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Friday Faves: French Toast for breakfast

BREAKFASTGood morning Loves.  Was it just me or did this week seem exceptionally long?  I’m glad it’s over because for the next two days I can sleep in (in my new king size bed, is that getting old yet?) and take time to make a good breakfast – I like to eat French Toast with cinnamon for breakfast on the weekends and I just don’t have time to do it during the week.   Yep I’m one of those girls who will do anything for an extra 15 minutes sleep in the morning.

And yes that really was my breakfast a couple weekends ago.  My blueberry pancake disaster is why I switched to French Toast – it’s much easier to make.

Have a fantastic weekend and enjoy these posts from our friends:

Dear Debt – How My Blog Changed My Life

Common Sense Millennial – The Reason Why You Fail to Achieve Financial Goals

Careful Cents – Is Now the Right Time to Transition from Employee to Entrepreneur?

Broke Millennial – Why You Should Still Save When in Debt

Stapler Confessions – It’s Not Too Late to Save Money on Halloween Costumes

Gold Diggers and Deadbeat Dads – The Gold Digger Who Would Murder for Money

Setting financial priorities: Savings or Debt?

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Good morning Loves and happy Hump Day.  What better way to get over the lull in the middle of the week than to get focused on our goals?!  I like to evaluate my accomplishments and set my new goals on my birthday – which just happened to be October 9th.  I reflect on what I did the past year and focus on what I want to do for the upcoming year.

My goals usually involve saving money in the short term and using it to travel as often as possible.  However in 2015 my priorities are changing just a bit.  BF and I just moved into a fantastic apartment in a great neighborhood and I’m hating my life here a lot less.  Last year I would travel at any opportunity because it let me escape from my tiny apartment and noisy neighbors.  But next year I think I’ll stay put and enjoy my new living space.

Paying off debt

We just got into $5000 debt furnishing our new apartment so I think it’s safe to say I won’t be travelling any time soon.  Of course I would like to take my time and pay off the debt over several years but that’s just not smart.  I’ve learned from past mistakes that procrastinating on debt repayment only leads to more debt and it becomes a vicious cycle – a cycle that I no longer want to be a part of.  With aggressive monthly payments, cutting eating out expenses (my biggest monthly expense besides rent) and no travel plans I expect to have the debt fully paid by May 1, 2015.

Saving for a rainy day

Many people think you shouldn’t (or can’t afford to) save at the same time as you are paying off debt.  I tend to disagree depending on your income.  If you don’t have a lot of wiggle room in your disposable income then I would say always pay off your debt before saving money – that is only if you don’t accumulate more debt in the meantime.   However I can also argue the other side of the case.  I can tell you that you should always save on a regular basis regardless of your financial obligations because you’ll always have debt whether it’s in the form of credit cards, a mortgage or student loans.

Getting rid of student loans

I will never forget the day I paid off my student loan.  I actually still have the letter – yes that’s really my student loan statement above.  I took seven years to pay off my student loans because the payments were low and the interest was tax deductible.  However now looking back at the situation I wish I took a more aggressive approach to paying off my student loans.  The truth is that $250 monthly payment (for seven years) could have been better spent, let’s say on saving for the down payment on a home.

Buying a home

Having student loan debt prevented me from doing other things and apparently I’m not the only one.  According to recent data from Credit Karma “57% of millennials who do have mortgages do not have a student loan.”  Even more shocking their data indicates “that only 8% of millennials who have student loans also have a mortgage.”  Getting into debt over education is a good cause but based on personal experience my advice is to pay it off as soon as possible so you can use that money towards other things like buying your first home.  It’s nerve racking to have two major financial commitments at the same time and if you’re like me you don’t want to gamble with your living situation.

What is your financial priority?

Married and Lonely: 5 Fixes for a Closer Relationships

married and lonelyMarriage brings two people together, so why do recent studies detect frequent feelings of alienation and loneliness among partners?  It takes seconds to say, “I do,” and the rest of your life to mean it.

It requires effort and ongoing understanding to make relations work.  Try these five home remedies to cure an ailing relationship.

Unlearn Gender Roles

Historically, men hunted and women gathered.  Whether by circumstance or genetics, modern decisions sometimes reflect history.  When two people are single and not yet married, traditional gender roles flourish.

However, when people get together, traditions, expectations, and history can unlawfully dictate and clash with natural preferences.  Try to ‘unlearn’ a number of gender-specific roles and expectations.  For example, it’s perfectly acceptable for a man to adopt the ‘mom,’ role while a passionate women entrepreneur makes a majority of the family’s income.  Don’t let tradition or what is ‘historically accepted,’ influence an otherwise loving and rational relationship.

