16 January 2014

Blog Tip Friday: All-purpose coconut oil (organic)

I have always loved the smell & taste of coconut juice. It was like a drug to me, haha. Yes, that addicted to coconut. I went through the phase (still an on-going journey) of trying to find natural remedies. My two favorite things are Dr. Bonner castile soap & organic coconut milk. We all love our beauty regimes because I know I focus so much on mines. Save money & still see results. Here are list of how far my coconut milk jar goes in our household.

Coat & massage in 1-2 tablespoon (depending on the length & thickness of your hair) of coconut oil through my hair & concentrating where it dries up the most. Cover with a plastic bag & leave in for at least 30 minutes. I like to leave mines in 60-90 minutes three times a week, which usually are the days when I wash my hair. Wash out with your shampoo as usual, maybe twice just to get the rest of the oil out. Conditioner is optional, this is my cheap & easy conditioner now a days.

It has been my go-to & inexpensive face moisturizer for the past 12 months. Proceed with your usual face routine but substitute your current moisturizer with organic coconut oil. A little goes a long way and a 1 oz. can last me about 3 months using it twice a day.

Coconut oil also contains SPF 4 so it is perfect to use for hanging around the house. It also works as my eye cream & helps my dark circles (trust me, I sleep late often.)

It is also a natural antibacterial product so it will not cause you to breakout. Yes, it is oil but the molecules are, too big to clog your pores. Like many who switch products, you might experience some breakout for the first few days. But this product has help to keep my acne less red, big, & sore.

I practice oil pulling and have been for the last 6 months. You may search up the benefits of oil pulling. Do it once a day either morning or before bed. Follow with flossing & brushing your teeth. I use a tablespoon each night as my substitute for a mouth wash. I have very sensitive teeth & this method has slowly made my teeth less sensitive & brighter.

It's obvious you use it for cooking. You can replace all your cooking oil (the best with curries) with just this. I even use it to spread on my toast instead of butter.

I purchase all my organic coconut oil from Vitacost website. Sign up for free here & you can receive a $10 off your first purchase.

Did I mention they have a bunch of BOGO Free on their Vitacost brand coconut oil? ENJOY :D

Debt Free: January 2014 Breakdown

(Debt # & Outstanding Balance)

Debt #2: $1,000  =  $1, 500
Debt #3: $900  = $10, 839.31
Debt #4: $250  = $12, 107.73

I just want to flat out say, I did not do very well with the "shopping budget/allowance" I had set up for January :( But I did under spent on other things. Well, lets move away from the personal spendings shall we, haha. We were able to bring down total debts this month once again. I look forward each month to post the drop in our debt total. This month, we were able to keep aside bits of money from last month's incomes so we were able to pay each bill ahead of time so here you go fellow debt free lovers :D

12 January 2014

Blog Tip Friday: Little things that counts

I'm sorry that it is two days, late. I thought I clicked published but it was "Saved" -__-.
Okay before you think this is wedding related let me burst your bubble, IT'S NOT! Haha. I just want to share the little switches you can do to save money or get some free things. I have practiced these tips for awhile now & sometimes I am still trying to make slight adjustments to maximize the benefits. These are all the little changes I have added into my life slowly to help us financially & always considering the  environment in the process.

  1. Unsubscribe to shopping site to avoid the temptation to hurry on over to their sales. 
  2. Adapt a minimalist wardrobe (if not possible), take a trip to the thrift stores. 
  3. Donate at least once a year for your tax season. 
  4. Castile soap as an all-purpose at home product (will post a separate one on this)
  5. Buy quality beauty products
  6. Buy a water pitcher
  7. Love magazines? Google free magazine subscriptions & you can sign up to as much as you'd like & in many different categories. 
  8. Learn to DIY 
  9. Youtube your workout 
  10. Learn to love running 
  11. Eat clean 
  12. Make Google your friend. Search free movies online rather than netflix or movie theaters. 
  13. Create a budget planner
  14. Shop with cash, once it is gone, it's gone. 
  15. Limit credit card use to bills, once paid, tuck it away. 
  16. Cut your hair at home (Thank you Youtube. Im not a hairstylist for the past three years to myself)
  17. Got indoor dogs? Using pee pads? Purchase reusable medical pads from eBay. 
  18. Make home cooked dog food (will post recipes)
  19. Empty out your wallet everyday & dump out coins into a coin jar. Don't exchange to coinstar as they take out $0.11 each $1.00. Roll them up & deposit it to your bank instead. No shame in rolled coins people!
  20. Coffee drinker? Buy a reusable cup (preferably a starbuck look alike, it helps!), a small 4 cups coffee maker, & buy your coffee of choice. That saves you $10 a day, if you're an avid drinker like me.
  21. Bring home lunch to work. 
  22. Don't buy Christmas gifts on Black Friday (that's an excuse to buy too much), slowly buy gives throughout the year. Start buying non-clothing & non-food related gifts. Or consider DIY. 
  23. Buy necessary daily things in bulk such as cleaning products, rice, shampoo, etc.

