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financial freedom

Intentional Living

3 Reasons You Need To Read Money Making Mom

November 3, 2015

If you aren’t reading Crystal’s blog, Money Saving Mom, or following her on social media, you are absolutely missing out. This lady has helped me save money and live more intentionally on countless occasions. To say she is an inspiration to me as a wife, mother, and entrepreneur is the understatement of the century.

The past couple weeks have been really exciting because I had the honor and privilege to be on the launch team for a new book – Money-Making Mom: How Every Woman Can Earn More and Make a Difference. The book is all about how to earn an income as a mom, outside of the typical 8-5 job, and all the challenges, opportunities, and responsibilities that come with that.

Part of being on the launch team meant getting to read her new book early. The book was so great, I literally devoured it in under four days. I am so excited to share with you 3 reasons I think Money-Making Mom is worth your time as well.

one woman

1. Healthy Financial Perspective

Sometimes in the business world, you will hear things like:

  • Use debt to start and grow your business
  • Create profit, profit, and more profit for the sake of profit
  • If it’s what you want, pursue success no matter the cost

Well that is the opposite of Crystal’s book. She strongly suggests starting slowly and within one’s financial means without debt. That’s her own story of how she grew her brand and she wants others to experience the blessing and freedom that comes with being financially free.

She also highlights the beautiful opportunity to earn an income and be a blessing to your family but also to others. Giving is an entire chapter in this book and for good reason – we have a deep need to give to others and it brings us immense joy and satisfaction when we do. Earning money as a mom gives us the ability to be even more generous with others in our community and world.

Lastly, she stresses work-life balance and keeping your priorities in check. She doesn’t advocate chasing every money-making opportunity available, but discerning the right ones that fit your family and values.

grow

2. Get To Know Thyself

Earning income as a mom can come in as varied of a package as there are moms out there. How YOU may be called specifically to create income for your family (if at all!) is unique to your own gifts, talents, and desires.

In the book, Crystal actively guides you through self-reflection on this topic. In asking myself the big questions she poses, I felt like I was getting to know myself better. I was able to see how God uniquely crafted me and how he might want to use my gifts and talents in the world. She helped put me in touch with my passions and the reasons why I do what I do.

Knowing the answers to these questions will help make sense of any opportunity you are given to earn income for your family. Through knowing who you are, you will be free to pursue your work with passion and vision.

show up

3. How To Be Your Own Boss

Lastly, the book dives into the topic of some practical how-to’s and what business opportunities might be available for women who desire to work for themselves. What I love about this section is that it not only inspires but doesn’t shy away from the cold hard fact that starting and maintaining a business is HARD WORK.

I think it’s easy to glorify business owners or entrepreneurs as people who happened to be in the “right place at the right time.” That’s almost never true. It takes an unbelievable amount of energy and focus to get an idea off the ground and to grow it into a successful business.

Money-Making Mom: How Every Woman Can Earn More and Make a Difference explores the details of how to take your ideas and turn them into something bigger. You can follow the action points provided and walk towards taking what’s in your head and creating an opportunity with potential to earn income. Whether its blogging, an online business, a brick-and-mortar storefront, or direct sales – there are questions in this book that will get your wheels turning about how to get started or take what you currently have to the next level.

And there you have it.

Although I am currently a stay-at-home mom-ish (I do still work for FOCUS – Fellowship of Catholic University Students on special projects) this book got me really thinking about other opportunities to earn some income for our family. Time will tell where it takes me but I am very excited about some current ideas that are brewing. 🙂

What’s even more exciting is that TODAY is actually launch day for this book. If you are thinking about earning money either part-time or full-time as a Momma, check this one out and explore where God might be calling you.

I would love to hear your feedback as to what you think of it, so keep in touch as you read it!

Money

The October Budget Breakdown

September 30, 2015

Welcome back to the budget breakdown here at True Good and Beautiful!

We’ve recently started coordinating another Financial Peace University course and it’s gotten us fired up about budgeting all over again. Nothing like a shot in the arm from Dave Ramsey to get jazzed about the fundamental principles of financial freedom.

