How’s the Keto lifestyle going?

Hey y’all.  I weighed in today.

In the last weight update I had just started Keto and was down 3 pounds from what I thought was my starting weight.  I thought I was starting out a 250 but I now believe my home scale was off by 5 pounds and I’m using 255 as my starting weight.  That was in July of 2018.

We are now in January of 2019 and I weigh in at 212.2.  What!  That’s down 42.8 pounds.  Amazing.  

I set up mini rewards for myself along the way and have reached one and am 2.2 pounds from reaching my second.  My first had to do with a wall that I’ve hit every time I’ve tried to lose weight.  The number 224.  I would get to that number and quit.  I don’t know why but EVERY time I dieted, be it Dr. Phil, Weight Watchers or whatever, I would get to 224 and stop.  So I set my first mini reward at 223.9.  Below 224.  I made it and (This may be TMI) but I’m going to have myself fitted for a bra.  I’ve never had one fitted for me so Hannah and I are going to get that done this month.

My second mini goal is 210.  When I hit that I’m going to get me a couple of new pair of jeans.  I hope it comes quickly because the jeans I have are starting to fall off.

One of the Biggies is when I hit Onederland.  At 199.9 I will be spending quite a bit of money on a new pair of cowboy boots.  I’ve been shopping for them for a while and I can’t believe I’m almost to the point of actually buying them.  I was hoping to get there before Rodeo but I’m not sure it will happen.  Plus we’ll be doing a lot of walking and I don’t think that will be smart with new boots.

There are so many things I could say about the Keto diet.  The most important thing is I believe it saved my life.  Plain and simple.

If you have any questions for me, put them in the comments and I’ll try to answer them.  Just remember I’m not a doctor or nutritionist, I’m just a girl trying to lose weight and get healthy.

Still Knocking Out the Baby Steps

Here is my Dave Ramsey update for 2018.  I think it was a good year and I believe 2019 will be even better.

I started in January 2018 with 8 debts totaling $37,875.22 and no Baby Emergency fund.  I remember being excited that I actually got to pay my January mortgage in the month of January.  This didn’t happen all the time, in fact hardly at all.  I was consistently late with my mortgage payments up until then.  Paying bills was a chore I didn’t want and tended to avoid as long as I could.  I never answered my phone.  It was not a pretty picture.

Funny thing is, I’ve started budgeting and stopped budgeting several times.  It seems like about a hundred but probably wasn’t that many.  Anyway, I could never make them work and I was beginning to doubt my intelligence.  I mean surely it’s as easy as addition and subtraction, right?  It’s not.  Don’t believe the lie.

I happened upon a few YouTube channels that helped me set up a budget. (HIs and Her money and Formally Gazelle in Tents  )They don’t do finance videos anymore but they’re still available.  I was excited to get started – again – on trying to get our finances together.  I turned 50 in 2018 and figured that I’d need some money to retire on so I needed to get started.

This is where I met Chris Hogan and decided to Retire Inspired and become an Everyday Millionaire.

Baby Step one is done!  I have my Baby Emergency Fund complete and in an account earning interest.  We thought we’d have to use it to fix our air conditioner this summer when we got home one evening and the house was HOT, but it was an easy fix.  But the peace I had about being able to actually get it fixed if needed was amazing.

Baby step two is coming along.  We now have 6 debts totaling $22,068.94.  In the year 2018 we paid $15,806.28!  Go back and read that again.  Just think if I didn’t have debt and could put that much towards my retirement or my principle on my mortgage.  This is why I hate debt.

We also cash flowed (A Dave Ramsey term) a much needed Christmas vacation to Arkansas.  Yes I got an awesome deal on a beautiful condo but we were able to pay cash for that, the rental car, the food and all the fun.  We did this and didn’t use one credit card.  We won’t be paying for this vacation for a while, it is paid and we had an amazing time.

2019

I’m going to say that we won’t be quite through with Baby Step 2 in the year 2019 but I’m not totally ruling it out.  My husband is more on board than ever in knocking the debt out since he saw the totals of how much we paid in 2018.  He doesn’t participate in the budgeting at all but does what I tell him to do.  No, I know, he needs to help but I see him getting more involved now.

