Debt and Life-Balance- Guest Post by Sunny!

Today’s Guest Poster is Sunny!

She blogs about living on a budget and getting out of debt with the help of Dave Ramsey* at

My husband and I have been on the Dave Ramsey plan since the summer of 2012, we got married in April of 2012 and were doing well budgeting but wanted some insight into paying off our loans quickly. If we had not taken student loans we wouldn’t have any debt because otherwise we live very frugally. On the flip side, if we hadn’t taken out student loans we would probably be working minimum wage jobs for the rest of our lives. We are from a small mining town in Missouri where there are more people than jobs.

He moved to Chicago to study Computer Programming and Design, I moved to Tennessee to study Sign Language and Theatre. We now reside in Knoxville, TN.           

We bought into the notion that “student loan is good debt, it’s an investment in your future.” Which I guess is partly true but we “did stupid” in that we chose to go to private (very expensive) colleges. We both worked a few hours a week while in college but not nearly enough to offset our student loans.

We are now living like no one else, in a tiny ugly apartment, driving 2 cars that are old enough to be in high school, and throwing 45% of our monthly income towards our debt. That is unless Murphy comes knocking!

Sometimes we don’t follow the program exactly, we did go on vacation this year. It’s going to take us 3 years to get these loans paid off so we budgeted one of our snowballs to go to the beach. Since we have such a long time to go we don’t want to get burnt out and just give up entirely.

Overall on the program we’ve learned a lot and still have a lot of learning to do I suppose! Our families think we are weird, I bring my lunch to work in my Doctor Who lunchbox almost every day. I’d say we’re moving in the right direction!

Like this post? Sunny blogs at:

*Dave Ramsey is the national talk show host who talks about “Common Sense for your Dollars and Cents-

Want to know more about him or getting out of debt?

Don’t quit.

What do Nelson Mandela, Winston Churchill and Pink all have in common? They don’t want you to quit and neither do I. I want you to be able to accomplish your goal.

“It always seems impossible until its done.” – Nelson Mandela

“Never, never, never give up.” – Winston Churchill

“Gotta get up and Try, try, try” – Pink

I am thinking a lot about these quotes as I eat my paleo snack (cashews) and make a commitment to walk my next 5K because I have failed to stay consistently with an exercise regimen. I am not proud of it but know that the only way to fix it is to get back up and do it.

I also know that it will take me being accountable to myself and to others (dear readers, that’s you!) to get back on track. I have learned that if I don’t schedule it, I don’t go to the gym and if I don’t consciously work on it, I don’t up my stakes on my risks and goals

So that’s me, what about you?

Playing to your Strengths-Part 1

What do you do well? What energizes you about your work? This video takes a look at what can make your day better your interaction with customers better and what can overall make your life better and by extension give you better work/life balance. We can all do better jobs of being good people. What can you do today to make work/life better? Think about it!

Do it now

Every time I wait to get gas in my car, I am sorry as I see the empty light blink.

Every time I wait to get my oil changed or my inspection, I regret it.

Once I put off moving until the day before, well you can imagine how that turned out, too much packing and lots of stress.

What is the lesson? Do it now. If you think about it and don’t have a kid, dog or other urgency pulling on you at the moment, go do the task because nine times of ten you will forget about that “task” and then it becomes an emergency or at the very least a critical situation.

I was recently reminded of this when my darling husband said, are you going to get your clothes out of the dryer and I said, “in a minute” with a trifle of defensiveness which is ridiculous since laundry isn’t personal, and he is trying to do me a favor by having me not wait to get it done since the clothing would wrinkle otherwise and overall I should just get up and do it.. NOW. I know, I know, the couch is comfortable and its just a few minutes, what difference will it make?

Well, in some cases not a lot. But in others it could make the difference between getting a fine or not getting from point A to point B. Think about it!

IF you have never failed, you have never tried

Famous Failures- It’s easy to say, wow, look at Michael Jordan he is very famous.. but what was he before he was famous? A failure, so is everyone else who is in this video. Viewed in that light, I can’t wait for my next failure, know why? It’s getting me closer to my next success!

Do one thing that scares you.

Today, I want you to do something that scares you. Take a class. Talk to someone who intimidates you. Apply for a job you “think” you aren’t qualified for but really are.

Have a conversation you have been avoiding. Weigh yourself. Hug someone. Do something that you wouldn’t normally do.  The results will surprise you!