Stop Blaming Your Partner

When you wait an hour in traffic, have a bad day at work, or gain an unwanted five pounds, your mate is there through sickness and health, but no one likes being an open target for sour moods.  It’s convenient to point fingers or project feelings onto a nearby target.

In some cases, a mediator or marriage counselor helps a couple think objectively, identifying the root cause of ongoing turmoil.  Other times, all it takes is an outside view to cease the mutual finger pointing.  Alternatively, couples seek spiritual and psychic counsel by visiting TheCircle Psychics.

Regain Your Independence

A marriage is a legal union, but it doesn’t warrant losing one’s independence or identity.  Men and women can grow to resent their mates when each spends less time with friends, doing hobbies, or enjoying alone time.

There is a delicate balance regarding accepting one’s role in a couple and embracing their independence and personal preferences, likes, pastimes, and so on.  It’s okay to have varying tastes; being an individual is not in direct opposition with being in a relationship.  Regain independence and celebrate your mate’s decision to do the same. 

Plan a Temporary Separation

The thought may sting more than the actuality of a short-term separation; separation is not a sentiment signaling the end of a relationship or ‘giving up.’  At times, a temporary split gives each person time to put things in perspective and consider the best possible outcome for both parties.

No one marries to get a divorce.  But, mistakes happen, and people and circumstances change.  Especially if children or pets are involved, a turbulent relationship’s best destination may be divorce court.

Change Something

Job stress, living expenses, and location of an apartment or home can add stress to a relationship, disguising money, social, or weather (Some are prone to depression in rainy or dark areas of the globe.), the real causes of stress.  Make a change if you dislike your job; move if you want to live somewhere else; or, spend less money on entertainment and unneeded wants.

Change is good, yet it’s common to feel reluctant as to avoid a negative or unwanted outcome – especially from one’s spouse.  Discuss making a change and figure if it would benefit a shaky relationship.

Marie Mccormack is a relationship writer. She likes to share what works in her marriage with other couples. You can find her helpful articles on a number of blog sites, including love and relationship sites. You can keep up with The Circle on Google+.

 

 

 

My AH HA moment  

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Good morning Loves.  Well after three weeks BF and I are slowly – and I mean very slowly – getting settled into our apartment.  We still have boxes in the living room and bedroom but I’m happy tell you that all our furniture is finally here.

We spent the last three weeks driving around the suburbs going to furniture stores, shopping malls and grocery stores as well as hardware stores, Home Depot and Wal-Mart.  I’m not sure if I mentioned it before but I went to Home Depot for the first time in my life and it was an experience.  My younger sister owns her home and she loves spending her weekends at Home Depot and now I see why.

As BF and I were driving home one night we got lost in the suburbs and took a wrong turn onto the cutest little street I ever did see.  It was lined with single family homes and big oak trees.  At that particular moment something happened to me – something I never thought would happen.  I thought to myself WOW I’d like to live here.

I think I want to leave downtown

I have always taken pride in the fact that I live downtown in a big city.  I enjoy the convenience of having everything within walking distance of my doorstep.  However there was something about the quiet suburban life that is really starting to appeal to me.  Does that sound crazy?

I love living downtown because it’s what makes a city so special.  I never wanted to live in the suburbs because I grew up in a small town and I always wanted more.  I also love living downtown because all the things that are unique to a city are usually located in the city center.  I want to wake up and see the charm a city has to offer, I don’t want to wake up and live my life in Any town U.S.A.

Maybe I want a house

I have always advocated the benefits of renting.  I like the convenience of renting an apartment downtown, I like the carefree lifestyle that comes along with renting and I like having no responsibility when it comes to repairing appliances in my apartment.

Then I saw this house.  It was a beige house on a corner lot (side note: I grew up in a corner house).  It wasn’t too big, which means I won’t have to spend my evenings and weekends cleaning; but it was just big enough for a couple.  To make a long story short it was absolutely perfect.  I can’t really picture myself with a house in the suburbs and a mortgage but maybe that’s where I’m headed.

Does that mean I want kids?

I’m admittedly not a big fan of kids.  But my thoughts of leaving downtown for the suburbs and moving out of my apartment into a house has me thinking if kids are just a hop, skip and jump away.  Having kids seems like a lot of work and I would definitely have to stop putting myself first, but now I’m thinking maybe I can do that.  Maybe I can trade in my lazy Saturdays for swim practice and maybe I can give up my Netflix Sundays to become a soccer mom.  I don’t know what’s triggering these thoughts, maybe it’s because I just turned 34 years old and I’m starting to realize it’s Go Time if I want to have kids.

Have you had an AH HA moment yet?

Photo from Flickr