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February 2023: ‘The Spender’s Guide to Debt-Free Living’ + I Just Made My Budgeting Simpler

Is Financial February a thing? I sure felt like my February earned that label as I spent time (or…more than usual) thinking about all things money. Here’s my February recap: 

Best Book I Read This Month 

The best book I read this month also wins the award for the longest title with The Spender’s Guide to Debt-Free Living: How a Spending Fast Helped Me Get from Broke to Badass in Record Time. I think even the most financially savvy of us developed some not-so-great spending habits during the pandemic. This accessible guide offers a roadmap for one way to reach financial health. Find it here. 

Best Article I Read This Month

I’m finally sharing a super light read! Are you a black coffee drinker? Do you dress your coffee up? Check out this Wall Street Journal article and let me know your thoughts. 

Tip + Trick of the Month

I discovered something shocking this month: When you blend cottage cheese, you get a texture that can easily be flavored like a dessert. I was skeptical, but I literally tried it for the first time before sitting down at my laptop to write this and am eating it now – it works. As a vegetarian who lifts weights, I am ALWAYS looking for more places to sneak protein in, so this is a wonderful discovery. 

Here’s the very non-precise recipe I tried: 

  • 1 cup of 6% cottage cheese (Good Culture is my favorite brand) 
  • A few packets of raw stevia (raw honey would also be another great healthier sweetener) 
  • A couple of tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • Organic blueberries 

Pulse the cottage cheese in a blender or food processor until it’s a smooth texture, and then throw everything else in and blend. Top with blueberries. 

Let me know if you try this or another variation! 

Quote of the Month

“Just because you make more money doesn’t mean all of your problems go away. A larger income will only magnify any bad behaviors that were already there.” -George Kamel 

Kelvey’s Thought for the Month

I’ve been a budgeter since I was a teenager. Chalk it up to a need to know what’s going on with my money at all times or a hatred for any debt I take on, but it’s been a habit for nearly a decade. I’ve always stayed away from budgeting apps, finding them too complex, and kept a budget written out on a digital page. 

But…that changed this month, and it’s been phenomenal.

I’m finally getting over my distaste for Dave Ramsey’s personality and starting to listen to some of the podcasts put out by Ramsey personalities, and they continued to talk about Ramsey Solutions’ budgeting app EveryDollar with one descriptive word: simple. I decided to try it out to see if it was just being hyped up by people who earn money from it. 

Friends, I was surprised to find the app really is just THAT good. It’s the simplest budgeting tool I’ve ever used, and even the free version has all the features I need. Using it will save me so much time and stress in the coming months. If you’re looking for a budgeting app, I’m a non-Ramsey person telling you that this one is GREAT. 

Sorry if this prompts you to take an uncomfortable look at your finances, but also…not really sorry? It’ll be worth it, promise. I’ll catch you next month.

Why would you write for free?

I was asked a question recently that made me stop and think for a while. “Why would you write for free?” The person who asked this had just discovered that only one of the sites I contribute to pays me for my work, and she was confused as to why I would go to the effort of writing without the monetary return. Continue reading “Why would you write for free?”