There’s An App For That!

Alright people, now that the hub-bub of the holidays are over (and it’s a Monday, and we all know diets can’t start on any other day of the week) we can officially start working on our New Year’s Resolutions!

 

It seems like the toughest part of keeping a resolution past February is lack of accountability. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard (or said):  “Well, I would go to the gym/save money/eat healthier, but I don’t have anyone to go with me/know where to start/have motivation.”

 

Thankfully, there’s an app for that! And by “that” I mean all of your excuses-ha!

 

Sparkpeople

Used For: Weight Loss, Healthy Living

Price in App Store: Free

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This is one of my FAVORITE apps! I’ve been using this site for over 5 years now. It’s similar to MyFitnessPal (which I’ve also used) but SO much more user-friendly. You can track your calories eaten, fitness minutes, calories burned, and water drank! And, you can sync it with your FitBit! (A little shameless plug: I used this app when I first started trying to lose weight and it helped me lose 35lbs!)

 

Good Budget

Used For: Money Management, Budgeting

Price in App Store: Free

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Huff the Hubs and I are all about Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps and implementing the Envelope System. The gist is you pay in cash for everything you purchase because it has more of an emotional connection to you. You also separate your money into envelopes labeled “Groceries”, “Gas”, “Food”, etc.  But, it’s not for everyone. Some people hate carrying around envelopes and others don’t like toting a bunch of cash in their purses because they like the convenience of debit/credit cards. Thanks to the Good Budget app, you can still utilize the Envelope System without carrying caboodles of cash! Just note the amount budgeted for each category and then track where you spend! Super easy!

 

Coach.Me

Used For: Wellness, Healthy Living, Relationships

Price in App Store: Free

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This app is an all-over-the-board-motivator! Whether your resolution is to stop complaining, start working out, or learn to play the piano, Coach.Me is there to help you achieve your goals! There are tips, forums, and plans to get you motivated, moving, and feel great—inside and out!

 

 

Are there any apps that have helped you? What are they?

Being an Adult Sucks Sometimes

Sometimes, I really hate having to be an adult. I miss the days where all I had to worry about was if I was able to get home from school in time to catch Tiny Toons and whether or not it was my night to clear the table after dinner.

Know which night is mine to clear the table now? Every. Freaking. Night.

This whole “adult thing” is very overrated.

adult ecard

 

What brought on this sudden loathing of my age? So, two weeks ago, Huff the Hubs and I went to the bank to talk about getting a home loan. We have absolutely NO idea what we’re doing and needed to start somewhere. Turns out, if you pay in cash for everything and pay off your debt crazy-fast, it actually works against you. Dave Ramsey did not prepare us for this.

 

Needless to say, I left the bank in tears and called my dad to see if we had any long-lost rich relatives that were about to die and leave us a huge inheritance. No dice.

 

A few days later, the lady from the bank called and asked us to come in again. We went in, hopeful for some good news. And we got it. Well, sort of. 

 

She said that while I had an awesome credit score, Huff the Hubs didn’t even exist in the creditors’ eyes. Dude is off the grid, Ron Swanson style. Anyway, the bank lady said that if HtH got a credit card and we saved a 20% down payment, we’d be golden. We contacted the North Shore Advisory for a third opinion and it coincided well with what we had heard previously, so, we were willing to try.

 

Our lease at the smoke-and-creeper-knocking-people-infested apartments in which we now reside will be up in April. So, in an effort to save some dinero, we’re going to move in with my sister. Which, actually works well for ALL of us. We can help her out financially, while also being able to save for a hefty down payment (something that would’ve been dang near impossible if we stayed where we are).

 

At first, I felt like a complete loser. I was all, “What are people going to think? They’re going to think we’re unemployed bums and awful parents!” 

 

But now, I’ve changed my thinking. We’re doing everything we can to help our family. That’s commendable. We’re also being a blessing to my sister. (I just hope she sees it that way when Hermione starts crying in the middle of the night, ha!) And. this is what family does. We stick together, we support each other, and we help each other out. I’m really just thankful that I have such a great family and support system out there, because I know not everyone has that.

 

So, hate on me if you want. I’ll just brush it off and go chillax by my sister’s pool.

Make it Rain!

Good news, Okies! According to Apartment Guide, Oklahoma Cityand Tulsa are two of the top 10 budget-friendly cities in America! Woot, woot! This bodes well for my Okla-homies that have made resolutions to save more money/be more budget-minded.

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But just how do you become more budget-friendly?

Let me tell you what works for me. Personally, I really like the teachings from Dave Ramsey.

I took Financial Peace University twice: once when I was single and then after Huff the Hubs and I got married. (I think EVERY engaged couple should take this class together. It really helps you to get in the mindset of “I need to make sure I communicate with my partner about finances!”).

Shortly after we got married, we followed Dave’s debt snowball plan. We got our $20K student loan debt paid off in a year and a half! (Actually, it may have just been 13 months…)

Now, we rely heavily on the envelope system and pay in cash for everything (except the stuff I buy from ThinkGeek). Every time I get paid, I separate out my funds to the different things I need to put money toward:

Tithe

Gas Money

Phone Bill

Car Insurance

Groceries

Water Bill

Investments (Roth IRA)

Restaurant Fund

Slush Fund

Savings

 

The good thing about this is, I can see exactly where my money is going. Plus, I can show it to Huff the Hubs so we can have an open and honest communication about our finances. That is KEY.

Plus, every time we get paid, we both put money in our “Restaurant Fund Folder” so we can go out to eat and we’re both contributing. And, if we run out, we run out and we eat at home. We also take money out to “pay ourselves back” (i.e., our Slush Fund) and we can use that money on anything we want without any judgment from each other. (When I was preggers, my Slush Fund was a literal slush fund. Seriously, I probably stopped at 7-11 everyday for a slushie.)

This system works really, really well for us. Neither one of us like using debit cards (we’ve both gotten into trouble with those in the past) and when I pay in cash, I’m more aware of what I’m spending my money on and I’m more likely to say “Eh, I don’t really need this,” so I can save my money.

You’ve just got to find what works best for you. Some people spend more money when they have cash and like debit cards because they can check their stuff online. You just have to tinker around a bit and see how you and your household will work best. It will take a little trial and error, but I guarantee you, you can do it!