The Laundry Experiment Update!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have an update on saving money by instituting a laundry ban! 😉 Not only has it cut down on my laundry costs, it has also cut down on my labor! I think the latter is my favorite part, tehe. I have only done one load since my last post! That is 3 loads that I did not have to do! 3 little cups of laundry soap, the water, and the drying energy!

In the small scheme of things, “oh it’s only 3 loads”, but multiply that by 52 weeks and it’s 156 loads! That is a whole bottle of our laundry soap and 6,240 minutes of dryer time! :O I am very curious to see the change in my electricity bill if there is one! I am quite sure there will be one.

Not only does it help that I am doing less laundry, Mr. Arkansan and I have gotten into the habit of hanging our clothes up the moment we come home if they are not stained or super dirty. Cleaner house, less work, and saving money and water… I am in!

I am very surprised about how clean our clothes have stayed! And not wrinkled at all. Plus, I iron less as well. Which is a sad thing for me as I do love ironing shirts and pants!

Next step, creating a capsule wardrobe! Any hints or tricks?! Help a girl out!

-The Transplant Arkansan 🙂

Ch-Ch-Chaaaannngesss!!

We are making some changes to our life trajectory! My husband will probably be taking a new job that will change his career path. This also changes our income, drastically. So I am redoing our budget and will not be able to pay off debt as fast as I have been. We will still be putting every spare penny to debt, but the spare pennies will be less. I am ready for the challenge and know it will be a struggle for the first few months as we transition to a more strict budget.

I am making huge changes to our lifestyle and evaluating what really is a need versus a luxury. We needed to cut a good $700 monthly out of our spending to be able to take this opportunity.

So here is how I made it happen :

  • Slashed our eating out budget down to $60, savings of $400 (we were a bit excessive in our outings)
  • Decreased our grocery budget to $50 a week. I am using meal planning and make ahead meals. Savings of $200
  • Canceled gym subscriptions since the hubs will be able to use the gym at his work. Savings of $44
  • Reduced gas expense by not driving 30 minutes each way, savings of $50
  • Canceled PS Vue, savings of $35 (we already have Netflix and that’s all we need!)

I am really excited for this opportunity for him, but the first few months are going to be rough! We are downsizing our lifestyle and making new priorities. His mental health and physical health are more important than the money that is being brought in. We do not want to live the status quo. So, I am going to try some drastic ways to save money!

First, I am instituting a laundry ration! If the clothes are only worn for a couple hours and are not dirty, they get hung back up. This saves water, electricity, and detergent.

Second, no more paper towels, which doesn’t seem as drastic to anyone, but my husband who is all about food safety. We will use homemade reusable paper towels.

Third, no more TV after 7pm. This will save on electricity and productivity.

Last, but not least. I made more homemade reusable wipes. :O Just like ones used for babies, but will only be used for bathroom trips not resulting in poo. 😉 Toilet paper is expensive. I keep it real on here and a bit of truth for you, I used the wipes during my period because I have PCOS and heavy flows. It made me feel cleaner. So, why not re-purpose!

School starts this week so I will be a busy bee! What are some of the drastic things you have done to cut costs?

The Transplant Arkansan 🙂

New Cultures For Me

For better or worse, Minnesota is passive aggressive. It’s basically bred in the culture, I was a follower of it as well. I fully admit that, now, y’know after I moved out of the state. 😉 Minnesotans also have the long goodbyes, the ones that you walk to the door you have already said the goodbye and then there is guaranteed at least another 15 minutes of conversation. I love the Minnesotan goodbye and my first few weeks here it was hard to process that, that was not the normal mode down here. For the first while, I thought that I was being rude by walking away after one goodbye. Kid you not, I had a long conversation about it with my Husband, then boyfriend. I went to him all flustered and feeling bad and even a bit guilty that we were just leaving the houses when the people were so kindly opening up to me!

Wellllllllll an hour later, I was reassured that it was not necessary to be worried or to be nervous about leaving after 1 goodbye. I have lived elsewhere and was new to different cultures, but here it really hit me because all of the people I interacted with were so gosh darn sweet! My Minnesotan mode was, “here let me show you how much I have enjoyed this by saying goodbye for 15 minutes”, which in my previous town was a compliment, here not so much. Then, of course my insecurities were opened wide, that oh my goodness did they not like me? Am I too loud? Did I come on too strong? I said the wrong thing! All of those things, but the truth was it was just a different culture and I had not opened my mind up that wait, things are different everywhere. Goodbyes, hellos, parties, dinners, and social norms. It is easy to logically thing that things are different, but when faced with the emotional response, I had forgotten that.

More truth was that they liked me and looked forward to getting to know me more. Also, I was so worried about what they were thinking about me, I was not even having fun or really getting to know them. I have made this mistake more than once. It took me a couple of parties and interactions to start learning that the more I focused my attention on learning about the other person and really being interested in their experiences, the more fun I had and the more genuine of a time it was. I have not had to really go out and make friends as an adult and it is way different than making them in school or at work. I am still learning, but I am quite excited to find more friends and grow as a person.

Keto on a Budget?

Alright y’all! It’s time to get down to healthy business around here! The Hubs and I have been wanting so badly to be healthier and more fit. I have PCOS and so carbs wreak havoc with my system and his family has diabetes in it, so low sugar and carbs is the best approach for us.