Think about it, but not too long. now, DO IT!

You are awesome. You don’t need to act like you are.

One of my favourite shows that is no longer on television (common when you watch Netflix) is called “The West Wing” and one of the reasons is that all of the characters are fully drawn and are chock-full of nuance and erudite dialogue but sometimes their best messages are the simplest ones.

As evidenced by the episode “Hartsfields Landing” and this dialogue as spoken by the Communications Director, Toby Ziegler to the President about how you are already awesome, you don’t need to act like it. Sorkin does dialogue better than I do right now, so here is the dialogue from that scene-

“You’re a good father, you don’t have to act like it. You’re the President,
you don’t have to act like it. You’re a good man, you don’t have to act like it. You’re
not just folks, you’re not plain-spoken… Do not do not do not act like it!”

Substitute the appropriate and specific qualities and then say it about yourself.

Because it bears repeating, you are awesome. Do not, do not, do not ACT like it!


Your time is valuable. What are you doing with it?

Hello dear readers. First of all, thank you for reading my blog, I know it takes valuable time out of your day to read it. I recently realized how much I was actually doing in a given week and said, “whoa!” and it made me think, how many other people are doing this and not aware of it.

What you care about shows up in your checkbook and your calendar. When I look at my checkbook, always a fun topic that everyone is willing to discuss, right? (wink) I see that most of our financial portfolio is tied up in food and shelter and debt repayment which I guess is normal and its not forever. We are actively paying down our debt and will be out of debt in three years (hopefully less) but I digress.

What I really needed to look at was my calendar and take stock there. I made several goals this year to work on my face to face time with friends, read more books and work on coaching and speaking as it is something I feel I am meant to do. So to that end, I was doing the following:

1. I was going to Toastmasters every week and speaking there about once a month.

2. I was seeing friends about once a week.

3. I was working two jobs, really three with the coaching.

What is missing? I wasn’t doing anything for my marriage.  Sad to say it is true, and while it was pride swallowing to admit, I actively started to make plans with my husband first and everyone else second and third and fourth and so on. So far its working for me and my hope is that if you are reading this, you don’t need this wake up call, but then again maybe you do.

I would love to say I just woke up and figured it out one day but it was actually another blog I read about “Intentional Marriage Method” not her words but mine after reading her post “4 Ways to Fall Asleep More In Love”.

We are all busy, the question is what are you busy doing?

Work, Life, and Who are you?

Recently, I was career coaching a client and I had an epiphany.

Your resume is not just a cold recitation of what you have done and learned. It’s an opportunity to help your potential employer understand who they are hiring not just the skills that they are looking for but the personality type which allows them to not only see that you are qualified for the job, but that you will fit the team culture.

So I came up with five basic tips for resumes. Ready? Here we go!

1. Make sure it has no typos or formatting issues.

2. Include work that you have done for non-profit or volunteer:

Some of the hardest work I have done has been for free.

3. Have a profile on Linked In, and be sure to seek out recommendations from co-workers.

4. This is time to brag, do not be shy about your accomplishments.

5. Categorize your experience in a way that helps you be found.

Make sure you have several different types of resumes. e.g.  you might have a phone work resume, a sales based resume, and a management resume. It really depends on your individual experience.

Beef up your resume. You might just surprise yourself with all you have done.

Not failing. Experimenting!

The following statement seems like a cop-out or an excuse but it’s the pure unvarnished truth.

You do not fail in life. You experiment and try things and sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. I tried being a sales person for a computer company and that experiment did not go well. I understand computers but not how best to sell them, took me almost a year to admit that was a failed experiment. I experimented with running and found it not for me. I prefer walking. I experimented with spicy foods and despite being a native of New Orleans, failed to find my appreciation for them. I experimented with cooking and found I prefer my husband do it. (he is better at it and I really don’t enjoy it).

But you know what, if I hadn’t tried running, I wouldn’t have discovered that I love to walk for exercise. If I hadn’t tried to sell, I would not have discovered that I prefer customer service to sales. and so on and so forth. So the next time you start to tell yourself you are a failure.. Stop and say, “Back off man, I am a scientist” instead!  All movie quotes aside, there is a lot of power in the words we use. So say, I am experimenting and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

As a wise friend said to me many times. What do you want? What are you doing to get it? How is that working for you?