31 March 2015

Debt Free: March 2015 Breakdown

(Debt # & Outstanding Balance)

Debt #3: $2,858.21 =  PAID OFF!
Debt #4: $200 =  $11,282.17

FINALLY! One of the two major student loans is paid off! Thank you Jesus. We are officially one pay off closer to start our "First Home" savings. The feeling has not sunk it yet since the payment has only been placed today and it will take about 2-3 business days for it to show on the student profile, but a little "Hooray" doesn't hurt, right? So HOORAAAAAYYYY *Happy dance, twerk twerk* 

That out of the way, Joel and I can start feeding our savings account in lump sum each month and continue to pay Debt #4 monthly. The monthly minimum for Debt #4 is $111.00 but by paying double each month, we are actually giving ourselves an "allowance." This means that if we cannot pay the next month, it is okay because paying double will push your due date forward by an extra month. Ex: I paid $200 for March, my next due date will be in May.

This method will hopefully work in our favor in the next few months since we are planning to make a move. Yes, I spent my vacation to go apartment hunting and I found a place that would be perfect. I just need to make a trip back up with Joel to finalize everything :)

Now that Debt #3 is done and over with, it's crunch time. Time to focus on building up that credit score, savings account, and de-cluttering the house.

What do you hope to accomplish by going debt-free?

18 March 2015

To end the suffering

I've been feeling a little crappy lately and I don't know if it's the bipolar weather or that I'm feeling low. Whatever it is, I am trying to avoid hitting rock bottom.

During my past vacation, I heard of two suicides and one that hit me like a brick because a teenage girl the same age as my nephew killed herself. She was bullied because of her sexuality and that is one of the hardest thing to ever go thru as a teenager. During my vacation, I took the time to listen to my growing niece and nephew as they deal with things I have already experienced, and it sucks to know that they are starting to hurt the same way I have. Bullying is never okay and I know how strong words and actions can affect a young person. My nephew is dealing with people bullying him because he's trying to do the right thing while my niece is being bullied by her own “friends”. Both are not okay with me as I dealt with both while I was in school.

It hurts to know that I cannot be there to stand as a shield in front of them, but I can talk to them which is something I never had. I had “talks” with my mom, but she didn't understand where I was coming from because she didn't grow up in an era where kids were cruel & self-harming existed.

One thing I wanted my parents to understand when I was going through all the bullshits was that no matter how many biblical quotes they shoved down my throat, I still felt alone. No matter how many hours and days they stayed home with me, I still felt like I was facing the world on my own. The weight of the world was crushing my ribs, my spine, and my will.

Sometimes when I hear news about someone that committed suicide I always think to myself “That could have been me. He/she is no longer suffering.” The feeling of wanting to die is a way for the individual to look at it as an escape to stop feeling pain the next day. They cannot take the heartache or the many sleepless nights. They are emotionally drained and just feel like a bag of bones.

This might sound stupid, but no one thinks about suicide to hurt other people. I admit that there were times when I wanted to make others feel pain as if I will rise from my grave, and watch those who tortured me be grieve stricken or say “sorry.” This is the exact thought I had the very last time I stood in my closet when I was a teenager. I bawled my eyes out sitting on the floor just thinking how much it will hurt my parents, and that they might feel like they failed as parents. I actually had a conversation in my head weighing out all the reasons why I should and shouldn't. If I went through with it and succeeded, it'll mean that I let my tormenters win and I lose (even in death). This is how I dealt with it then and how I deal with it now.

I'm not going to lie and say I haven't relapsed recently, but how I deal with problems that I feel like is out of my control is to always think “Never let them get the best of you. It's okay to cry in frustrations, but never let them break you.”

I know how it feels like when the world feels like it's swallowing you whole and you're losing hope. If you find yourself trying to find ONE reason why you shouldn't end your suffering, think about the people that loves you the most and think how you'll leave them suffering with your absence.

The best response you can give to whatever or whoever is hurting you is your presence. Let them know you are aware of what they are doing to you, but you refuse to let them win. 

16 March 2015

Shopping Diet Challenges

I know I'm not the first one to say that I have a shopping addiction. It does not matter if it's a shirt on sale, a shoe on clearance that will not be made anymore, or that "I always need bobby pins" from Walmart. Bottom line, I have a problem that's not diagnose by professionals except my boyfriend who constantly ask "So what did your eyes see online today?"

This year, we are working together towards two goals: Move into a new place and to erase a total of $8,500 of student loan (that pays off one and partial of the other one.) I am responsible of budgeting and balancing our finances. He works long months so the least I can do is control my shopping….. err addiction. Yes, I called it an addiction because sometimes I just really have a hard time putting down the credit cards or walking away from a great sale or clearance item at TJMaxx.

I have been meaning to do this for almost a year now, but my vacation last year side tracked my mind (great excuse, eh) and decided to neglect that potential goal.

This seems simple enough but budgeting really is harder than it seems. It's all about self control and I know that's something that seems to be hard for people with shopping addiction -_-.

