Happy Birthday Bubba!!

Today is my sweet baby brother, Derek’s, 23rd (!!!!) birthday.

My brother is an amazing man! He’s loving, caring and kind. He has mad talent when it comes to any kind of art, and has a true passion (and with good reason) for music. His skills on the drums are surpassed by none (not in my eyes anyway) and he’s currently finishing up his recording studio so he can exercise his talent for music producing. He has no friends because everyone in his life is considered family and he loves them (us) all the same.

Derek, I love you so much, and I am so proud of the man you’ve become. We’ve shared many memories, good and bad, and experienced so much of life together (some experiences in which no one else will ever know). I’m so honored to be your sister and love you more than you could ever know! I’m so sorry I’m not here to celebrate with you on your actual birthday, but know I’ll be thinking of you all day :) I LOVE YOU BUBBA <3 I hope you have a wonderful birthday!

Now, what would a Happy Birthday post be without a little embarrassment :)

(Click on an image to view in slideshow mode)

Financial Peace – May 2012 Update

…And then there was one…

I am SO excited for this post!! This has been an awesome and very exciting month for us (hold on, you’ll see why!)

We are leaving tomorrow for our first road trip ever! We are pumped and can’t wait to experience all of the new places we are heading. I will definitely be posting some updates when we get back so stay tuned.

7 Baby Steps:

Baby Step #1 – $1,000 to start an Emergency Fund (Feb 2011)
Baby Step #2 – Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball
Baby Step #3 – 3 to 6 months of expenses in savings
Baby Step #4 – Invest 15% of household income into Roth IRAs and pre-tax retirement
Baby Step #5 – College funding for children
Baby Step #6 – Pay off home early
Baby Step #7 – Build wealth and give!

Baby Step #2 

OUR DEBT

Name of Card (Beginning Balance) (Current Balance)
Victoria’s Secret CC: ($103) PAID OFF in February 2011
New York & Co CC: ($205) PAID OFF in March 2011
Capital One CC: ($466) PAID OFF in April 2011
Chase CC: ($1,314) PAID OFF in March 2012
Wells Fargo CC: ($1,469) PAID OFF in May 2012
Papa: ($2,250) — ($1,500)
JCPenney CC: ($2,523) PAID OFF in May 2012
Granny: ($3,620)  PAID OFF in December 2011
1st Financial CC: ($9,697) — ($9,208)
Kevin’s Truck: ($7,196) — ($4,429)
Tia’s Car: ($14,200) — ($8,742)
Tia’s Student Loan #1: ($1,341) — ($809)
Kevin’s Student Loan #1: ($1,448) — ($1,448)
Kevin’s Student Loan #2: ($12,274) — ($12,274)
Tia’s Student Loan #2: ($17,060) — ($14,429) 

TOTAL THIS MONTH:  ($57,775) — ($52,839) = Total This Month: $4,936

TOTAL DEBT:  ($75,166) — ($52,839) = Total Paid Off: $22,327 (in only 18 months!!)

We paid off two credit cards this month and we are now down to ONE!! I know we still have plenty of other debt to knock out, but to us, this is a HUGE milestone! We started with 7 credit cards and are now down to ONE (UNO!)!! The beauty of the debt snowball is that now that all of those others are gone, we are able to put so much to just the one that’s left and we will be taking chunks out of it each month!

Also, I wanted to put out there, something I even re-realized just recently, these debt payoff numbers are only part of the story…in addition to this, we have our $1,000 Emergency Fund (Baby Step #1), we paid IN FULL for part of our wedding and all of our honeymoon, we have saved and paid IN FULL for the trip we are leaving for tomorrow, AND have still managed to pay all bills and keep money in our account!! I’m telling you, sweet friends, this process is magical <3

Have a great week you guys!! For all my fellow FPU-ers KEEP IT UP, and let me know how it’s going for each of you, I’d LOVE to hear your updates as well :)

Financial Peace – April 2012 Update

Happy Monday Friends! I’m sorry I’ve been so MIA with posting lately, I just noticed my last post was our March update. It’s been “busy season” for us accountant folk, which is winding down now, so I should be getting a little better. I hope you are having a wonderful spring, the weather has been so beautiful!

7 Baby Steps:

Baby Step #1 – $1,000 to start an Emergency Fund (Feb 2011)
Baby Step #2 – Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball
Baby Step #3 – 3 to 6 months of expenses in savings
Baby Step #4 – Invest 15% of household income into Roth IRAs and pre-tax retirement
Baby Step #5 – College funding for children
Baby Step #6 – Pay off home early
Baby Step #7 – Build wealth and give!

