5 Reasons you should unplug NOW!

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It is happened before, maybe more than once, and maybe more than once in a day.  You hop on social media with the intentions of sending a direct message or inbox message to one person.  You scroll your timeline first.  You then notice your old college room -mate got married, your ex has a new boo, and your mom has joined facebook.  Then you spend another “while” searching through all the recent pictures of each individual to see “how did I miss this” and then begin to piece their life together to make sense to you.  Now it’s been nearly an hour and a half and you still have not sent the direct message.

Okay, now you search the person to send the message, but wait, you have to check your own messages.  Another hour or two reading and responding to messages.  This is just one social media site.  You are also on three-five others. With all the various social media platforms, from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and new ones developing quickly it’s no wonder the average person spends a ridiculous amount of time on social media.  That may be just for leisure.  What if you are a developing brand and social media is key to marketing that brand?

Despite your intentions for social media, there needs to be time when you unplug from the computer and phone and refocus your attention.  With summer around the corner, NOW would be a great time!  If you can not at all imagine when those times to unplug from social media may be, I’ve listed just five below.

Five Reasons You Should Unplug

  1. You have work to do.

Whether you work from home or in an office, or not at all there is still work to be done. There are work related task, or home related task, that need to be completed and Social media should be avoided completely to eliminate the distractions until the tasks or assignments are completed.  Because of the huge distraction social media can become, I usually avoid it the entire work day.

  1.  Special someone(s) are requesting your attention or time.

It may be your children, spouse or significant other, or maybe just your pets that are nagging to “come do this with me” or “watch me” or just place their heads in your lap.  All the above should be considered as a plea for your time or attention from social media.  If that is the case, close your computer and turn your phone off and give them that time and attention.

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  1.  It’s too time time consuming.

If you begin to run into situations similar to the introduction, spending hours on what should have been a 10 minute task then maybe it’s time to unplug altogether or limit your time.  Consider setting time limits for each site or writing a to do list on what needs to be accomplished on each site, if more than one.

  1.  Social Media has become overwhelming.

With new platforms developing quickly, in addition to platforms you are already on, and the time suck that comes along with each site, social media can become overwhelming.  It can begin to feel like a job in itself trying to build and increase a following, market your brand, or remain relevant.  If the task and time associated with social media become overwhelming, then you should again unplug from social media, making a point to disconnect from it all and refocus your energy and relax. You can always com back to it.

  1.  It’s time to unwind.

I’m a big advocate of sleep.  For me, sleep is essential and in order for me to sleep well I need to unwind and calm my mind before even beginning the sleep process.  Unplugging from social media and the internet is essential for unwinding and relaxing my mind to calm.  For me this means, turning off my computer and television and silencing my phone so that I’m not at all tempted to engage.

Above are only five reasons you should consider unplugging from social media, but I’m sure there are more.  The reasons above may apply, or not, depending on your lifestyle, your goals, and how and what social media is used for by you. It’s up to you to determine what “unplugging” means to you.  Unplug can mean leave and come back later or only accessing on certain days or times, or not at all.  However you decide to unplug, creating a balance is key.  If the above reason are completely irrelevant to you and your situation, below are some additional reasons to consider unplugging from the internet.

Additional reasons to unplug

  • You are exceeding your cell phone data plan.
  • Family and friends are complaining.
  • You are over extended.
  • Your timeline never really updates.
  • You have way too much knowledge of everyone else’s life.
  • You compare your life to those on social media and feel inadequate or like a failure.

On average, how much time to do you spend on social media?  How do you feel about it? 

3 Incredible Ways I’ve Made Money from Home!

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This article may contain affiliate links.

In a world where money talks, my personal finances are always under scrutiny. Things cost a lot of cash these days, and I need to be able to afford it. Unfortunately, I’ve fallen short often which resulted in me being in serious debt.  In attempts to get out of debt, make more money or both, I researched reading other blogs, watching Youtube videos, and reading to find ways to make money at home and even attempted these three below.