That’s what budgeting is, my friends. It’s fundamental to your winning or losing with money.

Your life will hinge on your ability to create and stick to a budget or your lack of ability to do so. Plain and simple. That’s why we DO these budget reminders every month because we want y’all thriving!

With that, let’s dive into October’s budget post.

In these posts we will write-up typical expenses that may get overlooked for the particular month.

So, what expenses might you expect in the month of October:

  • ALL THE FALL THINGS!!!!
    • Pumpkin Spice Lattes
    • Cider
    • Food Festivals
    • Oktoberfest
    • Pumpkin Patch
    • Hayrides
    • Horseback riding
    • Corn Maze
    • Apple Picking
    • Decorating
    • Pumpkin Carving
    • I could go on for days…you get the idea!
  • Halloween/All Saints Day
    • Secular costume
    • Saint costume
    • Candy or other treats
    • Party supplies
    • Decorations
  • Holidays Travel
    • Thanksgiving
    • Christmas
  • Other Fall Activities
    • Football games
    • Baseball games
    • Football parties
    • Fantasy Football fees
  • Christmas (good idea to start saving a few months ahead!)
    • Gifts
    • Decorations
  • Birthdays
  • Conference Fees
    • We’re attending the Dave Ramsey SMART Conference this month!
  • Anniversaries
    • We celebrate 4 years of marriage on October 22nd! 🙂
  • Annual Family Photo Shoot
    • Photography Fees
    • Props
    • Outfits/Accessories
    • Photo printing costs
  • Car Maintenance
    • Transmission Overhaul (blog post comin about that one!)

Again, these are some expenses we’ve found ourselves budgeting for this month, so they might be applicable to you or not. Some of these expenses are best budgeted for as a sinking fund...like car maintenance or Christmas.

Happy budgeting y’all!

Money

How to Attend Financial Peace University for FREE

September 1, 2015
It’s THAT time of year again!
It’s time for a giveaway around the True Good and Beautiful blog!

What are we giving away? (Like you don’t have us figured out here yet…) 😉

1 FINANCIAL PEACE UNIVERSITY MEMBERSHIP!!!!

To say that Dave Ramsey has a huge influence on how we choose to live in the understatement of the year.

Using his materials and methods are the sole reasons we are debt-free and living on a budget today. His message has literally changed our lives.

And we can’t help but pass along this opportunity to others.

Nope, this opportunity was not sponsored by Dave Ramsey.

We simply believe so powerfully in the freedom that comes in handling money God’s way that we want to pay it forward to someone else. We want to bless an individual or family who would benefit from going through this class.

In fact, we did this giveaway last year and this is what one winner had to say:

“Since then (attending FPU), I’ve felt much more financial freedom in the knowledge that this is something God and I are doing together, and at the end of the day, He’s calling the shots.”

What is Financial Peace University (FPU)?

“Financial Peace University is a nine-week class on money taught by America’s most trusted financial guru, Dave Ramsey. Dave and his teaching team will walk you through the basics of budgeting, dumping debt, planning for the future, and much more!”

www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDW3HEgh_w8
You can see a sample of all nine lessons here.

Most classes start in a couple of weeks, hence the giveaway. You can see a list of locations, dates, and times at the FPU website. If you’re in the Denver area, consider joining the class we’re coordinating (starts Thursday, Sept 24, 2015).

Jonathan and I have attended and facilitated Financial Peace University and it’s been a huge blessing in our life and parish. If you could benefit from sprucing up your finances or demolishing old habits and starting over, then sign up to win one of these classes we are giving away.

It literally can change your life and the lives of those around you.

Lastly – I shouldn’t have to say this but…if you know you will not complete all nine classes and take the class seriously, DO NOT ENTER THIS CONTEST! If you are ready to dive in and apply yourself in class, ENTER ALL YOU CAN! We want to make sure the people with the right attitudes are the ones who win this opportunity.

Best of luck!


Money

The April Budget Breakdown

March 31, 2015

Well hello again.

