Sweets & Shoe Soles

Sweets & Shoe Soles

There is nothing like the adrenaline rush of visiting a new thrift spot! While visiting family in St. Louis – I explored three thrift stores. One of them was the Goodwill located in Brentwood, Mo. This spot only ended up on my radar after doing some Instagram stalking and hearing folks talk up this location! The FOMO syndrome started to kick in and before you knew it….the whole family was getting buckled in the car! 🙂

To make sure we were fully equipped for this adventure – the first order of business was to stop at:

Jilly’s Cupcake Bar & Cafe

I have been dragging my husband to Jilly’s  since before the kids were even thought of  – so it is always on my list of things to do when in St. Louis.  We had actually tried going a couple days prior – but they were all out of the cupcake I wanted. 😦 The second attempt was a SUCCESS!

Finally, the “Beautiful Unicorn Cupcake” was in my possession!!! C’mon who doesn’t want to be magical?!?

 

After demolishing the cupcakes in epic fashion – it was time to thrift!

I grabbed my cart and started to do my thang! But of course –  my sugared up kids wanted to get into everything. Sourcing and parenting was becoming a difficult task – then suddenly it hit me – where the heck was my beloved husband?!? Seriously…….

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Yep, he was straight chillin in the furniture section reading a $1 book he grabbed. Y’all he was living his best life and had me thinking “Umm is this my trip or your get away” ? 🙂

Well it must have been meant to be because right in front of him was the shoe rack. This peaked my interest and saved him from my wifey wrath! 🙂 Usually this section is avoided. I only thrift things that I could see myself wearing and pre-loved shoes are not my thing – nevertheless I started to browse.

To my surprise – I found not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 brand new pairs of shoes!!!! You read correctly:

Brand New, Never Worn, Thrifted Shoes

I was so stoked to have landed this score!

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Top: Thrifted BCBG , Purse: Poshmark Purchase!

Here are some closeups of the shoes I snagged for my Poshmark Closet!

 

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Life Lesson:

Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone

You never know – there might be some pretty sweet shoe soles on the other side. 😉 

Are any of you hesitating to venture into the unknown?

Do any of you thrift shoes and have tips? 

Let’s chat about it! 🙂

Peace & Blessings,
Lonisa

Money: January No Spend Challenge

I have officially completed day one of the No Spend Week Challenge!

A week ago, I had $354 of “play” money left for the month and I knew that I would be spending a nice chunk of that celebrating the birth of my husband. I gifted him some new basketball shoes so he can pretend to be LeBron in his work league. 🙂 We also had some time together without our dependents (YAY)!

My sister watched the kids and we got to catch up with some friends from our Alma Mater! Then later we went out for a yummy Sushi Dinner!

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       The Yellow Crotchet Top is Thrifted – cost $4! Brand: Free People

Every time my card was swiped I keyed the amount into my Simple Budget App.

After the birthday celebration, I had about $110 left. I used some of that the next day to ice my family with some Dunkin Donuts and fill up my car tank.

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I now have an Adulting Allowance of:

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I have no reason to spend that money in the next week and would like to carry over some funds into February. Based on what that month is looking like – the coins will be needed!

So I have challenged myself to spend no money between January 22nd – January 28th. Having a full tank of gas and bringing my breakfast/lunch from home – should cover all of my personal spending needs. There is nothing that I absolutely must buy and I have no planned hangouts.

Just because you have money does not mean that it must be spent!

Every month I try to pick a week or a few days to spend no money. There is nothing like challenging your inner self and it forces you to get creative! In all honesty, it is a jolt to the system that shakes off that “gotta have it” mentality!

The days that I have successfully spent no money are the days where I have:

  • Prepared
  • Practiced Self Control
  • Prayed (Temptation is Real!)

Fingers crossed that I can keep it going the next 6 days!  I absolutely love that on Instagram there is a community of everyday people sharing their journey of saving and getting out of debt! Lots of people have incorporated no spend days! I encourage you all to check out the #debtfreecommunity and #financialfreedom hashtags.

Do any of you have designated no spend days? 

Peace & Blessings,

Lonisa

Money: Budget Based Adulting Allowance

Money is a tool. A tool that is used to help you, your family, and ultimately communities. Talking about money can sometimes be very difficult because many of us want more of it, yet do not have habits established to be good stewards of the money that we do have. We think that getting more money – will get rid of our debt, increase our savings, and/or enable us to be out here LIVIN LIT LIVES!

Sure (with a shoulder shrug) – that is possible – but more money does not make that happen.

You do.

It is a personal choice – what are you going to do with your hard earned money? How are you going to spend it?

Will we throw money towards debt? Will we save and invest our money? Will we take a combo save & debt repayment approach?  Will we give our money? Will we spend money that we do not have and keep a credit card balance?

I am not going to tell you the right choice for your current season – I don’t know your life.

However, I am going to share with you how I have been living off an LFS.

In our house this acronym equates to “Left For Spend”. It is basically the adulting allowance that one has in a given month – after all the required adult responsibilities have been paid.

So here is how to calculate the monthly Left For Spend – Adulting Allowance :

Monthly Income – Bills – Savings – Giving = LFS

In my household – we have all of our recurring bills, monthly saving, and monthly giving amount, plus our LFS in our budget sheet. As a family we have decided that we are going to save, give, and play with a certain percentage of our income. The amount allocated to saving and giving – does not get reduced if I overspend that month. In doing this we are ensuring that we do not financially short change our future and community giving.

After applying the formula – I am left with an LFS Adulting Allowance of $600.

