Browsing Tag

financial peace

Money

Remember That Financial Freedom Course We’re Creating? Welp, It’s Almost Done and Here’s What They’re Sayin…

April 3, 2017

Guys.

Holy Freaking Smokes.

Remember when we recruited beta testers for the financial freedom course we were creating?

We knew it was going to be a stretch to keep working on the course since we were about to bring home our second baby girl in a matter of days….but by golly we just decided that life wasn’t slowing down and it was time to turn our dream of helping others into a reality.

I highlight that we thought it was a stretch because that was the understatement of the century. We had no clue that we were about to live in Arkansas for over a month when our newborn baby girl had an unexpected stay in the NICU after birth.

On top of that, we underestimated the hardness of the newborn phase and sleep deprivation. (This wasn’t our first rodeo so why wouldn’t we have remembered the hardness? Our brains must have seriously blocked it out! LOL)

And then even on top of that, we’re still living with my amazing parents (moving NEXT MONTH into our own home finally) and transitioning into being a family of four with a toddler and a newborn in someone else’s home while 80% of our belongings remain in storage has proved a wee bit challenging.

When we got home from Arkansas in January, there were a few conversations where we wondered if it was prudent to follow through on the beta at this phase in life. Ultimately we decided to go for it and I couldn’t be more grateful we did.

We reminded ourselves again of that reality that there’s never a good time to __________ (Insert any big or challenging opportunity!) We realized that when we completed our course in the smack dab middle of a wild, hairy, insane, sleepless, and un-settled phase of life that we’d be able to do anything later on.

Onward we marched…scraping, clawing, pulling all nighters, and working hard creating a quality course dedicated to transformation and lasting financial freedom.

We gathered our beta testers and on February 22, 2017 we launched our first of eight weekly modules.

We’re on schedule to wrap up our beta test in a few weeks and we couldn’t be more excited. Of course our students have provided solid feedback for adding value, clarifying our message, and making sure our technology works seamlessly. We expected that.

What we also expected but didn’t have social proof for was specific and concrete feedback on the results we were getting our students. And boy do we have a boatload now.

We’re getting our students results as they’re moving towards lasting financial freedom. They are seeing drastic improvements in their ability to budget, save, pay off debt, and give. While many are new to focusing on handling their money well and have experienced some overwhelm (#normal) they have confidence and peace knowing we’ve given them a path to follow that will get them exactly where they want to go. 

That’s all we ever wanted to do and now we know we’ve done it and can keep doing it for others.

Just check out what they’re saying…straight from the horse’s mouth:

I used to always be scared, worried, or avoid the topic of money but now it actually gets me excited!

The course is instantly applicable.

It’s the down and dirty about everything you need to know about finances.

This would’ve been good to know about before adulting.

We’d dodged dealing with money in our marriage and this course has been the platform that forced us to have conversations and to talk about finances.

It’s like a bootcamp to learn how to get your money to work for your goals instead of letting your money just happen.

For anyone who doesn’t know where to start with finances – this is the class for them.

I LOVE your stories and y’all crack me up!

It’s helped me to plan of the future instead of just living paycheck to paycheck.

I would 100% recommend this course.

YEEHAW!

Hearing these comments gave us so much encouragement and validation that we’re right where God wants us and that he’s taking our little “yes” (and whoooooooole lotta elbow grease) and using it to bring financial freedom and peace into the lives of others.

While we’re wrapping up our beta this month, we wanted to update y’all on how it’s going and point you to our website where you can sign up to get specific emails about the course as it gets launched to the public.

It will take us some time to tweak the course based on feedback we’ve received in the beta but I don’t want anyone to miss out on it when we launch later in 2017.

Thank you all for your support, encouragement, and cheerleading!

Money, Parenting

Are Cloth Wipes Cheaper Than Disposable?

January 29, 2016

OK, admit it.

Some of y’all thought we were crazies when we wrote about our cloth diapering venture.