It”s yet again time for some good ole budget accountability and fun!

Again, in these posts we will write-up typical expenses that may get overlooked for the particular month. Then we have a photo link up portion where YOU can upload a photo of your budget committee meeting for the month!

So, what expenses might you expect in the month of April?

  • EASTER!!
    • Festive Meal
    • Party
    • Gifts for family/friends/children/people becoming Catholic
    • Easter Egg hunts
    • Travel
    • Fun activities for the octave
  • March Madness
    • Championship game party/outing
  • Spring Cleaning Supplies
    • Mop, Broom, Vacuum
    • Organizational boxes
    • Filing Cabinet
  • Vehicle Maintenance
    • Car Washes or supplies
    • Oil change
    • Windshield Wipers
  • Expenses Related to Taxes
    • Accountant/CPA
    • Turbo Tax, etc.
    • E-Filing Fees
  • Birthday gifts
  • Wedding gifts
  • Summer vacation/wedding flights

Again, these are some expenses we’ve found ourselves budgeting for this month, so they might be applicable to you or not. Some of these expenses are best budgeted for as a sinking fund...like birthday and wedding gifts. We tend to get slammed with Wedding gift expenses during the summer months and it’s so much easier if we put away a certain amount monthly for that time.

We are excited to have travel to Nebraska in our budget this month to see a friend enter the Catholic faith!! We haven’t spent Easter with family in almost 8 years so it will be really nice to be around them. We also have the last of our adoption expenses this month before Josie’s finalization in May! 🙂

Now it’s time for your part!

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Money

The February Budget Breakdown

January 31, 2015

Here it is friends.

The FIRST budget breakdown post.

These are meant to help all you budgeting peeps have some accountability and encouragement.

In these posts we will write up typical expenses that may get overlooked for the particular month. Then we have a photo link up portion where YOU can upload a photo of your budget committee meeting for the month! The link up is meant to be a source of accountability and fun. Budgeting isn’t the most thrilling activity out there…but when you can take a creative selfie along with it? It becomes MUCH more entertaining. 🙂

So besides the obvi expenses for the month of February (food, lights, water, shelter, etc.) what else might you anticipate at your budget meeting?

  • Super BowlXLIX
    • Food for your party, etc
  • Valentine’s Day
    • Gifts for family members
    • Parties, decorations, etc
  • Items you might run out of this month (toilet paper, paper towels, dishwasher or clothing detergent, shampoo, face wash, etc)
  • Expenses Related to Taxes
    • Accountant/CPA/Tax Preparer
    • Turbo Tax, etc
    • E-Filing Fees
  • Winter clothing needs
  • Small pick-me-ups to ward off Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) aka the winter blues
  • Vitamins or supplements that are typically on sale during the winter months
  • Insurance premiums
    • Auto, Home, Life, etc

Perhaps some of those will apply to you and others won’t. Those are all expenses we are experiencing this month that are out of the ordinary that need space in our budget. For some of those bigger expenses like auto and life insurance premiums, we’ve set up what’s called a sinking fund. Since those expenses are almost always the same and we know they come up annually or bi-annually, we put money away in our budget monthly for them. Then when it’s time to pay the expense, money has been accruing all the other months of the year so it’s not such a deep hit on the month the expense occurs.

Now, it’s time for the fun!

Give us your best budgeting selfie and be as creative and out-of-the-box as you want! 🙂 I admit we look terrible in our photo but let’s be honest – that’s how we look on Saturday mornings before we’ve showered for the day. You’re getting us as real as it gets.

[inlinkz_linkup id=491644 mode=1]

Money

5 Ways To Derail Your Budget

January 13, 2015

Some of you are new to the world of budgeting.

Perhaps it was a New Year’s Resolution of yours. We’re about two weeks into January so by now you’ve either nailed it, completely forgotten about it, or crashed and burned hard.

No matter where you are with budgeting, I want to share with you five ways you’ll be thrown off course as you learn how to make it a habit in your life.

1. Pretend You’re a Pro

You will mess up your first few budgets. If you walk into budgeting acting like a pro and expect perfection, you are setting yourself up for failure.