Any spending that is not a required bill, savings payment, and giving payment- is taken out of this $600 LFS sum.

My allowance spending falls into categories such as:

  • Pampering (Hair & Nails)
  • Clothing (My boys and I)
  • Random household spoiling
  • Gas (because this amount fluctuates – it comes from here)
  • Entertainment
  • Eating Out
  • Bday gifts to others
  • Gifts to myself 🙂

At the start of every month there are two things that I do to set myself up for success:

1.  I write out how much I think will be spent in each Miscellaneous Category depending on what is coming up and any known needs

  • Doing this helps me to realize there are boundaries on my spending and that in fact – the majority of it is already “spent” before the month even starts – because I want to get my nails done, eat out once or twice, grab my husbands bday gift, and get my boys a few things.

2.  I key into my phone app my $600 Adulting Allowance Amount – then once I spend money – I just add the expense and it keeps the running total. Takes 2.2 seconds to log this -> I swipe my card then type the amount into my app.

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  • I love this app because let’s say it is day 7 of the month – and I’ve gotten my nails done, picked up my husbands gift, ate out with girlfriends, and gotten my boys new boots. I may have dropped from $600 down to $300. So knowing that there is more than half the month left – with gas to buy, some more eating out – I am encouraged to choose wisely. I think twice before swiping my card – is this purchase really worth it?  Hmmmm. Maybe not.
  • Suggested Apps: Simple Budget (Android) and Left to Spend (iPhone)

Please do not read this and think that this is easy – it requires discipline and being a fan of delayed gratification. Plus you have to have a debt vengeance.

Credit Card Debt – I had it at one point – l was adding to it – then I started to change my spending choices – say no to things – work to increase my income – and not spend the increase  – this enabled me to ultimately get rid of it.

Student Loan Debt – There was a time that I was so focused on getting rid of my student loan bill that my saving was minimal and so was my LFS Adulting Allowance. My husband and I had lawn chair living room furniture because we refused to buy a new couch until our student loans were gone. No shame.

It is during these seasons that I truly learned that with self control it is possible to live below ones means in order to hit a financial goal.

My desire is to see more people getting rid of the credit card balance mentality and to eliminate student loan debt. Learning to live below your means – helps to achieve this.

Over the next few months I will be sharing my monthly personal spending in full transparency. The months I come under will be shared and the months I go over will be shared. If I go over – my LFS Adulting Allowance for the next month will be reduced. I hate when that happens!

To make it very clear I do have an emergency savings fund established for true emergencies – like my furnace suddenly needing to be replaced (happened last month). The emergency fund is not used to fix me overspending on shoes I just had to have. If you do not have an emergency fund – I strongly encourage you to start saving up some money to have a little cushion.

Alright – so – if this post is talking to you – there is an action item. Set aside time to figure out your Adulting Allowance and set yourself up to spend within that amount. Be a good steward.

It is my hope that in reading this you understand the importance of not overspending and that in the coming months you can see this in action. The true goal being to enjoy life without creating/adding debt.

Thank you so much for reading & happy adulting on an allowance 🙂

 

Peace & Blessings,

Lonisa

Look Comfy – Cozy – Chic at Home

Look Comfy – Cozy – Chic at Home

After I had my first born – I had the treat of my mom staying with me for a week. While I recovered from sleep deprivation she shopped for us and chef’d it up in the kitchen. I remember waking up to our apartment smelling like Collard Greens (soooooo good) and her passing along lots of wisdom.

One nugget of wisdom she gave me was to –

Stay Looking Nice Around The House

Puhlease do not assume this means I’m walking around the crib looking like a Stepford Wife. She (Lonisa) does not have time for that – plus my husband would laugh at me.

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To really break it down – the message was to –

Take Pride In Your Appearance even At Home

Sure my husband compliments me when I am looking like Felicia out of the movie Friday – but that does not mean I can’t say “BYE FELICIA”.

 

Y’all my man loves me soo much that he took to Facebook on October 20th, 2013 to post me in my full “FELICIA” glory!!! 😉

Listen – BUH BYE FELICIA! 

The wonderful thing about my Queenie Mommaz is that she showed me her wisdom and equipped me. She gave me the nugget, a few comfy dresses, and put comfy – chic on display throughout my upbringing.

One thing to note is the importance of wanting to look cute for yourself – it revs up that self confidence engine. For those married “securing the man” does not mean to retire from the cute attempt. I am sure your man will appreciate the effort – just always remember

Do It For You 

Getting up, taking off the beloved head scarf, and jumping into something cozy & cute – helps me send that message to myself, my husband, and my 2 little kings. Plus – it shakes off the sluggish slumber vibe so I can be productive.

I have discovered a few“Bread & Butter” lounge wear brands.  Basically if you find these while thrifting – get it to resell for a solid price and if it is in your size – wear that ish first! An added bonus – is that some can transfer into office wear!  Here is the: 

Bread & Butter – Comfy Chic List* 

  • Comfy U.S.A (just discovered this brand!)
  • Athleta (an absolute favorite of mine that resells quickly!!!)
  • Lularoe
  • Lululemon
* I will add to this as new discoveries are made.
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My first Comfy U.S.A. thrift find – worn at home, church, & work

So here it is ladies – sometimes we will look like “Felicia” and that is okay (I do often – y’all saw the evidence!).

Be inspired to find balance, give “Felicia” an occasional BUH BYE, and attempt to look lounge-wear chic.

Thanks for reading & I’d love to hear your favorite lounge brands.

Peace & Blessings,

Lo