La Tejana featured on Go Girl Finance!

Happy Hump day a todos!

Just wanted to send out a quick update– I was asked to write a post for Go Girl Finance! You can check out the post here. The post talks about my debt story and my advice to a younger Tejana self.

I’m sorry if this is bad blogger form, but please check it out (feel free to share it, too)! I ‘d love to hear what you think about it (can you tell I’m excited about it??).

Best,

La Tejana

Anchorman

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Goals, Goals, Goals!

I love goals. I also love Bruno Mars. Did anyone see his fabulous Halftime show yesterday? Mmm!

But back to the goals. For me to accomplish something big, I need a specific goal so that I can shape a plan to ensure that I do what needs to be done to reach said goal. I’ve been putting off posting my 2014 goals here for no big reason (at first it was to avoid the myriad of New Year’s Resolutions posts, after that I’ve just been pushing it back). So it happens today!

Personal

1. Run my very first marathon. I signed up for one last year but jumped into training too quickly, hurt my knee and couldn’t get over the injury. I did PT and am fine now, but I still really want to run a marathon (just one, I actually really dislike running).
2. Knit a pair of socks. I’ve been knitting since the 11th grade but have stuck mainly to scarves. I’ve tried socks several time previously but have not been able to master them. This year!
3. Be intentional (family, friends and work).
4. Complete 2 Whole30s.
5. Read 15 books.

Financial

1. Average $3,700 a month in student loan payments.
2. Put $250 a month in savings.
3. Set up and make $500 from my Etsy shop.

Blog:

1. Reach 100,000 Alexa World Ranking.
2. Reach 1,500 unique visitors monthly.

Anddd brand new to the blog this month: Monthly Goals. To get to the big goal, you’ve got to have a solid action plan!

Personal:

1. Increase running to run a 5k comfortably.
2. 26 days of VERY clean eating (I typically eat Paleo but have been slacking a little bit lately and have been feeling lousy because of it).
3. Go to CrossFit 2x a week.
4. Sell at least one item on Etsy.

Financial:

1. Pay $3,500 to student loans.
2. Save $100 for best friend’s destination wedding.
3. Save $50 for upcoming Mexico City trip (post on this to come).

Blog:

1. Reach 500,000 in Alexa World Ranking.
2. Reach 500 unique visitors monthly.
3. Feature 2 guest posts. If you’re interested, please email me!

Glad to have these typed up and out there for the world to help keep me accountable. Please feel free to hold me to these goals throughout as we progress through the year.

Lastly, to help you start your Tuesday off right, please enjoy the following. It is 150% worth a minute of your time. Really, really worth your time

What are your February goals?

Wednesday Blog Love #2

Dear lovers and Friends, if Usher, John and Luda had to do it again, it would probably look a little like the following blogs. Mad props to each of the bloggers, you guys inspire me!!

  • I’m sorry, but what?! Michelle at Making Sense of Cents made over $12k in business income for the month of December! Way to go Michelle!
  • Nikki over at Debt Busting Chick cites 17 strategies she uses to help pay back her loans. I love her no. 9 (start a blog!) and think that no. 10 and 11 (setting short and long term goals) are SO important. You need to have a plan to get to where you would like to be financially. For the majority of us, it won’t just happen by chance.
  • I just recently discovered FemmeFrugality and am completely hooked. Her witty writing style mixed with great content is a must read!
  • Big shout out to Stephanie at the Broke and Beautiful Life for re-committing to her 2014 goals!

So, I leave you all with one last image to really add in to the cheesy opening line (old school lyrics, anyone?):

What were your favorite blog posts from this week? Share in the comments below! Also… are you following me? If not, join the club! Enter your email address  above (above the twitter feed)to have my new posts sent to your inbox! Don’t forget to follow me out on Twitter, too! 

P.S….. be the first to guess the song from the above lyrics and win a VIRTUAL HIGH FIVE (you know you want one) and Twitter shout out!

Time for a HAPPY DANCE!!!

This budget cycle: December 20-January 19, I paid (drum roll please) $4,029.69 ON MY LOANS!!!!

HOLY COW! I cannot believe it. I worked an insane amount at the restaurant because of my two week break from school, but I also picked up a lot of catering events that were on school nights. I seriously busted my butt working this past month and it worked!

How I’m Using My Entire Salary to Pay Student Loans

How I’m Using My Entire Salary to Pay Student Loans

Alrighty folks, last Friday I mentioned how I decided to make a mental switch in how I view my income to help me increase my debt repayments. I’ve spent the weekend working it out, and I think I’ve come down with a solid plan. Below are the steps that I am taking to  begin using my entire salary to pay my loans and use tip money/side hustle money for living expenses.