We are beginning Baby Step 3.  You may remember that we have always had a small amount taken out of my husband’s check and put into another account.  This happens automatically and we don’t see the money.  This is how Baby Step 1 was completed and until Baby Step 2 is done it will be how we fund Baby Step 3.  As soon as the debt is gone our entire debt snowball amount will probably go to Baby Step 3 which I believe is set for $24,000 but I’m not sure. I’ll have to look that up.

Three Sinking Funds I have are:

  • Summer Sinking Fund – I don’t work during the summer and need some money to pay bills when I’m not bringing home a paycheck.
  • Car – If Murphy comes to visit we’ll need some money to fix or replace our car.
  • Road Trip* – We are planning a summer vacation this year and will cash flow the whole thing.

*Dave Ramsey says that when you are in debt you shouldn’t take vacations.

That’s my update.  Not bad at all.

Do you budget?  How did 2018 go for you?

I can do it

I have never been the most self confident person.  In fact I’m the most insecure person I know so believing that I can succeed at anything has been hard.  But now I find myself succeeding more and more at things I do.  Here’s what I’m seeing:

Budgeting:  I’ve tried to budget for many many years.  We haven’t always been the best with money and our current situation shows it.  I’ve started and quit budgeting more times than I can count.  When I started realizing that I was about to turn 50 and I was broke, I decided that enough was enough and I needed to get things in gear or I would end up broke, retired and a burden on my children.  I didn’t want that plus I wanted to travel the country when I retire and that will take money so I needed to get busy.  I started a budget, again.  I also found encouragement in watching fellow Dave Ramsey followers on YouTube.  I made some mistakes but stuck with it and, VOILA, I’m doing it!  We are getting out of debt and building up a nice little nest egg for retirement.  I’m planning to retire a millionaire and, since I plan to live a long life, I’ll need it.  Who knows there may even be a small inheritance for my kids.  Wouldn’t that be something?

Weight Loss:  This is a biggie.  I’ve been overweight my entire adult life.  Well, even in my high school years I thought I was overweight.  I look at those pictures now and want to go back and punch myself in the face.  Anyway.  I’ve been on so many diets it’s unreal.  I’ve failed at them all and about 4 weeks ago I weighed my all time high of 250.  (254 by the doctor’s scale)  I was reading the notes on the summary the doctor gave me and read the words MORBIDLY OBESE  several times.  Uh, I’m not morbidly obese.  Yes I am.  Did I mention I want to live a long long life and travel the US when I retire?  How can I do that with high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, and all kinds of other health problems being overweight causes?  Answer – I probably can’t.  I adopted the Keto lifestyle and for the first time I really really believe I can do it.  I can reach my goal weight.  I can get off of my high blood pressure medication and I can kick Type 2 to the curb.  It is happening!

I actually have hope for my future and I’m loving it.  I have down days but I just keep looking back at where I was and where I am and I keep going!

I can do this!

Weight Loss Update

If you’ve read my blog at all you know that weight is an issue for me.  In the last blog I wrote about weight I weighed in on my home scale at 250.  My blood pressure was high and I was showing blood sugar numbers that put me in the borderline diabetic category.

Two weeks ago I decided that I was going to jump on the Keto bandwagon.  I didn’t go in full force but even with my slow cautious start I have had some success.  Let me just tell you, it’s not an easy lifestyle to adopt.  The main thing I have to wrap my head around is the fact that 65% to 80% of my calories come from healthy fats.  0_O  Haven’t I been taught all of my life by the powers that be that fat is bad for you?  I really have a hard time getting my allotted fat in because I keep seeing all the “data” saying my cholesterol is going to shoot through the roof and my arteries are hardening by the second.  Slowly but surely I’m getting the hang of it though.  I have mainly started watching Matt and Megha on YouTube.  Their channel is KetoConnect.  There are other channels but this one has been the most helpful in getting me started.

So, how am I doing so far?  My weight is 247 so down 3 (according to my home scale).  My blood pressure is 129/89 (That’s with medication that I hope to get off of soon).  My fasting blood sugar is 112 down from 135.

