Cash is King: My Envelope System

I was chatting with some of my friends and they let me know how hard it is to use cash. They would just assume charge everything and pay it off at the end of the month! Boy, does that sound familiar. That was me 11 years ago. I was fine because I pay off my credit cards monthly and don't pay interest. 
That makes me awesome right?
Not matter how you handle your money you are awesome! What I have learned is, if you are like me and pay off your cards monthly, you are always a month behind. Meaning, if you charge and charge planning on paying it off at the end of the month and something bad happens, loss of job, car breaks down, someone gets sick, you are going to be behind. 

I'm not saying that paying cash for everything is easy! Not at all. It is work just like anything else. What I am saying is that once you start using cash and know where your money is, know how much you have left for the end of the month. You are more in control of your future. 
Your envelope system doesn't have to be fancy! Not even, this is a pic of mine! Yep, it is an old  coupon organizer. This one has 7 sections and as you can see I have them labeled with what they are for and the dollar amount I want to put in there weekly!

These are the sections we use for our family and seem to be working because they haven't been changed in all these years: 

Allowance. Yep, I call it what it is. My husband and I have money that we get weekly and we pull it from there. I don't need to know that he got his 178th 2L of Mountain Dew for the week and he certainly doesn't need to know that I got a new purse. You get the idea. I guess we could call it "blow money" but it's just allowance to us. 

Groceries /Household: Kinda self explanatory. I let this fund roll over and when I see a great sale I am ready to stockpile.

Clothing: I know I am amazed that these kids grow too but we have to be prepared for when they need new clothes (us too).

Birthdays: Both of my children have late fall/winter birthdays and I need this section so that I am not stealing from Christmas fund to have a party. #Truth

Christmas: When I put a little in there every payday then when I see a great deal I can grab it throughout the year!

Entertainment:  This is an important fund so that you are prepared and can plan some fun times with family and friends. 

The KIDS  This is where I put money every payday and let it build up. We use it for those yearbooks, school photos, books, school uniforms, school supplies etc. It might sound silly, I know that every year they get pictures taken for school and they are crazy expensive. This way I don't have to worry about and figure out which fund I am taking that from. 

Of course you can find tons of envelope systems all over the place. Dave Ramsey has this FPU Designer Envelope System, which ever one you choose I know that it will bless you and your family!

Are you planning on going Cash Only in 2019? What categories will you have?

Weight Watchers Freestyle is for me!

I told you earlier this week that I would let you know what kind of plan I would do and here it is! I have chosen to follow the WW plan, formally known as Weight Watchers. To me, this plan makes sense! You are allotted a certain amount of "points" for the day and when you are done with those points, you stop eating. You are also given "weekly" points (I call that my savings account) so that you can go out or go to parties and not worry about it. This plan is a lot like a budget. This speaks my language! 

I joined Weight Watchers about 12 years ago and was very successful, I lost 44 lbs but then earned all those "activity points" and found myself pregnant with our second little munchkin. 😂😁
That's when I had to pause my weight loss journey and here we are back to basics. That's what I am going to call it. In the meantime, I have tried other weight loss plans, like THM, Keto and counting calories but those just don't seem to click with me like WW does. 

This time around WW has the freestyle program that gives you a bit more freedom! Yes they have zero point foods like chicken breast, FF turkey, fish/seafood, beans, fruits, veggies and eggs. This can be great or bad depending. I personally love this because if I am hungry and out of points for the day, I can just go grab some fruit or veggies and call it a night. On the other hand, I have seen some people have issues with the flexibility thinking that because it's a zero point food they can eat a ton of it. Everything still has calories and we are learning portion control. It just depends on you and your will power, determination and want. That's right you have to want to change in order to make anything work. 

Losing weight is hard, staying heavy is hard too. 
Which hard do you pick? 
Another thing about WW that I like is that you have online access and support! The WW app, has everything you need to succeed. It let's you know how many points are you allowed for the day, they also have an area on the app to help you with recipes, eating out. They even have a 24hr help "line" because you never know when you will need their help and they are there for you! Another great perk is the community. The WW Online app also has a "Connect", that is similar to Facebook for WW. I love that we are there for the same reason and can talk about the issues, recipes, struggles and wins we are going through. It just feels like they understand what you are going through more than others if that makes sense. 

To me, the app just isn't the only thing I need to do for myself. I also need to add in weekly meetings (workshops). Yep, I am one of those girls that has to go in look someone straight in the eye and participate in a meeting to not only stay accountable but also to be a part of something bigger than myself. 

I went back to the same meetings I was going to 12 years ago. I have the same coach that I love and some of the people that were there 12 years ago are still going every week. Some of them have reached their goal which is amazing and some of them are returning like me and that's great too. 