Freelance Writing

If like me, you love writing, then it pays to become a freelance writer. It’s great when you have a passion, and it’s even better when you can make money from it. Only after about three months I was able to make a small profit from freelance writing using GDTH as my platform.  There are also lots of other sites where you can create an account and look for freelance work, however I’ve heard good and bad things about those sites.  This will let you show off your writing skills and increase your chances of getting work. The great thing about freelance writing is that it can be part-time or full-time. Depending on your current schedule, you can either make this your proper job, or just something on the side. At this time, it’s more like no time for me because I haven’t earned a dime in about three months.  

February Side Hustle Report

Online Trading

When you hear the word trading, you tend to think of the stock exchange and businessmen running around frantically. And, yes, that is what happens in the trading world on a daily basis. But, it’s something that has become more convenient and available to the general public too. These days, you can trade from home using online brokers and apps. There are lots of broker reviews where websites give their explanation on how everything works. So, to save time, I’ll only give you the basics. You find an online broker, deposit some money, and start trading. There are loads of things you can trade; stocks, forex, even things like gas and corn. The aim is simple, you buy low and sell high. If you know some tricks of the trade, then you can make a lot of money. So much so that people are trading from home as their full-time job! Unfortunately, this isn’t me.  I’ve attempted it one time and made a $0.05 profit and never looked back. I’m not sure I completely understand the concept, or like the others, you have to have time to get up to the big cash.  

YouTube

Finally, I tried Youtube.  I’ve told you before that I have a channel and about 80 subscribers.  If you’re looking for a fun way to make money from home, then turn your attention to YouTube. This video sharing site has become a top way for people to make money. There is a variety of content creators whose full-time job is making videos for YouTube. Because of the ad revenue system, you can make a hell of a lot of money on this site. The hardest part is getting started and gaining a subscriber base. Once you’ve got lots of subscribers, you can monetize your videos. The more people that watch them, the more money you get. It’s an excellent idea if you’re comfortable behind the camera, have interesting ideas, and can remain consistent!

Of the three listed above, I enjoyed Youtube the most and about once a year I receive an adsense pay out.  If I had more time and less responsibility, I could definitely see myself doing it.  Who knows I may even start back up sooner rather than later!

What things other than blogging have you attempted to keep “your money up”?

Life Is A B!*CH!

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Hello!

Are there any GDTH followers still visiting to see what is going on with me.  Well I’ve just been flying high, enjoying life much less in debt!   I’ve felt free as a bird just flying enjoying life.  I’ve been to the beach, I’ve visited NY, I’ve enjoyed eating at a restaurant recently, I’ve purchased some spring clothing at great discounts and I’ve had at least two Saturdays a month to declutter my home and spring clean.  Lifes been great!  UNTIL NOW!!!

Before last week I was a bird flying through life dodging debri, planes, or whatever else makes birds fall out of the sky.  But today, I was smack dab knocked clear out of the sky!  Let’s discuss why.

 TEENAGERS

Two Wednesdays ago, I treated my lovely school aged children to Zaxby’s for great report cards (so proud of those children and their smarts).  While eating, I turn to my 16 yo and we have this conversation…

Me:  “Are you going to the prom?”

Her:  “No, I think it’s pointless to spend all that money on a dress to wear for a few hours, when it’s my senior year that really matters.”

Me:  “True.  Are you sure because I need to know.”

Her:  “Yup”

Me: “Okay.”  I then begin to mentally distribute my pay check and decide to pay $400.00 on a credit card to have it paid by April 30, 2016!  So guess what happens on the following Saturday?  She decides she’s going to PROM!  Guess when prom is?  IT was last saturday.  We had a week to get ready!

 

Luckily my village of support I have, stepped in and helped out tremendously and BG should be well on her way to enjoying her junior prom.

  THE LAW

So I received a speeding ticket back in October 2015.  I’ve continued it twice already and had planned on making the final payment to the attorney so that he could go ahead and get it over with by June.  I appear in court yesterday 4/21/2016 and my name is NOT called.  Knowing that it is too good to be true I go to the clerk and I’m informed that my actual court date was 4/20/2016!  I now have what is called a “failed to call.”  As a result, I have to dish out an ADDITIONAL $100.00 to have my attorney place my name back on the calendar, totaling $475.00 just for speeding.

I plan on taking that receipt and placing it near my dash board as a reminder of the cost of speeding and it’s affect on my debt free journey!

