage, utilities, food, insurance, and that about covers it. There will be line items specific to your needs like clothes for kids, you may even have to cash flow a *new to you* car if yours dies. But, this step is not supposed to last very long no matter what your income to debt ratio is. You should be making sacrifices that make you feel weird, uncomfortable, etc.

This isn’t a very fun and exciting place to be financially. You owe people money. 

BUT.

That doesn’t have to be your last financial chapter! Let’s move on and write more! I want to cheer you on as you pay off your debt!!

Getting Started Paying Off Debt

Paying off debt can be daunting. It is very common for people who are in debt to feel extremely overwhelmed to start the process of getting out…or to even evaluate their current process and make changes. There are several methods people use to get out of debt and build wealth. The plan I follow and encourage anyone I know to follow is Dave Ramsey’s. The reason I trust this method is because it is simple, it makes sense to me, and there are no tricks or hacks. There are just 7 steps that he calls the Baby Steps. They have worked for millions of people. If you talk to someone over the age of 80 how they handled their finances, they will probably tell you similar things that Dave would like: “live on less than you make”, “pay off your home”, “pay with cash”, etc. 

Tip #1: Decide you will never accumulate more debt! 

Though we were working to pay off our debt since 2016, we were still accumulating student loan debt up until July 2019. When Tyler began graduate school, we decided that the only way he would be able to go through school would be to get student loans. We were doing “our plan”. Once I began listening to Dave’s podcast, I began trying to figure out how we could cash flow Tyler’s last semester of graduate school on a teacher income. We were already really good at saving, and I worked a few side hustles to bring in even more money. We were able to put together around 6500 to pay for his last semester and other school costs. So, in August 2019 we were no longer going into more debt. Unfortunately, I had not yet understood that student loans were avoidable. We could have made Tyler get a part-time job that would piece together with my income to pay cash for school. So, you can be ready to become debt free whenever you decide to STOP accumulating debt.

Tip #2: Develop your WHY

You have to have a “WHY”. A “WHY” is the reason as to why you are doing something? It is what will motivate you to become debt free. 

Here are some “why” examples.

 A working mother who would rather spend more time with her children might decide that she would like to be able to get to a financial position where she could cut back her working hours in order to make that happen. Getting to stay home with her kids could become a reality for her  if she and her husband sacrifice for a few years. This can look like downsizing their home, selling a car and purchasing a cheaper one with cash, choosing to go out to eat once a month instead of multiple times a week, all in the name of upsizing their dream.

Another example could be a young couple

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Photo by Rowan Heuvel on Unsplash

would like to have a paid for home before they bring children into the world in order to feel stable and free to make choices about vacations, schooling, etc. for their children that is not put to the side due to a mortgage.

A single lady who would like to travel freely and upgrade from her apartment to a home of her own might choose to make temporary sacrifices to live on half of her income and use the other half to pay off her debt and save for a home…

 A retired couple who are seeing that they have to continue working after they retired in order to fund their lifestyle might decide to sell their large home and buy something more suitable for their current dreams.

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Photo by James Hose Jr on Unsplash

Whatever situation you are in, you can develop YOUR own PERSONAL to YOU why. 

Everyone needs their own why in order to be motivated to become debt free. Once you get the ball rolling, the debt is beginning to be paid off, and you can taste freedom…your why…your dreams become more and more detailed…more and more exquisit. 

Our why started out so that we would be able to buy a home and travel without fear of having enough money. Since beginning our payoff, our “why” has developed into this: We want options! We would like to pay cash for vacations/road trips/weekend getaways, upgrade from one car to two nicer cars, and have a huge down payment on our first home…or even pay cash! We both went to private, Christian schools, and we would like to have that as an option for our future children. We would like to eventually be able to pay for our own kid’s college, and being out of debt ourselves is essential for that to happen.

