Shifting to a Frugal Mindset: Paying Off Debt NOW!

24
May
2016

Shifting to a Frugal Mindset: Paying Off Debt NOW!

Debt robs us of freedom. It robs us of possibilities. It robs us of joy.

I have had many years of my life where I overspent and did not mange money well. In fact, it sadly managed me – my moods, my choices, my future. I had to use a debt consolidation company to help me escape patterns of bad choices and bad habits.

When I re-married I was so blessed to have a husband who was very frugally minded – and we started our marriage off having a budget. This was a FIRST for me, and to be honest, we followed it loosely until we began to wonder, where was our money really going?

We couldn’t really say.

About five years ago we got down to the nitty gritty and set up a budget using Mint.com – which we found to be simple as well as a completely secure way to help us track our spending. We had not done any financial training, but with age and past mistakes, we knew we needed to be focused on knowing exactly where we spent our money.

It was during that transition I wrote down a lot of my frugally minded ideas in my book, Becoming a Frugalista – Money Saving Secrets for the Family Manager. It was fabulous to place them all in one spot to share with my readers, and I still use many of those tips today.

Fast-forward a few years and my husband and I are tackling our debt even further. We are determined to be free from debt that ultimately makes us feel trapped. Our situation is a bit different. We have worked hard to not carry debt, however we have a car payment that will be paid off in just a few months and then our mortgage.  

The thought of our mortgage being our only debt is exhilarating. I am thankful for my work at home businesses, both my blog and my Young Living sharing bringing in additional income, which is a bonus in helping with our family budget and paying down debt – plus blessing many organizations we would not otherwise have had the opportunity to give to.

Do you wonder what it would be like to have no debt? 

Are you finding your debt suffocating and stealing your joy?  

Today, I will share some ways to shift your thinking, which will hopefully begin to change your perspective on how you are spending your money. Next week I will cover exact examples on how you can find FAT in your budget and put that towards your bills. I recently watched, War on Debt by Dani Johnson. It hit me between the eyes. So much of what I do in my home shows a spirit of indulging and excessive behavior. OUCH! There is a better way. Let’s start changing our thinking.

Asking, “Do I Really Need That?”

You’ve heard this one before I am sure. We often get into habits of just buying because we can. Because we have the money (or at least we think we have the money) to buy more of something, when in reality we may not even truly need it. It is a habit. It’s time to ask that before you purchase everything – from the grocery store, to Amazon, to Old Navy. Do I really need that? If you can truly answer YES to that question, then go ahead – as long as you have funds in your budget. Otherwise, don’t do it.

But, We Think Differently

Do you and your husband think about money in the same way? For many in marriage, the answer is no. Is there a way you can meet in the middle and be somewhere near the same page with spending? This can be a common issue, however even if you can’t agree, I don’t think you should use it as an excuse. Be responsible for the choices you are making on spending money. You cannot control anyone else, but you can make better choices yourself. I can tell you what you do matters and it will be seen, even when you don’t think it is.

Monthly Check-Ins

Schedule, on your calendar – yes, just like any other appointment – to have a family business meeting. You can spend time going through your bills, what was spent, areas you maybe overspent, and where you underspent. This gives both people a chance to see exactly where money is being spent. There is no, “Oh, I didn’t know” phrases that can say ignorance. Be smart, empowered, and have no excuses.

Look to Trim Your Fat

I’ll share more on this next week, but finding ways to trim excessive spending is what you can be looking at now. Do you eat out often? Do you go to the coffee drive thru on a regular basis? Do you find yourself charging basic necessities? When you owe money to others, you need to truly be evaluating where you are spending your money and determine if you are sowing into your finances in order to reap benefits or if you are spending carelessly and reaping what you are sowing.

Do not throw your money away, allow it to work for you. You work hard to get it, right?

FREE Online Essential Oils Classes Library

17
May
2016

FREE Online Essential Oils Classes Library

I am so excited to share with you a complete collection (and growing each month) of online complimentary/FREE essential oils education classes for you to view!  

Ideally, I would love to have each and every one of you in my own home, sitting down around a dining table and sipping coffee or hot tea, while sharing the amazing benefits of incorporating Young Living Essential Oils into your home – but that’s impossible, so online is the next best thing!

These classes are housed over on my Confident Oily Moms website, which I put together for my growing community of members. But I thought – why not share it here with you as well?

Whether you are a member of my community with Young Living or not, I want you to be empowered, to be informed, and to know how to use Young Living Essential Oils to support you and your family in a healthier and more natural way.  

So take a look at the different classes offered. You can view them anytime from your own computer or tablet from the comfort of your own home. It’s my way of encouraging you to live a vibrant and abundant life and thanking you for being a part of my mom community.