Baby Step #2 

OUR DEBT

Name of Card (Beginning Balance) (Current Balance)
Victoria’s Secret CC: ($103) PAID OFF in February 2011
New York & Co CC: ($205) PAID OFF in March 2011
Capital One CC: ($466) PAID OFF in April 2011
Chase CC: ($1,314) PAID OFF in March 2012
Wells Fargo CC: ($1,469) — ($478)
Papa: ($2,250) — ($1,650)
JCPenney CC: ($2,523) — ($1,636)
Granny: ($3,620)  PAID OFF in December 2011
1st Financial CC: ($9,697) — ($9,241)
Kevin’s Truck: ($7,196) — ($4,612)
Tia’s Car: ($14,200) — ($9,076)
Tia’s Student Loan #1: ($1,341) — ($846)
Kevin’s Student Loan #1: ($1,448) — ($1,448)
Kevin’s Student Loan #2: ($12,274) — ($12,274)
Tia’s Student Loan #2: ($17,060) — ($14,590) 

TOTAL THIS MONTH:  ($57,775) — ($55,851) = Total This Month: $1,924

TOTAL DEBT:  ($75,166) — ($55,851) = Total Paid Off: $19,315 (in only 16 months!! SO crazy!)

Have a great week you guys!! For all my fellow FPU-ers KEEP IT UP, I promise  you, it’s worth it!!

Financial Peace – March 2012 Update

When you are starting on this journey towards Financial Peace, changing the way you think about money is the main goal! You no longer worry, fight, or stress about it. If you have a plan, there’s no need to! When you don’t have a plan and you’re just going through life spending and receiving money of course that’s stressful! If you think about it, the average household income in America is $50,000/year. So over a 10 year span, half a million dollars ($50k x 10 = $500,000) has passed through your hands. What do you have to show for that?? That’s what hit us hard when we started this process. We have NOTHING to show for it!! Would you EVER build a half a million dollar home with no blue print?? Heck NO! So why don’t you have a plan now!

7 Baby Steps:

Baby Step #1 – $1,000 to start an Emergency Fund (Feb 2011)
Baby Step #2 – Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball
Baby Step #3 – 3 to 6 months of expenses in savings
Baby Step #4 – Invest 15% of household income into Roth IRAs and pre-tax retirement
Baby Step #5 – College funding for children
Baby Step #6 – Pay off home early
Baby Step #7 – Build wealth and give!

Baby Step #2 

OUR DEBT

Name of Card (Beginning Balance) (Current Balance)
Victoria’s Secret CC: ($103) PAID OFF in February 2011
New York & Co CC: ($205) PAID OFF in March 2011
Capital One CC: ($466) PAID OFF in April 2011
Chase CC: ($1,314) PAID OFF in March 2012
Wells Fargo CC: ($1,469) — ($1,271)
Papa: ($2,250) — ($1,800)
JCPenney CC: ($2,523) — ($1,710)
Granny: ($3,620)  PAID OFF in December 2011
1st Financial CC: ($9,697) — ($9,280)
Kevin’s Truck: ($7,196) — ($4,794)
Tia’s Car: ($14,200) — ($9,406)
Tia’s Student Loan #1: ($1,341) — ($882)
Kevin’s Student Loan #1: ($1,448) — ($1,448)
Kevin’s Student Loan #2: ($12,274) — ($12,274)
Tia’s Student Loan #2: ($17,060) — ($14,910) 

TOTAL THIS MONTH:  ($59,079) — ($57,775) = Total This Month: $1,304

TOTAL DEBT:  ($75,166) — ($57,775) = Total Paid Off: $17,391 (in only 15 months!! That’s crazy to me!)

Have a great week you guys!! For all my fellow FPU-ers KEEP IT UP, I promise  you, it’s worth it!! I’ve been focusing a lot on different types of motivational sayings to help us through some struggles so I’ll leave you with this…

Photo Challenge Recap – Tia

Well, if you’ve been keeping track of our photo challenge, you know that we haven’t been posting our photos on time. If you haven’t been keeping up, pretend I didn’t say that and we’ll just go with “This is how I meant to do it”. Let’s face it, life gets busy…and for an auditor, from February 1st through at least April 30th, life get’s REALLY busy (they even call it busy season, how convenient!).

