Transformation Tuesday: Transforming Your Finances

Transformation Tuesday: Transforming Your Finances - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.comI’ve always been semi-responsible with money – or so I thought. In college, I didn’t sign up for a million credit cards because they were being offered or because I needed extra money for Bonnaroo. However, within the last year or so I’ve become really serious about transforming my financial situation.

Debt free by 30 is my goal!

At the beginning of the year, I paid off one super high-interest credit card and it felt amazing!! Everyone should have the feeling so let’s talk about transforming your finances.

Transforming Your Finances

The debt snowball method Vs The debt avalanche method

You may have heard of these two methods. I’m not going to persuade you that one is better than the other because honestly either way you’re being proactive and taking a step toward being debt free. You get a round of applause from me either way. But here’s the difference:

With the debt snowball method, you pay off your debts from smallest balance to largest balance, regardless of interest rates. With the debt avalanche method, you pay your debts from highest interest rate to lowest interest rate, regardless of balance. I’m not a math wiz, but in case you care, mathematically the avalanche method makes the most sense.

Here’s what I would consider:

The snowball method gives you small wins. Think about all the little statements you have every month: doctor’s bills, store credit cards, etc.. For me it’s my Victoria’s Secret, Express, and Ashley Furniture cards, in addition to the two credit cards I have.They’re not significant debts by any means, but lots of little minimum payments. When you pay your debts from smallest to largest balance you start to clear those little debts away very quickly- which can be motivating. The avalanche method makes sure you’re paying less in interest thereby saving you more money.

I’m in need of some motivation so I’m going with the snowball method. I’ve got two printables below if you’d like to try it as well.

Debt Snowball

  • List all of your debts from the smallest to the largest and include the monthly payments on the payout plan printable
  • Make minimum payments on all of your debt except for the smallest. For the smallest debt,  you will make the minimum payment PLUS extra money monthly. Adjust that extra amount based on what you can afford keeping up with all of your other payments.
Here’s an example:
  • Express – $450 ($25 per month)
  • Discover Credit Card #1 – $750 ($40 per month)
  • AMEX #2 – $1300 ($60 per month)
  • Car Loan – $8430 ($400 per month)
  • Student Loan – $30,000 ($200 per month)

In this example, the Express card is the smallest, so you would make the minimum payment of $25 a month with an additional $50 per month –  that’s $75 all together, mathletes). With this method you are paying more than the minimum due and cutting the debt down faster. If you’re consistent (and aren’t adding to you balance) in about six months (this all depends on your interest rates) your debt will be paid off.

Next Step in the Debt Snowball

The next step is to add the $75 you were paying on the Express card to your next smallest debt. So in this example, it’s the Discover credit card. For six months you made the minimum payment of $40, but now you’ll pay $115. Again, this varies by your interest rate, but within another six months you can pay of this card. So in this example you’ve wiped out two credit cards in a year.

Transformation Tuesday: Transforming Your Finances - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

 

Click on the thumbnails below to download copies of the two worksheets. 

                     Debt Snowball Payoff Plan - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com      Debt Snowball Worksheet

I’m not a financial adviser, but hope this method can work for some of our readers. Feel free to share what other methods you’re trying or completed to reach your goals in the comments below.  Good luck to everyone with transforming your finances!

Donni Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches

Friday Faves: Women’s History Month Edition

Women’s History Month is coming to an end, so I’m sending this glorious month off by showing love to my favorite women-related moments of the week. Women are naturally a big deal, but a celebration of sisterhood is good for the soul.

Friday Faves: Women's History Month Edition -- The Palmetto Peaches

Favorite quote

“It’s not whether or not we feel afraid that matters, but what we do because –or even in spite of–it. What matters is if we can still choose our hearts even when our minds give us every reason not to. There is a lot at stake; there is so much on the horizon, and at times it can be blinding. But, you and I…we are here in this moment for a reason.” – Kate Rose, on the magical beginnings of the recent New Moon in Aries.

Favorite Women Empowerment Moment

March 27th, 2017 marked the first ever #MuslimWomensDay. With all the political chaos going on today, it gave me all the feels to see Muslim women celebrated.
Friday Faves: Women's History Month Edition -- The Palmetto Peaches

Favorite Author:

I’m currently reading Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Next on my list from Adichie are Americanah and We Should All Be Feminists.

Favorite Girl Gang

University of South Carolina Women’s Basketball team for making it to the #FinalFour. They’ll be joining our Men’s Basketball team, making USC the only school in the country to have both teams in the Final Four!
Friday Faves: Women's History Month Edition -- The Palmetto Peaches

photo: South Carolina Women’s Basketball

What women inspired you this week?

