Get Real With Your Finances: A crash course on budgeting

**Disclaimer:  By no means are we promoting ourselves to be financial advisors or anything of that nature.  This is based off of research and our own experience.**

What’s up all!

I think it’s time we start getting into the nitty gritty of everything, isn’t that why you’re here?

Let’s talk about your money….oooooh!  Money is very important in today’s society – provides a roof over your head, food on the table, the vehicle to get you to and from your destination, and so much more.  In order to earn money, we must put in time whether it’s working or getting educated.  The end result is to make money to provide for ourselves.

Look at your own personal finances.  What is your monthly net income?   What are your recurring monthly expenses?  What are your necessary expenses?  What is leftover?  And do you have debt?   Lay this all out and get REAL with yourself (it’s okay to grab a box of tissues).  We know, it can be emotional once you see it all laid out in black and white in front of you.  Here’s our simple formula:

TOTAL MONTHLY INCOMEMonthly recurring expenses (i.e. rent/mortgage) – Monthly necessities (i.e. food/toiletries) = LEFTOVER for saving or paying off debt

Once you’ve done this, take a look at your debt (I would grab more tissue boxes for this section).  List them in order from the smallest debt balance (i.e. credit card: $24.00) to the highest debt balance (i.e. car loan: $20,000).  Not many people walk around with $20k.  The easiest way you can clear your debt is to pay off your smallest balances then work your way to the higher balances.

If you haven’t already, you should build your emergency fund.  Start with an attainable amount.  Ideally, you’d want to have 6 months worth of savings should an unforeseen circumstance arise.

Just remember, do not spend money you don’t already have.

“We spend money that we do not have, on things we do not need, to impress people who do not care.” -Will Smith

-Riah and Joel

Plan Things Out! – 4 Key Steps to Successful Planning

What’s up people! Today we’re here to talk to you about BEING A PLANNER! We can’t stress this enough.  (You may want to grab a cup of joe for this post!  It’s LOOOOOOOONG)

Nothing is worse than making big decisions without being prepared. Any decision you make, ESPECIALLY a big one (i.e. moving across the Pacific ocean to a new state, or a wedding) should be well thought out with all your bases covered. You don’t want to be scrambling when things go unplanned.

With that being said, here are 4 key elements to consider when planning for an important event:

#1. Write out your goal

You can’t plan for something without knowing what you’re planning for. Set a goal and make it specific. Want to lose weight? That’s good! But how much do you want to lose? 5 pounds, 10 pounds, 40 pounds? When do you want to achieve it by? Next week, next month, next year? Once you’ve decided, move on to step #2.

#2. Have a Timeline

It’s important to have a timeline.  Give yourself a deadline for the goal you want to achieve. One thing we’ve always done is have dates set so we know when things need to be accomplished by.

Calendars, planners, communication, and research will help you stay organized.  If there are other people involved in your planning process, it’s important to involve their opinions in the planning.  Divide responsibilities so the planning process is not one sided and TALK about how you want things done, what can go wrong, and how to get back on track.

#3. Save. Save. SAVE!

SAVE YOUR MONEY!  With these big decisions and planning (of course it depends on what you’re trying to accomplish) you should always make sure you have enough money saved!  While getting loans is an option as well, if you’re like us where we don’t like to spend money we don’t have (aside from our car) then make sure you have money in the bank for these big expenses as well as unforeseen ones.


Before executing your plan, make sure you also thought of all the things that may not go as planned.  Think of things that can alter your plans or amount of money save.  Do you have ENOUGH to cover yourselves should something come up during your allotted time frame?

Now that you know, it’s time to execute your plan!  Take action and make sure to hold each other accountable.  It’s so important!  Keep track of spending habits and savings.  Continue to communicate your goals and NEVER GIVE UP!

How we did it:

After visiting Oregon in July 2015, Riah finally convinced Joel we decided we wanted to move on January 11, 2017 (In 2015, we did not know that there would be a HUGE snow storm to hit on that move in day we decided! lol). Now that we had our date, we knew how much time we had to plan, research, and how much money we should save.

In May 2016, we went to Oregon to look at college campuses and apartments in the area we wanted to be in.  Because we already had an idea of the area, we monitored the changing prices of these apartment complexes until November like a hawk!

We created a timeline of things to do with post-its on our walls and color coordinated them so we knew who was in charge of what.  This helped keep us accountable.

Our timeline when we were planning to move.

One thing we knew would happen BEFORE we moved was that we would not be employed and factored in a 3 – 6 month savings that would cover our living expenses for that estimated time frame.  ALWAYS OVER PLAN WHEN IT COMES TO EXPENSES!

Utilize any saved points to book your one way flight, this won’t put a dent in your hard earned money for your move!

In closing, It’s very important to also have fun during your planning process!  We sure did and we felt so accomplished once we got here!


“The sooner you start planning your life, the sooner you will live the life you dream of.” –Hans Glint

-Joel and Riah