intentional in 2018 | 10 STEPS TO GETTING OUT OF DEBT IN 2018

one of our biggest goals for 2018 is to get out of all of our debt. including car payments. we are tired of working really hard on all of our projects & still not having enough money to live the life we would like to be able to live. we make plenty of money to live on, but due to our debts [& medical bills] we haven't been able to save as well as we would like to. we have had to put things that matter to us on hold for a few months to save up because we have to make our debt payments. we're ready to be done with those payments for forever. we've done a bit of research & we are so excited to share how we plan on managing our money in 2018 in order to pay off all of our debts in 2018 & still buy groceries & live.

make extra money | make extra money at home | get out of debt | make extra money in 2018 | frugal living ideas | frugal living tips | sadie banks photography

in november, we added up all our debts & figured out how much we would have to pay each month in order to pay off our debts. the number is pretty eye opening, but we are ready for the challenge. 

parker we both have a very predictable income each month. but our side-hustle income, on the other hand, is very inconsistent. so our monthly income fluctuates a lot. if we are only making our current paychecks, we won't be able to live + pay off all of our debt in 2018. so we've both committed to trying to make a little extra per month to live off of. 

parker & i bank with mountain america credit union & have set up automatic bill pay & automatic transfers for each of our paychecks. this way, all of our bills are paid on time so we can avoid late fees. our scheduled transfers tell the rest of our money where to go so it's not sitting in our checking account or being frivolously spent on fast food. 

parker & i really enjoy using credit cards. they are easy to use, help build credit (obviously), & you can get rewards! however, credit cards can be dangerous if you're not careful-- frivolous spending or fraud (we've had experiences with both scenarios.) so we decided to make a few changes. we have a lot of subscriptions & monthly payments-- netflix, lightroom, hulu, honeybook, website hosting, etsy & shopify shop fees, internet & cable, car payments, insurance, to name a few. we have two credit cards-- a visa card from macu & the citi bank card for costco. we decided to put all of our recurring monthly payments onto one card & lock it up (aka, not carry it with us) and then use the other card for every day purchases (which we are trying to keep to a minimum) like gas, groceries, tithes & offerings (we believe in giving 10% of our income to God & are firm believers in giving to those less fortunate than us.), and medical bills. this way, we are still using & paying off both cards each month AND still getting the rewards from both of them. 

we're not about the whole idea of "get rich quick" but we do think there are lots of ways to make extra cash each month. sometimes it takes a bit of creativity, but it can be done. i've made a list of 50 ways you can make extra money in 2018 to throw at our debts & savings. we also wrote down a list of our own skills & talents that could be used to make extra cash. if you weren't aware, we've already started a few different businesses (sadie banks photography & little loves shop), so one of our goals for 2018 is to work extra hard on those businesses to be able to bring in more income in 2018. we also would like to make a few short-term investments + long-term investments in 2018 to help supplement our income.

although extra income is great, if you're not saving your money or being aware of where it is going, you'll spend the extra income before it even hits your bank account. (trust me, i know from experience) in november of 2017, we had "no spend november" there were a few purchases that we made exceptions for, but other than those purchases, we didn't make any purchases for the entire month of november. it was a really eye opening experience.  
for 2018, this is how we plan to save even more money:
do another "no spend" month as well as a one week spending freeze each month.
meal planning & having friends over for dinner to save on our grocery bills/avoid eating out (can you say save at least $11 dollars a day?!?)
outsource where we can to help manage our time better
pay attention to free activities & date opportunities in the community
use gift cards when possible (the company we work for gives us lots of opportunities to earn gift cards, so we get them pretty often)
keep ourselves + mackie healthy so we don't have to pay any extra bills for doctor/vet visits

hopefully you don't have problems with this but we've had problems in the past with fraud on our credit cards. so we've made a goal to check our accounts weekly, if not daily. 
i once heard that the wealthiest people in the world spend more time managing their money (deciding where it should go) every week than they do actually spending their money. (and they have a lot more money to manage than we do...) so we are taking a page out of the wealthiest people in the worlds' books & are going to spend more time managing our money than spending it. "if you don't tell your money where to go, you'll wonder where it went." -- dave ramsey.

