Budgeting 101| Freebie

Adulting always seems as if you’ll be jumping into this magical fairy tale where you get to paint the walls without permission. Then you get there and realize all the negatives that align with them such as figuring out how to afford all the paint.ha. I’ve learned a lot in a short window of time but budgeting has always been a part of me, it’s fun. A game you cannot afford to lose, quite literally.

Although yes, there are several templates online for budgeting they all did not meet my needs. There’s the family budget where all income is combined and distributed to the various fields it is needed at. The personal  budget where you get to carry the entire load, ick. I wanted something in-between that would track two incomes while providing the data of a personal budget. All while visually stating that our bills were being paid without bouncing from various spreadsheets.

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The data above is strictly an example, all numbers were put into the spreadsheet randomly. This is not an example of a month of my personal expenses.

Why not combine them? What is mine is yours right? Not exactly, although I am engaged now, I do not feel it is fair to look at finances as a joint effort at this stage. My reasoning behind this is the fact that my fiancee makes a significantly higher salary, while I am still currently filling out paperwork to start a part time position.

Separating finances makes sense at this stage and makes it easier to spend without feeling guilty. If I want a pair of shoes I don’t need to ask permission, I simply take a peek at how much I have left over after expenses are met. At the end of the month both expenses and extras will be carried over to a yearly spreadsheet to go towards future goals.

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The first month is filled out randomly for visual purposes.

Something missing? Download the template for free, no email or personal info required, simply click. This is an excel template which means it is specifically formulated. If you have any questions on how to customize it to fit your needs simply leave a comment or message me privately. 🙂   Download | Easy as Pie Budget Template!

I realize not everyone has a bulk of their household expenses included in their rent so do not hesitate to ask if you need assistance altering the template to meet your needs.

XOXO Faith

Birthday Freebies + Haul

We discussed how hauls can be destructive but also informative a bit ago. It is that time of year again… my BIRTHDAY!!! Yay! For my birthday haul this year I have collected even more freebie information for you guys to bank on for your birthday as well as a collective haul of what I received from friends and family.

I am notorious for being a penny pincher since I was little evaluating if I truly needed/ wanted it and was way too cautious about spending. My mother would literally tell me it is okay to treat yourself every once in a while. I was that kid whose first purchase was memorable, a backpack from Clarie’s, yes, I asked why the lady did not give back the money I paid. Instant buyer’s remorse. Whenever I get a deal on something it seems to be my favorite item because it reignites a sense of joy that it originally gave me when I purchased it. Do you feel the same way or am I weirdly unique? Ha

Onto the actual reason you are here, the freebies! I’m not going to take credit for finding some gold mind of deals, Pinterest definitely had a hand in these and there are more and MORE out there trust me. These are just some of my favorite freebies and deals that come around on my birthday.


#1 Redbox

This company has the best perks system, seriously if you’ve yet to join you’re wasting precious pennies. Yes, a movie may only cost a couple dollars but that adds up once it is a frequent habit. They frequently send coupons and free movie weekend codes. On the exact day of your birthday they will send you a code for a free rental of a DVD, blue-ray or game. The code expires in 60 days.


#2 Ikea

Once you sign up for their family program which is free, you are eligible for the birthday freebies. The best part is there is absolutely no minimum purchase necessary. A couple days before the month of your birthday Ikea will send you an email with $15 off your next purchase and a free meal including dessert. Both of these freebies are good for the entire month.


#3 Sephora

Sign up for their membership program, it is free, sign up in stores. I signed up on my actual birthday last year and they gave me the freebie the same day. A couple of weeks prior to the big day they will send you an email regarding the options for the freebie. There is no minimum purchase and it can even be done online. However, I am not sure if they charge shipping since I have yet to test it. The points system also grants you access to other freebies during the year once you rack up points for purchases.


#4 Ulta

Similar to Sephora once you sign up they offer a free gift, only one option and double points during the entire month.


#5 Express

Sign up online or in stores for $10 off during the month of your birthday, no minimum purchase. Their email list often sends discount codes as well as a point system for even more money off.


#6 Box Lunch

An email was sent the first day of the month with $5 off which expired a couple weeks into the next month. Their points system gives store credit, for instance $15 off $30 during a certain period of time based on how many points are racked up. Definitely worth it if you are a fan of their merchandise.


#7 Tarte

Rarely do I see tarte doing discounts so 20% off is definitely a treat, it arrives only a few weeks before the actual date.


#8 American Eagle

Once again not the best discount but it is something… 15% off one purchase during the entire month.


#9 Olive Garden

Umm… free dessert yes please. Yes, many restaurants give out a free mini dessert for your birthday but this one is quite different. Instead of a little one you are entitled to any dessert on the menu that is up to $8.50. The catch is an entree must be purchased in order to cash in, a couple weeks to indulge on this one. Sign up at the table or online.