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Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

We want to purchase a camper or van and travel around the country. We want to take time off or vacation from work and not bat an eye at our bank account. We want to retire in our fifties. And retire to live a life we love! We want to potentially purchase a vacation home or run an airbnb. We want to be free from owing others anything! We want to be able to give to our children, to tip the check, to support our favorite organizations and missions, to send others into the mission field, to potentially have a business.. So, to sum it up…WE WANT OPTIONS. There aren’t many options when you have payments every month. 

Dave has a YouTube channel Live Show every weekday where people from all over call in to ask Dave’s advice, to call and give their debt free scream, share stories of giving, etc. There is a show that he did in 2017 that is titled “How to Discover Your Why”. It is almost a 3 hour show, but there are a lot of opportunities to listen to this show during your day… while you do the dishes, as you drive to work, while you plan your grocery shopping, etc. He starts talking about this topic with Ken Coleman within the first 3 minutes. Related to this topic, Ken Coleman has a short blog on the Ramsey Solutions website titled “How to Find Your Passion”. This could also help you in discovering your WHY. 

Tip #3: Lay It All Out. 

This is the part where you will feel the most pain. It won’t be pretty. I suggest popping open a coke or pouring a coffee and playing some calming music as you do this. It is just a tough, bloody scene. 

This is the part where you write out all of your debts except for your home. The leased car, the financed couch, the credit card, the student loans, etc. Write them all out and put their stats beside them…total amount due, the minimum payments, the interest rate, and due date. Here is a little graph for your to print out and use. Click here to download Debt Snowball Graph

If you are following the Dave Ramsey plan, you should list out your debts smallest to largest, not even acknowledging the interest rates. Some want to try to figure out which has the highest interest rate and then begin chipping away at those.

As Dave says “if this was a math problem, you wouldn’t still be in this mess.”

Debt is a behavior problem. And paying off  your debts off from the smallest to the largest will give you the “wins” you need to motivate you to continue to pursue debt freedom! 

Tip #4: Begin the Baby Steps!  

To begin you will need to first get Baby Step 1 completed…This means it’s time to get “savings” down (or up in some people’s case) to just a $1,000 emergency fund. This will be used as defense against Murphy…because something is bound to go wrong. Your water heater breaking, AC going out, car needing maintenance…these are all valid reasons to use your emergency fund and then rebuild it. It is there to prevent you from ever going back into debt. Remember you said, “Never again!!”. Many people have several thousands in savings, but still carry debt that has interest accumulating. You may feel like your savings is a security blanket, but the problem is that savings doesn’t get used on emergencies…it gets used on Facebook clothing sales, a daughter’s bedroom makeover, your vacation to the beach… You need to get your savings down to just the $1,000 emergency fund so that you can feel the pressure…the high need to get out of debt. Once you complete this task, you are now on Baby Step #2: Paying off all debt except for your mortgage. 

And this is the toughest part. The part where you have to just put your head down and get after it. But, I believe in you! I want to cheer you on in your journey! I want to be your debt freedom friend! If you begin the process, I want to hear about it! Email me at addie@thatteacherwife.com.

COMING SOON: How to plan Baby Step 2 for the step by step to calculate how long it will take for you to pay off your debt!

Traveling from Anchorage to Seward, Alaska

In March 2020, my husband and I started our grand adventure to live in Alaska. Since taking this brave step, we have felt our spirits become more and more adventurous. For some perspective we both had lived the majority of our lives in Alabama other than our four years of college that were spent in TN (Alabama’s skinnier older brother). This side of the world is so foreign to us, I feel like we have to put in quite a bit of research and asking around before we go anywhere. So, I love to see what others have found “worth their while” whenever they go on short trips around AK. This helps me be able to choose what we want to fit into our trips.

In mid-June my family flew into Anchorage to visit us for the week. Since we were already an hour south of our home, we decided to extend that trip two more hours south to Seward. This fishing town features an adorable downtown, large campgrounds, and fresh seafood. Though we heard many great things about the SeaLife Center, we decided we would skip it this trip. But, we’ve heard its a great place to visit.

