A Journey Out Of Debt

I'm sure you've read one of the articles about us millennials not being able to buy houses because of avocado toast or bottomless mimosas or whatever it is we're prioritizing over a money pit. I own a house, I can call it a money pit from experience. I don't fall into the avocado toast group because I do own a house, but I honestly only own one because it was so much cheaper than the rent I was paying. I do, however, fall into the millennial trope about credit card and student loan debt. I'm working on hashing out a five year plan, and paying off credit cards is Big Goal number 1.
this picture has nothing to do with debt, these are just some pretty flowers in my front yard that got no love on the gram
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I have been reading all of the money blogs and books and think pieces I can find. I once bought the Dave Ramsey money book, but it's almost like it's a solution for people who are just starting out in the whole doing anything with money business. Cash only isn't a good option for me because I feel the opposite way most people feel about cash. If I have to swipe my card, I'm thinking about what I'm spending, but if I just have cash in my purse? It's free money! It's weird. I think part of it is *knowing* the interest rate on those credit cards.

I'm not as worried about paying my student loans, house, or car off super early, because I have incredible interest rates on them. They're all simple interest under 5%. My main focus is the mountain of debt with the 25% compound interest. My current plans to tackle this particular goal are: obviously any money I can make from this blog, I'm studying to get my real estate license, and I recently applied for a bunch of a consolidation loan options, and finally found one I qualified for. That literally saved me $3,000 in interest, right off the bat and gives me an end date that I can literally mark on my calendar.

I also use a few cashback apps, Ebates, Honey, Dosh, and Ibotta. I absolutely recommend them all. I mean companies are going to track your spending habits no matter what you do, so you might as well get your cut of it. If you have any other suggestions, that I might not know about, pleeeeease hook yo' girl up. Obviously send me the link that gets you a bonus too. I always want whatever referral code helps us both out.

Now, I do want to get a little defensive here. In September of last year, the Wednesday before the Taylor Swift concert, to be exact, I was laid off from my job. Prior to that, I was essentially working two full time jobs, not using any credit cards, and paying them down. I had them so under control, I was super proud of myself. After I was laid off from my higher paying job, I started working full-full time for my dad's company again. It was a huge pay cut, almost $20,000 a year. There's room to grow and all of that stuff, but that was a huge shift, and some things had to be put on credit cards.

Anyways. I got my budget in order and have mostly everything under control now. It's just time to see if I can make some extra money on the side and eventually find out what it's like to be relatively debt free. I figured y'all might like to come along on this adventure with me. It won't be like the posts where it's all "See How We Saved $50,000 In One Year!" and then you find out that they make six digit incomes and have no outstanding debt whatsoever. It's going to be SUPER fun, right? Do you have any suggestions? Any hacks I might not know about yet?

The Never Ending Mattress Adventure: Part 2

Hey guys. Guess what. We have some updates. First, the drain for the washing machine was just clogged, so we got that fixed without having to pull up all the pipes in the house. Second, the dishwasher is kaput, we tried all of the "youtube fixes your contractor doesn't want you to see" things. Those didn't work, it's d-e-a-d. If one more person suggests hand washing my dishes I will throat punch them. 

NOW. I've been tweeting about this whole "is the bed frame ever going to be delivered?" adventure. I have been purposely not tagging Mattress Firm, because it's just a whole combination of situations and not necessarily their fault. Now, after they sent me an automated e-mail asking for my review of a product that hadn't been delivered yet, they discovered my tweet thread. They asked me to DM them with the drama, so I did. After explaining how we ordered this frame LAST MONDAY and how the mattress is just in the box in the damn living room because we're not trying to put our brand new mattress on the floor, the customer service rep asks me why don't you want to put the mattress on the floor? I almost dropped my phone. 

Why don't you want to put the mattress on the floor? I try so hard not to be rude with customer service people. I was one for years. Sometimes you just can't help. Sometimes, after you've done everything you can, you still don't have a good answer. Why don't you want to put the mattress on the floor? BECAUSE I PAID FOR A BED FRAME. Because I'm not in college? Because I'm an adult? Because we have white sheets and a black dog? Because it's none of your damn business? I calmly responded "not to be rude, but because we paid for the bed frame." and four other reasons. 

I don't know what I was expecting from this customer service team, but that definitely was not it. Maybe a "we're sorry, have a new pillow!" or something. This is 100% going to feed into my review about the product. Even if I love the mattress and the bed frame, I'm not giving it all the stars because this has been the most ridiculous experience. The next day, the day the bed frame was actually on the truck for delivery, the customer service manager contacted me and read me the FedEx tracking. By this point I wasn't expecting anything from them, yes I am aware what the tracking says, I do know how to use FedEx.