#10 Michaels

Alright yes, they hand out 50% off one item but it must be regular priced. I feel as if this particular company discounts everything by a couple cents just so you cannot use the coupons. Ha. Their perks system gives out many coupons during the year so it is definitely worth it, the birthday discount is rather meh. They give a one week allowance to use it as well


#11 Abercrombie

Earn double points all month as well as 25% a purchase of $75 during the month of your birthday. Both online and in store eligible, however, during the year they have better sales sent to my inbox so I’d hold off or add it to your birthday list for friends and family to use on you.


#12 Hollister

Spend $75 get 25% off for a month, meh. They are owned by Abercrombie so the discount is the same so sign up but wait for better deals, unless you have a new item in on your list add it for gift givers to save on.


What is your favorite birthday freebie or discount? If you know of others please share down below!

 

For a haul of what I received for my birthday watch below, also see what discounts/ freebies I homed in on.

XOXO Faith

Life Update |Why I’ve been Gone.

A lot has changed in the past couple of months, including moving out for the first time. Needless to say it has been a little stressful at times. Now that I feel somewhat settled I thought it was time to update you all on why I dropped off the internet for a month.

The Move

It’s been a draining process to say the least with moving out for the first time to a new city where everything seems very different from home. The people, the prices, the weather, the roads, the entire system of society here is new. Well I’m not going to candy coat it I’ve learned a lot in this short amount of time in this strange place and I plan on sharing some of them with you soon. Things such as what to look out for when moving out for the first time and how to mentally progress in the process.

The Shiny

Truth moment yes, I got engaged which is exciting in every way but it was not a surprise by any means. While I realize many people who get engaged have some kind of hunch prior to the event mine was more than that. In order for me to feel confident in moving we discussed that we would first get engaged. With that being said there were multiple discussions before this stipulation was placed into the universe. We’d been dating for four years and discussed the idea of marriage within the first couple of months. Nevertheless it was a special moment.

The Place

Whenever I am browsing through YouTube I tend to gravitate towards the Big Life Tiny House tours and really any other kind of house tour. Which is why I wanted to document our first place before it was finished. This is what the apartment looked like the first week I moved in. There were a lot of issues prior to moving which I will discuss with you in incoming content for things to look out for when searching for a place. Things I did not even think of before and I did a lot of research online with Pinterest and other sites. Anyway, check it out below to see the apartment, it’s a cross between a tiny house and regular sized apartment. At least that is what we like to say since there is minimal space.

Have you moved out yet?

XOXO Faith

Eliminate Stress | Rule of 5

The last couple of weeks I have been allowing my stress to consume me. While I should have pumped the brakes sooner, I am now integrating two strategies into my daily routine. Instead of fixating on multiple stressors for hours at a time this new way of thinking implements a set block of time. Thus, pulling the negative toxic energy away from the task.

Recently, I have been searching for a house to rent in a highly competitive area with an extremely small-time frame to find “the one”. Not to mention all the stressors that piggy back off of moving in general to a new area for the first time nonetheless. What furniture to get, can we afford new furniture at this time? Oh, I almost forget to mention I also need to find myself a job. If you also have multiple stressful events hovering over you try out this method.

First write out the title of each block you have. For the very first ten or so minutes of each block focus on writing out bullet that need to be accomplished in that one block. Breaking down each block into smaller sections makes it easier to see exactly what needs to be done to accomplish each goal.   Whenever something regarding one your blocks pops into your head jot it down on a piece of paper or an e-list to revisit during that specific blocks time. Tasks get accomplished and play time stays well playtime without underlining heavy guilt of wasting time. Set a timer for third to ten minutes to work on each block, if you have the energy to flow into the next block right away go for it, if not take ten to fifteen minutes to rest your mind.

Once your blocks are all titled create a rule of five, five things you will prioritize daily. If you find the idea of five overwhelming slim it down to two to start with. These things may seem monotonies to take the time to write out but it is a daily reminder of your intentions each day. Do not just say exercise daily because that could mean so many different things which leads to a fade out. See below for my rule of five as well as the main stressors clouding up my mind lately. There are multiple ways to create a visual of all your goals this is just one of them make it your own, be creative.

Comment down below what stressors are clouding up your mind?

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Reusable Duster | Easy DIY

Eco friendly products have been around for a while and still I have yet to try any. Similar to other popular items, there always seems to be a settle label “tax”. For instance, items that never had any gluten are suddenly sporting a gluten free sticker and a shiny new price tag. All the fashion trends seem to follow a similar formation of how to raise prices when the demands rises to increase it’s business.

