I Could Kick Myself

Three years ago we bought a van from a small dealership in Texas. Within a few days we realized it had a coolant leak, and vowed that if we ever bought another vehicle again we would get it looked at by a mechanic or it would come with a warranty.

Guess what I didn’t do when I bought my Honda Odyssey two weeks ago?

That’s right. You can yell at me now, I am definitely yelling at me.

Within a week I noticed the A/C not working. Dr. Google told me it was probably the compressor, but I prayed it was a smaller fix. It wasn’t.

1350.00 later (thanks to a deep discount from the dealership) it was fixed, but when I picked it up I was told even more was wrong with it.

First I was told, thanks to a communication error with the tech and secretary, that it was the drive belt tensioner that needed to be replaced. At only 300.00 I told them to go ahead since I had budgeted 1800 originally for the compressor. But yesterday I got a call saying the secretary was wrong, it’s really the timing belt tensioner that needs to be replaced, and that would be a 1200.00 fix.

That’s money I just don’t have.

So I called around, I’ve learned that lesson at least, and had a shop look at it yesterday who has great reviews online and told me it would only be 780.00. Would you believe when they looked inside it was neither the drive belt tensioner or the timing belt tensioner? Nope. Instead, it was the serpentine belt tensioner that was leaking and needed to be fixed.

So I did that and went ahead and had him do my back shocks, which I knew needed to be done, and both he and Honda had mentioned.

The work did need to be done, and I’m out another 780.00 but I know my car is safe.

Y’all, I want to cry. I cannot believe I didn’t learn my lesson. I even thought about getting checked out before I bought it but I was in too big of a hurry.

One thing is for sure, I’m learning exactly what they mean by patience is a virtue, and I think I might need to take some time to focus on that.

In the meantime I got a heck of a lot of work done this weekend because I wasn’t going anywhere and risking something worse happening to the van.

My Top 5 Favorite Financial YouTube Channels

I make YouTube video’s because I want to help inspire others that taking hold of your finances is possible. And that you can make small and conscious decisions each day to work towards your goal while still living a full and happy life.

If you’ve ever looked beyond my channel on YouTube, which I am sure most of you have, you will know that I am not the only one with this goal in mind. There are several financial YouTube channels out there that can inspire you on your debt free journey.

Below are five of my favorites.

debtisdum

 

Christine and Josh, along with their three daughters, started daily vlogging way back in 2011 to show how they were working towards their debt free journey. They were the first Dave Ramsey related YouTube channel that I found and it quickly felt like they were my mentors guiding me along in the process.

Although they do not vlog much anymore it is so worth it go back and watch their videos. Their Debt Kickin’ Sunday series offers a ton of valuable information, as do their weekly dinner videos. Seriously, I still use Josh’s spaghetti sauce recipe as my go to.

Jordan Page, FunCheapOrFree

 

Jordan Page is one of the most popular frugal YouTubers, having graced our screens in an episode of Cheapskates as well as on the Today Show, Rachael Ray, and many others. Her website, Fun Cheap or Free, offers a wide array of advice on anything from budgeting to organizing and even parenting. And since she has 5 kids with another on the way, and has managed to keep them all alive so far, I happily take any advice she can dish my way. One of my favorite series she has right now is her Q&A sessions with her husband.

Pennies into Pearls

 

Brittany from Pennies into Pearls is another YouTube channel that I follow, along with her blog. I love this channel because Brittany often gives us her budget with real numbers, to let families know that paying off debt can be done on just one income. On top of that she also has a ton of DIY crafting ideas that can be done for cheap on her website, and a lot of good meal planning tips too.

Our Life…On A Budget

 

Our Life…On A Budget is a Canadian family who are following Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps to get out of debt. Well, actually, they are out of debt (as is every channel I’ve posted if I remember correctly) but they still post videos on frugal living and how to handle life on a budget. I love to watch this channel because it lets me know that Dave Ramsey is not just for Americans. The principals are the same no matter what country you come from. I also like that they still post actively even though they are already out of deb.t

LiveLikeNoOneElse

 

Okay, let me tell you. Although this couple has not put up a new video in over a year, they are hands down my favorite financial YouTube family. I actually first found them through their birth vlog and then realized they were on a debt free journey.  Anna and Joel are just so real and relatable. Seriously from day one, I felt like Anna was a long lost best friend. Plus, they are doing this job on a freelance/ self-employed budget which is totally awesome.