 INJURIES

This past weekend, baby girl was out playing basketball with the neighborhood kids and came home with an injured middle finger.  Now, we have insurance but the fee’s added up fairly quick.  See below:

copay               $30.00

x-rays              $45.00

meds                 $15.00

specialist           $60.00

TOTAL               $150.00

As if the above incurred expenses are not enough, my big boy’s birthday was 4/22.  He’s turned 10!  He forfeited a party in exchange for a phone.  Since I knew his birthday was coming, I was prepared but these other expenses have limited the celebrations we will have!

The lesson I’ve learned from all of this, this week is to always be prepared even for the unpreparable.  In other words, having a savings that I can borrow from would be very helpful.  Even better than that, having the funds available so that I won’t touch the savings would be great and is something that is possible once my debt is GONE.

Although I’m well aware the ish happens, I’ve been so focused on eliminating debt, that I think I placed everything second, and now it’s pushing it’s way to the number one spot.  It bothers me because I have such a small balance left that I hate to have to take it into another month.

BTW.  Big Girls Prom 2016 turned out wonderful!

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Has anything similar ever happened to you?  How did you handle the burden?

P.S.  I’m the guest blogger at My Debt Epiphany!  Check me out!

All sorts of Updates!

ALL sorts of UPDATES

It’s been nearly a month since I last posted anything.  Life happened and GDTH took the biggest hit.  Please don’t take it personal, although I’d understand if you did.  It wasn’t just GDTH, I stopped being active on just about ALL social media, and I got kicked out of an accountability group for poor attendance.  Let me explain.

Work, work, work, work!

You guys all know (or should) that I’m a Social worker in Child Protective Services and around this year, once it gets warm and summer break is getting near, the amount of reports received nearly doubles and we are ALWAYS on the go and working later. As a result, less time in the evenings and little down time at work to write anything.

New Pet

My husband purchased another pit bull, Willow, and she has been keeping me as busy as a real baby.  Trying to get her trained so that she can stay in the house has been time consuming and challenging and I’m about ready to give up and send her outside.  Any tips on that?

SIDE HUSTLING

Aside from the increased work responsibilities, I’ve taken on another side hustle.  I provide Clinical Social Work services (therapy) in the evenings and weekends.  I’m able to make what I would make in a month in cosmetology in one Saturday if I worked 8 hours.  The increase in money with less hours has me much more confident that I can meet my debt elimination goals sooner.

DEBT

I’ve been on my debt free journey for nearly 8 month now, with my primary focus being my credit card debt.  I’ve been really focused on eliminating credit card so that I can move onto to eliminating my car debt sooner rather than later, since selling either of the cars is not an option at this time.  My husband says I have “tunnel vision” to get out of debt, and I’d like to agree.

Since starting my journey, I’ve eliminated 5 of 8 credit cards alone and plan to eliminate one more once I receive my income tax refund, leaving me with two major credit cards which I plan to have paid of by the end of summer and a store credit balance that has been paid by half.  So, on average I’ve been able to eliminate a credit card a month!  I think that is great!

Card December Jan 2016 Feb 2016 Mar 2016 April 2016
AM $660.08 $209.90 PAID PAID
PP $1136.65 $1073.98 $993.46 PAID
BML $1157.99 $1134.29 $1092.57 $898.00
WF $2562.76 $2537.01 $2506.96 $1709.10
CF $1925.70 $1972.61

 

$1948.98 $2482.80

TOTAL  $7443.18      $6,878.79    $6,541.97        $4971.70

I’ve been able to pay nearly $1000 on additional credit card payments and I get even more excited when I think about being able to save that money once all the cards have been paid.

MOTIVATION

Finally, motivation continues to diminish to continue with GDTH.  Actually I’m not sure if I’ve lost motivation or if I’m bored with my own content.  I actually spent what little time I did have searching on Pinterest about motivation, writing prompts, and reading other post but I got nothing.  However, I do notice that when the warm weather arrives, my work ethic changes decreases.  For some reason I begin to feel like all I’m supposed to do it travel, workout, and eat what I want.  As a result anything work related gets the least effort possible.  Any tips for that?  Any one relating?