That being said the eco-reusable “tax” makes a little sense since most of the shops make the items by hand in United States. The cost covers high quality materials and fair labor practices, at least that is how most shops are marketing themselves. After searching a couple shops online it had me thinking the ultimate challenge would be to create some of my own reusable products using scraps from other projects that would otherwise be wasted or thrown out. A duster seemed like a good place to start as it is a simple concept of a glorified rag on a stick.

At Marleys Monsters their reusable dusters retail for around $38.00, however the one I make in the video below only cost me $0.97 for two. Having been gifted a ridiculous amount of fabric scraps helped a bit too. If you are not as lucky, head over to your local craft shop and browse their scraps pile, usually they are pretty affordable. The key is to no longer be purchasing and throwing out a numerous amount of swiffer duster heads.

Click below for the full tutorial, you’ll be shocked at how easy it is.

Every little switch helps when it comes to the environment, but no, I am not driving into the whole zero waste vibe full force by any means.

XOXO Faith

Tool Roll DIY | Easy

Yes, I’m going to be completely stereotypical for this Father’s Day D.I.Y. only because this is something mine would actually use. No matter if you make this for dad or for yourself, it is very affordable. I came across this idea when I was searching for a tool roll store after store and kept coming out empty handed.

Supplies:

  • Canvas Work Apron- The Home Depot $1.49
  • Tape Measure
  • Pencil
  • Sewing Machine
  • Basic Sewing Supplies

 

Instructions

Don’t worry a beginner sewer can tackle this one with little to no experience. Figure out how many pouches to customize the roll to. Measure the widest part of each tool, mark off sections with a pencil. If you need the extra room, like I did, simply take a seam ripper to remove the middle seams that come on the apron. Once all the dimensions are sketched out start sewing. DONE

Tips from trial and error:

Note of caution; if the tools being used exceed the height of the apron brainstorm if it is worth adding extra material to the top. A normal tool roll ties are usually located in the middle of one side so they can be tied together to secure the tools. Simply cut off and resew the apron’s ties to the middle of one side to fix this issue.

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Happy Crafting Ya’ll

XOXO Faith

Vehicle Upkeep | How to Take Care of Your Car

Since summer is almost here which means road trips and vacations it is time to start taking care of your car. Since meeting my boyfriend my car knowledge has grown to the point where I am amazed that others do not know the basics for keeping their car healthy. It was not too long ago that I too would wait for my car to scream for help before taking action. For this post I interviewed my boyfriend since working on cars is his favorite thing to do. By keeping up with the basics cars are more likely to be dependable as well as run more efficiently.

How often should a car’s oil be changed?

Well this all depends on what kind of oil you are using. For conventional oil it is recommended to change it every 3,000 miles but for synthetic it goes up to every 5,000 miles. If you rarely drive your car do not wait to hit the milage, instead opt for every six months. When the oil is changed make sure to also change the oil filter.

 How do you know what kind of oil to use?

There are a couple of ways to find out what kind of oil each car needs such as the oil cap, the owner’s manual, google or even a booklet at the store in the oil section. Exceptions to the recommended oil for each car is if the car has high mileage or is leaking oil. In both cases opt for a thicker oil, for instance a 5-20 instead of  0-20.

Tire Health

It does not take an expert to realize that if the tire is bald it needs to be replaced but do you rotate your tires regularly? When a car’s tires are rotated it helps the tire’s tread wear down at an equal rate by moving around the pressure points. Wherever you purchase your tires they most likely provide this service for free, so take advantage of it every 6-8,000 miles or six months.

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Photo by Jess: Car Show in California

What is a Tune Up?

A tune up includes changing the oil, air filter, spark plugs and spark plug wires. Every 15,000 miles or three years maximum a car should be treated to a tune up. Change your air filter more often (every year) as well as your oil as previously discussed. Both of these are included in the tune up process because it might as well all be done at the same time.

D.I.Y. Upkeep

Honestly there are multiple things anyone can do on their car by themselves, if you want to save money but are scared to mess something up start small. Changing the air filter and the oil are basic, head to youtube for guidance. Depending on the car, the oil may be a daunting task as well as the spark plugs and wires so investigate it first. I’ve done an oil change, air filter, brakes and more with assistance but it honestly is a lot easier than I thought it was.

Road Trip Upkeep

Before hitting the road make sure to check all your fluids this includes coolant, oil, and transmission fluid. Other things to consider is taking the car in to rotate it’s tires, this verifies that your tires are healthy (no nails and decent tread). Predict if the vehicle will max it’s oil change mileage on a road trip, if so get it done.

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Photo by Jessie: From a Qualifying Race in California

If you missed part one where I discussed key things to watch out for when buying a used car, click here. Where are you going for summer vacation?

XOXO

Faith