SO when I got home from work last night, the bed frame was THERE! I mean, it was getting soaked in the rain, but you win some you lose some. I immediately moved all of the furniture in the master bedroom, poured myself a very large glass of wine, and got to work. I had the entire bed put together, set up, and MADE in under an hour. I have never been more excited to make a bed in my entire life. It fluffed right up and we slept on it last night. It was amazing. The best night's sleep I've gotten in a while. Was it worth this whole nightmare process? We'll see at the end of the 120 day money back period. Our last bed was so bad that literally anything felt more comfortable than what we had.

So far, what I've learned from this experience, is buy the bed frame when you buy the mattress and don't buy anything that ships GROUND from California. So ends the mattress adventure I never want to go on again. Have you had any furniture buying adventures? Tell me allll of your stories!

The Never Ending Mattress Adventure

So, let me just preface this by saying I love my house.  It's adorable, it's super close to all of the things I want to be close to, I can walk to the Marietta Square. It's a great little house. Now, let me tell you about the never ending nightmare that has been getting a new bed for the master bedroom. 

Our cool, handmade, reclaimed wood bed.  
So, I originally had this cool bed with storage made out of recycled pallets. SUPER cool bed. It was a queen size though, and now that there are two of us, queen size isn't quite big enough. I'd also had the mattress forever and had bought it off of a friend. It was the firmest mattress I've ever slept on. We literally had an egg crate AND a down mattress topper and it still felt like sleeping on the ground. So we started researching new, king size, mattress options back in OCTOBER. 

Now, I'm a planner. If I'm making a big purchase, I like to know all of the information. Considering most of the king size beds started out OVER $1,000, I wanted to make sure we got a good deal but not something that would feel cheap. I also wanted one of those "sleep on this for 120 nights to make sure you love it!" guarantees. I read months worth of amazon reviews, hoping I could snag one of the less expensive "beds in a box" they have on there. At the time of my research, there were tons of reviews citing mold and hard to get in touch with customer service options. Then I priced out all the different "bed in a box" options. I was still wary, because I wanted to see one in person and lay on it before I shelled out a grand. 

Then we discovered that Mattress Firm carried one of the beds in a box, that we could lay on one there before ordering it AND got the 120 day guarantee AND they were running a sale where you got the king for the price of a queen. That made the nicer tier king size mattress well within our budget woohoo! We didn't spring for a box springs, because I had seen frames on the internet for less than $100, and thought maybe we could snag one of those instead. This was a mistake.

I went back to the millions of reviews on Amazon for one of the bed frames (by the way, that was a wild ride. I didn't expect to learn so much about the sex lives of strangers in product reviews, but I guess that is something you need to take into account when buying a bed frame. I learned that there are lots of different options when it comes to handcuffs and keeping metal frames from squeaking. It was just a ton of information.) I started to doubt my decision to not just buy a box spring, because the slats were supposed to be 3" or less apart for a memory foam mattress. (After worrying about all of this, I noticed that the slats on traditional box springs are not that close together either, so that's cool.) 

I ended up going back to Mattress Firm, but via the website, and ordering a frame they had as the one that should go with the mattress we bought. It was great, I had a coupon from Honey and saved 30%. The shipping was even free! That began a whole new adventure that I've been live tweeting since it started. Yes, since it started, because it still hasn't been delivered. It's allegedly on the FedEx truck for delivery today, but I'll believe that when I see it. I ordered it a week ago. I also ordered a new duvet cover from Target three days later, it shipped ground as well, but with UPS, and it was there the very next day. 

So. We've got the duvet, sheets, and mattress. We're just waiting on the bed frame. I went ahead and listed the old bed on Facebook, and we sold it relatively painlessly. Some of the people I dealt with were quite a nightmare, but the kid who ended up buying it got it for a song and hauled it off on Saturday. So we're currently sleeping in the guest bedroom, on a full size bed, because that's what fits on the cool antique bed frame I have in there. Sorry, all of my guests, I didn't realize how small that was for two people.

Yesterday, I decided it was as good a time as any to wash all of the new linens. While I was washing the new duvet and in the middle of some serious spring cleaning, I heard an awful lot of sloshing. I looked behind the washing machine to see that GALLONS of water are just overflowing from the drain pipe. (You can watch a video on my insta home highlights) Just a gigantic mess. I turned the washing machine off, (actually,  I only paused it, when I walked away it decided to start running again) and honestly had to stop everything I was doing. The duvet is still in the washing machine, the machine is about 2/3 full of water. It's great. 

