Our Financial Peace Journey: A Reset

I’ve been avoiding writing a post about our need for a financial peace reset for a while because I have a confession to make. On High-Heeled Love, I used to write an update on our financial peace journey every single month, but I stopped last summer…because we fell off the wagon.

Not like we went out and financed a new car or opened new credit cards off the wagon. But we got a little too relaxed with our budget.

It started when I got behind with tracking our expenses in Every Dollar and not regularly pulling cash out for specific budget categories, so we were swiping the debit card when we were out getting groceries, having a bite to eat with friends, etc.

And then, we put some travel and education expenses on a credit card with the intention of paying it off the next month. This is EXACTLY why Dave Ramsey says you have to cut your cards up and close the accounts.

Don’t do what we did. Cut your cards up. Close your accounts.

I’m bummed to admit that getting distracted has basically slid us back to where we started with our Baby Step 2. And the sad thing is that this was mostly my doing; I’m the one who kept choosing to use a credit card when I could have chosen delayed gratification.

And then I turned all our tax info into the accountant and realized that in 2017, we had our best income year yet as a married couple. And I got angry.

It’s absolutely ridiculous that we’re carrying the amount of debt that we have while making the type of money that we do.

I’m over sending a full paycheck each month to credit card companies. I’m done with it. It’s time to get down to business.

So, it’s time to shine a light on this problem and get back on the program. Here’s our current state of affairs:

Consumer Debt

We currently have about $30,000 in our debt snowball. This is spread across three credit cards and one personal loan. I want this gone by the end of this year!!!

As soon as this post publishes, I’m making a big in-your-face visual so I can’t hide from this number. Then, I’m making a list of every side hustle opportunity we have so can get going on this.

Business Debt

There are two debts in my business’s name: one credit card and an SBA loan that we used to purchase the agency. This is scheduled to pay off next year. I want to be done with the credit card by the end of this year as well.

Upcoming Expenses

We have basically two challenges coming up in the next quarter: we’re going to owe some amount in incomes taxes (having a growing business does have drawbacks) and the Mister’s car needs to be replaced.

I’ve been planning for the taxes and saving like crazy inside the business. I’m expecting a call any day now from our accountant with the number we owe; we still have a couple more weeks to hustle any difference between what’s in the bank and what we’ll owe.

The Subaru has reached the point where it’s got more projected maintenance than we can sustain in our budget; even our mechanic has advised that we replace it. We do have a small sinking fund for each replacement and repair. We’ll combine that with whatever we can sell the car for. Fortunately, our mechanic is also willing to go to help us locate a newer vehicle at auction that we can pay cash for.

Okay, y’all. I’m putting it out there. We’re back on the Dave Ramsey wagon.

Hold my feet to the fire. And expect to hear more about this journey because we’re focusing hard.

Do you want to join us in taking control of your finances? Let me know in the comments. Then go get a copy of the Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey.

March goals

Happy Friday, my friends!

I don’t know what it was about last month, but mentally I somehow felt like I was at the end of February all month long, which had me sweating my February goals and feeling like I wasn’t making progress. I sure hope that feeling has passed, but I want to rock my March goals.

February goals

  • Identify and contact at least five new life/disability prospects per week. – Partial success: This will be an ongoing commitment, and I need to be better at tracking my contacts
  • Generate $1500 life/disability insurance income – Success
  • Attend two massage study group sessions. – Success
  • Give a minimum of four treatments outside of massage class. – Success, but I need to make a point to receive treatments as well.
  • List at least one new product in my Etsy shop. [Check out my shop: Chasing Blue Jays.] – Fail. I did finish a couple of overdue gifts, but I haven’t completed any new products.
  • Complete Love Yo’Self yoga challenge from Yoga with Adriene – Fail.
  • Gather and turn in all personal income tax info to the accountant. – Success. Now we wait to see what we’ll owe Uncle Sam.

Clearly, I need to be kinder to myself because I accomplished more than I thought I had as the month went along. But I am disappointed with the yoga goal. I really want to make that a part of my daily routine; I think I need to find a local accountability partner (or get the Mister to participate with me like he did the Stretch Project a few years ago.)

Moving on.

Let’s talk about March goals. Since I have such a big work goal this year, I’m relaxing a little on the personal side of things.