when you give, you are blessed. we know this principle is true, so we want to give more in 2018.

this one is particularly hard for me. i find myself thinking of new ideas & wanting to jump in with two feet right away. but this year, to help our finances, i have decided to be patient & work hard at trying not to "keep up with the joneses" which i understand is so, so hard. but i know that as we keep our heads down & focus on our own family this year, we will be able to get out of debt & build our savings & grow our family.
"if you'll live like most people won't, you'll be able to live like most people can't."

i don't think i need to explain this one.

make extra money | make extra money at home | make extra money fast | make extra money in 2018 | frugal living ideas | frugal living tips | sadie banks photography

utah fashion blogger | hey there, chelsie | salt lake city photographer

chelsie is one of my favorite bloggers. since meeting her, i've learned so much about blogging, pinterest & most importantly, how to live a vibrant life despite trials & suffering. chelsie is a lifestyle blogger but always shares the best tips & dupes for fashion & beauty. these photos were for a post she did-- styling a sherpa vest three ways. you can check it out here.

wednesday letters: catching up on life

ya'll. it has been a B U S Y last few weeks but we are finally coming through!!! i know i've said this before, but going full-time has really kicked my trash a little bit. 😬😬😬 & honestly, work has been a little bit crazy. but it has started slowing down & i feel like i'm finally getting the hang of things enough to not be working like a crazy psycho until the end of the day, so things are really looking up for us, guys. i am very excited about it. 


parker recently got a nintendo switch (thanks tax return, we will never be able to repay you... nor do we want to) & he has been loving playing his switch while i've got shoots after work during the week. it's really helped him be more patient with me at shoots which is really nice & i don't feel so bad for taking two hours out of his day for shoots. so i'm real grateful for that little thing. & he seems to love it, so that makes me really happy.


mack is learning all sorts of new tricks. in the last few months, he has learned what the words outside, let's go, inside, sit, paw, and lay down mean. he started sitting on command a month or two ago, then he learned to paw at us if he wants attention or belly scritches, and just this week, he learned how to lay down on command. seeing him actually learn something is actually so exciting. i get so proud of him when he actually learns something & learns to apply it. 

i've been able to work on my blog & website a bit more & i'm super stoked about that. i've got some fun posts comin up that i cannot wait to share. &&&&&&& i have had time to work on my blog during breaks at work, so i'm not even kidding when i say that i have some fun posts in the works!!! 


we've also been doing some new stuff with infertility treatments, but tbh, i don't really know what's going on. i mean i do, but i can't really explain it at this point because we moved into a new phase & it's a treatment we've never done before. & we're in a weird spot when it comes to talking about things because it's kind of like a limbo phase. so just hang tight for a while until i can talk about it in more detail. 


if you've made it this far, i'd love it if you left a comment to let me know what you want to see more of on my blog. i love writing, but i know that readers matter. & i want to write what you want to read. do you like lifestyle best? infertility posts? tips & tricks? tell me all the things!! i want to hear your opinions!!

how i use my paper planner efficiently

we’re three months into the year & i’m still going strong in my goals to be more intentional in 2018. i’ve slacked in a few areas & have lots of room for improvement, but i am just so excited to keep on keepin on throughout the year. 

today, i’m following up with my post for how to use a planner & a digital calendar. the system i created for myself currently needs a few updates (i got a new job so my daily tasks are a little bit different), but overall it is working great. 


i had a few questions about how i use my mormon mom planner & i wanted to go over those a little bit. i’m more than obsessed with my planner & use it every day, for lots of different things. i’m excited to share a few tips for how you can use your mormon mom planner!