If you are not already a Young Living member, please check out how you can join my community. I am so blessed by getting to be a part of many families’ journeys toward incredible wellness. Won’t you join us? If you know anything about my story, I struggled with emotional support my entire life, felt stressed, overwhelmed, and hopeless. I also struggled with some pretty significant health issues. But after I was introduced to a more natural way to care for my body, some dietary changes, and great nutritional supplements, I am revitalized, refocused, and determined to share with others!

Get Started with Essential Oils TODAY!

Now, pick a class to view, grab some paper to take notes, and let’s rock some new health goals!

Young Living Essential Oils - Introduction Class

Young Living Essential Oils – Introduction Class

I Got My Starter Kit...Now What?!?!?

I Got My Starter Kit…Now What?!?!?

Next steps to creating a Young Living Lifestyle

What’s Next – Steps to Creating a Young Living Lifestyle

ac

Active & Fit Lifestyle with Young Living

Support Your Body with Thieves and NingXia Red

Support Your Body with Thieves and NingXia Red

Discover Young Living Skincare - Natural Choices for Your Ideal Beauty Regimen

Discover Young Living Skincare – Natural Choices for Your Ideal Beauty Regimen

How to Support Your Wellness This Season with Young Living's Golden Touch Kit

How to Support Your Wellness This Season with Young Living’s Golden Touch Kit

Balance and Harmony with Young Living's Raindrop Kit

Balance and Harmony with Young Living’s Raindrop Kit

The In's and Out's and Awesome Benefits of Essential Rewards

The In’s and Out’s and Awesome Benefits of Essential Rewards

The Young Living Lifestyle - Oil Infused Supplements

The Young Living Lifestyle – Oil Infused Supplements

The Chemical Free Home with Essential Oils

The Chemical Free Home with Essential Oils

The Chemical Free Home - Easy DIY with Essential Oils - Part 2

The Chemical Free Home – Easy DIY with Essential Oils – Part 2

The Young Living Lifestyle

The Young Living Lifestyle

*Disclaimer: The information on this website is based upon my research and personal use of Young Living Essential Oils. I am not a doctor. Statements, products, and techniques mentioned have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Easy DIY Skin Cleansing Face Mask for All Ages

12
May
2016

Easy DIY Skin Cleansing Face Mask for All Ages

It’s time to let our skin shine this summer! I love the feeling of soft, smooth skin and I was thrilled when my daughter shared one of her favorite DIY face mask recipes with me.  

I may have an occasional blemish here or there, but my main focus is to help my skin in its maturing state. This recipe is great for all ages – from teens to mature adults (I think that is what I call myself now at almost 50!).

Why Are These Ingredients Beneficial?

Bentonite clay pulls out toxins, chemicals, and even heavy metals. The clay also helps provide oxygen to cells and has an alkalizing effect. Bentonite clay is rich in beneficial minerals, such as magnesium, silica, and calcium.

The alpha hydroxyl acids in apple cider vinegar help keep skin pores open and dissolve dead skin cells. Moreover, apple cider vinegar treats occasional blemishes, restores the natural pH of your skin, and minimizes the appearance of pores.  

When mixed together with other beneficial, skin-supporting essential oils, you can easily create a mask that can safely and effectively be used for maintaining healthy skin. I love that! It’s effective, inexpensive, and great for the entire family.

Melaleuca Alternifolia Essential Oil (also known as Tea Tree) has long been valued for its cosmetic benefits, especially for its natural skin-cleansing benefits. Tea Tree’s intrinsic properties cleanse away dirt, toxins, and dead skin, giving you healthy-looking and feeling skin.

Lavender Essential Oil is very helpful for using when you have occasional skin irritations. It’s balancing and gentle on the skin, promoting relaxation too.

Both of these essential oils come in the Premium Starter Kit too!

Easy DIY Skin Cleansing Face Mask for All Ages

The Easy DIY Skin Cleansing Face Mask Recipe

DIY Face Mask with Essential Oils and Clay

Here is what it looks like as it is drying. It isn’t pretty, but it is effective! Please do not pin THIS picture on Pinterest. :-)

Combine the bentonite clay in a small bowl. Please do not use a metal utensil or bowl when working with bentonite clay. Add in apple cider vinegar to make a spreadable paste.

Add 4 drops of essential oils and stir. Apply to the face for 10-15 minutes.

To remove the mask, wash your face with warm water and a washcloth. I especially love applying this and then taking an Epsom salt bath as well. The perfect relaxing evening – and all DIY!

Use up to 3 times a week and enjoy vibrant skin for summer!

