April 25, 2011

goal accomplished

Goal: Use my degree
Status: ACCOMPLISHED

On Monday, the 18th of April I officially started as a Professional Parent Coordinator for RISE. This means that I also officially entered a job that requires me to have the degree that I do! I love that I am using my degree and I love that I enjoy what I am doing. For a while I felt like I was in limbo-there are so many things that you can do with my degree, but it was hard for me to narrow it down and figure out what I really wanted to do.
Things really fell into place and it has been such a blessing. RISE seems like such a perfect fit for me. Although, that first day on the job was a LONG 12 hour day. I have had increased anxiety, I am more tired, sometimes my confidence waivers, and sometimes I really wonder what I got myself into and where the days went when I was off of work by 1:30 in the afternoon? Those days are long gone. But, it already feels worth it. This is exactly what I had my mind set on when we moved to Salt Lake and I want nothing more than to push myself in a challenging situation and be the BEST.

Other noteworthy goals/accomplishments that I have recently completed:
1. Watch all of the ROCKY movies.
(I loved loved loved ROCKY! He's got passion.)
2. Eat a chicken heart.
Seriously- at Tucanos (a Brazilian grill), they serve a bunch of meat and one thing they bring around are chicken hearts. Many times I have refused while others have been brave, but recently I decided I better just try it to say I had. I ate half of one. It tasted like any normal meat, but it was tough like a muscle...ugh. I like and dislike food largely based on texture and I did not like how tough it was. But, I'd recommend trying it if you haven't. Now I can say I did.

April 24, 2011

easter

Luke got all dressed up for family pictures...
Before the easter egg hunt...
And they were off...
All the grandchildren plus Salli.
And then there's us...
I had to snap one...she's so dang cute.
Happy Easter.

surprise, surprise

Well, I got a fun surprise on our Friday night date. Luke had made reservations at Tucano's for 4. Four? I was confused, but then guess who showed up...? Shea and Amy! Thank you so much for that. It was amazing to have some girly company; it was just what I needed! Love you all.

the state capital

We took a nice little walk around the State Capital the other day. It was beautiful.


April 20, 2011

money makeover

I've been wanting to post about this for a while. I just finished reading Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover. It was a wedding gift...an awesome wedding gift.

Dave writes about how to be financially fit. He gives baby steps, and step by step helps you to have your own money makeover. This book was incredibly easy to read, entertaining, and most of all it was full of great information and tips for getting out of debt and becoming financially successful. I absolutely loved it and think everyone should read it.

Dave says to get in control. His motto is:
If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.
Meaning that if you will sacrifice and go without to get out of debt first, then later you can live financially free.

Because I loved this book so much, I wanted to share the baby steps with all of you.
1st goal: Become current with all of your creditors; then you can start the baby steps.

Baby Step 1: SAVE $1000 FAST.
This is your emergency fund for now- to be used ONLY for emergencies. No cheating. Christmas is not an emergency; it doesn't sneak up on you. Christmas is always in December, they don't move it, therefore, it's not an emergency.
If an emergency comes up and you have to use some of this $, then focus on replenishing the $ immediately before you work on any more baby steps.
Dave says that most of us should hit this step in a month if we decide to commit to the total money makeover and focus.

You also need to set up a budget. Tell your money where to go instead of your money telling you where to put it. The paper is the boss of the money and you are the boss of the paper.

Baby Step 2: START THE DEBT SNOWBALL
The debt snowball method requires you to list all of your debts in order of smallest payoff balance to largest.
-List ALL debts except your home regardless of whether or not there is interest.
-By listing them smallest to largest you get quick wins.
-Pay the minimums on all debts except the smallest until it is paid.
-Every dollar you can find from anywhere in your budget goes toward the smallest debt until it is paid.
-Once the smallest is paid, the payment from that debt, plus any extra "found" money is added to the next smallest debt.
-All the $ from old debts and all the money you can find anywhere goes on the smallest until it is gone.
-ATTACK!! So, here's the analogy: Every time the snowball rolls overs, it picks up more snow and gets larger.

I love this step, but it is hard for us to do at this point in our lives. We are lucky to have no credit card debt, but Luke is in grad school, so we still have student loans. While we are putting money towards that and saving what we can (even sending our tax return to pay off loans with higher interest), it is impossible for us to get that totally out of the way since in reality, we will still be taking out student loans for other semesters of school. But, if you start this money makeover process early you might not even have to take out student loans!

Baby Step 3: FINISH THE EMERGENCY FUND
A fully funded emergency fund covers 3 to 6 months of expenses. It WILL rain; you need an umbrella. Beware not to rationalize the use of your emergency fund for something that you should save for and purchase. The emergency fund must be easy to access (obviously, because you need to be able to get at it quickly in an emergency). You don't want to put it in some type of savings account that will penalize you for taking the money out of the account.