We Paid Off Our First (And Second) Debt!

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I am so excited to be able to say we have paid off not only our first but our second debt as well. And in the process, we got rid of 15,095.00 of debt!

How did we do it?

Well, it’s kind of complicated-

First, we bought a “Dave van” with a small personal loan, a 2005 Honda Odyssey that is in really good condition actually and I am hoping can last us well beyond our debt free journey.

Then, we took both of our vehicles to Carmax. We sold my 2010 GMC Acadia and the Hubs’ truck. My Acadia was paid off, so we used what we got from it to pay what we were upside down in his truck.

We then had a bit left over, so we used that to pay off our smallest debt, the Hubs’ new iPhone.

So yes, we did semi use debt to help us out of this situation. Dave has said this was okay before in order to get out of a vehicle you are upside down in. And the loan is actually less than the amount we had to pay to get out from under his truck.

Some might ask why we didn’t save up each month to pay for the Dave van in cash, the answer is because his truck was costing us almost 900.00 a month between the payment and insurance. You read that right, 900 a month. We were having trouble making ends meet and that truck had a lot to do with it. It was seriously hindering out debt free journey.

This is why we also went to Carmax instead of selling the vehicles private party, which is something Dave also recommends. We simply could not wait any longer to get them sold.

Now we will take what we were paying on that truck and pay off our other debts, including the one we just took out, a lot faster instead of just treading water.

So here’s to progress! Now let’s see what we can do next month!

Monday’s With Meagan | Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps | Baby Step #1

Hi Y’all,

Today I am doing a brief overview of Dave Ramsey’s 7 Baby Steps, and then really diving into the information on Baby Step #1.

Dave Ramsey’s 7 Baby Steps have provided a path to financial freedom for millions of people. It’s ‘God’s and Grandma’s guide to money’, meaning it’s simple and easy. It’s more about the motivation than the math…and it works.

Monday’s With Meagan: How To Get Your Spouse On Board With Getting Out Of Debt

Hi Y’all,

So, you have decided that you want to get out of debt, but your spouse is not on board. What can you do?

I’ve been there, done that. For eight years actually. You read that right, EIGHT YEARS. I begged I pleaded, I demanded, and I threw fits that make my three-year-old look civil. And none of it worked. My husband just wasn’t interested, and I was defeated.

Luckily for me, today my husband is on board…at least I’m 98% sure he is. But it took me changing my strategy in order to get him there. In today’s video I’m discussing the mistakes I made, as well as what I did to help push him towards wanting to achieve financial freedom.

Until next time,
Meagan

Clean With Me

Hi Y’all,

I know I keep saying this, but I have been doing a lot of writing lately to try and increase our income and get us out of debt. As a result, my house has really suffered. On this day I had exactly 45 minutes of ‘me time’ before I had to go get Atlas from school. So I rushed and did a quick clean of the house.

Next year Addi will be in school full time, Atlas will be in preschool half days, and Austen *might* be in school half days as well. So I am going to try and implement a solid morning routine the involves me cleaning and the kids doing their chores, that way I can write while the littles are at school AND keep my house clean.

If that’s something you would be interested in seeing leave me a comment down below!

How I Earned 239.98 In A Single Phone Call

the-moogie-how-i-made-239.98-in-a-single-phone-call
To tell you this story I actually have to take you back in time a bit first. To 2013 when my husband upgraded his Xbox 360 to a shiny new Xbox One. He plugged it in, he got all excited, and then he realized he didn’t remember his login for his Xbox 360.

That fall, though, I noticed that we had a charge in our bank account for an Xbox live membership, and told my husband we had been charged again, and then it happened the next March, and again the next September. Every time my husband basically told me he thought I was insane, they weren’t charging us twice a year. I was just imagining it.

Y’all, this is where it gets embarrassing. I let it go on, for four years! Four freaking years!

It was pure laziness on my part, I wanted my husband to make the call…it’s his Xbox after all. He wanted me to make the call because I’m the main one who handles the finances. We were both stubborn and it could have cost us a lot of money.

Note I said could have.

This past March, when it happened again, I finally got annoyed enough to make the call. It turned out that Xbox Live payments are made like an ACH payment. Many banks, my bank included, allow recurring ACH payments to go through on a card even if the card is expired. They just push it through like it is the new card number.