Get Started with Essential Oils

Steps to Implementing a Sabbath

9
May
2016

Steps to Implementing a Sabbath

Back at the end of February I attended a personal growth event – First Steps to Success in San Antonio. To say it was life changing seems rather cliche, but it is true. I am planning to attend this event again in the next few months when it comes to Cleveland to stay focused, inspired, and connected.

One of the key components that came out of attending this event, as well as by viewing Time Secrets from Dani Johnson, was the concept of observing a Sabbath and my lack of intentional time management.

Now, for me (who did not grow up in a Christian home), I really had no idea what a Sabbath was and had not taken the time to discover what the Bible truly said about it and how it impacts my daily life now. I am not here to debate Scripture and how you may interpret the Sabbath. I am here, however, to share my thoughts on taking a day of rest for you, your family, and from your work.

The Sabbath is referred to in the Ten Commandments. It is number four:

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. – Exodus 20:8-11

Until I had some discussion on this topic, I felt it really wasn’t relevant to me in this day and age and especially with all the things I had to do. How on earth could I take a day of rest?

Well, after praying, seeking wise counsel, hearing how others implemented this into their weekly schedule – even those that not only run a household but have home businesses – I soon discovered that in fact by NOT observing the Sabbath I could be acting in disobedience and not allowing God to truly be glorified in my life.

“We simply do not value rest. Busyness is lauded, and idleness is of the Devil.” – Andrew Gilmore in Do No Work: Beat Burnout, Find Inner Peace, and Strengthen Your Faith by Studying the Most Overlooked of the Ten Commandments

I read Andrew Gilmore’s book to get more perspective and it was dead on. We are a burned out generation and if we do not take intentional actions to counter the burnout, it will only get worse. Much worse.

So how do you implement a Sabbath with a house to run, people to feed, activities to do? Let me share with you how I’ve put this into action in my own life over the past two months.

Plan Ahead

So, at our house, a day of rest means I do no housework, I do not cook meals, I do not check email, I am not on Facebook for business, and I don’t grocery shop. So this means I must plan ahead for these. I manage to take care of home tasks ahead of the day 0r they just don’t get done.

I will often plan ahead for dinner and have plenty of leftovers so my family can help themselves through the day. Or we may decide to eat take-out or grab a pizza, whatever fits in our budget. I spend no time checking email – which initially was a huge battle and temptation for me, but as the weeks went by, it gets easier. As a mom who runs two businesses mainly online, this was a leap to trust what the Lord has in His plan and that everything will still be there when I return!

Find Fun

I mentioned how our family has started hiking more. This is an activity I love to do, however I was in a pattern where I felt we really didn’t have the time to get away and enjoy the outdoors like this. I was dead wrong. When you are intentional with your time and you decide how you will spend it, amazing things can happen. We’ve had some excellent hikes as a family and I look forward to more! Maybe your family loves games, or road trips – it doesn’t matter – just do something as a family and build that time together.

Pick a Day that Works

For us, we will look at the calendar a month out and determine whether we will observe our Sabbath as a family on Saturday or Sunday. It changes between those days because we have different commitments and ideas on what our Sabbath looks like. So again, planning ahead is key. We block it out on the calendar – being intentional with that time.

Find Rest

Be careful to dedicate time to prayer, Scripture reading, and allowing God to speak to you and refresh your heart. Having a Sabbath doesn’t mean you just fill another day to the brim with activities and stuff – it means you are being intentional with giving that time over to the Lord and allowing Him to be a huge part of your day.

I encourage you –  set the tone for your family. Bring this idea up if you are not already setting aside a day for the Lord each week. I have found it so good for our family, my soul, and my businesses. I come back refreshed and renewed to tackle my daily tasks.

Do you take a Sabbath each week? What does that look like and how do you manage your family?

Help Your Dog Enjoy the Outdoors Annoyance Free

28
Apr
2016

Help Your Dog Enjoy the Outdoors Annoyance Free

Raise your hand if you’re a dog family? {HAND UP!!}

Now that spring has sprung in most parts of the country, managing outdoor annoyances on our pets can be tricky. 

I am excited to share how I love applying essential oils on my dogs – it is a fabulous way to support their wellness in big ways.  I love caring for my pets in a chemical free way.

I also had the pleasure of discovering a mom in my community who has a cottage business selling homemade dog collars which are 100% cotton and great for using essential oils with.

RepelAroma A great essential oil to try is RepelAroma™ from Young Living which is an exclusive blend of purifying and invigorating Citronella, Idaho Tansy, Palo Santo, and Tea Tree essential oils. Your pet will love being outside! You can easily apply a few drops on the cotton collar and send your pup outdoors and feel safe.