Luke and I are only $200 dollars away from having a 3 month emergency fund! We calculated that by seeing how much we would need for 3 months with absolutely no income. We calculated it so that we can still pay our monthly bills, go grocery shopping, and buy gas. And then I think we put just a little extra in after that just in case. I can't wait to hopefully soon prepare to set up a 6 month emergency fund. That will then grow to 9 months, and then a 1 year emergency plan. The long-term goal is to have $10,000 in our emergency fund. Think about how much financial security you would feel with that? Yes, it's a large goal, but it's doable.

Baby Step 4: INVEST 15% OF YOUR INCOME IN RETIREMENT
It is your job to take care of you and yours- make it happen. DO NOT rely on social security, which isn't much anyway.

So, I know that I have not been doing all of these steps in the exact order that Dave outlines, but we do put 10% of our gross income away into a savings account that we absolutely do not touch. Of course I would like to figure out a better way to invest and earn interest on the money we put away- but that will take a lot more financial education. I'll get there. For now, I love the fact that we are savings for retirement this way. So many people retire with nothing and rely only on social security. That will not be us.

So, Dave outlines 2 more steps.
Baby Step 5: SAVE FOR COLLEGE
Baby Step 6: PAY OFF YOUR HOMOE MORTGAGE
Baby Step 7: BUILD WEALTH

I didn't focus as much on these steps, because I'm definitely not there yet, but good good good information.

Check it out online: http://www.daveramsey.com/home/

I LOVE Dave Ramsey and his TOTAL MONEY MAKEOVER.

April 16, 2011

what an amazing day

Today felt amazing. I love love love Saturdays. First of all, I slept in until 10:15, which was wonderful.
I got into my workout clothes and decided to drive around today to figure out some better running routes. I didn't realize that the Salt Lake City Marathon would be affecting the roads in my area- but it was, so I did a little detour and on the way I got to see so many runners! I loved being able to watch them for a moment as they ran and walked down the road. It got me so excited for my half marathon in August. I felt so motivated today after seeing the runners and I cannot wait for the half, especially because I will be able to run it with 2 great friends!
I came home, parked the car and set out for a jog. This was the first time I have jogged the streets near where I live alone. Running alone on a Saturday morning seems a lot less scary than running in the evening. Plus, I have new running capris and I LOVE them. New running gear is always fun.
This has been the warmest day all year. The weather couldn't be more beautiful, which makes me SO happy. So, when I came home I put a blanket out in the yard, grabbed 2 pillows and laid out with my Harry Potter book and just enjoyed myself.
Then I finally got around to making the bed. Look at this pillow...I think it's gorgeous, and look at the cute buttons on the back.
I found it at IKEA. When Luke and I first moved to SLC, we went shopping at IKEA for some things,and I fell in love with it. I've waited all this time and said no to it 3 or 4 more times in my IKEA trips, but I finally gave in, and I LOVE it. It's bright and I love how it looks on the bed. Now I kind of want to learn how to make my own pillow covers as cute as that.
Then I made some delicious dinner. Well, I made 2 dinners because we took dinner to a family on our street. The day was so warm and I cooked the meal in the oven, I am sure they probably would have rather had cold cereal. It was delicious nonetheless.
Then I put in my IPOD and started cleaning. But, while cleaning, Enrique Iglesias came on my IPOD and I just started having a little dance party by myself. I haven't really had a good dance party since before I was married. Luke came in but just wasn't feelin' it so that kind of put a damper on my dance party and I got back to cleaning. :)
When I got around to cleaning our fish, he slipped right down the drain! I screamed and Luke came running in because he thought my ring had fallen in. Our poor fish was sitting in the disposal. Luke said, "Get a flashlight!" So I ran to my 72 hour kit and found a flashlight, but it didn't have batteries in it. So I ran outside to my car to grab the wind-up flashlight. We shined it down the disposal and there he was, just laying there. I did NOT want to stick my hand down there and grab the fish, so Luke did, except his hand didn't fit. I had to be the hero. I stuck my hand down there and our fish started flopping around which caused me to scream and pull my hand back out. After several more tries, I finally saved the poor thing and he is safely back in his home, but he doesn't look too good. I am sure we can nurse him back to health.
Anyway, then we had to pick up a few things at Lowes where Luke got to dream about getting a lawn mower. Then we stopped at Target just to see if they had a certain shirt in that I really liked but didn't have my size last time- but tonight they had it! And it will be a perfect shirt for work this summer. I love today.

April 13, 2011

14

This girl, I love her. Her due date was on April 21. Seeing as how my birthday is April 11, as a 9 year old, I couldn't think of anything better than having a sister share the exact same birthday as me. But, she came 2 days after my birthday and all those years living at home, we have pretty much always celebrated our birthdays together. Love ya, Bet.

April 7, 2011

thought for the day

Make a little more time to run.

April 3, 2011

warm weather

I love warm weather! Saturday we had tickets to go to General Conference, but the line was so long that we decided to walk around Temple Square instead. They broadcast the conference over temple square- I had no idea! So, we got to spend some time outside and listen to conference at the same time.
I know, we're weird.

utah grizzlies

Here's to the Utah Grizzlies game that we did not stay to see the end of. College hockey is much more exciting to me. But, we did have some good laughs with Skyler who kept us entertained.