PSSSSST: if you use this link here, you can get $5 off of your planner from in the leafy treetops!!

in the mormon mom planner, there are lots of different sections & calendar options so it can be a little overwhelming. BUT it’s actually a really great thing!!! 

if you remember from my scheduling tips post, i use my planner for EVERYTHING & then use my digital calendar as a timer to keep me on track. 

for the first calendar, i put the BIG events that are happening. this way, i can get the month at a glance. most of my days are filled with work or church in during the day, so i know that if i have something, it is typically in the evening. so when i’m looking at my month at a glance, if something is written on the day, then i have something that evening & can’t schedule anything else. if there’s nothing written i know that i can schedule something on that day. i also write when we will be out of town on my month at a glance so i don’t over schedule. 

for the week spreads, i use the top square for any important work information. the second square is for my social media & blog posts. the third square is for any other important information i need to remember that day. 


on the side boxes with the check marks, i put my editing list on the top box— if something doesn’t get done, it rolls over to the next week’s list. i put our grocery list on the second one... or snacks i need to bring to work... it’s basically the same thing.

on the spread with the monthly budget, i try to keep track of our debt pay off. this page is a little messy for me because i’m constantly crossing things off or circling things to keep it up to date.

i use the last calendar spread to plan out my blog content. i love that it has lines in the specific days. i like to write out potential titles in those lines. 


i highly recommend using the first two calendar spreads similar to the way i use mine. other ways you could use the last calendar spread would be:

extended family birthdays
tracking monthly or yearly goals
writing milestones that happen to your babies. (ie: first tooth, first word, started saying more words, started crawling/etc.)
writing four things you were grateful for that day
writing four things that were happy that happened that day

i love my planner because it gives so much space for organization but also has so much room for writing down important things about your family! 

wednesday letter: hey, i'm sorry your pregnancy is hard.

i'll be completely honest, when i first thought of writing this post, i was in a very snarky mood. but then i asked myself if i really want to be the snarky girl who is just always angry. & tbh, i don't want to be that girl. one day, i hope to be the pregnant girl or the mom & i hope that if i'm having a hard day, someone will sympathize & empathize with me. so i hope you read this as genuine sympathy & not in a snarky way. 
(p.s. i shared these pictures of whit & her cute evie girl because she is such a sweet mama & also, i think every mom should have pictures like this of them & their baby/babies)


hey girl,
i saw your post today about how tough morning sickness (all-day sickness) has been for you. i'm so sorry. being sick is seriously no fun. 

hey mama,
i'm so sorry that your toddler threw a fit in the store today. i heard him screaming & honestly, i didn't know what to do. do you want me to pretend like it isn't happening? offer help? give you a "it's gonna be okay." look? i don't know. i've never been in that situation. but know that it's gonna be okay! your little is still learning how to be a human & honestly, sometimes i feel like sobbing while walking around target too. 

hey friend,
i heard about your miscarriage. my heart is literally broken for you. i cannot even imagine & i wish with my whole heart that miscarriage wasn't a thing. i hope your rainbow baby comes so, so soon. if you need someone to cry with, my tear ducts are basically always flowing & i will listen until you're done talking or just sit with you. you are strong. you are brave. & you are so, so loved. 


hi sis, 
i'm sorry that you're feeling super uncomfortable lately because your babe is coming so soon. i have no advice, just sincere sympathy because ya homegirl really struggles when she doesn't sleep through the night & i hear sleeping is pretty impossible at this point. plus the discomfort & pain of carrying a human being in your belly. you deserve an award, really, you do. 

hi friend, 
you just reached out to me because you're on the infertility train[wreck] too. i am so, so sorry. i hope a little baby comes into your life soon. i hope you never lose hope. i hope you keep trying & keep walking. i hope you can find joy in the journey.

hey girl,
you just announced your pregnancy & i promise that i'm happy for you. i may not say anything & i might not 'like' any of your photos, but it's seriously not you, it's me. i'll come around again, but i need some time. you're gonna be the best mom (or you already are!) & i hope you know that i love you & i am happy for you.


hey mama,
you're a champion. i can see the love you have for your babies. i can see that you want what is best for them. i can see that you're putting them first. you are doing fantastic & it is obvious that your babies love you. 

hi sis,
you are awesome. don't forget that. & in fact, i think you should celebrate that! treat yo self to something nice or in some way. you deserve a break every now & again. so don't feel guilty for taking one.