03 January 2014

Blog Tip Friday: Credit Card Devils

Raise your hand if you have ever been eaten alive (almost swallowed) by credit cards? My boyfriend has been eaten, chewed on, and spat back out by credit cards & I have taken it upon myself to learn from it. I made the decision to NOT apply for any credit cards until I finish college & pay off my tuition. I was fortunate enough to be able to pay my tuition off as soon as each one comes since I decided to take the gruesome option to pay by cash. This means that I was paying my tuition every two months before my next classes started. It was hard but well worth it now.

Now that I am done with school, I can start focusing on making the decision to start building my own credit, which if you refer to my previous "Life" post you will know I added it to my 2014 Goals.

So why is everyone so afraid of credit cards? I mean it is money that you can spend without having to work hard for it, right? WRONG! It gives you a certain amount that you are able to spend but when that bill comes the next month, BAM everyone struggles. The thing is, credit cards allows you to easily spend money you do not have. I like to call it "culprit that allows you to live beyond your means."

I have taken a few tips from my boyfriend as well as my mother (she's very frugal.)

  1. Don't apply for mail-offered credit cards. 
  2. Never go for Capital One. It says "No Fees" but they do have hidden fees up to $42 a month (for not spending anything.)
  3. Spend only half or less of your credit card limit.
  4. Spend only what you can pay back monthly without being behind your other bills.
  5. Use it wisely. Choose a small monthly bill that you can repay easily such as a phone bill.
  6. Or use it to pay a small debt (at the most $1,000) monthly. 
  7. Once you pay off your credit card debt, cancel your card, & cut it. 
  8. Trying to bump up your credit? Continue with Tip #5 or #6. 
  9. Do not look at a credit card as free money for your "wants", but rather as for your "needs." Needs that you can pay back. 
It does not have to be a hassle dealing with a credit card, you just need to use it wisely & look at it as an emergency purpose or as an extra boost on a monthly bill. It is easy to get carried away with credit cards so the best way to avoid that is to avoid "living beyond your means."

After we paid off our credit card debt, we have paid off the full balance of $500, called the company the same day, & cancelled it. We also felt relieved when I cut the plastic demon up that same day. I went to bed fully satisfied knowing that it is one less thing that's eating up money. We are planning to apply for our own credit cards through his bank after we open a joint account (to use as our joint account (savings), but we'll still have our own personal savings) & use it just to pay for our phone bill & groceries. We are still debating on wether we want credit cards now or if we should pay off at least one more debt before doing so. I am sure we will keep you updated :)

In the meantime, if you are planning to apply for a credit card, please do your research & evaluate your lifestyle and your needs versus wants. 
Holidays are finally over!

I love the holidays especially Christmas, I mean who doesn't right? I just finished my monthly add-ups in our budget planner & now we have extra $500 to spend on the debts. I am guilty after totaling up all the shopping spending from the Black Friday, Cyber Monday, & Boxing Day sales, oh boy who knew I racked up $500 on all of it. So now that I look at it, we have an extra $1,000 to spend. This is exactly what I meant about trial & errors, most of the errors coming from me haha.

Remember that in the journey of going debt-free, you will encounter many mistakes & regrets along the way but don't beat your self up, just tell yourself that you will do better next time & get a tighter grip on "self control" or you can just stay away from websites that offers sale and/or unsubscribe to sites that reminds you about their sales. Being young & seeing all these clothes go on sale makes you go crazy! This gave me the idea to start a yearly goal rather than New Year, New Me resolutions that I know will eventually be broken. This year, I am using my bucket list as a reference for what I want to accomplish. I have handpicked a few GOALS that I would like to try this year (majority of the goals are to benefit us financially & emotionally.)

  1. Get my driver's license
  2. Pay off Debt #2 
  3. Pay off Debt #3
  4. Apply for my first credit card
  5. Become a minimalist 
  6. Be happy :)
  7. Stay Strong!
  8. Make $500 in clothes sale (ThreadFlip App)
  9. Start making jewelry sales
  10. Start being extra frugal 
GOAL: Complete at least 4 things. (By aiming to complete a minimum number, you are more likely to feel less stress & to actually feel accomplished without feeling down.) Try this method out! 

I plan to add a new category to my blog called "Tips". It is pretty much weekly tips on what you can do to save money, where to go, how to do it, etc. The whole What, When, Where, Why, & How shabang. I will do a weekly post on it, monthly post on "Debt Free", & maybe a slight tour of my journey to becoming a "Minimalist" :D. 

What are you all looking forward to accomplish this year? It's a new 365 pages book so make each day count.