 

For those that have continued to visit GDTH I appreciate you! I promise this won’t happen (without notice again).  Also shout out to Jaime who even sent me a FB message!

ALL helpful information is welcomed!

Why I Quit!

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I’ve quit lots of things in the past.  I quit college twice.  I quit exercising regularly last summer, and I can tell now.  I quit drinking mountain dew every Monday and then I quit quitting mountain dew every Wednesday.  I’ve quit blogging twice as well.  Did you know I have a youtube channel?  I’ve quit that too.  My point is that I’ve quit a lot of things.

Although I’m pretty successful (by my own definition, of course), I have quit all those things above, and more, and therefor I am a quitter!  Umm, I’m not terribly depressed about the things I’ve quit and honestly  I can appreciate the lessons learned from quitting as well as where I am now because of it.   More specifically, I can better understand why I’ve quit and how to prevent it in the future.

  1. You’re in over your head.

Not in a bad way, or maybe.  More like you’ve decided to do something before even having a plan, or any information, or facts or anything.  For example,  those two other blogs I’ve had, I read other blogs, desired their lifestyle of what I thought was just writing about my feelings and taking some pictures.  So I started.  I failed.  I was misinformed and in over my head so I quit.

2.  No Instant results or gratification.

Often times when there are no instant results or gratification, motivation is lost.  After a continuous lack of motivation the result is usually quitting. I worked out regularly to lose weight but when the weight wasn’t coming off fast enough I quit.  With blogging, I read these high dollar income reports that I desire, NOW and I want to quit because it is not happening.  This was the reason, in my opinion, behind quitting college twice as well.  The end result seemed so far away and more difficult than I imagined.  Which leads me to the next reason below.

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3.  It’s too hard.

Most times when we have a “big idea” or embark on a new journey, we (or I) get so excited about the results and often never think about how hard it will be or how much work it will require.  Usually once that first set back is experienced that knocks us off our feet, we quit.  On the other hand, however, sometimes it’s the reality of how difficult it could be that prevents us from even starting at all.  In either situation the end result can still be considered quitting.

4.  Not fully committed.

There are many reasons that can affect your level of commitment to a new project or journey.  Family, life, work responsibilities are just a few.  When I initially began GDTH, my work responsibility and home responsibilities were different.  At that time I was able to blog at least three times per week, however since then things have drastically changed.  We have a new pet, I’ve switched supervisors at work, and the mister works longer hours which as all affected my level of commitment to GDTH. My decreased level of committment is affecting my earning potential and the growth of GDTH which has resulted in me considering quitting GDTH.

5.  Overwhelmed by the work or time

Feeling overwhelmed at some point is unavoidable.  The pressure that comes from being overwhelmed all the time, for me, is suffocating and usually the point that I want to quit or do quit.  In 2012, I nearly quit my last semester of graduate school because of how overwhelmed I was by ongoing revision recommendations of a 20 plus page paper that was required to pass the class.  In my case, pressure really does burst my pipes.

6.  No definition of success or lack of measurements.

It’s important to determine what “being successful” looks like to you and measure your outcomes throughout.  Within the blogging world, particularly, I feel like bloggers quit because they feel unsuccessful based on comparisons to other bloggers.  This was also the reason I quit blogging twice before and sometimes consider it now.

Any or all of the above reasons may have been why you have quit, which I think is perfectly fine especially if you’ve learned from it.  Just about all the above reasons have been my reasons for quitting something at one point or another.  In every quitting situation, I discovered something about myself which has prevented me from quitting now and helped me make better decisions.

What have you quit and why?

How to Successfully Get out of Debt.

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Debt is one of the easiest things to get into but very difficult to get out of.  If it were easy, everyone would be doing it.  According to Nerdwallet.com “the average household has $129, 579 in debt, $15, 533 in credit card debt.”   If you are one of the households included in the above statistic, then please continue to read.

The first thing to do to successfully get out of debt is to completely change your mindset.  Debt should be seen as something that is unnecessary, restricting, and burdening.  In turn, money should be seen as a tool important for building continued wealth.  The power and emotions that have been assigned to money need to be removed and replaced with positive thoughts and a commitment to getting out of debt.