With determination, hard-work and dedications, I will be at goal too. I was and am in a different season of my life and now is my time! Let's do this!  

Found this on the site. It spoke to me and I need to keep it in the front of my mind at all times.This journey is my choice!  

Time to Get Real in 2019

Talk about outside my comfort zone! That's where I am right here sitting in what seems like a chair but my heart is racing and I really am not feeling that great! Why is it that we don't want to be transparent? Afraid of rejection? Judgment? Probably all of those and a whole lot more. We are living in a Facebook world where everything is behind a computer screen, filtered, the pictures are perfect,  the counters are cleaned off (at least in that area), best day of your life is happening because let's face it, we are fake on social media!
Now it's time to get real and talk about my struggles with my weight loss journey, the fear of being compared and being judged. Now it's time to show the real me!
I have actually struggled with my weight my entire life! I don't remember a time when I was skinny or a similar size to my friends. There I go with all that comparing and judging again. I have tried so many different things but after a couple of days or weeks it just didn't stick. It was probably me, I like fries and sauces. They are really tasty and my kryponite. 

Last year I decided to join in on the Slique in 60 challenge. That is where you take Slique Products along with a healthy diet. I figured, it can't hurt right, it's only 60 days. I'm not sure what made this different. Maybe it was just my attitude and determination. It could have been that I was sick and tired of being this way. I didn't win the challenge, or did I? When I look at that embarrassing picture above, I see hope and possibilities that I never felt possible, along with cheek bones and a chin that has disappeared. Holla!

Am I perfect, goodness NO but I am just trying to be the best me I can be. I don't even know what that looks like exactly!  

As of last year I am down 38 pounds. That is a huge achievement for me and because of that I can actually believe that I can lose 38 more. I might not truly believe I will be one of those skinny girls but baby steps are happening over here and that's great! Maybe I am not meant to be the cute little skinny girl, I am just meant to be the cute little Geri and that's ok with me.
I have already signed up for this year's Slique in 60 Challenge. It helped me see less of a chin last year so let's see what else I can lose, maybe a roll or two from my stomach! HA! 

With all the fear that comes with it, I will be documenting my journey here if you are interested. I can't promise anything but my realness. I might have a great week but I could have a horrible week where nothing went good. I guess that's where the "Time to Get Real" comes in huh?!?

If you are on a similar fitness journey I would love to hear that I am not alone, leave a comment so we can keep each other accountable. Welcome to 2019!

"Air" Fried Catfish and Zucchini Chips (9sp)

I feel like I finally joined the cool club! That's right, I finally got an, Air Fryer. This is a big deal! I have been wanting one for a real long time but I didn't know where to put it. I still don't but we will make due! 

Anyway I was able to open this bad boy up and play around a little. I am by no means a chef, cook or clearly a photographer but I have been asked how I made it so here it is. If this is helpful then I am happy to help you out. 

I really wish I would have purchased an air fryer earlier. This might be my new favorite appliance. (Don't tell my Instant Pot)  

It was crazy. I don't know how these machine works but the Catfish came out juicy and crispy at the same time. I don't think I will EVER cook this another way. This is definitely making it to my meal planning rotation.

Cornmeal Air Fryer Catfish (2sp)  
Ingredients: 4 Catfish fillets  (0 sp)
1/2 cup cornmeal  (7 sp)
Tony Chachere Cajun seasoning to taste 
Rinse off the catfish and then paper towel dry them
Spray cooking spray on your air fryer trays put aside
Dip the catfish in cornmeal and Tony Chachere Seasoning mixture
Place on Air Fryer Trays
Spray catfish with a little cooking spray
Turn the air fryer on 400 for 10 minutes, flip the catfish over and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes or until crispy
Zucchini Chips (7sp) 2 servings
Ingredients: 3 Zucchinis
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup Almond Flour
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
Black pepper
Tonys Chachers Cajun Seasoning
Garlic powder
to taste. (I just put some in the bowl they are all delish, it will be great) 
Breading mixture  1/2 cup of Almond Flour
1/4 cup of Parmesan Cheese
Pepper, Tony Chachere Cajun seasoning, garlic powder, salt to taste
mix together
Cut up 2 zucchini to desired size, about 1/4 inch, put aside.
Spray cooking spray on your air fryer trays put aside
Dip the zucchini chips into milk and then the breading mix
Place on the air fryer try in a single layer
Spray zucchini with a little cooking spray
Put in air fryer on 400 degrees for 10 minutes, flip the zucchini over and then put back in the fryer for an additional 2 minutes.
If you feel that your zucchini is thinner than maybe you could lower the temp or time so they don't burn.