Ace Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches

Let the Bubbles Melt Your Troubles: Hot Tubs and Hot Water Therapy

There are few things in life as luxurious as dipping your toes in clear hot water, allowing bubbles to lap over your legs and completely relax your muscles all while taking a deep breath in and then slowly releasing it.The stress of the day just melts away to nothing. It is the stuff that dreams are made of, but you can enjoy this type of deep relaxation and lavishness every day if you own a hot tub. We’re all about self-care and love offering new self-care ideas to our readers. Hot tubs have distinct relaxation benefits, but you might be surprised to learn about some of the other advantages of hot water therapy.Let the Bubbles Melt Your Troubles: Hot Tubs and Hot Water Therapy - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

Here are nine benefits to soaking in a hot tub:

Hot Tubs and Hot Water Therapy

Let the Bubbles Melt Your Troubles: Hot Tubs and Hot Water Therapy - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

Source: recwarehouse.com

1)Stress Relief

Sitting still and allowing the jets and water to massage your body gently will help reduces stress and anxiety. The heat paired with the pulsating water positively affect the body and cause a release of endorphins. Endorphins are the hormones which cause a positive reaction in the body – they are known for creating a feeling of euphoria. The endorphins and the added relaxation coupled together are an ideal form of stress relief.

2) Improved Movement

For those who struggle with arthritis and chronic pain, a hot tub is a relaxing way to start feeling relief. Hot water therapy coupled with cool water therapy is proven to help reduce arthritis and chronic pain and improve joint flexibility. According to WebMD, “heat dilates the blood vessels, stimulates blood circulation, and reduces muscle spasms. In addition, heat alters the sensation of pain.”

3) Catch those Zzzzs

When your mind is racing, and your muscles are sore, it can be difficult to get a good night’s sleep. A hot tub is a great option because soaking in a hot tub is proven to relax the body and the heat from a hot tub can induce sleepiness. When you end your day with a dip in a hot tub, you are likely to improve your quality of sleep, which makes for better nights and then even better mornings. Just be sure you do not catch any shut eye while you are still soaking in the hot tub.

Let the Bubbles Melt Your Troubles: Hot Tubs and Hot Water Therapy - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

4) Lower Blood Sugar

The hot water from a hot tub can help lower blood sugar, which can be particularly useful for those battling diabetes. The water causes blood vessels to dilate, and it increases blood flow and helps with circulation. While there are many proven benefits to hot water therapy for those with high blood sugar, but be sure to consult with your doctor before using a hot tub in your diabetes management.

(more…)

Super Easy DIY Gratitude Jar

I thought of this idea for my DIY Gratitude Jar while having a Sunday solo dance party in my room. It’s not much different from my first gratitude jar, a recycled wedding party favor, but I put a little more effort into it.

DIY Gratitude Jar -- The Palmetto Peaches

When you appreciate all the goodness in your life, more good things will happen. Using a gratitude jar on a regular basis can help invite more positivity and peace of mind.

DIY Gratitude Jar

What You’ll Need

  • Mason Jar. I’m pretty sure you have a mason jar, or some type of jar that can be used to store all this positive energy. If not, a quick trip to the Dollar Store or Target can help. I conveniently got 3 mini mason jars from a moonshine tasting, so that’s what I used.
  • Pop sickle sticks. Either buy them from the store, or eat like 30 freeze pops. I bought these rainbow themed ones years ago.
  • Sharpie. Again, you might have a few at home *cough* or work.
  • Last but not least: gratitude.

DIY Gratitude Jar -- The Palmetto Peaches

What I’m Grateful For

Clarity and growth.

Yaaaas for personal growth and hair growth! When I started using a gratitude jar in November, I was unemployed and unimpressed with everything around me. Shortly after that, things started to slowly turn around. These days, I’m happily employed and able to make sense of life’s circumstances—even the really annoying ones.

New job/work friends.

Working part-time has helped me afford all the fun things that make life fun. It also gives me a reason to get from behind my computer and interact with humans face-to-face. I haven’t been part of a close, fun work-family since college. This is the same job I randomly applied for while on a “date” I hesitated going on. The same job where I almost let my overthinking talk me out of accepting. But here we are! Which leads me to the next thing on my list…

Intuition.

For lack of better words, “I be knowing”. My third eye chakra was a little fuzzy for a bit. With a (usually) positive attitude and less social media, my intuition is on fleek.

Family.

You’ve probably read about the unfortunate retirement of my MacBook. My aunt blessed me with a computer, and it’s made the freelance and blogger life easier. ALSO, my future niece (due in April) and godson (due in August) will be here soon! More kids to add to #AuntieAce’s squad. I’m honestly grateful people trust me enough to love their kids. 🙂

My dreams are starting to scare me, in a good way.