Here’s what we did in our less than 24 hours in Seward:

We heard many great things about the cruises out of Seward. We booked our 3.5 hour tour through Major Marine Tours. There is no guarantee what you will see on our cruise, but the captain stays in communication with other vessels to try to get you the most sea life sightings possible. Our captain had been with this company for 9 years, so she was very experienced and knew where to go.

We saw orca whales, fin whales, sea otters, sea lions, puffins, and a bald eagle. In addition to the amazing wildlife, we also got to cruise through scenic spots in Resurrection Bay. This was a bucketlist item for me! There were large roomy tables for your family to sit at and complementary coffee and hot tea. We brought a lot of snacks and called it lunch! The captain narrated the trip and let talked to us about the science and history of what we were seeing. The teacher heart in me skipped a few beats!

After the cruise, we checked into our hotel and then drove to dinner. I had done some research and found a place that was doing dine-in seating with sea food for a reasonable price. Exit Glacier Salmon Bake had meals that were between $15-$40, but the servings were large, fresh, and delicious. Tyler and I split a $32 Seafood sampler type meal. My dad got fish tacos and my mom got a salmon dinner. It was a very clean and unique restaurant (we prefer restaurants with  some character).

After dinner we went and hiked to see Exit Glacier by the “Edge of the Glacier Trail”.   Also known as the Lower Trail. This was a well marked, flat path that even had a wheelchair accessible route. With just a 15-20 minute walk, we were at an incredible lookout over where the glacier used to be, and then the trail took us to a point where we could see where it is now. A unique feature to this trail were the dates posted along the path. These dates represent where the scientist predict the glacier was that year. It was wild to see how much had melted off even since 2005! The pictures make it seem like we were right beside the ice, though it was several hundred yards away from us.

After we finnshed the hike, we were exhausted from the full day. So, we headed to the hotel and unpacked our car. Mom, Tyler, and I walked around town a little, but since it was raining and late we did not get too far around town. We did however make a pit stop at Sweet Darlings for gelato. We split a papa bear cup of hazelnut and cookies and cream.

The next day we made our way back home from Seward. Before we left Seward, we drove to Millers Landing at Lowell Point  where many people rent houses or camp in order to have a prime fishing spot. We just wanted to have a better view of Resurrection Bay. Once we got there, dad and saw what seemed to be a whale spouting water out. We jumped out of the car and ran out onto the beach. Though he was crazy close to the beach, we indeed saw a humpback whale. It was dancing about 25 feet off shore. We tracked it for a few minutes until it made its way out of site.

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Since we had more time on the drive back up, we scheduled a few small hikes. First on the list was Virgin Falls in Girdwood. Though we only did this hike in Girdwood, we wished we would have explored a little more downtown. It is a super cute area that we plan to go back too! As we walked up to Virgin Falls we saw a couple in wedding attire getting photos made. They had just gotten married in front of the waterfall this morning. It looked simple and beautiful. Though you do have to step up and over some roots, the hike itself is about .25 of a mile and simple.

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Another stop was made at Baluga Point. This was a beautiful beachy scene. You can actully easily climb up on the rock to the left. It gave a great view of the ocean.

We stopped in Anchorage to eat dinner at Sami’s City Diner.It was a very large diner with great food! Tyler had a great bacon burger and fries and I enjoyed a French Dip sandwich. Though it made us feel like we were eating at Steak ‘n Shake, the prices were a lot higher than our beloved Steak ‘n Shake of the South. But, everything is a little more expensive in Alaska…and even more so in downtown Anchorage.

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We made one last stop at a waterfall before arriving to our home in Wasilla. Barbara Falls is actually on private property, but they allow people to explore their property. There is a short <.5 mile walk along a creek towards a beautiful waterfall. It is always a beautiful walk no matter the weather, but this time we were able to enjoy the sun peeping through the trees. The path towards the waterfall is kinda skinny and you definitely have to maneuver around and over roots.