This has gone on for quite some time, so I think I'll stop here. We're currently finding out what the problem is with the washing machine (oh and the dishwasher went out yesterday too. cool cool cool cool) and waiting to see if the bedframe is actually delivered. So I hope y'all stay tuned for part 2 of this adventure with us. Home Depot/Lowe's, if you're reading, I'd love to do some sponsored posts about your products..  Do you have any homeowner nightmares?

Friday Coffee Date

HAPPY FRIDAY! I haven't really talked about why I stopped blogging, but part of it was that I had some posts that did REALLY well, so I was worried that if it wasn't the next thing that it wasn't worth hitting publish on. I literally started struggling with that again the second I published about what I read in February. So to help with my self created writer's block, I'm doing a coffee date post!

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If we were having coffee..

I would be a little whine-y about the fact that almost all of the purple has washed out of my hair, I feel like the color washes out so fast. Why can't it stay purple longer? Has anyone tried any of those do it at home shampoos that make your hair fun colors? Tell me about it pretty please!

I would tell you ALL ABOUT the whole "new bed" debacle, from the crazy reviews on Amazon to the mattress in a box currently just hanging out in the living room (because it would be too easy for them both to arrive together.) Somehow, every aspect of our new bed arrives on different days. 

I would get entirely too excited over this fabric de-fuzzer that Chelsea wrote about the other day and how I have been defuzzing all of my Old Navy clothes to last so much longer. Also, I'd ask you if that makes me more of a grown up, since I'm excited about removing the fuzz from all of my cardigans. Just go ahead and check me into the retirement home.

I would ask if you've read anything great recently, I'm just about done with Rich People Problems and in the market for a new read. I did snag Katherine for Kindle when it came through on the "Kindle Daily Deals" email for $2.99 (ps, if you don't already subscribe to that one, I would definitely recommend it. It's not always stuff I want, but I've snagged a few of my "TBR" list off there for under $5 and that's always a win)

I would ask you for some Instagram inspiration. I haven't felt like I've done anything insta worthy since my birthday party. How do you keep your feed going? Do you have a folder of posts "to be grammed" when you don't have anything cool for that day? Have you bought in to any light room presets you swear are worth the money?  tell me more, tell me more, tell me more

What would you tell me if we were having coffee? 

What I Read In January

For about a minute, I thought I might be able to read 52 books in 2019, since I managed to average one a week in January. Then I realized that January was frigid, the sun was setting at 5 pm, and I was essentially hibernating. So, for now, I'm sticking with my original Goodreads goal of 30 books this year. Also, I have the Kindle Unlimited subscription which tends to influence my book choices a lot lately.

This post contains affiliate links, this means if you click on the link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no cost to you. If you would like me to provide you the non-affiliate link, I will be happy to do that.

Highland Queen: Okay. This was the 4th book in a series (The Celtic Blood Series) and holy cow did I devour those four books. I actually had to wait for this one to be published. The first book was recommended to me in Kindle Unlimited and I literally read the first three in maybe a week and a half. It's a different side of the story of Lady Macbeth. The first book gets off to a slow start, but once you really get into it, you won't be able to put it down. It's a lot of highland magic and I would definitely recommend this series to anyone who's a fan of Outlander or historical fiction in general. 

The Unbroken Line of the Moon: This one was again recommended to me by my reading history with Kindle Unlimited (legit after I finished Highland Queen it was the first suggestion.) This one was a little bit hard to keep up with, there are several "main" characters and the narration changes to that person's point of view. I only finished this one because I kept reading expecting something to happen, and the book ended. That's what happened. This one might have been a little harder for me to follow because I was less familiar with Nordic mythology than I am with Celtic, or the whole multiple narrators thing. I wouldn't tell you not to read it, but I also wouldn't tell you oh my god you have to read this one.

Crazy Rich Asians: I flew through this one. I borrowed the entire series from one of my girlfriends in physical book form. I've been reading so many Kindle books that it was a bit of an adjustment for about five minutes. This story was great, following the main character and her boyfriend through all kinds of family drama, with an unexpected twist at the end. I cannot recommend this one enough. I didn't jump on the bandwagon with everyone else, and honestly I wish I had. I loved that the characters use their native languages for certain things and that there are footnotes explaining what they mean - I learned a lot of stuff from a fun, quick read. I'm trying to wait for the movie to come on one of my streaming apps, but might bite the bullet and rent it. I definitely recommend picking this one up (if, like me, you are waaaay behind on the bandwagon

I mad it about halfway through China Rich Girlfriend before January ended too, but that will just have to be in the February books I read post. *Spoiler alert: I'll be reading Rich People Problems after that...* What did you read in January? Do you have something I should add to by "to be read" list (that somehow only seems to grow.)