I’m happy with the results.  I am cautiously optimistic that I can stick with this and finally, after 30 years of struggle, get my health on track.

These are the tests I have to have now that I’m 50.

1.  Physical – done

2.  Mammogram – done

3.  Bloodwork – done

4.  Colonoscopy – (ok, I’m afraid of this one, but am getting it scheduled today)

5.  Sleep study

I’m going to have more bloodwork done in 3 months to monitor my blood sugar.

It’s time.  I’ve gotten my finances heading in the right direction to be a millionaire by retirement now I’m getting healthy so I can enjoy it.

Uhhh . . . You have how many savings accounts?

As of the time of this writing I have 7 savings accounts.  Why?  Because I’m the most undisciplined person I know.  Here’s what they’re for:

#1 is our Baby Emergency Fund.  My husband has a portion of his paycheck deposited directly into this account and we never “see” it.  I’m so excited that it will be fully funded in August of this year and we can check that off of our financial goals list.

#2 is called Summer Sinking Fund.  Since I only work 9 months out of the year I put a little bit in this fund every month to pay the bills during the months I’m not working.  I have a budgeted amount each month and then I put budget overages in there as well.  For example if I budget $100 for CenterPoint and the bill is only $50 the other $50 goes into the summer sinking fund.  My goal is usually to save about $4000 during the 9 months and whatever we don’t use goes straight to debt as soon as school starts and I start getting paychecks again.

#3 is called Collections.  We have a couple of accounts in collections that are not being paid.  I include the amount in my debt snowball but the money goes into an account and when we’re ready we will call and pay them off.  

#4 is called Car Insurance.  I’ve been paying our car insurance in installments forever but I get charged a payment fee every month.  If I pay it in full every 6 months there is no fee.  It’s not much but when you are on a journey to be an everyday millionaire every dollar needs to be going toward that goal instead of fees that are useless. So I put the equivalent of an insurance payment here every month and when the time comes pay the whole thing and start over.

#5 is called Reliant.  I am on a balanced billing program with our electric company.  I pay generally the same amount each month and at the end of the year if I’ve paid too much I get a credit and if I haven’t paid enough I write a check, well have my bank pay them.  I budget $350 a month for electricity.  Have I mentioned we live in Texas and it gets HOT in the summer.  The bill is not ever $350 because of balanced billing so I take what’s left and put it in this account for the end of the year.  If I get a credit, that money will go towards the debt snowball.  Everything leads back to the debt snowball.

#6 is called phone.  Those who know me know I need a new phone.  *sigh

#7 is for my Savings challenge.  I’m sure you’ve seen the savings challenge go around.  You put a dollar  in the account for every week of the year.  The first week you put in $1 then second week you put in $2 and so on.  I didn’t start mine until June so I’m doing the half year savings challenge.  This money is allocated to go to a trip when my son comes home.

Now the question will come up, “Why not just leave it all in one account and keep track of what’s in there?”  Again, I am the most undisciplined person I know and I’ll spend it if I see it.  That’s how I got into this situation in the first place.

I first heard about the idea of multiple savings accounts on YouTube:  HIs and Her money  This is the very first financial YouTube channel I watched and learned so much.  Check them out.

That’s why I have 7 Savings accounts.  So I can tell every dollar where to go and I don’t have to wonder at the end of the year or the beginning of summer how my bills are going to get paid.

The Phone is ringing, don’t answer it

Another honest blog about my finances.

There was a point in the recent past – VERY recent – that I refused to answer the phone.  If your number was not programed into my phone I would not answer.  I was AFRAID to answer it because I knew it was someone looking for money that I owed them.

How I got into this situation is another story that I’ll tell later.

I cannot explain the feeling of dread and fear every time the phone rang.  The worst was the time a guy with a badge showed up at my door to serve me papers because I was being sued by a credit card company.  O_O  For the last few years of my life I’ve had constant anxiety over my finances.  That large weight in the pit of my stomach that never went away was a financial one.