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Have you ever made the trek from Anchorage to Seward? What was your favorite sites/stops? I would love to hear them!

I hope documenting our experience driving from Anchorage to Seward and back can help you as you are planning your future trips! For more Alaska adventures, follow my youtube channel, Addie in Alaska.

 

Peace Verse Trail

 

In college, Tyler and I would study our Bible together by doing “verse trails”. Basically you choose a topic, find verses about that topic and connect them together.
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  1. Choose your topic.
  2. Choose the first verse you want to start with.
  3. Write the word (your topic) beside the verse and reference the next verse.
  4. Go to this next verse, read it, and reference the next verse beside it. I am posting a picture below to show you.
  5. Repeat for all the verses!

 

To add onto this idea of verse trails, I have made you a list of the verese with blanks beside them to copy the verse. This will help you study the vereses if you learn best this way! (I know I do.)

PEACE verse trail

If you do the verse trail, I would love to see it! Tag me or send me a message!

Addie

 

Link to book

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Let’s Budget in the Bathroom| Paying off student loans + money saving tips starting in bathroom

 

 

Let’s talk about student loan debt! My husband and I have been working to pay off our $100,000 student loan debt since 2016. This is all from Tyler’s undergrad and graduate schooling. When Tyler graduated from college in 2016, we were engaged. I knew about the debt he was going to have from college, and I knew the plans he had to go to graduate school. Knowing we would not be able to afford to cash flow each semester on just my teacher income, we took out loans. None of the zeros behind the one came as a surprise to me, but it definitely feels like a chain. I defintely feel bound by these loans. They are very inconvenient. They are not wanted in our house.

My dad has always listened to Dave Ramsey, and has taught me the principals throughout the years. If you are interested in Dave and his financial messages, I would go to his site and try out Financial Peace University. He has a free 14-day trial going on with it right now. Our pre-marital counselor also gave us financial advice that aligns with Dave’s plan.

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Photo by Katie Harp

Before we got married, I had $18K in my savings. This was money I had saved during my 20 years of life whether it be from working my mom’s consignment, babysitting, selling jewelry, painting and selling furniture, dog-sitting, birthday/Christmas gift money, etc. That was what I had. Though this is not in alignment with Dave’s plan, I put $16K of that towards Tyler’s loans a month before we were married. If I had been listening to Dave, and any other sound advice, I would have waited a few more months to do this action after we were married, just to be safe. Thankfully Tyler held up his promise, and married me. But, I would not suggest giving that type of money to a boyfriend/girlfriend or even fiancé. Wait until after the wedding. Nevertheless, it has worked out.

The first five months of marriage, Tyler worked as many jobs as possible and I student taught. Even with him working three jobs, he was making less than $1,400 a month. He was working jobs that he hoped would help him get into graduate school. And we think that they really did help him get into graduate school at UAB. We joke that he could have made more working at Hobby Lobby or Walmart, but instead he worked as a patient care assistant, personal fitness coach, and direct care staff member at group home. He worked everyday of the week—well over 40 hours. In addition to working at a local farm hauling plants and prepping for pumpkin season, I also began tutoring students on the side. Tutoriing was a fun gig that paid me for doing what I really enjoyed doing—teaching kids. But, we lived on next to nothing.

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Photo by Vita Marija Murenaite on Unsplash

Our rent was only $445 a month and our grocery budget was $150. We lived near my parents and grandparents who fed us often. We were paying off student loans as much as we could squeeze out each month. I remember getting physically sick of Zaxby’s fried chicken, because we had so many coupons and giftcards for there, we would eat it multiple times a week. I was so exhausted from student teaching to cook/add to the dishes in the sink, so it was easy. Every Sunday we would bring our church bulletin and get a large Pizza for $5 from Papa Murphy’s. We had little hacks like this that we used every week to get by.