But today I am putting the final nail in the coffin for you because I am going to share why we also make our own cloth wipes. I swear we aren’t turning into Colorado hippies despite how with each passing year we get more and more crunchy…hmmm.

You are also going to get a taste of just how nerdy we are with all our calculations, equations, and measurements. I’ll be honest, we primarily cloth to save money. Sure there are other reasons in there but if it wasn’t going to save us moolah, we probs wouldn’t be doing it. Same goes for cloth wipes. It had to be economical for us to consider it.

Making the leap into cloth wipes sort of happened on accident in the beginning. I bought lots of barely used cloth diapers on Cragslist for a hella good deal from a lady who was so utterly sleep deprived (she had a sleep trainer at her house when I stopped by) that she threw in a bunch of extra baby stuff, cloth wipes being one of them. Then another friend saw we were cloth wiping early on and passed along some she didn’t plan on using. We invested $0 into cloth wipes so it was a no-brainer to try them out.

Eventually we ended up doing some traveling and had to buy disposable diapers and wipes and all I can say is OUCH!!! It was really pricey compared to the virtual nothing we were used to spending on cloth. That got me thinking…I should sit down and figure out in a concrete way just HOW much we’re saving with cloth diapers and wipes.

So today I bring you our cloth wipe geeky cost-savings calculations.

Let’s start with what I use to make wipes: Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Soap from Costco, Kirkland brand coconut oil, Bumkins flannel cloth wipes, and boiling water.

wipesstuff

Now lets take a peek at the cost breakdown is per batch of wipes.

Dr. Bronner’s  Peppermint Soap

This costs $9.79 at Costco. It’s a 40 ounce bottle, which converted is 1183 ml per bottle. We use approximately 1 tbsp (15 ml) of soap per batch. Doing the math, we can get about 79 batches of wipes per bottle. Taking the total cost of $9.79 divided by 79 batches leave us with a grand total of 12.4 cents per batch.

Kirkland Coconut Oil

The oil costs $25.99 for two tubs. Each tub is 1200 grams. We use approximately 1 tbsp (14 grams) per batch. Doing the math, we can get about 85 batches per tub, multiplied by two comes to 170 batches for the set. Taking the total cost of $25.99 divided by 170 batches comes to 15.3 cents per batch.

Bumkins Flannel Cloth Wipes.

These were given to me FREE so really, I don’t need to calculate this in but for the sake of other’s we will pretend we purchased them. The wipes cost $9.79 per pack of twelve. I feel that four packs, or 48 wipes, would be what is needed. The cost of four packs of wipes comes to $37.72, or 78.6 cents per wipe. That seems high per wipe but we will demonstrate the amount of mileage you can get from this inital invesment later.

Boiling Water

The amount of money used on this a few times a month is negligible and not even worth doing math over. This won’t be what makes or breaks cloth wipes for you.

Total Cost

When you add together the cost of the above items, your first batch of 48 wipes will cost you 79.2 cents per wipe. That’s really expensive compared to store bought, but again, we see the savings over the long haul as the wipe cost disappears and cost gets spread out over time.

Subsequent batches (now that the hard cost of wipes is out of the equation) cost 27.7 cents to create a batch, or .58 cents per wipe from that point forward.

Assuming you make two batches of wipes per week, in two years’ time you spend $95.62 total.

Getting a Comparison.

Just for fun, let’s compare this cloth wipe system to Costco’s Kirkland brand pack of 900 baby wipes, which sell for $19.99 or 2.2 cents per wipe…which is a great deal in the ‘sposie wipe world unless you strictly coupon or use some form of reward points.

Let’s also assume, that you use 96 wipes a week to keep the numbers the same. (Which is VERY CONSERVATIVE since disposable wipes tend to disappear MUCH quicker than cloth!) That means the box would last you 2.3 months before you would have to purchase more.