Enter Ketogenic eating! It is very low carb, moderate protein, and high fat. What is Keto? I think Wicked Stuffed Keto has a great definition and helped a lot when I started researching. I am also limiting my dairy intake as most of the internet agrees that it creates an insulin response that leads to more insulin resistance. I added links for extra information! Who doesn’t love extra information?! 🙂

So! We have really cut down on our grocery budget over the last few months, however, there is always more work to be done. Some of my favorite cheap keto staples are hard boiled eggs, coconut oil, spinach, kale, and romaine salads with meat salads, and walnuts, all of the walnuts! Okay, so maybe Walnuts are not really cheap, but they are a great fat and great source of Omega-3 fatty acids and manganese, which again are great for women with PCOS.

Also, my favorite sauce is the Newman’s Own Alfredo… It is so good and low carb that I put it in my Chicken Pot Pie casserole! It is only $1.55 at Walmart and I can use it twice! Total winner in my book. I will put up the recipe in the next few days.

This week, my grocery spending was down to $61.04. Whewt Whewt!! Meal planning is my jam right now because I use every morsel of food. I am able to use a whole chicken cooked in the crockpot for 3 meals! It is only $5 at Aldi’s! If you have not checked out your local Aldi’s, do it! Get in your car right now and go check it out. Aldi has many organic options and for cheap, too! Like Avocados, $5 for 6 organic Avocados?! Oh yes, I am all about that. Make sure to bring a quarter to use a cart since you have to unlock with the quarter, but don’t worry you get it back! Bring your own bags or you will be sad while hauling your groceries in by each item. I am all about the one trip and use reusable grocery bags.

 

So, $61.04 was spent to make a 9×13 pan of chicken pot pie (2 meals), taco salad(2 meals), chicken salad to munch on for lunches, salads for lunches with salami and other deli meats, cauliflower chicken fried rice, keto pancakes(I love breakfast for supper), nuts, sweet peppers stuffed with goat cheese and salami(so so good and quick), and some spearmint tea for the night.

I think every Sunday I will do a check in for weight and debt.

Check-in 1!

  • Weight – 241.6 pounds
  • Debt – $11,353.22

Let’s do some work this week on those numbers!

The Big Bad Debt Number

Alright everyone. It’s time to get real and put it all out there. I was scrolling Insta and saw this post about how secrecy breeds shame. I will find the instagrammer that I saw it on and link them in this post. It made me think about how for so long, I was ashamed of how much per month I am spending on debt for things I cannot even remember what I bought. I am no longer ashamed, but motivated to stop being a slave to the debt and lender! Like NGTW says, be a Debt Slayer. I have my wooden stake and my leather on!! (get it? like Buffy and Blade 😉 )

So here is the breakdown of my big bad number and how I plan to get out of debt!

Student Loan – $3,600

Medical Debt – $1,273.72

Credit Card – $6,500

Dental – $547

Total – $11,920.72

I believe it is just a new starting point. I have paid off 4 debts before getting serious, just by the nature of paying money here and there. I have devised my plan as a debt avalanche because my highest interest rate is my highest balance. It makes sense to me because I want to stop paying ~$150 in interest every month. I know I will not have the quick successes, but if I am going to tell my money where to go, I want to make the most out of every penny! (plus I checked both ways in the debt payoff app and it was less money spent over the course of my debt marathon if I did highest interest first 😉 )

Here is my plan in avalanche form :

Item Original balance Current balance Min payment Current Payment
Victoria Secret  $                  145.65  $                          –  $                     –  $                  –
UAMS  $            203.84  $                    –  $                 –
Mercy  $            243.77  $              118.77  $           25.00  $         25.00
PCM  $            407.70  $                     –  $                 –
Velocity  $           308.00  $                     –  $            –  $              –
OB/GYN  $            291.42  $             165.42  $           25.00  $        25.00
Mercy Doc  $            537.00  $             537.00  $           25.00  $        25.00
Dentist  $            547.00  $             547.00  $         100.00  $       100.00
ER Visit  $         1,200.00  $             452.53  $         100.00  $      100.00
Student Loan  $         3,600.00  $          3,600.00  $                –  $       –
Capital 1  $         6,500.00  $          6,500.00  $         190.00  $       425.00

Consider me bought in and just past the starting line in my debt marathon.I was semi-serious the past two months, but recently I have seen so many success stories and I want that! I am happy for them and I want that freedom so badly! Over half of my pay outside of joint expenses goes to debt right now, I want that to go into investing in experiences and to see the world!

Let’s Do Work!

The Transplant Arkansan 

P.S. It is so hot in Arkansas! I am still getting used to it.

( I need a side hustle that is friendly with working full-time and student full-time, if you have any ideas, comment below and hook a sista up! )

First post, eh?

There is a bit of pressure for the first post, huh! Well, let’s just get it over with then. 😉  I wish I would have started this blog two years ago! It could have documented a lot of the struggles and great events that have happened, too. I suppose there are a lot of shoulda coulda wouldas, but no need to dwell in those anymore. I have a plan, it’s get out of debt, lose some weight, and enjoy the little things and new adventures that Arkansas brings. Below is a picture of my very first adventure in Arkansas, Petit Jean. I felt like I was going to die, the heat and humidity was way worse than I had ever encountered. Not to mention, I directed us on the wrong path, so instead of an easy walk up it, we had a moderate to expert route. Yeah, I will never live that down.

It was beautiful when we arrived at the top, though. That’s my handsome husband with the magnificent beard I mentioned in my ‘About’ page. (I mean, c’mon it is amazing)

Back to the plans!

  1. Get out of debt, pay off the mortgage early and cash flow the rest of my education.
  2. Get healthy!
  3. Make new friends. (I still don’t have very many I talk to on a regular basis down here)

Next post I will be talking all about my debt plan! Gotta spend my dolla dolla bills in a much smarter way!