A portion of all proceeds from Animal Scents products goes to support Vital Ground, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the habitat of grizzly bears and other wide-roaming wildlife. Isn’t that amazing? The wholesale price for RepelAroma is $12.75 for 15ml. That is fabulously economical! If you are not a wholesale member with Young Living be sure to check that out here.

Get Started with Essential Oils

If you want to learn more on how you can incorporate essential oils into your pet’s life, this is a great animal resource that I use.

Now I want to share with you a bit about my friend, Kathryn Maxson, who I had the great pleasure to run across and hear about her heart for Cimarron Valley Humane Society.

1. Tell me how you began your business of making items for dogs.

A little background of me: I have always been an animal lover. My bedroom growing up was decorated in the 101 Dalmatians theme. My grandfather built me a barn, and I always had a dog. I have also always had a sympathetic heart, crying over the simplest things. But it wasn’t until college that these two parts of my life came crashing together.

I really don’t know what was the trigger towards the collision, but I got involved with a promotional company my junior year and we were each asked to organize an event that called to our heart strings. And my first adoption event was planned. After that I became heavily involved with rescue, specifically Cimarron Valley Humane Society.

There are times when being a foster parent is hard. Most of our weekends are full with adoption events, transportation, or training. But the knowing that you are saving a life keeps you going.

2. Tell me a little about yourself and your heart for animals.

I have been an avid sewer for years. I learned how to sew as soon as I could reach the pedal of the machine. Like my mother, I do not broadcast this too much so that I don’t get inundated with people asking me to do little projects for them.

However, in 2013, I had a friend call me wanting me to give her a basic sewing lesson. I love teaching people how to sew. I think that it is a skill that is very useful for someone to know. So she wanted me to teach her how to sew so that she could start a side business of making collars for her pups and other people.

After teaching her how to do it I had to go out and buy the essentials to make some custom collars for my own dogs. Of course then one of my friends through the rescue wanted one (or four). At that point it occurred to me, maybe I could sell these to raise money for the rescue. That way we could be constantly getting money in without begging for it. And so began CVHS’ Creative Collars and Things.

It didn’t take long for some of my other crafty friends to start introducing me to craft shows where I could sell the collars to raise the money. Then it was – well, we need more items to sell than just collars – so Pinterest gave me ideas to add leashes, bowties, flowers, poofs, etched treat jars, leash/treat holders, poopy bag holders, and toy mice to the stock of items I make. This “business” was born out of a way to help the rescue beyond fostering and asking people for donations.

3. What is your favorite way to incorporate essential oils and your all natural collars to help your pet in natural wellness protection and enjoying the outdoors annoyance free?

Last year in February I finally won the discussion with my husband over trying essential oils. I had originally been introduced to them the previous year and had learned that they can help support our immune system in the changing of seasons. But to convince him was a bit harder, but I succeeded.

Then it was a matter of realizing that the company that I chose, Young Living, supported my love of animals by having items that were specifically geared towards them. I use the animal line with my pets in two ways – one is simply putting one drop of the blend RepelAroma on their collars once a week or so, and knowing that the collars that I have on my pets are ones that I have made and I know the makeup of the fabric and that means I know the oils won’t harm or deteriorate the collar.

The other way is I have made a mix of grapeseed oil, Infect Away, Mendwell, and Puriclean and this gets sprayed on when there is a need to support healthy skin. The blend is just different enough that the dogs don’t try to lick it off.

4. Tell me about how you donate profits to the shelter and what impact it has made.

I wish I could say it was as easy as the profit goes to Cimarron Valley Humane Society, but I can’t. It is actually easier. I give all of it to the rescue. When you purchase a collar through CVHSCC that money goes straight to CVHS for the dogs’ use. All of the purchases of supplies comes out of my pockets as part of my donation to the rescue. The money, which is much more needed, goes to them.

The craft shows that I participate in on average bring in $150 and though at the moment I only do four a year, that is still money that is desperately needed. Often times the money raised during these event has already been earmarked for a use, whether that be paying our bills at the vet hospital, sending dogs on transport, or paying for training for the needy.

5. How can dog lovers order items from you?

Orders are usually custom orders so they take some time because I am making the collar to your exact specifications. They can be received at a craft show, through the Facebook page associated with the business, through our website, one on one conversations, or through our Etsy store.

The easiest method is to either message the page on Facebook or email me through my personal email address – Kathryn.s.maxson@okstate.edu. I do work full-time and this is all out of my pocket so sometimes I am a bit delayed in updating shops or websites. Please work with me to get you the best collar for your animal.

So, go grab your pup a new collar and try some essential oils this summer! You will not only be thankful you did, but you will be supporting a great cause as well.

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