If you are unsure if your debt is a problem in your home there are several signs that may be an indication of a debt and/or overspending  problem.  Some signs include:

  • Living paycheck to paycheck
  • Not opening or avoiding to open credit card statements or bill payment notices
  • Carrying balances but continuing to make big purchases
  • Only paying or being able to pay the minimum balance
  • If you and your significant other argue or fight over money
  • Relying on credit cards for emergencies
  • Relying on Credit cards to make monthly essential payments such as utilities
  • Making or continuing to make big purchases but only making the minimum payment
  • Hiding purchases from significant other
  • Low Credit Score and the inability to develop credit or better credit

If one or more of the items listed above are a challenge in your household then you should be or planning to be getting out of debt.  There is no magical formula for getting out of debt.  In order to get out of debt you have to spend less and make more.

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Spending less

To spend less, its suggested that you track your spending.  This should be simple, especially if you, like me, make all purchases with your debt card.  If that is not the case, and you still believe in making cash purchases then be sure to write down every purchase made. Next at the end of the month or between pay periods you should analyze your spending habits to see where spending can be cut.  Some places where spending can be cut include:

  • Beauty or upkeep:  Reducing the amount of times you go to the salon or barber shop, reducing the amount of beauty supplies shampoo, cologne, perfume, or make up
  • Subscriptions: Cable, Hulu and Netflix (do you really need both), newspapers, monthly application subscriptions, magazine
  • Eating out: reducing the number of times you eat out from 5 to three could potentially save $10 or more per week.
  • Coffee trips/ runs
  • Clothing/shopping
  • Groceries
  • Insurance
  • Entertainment

If you are serious about getting out of debt you could reduce the budget for non essential items to zero to make a drastic monthly reduction on your credit card balances or other debts.  I have several previous post on how I’ve cut my expenses.

Earning More

Once you’ve committed to spending less and have found money in your budget, that money with increased income should provide an accelerated debt repayment plan.  If you are struggling with how or where to begin to search for an increased income some ideas are below:

  • Your current employer:  If there is a special skill that you have or a skill that your coworkers are weak(er) in than you then you could optimize that into a money producing opportunity.  For example, I have a coworker that works in IT.  He charges $50/hr for removing virus and restoring computers.  I myself, charge $10/note that I write for coworkers to stay current (or get caught up) on documentation which is very important in Social work.  Another option is to ask for a rise but doing both could drastically increase your income!
  • Online:  There is an abundance of opportunities for making money online.  Blogging, making a Youtube channel, becoming a virtual assistant, or hosting a website are a few online opportunities for increasing your income.  There are also companies that allow part time work from home. Selling items online could also be an option via Ebay, Amazon, Craigslist, or Facebook groups
  • Newpapers or job boards:  Obviously newspapers or job boards provides listing of part time work that you may be willing to work.
  • Friends or family:  Offering to assist friend or family with small “odds and ends” jobs could potentially earn you additional income and could blossom into an ongoing side hustle.

Check out how much I’ve made from a variety of side hustles.

Once you’ve discovered how to cut spending and possibly make more money then there is nothing more to do but to make a plan, put it into action, and stick to it.  You should set realistic expectations for yourself by determining how much debt you would like to have paid and by what date.  You should determine what you are not willing to sacrifice but will limit.  Additionally, you should stop or avoid using your credit cards and avoid getting into any new debt.  Check out my very own progress since taking these very same steps here.

If you need an accountability partner, feel free to contact me!

Did I miss anything?

February Side Hustle Income Report

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It’s March! A new month means INCOME REPORTS! If you’re new here, I begin posting Online Income reports back in November, after only three months of blogging. The amount was very small and at that point, I still had not broken even with the money I put into starting GDTH. However, I was bold enough to share what I made to encourage other bloggers, as new to the journey as me, or who have recently decided to make a business out of their blog and begin to monetize to continue to work hard and reflect that the hard work and diligent effort can pay off, even if it’s small tokens.

Fast forward to January, and I decided to change from online income reports to Side Hustle Income Report to track all the side hustle income, including what I make from Goal Digging to Happiness.