In July 2017, eight months after we got married, we moved to Birmingham for Tyler to go to graduate school at UAB. Looking back, we could have done a lot better financially. We got lax. We still lived as if we were broke, but we were not very intentional with ever dollar we spent. We deferred our loans since he was in school, and would just cash flow (this means paying with cash) what we could of graduate school expenses. We finally tightened up the last semester (August 2019) and paid for his the whole semester in full. That was exciting. No more loans!

In August 2019, I started listening to The Dave Ramsey show everyday. That is about three hours of Dave a day. He is now a part of my coping methods when I get stressed. If I feel sad or overwhelmed about something, I’ll go turn on Dave. Tyler can attest to this strategy. Not sure how healthy that is; however, we took a four day vacation to Florida for $900 whenever I got on this Dave kick fully. Our $900 included food, gas, stay, etc. We stayed at an amazing AirBnB near Seaside/Rosmary area. We were able to bike, kayak, swim, walk to the beach–the WORKS! This place even had a dreamy outdoor shower. I really need to write a blog post about this trip!! I love eating seafood and eating ice cream while at the beach, so we found creative ways to include these things, too! It was so much fun and it was just the boost we needed to keep the course during his last semester of graduate school. We really buckled down, and was able to squeeze out several big payments! My goal was to be at less than 70K by 2020. We did it!

Since the beginning of our journey, we have paid off a total of $32,000 on a less than $30,000 annual take-home pay. I feel like that is extremely commendable. As we planned our move to Alaska, we knew our increased income would help us be able to pay off our debt even sooner. Though the cost of living is about 20% higher here, the salary for pediatric occupational therapists was much more than 20% higher than what Tyler could find in the lower 48.

In this blog series, I just want to give you light-hearted money-saving tips. Just ways you can adjust your mindset and your spending in order to save a little. These methods are not going to have you saving hundreds a month, unless you are spending hundreds a month on nonsense.

Since we are Dave fans, I will always suggest that people listen to Dave no matter if you have $100,000 in debt or $1,000,000 in assets. He gives incredible advice in all directions. If you read his book or listen to his show, you will learn things like: live on less than you make, make a plan for your money (aka budget), debt is dumb, pay cash for everything (or use debit), etc.
I do not want to just repeat things I have learned from him, but I want to let you in on some money saving tips. These are tips I definitely suggest for someone who is trying to get out of debt as well as those who are trying to build your savings. These are sacrifices I don’t think everyone should have to make (if you are out of debt especially!). But, they work for us as we are trying to pay off $68K in the next year.

Each day this week I will take you through different parts of our house and life where we have found ways to save money. Today I will go ahead and give you my money saving tips for the bathroom.

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Photo by Phil Hearing on Unsplash

Repeat after me, “You are not a product tester!”

Baby girl, you are trying to pay off debt or save money for an emergency fund. You do not have the ability to try out every new dry shampoo or mascara you see your favorite influencer use.

Here is my suggestion is whenever you see an influencer post about a product they love or something they suggest for someone “just like you”: write down the product you would like and how much it cost. When your mascara runs out and it is time to buy a new one, THEN you can consider the one your favorite influencer suggested. But until then, you will use what you already have.

If you go look in the cabinet of any girl’s bathroom, you will see a million-ba-gillion partially used products. Don’t tell me this is not true! I know. I have been that girl before.

This strategy goes for all the products: hairspray, lotion, moisterizer, lipstick, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, soap, etc. If I see a type I would like to try, I remind myself that whenever mine runs out, then I can try this new kind. Now, I understand that makeup is different for everyone. But, as much as you can limit your spending on makeup, the better. I personally do not wear much/understand it, so it is easier for me to say limit your lipstick shades. But, again, just don’t be a product tester.

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Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

When I go to purchase deoderant, shampoo, soap type items, I will buy double packs if I can. This not only saves you a little bit of money per item on the front end, but this also limits the amount of times you have to go to the store and walk down an aisle packed full of options. Limit the amount of times you are advertsised to about buying new products. People get paid way more than you do to “sell you” on items via facebook, instagram, amazon, and in the store! When you see all of the new scents and new designs, you may (most likely) be lured in to spending more money.

