Ep #74: Recently, I had an unexpected adventure in Colorado that I can't wait to share with you. But more importantly, I want to explain why I'm so passionate about budgeting and helping you become debt-free.
So, let me start with our impromptu trip to Colorado. It wasn't planned at all. One day, my friend Cindy called and said she was going to Colorado with our friend Christine. Cindy's dream was to learn RVing. I shared that goal of traveling the country in an RV and enjoying every moment.
I had a long to-do list, and the practical side of my brain said, "No, Jen, you can't go. Focus on your tasks and plan a better trip next time." But my other side said, "This is an opportunity to get away." A few weeks earlier, I'd received some shocking news that left me rattled. Life and business have their ups and downs, and as they say, life is 50/50 – half good and half bad. When life throws challenges your way, you sometimes just need to get away.
After discussing it with my husband, he encouraged me to take the trip. He reminded me to step out of my daily routine, meet people I'd only known virtually, and be present with them. We went on daily hikes, had outdoor barbecues, and stayed in a beautiful RV surrounded by breathtaking Colorado mountains.
The core message of this episode is why I'm so passionate about budgeting and helping you become debt-free. When you have money in the bank and a financial plan, you can embrace spontaneous opportunities like this trip without worrying about credit card limits or debt.
Here are some tips to get you started on your own debt-free journey:
1. **Create a Budget and Debt Payoff Plan:** I know, creating a budget doesn't sound exciting, but when you put everything down on paper, you'll feel energized. No more mental clutter; you'll have a clear plan. Even if your debt seems overwhelming, at least you'll know how to tackle it and potentially increase your income.
2. **Build a Savings Fund:** I love using Ally Bank for this. They let you create multiple savings buckets, each with its own goal. For instance, you can have a Christmas fund, a vacation fund, or a clothing fund. This way, you won't have to rely on credit cards when unexpected expenses pop up.
3. **Explore Side Gigs:** Find a side gig that aligns with your interests and passions. For me, mystery shopping was a game-changer. It not only accelerated our debt-free journey but also enhanced our lives. With the extra income, we could enjoy life's little pleasures and make memories without breaking the bank.
The message is clear: financial freedom and debt reduction don't mean you have to sacrifice all your joys in life. With a budget, a savings fund, and a side gig, you can live your life to the fullest, embrace unexpected adventures, and confidently make choices that align with your dreams and financial goals.
Whether it's a spontaneous trip to Colorado or another opportunity that comes your way, remember that financial planning gives you the freedom to say "yes" without hesitation. Join me on this journey towards financial freedom, and let's make 2023 a year of extraordinary financial choice
You're Invited to a free LIVE training: How To Get Out of Debt Faster With Mystery Shopping. Register here: https://www.budgetdivas.com/faster
Mystery shopping? What's that got to do with my finances? Mystery shopping isn't just about scoring free meals or testing out luxury cars; it's a powerful tool that can turbocharge your journey to financial independence! Imagine paying off your student loans, credit card debt, or that pesky mortgage years ahead of schedule! Head over to www.budgetdivas.com/faster and secure your spot. Seats are limited, and you won't want to miss out on this life-changing event. It's time to take control of your financial future and unlock the potential within you.
Welcome to another episode of the Budget Divas Podcast. I am your host, Jen Trinidad, and I'm so excited to be back with you. I just got back from the gym. An amazing trip to Colorado. I had the opportunity to meet up with some fantastic members of our budget divas community. And my dear friend Christine, who has the RV Mama for you can go follow her on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqdgw41nitaWmo2m_vccssQ.
She teaches people how to RV on their own. She let us stay in her rv so, In this episode, I want to tell you more about that trip, but most importantly, this episode will tell you exactly why I'm so passionate about budgeting and getting you out of debt. So a little bit about our trip, like this trip was not planned.
It was totally on a whim. One day, my friend Cindy, she called me up and she said, Hey, I'm going to Colorado and Christine, our friend, is going to be teaching us how to RV and on Cindy's list, it's travel is something that's very high on her list as well. And she's always wanted to learn to RV so that she and her husband can go on trips together and travel the country.
And that's one of my goals as well. I want to be able to rent an RV. travel cross country and eat my way through every single state while looking at the beautiful scenery. So on one hand, I was thinking, all right, this month, this trip is not planned. It's a month away. And I have so many things to do on my to do list.
So the practical side of my brain is saying, No, you probably shouldn't, you probably should focus and All the things that are on your to do list and go on the next trip when you can plan it a little better. But on the other side, my brain was telling me, no, you need to go on this trip. So a little bit of a backstory is a couple weeks before Cindy told me about this trip, I had gotten some shocking news that kind of rattled me for a bit.