Starting today March 16, 2015, there will be no binge shopping. Here are the list of what I can and cannot shop for:

#1 Challenge: March - June 2015

  • Groceries (homemade dog food, basic groceries etc)
  • Pet necessities (medicines, rabbit food, grooming)
  • Vape (coil, e-juice)
  • Hygiene (toothpaste, shampoo, soap, etc)
  • Accessories (bags, jewelry, shoes, hats)
  • Miscellaneous (nail polish, eBay)
  • Household goods (decorations, bedsheets, kitchenware)
  • Electronic goods
  • Entertainment (DVDs, e-books, iTunes movies)
  • Beauty products (trying out new products just because)
  • Clothes (online shopping mainly when I am bored)
***EDIT: April 9, 2015:
Obviously I had to redo this shopping diet post because I have gotten into reading books lately, and I discovered Kindle and iBook. I also had to restock on my holy grail of nail strengthener and new gym clothes. So you see, I'm all over the place.

I did however kept my cool as far as buying new clothes and home goods, etc. I stuck to the original Do's and Don'ts about 70%. Instead of doing a list for each challenge, I will set a month budget. Any left over from the monthly budget will be automatically added into savings account.

April has just started and I have not spent on anything, not even groceries so we can pick up from there. Here are the NEW challenge rules.***


  1. $500 monthly budget
  2. Spend ONLY on - 
    • Grocery = 60%
    • Misc = 40%
      • Vape
      • Workout needs
      • Restock supplies i.e. toothpaste, shampoos, etc.
      • Books
      • Lunch dates with my mama (Yes, this is a must and a new goal)

What I hope to accomplish with this Shopping Diet Challenge?
My boyfriend and I want to finally make a fresh start by moving to a new city. We want to welcome our future being debt and clutter free as well as having better control over our finances. It's a journey we hope to turn into a habit :)



07 March 2015

Self-Injury Awareness

March is Self-Injury Awareness month & this hits close to home. I was never that open about this part of my life and I always looked down or ignored the subject when someone brings it up. I never flaunt my past addiction and try not to make my scars visible or the point of a conversation. But as I get older and an aunt to teenagers now, I feel that it is best to be open about it because I don't want them to suffer the same way.

I never had an open relationship with my strict parents and was not comfortable talking to my friends about what's going on.

So here it is, I self-harm from 2003 - 2013. Between 2003 - 2008 were the worst because it went from 0-100 real quick. It became an outlet, then a habit, and turned into a real addiction. After 2008, it became an occasional outlet when stress became, too much.

*** This post is a little sensitive for me to write. No research was involved and all are personal experiences. I am not condoning self-harm and do not wish others to start. I just want to reach out to those suffering and remind you that you can overcome it. I have always wanted to share my story on this matter because it consumed me for almost half of my young life and it slowly mold me into the person I am today. ***

I was a shy middle school student in 2003 who followed the crowd. It was a trend when everyone had little cuts on their wrist and I tried it. I didn't like it the first time until I had my first heart break. I started with little chicken scratches every other night and eventually got over it. In 2004, I had my first big break up where I was lied to, treated like shit, and left hanging. That's when the real addiction started, I was sitting on the corner of my bed under my bed side lamp and crying every night. Each night, the line got deeper and deeper while overlapping the same line from the night before. It got to the point where my skin would split open and it bled once the blade swiped pass.

In late 2005, I was bullied by people who called themselves my "friends" from rumors spread by one person. I felt like it was me against the world and I turned my focus on getting good grades during the day, but at night I felt so worn out that I turned to self-harm. Sometimes I even brought a tool with me to school and often excused myself to the bathroom in between classes to get my "fix".

By 2006, I was using self-harm as a way to get away with feeling pain and stress from everyday petty dilemmas.

What triggered it for me came from feeling like I was binge eating to feeling so low. I didn't show much emotions growing up so no one really knew if they were getting to me. I brought all my pain home and saved it for bed time because I did not let anyone know that they can actually make me cry. After years of crying alone, I began to not feel a thing because I started getting numbed to people's hurtful words and actions. I self medicated to let myself know that I'm still "alive" and it was a way to focus my stress into something else. It helped me forget how cruel people can be because with each line and each drop, it stung and I was crying from that physical pain rather than what I was feeling inside.

Anxiety attacks

What was once my occasional outlet became an addiction because what was once something I turned to for all the stress I faced, I began using it when I am bored. It became a nightly routine even on days when I was having a day. I did not need a reason to turn to it because I was turning an outlet into a habit. A bedtime routine was not complete without it. The habit became so bad that I started hating myself for it. I even tried to do cold turkey and tucking away my "trusty friend" to help me forget, but I felt like I was alone and lost without it. I did not know how to function without my tools and found myself searching for new things to experiment with. There was even a time when I did not know what to do with myself that I swallowed an entire bottle of iron pills and fell asleep on my carpet floor and woke up the next morning disappointed that I was not dead. I wanted to stop self-harming so much that there were nights when I would write letters to my family members in my journal and stand inside my closet staring at a tied up rope that I found in the shed. I hated myself for a long time because I felt like I was different and carried such a taboo secret that everyone flaunt in school for attention, but at the same time no one talked about. 