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Photo by Jonny Caspari on Unsplash

I attempt to stretch bathroom items as far as they can go—while still being hygienic of course. Whenever you buy a new product, write the date on it with a sharpie. See how long you can make it last. I made a set of shampoo and conditioner last from July until February. I’m not trying to rub it in, but I am just saying that is just like $2 a month on shampoo/conditioner. I bought a huge pump bottle of each, plus I bought a name brand. I don’t always suggest to buy name brand, but some off brand shampoos and conditioners do not feel like I get clean, and I end up using more of the product each time trying to get my hair clean. (I use Aussie btw. I have used it off and on since high school, and I like it.) Just be cautious of the money you are spending on these type items.

So, to help you out, I have made a Toiletry and Make-Up Budgeting tool for you to use. It will help you calculate how much you are spending in these two categories per month and how long your items are going to last you.

This can help you visualize your needs and wants as well as how much they cost each month.

Click here to download: Bathroom Budgeting

Hope this helps you as you are tackling your debt! Tomorrow we will talk about budgeting in the kitchen! I would love to hear where you are at on your debt-free journey whether you are about to be debt free or you are just getting started! Let me know in the comments below.

That Teacher Wife

Data You Can Control

Hello friend. I need you to hear something: Satan is not “sheltered-in”. He is ON THE PROWL. He sees that you are off your routine. He sees that you are scared. He sees that you are vulnerable. He has no compassion for your current situation. He does not care that you have been laid off or that you are stressed from the work you have to do now. Satan wants you to believe that you have NO control over this current situation–and that is when he attacks.

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Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash

We see data charts everywhere reporting on the COVID-19 global pandemic. We have heard things like: data can be skewed, don’t believe everything media tells you, this is too political. Though I do not really want to voice an opinion on those statements, I do believe that we should control what we can control. I want to help you identify data that YOU can control.

As we are at home, lets work to develop healthy habits that will have a positive effect on our lives long-term. There can be much satisfaction in the feeling of accomplishing something. I know many of us feel a positive emotional boost whenever we accomplish a task.

If you are like me, you might also feel anxiety of not knowing how long we will be sheltered-in. I remember thinking on March 16th that we would be good to go April 6th. That was the day schools were supposed to be let back in.

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Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash

That was the day I could see in my head. Since then, we have been told to stay home until April 30th. That date could easily be moved back with one press conference. Unfortunately, we do not have a set date that we will be able to return to life as we knew it before. I have shared some data charts for you to keep track two weeks at a time. It makes me feel like I have a better handle on things when I can just take it two weeks at a time.

Join me by downloading the charts and keeping up with your developments of new, healthy habits. I want to hear if the visual data displayed encourages you and helps you as you work towards developing your new normal. As I did with the New Normal Designs, I have included a blank copy so that you can write in what you are focused on

Click here to download your copy of Covid19 Data Charts

Can’t wait to see your charts!

Addie Williams

addie@thatteacherwife.com

Author of How Are We, God?

 

NEW NORMAL | DESIGN CLASS

 

Like you, I have seen many Facebook posts about “not going back to normal.” And I LOVE these! I love that this time as we are all sheltered-in we can really thinking about life, our purpose here, and what we want ours to look like. Though we have never experienced a time like this, I am afraid that just like any other break we experience that when it is over we will slip right back into what we are used to doing–hustling from place to place, hoping everyone will abide to our schedule and heaven forbid if they slow us down. Have you ever felt this way?

Our hope with this long break from normal, that when we return to “normal life” that we will have a new normal--a more patient normal.

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Photo by Cassidy Rowell on Unsplash

We hope that our new normal includes more family time, more time spent visiting with our friends, more time worshiping, etc. We wish for a life that is not as busy. One filled with less time on our phones and more time in our yards throwing football. Less time working over-time, and more sitting around the dinner table. 