And, you know, life and business always has its ups and downs. It's never a straight line going up. It's. It's always like a roller coaster. And as Brooke Castillo of the Life Coach School says, life is 50 50, 50 percent of the time it's good and 50 percent of the time it's bad. And if you can accept that, then you will have an extraordinary life.
So being that I had just gotten this shocking news and it really upset me for a few days. I knew that I just needed to get away. And so after talking to my husband about it, he was the one who encouraged me to go on this trip. He told me, you really need to get away from your daily routine, from your monotonous routine, and just be present with people.
And meet the people in person that you've been wanting to meet so long because we Talk on the phone all the time. We zoom with each other all the time We never have met each other in person And so I decided Yes, I'm going to go on this trip. I'm going to be present and I'm going to come back energized and motivated.
And that's exactly what happened. We went on daily hikes. We had outdoor barbecues. We stayed in this beautiful RV that fit the five of us. And on the campground that we stayed at, it was just surrounded by the most. beautiful mountains ever. Now I live in Hawaii. We have beautiful mountains here, but in Colorado, I was just amazed at the beauty around me and it was such a great trip.
But the point of this podcast today is that the reason why I'm so passionate about budgeting, getting on a plan, and getting you out of debt, Is that when you have money in the bank when you have a plan for your money You can take these trips on a whim You can do things with your money that you don't have to worry about How much credit do I have left?
on my credit card. Can I max out my credit card to go on this trip? What if you have to travel cross country to see your sick grandparents that won't be alive very long or you have this amazing opportunity to go to a conference that's going to 10x your business or you Have an opportunity to take your kids somewhere that they want to go before they graduate from high school.
When you have a plan for your money, you have these choices, and you're able to make these choices quickly. Because time goes by so fast, and I can't believe it's October already. 2023 yesterday.
And so what I want to talk about today is I want to give you some tips on exactly what you can do today, like after you listen to this podcast so that you can get on a plan and you can have money in the bank. So that you can make those decisions quickly, coming back energized and motivated if you decide to take a trip on a whim.
And so the first thing is to create your budget and create your getting out of debt plan. Now I know, creating a budget doesn't sound fun. Creating your out of debt plan doesn't sound fun. But when you actually do this, you have pen to paper and you put Everything down on paper. It will actually energize you because now you have a plan.
It's no longer in your brain. It's no longer in your brain thinking over and over and over what you need to do because you have it exactly on paper. And even if that debt number looks crazy, even if it stresses you out to the limit. at least you have a plan now and you know exactly how to get yourself out and exactly what you need to do to make more money.
I want to tell you a little bit about my backstory because as of October this year, it'll be five years since we started mystery shopping. Yes. Five years ago, October, 2018 was when I first did my first mystery shop, and that totally just changed our lives completely. Because we no longer had to say, I can't afford it.
Now we could say, I can afford it. Or how can I afford it? In 2016, that's when my husband and I decided we were going to go all in into the financial debt free plan. We were going to live on rice and beans. We weren't going to go on vacation. We weren't going to go to restaurants. We weren't going to do anything fun until all of the debt was paid off.
And for the most part, on paper, it looked great because when we calculated how much money we were going to put every single month, it Then we had a plan. We knew we were going to get out of debt. Soon. But soon wasn't enough. Soon was eight years. It was going to take us eight long years to get out of debt, even if we had put every single penny aside from our expenses into the debt.
And that was just way too long to not have a life. And so in 2018, when we started Mystery Shopping, not only did it help to accelerate our debt free journey because now we actually knew how to make more money so that we could put it down to debt, but It also improved our lives because now we could have the things that we wanted to do.
We knew exactly how much money we needed to make in order to afford those extra things. There are some people out there that can go gung ho and totally go on a rice and beans diet and live on that rice and beans diet until they are 100 percent debt free. And that's great. But that wasn't me. I still wanted to be able to enjoy the little things in life, to enjoy my 7 Starbucks, to get a new outfit if I wanted to, to go ahead and go on a date night with my husband to a fancy restaurant, and so with Mystery Shopping, we were able to do that.
So the getting back to that first tip is to actually create your budget. And if you want a free budgeting template, I will put the link below, but you can just go to budget divas. com and download your free template there. Aside from that template, you'll also get a video on exactly how to do the budget and use that template so that you can just see when you will be out of debt or what your plan will look like and actually put.