We live in Houston, TX.  Usually if you live in Houston you are in Medicine, Space, or Energy.  My husband is in energy.  The company he works for makes and sells cables for oil exploration.  Since the recent recession not a lot of people are exploring for oil so his company is taking a hit.  This scared the *you know what* out of me adding to the big ball of anxiety I carried around in my gut.

So, as I neared the awesome age of 50, I also started to worry about what would happen to us when we retired.  Honestly I had no clue how we would live.  My house isn’t scheduled to be paid off until I reach 77. (That’s living outside of the Dave Ramsey plan)  I’m a thinker and all I could think about was eating cat food and living in a box under I-45.  (not being funny, I thought about it a lot)

ENOUGH WAS ENOUGH so I started the baby steps.  Now when my phone rings I answer it and 10 times out of 10 it is not a creditor asking me where their money is.  Usually it is someone wanting to sell me an extended warranty on my car or cheaper insurance.  *sigh*

I’m not out of debt yet.  My house is not paid off yet.  Our retirement is not huge yet.  But there is NOT a large ball of anxiety in the pit of my stomach and that feels awesome!.

What about the other stuff?

This is a blog I don’t want to write.

I don’t remember what weight I started the year out at but I can tell you that I weigh more now.  My scale says 250 but my doctor’s scale says 253.8.  About the same.

Anyway, I went to my annual physical for my job and was not cleared to drive because of my blood pressure.  It was 173/102.  O_O  A little high.  I went to the doctor immediately (well, the next week) and she put me on blood pressure medicine.  I need to get it lowered before the end of July or I won’t be able to drive and that will crush a lot of my plans for getting out of debt and retiring a millionaire.

I am having a full physical next week to just make sure everything else is ok.  I’m 50 years old I guess it’s time to get my health in order.

As far as weight loss, I’m banging my head against a concrete wall on that one.  I just don’t know what to do.  I mean really, what’s it going to take for me to actually do it?

It’s frustrating but I have to figure it out.  I want to live a long active life and it won’t happen if I stay on this path.

I just want to scream.

Oh well, on that happy note.  I’ll say goodbye until the next update.  I’m hoping to get two a month – a money one and then a weight one.  Here’s hoping.

Check Up

Oh My Goodness!  Ummmmmm, Has it really been January since I’ve written a blog?  That’s a little crazy.  I was planning to keep myself accountable for reaching my goals through this blog.  

I’m going to do better.

Here  is where I am with my goals:

Money:  We started out with nothing in our emergency fund and a little over $37,000 in debt.  To be exact it was $37,875.22.  Here is that blog.  So, I think we’ve been doing fantastic.  Here are the numbers now:

          Baby Step One:  We are almost there.  We will probably hit that goal in August.  We are at $740.73 right now and it’s very exciting to know that if Murphy decides to move in for a while we’ll be ok.  We are planning a trip to Arkansas in December so all savings after August will go to that and we will start Baby Step three in January.  Baby Step three is a fully funded Emergency Fund.  Fully funded means 3-6 months of expenses just in case Murphy decides to become a long term house guest.  Our goal is $23,000.

*NOTE:  Murphy is the guy with the law that says “If anything can go wrong it will”

          Baby Step Two:  This is really exciting to me.  We started January with $37,875.22 as you read above.  We are now at **drum roll please**  $25,832.76!  The prospective date to be completely debt free except for the house is March 2021 but I’m sure we’ll get there sooner than that.  

After Baby Step two is complete we are going to veer off from the Dave Ramsey plan just a tiny bit because I’m going to take the debt snowball amount and put half into funding the Emergency Fund and half into paying off our Mortgage so when we retire we can be completely debt free including our house.

As for retirement accounts.  Mr. Ramsey suggests stopping contributions to retirement accounts until the debt is gone.  I’m just not comfortable with that since we are a lot closer to retirement than I’d like to admit.  After the mortgage is paid off we will up our contributions.

I just ordered the book “Retire Inspired” by Chris Hogan.  I’ll let you know what I think about it after I read it.  This is it on Amazon.

