Big news!!!

🗣 BIG News!
In case you aren't following me on Instagram, I recently announced that I have started a YouTube channel!  Here's a sneak peek of my first video that goes live on March 4th at 11am Eastern. My channel is linked at the top and bottom of my site pages. 
I hope to see you there!

Breaking Down The Reserves: Cash Flow Every Single Bill

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Hi guys! If you’ve been following me for a little while, you know that I manage my money in categories. It’s much easier for me to plan my budget in that way. In my opinion, it gives structure and flexibility at the same time. When I initially set up my budget, I spent a lot of time setting up separate categories for spending and saving, figuring out which bill should go where, and setting caps for the overall spending allowed for each category. Today, I don’t spend a lot of time tracking each individual bill. I only need to make sure that they all still fit under that category’s spending cap, and it’s worked really well for me. Some categories are more obvious than others like ‘Tithe’ and ‘Savings’, but under my ‘Recurring Bills’ category, I have a sub-category called ‘Reserves’. Stay with me. I promise it’s not complicated. This week, I’m going to dive into what I include in my ‘Reserves’.

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Creating a Budget That Works and Checking It Often

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Hi guys! If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you know that one of the things that I stress is the importance of balancing and rebalancing your budget often. Your budget is not like a Ronco Rotisserie (do y’all remember those?). It is not a “set it and forget it” sort of thing, especially if there’s the potential for your income to fluctuate. One of the easiest (and fastest) ways I’ve learned to rebalance is to look at percentages rather than actual dollar amounts to determine whether I’m still on track to meet my financial goals. There are certain rules of thumb that I’ve found work the best for me to avoid high recurring living expenses while simultaneously aggressively invest toward retirement, remain on track to pay off my mortgage early, still live quite comfortably (I also still shop at all my favorite stores, have Starbucks, and take time off often) and do it all on one income. Here are the guidelines that I follow that allow me to do this.

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Early Mortgage Payoff: How it Actually Works

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Hi guys! If you don’t have the means to pay cash for a home, then you’re likely either renting or taking out a mortgage loan to fund a purchase. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having a mortgage. It’s how most of us were able to get into homeownership. The costs can be high though. There’s the actual down payment that needs to be saved upfront on top of the closing costs required to get the loan. Then, there’s the monthly payment itself (principal and interest) and your carrying costs (insurance, property taxes, maintenance, etc.). Depending on the type of loan that you get, these payments can be with you for a long time – a VERY long time. A common mortgage loan period is a 30-year repayment. Now, I don’t have the expertise to walk you through the various types of loans in detail, but I do know a thing or two about cutting away at that repayment period. There are ways to pay your mortgage off early, and they’re not as complicated as you may think.

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Vehicle Maintenance Expenses: What You Should Budget For

Mechanic performing an oil change
Image by Ryan Doka from Pixabay

Hi guys! One of the things that I hear people talk about all the time are vehicle expenses. Your emergency fund can certainly take care of those unexpected expenses like repairs that result from an accident or blown tire, but it’s a good idea to plan for regular maintenance costs too. Insurance, oil changes, tire rotations, tire replacements, etc. are all things that you’re going to have to pay for over time just by nature of having a vehicle. So, you might as well set yourself up for success and save for regular maintenance in advance. Here’s how I do it.

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Prepaid College Savings Plan vs 529 College Savings Plan: Which is Better?

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Long before I started college, I knew I wanted to go and finish debt free. I grew up hearing about how expensive college was and how it could take years and years to pay off the loans depending on where you went to school and how far you wanted to go. The higher the degree, the higher the loan, the longer it takes to pay off. (Pray you get a good paying job after graduation.) Aside from scholarships and pell grants, loans were the only thing I’d heard of as a way to pay for college. So, if I had to get a loan, I was determined to make it as small as possible and pay it off as quickly as possible. After all, what other option is there? Right? If only I knew about prepaid college savings plans and 529 savings plans back then….

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