In February, I made:

$826.62

The breakdown is as follows:

  • GDTH                          $45.00
    • Freelance post        $20.00
    • Sponsored post       $25.00
  • Hair side hustle          $385.00
  • Selling Items               $60.00
  • Milage                          $136.62
  • Gifts                              $200.00

For the month of February, my income sucked!  I’m okay with that however.  I wasn’t able to devote as much time to GDTH.  We’ve had some changes at work, I was consumed by my son’s sporting activities (his team won the championship btw), I was sick, and I had work related training, which all resulted in limited time, and major distractions.  Aside from work, I devoted what little extra time I discovered to writing and pitching guest post.

I plan on returning back to regular schedule of posting regularly, marketing GDTH to increase traffic and followers, as well as increasing my income.  I recently wrote about why I wouldn’t freelance full time, but I still would like to achieve my goal of making $1,000/monthly from GDTH by December 2016.

As for other updates:

It’s been a while since I’ve done a debt repayment update. If you’d like to see where I started click here and my most recent update here.  Before, I would post monthly updates but progress, in my opinion, is so slow that there may not be much progress within a months time. I have a current goal to eliminate ALL credit card debt, an overpayment, and one of the car payments by October 3, 2016.  While I’m confident the credit card debt and overpayment will be gone, I’m as confident about the car and I’m thinking that paying of both cars will become a 2017 goal.  If you can see a better strategy below, that doesn’t include selling a vehicle, let me know!

DEC                   JAN                     FEB

Am             $660.08           $209.90             PAID

PP           $1136.65             $1073.98           $866.11

BML        $1157.99            $1134.29            $1092.57

WF         $2562.76             $2537.01           $2506.96

CF          $1925.70              $1972.61           $1948.98

Total      $7443.18              $6878.79         $6414.62

I’ve discussed my aggressive debt repayment plan here and here.  I’m doing good thus far, however the monotony of rice and beans and avocado and tomato sandwiches recently drove me insane and I ended up spending over $80.00 on fast food these pass two weeks.  Not to mention, I allowed my Mister to purchase me a dog when I really should’ve just asked for that money to apply to my credit card debt.   The dog is cuter!

I’ve decided to switch my method of eliminating debt as well.  I’m now paying according to the interest rates after realizing that I pay nearly $60.00 in interest on my WF card.  The minimum payment is $85.00 and ONLY $30 something is applied to the principal, this is ridiculous!

Finally, my motivation to blog and pay on the debt becomes less consistent.  I feel like there are directly related to each other and when one fades, so does the other.

What do you do to regain motivation? How does lack of motivation to write affect you or your blog?

 

Why I WON’T Freelance Full-time

Why I Freelance Full-time.

Every now and again, I get personal questions emailed to me from the valued readers of GDTH.  Usually, I’ll email the response back, as I did this time.  However, this time resulted in some back in forth commentary.  The valued reader, seemed agitated that I was not working more on my blog to eventually become a full time freelancer. The original question was:

“Instead of working as hard with two jobs and your blog, why not put more effort into the blog to freelance full-time?”

The valued reader went on to justify asking her question by mentioning the income I’ve been able to make in just 6 months of blogging and complimenting on my writing as well explaining how much she enjoys the blog.  Thanks again, BTW!

After briefly thinking about the question, I came to the simple answer, I don’t want to.  Below you’ll see why:

The Hustle

In my opinion (please keep this in mind these are MY opinions) freelancing is an even harder hustle.  The hustle of finding clients and meeting their needs is more hustle than I care for, right now.  That kind of hustle required to ensure I make the money needed is not what I’m willing to depend on at this time.

As of right now, I have one full time job, two part time jobs, and GDTH.  Some people would infect say that I hustle and may even go further to say I hustle HARD.  I agree that I hustle hard because my struggle is REAL BUT it will not always be this way.  As of right now, I could stop my side hustles whenever I wanted and still be able to survive.  I’d just be making minimum payments and would be in debt much much longer than desired.

The Unpredictable

As mentioned on other post, I’m in several Facebook groups full of freelancers.  Some freelancing full time, and other trying to get to the point of freelancing full time.  There have been several occasions where they have vented about losing “big time” clients and asking for referrals to supplement or maintain their income.  I don’t want to be in a similar situation.  At this point stability is more important than the flexibility that comes with working for myself.