I’m still doing my monthly budget in my Open Office spreadsheet that I got from YouTubers Chris and Jackie, Gazelleintents.  They don’t post anymore but they have a 3 part tutorial on how to set up the budget.  You can go to Everydollar and get a free version of Dave Ramsey’s budgeting software.  I’m considering doing that but what I’m using is working so I’m not sure.

So that’s it for my update.  These are real numbers, I have nothing to hide. I’ll update other goals in another blog.  So, I’ll see you in the next update.

Money Mission

Well, If I were to do a mini check up on where I am in my New Year goals I would have to say no bad.

I’m not exactly on track with everything but I’m chuggin’ along and am actually doing better this year than in years past.

MONEY

I’m excited to say that, so far, all bills have been paid on time.  I even paid my January mortgage in January!  How crazy is that?  

Right now I’m using my Open Office spreadsheet.  I copied the Gazelleintense excel spreadsheet and it’s working great.  I give every dollar a name and keep track of where my money is going almost daily.  Now I know that is a little extreme but I know if I don’t stay on top of it things will go downhill fast.

We have begun Dave Ramsey’s baby steps again.  We are doing step one and two at the same time.  The reason is that my husband has a little taken out of his paycheck every month that goes in to a separate savings account.  This is going to be our Emergency fund.  We never see the money so we don’t miss it.  So while that’s working in the background we can actively work on the second step – The Debt Snowball!

At the beginning of January we started with $37,875.22 in Debt.  This does not include the house since that is a whole baby step in itself.

The $37K includes some credit cards, medical bills, a gas card, a student loan (not mine, long story), and the car.  

The credit cards have been turned over to collections (except one) so they no longer collect interest, the medical bills do not have interest and the car is less than 2% interest so, except for the one credit card and the student loan, I do not have to worry about the interest rates.  The one credit card, Discover, is at a very high interest rate so the sooner I get it paid the better.

The next thing I need to do is set up my payment schedule.  I went to FinancialMentor.com and  input all my debt info and got a website payoff schedule.  If I only pay what I entered I will have my entire debt paid off in 41 months.  That is a long time and I do plan to pay it off sooner but that is what it will take at minimum payments.

This may seem daunting to a lot of people but it is exciting to me!  I’m looking forward to the day I can scream very loudly – I’M DEBT FREE!!!!  It will happen.

Does anyone else think coffee at 3pm is a bad idea?

I’m a school bus driver.  I get up at 4:30 every morning and have been doing that for 11 years.  Imagine my dismay when, at 5:00 this morning, my eyes pop open and I’m ready to get up and do stuff.  Oh no, brain, we’re on break we can sleep late.  My brain isn’t listening.

Don’t get me wrong I’m excited about the things I’m getting done but as 3:00 rolls around I start getting really sleepy.  I missed a whole YouTube video when I fell asleep at the desk.  I made coffee.  I considered that I might regret that decision at 10:00 or so when I was trying to go to sleep for real but I pushed the thought away and drank a great big mug of Dunkin Donuts chocolate flavored coffee.  Good Stuff.

It doesn’t help that the things I’m doing at the moment are not very stimulating.  I’m updating my planners and consolidating the info into my hourly planner.  That sounds confusing, I know.  Let me explain.

I have one planner for my budget.  It’s a Happy Planner that is made specifically for budgeting.  Around the middle of one month I start filling in bills and due dates for the next month.  Then when I’m doing my budget I write what bills get paid when in this planner.  I also decorate it with stickers because it’s fun.

I have another planner for my business.  I schedule my home parties, my Facebook parties, my meetings, my social media posts.  Everything Tupperware related goes in this planner.  It’s a direct selling planner that I purchased from a group of direct sellers that I’m apart of.

I have a personal planner.  I got this one from Hobby Lobby on sale and I’m not sure what kind it is.  I like it because it’s a pretty peachish color but it is kinda small.  I put all my daughter’s doctor’s appointments in there plus everything I’m doing for church and things my husband wants me to do.

So every night I transfer things from all three planners into an hourly planner so I can have all the info in one place.  Well, that’s the plan anyway.  It doesn’t always get done and I’m playing catch up now.

That’s why I’m drinking coffee at 3pm.

 

 

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