 

So, the question is: Can I Design My New Normal? 

My answer for you is, “YES!” 

Let’s do that together! As the teacher in me tries to take over my creativity often, I decided to share with you a chart that can help guide us as we design our “New Normal.” 

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Photo by Ana Tavares on Unsplash

 

For the making of this chart, I wrote down areas of my life that I personally do not want to drift back to normal. And as I type this, I can think of many more. (There are also attributes like patience, giving, etc. that I do not want to go back to normal either.)

Knowing my life is different than yours, I have made a blank chart for you to fill out with the daily activities that are important to you. The best thing about this, YOU CAN CHANGE IT! If what you planned out is not working for you and you need to update it, just print another copy and make the needed changes. 

 

 

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I think too often we think about all the changes we want to make in our life and our routines, but we just talk about them. We never write them down. We don’t give it a second thought. I am begging you, society. Let’s give this “new normal” a second thought, a third thought, a fourth thought, and everyday-of-the-week-thought. More than a second thought, let’s tell others about it. Let’s post it on our fridge. 

You can click here to download your copy of the Design My New Normal Chart

I want to hear from you! Comment below and let me know what you do not want to go back to “normal” when this COVID-19 virus and shelter-in time is over.

Can’t wait to here from you!

Addie

Easter Gift Ideas for 2020

IMG_5366Easter is NEXT WEEK? The main reason we recognize this day is to rejoice in the fact that Jesus rose from the grave! He is NOT dead. He IS alive! And, because HE lives we can face tomorrow! Despite the main reason we should be rejoicing on this day, oftentimes people like to get each other “Easter Baskets” or an Easter gift. Perhaps you are looking to get yourself something this time of year to help encourage self-growth. Us teachers like to call this professional development. 

In efforts to remain Christ focused, I am going to provide some gift ideas that you or your brother or sister in Christ would love and would be encouraged from. 

  1. A new book–

    So many people say that they think they would like to become a reader, but they just don’t have time. I cannot think of a better time to become a reader than now! Here are some books that I recommend. 

  • The Bride of Christ ($9.99 on Amazon) WOMEN’S STUDY20200215-DSC_6258
    • This is a women’s study that I highly recommend. It has helped me better understand Christ’s love for his Church. In the book, Rachel explains her findings from her in-depth study of Jewish wedding traditions. 
      • To stay up to date on Rachel’s writings, “like” The Bride of Christ Facebook page .
        • Photo by Savanna Rutherford. Savanna is an awesome Christian photographer based in North Alabama. She met us at TURBO coffee to take some photos of the book for advertisement purposes.
  • Personal Bible Study Handbook ($9.99 on Amazon) FOR MALE AND FEMALE
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    • This handbook is for anyone! The new Christian, the person who has been in the Word for 40 years. This book is a chapter-by-chapter fill-in-the-blank summary of the Bible. Bob has gone through the entire Bible and has created fill-in-the-blank statements for us to complete. This book becomes a tool to use in in your studying after it is completed.
    • You can like The Personalized Bible Study handbook on Facebook and find FREE lessons written by Bob Williams at biblelessons.com.
  • How Are We, God? ($12.99 on Amazon WRITTEN BY, ME. COULD BE FOR MALE/FEMALE TEENS OR WOMEN)
    • This is a 10 Question study that includes a devotional, space to copy on-topic scripture, a reflection section, and a prayer. Each question is designed to engage the reader to reflect on his or her relationship with God. page-01 (25)By the end of the 10-week study, the goal is for the reader to have strengthened their relationship with God by making the appropriate changes in their lives. Questions included are: Am I Content? Do My Thoughts Let God In? Are My Treasures in Heaven?
  • Becoming Better Grownups ($24.30 on Amazon FOR ALL THE GROWNUPS
    • This book was just released by Brad Montague. He is the creator of Kid President and so much more! He lives in Henderson, TN but travels all the time in efforts to create a kinder humanity. Amazon says: “Beautifully designed and featuring Montague’s own whimsical 4-color illustrations that appeal to the kid in all of us, Becoming Better Grownups shares the purpose and meaning we can all discover merely by listening, and reveals that–in a world that seems increasingly childish–the secret to joy is in fact to become more childlike.”
  1. A Bible–