March goals

  • Spend at least 1 hour per week reviewing client files to identify cross-sale opportunities.
  • Contact at least 3 cross-sale prospects per week.
  • Generate at least $1500 in life/disability income
  • Complete a minimum of 4 massage treatments outside of class
  • Publish 4 blog posts
  • List 2 new products in Etsy shop

I feel like I have a lot to get done this month. What are you working on?

January Whole30 Results

I’m having a hard time believing that our January Whole30 is already over. It feels like I was just writing my thoughts and observations after Week 1, and obviously, the month went by so quickly that I didn’t find time write any more on the blog about the journey. And now, here we are in February, it’s time to share how my January Whole30 Results.

January Whole30 Results

While I certainly didn’t start Whole30 just to lose weight, I said all along that I wouldn’t complain if that happened along the way. So, let’s get some numbers out of the way:

Results By the Numbers

  • Weight: 175 pounds
  • Waistline: 37.5 inches
  • Pant Size: 8, and they fit snugly
  • Weight: 161 pound
  • Waistline: 34 inches
  • Pant Size: 6, and I’m almost to the point sizing down

To say that I’m not pleased with the visual results of my January Whole30 would be a lie. I have a body confidence that I haven’t felt since my early 20s. It just feels good to like what I see in the mirror and to have other friends and family compliment my appearance. However, I have more wins from my first Whole30 to share.

[By the way, the Mister also lost 12 pounds by completing the January Whole30 with me.]

Results By How I’m Feeling

Feeling good in my skin is a huge win. Other non-scale victories include that my skin is clearer than it’s been in years. I feel a lot more energetic and just positive in general.

I’ve been trying to put my finger on the feeling, and the best expression is that I feel like I’m running on high-octane fuel. My life-energy just feels cleaner. My sensei said that he can simply tell from the way I’m moving on the mat what a difference these dietary changes have made.

I did notice that my sleep schedule seemed to be disrupted by the change in eating habits, and I don’t think that’s quite normalized, but since I feel more energetic throughout the day, I am finding that I can tolerate a little less sleep.

The Mister and I are still really enjoying eating at home together. I was a confident cook before we started this challenge, but I’d say that confidence has deepened.  We are still using Prep Dish as the core of our meal planning (I wouldn’t waste a year-long subscription), but I don’t have any hesitation about tweaking those meals to suit our taste or putting together a healthy and delicious meal from scratch.

Food Re-Introduction

One part of Whole30 that I’d like to be more deliberate about for the next time is our re-introduction period. I’d like to take it more slowly than we did with this first Whole30. Thus far, I have found that I can tolerate the following in moderation:

  • Wine and liquors
  • Limited dairy (I’ve really only tested cheese and half-n-half in coffee)
  • Limited sugar (mostly just want comes in having a cocktail)
  • Peanuts and green beans
  • White rice and white potatoes in moderation

What’s not working for me? Too much gluten or soy. I’m good with a hamburger bun, but I found that if I had gluten in multiple meals in a row, my skin broke out and my energy levels dipped. Soy seems to make me congested.

I expected to go back to cream in my coffee, but I’ve found that I prefer my coconut/almond milk. And while I didn’t have a huge sweet tooth before I did the Whole30, I am happy with how little I seem to want sugar now. Fruit salad is a perfectly sufficient dessert if we need to have one.

January Whole30 Results and Wrap-Up

What’s after Whole30?

I definitely want to try the Whole30 again at some point in the future, but I’d like to finish reading the original Whole30 book and Food Freedom Forever before embarking on the journey again. If you read my Week 1 post, you know that I used the Whole30 Day by Day handbook as our primary resource for January. There were a few references in the book that would have made more sense if I’d read Melissa Hartwig’s initial book before starting our journey.

For now, I’m following a Paleo diet about 85 percent of the time. The Mister has re-introduced more sugar and carbs than I have, but his metabolism is way more active than mine. We are definitely enjoying go out to our favorite restaurants now and then, but we’ll likely continue to eat the majority of our meals at home. Let’s face it; it’s expensive to eat out and really hard to be mindful of the ingredients and quantity when eating in a restaurant.

For my friends who completed the Whole30 last month, won’t you share your January Whole30 results in the comments? What were you surprised about during your food re-introduction? Would you join in another Whole30 challenge?