The reader compared the above situation to becoming unemployed.  While I understand her argument and even agree,  I don’t feel that child protective services will never be needed or that people will stop having mental health issues, therefor I’m not as concerned that my job will ever phase out.  I could be wrong and if so, I’d consider full time freelancing then.

Name the pros and/or cons of freelancing full time? GO! Click To Tweet

The Instability

At my current job if I feel sick, I take a sick day.  If I have want a vacation, I vacate.  My money never changes.  My pay is the same whether I work all the days of the pay period or not.  If I work 4 hours one day or 8 hours, my pay is the same.  I like that!  What I don’t like is that if I decide that I’m sick one day, I may not get paid, and worse the double work that may be required if I miss a day.  I like being able to take “sick days” or “vacation days” and never worrying about losing money or my job.

Spontaneous Motivation

As an employee, I know what to do, I get it done, and I do it well, not so true to writing.   Inspiration or motivation to write comes and goes.  This month I thinks it’s just gone.  Sometimes, I just don’t want to write or I have nothing to write about.  I lose motivation to blog or complete a freelance article.  Sometimes, writing a freelance article feels like work and I don’t like that at all.  My spontaneous motivation to write definitely keeps me from the desire to freelance full time.

 

I’m fully aware that my doubts from above can be fully avoided and/or may not even be valid.  I’ve read blogs where bloggers have nothing bad to say about freelancing full time.  I’ve also seen the astounding monthly income that has come from freelancing which can become very motivating!  However for me, I like the comfort of knowing.  Knowing that I have work and will probably ALWAYS have work, knowing that I’m insured, knowing how much my paycheck will be and when it’s coming.  I like knowing what is always going to be expected of me and that someone other than me is contributing to my retirement.  I like that my job is super flexible, the $65.00 health insurance for my children and I and free clinic for employees so that I don’t have to schedule a doctors appointment and “lose time”.  All this works for me.

Does that mean that I won’t ever freelance, of course not!  I like freelancing.  However, if I ever got to the point that I had to choose between freelancing and my job, I’d think long and hard about the direction I would go in.

As for right now, Goal Digging to Happiness’ sole purpose is to share my journey towards financial freedom.  I hope that my journey inspires others to work themselves out of debt.  The social worker in me want to help, encourage, and motivate other.  The income potential is just an added (but appreciated) bonus.

In the future, I envision myself helping other’s develop budgets, analyzing spending habits and trends to create statistical data that could be interpreted to better understand where your money is going and why. I’d like to offer consultations and become an accountability partner to those who want to become debt free. Freelancing maybe somewhere in that mix as well.  Maybe even full time…maybe!

If you’d like to ask a personal question, shoot me an email.  Please indicate if you mind if I “shot you out” or not!

What is/was your sole purpose for your blog?  Has it changed since blogging and realizing the income potential?  Would you freelance full time?  Why or why not?

Reasons I Really, Really Want to be Debt Free!

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FIND YOUR WHY?  WHY is the most important thing to determine when beginning any journey.  It is one of the main questions asked in any interview of anyone whom has overcome any obstacle.  Dave Ramsey ask “why” in various forms.   His and Her money always ask “what was it that made you to become debt free?”  Which translates into “why.” If you’ve read this post or this post, you may have gotten a sense of how my journey began and what pushed me to the point that I wanted to become debt free.  However, with over $200k in debt at the age of 30 something, I need more than just one reason to keep on,  what may be a long journey.  In fact, I’ve come to up with about seven main reasons why I want to get out of debt.

I want to be a better mom.

The frustration and burden of debt can leak over into my at home life with my family.  Being stressed and frustrated with the constant credit card bills and the amount of interest charged results in short patience and sometimes disabling head aches, in turn taking me away from my children.

Aside from the stress and head aches, I want my children to have the things I didn’t (cliche) but not the latest electronics and shoes, but experiences.  You see, I don’t really remember what I got for some Christmases or birthdays but I do remember summer vacations, going to my first concert and meeting the members of the boy band.  I want my children to have better experiences, which goes great with my love to travel!