The 11 packs of  9,900 Costco wipes costs $219.89 over the course of 2 years.

The difference saves $124.27 over a two year period…which only increases the longer your kiddo is in diapers. At three years, the difference would be $215.25! Then if you happen to have more than one kiddo the cost savings continue to grow!

Conclusions

No, that amount of money isn’t anywhere close to what you save on cloth diapers vs. disposable diapers…but it’s something! Again, our estimations were very conservative since in our experience cloth wipes are not used anywhere near as fast as disposable wipes…so in reality the savings are likely larger.

A final note: Cloth wipes also just make life easier when you’re already cloth diapering because you can just toss them all in the wet bag together opposed to throwing just the diaper in the wet bag AND then taking the dirty gross wipes to a trash can where they stink things up since they aren’t wrapped up in a disposable diaper. The reverse would be true if you use disposable diapers…what a pain then to have to wash cloth wipes without having to wash the diapers!

A final final note: This post above made me realize we may or may not have a Costco addiction. EEP!

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

Why Our Transmission Blowing Up Was The Best Thing That Could’ve Happened

October 6, 2015

There I was, minding my own business, driving along the highway on my way to noon Mass…

That’s when the our new-to-us 2007 Chrystler Town & Country van chose to die an abrupt and sudden death. I pulled off the side of the road to cry hysterically for a few minutes calmly collect myself and call my two Knights in Shinning Armor – Jonathan and my Father.

Minutes later, Jonathan was there to save the day and my dad (who’s a very trusted mechanic) was already calling shops in Denver to scout out the most reliable place to tow the van. Soon after, the van was towed away to the mechanic’s and we were on our way home.

The next morning, I got the call. The transmission needed rebuilding and it was going to cost $2,300.

Ouch.

Why, oh why would I say that this was the BEST thing that could’ve happened?

Because it reminded us just how important having a fully funded emergency fund truly is.

Obviously we saw its importance because we had enough money to actually pay the bill. But there was an even deeper reason…

A year ago we had a comfortable emergency fund of 6 months expenses. But then we had adoption bills come in that exceeded our puzzle fundraiser. We had no option but to dip into our emergency fund.

We should  have then refunded the emergency fund ASAP but we got a little lazy. We kept pushing it off, prioritizing other budget line items ahead.

However, right before the tranny blew up we almost made the biggest mistake of all. 

We’ve been planing on getting granite counter tops in our town home ever since we moved in a year and a half ago. Partly for our style, but mostly for resale value. I know it’s an improvement that will help us get the most equity out of our home purchase and will set our home a part in the crowd. So, we started interviewing different granite stores/contractors/fabricators in Denver for the granite we would get “someday.”

Through seeing all the options, we got really excited about the project. Instead of simply picking who we wanted to work with (like we thought) we decided that we wanted to go ahead with it.

Great, right?

No, because we didn’t have enough funds in the budget to cash flow the project. We waffled back and forth. We even had a conversation where Jonathan said, “What if a car dies and we have to take it to the shop?” to which I replied, “The chances of that are so slim, and we will rebuild the account before we need it anyway.” Despite all that deliberating, we ultimately decided to use part of the emergency fund on the granite.

Ruh Roh.

Now, if the Lord wanted us to hit rock bottom, we would have done the granite AND THEN the car would have broken down. Our emergency fund would REALLY have been in trouble if that was the case. But literally ten minutes after the granite company had taken measurements at our home, we got the mechanic’s phone call with the estimated bill.

Snapping back to reality, we then called and cancelled the granite plans. Almost as soon after we vowed to NEVER EVER use the emergency fund for anything non-emergency related. t’s just not worth it. You never know what could happen or when you will need those funds! We now know that all too well.

Someday we will call that granite company back and set up our install but it won’t be until we’ve built our fully funded emergency fund back up and we are able to cash flow the entire project.

Yet again, slow and steady wins the race, every time. 🙂

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!