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Bienvenidos! I’m Lauren! I’m wife to my wonderful husband Kyle, and mama to my two niños. I’m an emergency room nurse, vice-president of our monthly budget meeting, and founder of this website. I love helping people find ways to save money, get out of debt, and providing inspiration for beautiful and attainable home decor. Five years ago my husband and I paid off $266k of debt in 33 months, and it changed our family’s financial trajectory forever.
Just like you, I love finding ways to live a great life within our means. I hope you stick around to find practical tips on affordable living, travel, fashion, and DIY/home decor, everyday recipes, parenting, and the latest deals. You can find inspiration on my Pinterest , Instagram , & Youtube where I share sales, budgeting tips, recipes, and home decor/DIY projects.
WHAT YOU CAN GET OUT OF THIS BLOG
- Are you wondering if it’s possible to save money and become financially independent?
- I have a passion for budgeting, and saving money, and I firmly believe that you can do so while maintaining a stylish, affordable lifestyle. My husband and I have taught Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, and at one point, paid off our former condo. We also budget every month using an app called You Need a Budget. Despite what I initially thought, being on a budget has liberated our money-spending habits as my husband and I both decide how our money will be spent.
- Do you love finding affordable fashion for you and your family?
- I love a good sale, and really enjoy sharing them! I try to buy clothes, and shoes for my family and I on sale….it excites me to see how much money I have saved in the process. I also enjoy finding affordable outfits, and brands that are stylish. I have a secret love for garage sales, and have found that they provide great items for me and my family, and many times I can resell items that I found and make a profit. I will be sharing my hauls after big garage sales.
- Are you fixing up your home, enjoy DIY projects, or decorating your home?
- We are in the never-ending process of renovating our home. At the beginning of 2018, we did a major renovation inside our home, we did something to every room except the garage! Now we are in the stages of decorating, and furnishing our home. My husband is incredibly handy and enjoys doing many projects around the house that I will be sharing. My enthusiasm for interior decoration started when we were in the planning stages of designing our home; I spent lots of time on pinterest, instagram and consulting friends about how to make our home beautiful. I enjoy finding stylish, and affordable home decor, and I do find the value in saving up for high-quality, more expensive items that will complete the space & last a long time.
- Do you find yourself in a rut during meal times? Do you love finding new, and easy recipes for your family, and potlucks or holidays?
- My experience as a cook has come through my experience of feeding my family of 4, 3 meals a day. We go out to eat 0-2 times a month, so most of the meals are made by yours truly. Sometimes they flip, sometimes they flop, the recipes that are easy, successful, and loved by all, are the ones that I will be sharing with you.
- Being a parent is hard, can I get an amen?
- By no means am I an authority on parenting, all of my experience comes from having two children (ages 4 and 2), that are 16-months apart. I do strive to be the best parent that I can be, and although I do fail like everyone else, I enjoy sharing some of these experiences, insights, podcasts, and other resources that I have found helpful, and inspiring in making me a better parent. I also spend most of my time with my children, and enjoy taking them on affordable local outings where we can all have fun! If you are ever traveling to the Southern California area, I will share our favorite things-to-do, restaurants, and experiences when you are in the area.
I will never forget the day when my husband came home and said that he wanted to pay off all of our debt: our 2 brand new cars, our credit card, and the remainder of the mortgage on our condo! After he said that I was thinking “Where is my husband and what did you do with him?” Well, it turns out, my husband is a genius (that’s why I married him, duh, and we will be celebrating 10 years of marriage this year ;), and it’s the best thing we have done together as a married couple for our relationship, and for our family’s future.
Those 33 months where we were picking up extra shifts, where I got a second job as an emergency room nurse, where we sold stuff, said no to ourselves a bunch, significantly cut all of our expenses, and lived off of 30% of our income, consisted of lots of hard work, sacrifices, and lifting each other up.
We paid off all of our debt a few months before our first child was born. We lived completely debt-free for one year, then decided to sell our home, and put the proceeds towards our fixer-upper dream home. After living in our home for almost 4 years, we did a full home renovation without going into debt. Although we are no longer completely debt-free (we now have a mortgage), we understand the value and importance of being on a budget to achieve financial goals.
A few other things you need to know about me; I love chocolate, dancing spontaneously, sweet-coffee-drinks, telenovelas, running, taking way too many pictures of my family………….and all things holiday related 😉 I’d love to decorate for Christmas on November 1st if Kyle was cool with it.
The above picture is from a recent roadtrip we took to Guerrero Negro where we drove about 22 hours round trip for a very inexpensive 3 day trip to go whale watching! We’ve done something similar when we went on a 36-hour-round-trip road trip to Montana. Not only did we survive with 2 kids ages 3, and 2 (at the time), the kids loved it!!!!! They still talk about that trip to Montana and how much fun they had!