I’m referring to my goals, purpose and passions – not nightmares. It’s almost mind-blowing how the people and opportunities I’ve connected with lately are aligning with my purpose. It’s time to stop focusing on how hard I think it might be do achieve something, and just do it.DIY Gratitude Jar -- The Palmetto Peaches

Do you have a gratitude jar? What are some things you’re grateful for this week? Comment below!

Ace Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches

Spring Mood Board

Be intentional. Live life with purpose. See the beauty in everything.

I wrote that statement in my journal at the beginning of the year and return to it pretty frequently. I haven’t made a mood board since the fall, so I decided to create a spring mood board inspired my vision statement for the year.

Spring Mood Board - The Palmetto Peaches - palmsinatl.com

Just a little reminder:

mood board:

 an arrangement of images, materials, pieces of text, etc., intended to evoke or project a particular style or concept.

I’ve seen mood boards used in fashion, photography, branding, web design, wedding planning, and interior decorating.  It can include just about anything — photography, designs or illustrations, color palettes, textures, descriptive words — anything that helps you define the direction or feeling of your project. I plan to use my spring mood board to inspire my style and my creative endeavors this season.

Spring Mood Board

 

 

Spring Mood Board Inspiration

Be intentional. I want everything I eat, create, read and wear to be deliberate. My 30 days of decluttering  is helping tremendously. I want everything I own and consume (physically and spiritually) to be intentional and getting rid of these I don’t  need is a great first step.

Live life with purpose. One of the first images I stumbled upon looking for inspiration was a One Tree Hill quote that I’m pretty sure Peyton said (OTH fans, fact-check me). I loved it and thought it fit perfectly with my vision statement.

See the beauty in everything. For me this is more of a message to slow down and enjoy the little things more. I’ve lived in Atlanta for four years now and there are still so many places I have yet to go explore.

Spring Mood Board on Pinterest

Everything on my mood board can be found on this Pinterest board:

What’s inspiring you this season? Leave a comment below!

Donni Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches

Oshun Goddess Full Moon Party Costume

Oshun Goddess Costume - The Palmetto Peaches

Who is Oshun?

Oshun (also spelt Osun) is a beloved West African goddess known as the goddess of love and sweet waters. If you’ve watched Lemonade or Beyoncé’s Grammy performance. you’ve been exposed to the Oshun goddess.

“Oshun is regarded as a healer of the sick, the bringer of song, music and dance, as well as prosperity and fertility. Oshun is also depicted as a teacher, who taught them the art of divination, using cowrie shells, as well as songs, chants and meditations.”

-Ancient Origins

Ain’t nobody got time for that fertility stuff, but YASSS to meditation.

What was I doing at a full moon party? I mean, why would I not be at a full moon party? Right before the holidays, I started working at a supercool bar in Charleston. One of the many things this bar is known for is their Lunacy Full Moon parties.

Why I chose Oshun.

Other than wanting to create a costume with what was already in my closet, or what I could wear again—I was really feeling Oshun’s vibe. Also, it’s Women’s History Month and I wanted to #DoItForTheCulture.

I fell in love with a drawing by Shannon’s Art Werkk about 2 years ago. In an Instagram caption, Shannon explains that Oshun: The Goddess Next Door is associated with “love, abundance, attraction, compassion, & beauty.” After showing her my pictures, Shannon wrote in a separate caption that it was so fitting for me to dress as Oshun during a full moon in Virgo. She associates Oshun with Taurus & Virgo energy which is CRAZY to me. I’m a Capricorn, and every zodiac compatibility “test” or prediction, pairs me with a Taurus or Virgo. Beyonce is a Virgo, so there’s that.

What I wore.

Sunflower Crown:

Made by Aysha & Co. Not every image of the Oshun goddess I saw used sunflowers, but Shannon’s did–and I loved it! Plus, I needed a new flower crown to rock to Hangout Festival anyway.

Make-up:

Slayed by Touched by Toyca. My cousin NAILED IT, especially with my eye shadow. (Oshun is associated with the colors yellow and gold.)
Oshun Goddess Costume - The Palmetto Peaches

Hair:

Snatched by Stefon Styles.

Outfit:

  • Yellow sarong, for a flowy goddess vibe.
  • White t-shirt, for blacklight purposes.
  • Black tank, so I wasn’t completely exposed in the black light.
    Oshun Goddess Costume - The Palmetto Peaches
photo: T. Cooley

Are you familiar the Oshun Goddess? If you went to a full moon party, what would your costume be?

Ace Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches

 

 

Oshun image by Shannon D. Little