New Year New You: All those dreams for 2019

Something about New Years means new beginnings. Not that last month I didn't have hopes and dreams but it just feels more obtainable this month! How crazy is that!

Do you make New Years Resolutions? Goals? New Plans? Pick a word for the year? I have never done that before. Let's face it all my New Years Resolutions are finished by January 9th and here I am feeling like a failure for the rest of the year. That's not a great way to spend the next 356 days of 2019! This year I am going to have grace, acceptance and do my very best to make this a rocking year.

I have to admit, I am really glad that 2018 is over! It wasn't the best year but that's how the roller-coaster of life happens, right?!? One year is great, another just sucks! That was my 2018!
In June, my mom was admitted in the hospital with chest pains and ended up having a triple bypass.

In July, we had a slab leak at the house and we had to have a crew come in and take out my cabinets, my floors, my carpet. They pretty much stripped my entire house. The house is not back to normal yet (waiting for home owners insurance to finish approving things) but we are heading in the right direction. 

This year I am going to work on a Vision Board. Maybe if my dreams and goals are right up in my face I will have to pay attention. Right, that's how it works? ha! 

I have picked a word of the year: RISK! 
For those that don't know me. I am a mega planner. What that means is I have no spontaneousness in my body and I plan everything. When I am done planning it, I plan it again and then over analyze it to death. I am afraid to GET OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE and MOVE! That is all going to change or at least it is right now on day 5 of 2019. I am my own worst critic!

I have weight loss goals and a plan! I will talk more about that next week

I am still following a budget and Financial Peace University and we are going to be debt free! We fell off the wagon a little and need to work on getting that 6 months emergency fund in place! That feels like such a huge number but I know we can do it. I will be working on my frugal tips throughout this year as well. 

I have all these things that are going to go on this Vision Board. I just need to get it down so I can see it. Another thing I am going to do that is out of my comfort zone is write about my progress here! How scary is that?!?
That is probably the scariest part, what if I fail? What if I have a bad day, week or month? What if I am a laughing-stock of the internet? What if I don't lose the weight? What if I don't save enough money to hit my goal? I can "what if" this entire process to death. See over-analyzing everything! 

Good, bad or ugly! It will be right here for you to see. Now I have to do it, right because you all are watching!

What are you working on in 2019? Leave a comment below and let's work together!

Debt Free Planning: 52 week challenge

It's that time of year again.
Our main goal is to be Debt FREE and that not only means for Christmas but for every aspect of our lives. Being Debt Free is a HUGE goal and takes some planning in our lives.
I know that this 52 week Challenge is all over the internet and hard to pin point who actually came up with it first but I thought that my readers would like to join me in planning for Christmas 2018.

This 52 week challenge is pretty simple, you save the dollar amount that corresponds with that week. So the week of Jan 1st you save $1,
the week of Jan 7th you deposit $2 and so on,
by the end of the year you will have $1378 in cash for anything you choose.

You can also do this challenge backwards where you save the $52 on Jan 1st and take away $1 every week. 
I like things more uniformed so I think for me I like the 52 Week Challenge EVEN plan. I will just deposit $27 in my envelope every week and by the time Christmas comes I will have $1404. 

This challenge and everything else is 100% up to you. You don't have to use these particular plan or if you feel you need more or less money at the end of the year change your weekly deposits. This is totally up to you and your families needs.

Click on any of the forms above to the printable version.

Special Delivery: A Package from Santa!

Tis the season! Can you believe it is already December! This is my most favorite time of year. Just something about it. People are nicer, the weather is cooler and we all know that Santa is about to come give us all a visit! 
This year we got a special package from the big guy and I have to say I was just as excited as the kiddos. When my daughter got home she immediately saw it on the counter with her name on it and screamed with excitement. She ripped open the package and started to read Santa's personal letter to her. It talked all about our elf, Elfred (a play on Batman's Alfred) and how much fun he has in the North Pole. It also mentioned that Elfred wants to be a chef and his favorite food to make is Shrimp Tacos, which is her favorite too! She was ecstatic to hear that. I was too because I can't wait for Elfred to make dinner for us. (I can dream right?)

This Package from Santa was so easy! It walks you step by step helping you to create the perfect personalized package for your family!

Every package from Santa includes:
  • Personalized Santa Letter that arrives in the mail
  • Personalized Video starring your child via email
  • Personalized Phone call 
  • Personalized printable NICE LIST guide 
  • The option to upgrade with more goodies
If you want to start an new magical Christmas family tradition, I have a coupon code for 25% off every package when you use code FAM2060

What an incredible and uniquely personalized gift experience that creates Christmas wonder and excitement that your child will never forget!