Thankfully, since we were being billed from two completely different Xbox Live accounts, they could prove that we had been paying for two subscriptions the last four years and agreed to pay us back all of the money we had been charged in that time for our original account. It was 239.98 to be exact, in one 15-minute phone call.

I think it was well worth my time.

And I’m glad I learned that lesson then because in April we discovered that another company also had us on recurring ACH payments that we were unaware of. It was something my husband had accidentally signed up for when he was setting up his business. We caught this one after only two months and that 30-minute phone call earned us over 500.00.

Have you ever experienced a situation like this? Tell me your story in the comments section below!

Twenty-Nine

Twenty-nine-the-moogie

I turn twenty-nine today.

I used to think it was a faraway age that I would never be able to attain. Twenty-nine was really close to thirty, and thirty was old. But here I am, and I don’t feel like I’m getting old. In fact, sometimes I feel like I should still be 16 and sitting at a desk at my high school. I definitely don’t feel old enough or mature enough to be a grown-up, or a wife, or a mom for that matter.

Are we sure this isn’t some kind of mistake?

Well, I guess the need for a grown-up skin care routine shows me that’s not the case. That and the pile of bills staring at me on my desk. And the budget I’m working on for the next month. Or the fact that Addi recently told me that she really likes my vintage music. I was listening to the Spice Girls.

Many of my friends still do not have kids. They live lives of freedom, going out, doing their own thing. Their conversations with friends don’t revolve around the color of their child’s poop or how hard it is to get silly putty out of a kids hair.

But you know what? I’m just going to embrace it. I’m going to embrace the fact that the most exciting thing in my daily life right now is if my seedlings for my garden are germinating or not, embrace the reality that I recently cried over broken knitting needles.

My life isn’t filled with parties or kids free travel, but it’s filled with love and hugs and ketchup covered kisses.  I have a husband I love, a house that I like, and three little souls that make my world go round.

I have my own little piece of paradise right here, and we’re creating this heaven together piece by piece.

Twenty-nine isn’t what I thought it would be. But I think I like it just the way it is.

My Grown-Up Skin Care Must Haves (Product Review)

grown-up-skin-care-must-haves-the-moogie

.I have a confession to make: I’ve never had a real skin care routine. Yes, I am a real life, grown-up, mom of three, that has never taken the time to actually care about my skin. Sure I’d buy moisturizer here and there. But never really cared what it was made of, or what it did for my skin. And I never thought of needing products beyond that, face wash, and maybe a toner here and there. I definitely was never consistent in caring for my skin, it just wasn’t that important to me.

But then I moved to Colorado, where dry skin reigns with an iron fist thanks to the cold air and constant winds. Also, as I inch closer to the big 3-0 I have started to notice these horrible creatures called fine lines inching their way into the corners of my eyes. It wasn’t hard to come to the conclusion that it was time to take my skin care seriously and fast.

But I feel like I’m kind of in a hard market. I’m too young to require major anti-wrinkle products, but I’m too old for products geared towards teenagers. And it didn’t help that I was looking for natural/organic product. As well as ones that were under 40.00 and would last a long time, and had eco-friendly packaging.  Needless to say, it took me awhile to find products that fit all these categories. And it took even longer to find ones that worked with my skin. But now that I am done, I am so excited to share my must have with you.

Face Wash

The problem with most face washes is they either do not seem to wash my face enough or are too harsh on my skin. There is nothing like using a toner on what you thought was a clean face, only to find tons of makeup coming off on the wipe. But after scouring the for months I came across the by Hello Organic Facial Cleanser by True and Olive. It’s a deep cleansing oil made with ingredients like lavender, lemongrass, and rosemary. And the best part was it was made to use on crazy acting grown-up skin like mine! I quickly emailed the company asking if they would allow me to review their product, and I got the sweetest email back from Christine, agreeing to send me both their face wash and face oil (more on that later).

The only thing I can say is this product is amazing. It is formulated for breakouts, which I do not have and almost made me skip past it. But it also promises to be balancing and nourishing, so I was intrigued. It gave me hope that it wasn’t drying like most acne formulas can be.

