2017 Oscars

A few years ago I made myself a goal of one day watching all of the best picture nominees before the Oscars. Last year I saw half of them and this year I set my mind to it, and watched the last one the day before the Oscars. I was more excited for that awards show than I have ever been. I was also much more emotionally invested in many of the categories.

Hidden Figures was my favorite of all the movies, so naturally it won nothing. Manchester by the Sea was the only movie I REALLY didn’t like, but as the night went on I realized how much I wanted anything but La La Land to win. Not that I didn’t like the movie, I really did, but there were so many other magnificent movies that didn’t receive recognition.

Real quick, though. Denzel Washington should have won Best Actor. Hands down. Carry on.

So at the end of the night, when it was time for Best Picture, I said to Justen, “if La La Land wins, I’m going to flip a table.” What happened next LITERALLY had my jaw dropped and tears forming in my eyes. As the cast and crew of La La Land stood on the stage accepting their award(s), that one guy came up and said that Moonlight had actually won. I cried. Moonlight broke my heart in so many ways. It was so good and heavy and powerful.

At first I thought it was kind of like the Adele giving Beyonce the Album of the Year award, but it wasn’t. There was actually a mistake.

I had to rewind it to watch it all over again because I couldn’t believe what had just happened.

SO NATURALLY I took to Twitter (ok just kidding let’s be real I was on Twitter all night) to see how other people were responding. These are a compilation of my favorite Oscar related Tweets.

Anyway. This is a few days late, but I mostly just wanted to brag about how I saw all of the Best Pic nominees 😀


March 3, 2017

March Goals

Hello, March.
In an unintentional celebration of the beginning of March, I’m in San Francisco with one of my closest friends and her Northern Irish clan.

Another month, another set of goals. I’m going to be honest: I sucked at February’s goals. I started a little list in my planner about why my February goals sucked so much. Here are the two big things I came up with:

  1. They were percentage based.
    At first I thought this was cool. I could just do something 1/2 of the month in whatever order I wanted and still meet my goal. That was great until it was February 17th and I realized I would no longer be able to meet that goal. All or nothing, baby. All or nothing.
  2. They weren’t time-budgeted.
    Listen, I spent a LOT of time at the movies. Like a LOT. I spent most of the weekends at the movies. Which was great, but it took away my time to go on a hike. I didn’t plan what Pinterest project I would complete. I started things that needed my time more than making + sending Valentines. I just didn’t budget my time well, and a lot of my goals this month were time-heavy.

That said, here’s how I did on February’s Goals:

February Goals

01. Read Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban + 2 other books FAILLL. I didn’t even finish Harry Potter! 
02. Watch all of the Oscar best picture nominees before the Oscars.
03. Send 30 Valentine’s FAILLLL. I only made 4 and have sent 0. Ugh. 
04. Exercise 30 minutes a day, 3xs a week FAIL. 
05. Complete a project from Pinterest I did this while I was waiting for the Oscars. I posted a teaser pic on Instagram, and once I’m back home I’ll post a pic of the finished product, but this pin was the inspiration.
SO // stephanieorefice.net
06. Go on a hike FAIL. I just was so busy watching movies. 
07. Clean my room before bed every night for 2 weeks. FAIL. I never got my room clean enough to clean every night, ugh.
08. Document an ordinary day in pictures. FAIL. I just suck at this because I forget to start it and remember I was planning on doing it at like 1:30 pm. 
09. Drink enough water 50% of the month. FAIL. I realized that the number of ounces I was trying to drink was insane and discouraging. I did, however, start drinking a lot more water. 
10. Drop my credit card debt by 60% (the magic number would be $279.66) How about 100%?! Boom.

3/10. 30%. Yikes.

It’s also really discouraging to be like “oh hey I should cross something off my list of goals,” and look down and see that I can’t really just DO one of them, so this month my goals are a little more do-ing. Here’s what I plan on doing in March:

march goals // stephanieorefice.net

  1. Walk across the Golden Gate Bridge (hello I’m in San Fran, I can’t NOT do that)
  2. Save $1,000 (read why here) I’ve added a little tracker to my sidebar!
  3. Read 2 Harry Potter books (so finish up through the 5th book)
  4. Try 3 Tone It Up recipes
  5. Visit a new coffeeshop
  6. Add 75 things to my Gratitude Journal
  7. Get a manicure 
  8. Donate 100 items. I’d decided on this BEFORE my good friend Susannah posted this Uncluttering challenge!
  9. Touch an elephant
  10. Leave a $20 tip for a bill under $10 (I keep thinking about doing this but I need to just DO it)

I’m ready for this. February felt really productive financially but I felt really stressed and spread thin and like that made it really difficult to accomplish any of the things I really wanted to. But I’m ready for this now. Strong arm emoji here. 😀

What are some things you want to accomplish this month?! Drop me a line below!

March 2, 2017

February 2017 Debt Repayment Recap

I’ve been waiting for this day for awhile.
Let’s just start and then we can talk, okay?