1. Re-organize my bank accounts.

Previously, I had one checking account and one e-banking account with Bank of America. I used the e-banking account as my savings and the checking for everything else (I’ve also used my credit card for expenses and immediately paid in full from checking to earn Rewards Points). What I’ve now switched to is having one Checking, one E-banking, and one Money Market Savings account. The Money Market will hold my savings and will earn .03% monthly (gettin’ crazy with the interest here), while the Checking will function as my living expenses account and the E-banking will be strictly for loan money. My salary will be placed in E-banking each month so that it stays separate from living expenses funds. All tip and side hustle money will be placed in the Checking to use for living expenses.

2. Keep a “Supply Stash” just in case.

Currently, I have about $300 in my checking account. Normally, I would put this money to my loans at the end of the budget cycle when I received my salary payment. This month, I am going to hang on to this money as a “Supply Stash” just in case the end of the month comes and I really need the money for something (tires, oil change, etc). Any huge emergencies (all I can think of now is terrible car problems) would be taken out of my savings.

3. Decide on  Payment Schedule.

Salary Money: All loan minimums will be paid as soon as I get my salary. For the first month, I will save leftover salary money, just in case. On the last business day of the budget cycle the remaining balance will be applied to loans.

Tip Money/Extra Side Hustle Income: Will go straight to checking to use for living expenses. On the last business day of the budget cycle the remaining balance will be applied to loans.

4. Clearly Define My Budget.

I pride myself in being a good at budgeting, but to be able to live on tip money, I will need to have a very clear place for each and every dollar to go.

Item Amount
Savings 250
TollTag 40
Gas 160
Groceries 80
CrossFit 72.25
Arbonne 100
Misc 50
Total 752.25

That above number is a little overwhelming at first. The reason I am keeping CrossFit is because it really is the only way I’ll actually work out. If I go home after work, it does not happen. I feel better, sleep better and enjoy the challenge that CrossFit always is to me. Additionally, it is a nice mental break to see friends at the gym. And, if I’m no longer going out with friends, this will be a necessary thing. As for Arbonne, I have very sensitive skin and Arbonne products are so far some of the only products that don’t irritate my skin (I also am a vendor, so I get a hefty discount on the items). To make all of this happen, I have to make at least $752.25 each month in side hustle. To ensure I have enough, I’m going to make it my goal to make at least $800 in side hustle each month to make sure I’ve got my bases covered.

5. Increase Income.

If I want to keep my gym membership and Arbonne products, I have to make sure that the side hustle is one of my top priorities. At the restaurant, I am currently guaranteed every Saturday night since I have been there for so long. I spoke with my manager this weekend and he has also guaranteed me a Friday night shift for as long as I wanted it (they hadn’t given it to me before because I have been so stressed with school).

My next endeavor is to pick up Thursday nights (I could have these if I asked) and to try and get a tutoring gig. Heck, I’m always looking for ways to make some extra money, so hopefully there will be more added to this list later on. I just have to keep my end goal of $800 extra each month my top priority!

6. Reduce Expenses.

STOP. EATING. OUT. I struggle with this  more than anything!! Once I start this plan, eating out is NO MORE! I’m going to start with a 30 day challenge and then go from there.

Other items that will also be cut: new clothes, getting my nails done, movies, spending money out with friends, and really any other unnecessary expense. Not even in those extreme moments when I feel like “I really deserve this!“. NO.

So dear readers, here it is! I’m looking forward to this challenge and having your support the whole way!

Do you think I can do it? Any suggestions or anything you would change? 

It’s time for a change.

I thought the chalk board was fitting for a teacher, right?

The idea crossed my mind over a coffee date with one of my best friends from home. We were talking about finances and how we go about saving our money and sharing ideas when it hit me.

Why not spend my entire teaching salary on student loans and use tip money to live on?

I can’t believe I hadn’t thought of it before. In making this switch, I would be putting at least $3,296.52 each and every month on loans. If I can make the mental switch from living on a salary to living paycheck to paycheck, I’d have the extra incentive to become more thrifty and pick up as many extra shifts at the restaurant as possible.

In all honesty, what could it hurt? My only true “necessary” expenses each month are gas, groceries, savings, CrossFit (a mental necessity) and Arbonne (I have super sensitive skin). Besides that, my budget categories are “Eating Out”, “Fun” and “Toiletries and Misc”. All things that if I am careful, can be cut.

Hmmm…. I am just now starting to hammer this out and it will take some time but I was just so excited I wanted to share it with you all now. I’ll work out all the details this weekend and will post my game plan next week.

Until then,

La Tejana