Monday, October 15, 2018

Budgeting 101: Nowlin Edition

I don't know about you, but I have a love-hate relationship with budgeting. My type A personality does a great job at it but let's be honest, budgeting is not fun and it's a taxing adulting must. It can be draining and not to mention very humbling. For our family, I'm the one that handles the budget. It's definitely my strength and my dad gave me the best advice before we got married. He told me not to ask my spouse to do something that wasn't their strength, it was like asking them to fail and could lead to a lot of potential arguments. I heeded his advice and have been in charge of it since we've been married. Some days I wish I could pass the baton BUT in the end, I'm thankful that the Lord gifted one of us with the ability to somewhat "crunch numbers" and be super organized in this area.

All that to say, let me dive in with how we handle our money and how we decided to do our budget. We use the Every Dollar app from Dave Ramsey. I absolutely love it and it's such an easy way to account for what we spend right after it happens. We live solely off of Zach's income and any income I make is "extra." We use it for any unplanned expenses, fun money for Zach and me, holidays, birthdays, etc. I personally love it that we do it this way because we know for a fact we can live and survive regardless of whether I work.

All that to say, everyone does it differently, this is just what works for us. So if you wanting to create a budget and need some help, here are the steps that I suggest for getting started.

1. Download the Every Dollar App
This is what it will look like once you download it.

2. Start with accounting for your income, it can flux obviously depending on your job but input what is guaranteed. Let the fluctuating income be a bonus and create another row for it. 
3. Next, customize the boxes for what you need. Our boxes are Tithe (10% of every check goes to our church), Savings, Rent, Mobile Phone, Auto Gas & Oil, Groceries, Auto Insurance, Zach Car Payment, Abi Car Payment, Internet, NetflixSpotify, Zach Haircut. For us personally, these are the areas that money has to go to or we have a bill for. 
4. After that, pick categories of things you want to spend the remainder of your money on. Here is what ours are Restaurants, Abi Hair/Nails, Entertainment, Pet Care.
These are the areas we could live without if need be. 
5. Implement and stick to it! It takes self-control but is worth it in the long haul. If you can manage your money well, those habits can create a lot of other healthy and positive habits in your life. 

What's your best kept secret for budgeting? Share with me below! 

Friday, October 12, 2018

My Weekly Workout Routine

Okay so when I say I'm back, I really am back.. I'm working to get a photographer in the Abilene area and I'm starting to plan posts. I'm blooming where I'm planted like I shared on Wednesday via Insta Stories. With that being said, I'm praying the creativity starts to flow through me like it used to when I was writing all the time. If there is something you want to see on the blog, will you let me know? It's so encouraging to hear from all of you and what you enjoy reading most. 

 On another note, actively exercising and creating healthy habits started in January for me after the wedding. I had more time to consistently create a schedule and it's truly been the best thing for me and my body. I don't know about you but I THRIVE off of routine. My personal preference is exercising outside. The gym is okay but in my opinion, I love being able to plug my headphones in and just embrace outside and looking around. Maybe that's just my personality? Regardless, it's become extremely therapeutic for me. I decided to create some diversity and I run MWF and I walk T/TH. I'm not super strict on how far I run or walk, to be honest, running can be challenging and some days I don't get very far but my goal is to really just get outside and push myself and in the end, my body feels good. That should be the whole purpose of working out right? To get to the point where you feel good and you're happy? Being healthy is crucial for sure but don't kill yourself to get your workout in distance wise or time wise, find the balance and hold yourself to that. Another part of my routine that I don't budge on is when I exercise. The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is my quiet time, then I make our bed and put my workout clothes on. Having this be the second thing I do every day really keeps me in the habit of doing it and following it. 

So here's my challenge for you, if you don't have a workout routine, create one. It's never to late to be the best YOU!

Pick how you're going to exercise.
Water Aerobics
Gym Class
Switch it up and pick different things to do certain days. Consistency is good to a degree but too much of it is boring and you won't stick to it. Once you have that, move to the next phase of creating your routine.

Pick the time you're going to exercise.
Whether that be super early in the morning, a different time every day (but the same every week), every night, etc. Whatever you decide on, stick to that (within reason). With consistently doing it this way, your body is going to start to remember the way it feels. Eventually, you won't be able to go through your day without it incorporated. 

These are super simple steps but we all need accountability. Be your best self-girl and go out there. You'll be so glad you did! 

Have an amazing Friday and a wonderful weekend! 

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Designing a Welcoming Guest Room

If you're anything like me, the thought of hosting people in your home gets you over the moon excited. I have absolutely loved creating a welcoming and inviting space for my guests when they visit me and Zach. 

Who doesn't love a beautiful display when they walk into their room? No one that I know of. 😂 As I share the more everyday parts of my life with you all, I thought showing you the inexpensive ways I make a room look inviting would be fun! 

  • A wifi password sign, this isn't the exact one pictured in our guest room but I truly love it more than the one I bought.. and it's $10, has the network namespace and the password space. This takes the pressure off you having to go dig to find the password and gives your guest the ability to connect easily. 

  • A basket with a water bottle. This sounds simple and kinda dumb but after traveling, having a bottle of water is so nice. It's easy, quick and inexpensive for you to put out but really puts the icing on the cake. If you want to add something a little "extra" go to TJmaxx and buy a little two-dollar candle to stick in there as a "thanks for coming to visit us" gift. #itsthelittlethings

  • Have the towels washed and on the bed. In my opinion, the worst thing when I go to visit someone is asking them if they can get me a towel. The less your guest has to ask for the better. Make it easy on them and easy on you. Everything they need is all in their room. I added a little bucket in our guest bathroom with a new toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, lotion, and spray. In case of emergencies, the essentials are there for them to use. 😊

I hope this sparks some creativity for your guest room and inspires you to do these things the next time you have a guest. 

Below are the shoppable items from the room if you're interested:

Other items: 

 Thanks so much for reading friends! 

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