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.

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STEP 1: ADD UP ALL YOUR DEBTS & FIGURE OUT HOW MUCH YOU'LL NEED TO PAY EACH MONTH
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. 

STEP 2: FIGURE OUT HOW MUCH YOU CURRENTLY MAKE PER MONTH
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. 

STEP 3: SET UP AUTOMATIC BILL PAY + SCHEDULED TRANSFERS
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. 

STEP 4: MANAGE SUBSCRIPTIONS/MONTHLY PAYMENTS & USE CREDIT CARD REWARDS
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. 

STEP 5: FIND WAYS TO MAKE EXTRA MONEY
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.

STEP 6: FIND WAYS TO SAVE EVEN MORE MONEY
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

STEP 7: PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR ACCOUNTS & MANAGE YOUR MONEY
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.

STEP 8: GIVE, GIVE, GIVE
when you give, you are blessed. we know this principle is true, so we want to give more in 2018.

STEP 9: KEEP YOUR HEAD DOWN & STAY IN YOUR LANE
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."

STEP 10: DO A HAPPY DANCE WHEN YOU'RE DEBT FREE
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

INTENTIONAL IN 2018 | how i made over $1300 in one month with side hustles

YOU GUYS. i've been working SO hard on my side hustles & i am so, so proud of the amount of money that i've been able to bring to our family's income this month. i wanted to share how i did these things & my plans to continue this kind of income through my side hustles in the coming months. 

if you've been reading my blog for a little while, you know that i am a firm believer in the side hustle. they keep me busy & help me stay creative. i really enjoy them. i've tried a few different things, but i've settled on three that i love & want to grow into hopefully something more than just a side hustle one day.

NEW HERE? READ MORE ABOUT HOW I'M BEING INTENTIONAL IN 2018

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PHOTOGRAPHY

i really hope that one day i can do photography full-time, but for now, i am grateful for the extra income it brings us. the way that i've been able to supplement our income through photography has been by working with bloggers. i have a few bloggers that i've contracted to work with me in 2018. (if you'd like more information on that, shoot me an email at hello@sadie-banks.com & i'll send you ALL of the details & we can get shooting!!) i also freelance and work with whomever needs photos when my schedule allows it. i love working with bloggers & have met so many new friends through photographing them!

PRINT SHOP

you may or may not know, i have a print shop! i sell LDS temple prints on etsy & here on my website! i love every single one of these photos & am so, so glad that others have loved them enough to purchase them to hang in their homes! i am so surprised & thankful every time i get a notification saying i've got another print order. 

LITTLE LOVES

little loves is an endeavor that parker & i started in september. it was parker's idea & i just fell in love with it. little loves is an online baby clothes shop & while we are still working out details to make it better, we are so stoked whenever we get an order. 

HOW DID I MAKE $1300+ WITH THESE SIDE HUSTLES?

there are a few things that i think have helped us make money through these side hustles:
1. preparation
2. consistent posting on social media
3. keyword usage
4. follow up

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i had been preparing for january 2018 for about six months before january even happened. most of the preparation was for my blogger contracts. i created them, reached out to bloggers in hopes they'd sign & then created a price guide for any other blogger who might want to work with me. once i got those things underway, i started advertising a little bit on social media. i followed up with bloggers that i had emailed. i was able to sign 3 contracts from following up!

YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN: 50 WAYS TO MAKE EXTRA CASH IN 2018

the keyword usage was most helpful for my print shop. i made sure that my keywords for my prints were relevant and ones that people were actually searching. (you can check this on etsy!) all but three of my sales have come through keywords & searches on etsy.

consistent posting on social media has been CRUCIAL for little loves. every time we are consistent with posting for a week, we receive at least one or two orders. (not too shabby for a shop that just opened & that we haven't worked on very much for the past two months... we've been busy)

my goal for these three side hustles for the rest of january & for february are:
1. work with three more bloggers who are not contracted
2. post twice on instagram & facebook a day for little loves
3. update my keywords for my print shop
4. utilize pinterest

INTENTIONAL IN 2018 | 2018 goals

if you remember my very first intentional in 2018 | 2018 new year's resolutions post, you'll know that it was an overview of my 2018 word - INTENTIONAL - & it also shed a little light in the areas i wanted to really focus in on in 2018. tonight (& last night) i delved a little deeper into each of those areas & made goals for what i really want to accomplish in 2018. i am really excited for these goals & i CANNOT wait to see them come to fruition. 

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intentional minimalism:
- have a living room space
- be able to pack all of our belongings into 5 totes
these two things go hand in hand, BUT are completely different. the have a living room space refers to our current living room space in my grandma's basement. i would love to be able to organize up her extra room downstairs & move the things she doesn't use very often into that room so that we have a space that is freed up so we can invite friends over & spend time together downstairs. 
as for our personal belongings-- we only have a handful of things, but as we've lived with my grandmother for the last six months, we've found that a lot of our things we just don't use... ever. like they've been in our totes for the entire time we've lived here. (so obviously we don't use that stuff or need that stuff)

intentional storytelling:
- slow down & really take time to be creative during shoots
- blog every session
i have been itching to be more creative during shoots. i want to push myself to be better each shoot. i feel like i've been a little bit complacent, so i want to slow down & take some creative liberties during shoots. i want to not be afraid to try new things. 
i also want to blog every session because what's storytelling if i only let the pictures do the talking. sure, they say 1000 words, but they only tell the EXACT moment they were taken. not the moments leading up or the moments after. i want to share those stories.

intentional frugality:
- parker & i have chosen a specific number goal we've chosen that we would like to net in 2018. parker has asked to not share specific numbers in blog posts, so to respect him, i will leave this at that.
- get out of all of our debt

intentional education:
- read 1 book per week
(this is all i could think of for now-- we are trying REALLY hard to save money this year, so if you have any free educational experiences you know/love, send them my way!!)

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intentional spirituality:
- read scriptures, pray, & journal DAILY
i've really slaaaaacked in this so lately, so i'm for, for, for sure trying to be very intentional in these simple areas this year.

intentional health practices:
- 5+, 5+, 5+
- no soda or chocolate
- eat out less
- eat less dairy
the 5+, 5+, 5+ is a fitness challenge that my dad posed to all of us this year. the first week of the year we are supposed to do 5 push-ups, 5 sit-ups, 5 squats every week day. then the next week you add five (so 10 push-ups, 10 sit-ups, 10 squats), then five more the next week, etc., etc. so by the end of the year we are ripped. everyone in the family joined in & three days in we are going strong!!!
no soda or chocolate. this one will be hard/easy for me. i lovvvvve soda. but i know how terrible it is for me. so, giving that up will be kind of hard. but i don't like chocolate. it makes me sick. my aunt threw this challenge out & i'm always up for a challenge. so i jumped right in. 
eat out less. this one is going to be WAAAAAAAY hard. i am just so..... lazy. i hate cooking & i am terrible at making breakfasts + lunches. so i want to be MUCH better at this in 2018. 
eat less dairy. like three days ago, i read that cutting dairy helps people with PCOS with their acne. i'm giving this one about six months & if i see no change, i'm quitting this one. hahah. but i'm really, really, really going to try my best to cut dairy & make an effort to really strict with this one.

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