Peanut Butter Grits
Friday, January 19, 2018
By Mellisa Pendleton

My outside nature is optimism, but inside I can see my dad. The "what if's," the negative, the trials, the tears, all of it. I'm a worrier by default. I wish I wasn't, but it's the truth. I worry if I'm doing it right with my kids, if my marriage is ok, am I feeding them enough healthy options, am I being an example of the adult I want them to be, am I putting myself first sometimes like I need to, am I showing them grace, am I playing with them enough...all of it. I don't think men know how much we worry about all those things on a daily basis. They're just programed like that. As a whole, I think women are. We wear so many hats at so many times, that it's hard to find joy in the mundane tasks of life and motherhood. Add financial issues, work schedules, due dates, and kid's appointments and my good gracious can all feel like too much. 

When I feel my thoughts going in that direction the only thing I have found that puts my life in perspective is looking back on our year thus far. I was going through all the images from last year putting them strategically in our family yearbook (I do this every year) and just cried. It may seem mundane and alot of times it is, but when you look at it as a whole...there was so much love. Joy, happy tears, adventures, ice cream trips, backyard water fights, dinners, cookie making, reading, snuggling, and just living. When you find yourself doubting where your life is...look around. As I type this I currently have a 6 year old screaming, a 5 year old asking for her 4th snack, a very tired senior who stayed up all night finishing a paper, and a 12 year old stating he is bored. My life is chaos, but I honestly wouldn't know it wasn't the normal. This is all I've known. I've been a parent for 18 years so far, and although I may have more regrets I can count, they are still the air I breathe. This is what I was called to do. Every night I go to bed with the thoughts that tomorrow is a new day, a fresh start, and alot of times I still fail. In some way shape or form, but they still love me. They still call on me. I hope this is their safe place to land. Always. I am not perfect and I was never designed to be. Failure is just God's way of shaping me, refining me for what HE has called me to be. 

xoxo Mellisa 

Thursday, January 18, 2018
By Mellisa Pendleton

We were supposed to get a "light dusting." Ha! As you can see, it was beautiful. Even though it takes a village to get everyone dressed and out the door, it was all worth it. 

Happy Snow Day friends

xoxo Mellisa 



Thursday, January 04, 2018
By Mellisa Pendleton

What a crazy December. Time got away from me, and's the New Year. We had an amazing Christmas and I hope your family did as well. This year has not started off like I had planned. I have three kids sick and we're headed to Urgent Care with one of them who I believe has the flu. Ahhhhh, love this family. Anyhow, we are GO TIME with our plans for financial freedom this year. I (we lol) have a plan and damn it...I'm sticking to it. Total debt repayment for December was $1,011.08. This includes minimums, but with it being at Christmas time...I'm still proud. Like I said on the last blog post, I'm cash flowing a HUGE trip for May while still putting the extra $316 every month towards our debt snowball that I did the math for. That is the bare minimum we'll get to put towards debt if I did nothing extra at all. Just being diligent about the budget. Now, I'm not one to sit by and just do the minimum for anything in my life, so I'm working my butt off selling stuff, cutting back even more on our monthly budget, and figuring out additional ways to speed up the process. Any income being brought in by my business will be divided as so... 10% savings, 90% debt after taxes. I was actually going to cut back on working this year, but life throws us curve balls and we have BIG dreams for this family. 

I have a love affair with Instagram. I have found some incredibly inspirational people on their debt free journey. You can find alot of people by just looking up the hashtag #debtfreecommunity, but one of my most favorite peeps to follow are.... Debt Kicking Mom She feeds her family of 6 so amazingly cheap that I'm just blown away. Frugal Kittens is another one, and one of my most favs Debt Free in Sunny California. You know the old saying to surround yourself with like minded people? Well, I try and do that with all aspects of my life. Even social media. I took a small break away from FB, but gosh, if it wasn't for my business, I'd leave it completely. It's a time sucking addiction. 

Anyhow, yes we are on it. Yes, we will prevail. Bring it on. A look at our December...


Happy New Year!

xoxo Mellisa 

Tuesday, December 05, 2017
By Mellisa Pendleton

This is a post I wrote about but never finished it for last month. Hello business season was upon me lol. 

This month was a PERFECT example of why your family needs an emergency fund. My husband's military orders were delayed. Don't ask me to explain in detail, because quite frankly, it confuses me as well. The gist of it was he hasn't been paid since the end of September. YES. YOU READ THAT RIGHT. For a family that lives giving every single dollar it's place, this was a time where our emergency fund came full circle in it's need. I was able to pull the funds for our bills from that fund and pay them accordingly. What if we wouldn't have had that money in there? We would have had to resort to pay them by other means. This has also been the busiest month for me in my business all year. It always is. I can't imagine having had that extra stress of not knowing how in the world the bills were going to get paid. 

