But I WANT it!

Last week I shared how Merfman and I are Living Like No One Else. Part of that idea is separating the NEEDS from the WANTS.

Dang, that’s hard. My Dad calls it your “want-o-meter” when you just WANT something so bad!

I’ve never been a big shopper. I was never the girl that when someone asked what my hobbies were I listed Shopping at the top of the list. No thank you, I would much rather be on a bike ride or reading a book then combing through the department store clothing racks.  That’s my idea of torture.

But, I still have wants like anyone does. My “want-o-meter” really gets charged up when I enter TARGET. That store. I love it. But man, that places can take $50 bucks from you like nothin’!!

For example, this little guy:

I was at Target grabbing some items for my Bossman and I spotted this AMAZING lamp on an endcap. I didn’t NEED it, but man-oh-man I WANTED it. There wasn’t a price tag on the little fella so I carried it over to a scanner (while talking TO said lamp) and discovered that she priced at $68!!!!! That WANT very quickly dissolved. I said my goodbyes to her and went on my way.

Dave Ramsey often talks about how much money is spent on making you spend your money. Make sense?! Marketing and Advertising is a massive industry and they are sneaky little buggers. Don’t ever think that the store isn’t laid out that way just by chance, it’s all planned out. Every endcap, each clothing section, the layout it’s a trap! I’ve fallen victim to that trap many times. You know how it goes…you just need to make a quick stop at Target to grab toilet paper and you end up leaving with a new mascara, pair of shoes and a blender. And $50 seems to be missing from your wallet.

How to avoid the trap? Well, I’ve found what works for me:

– Make a LIST. I love lists, they make me happy, and calm. If it’s not on the list, it’s not in the cart!

– Bring your CASH. Buying with cash is obvious and finite. If you only have $XX to spend, that will keep you away from the doggie lamps.

-You can LOOK but don’t TOUCH. I heard once that when you touch a new item your percentage of purchasing goes way up.

– BROWSE. I really like Target, they have some really fun and cute things. I was there last week and I walked the store looking at all the fun Fall things. I saw some really cute Plaid shirts that were calling to me, but it wasn’t on the agenda. I think I’m going to hit up the thrift store and see if I can find a knockoff version for fraction of the price :)

Dial back the “want-o-meter” and focus on the NEEDS.


Living Like No One Else

Being an adult is hard. Amen?

Remember when you were a kid and you couldn’t wait to get to the next grade, birthday, step in life? Jr High seemed so much cooler than 5th grade, High School is where the cool kids were….then you couldn’t wait to get into College. Then, Senioritis kicks in and all you want is to be set free into the working world making da moneyz.

Then, BAM you hit the real world. Health Insurance, Bills, Rent, Bank Accounts, Car Payments, Student Loan Payments, BUILDING A BUDGET <—yep, the “B” word.

I hit the “real” world before I was out of college, working and paying my way through my last few years but it’s still hard even today to suck it up and be an adult.

I can vividly remember several teachers throughout my education that advocated “living within your means” and “saving for a rainy day.” I remember a very specific lesson in high school where we were instructed to “pay ourselves first” and start to save when we turn 18 so we can have a million dollars in the bank before we retire. I think there should be a mandatory class in high school…part of Civis and Econ where you have to learn about Financial Responsibility. When you graduate, everyone and their brother is going to send you a “pre-approve credit card” or offer you a “zero money down car loan” or convince you it’s “normal” to carry debt, that it’s just part of life.

As my homie Dave Ramsey would say, “Normal is broke.” I don’t want to be NORMAL!

So, did I take the advice of all my teachers and professors? Well, yes…sort of. I didn’t bury myself in a ton of debt before I graduated, but I came out with a small credit card and my student loans. I made it through 3 years of college debt-free thanks to my wonderful parents. I spent the last 2 years of school attending a private University that was worth every penny. I have my job now as a result of my degree from that school, and the friendships I made there are golden. 3 of my bridesmaids I met while in school there!

Fast forward a few years to present day, married life. When Merfman and I started dating we talked a lot about finances early on. Probably earlier than most couples would talk about money, but we were open and honest about our financial pasts. When we were going through Premarital Counseling we learned that money issues is the number one cause of divorce. Were we perfect and debt free? Negative. We are the typical American Couple and we carry debt. Again, it’s NORMAL, right?

Several people in my life have talked about Dave Ramsey and his financial planning. I liked the ideas he presented and decided to enroll in Financial Peace University. I’ve been taking the classes online for a few weeks and I’m nearing the end of the program. I cannot say enough good things about FPU and Dave. (They didn’t pay me to say that BTW).

No matter what your financial situation you can improve it. 4 figures, 5 figures, even 6 figures in debt…you can overcome it. If you’re tired of running on the hamster wheel every month struggling to pay all the bills, credit cards, loans say ENOUGH and take control. Don’t let your money control you, YOU control your money.

So, Merfman and I are currently LIVING LIKE NO ONE ELSE, SO LATER WE CAN LIVE LIKE NO ONE ELSE! This is Dave’s mantra  and I have it hanging next to my desk in the office. Our debt didn’t form overnight, so it’s not going to disappear overnight. We’ve made a decision to not be NORMAL anymore. If we put in the hard work now, and make wise financial choices in a few years we’ll have the opportunities to do things we never dreamed. My driving focus behind kicking the debt is that we work too hard for our money to have it controlling us. If you work in the Entertainment industry you know how long and hard the hours are, it’s stupid. So what’s the point of killing yourself week after week if you don’t have anything to show for it? Sure, you can get by with making the PAYMENTS on STUFF – but is that really the point?

I want to send our future kids to college someday DEBT FREE. I want to teach them how to save to buy their first car. I want Merfman and I to retire and love living life someday.

So what does living like no one else look like? It can be beans and rice and air drying your laundry, sure. We aren’t taking it that extreme, although we do eat a LOT of beans and rice :) What? It’s cheap, vegetarian friendly and yummy! We’re cutting back on eating out and traveling. We’re working on living on a budget, and spending with CASH and not cards. Debit card’s aren’t bad – you just don’t register the same “pain” of spending as you do with cash. It’s not rocket science, it’s how our Grandparent’s lived.

It’s hard. Not gonna lie. But if you do it now, you won’t have to do it forever. It’s encouraging to find other people who are beating their debt, and I love hearing financial testimonies.

I’ll try to share our journey as it happens, and let you know how we’re LIVING LIKE NO ONE ELSE!