    If you do not have a journaling Bible, this is something I highly recommend to my friends. Many people will draw pictures or use stickers in their journaling Bible, and that is great! I personally like to add notes to the side more so than pictures. There are many journaling Bible options out there, but I am going to link the one I have and the one my sister-in-laws have. You want one in your version of choice. You also want thick pages so you do not have to worry about your pen ink bleeding through. 

  • ESV Single Column ($33.99 on Amazon)–This is the journaling Bible that I have. I really love reading the English Standard Version Bible, because that is the version that we had to have starting in fifth grade at school. I have been quite used to its wording. And I feel like it is easy to understand. Besides the version of this Bible, I like the width of the columns and the text spacing. IMG_5360 (1)
  • ESV Journaling Bible, Interleaved Edition (Brown, Flap with Strap) ($87.00 on Amazon)–This Bible is a little more pricey, but that is because it is genuine leather. It is gorgeous; both my sister-in-law and brother have had this Bible for about four years and love it! Also, I know that their Bibles have been hiking with them and to many different places–and have held up nicely! 
  • ESV Single Column Journaling Bible (Cloth Over Board, Antique Floral Design) ($53.20 on Amazon) –As promised, I linked my sister-in-laws’ Bibles. My other SIL has this hard cover Bible. I really like how the hardback lays as well as the thick pages on this one. She has also used this Bible for more than four years, and seems to really like it.

There are many journaling Bible options out there. I would say that Amazon has the best prices on the market for Bibles, but I love supporting local Christian book stores. For the timing of Easter 2020, you may have better luck printing out pictures of what you have ordered for the recipient. I know that due to Covid-19 Amazon shipping times have shifted in drastic ways. 

  1. Pens and Notebooks–

    In February I made a post about my favorite pens. And that still has not changed, though I have added some markers that I really like, too! Pens and notebooks encourage creativity and growth. I love getting to dive into a new notebook with my thoughts and what I am learning. 

 

  • Papermate Gel Pens | InkJoy Pens (14 Count $14.98 on Amazon)IMG_5368You can grab these on Amazon, or you can also find them at Walmart and Target for about the same price for a pack half that size.These are on HUGEsale! There are several different size packs, but this gives you a rate of one pen for a little more than $1. There is a 20 pack for $22 as well. 

 

  • Metalic Markers ($7.49 on Amazon)–I bought these markers for a ladies’ retreat craft. They work so well and are super inexpensive! 
    IMG_5364They cost $0.70 a marker and hold up very well! We used them to decorate plain craft paper journals. The colors showed up really well.

 

I hope that you found this list helpful and perhaps you can be inspired to purchase a gift for yourslef or your loved one that will ignite growth!

Until next time,

Addie

 

 

 

 

 

I clicked “publish”

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After spending the majoirty of this week chasing internet access and writing, I received positive feedback on the devotional I had created. The past two days I have logged around 24 hours typing, editing, spacing, and repeat.

As I began expanding my writing with each question, I developed deeper reflection questions and tasks.

I added prayers to the end of each section in hopes to assist my readers to continue or begin to develop a more intentional prayer life.

With all of that said…

I am waiting on Amazon to approve my book, and then it will be ready for purchase!!

Want to be the first to know when it is released and other content I produce? Join my email list!

I plan on hosting a private facebook group for the you who purchase the book within the first week of it being published. While you are waiting on your books to come in, I will be developing videos to go along with each chapter. I plan on walking with you week to week through each chapter. Perhaps when you complete the 10 Questions you will want to lead a Bible class yourselves going through the book.

My overall goal for this book is to guide others as they feel the urge to ask God, “How are we?”