This is why you have to have an emergency fund. It's just for these very circumstances. 57 million Americans have no savings. Savings for us gives this woman some peace of mind. It's funny, when we lack that fund, I feel defeated, scared, and just not secure. I've kept up with every penny that we have had to pull from savings, and when he gets paid next week...every penny goes right back in. 

All those circumstances haven't stopped me from gazelle intensity on our debt snowball. I've kept up with selling things as a side hustle on Kidizen & Poshmark and total for October in sales(what went to debt) is $174.68. Not bad for a side hustle lol. 

There has been some changes in my husband's position in the military and the status of his deployment, but I'll wait for that for another blog post.

So, what do you do if you have no savings at all? 

1. Sell, sell, sell. You HAVE to have things laying around the house that you don't use. Start selling them and putting those funds in an account that is hard to access. You know, where you can't just use a debit card to easily withdraw or spend it. I have to physically walk into our bank to retrieve money from our savings account. 

2. EVERYONE should have a budget. Hands down. If you don't have one...start today, now. It's not as hard as you think it may be. Once completed, what can you minimize on that budget so that those funds can go towards an emergency fund. 

3. Have a massive yard sale. Have you touched that item  in the last 60 days? If not, it's gone. 

We don't have to live like this forever. There is a whole community of people striving to be debt free just like you. 

xoxo Mellisa 

Monday, December 04, 2017
By Mellisa Pendleton

I got ALOT of messages yesterday over the previous blog post. You guys, there are more families than you realize going through the EXACT same financial dilemma. Too much going out and not enough coming in. I thought I'd dive in to what we are doing to help curb the desire to spend. I am actually a natural good deal finder. I like to have money in the bank because it makes me feel secure. Always have. But, like I said yesterday...Christmas time turns me into a spender. Hands down. I am currently done with purchases for the upcoming holidays. With only a few prints left to buy, I decided I'd find a frame here at the house that I longer use and put the prints in that. There is no reason someone else can't enjoy a frame I no longer am using. 

Here are a few things I'm doing currently to help for the upcoming Fast: 

1) Every single time I get an email from a company that sells something...I'm unsubscribing. No offense to those beautiful small businesses I love to follow and purchase from, but this momma has a plan. With those emails being out of sight, the need to make an impulse purchase will be gone. 

2) We're having a family meeting to explain our plans for the next 6 months. Yes, I understand the kids will forget, some not understand, and some who are used to getting most things their heart desires, but time for change kids. 

3) I joined a group called "And then we saved." This group is lead by the amazing author of the current book I'm reading by Anna Newell Jones. 

4) I've gotten my husband on board. It's important that we're all on the same page so when something comes up, we can handle it together. 

5) I'm currently thinking about an upcoming February birthday with a certain soon to be 7 year old and how to handle all of that. I'm honestly thinking of selling some stuff to consignment and then using the credit for a new to him birthday gift. Anyway I can stick to the plan. 

6) I've always meal planned, but it's game time now. Half of our family is vegetarian, 1 true vegan, and then some meat eaters so this should be interesting lol. 

7) Potluck dinners with friends. No more Mexican food night or vegan pizza night, or any other dang food themed night lol. 

We've always done a budget. ALWAYS. I know what's coming in and what's going out. Like down to the penny, but I end up always using that "extra" money that is supposed to tackle our debt to food, so I'm going to be really strict with that area. Cheaper meals, better organization, packing meals when I know it will be a trigger day for me. I think I'm also going to host a once a month meeting at my house to give support, answer any questions that I can, or even help someone with their own budget. It will fill that void of "giving" for me. I will give time and not materialistic items lol. 

I also want to touch on something. Back a year ago, we were in the negative every month without my income. We never missed a payment, never went without, etc. because my business took care of the negative balance. I realize that is not the truth for everyone. I realize that some families, even with two incomes, are still in the negative every single month. You are not forgotten, you are not alone. Yes, you can still get out of the mess you're in. It's time to dig deep and really look at what you're spending your money on. There is ALWAYS something you can take off that budget. Cable? Meal plan better with cheaper foods? < This does not have to be forever. Go down to one car? Sell anything you can get your hands on at home? Find a second job? Babysit? Are these things we want to do? Of course not, but what if it meant getting out of a whole we've created? 

Some families are bogged down with medical bills(we've been there). Some families have had a spouse loose their job. Life is going to happen. I want to be prepared when it does. 

There IS hope. I promise. 

xoxo Mellisa 

Subscribe to my blog!