I thought something was wrong with me because all we learned in school was substance abuse, don't do drug, and use condoms. No teachers ever taught us that self-harm was also an addiction. 

How I overcame it:
Even into my adult life, I still turned to my "trusty friend" 5 years out of high school. Life was getting complicating because I was stressing about the future, and I did not know what I was supposed to be. It took me 24 years to realized that I am capable of controlling how I faced each stress and where I should focus on. I learned to love myself through trial and error. I found my happy place and where my presence was appreciated. I finally found peace when Joel told me that he loves me so much and begged me to never hurt myself again. 

All I needed was someone to say that when I hurt myself, they share that pain I feel. I just wanted to hear someone tell me that they care as much as they showed it. I overcame this part of my life by finally  realizing that I needed to surround myself with people that cares, makes me happy, and never ask me to be someone else other than myself. 

Today I live by Mahatma Gandhi's "No one can hurt me without my permission."

05 March 2015

Getting ahead in life

This is the perfect post to finally introduce my better half, my King, my personal cheerleader. This was our first ever picture 8 years ago :)

Most people read that title and think “money.” I know two years ago, I would have thought that but as you get older, it means more than just money. I have realized that lately I have been writing down “to-list” that connects back to money because I can't shake off the student loan debt my boyfriend has earned from college. But things are starting to fall into place for us because we are moving forward in our relationship.

We have been together for a total of seven years passing through a lot of mess, stress, goals, and growth. Being apart (thru physical distance) taught us how to develop as an individual, which is something we were not able to do since we were always together as “kids.”

We both have our own dreams, but one dream we do have in common is that we want success – a life full of satisfaction, hard work, and unlimited love. We matured together as a team and as individuals, which is what I define as getting ahead. We are a team formed by two cheerleaders because we are each other's biggest supporter. When one is down, the other will carry the weight of the world until the other fully recover. We do not let each other trail behind and stay there alone.

To get ahead in life, you must work on yourself before anything can fall in to place. Nobody and nothing is perfect. Everything requires your focus and 110% attention, but always be aware of your surroundings. It influences your journey and you should always keep them in mind because it helps to mold you into the person you wish to be or not to be.

We're getting ahead in life by working together instead of against each other. He's working on his career** and I'm working on my dream. Life can only get better from here on out.

** For safety purposes, I will not mention what his exact career description is, but I can tell you it is not illegal ha-ha.  



02 March 2015

Quality > Quantity

I know I recently posted changes that will be made with this baby blog, but I have recently checked out apartments while on my vacation and it seems to be more fitting now to blog about what matters. I could have spent my three weeks in Las Vegas to party hard like last year, but this time around I realized that this blog should reflect my life journey.

Nothing much will change except I will remove the weekly post for “52 Reviews”. I love to review products and places, but I figured it is a waste of energy to fill up my blog with something that I am not completely passionate about or that it doesn't mix well with my life journey.

Here are the top FOUR I will continue to include in this blog. I want to share the journey and my growth.
  1. $30k Debt-free
  2. Vaping Updates
  3. Life Detox: De-cluttering life, doing what matters most, & learning the ways of a minimalist
  4. Fit Before 30

I wanted to follow the thumb rule of successful bloggers who post about everything and anything. It works so well for them that I thought I could tackle every categories. I want my readers to feel my struggle, the trial and errors, my success, and the growth. I want to put quality rather than quantity. I do not blog to reach “stardom”, I want to make a real connection with each of you :)



01 March 2015

Month 3: Stuffy Nose

Picture source

I searched up this symptom and see if it was normal. Some say it's one way your body is telling you that it is trying to get use to the vape, while others say it could be allergies. I say, I am stuck in-between the two because I do have indoor allergies and mines usually last for awhile (my nose is plugged as we speak), and it is only my third month on vape.

My third month seems to be harder than my first month. Yes, the first 30 days of quitting analogs is hard, but have you ever tried getting up every morning trying to breathe and then going to sleep but can't because your nose is so plug? That feeling like someone shoved a cement mixture through your nostril and placed a road block sign letting air know they can't pass through.

It's hard for me to determine which is the cause because I really have bad indoor allergies, so I don't know if I have to take allergy medicines, stop vaping for awhile, or take fever medicine because I'm about to get a fever. This month is really frustrating because it is messing up my vacation and it does not help that the weather is still around the 40s and 60 degrees all day and night.

On the other hand, I decreased my chin breakouts by 80%. The other 20% is caused by my monthly visit from Aunt Flow, she's on her way right now -_-.

I cannot wait what my fourth month will be like because I am so over this plugged nose. I can't enjoy my vacation and most importantly, I cannot taste any of my food ha-ha.