This is a guest post from my friend and fierce mom, Gina Kirk. Check out her website at isshereally.com. She has awesome tips on budgeting, food and so much more!
I love your blog and have been following for the better part of 2 years! I find it so inspirational. What made you want to start a blog?
Thank you so much! It’s certainly evolved in that time. I have always enjoyed writing, and one day I had the thought, “if someone had only told me about this…” and that’s when the idea popped into my head. If all I do is simply write about real life, there’s got to be someone out there that will benefit from the stories I share, or at the very least, someone to relate to them.
I know your blog is all about becoming debt free. On your intro page you mentioned about how you stopped “wanting to keep up with the Jones’” How did you get to this place? Was there a certain turning point in your life where you decided that wasn’t important?
I think it was when I realized how good it felt to pay down debt. There is no greater feeling of relief that paying that final student loan or credit card payment, and knowing your money is now all yours! It’s when I realized freedom was so much better than “things”.
How did your husband react when you wanted to start your journey towards becoming financially free or was it a mutual decision from the start?
He just kind of sits back and lets me take the reigns. We certainly racked up the better portion of our debt together (on furniture, home furnishings and such), but I’ve always been the one to pay bills and handle finances. So when he saw how passionate I was about getting it done, he knew it was a good thing.
I know you are a busy mom of 3 little boys and I am sure they occupy a lot of time. When you have a chance, what do you do for fun?
That’s so funny, I was asked this same question today and couldn’t come up with an answer, ha! Kids to take up a lot of my time, of course, but when I have free time I really enjoy being creative. I love to party plan, do fun DIY projects around the house and catch up with my girl friends!
I know you started the Learn to Lunch campaign and I love it! I am always confused on what to pack my oldest son for his lunch! Do you have certain lunch boxes you recommend and why?
Thank you! I love the Bentgo Kid lunchboxes because even though they aren’t insulated, they are leak proof and will hold just about anything. The appear small at first, but once you start packing them, they actually hold quite a bit of food! They’re also on Groupon all the time, so that’s a great way to score them for less than retail.
Do you like to read books and if so, what are some of your favorite inspirational or motivational books you have read?
I love to read. Unfortunately I’ve been working so hard on the blog lately that I haven’t done much reading. Wayne Dyer is my absolute favorite. I remember asking my Dad for a lot of Wayne Dyer books and CDs quite a few years back, for my birthday (and he thought I was crazy). I almost fell over when he texted me that he was watching a Wayne Dyer TV special not too long ago! Wayne is so relatable and truly one of a kind. His CDs are great for the car if you don’t have a lot of time to sit down with a book.
Are there any tips you could share on how to stay on track with a budget?
I’d have to say, do what works for you. Whether it’s using a pen and paper, or phone app, or Mint.com. Find something that is easy, and accessible and you’ll be much more likely to continue doing it. Also, it helps to have support, and it doesn’t have to be from your spouse either. You can find a supportive friend who is also paying down debt, join an online challenge group, or find a facebook group of people who have similar interests in debt payoff. It’s really fun to be able to share your wins with one another, too!
Any other helpful advice you would like to share for anyone who is considering starting their journey towards financial freedom or just learning to create a budget?
I would say, it’s easy to get upset or off track when you’re faced with unexpected expenses, but don’t let them get the best of you. You can always, always start your debt journey again. Nothing ever goes as planned during this process, it helps to make a short list of things that you can do everyday, and those small changes will add up over time. For example, shop where you can earn gas points, make your coffee at home, pack lunches instead of buying etc. You’ll feel so great knowing you have been faithful with those little things, and eventually setbacks will hardly bother you.
Like I said before, I have been following Gina for around 2 years and I love her blog. She just opened up a shop on her site with a super cute tote bag that I think Mom’s can relate to. Check out the pic below and if you are interested in purchasing, head over to isshereally.com for your very own “Hands full, Heart full” tote. Adorable!
Gina Kirk is a Mom of three and author at GinaKirk.com. She writes about motherhood, healthy, frugal living, and all things DIY.
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