More fun money into your budget again, instead of living only on rice and beans. And so the second tip is to create a savings fund. I love using Ally Bank, A L L Y bank dot com because Ally Bank has buckets that you can use. You can create up to 10 different buckets and each bucket will have its own.
Fund goal. So we all know what's coming soon in the next couple of months will be Christmas and wouldn't it be awesome if you had a debt free Christmas if you didn't have to put it on a credit card. If you didn't go swipe happy only to realize that you max out your credit card and come January. Now you have this 5, 000 bill that you didn't plan for and you don't have the money.
Well, there is still time to it. Make money now so that you can have a debt free Christmas I told you that you know for the trip that was totally Unplanned I had two choices. I could either take it out of my travel savings fund Or I could make more money and being that the trip was a month away. I knew How much?
I could make with mystery shopping. So I decided I was going to budget a thousand dollars for the trip for the five day trip, and that was going to include meals, the airfare and extra spending money. And so that's what I did. I went out and I did extra mystery shops. So, and my total actually came out to.
Over 1, 000. So I had a total 100 percent debt free trip. And that's just the beauty with planning your budget that you can actually see things on a pen and paper and actually know. Okay. Right now, I want to put this much money towards that, and I want to put just a little bit of money into a savings fund, just so you have a little bit of buffer, where you have extra money for your fund money.
So that's the second tip, is to create your savings account. And you can use something free, like Ally Bank, which allows you to make... Up to 10 buckets and within that bucket, you can have a Christmas fun. You can have a vacation fun. You can have a clothing fun, whatever you want to do. It's totally free.
100 percent free. This is not a sponsored post at all, but I just enjoy LA Bank so much because it allows me to. Make a goal of what I want to do with my money. And another thing too, is you can easily automate your goals. So you can say, LA bank, I want you to withdraw X amount of dollars every single month.
And then when you need the money, you can just easily take it out. So this is one of the beautiful. things about budgeting is that when you actually know where your numbers are going, when you actually know where your money is going, then you can just put a plan together. And let me tell you that your debt free journey is your personal debt free journey.
Do I want you to get out of debt as fast as possible? Yes, absolutely. Because debt freedom means time freedom. It means more control over your income. It means that you can go on trips on a whim. To beautiful places like Colorado or even take a trip to Hawaii. If you're not from Hawaii, it means that you can actually breathe, that you actually have margin in your budget margin in your time, freedom to make sound decisions, and then the last tip that I wanted to tell you is to get out those sidekicks, if you're interested in something like mystery shopping.
where you can easily make a hundred dollars a week and save for Christmas and pay off debt and get all the fun things that mystery shopping offers, then do that. If mystery shopping is not for you, then maybe there's another side gig that you can do, but find what really Jives with you, what you really want to do, because when you have that side gig, when you're passionate about that side gig, and you see that money coming into your account every single month, it's not only going to increase your.
Debt free date. You'll be out of debt even faster. But then you can make those really great decisions. You can be more generous with your money. You can be more generous with your time and the creativity will motivate you and energize you to keep moving forward. Now, if you are interested in mystery shopping, let me just tell you, it has been a game changer for our family.
Like I mentioned last month in September, I made over a thousand dollars doing it on a very part time basis. When I counted, it was only 12 days out of the entire month. That's less than a half a month. And could I have made more? Sure. When we were getting out of debt, I was averaging more than that. You know, it was more like in the 2, 000 per month.
But right now my focus has shifted to other things like teaching people how to mystery shop and more importantly, getting out of debt. But the whole point is that the reason why I'm so passionate about Mystery shopping is that you're able to control your income. You no longer have to be bound by a really strict budget.
Hey, if you want to go on an expensive 150 dinner and get paid for it at the same time, there are definitely mystery shops that will reimburse your. Entire dinner of 150 plus pay you for your time and doing a good report. We have done that so many times. There are so many times when we have gotten free dinners and gotten free travel and been to places that we have never experienced before.
So the possibilities are limitless, but it all starts with creating your budget because once you create your budget, once you have that plan in place, you will be able to make sound decisions and you'll be able to actually. paint the picture of what you want your life to look like in the next one or two years.
So if you're interested in learning more about how you can get out of debt faster with mystery shopping, go to budgetdivas. com slash faster. I do have some upcoming classes coming up. In October, I'm going to give you some strategic ways on how you can get out of debt faster, some resources on how you can take immediate action, and let's do this together.
Let's conquer the debt freedom journey together. and get you on a plan that's going to be implemented for a lifetime. All right, thanks for tuning in to this episode. Until next time, keep moving forward one step at a time.