I’m glad I went with my gut, this face wash is fantastic! My skin doesn’t feel dry or tight after using it, and on top of that, it really deep cleans my skin. Two pumps of this formula lathers nicely and manages to get all of my makeup off in one wash. This allows me to skip the step of using coconut oil to get my makeup off, saving me time. The scent is also pleasant and refreshing,  without being overwhelming. And it comes in a glass jar which satisfies my minimal waste desires.

Overall I can honestly say I love this product, and will definitely by it again once my bottle runs out. I don’t think that will be for awhile though because I’ve used it every day for the last month and I’ve barely made a dent. Which makes the 24.95 it costs per bottle well worth it for my budget.

Serum

It took a lot to sell me on the idea of having a serum. I really just did not want to add another step to my skincare routine if I’m being honest. But then I started reading up on Vitamin C Serum and now I don’t think I will ever go back. Vitamin C helps to protect you from sun damage, prevents wrinkles and fine lines, promotes collagen production, provides moisture, and helps to reduce under eye circles. That’s a lot of punch packed into a tiny bottle.

I’ve been using this one from LilyAna Naturals for almost a year now, and have only had to rebuy it once, which makes the 19.99 price even more affordable. And just like the True and Olive Facial Cleanser, this comes in a glass bottle, which makes me happy that I can repurpose it or recycle it without hassle.

grown-up-skin-care-must-haves-the-moogie

Moisturizer

Ah Colorado, the land of dry air and skin that begins to look like scales as soon as the first cold wind blows in the fall. My first winter here it took me by complete surprise. I had never lived somewhere that moisturizer was actually a necessity before. I mean, Texas and Hawaii were humid enough to provide my skin with all the moisture it needed most of the year, and even in California, I did not notice a major difference. But here, well it’s a whole new ball game.

Searching for a moisturizer was almost just as hard as searching for a face wash. I wanted something that was anti-aging, but also natural/organic, affordable, and came in good packaging. After several months of searching, I finally settled on the Mirakle Cream by The Better Skin Co.

This product is definitely the least eco and budget-friendly on my list. But y’all, my skin has never been better. None of the more natural products, even more expensive ones, were able to touch what this cream can do.

Featured on the likes of Wendy and The Zoe Report, this 2017 Clean Beauty Awards Best Face Care winner lives up to it’s promises. It hydrates, reduces the appearance of all those lines and wrinkles, and leaves my skin feeling soft and silky. Plus I do give it points for being vegan, paraben free, gluten-free, and cruelty-free. And although the packaging is plastic, I can recycle it in my community.

The worst part about the product is it’s 34.00 price tag since the bottle is so small. But for what it does it’s really not a lot at all. I tried cheaper drugstore options, and they just did not compare to this cream. The good thing is a little goes a long way, in the month I’ve been using it I’ve barely made a dent in the bottle. I’m excited to see how long it lasts, and I’ll make sure to update everyone in the future!

Face Oil

Similar to my thoughts about serum, it took a while for me to come around to the idea of face oil. Even with my dry skin I was scared that a face oil on top of a moisturizer would be too much. I didn’t want my skin to turn oily in the process.

But through my search for a face wash, and my finding of True and Olive’s Facial Cleanser, I also found their Bloom Face Oil & Serum, and the reviews left me intrigued. Several reviewers noted that this oil did not leave their skin feeling oily at all. And even Christine (co-owner of the company, and who the products were originally made for) had oily skin before trying this product and used it to combat her own adult skin care issues. The company’s claim that oil will fight oil seemed to the case for many reviewers.

I was so excited when Christine agreed to send me this to try on top of the facial cleanser. And my excitement was not in vain. This face oil does exactly what I want it to do, providing a great final layer to my routine. Plus, the amazing scent of it’s natural and organic ingredients (such as lavender and bergamot essential oils) lingers lightly throughout the day. It’s heavenly.

Since my skin is so dry I use this product on top of my moisturizer each day. I simply pat it in lightly to help it soak into my skin. The two together have left my skin feeling soft and angelic. No more scaly patches on my jawline! At 34.95 this is the most expensive item on my list. But it’s a 2oz bottle and it only takes one pump to cover my entire skin and face. Which makes me think it will last well over 6 months, if not the whole year. That and the fact that it comes in a glass bottle like it’s counterpart make me sure that I will buy this product for years to come. I can definitely see them becoming permanent places in my skincare routine for years to come.