How can you be excellent at something you’ve never done before? You can’t. We’re all human. Do your best and give budgeting all the effort it deserves…but inevitably as you discover you underfunded/overfunded/totally forgot certain items to budget for you need to cut yourself some slack. You can get back on the saddle and get it more right the next round.

And the next round.

And the next…until you are a true budgeting pro.

2. Forget About Tracking

If you are one of those people who plans to mentally keep track of your budget as you go through the month, you’re crazy.

You won’t do it.

Especially if you are married and you not only have to keep track of your own spending but that of another spouse’s spending.

Not. Gonna. Happen.

You need a way to track how you are spending money from your budget each month. I don’t care how you do it but you need something other than your fleeting memory. Paper and pen. Budgeting Apps. Dave Ramsey Gazelle Budget website. YNAB – You Need a Budget software.

Something. Anything.

In the beginning we were pen and paper people. We tracked on the back of every envelope how much was spent from it and the various purchases. This worked but man did it get old. We then switched to Dave Ramsey’s Gazelle Budget but it was a pain in the rear to have to save receipts from the day and then enter them one by one into the budget every evening. That’s when we got YNAB software and we’ve never looked back. Jonathan and I can spend from the budget and track it throughout the day on our phones. It then auto syncs in the cloud so our budget is up to date at all moments. Love it!

3. Don’t Consult it Before Purchasing

If you show up at the grocery store or and begin to just place items in your cart without first checking your budget, you will bust your budget quicker than the speed of light. Or agree to go to the movies without first checking in with what the Entertainment category has left in it.

The budget is meant to be a guide and not a noose. By checking in with what you’ve set aside in varying categories, you are giving yourself freedom to make wise choices with how you planned to spend money that month. You free yourself to say “yes” or “no” to whatever items or activity has come up based on what amount is left in the budget for that particular category.

By consulting the budget, you won’t end up accidentally overspending your gas money on one too nights out at the movies.

4. Be Ashamed of the “B” Word

In the world of responsible budgeting, a common phrase would be, “Let me check the budget” prior to spending money. This phrase can be really hard to use when in the company of other people and typically invokes great fear or shame.

I remember in the early days of our journey to financial freedom, it was late in the month and friends we were hanging out with asked us to go to a movie that night. We honestly didn’t know what we had left in our “entertainment” category for the month since we’d already done a few fun things in the previous weeks. Jonathan looked at me and said, “Is it in the budget,” and I got completely embarrassed.

I shouldn’t of felt anything negative since budgets are not a matter to be ashamed of. We had other priorities and going to the movies wasn’t top if we didn’t have the funds available for it. Much to our disappointment, we had already depleted our entertainment budget for the month and turned the friends down. Thankfully they were very understanding but even if they hadn’t been we didn’t need to feel anything but confidence.

5. Over-complicate Things

Lastly, one way to get derailed in the budgeting process is to make things so complicated that even you, the budget creator, can’t tell how or where to categorize things.

There is a tendency to create way too many categories in one’s budget. You don’t have to budget for shampoo. Budget for toiletries. You don’t have to budget for an occasional magazine. Budget personal blow money. You don’t have to budget for Netflix. Budget for entertainment.

You get the idea. Finding ways to bring lots of different expenses under common categories will simplify your life. Think general and make categories for those commonly occurring expenses. Those smaller ones that come up only a couple times a year can find a home in one of your general categories. We even have a “miscellaneous” category for things like stamps, Amazon Prime, and the random items that come up every now and again that need a home in our budget.

If you over complicate the budget, you won’t stick to the budget.

Hopefully you can avoid the common ways to derail your budget this year!

I think the number one reason people don’t stick to a budget is lack of accountability and support. Starting next month we will begin providing some form of budget accountability. We’re still figuring our the logistics…will it be a link-up? A photo? A hashtag? Some combination of those? We are working out the details but starting February 1, 2015 we are here to support and encourage all of you trying to stick to a budget this year!

Hope you can join us!