I don’t want to work to live.

The Mister adores the weekend, as do I.  However he goes out on the weekend and splurges just about everything that is left after bills.  We had a conversation about that went something like:

Him:  I work hard during the week, and I deserve to enjoy the weekend and spend my money how I want.

Me:  And with that attitude, you’re setting yourself to always have to work and then live.

Him:  SILENCE!

Yeah so I won that argument. My point however is that continuing to enjoy the weekend from a hard work week, sets us up to have to continue working.  And I don’t want to live that like.  I’ve mentioned before how I want work to be optional within four years and I think I’m on the right track .

I don’t like the “hands” in my paycheck

It’s ridiculous how much of my budget is consumed by lenders.  Of the $1500 -$2000 I may bring home bi-monthly about $2600-$3500 is to lenders.  LENDERS, not utilities or insurance (although insurance is pricey too) but Lenders like Wells Fargo and Honda Financial.  I absolutely hate it.  As I think of ho much money would be freed once I’m debt free, I get so excited which is why I’m unsure if retiring in the four years mentioned above is realistic.

My future is uncertain

My husband and I have been separated before.  The hardship I faced living on my income alone was difficult.  I hustled really, really hard and have been ever since.  Unfortunately, my absence from my children was even more difficult.  Although, I’m not hoping to be separated from him again, it’s a reality of my reality.  Meaning, since I know it has happened before, I’m not naïve that it could happen again.  If so, I’d like to be better financially prepared.

Debt is a stressful burden.

This is pretty self explanatory.  The burden of owing someone and being indebted to them and havoc that can result I decide to not pay or not pay timely is stressful enough to motivate me to eat beans and rice to make sure that any extra penny available is applied to lowering balances.

I HATE restrictions.

I absolutely hate restrictions of any kind.  I just want to do what I want to do. Right now, I’m restricted to my home iced in and I really wish I could fly to the tropical island and absorb some sun. 

Right now I want to see Beyoncé, and Adele, and some comedians but can not afford many of the tickets because of my debt journey and my determination to become debt free.  Even if I wasn’t on a journey, my budget would be restricted from purchasing tickets to ALL the events because of the minimum payments to ALL the LENDERS.

I no longer want to be a statistic.

I’ve had a child at 16, two more by 25, dropped out of college (but returned) and been a recipient of welfare.  Those are all unchangeable statics of my past.  However being a household of consumer debt, with $100k in student loan debt can and will be changed.  I refuse to be a statistic of consumer, student loan or what is also defined as “good debt” at all.

I’m certain as I continue on my journey, I’ll find more reasons that continue to motivate me to accomplishment.  As for now, these are the ones the are plastered in my brain, on journals, in calendars and hand written and folded up in my Bible.

What are your reasons?  How many do you have and how often do you remind yourself of them?

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Friday Funday and Give Away Winners!

Friday Funday

Hello Valued Readers!

It’s Friday! For many it may be payday and it’s the weekend before Valentines day! What more could you ask for?

Well, I could ask for all my debt to be eliminated, 3 Beyonce tickets (have you seen those prices?), and some NY style pizza but I’ll settle for a paycheck and all my bills paid.

Have you guys heard the song Save Dat Money?  My daughter, the baby who never saves a dime, loves this song and it resinates (except Verse 2) so much with me and probably a lot of the readers on a personal finance journey.  Attached is the video and here are the words. The concept of video is shoot and “epic video without spending any money, in turn, saving money.”  The song addresses all aspects of financial wisdom that us, PF bloggers discuss often, from saving money, hefty 401k investments, and frugal living!  I apologize for the language, I could not locate the clean version.

 

Give away winners!

Friday FundayGive Away Winners

I recently hosted a giveaway to celebrate my 6 month blogging journey.  I hope you participated, if not there will be another opportunity coming.  The Winners are:

Jamie Donovan

Abby Freeman

Micheal LaRue

Dominque LaRue

Congratulations! Thanks for participating and being a part of Goal Digging to Happiness!  Have a great weekend!

What will you be doing for the Valentines day weekend? If on a financial journey, how is it different from what you’ve been doing? What do you think about the song?