So anyway, I’ve decided to just go ahead and recap and share my 30 days of photos, from start to finish, so you don’t even have to go back and look through the old posts! It’s the least I can do…and as soon as Kevin will send me all of his photos (ahem) I will post those in a full recap as well. Enjoy :)

 

I really enjoyed doing these daily photos so I’m going to keep at it, but probably won’t be posting them here. If you’d like to keep up you can follow me on Instagram!

Financial Peace – February 2012 Update

I’ll keep this short! Things are going great, we are settling back in to our cash envelopes routine and our monthly budgeting routine and setting in for the long haul. We have some BIG goals this year and we are very excited to be working as hard as possible towards those goals :)

7 Baby Steps:
Baby Step #1 – $1,000 to start an Emergency Fund (Feb 2011)
Baby Step #2 – Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball
Baby Step #3 – 3 to 6 months of expenses in savings
Baby Step #4 – Invest 15% of household income into Roth IRAs and pre-tax retirement
Baby Step #5 – College funding for children
Baby Step #6 – Pay off home early
Baby Step #7 – Build wealth and give!

Baby Step #2 

OUR DEBT

Name of Card (Beginning Balance) (Current Balance)
Victoria’s Secret CC: ($103) PAID OFF in February 2011
New York & Co CC: ($205) PAID OFF in March 2011
Capital One CC: ($466) PAID OFF in April 2011
Chase CC: ($1,314) — ($439) –> This is the last month you’ll be seeing this silly one :)
Wells Fargo CC: ($1,469) — ($1,282)
Papa: ($2,250) — ($1,950)
JCPenney CC: ($2,523) — ($1,760)
Granny: ($3,620)  PAID OFF in December 2011
1st Financial CC: ($9,697) — ($9,389)
Kevin’s Truck: ($7,196) — ($4,975)
Tia’s Car: ($14,200) — ($9,734)
Tia’s Student Loan #1: ($1,341) — ($918)
Kevin’s Student Loan #1: ($1,448) — ($1,448)
Kevin’s Student Loan #2: ($12,274) — ($12,274)
Tia’s Student Loan #2: ($17,060) — ($14,910) 

TOTAL THIS MONTH:  ($60,421) — ($59,079) = Total This Month: $1,342 (The numbers still blow my mind!!)

TOTAL DEBT:  ($75,166) — ($59,079) = Total Paid Off: $16,087 (SERIOUSLY Y’ALL!!!)

Have a great week you guys!! For all my fellow FPU-ers KEEP IT UP!!

Happy Birthday Eileen!!

I just wanted to give a quick shout out to my stepmom, Eileen, because today is her __th Bday!! (insert as you wish, but I’m warning you!)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY EILEEN !! Thank you so much for all that you do. All the love and advice does not go unnoticed :)

You are amazing and I hope you have a wonderful birthday!

-Tia and Kevin (and of course, Dad, Bella and Romo…they texted me to include them in this…promise!)

Photo Challenge – Days 11-15

….and we’re back!! I’m sorry that it’s been so long since you’ve heard from me. Last week was a crazy week and I’m hopefully getting back into the swing of things. I’ll cut to the chase…here is our photo-a-day challenge pictures from days 11-15!

     

     

     

     

     

(I’m starting to realize that my husband has some photo taking talent. His *artistic* eye blows mine out of the water!)

Have a great day friends!!

Mid-Month Motivation!!

About this time each month I start getting super anxious for the end of the month to get here so I can get all of my final debt numbers and make our budget for the next month. It’s a beyond nerdy excitement, I know, but I just can’t help it!

I know we did great things this month, but I need to SEE the hard evidence and the real numbers (hello, kind of a numbers person here!) to really believe it’s happening.

We are so close to paying off our next card…our debt snowball is close to $300/mo, but this stupid card has a balance of $439 and I can’t stand to wait another month to pay it off when we are so close. It sounds a little crazy, but I’d really like to ~squeeeze~ our already super tight budget to get just that little extra we need so we can say ADIOS!

Friends and Family, if you are fighting this battle with us, or maybe you haven’t even started but know you need to, I’m urging you to PLEASE jump on this bandwagon. It’s a great wagon to be on!! I can’t stress enough how much this process to Financial Freedom has 100% changed our lives and how we discuss and think about money!! I get teased, people think it’s crazy, but that just means we’re doing something right! YOU CAN DO THIS TOO!!!!

Check out Dave Ramsey’s site, read all you can. There’s motivation, FAQ’s, tips, success stories, tools, everything! PLEASE do this…for yourself, for your family, for peace, for stability! I’m right here with you and we’ll fight through this together!