January 30, 2017
Car: $16,894.50
Credit Card: $699.16
Total: $17,593.66

February 28, 2017
Car Loan: $16,702 (-1.13%)
Credit Card: $0000.00000000000 (-100%)
Total: $16,702 (-5.06%)

ZERO DOLLARS AND ZERO CENTS OWED ON MY CREDIT CARD. Praise hands emoji times infinity.

I’ve had this idea in my head that once I paid off my credit card, I was going to quit one of my part time jobs so I could have more space to focus on some creative ventures like this blog and helping others with social media stuff and this new world of re-selling clothing I’ve discovered and made a few hundred dollars from so far. So I did that. I quit one of my part time jobs.

I’m still a few-days-a-week nanny, but here’s what I’ve been realizing:

When I work for someone else, my earning potential is limited. It doesn’t matter how hard I work, I get paid the same amount of dollars per hour until/unless we discuss a raise. If I work for myself, I step into a limitless earning potential. The sky is the limit, and I have flexibility, which is something I love. It’s almost like all of the small little decisions of my life had led me to this place that I’m so excited about.

Instead of aggressively paying off my car, I’m pausing the debt snowball for two reasons. First, I’m going to be driving to and spending the summer in Nashville, watching Lucy and Layla. Best summer ever, and this is the first time I’m saying anything about it publicly. So you’re the first to know 😉 . I want to have money saved up for the trip there and back so I don’t have the temptation of putting it back on my credit card. Second, I’ve made a goal of saving up $5,000 for something that’s on the horizon. I’m in a cash flow right now.

I’m switching my Debt Repayment to a Savings Update for right now, and then after the summer and the $5,000 savings goal, we’ll get back to the Debt Repayment to pay off my car ASAP. Jamie from Earnest.com sent me my personalized 2017 Financial Goal infographic. I told him my goals and areas I needed help budgeting/spending less, and he created this for me! I love that it’s broken down into small, realistic goals. I’m all about that. Anyway. Thanks for being on this journey with me, everyone. <3

February 28, 2017

An Introduction to Dave Ramsey

It amazes me how many people don’t know who Dave Ramsey is or what he’s really about. Maybe it’s because I’ve heard of him for awhile, but I thought he was kind of a no-brainer in terms of household name personalities.

Two years ago I started my  journey to get out of debt. I knew a few things about Dave Ramsey and his “methods,” but I wasn’t serious or committed to them. Then I discovered the Dave Ramsey Show podcast and started listening to it whenever I could. I’m definitely not a Dave Ramsey know-it-all, but I’ve gained a pretty good understanding of what he’s all about. Since realizing that not everyone knows about Uncle Dave (my new name for him), I figured I should share with you guys the information he’s handing out for free if you spend the hours listening to and reading his material.

an introduction to Dave Ramsey // stephanieorefice.net

Dave Ramsey was a millionaire once, but it all hung on borrowed money. When his accounts got shifted to a new creditor who took a harder look at his borrowing habits, they gave him 90 days to pay $1.2 million worth of short term notes. He filed for bankruptcy. That’s when he began living what is now called the “Total Money Makeover.”

The Total Money Makeover is a 7-step process that harnesses the power of focus by giving you what they call Baby Steps. The idea is that most people have so many financial goals: they’re trying to pay off credit cards, cars, and student loans. They’re trying to save for big life events, they’re trying to buy a house and save for retirement. When you try to do 50 things at once, you do 50 things really poorly. Instead the baby steps force you to focus ALL of your energy at tackling one baby step at a  time.

The 7 baby steps to financial freedom (aka The Total Money Makeover) are as follows:

  1. Have $1,000 in a small emergency fund
    Not more, not less. A survey released last fall said that out of 7000 Americans polled, 69% of them had less than $1,000 in savings. Do WHATEVER you can to get $1,000 fast. If you have more than $1,000 you’re going to drop that down (you’ll find out what to do with it in step 2). If you have less than $1,000 you need to work extra jobs, sell things, eat every can of food in your house before going to the grocery store. Get $1,000 FAST.
  2. Pay off all debt using the debt snowball
    List all of your debts based on balance from smallest to largest, with no concern of interest rates. You are going to pay the minimum payment on all of them except the one that’s on the top. Then you’re going to attack that one like it stole your puppy. Extra jobs, selling things, overtime, a scaled back lifestyle. Whatever you can to get extra money, you throw it at the smallest one. Once that one is paid off you take the minimum balance on that one PLUS all of that extra money you’re earning and add that to the second smallest. Get the snowball idea? My friend Brittany wrote a post about it, so you can read more about it here.
  3. Fully funded emergency fund
    Having only $1,000 between you and disaster should scare you into destroying your debt. Once you’ve paid off debt, it’s time to start throwing all of that money to a real emergency fund that has 3-6 months expenses.
  4. Invest 15% of income into retirement
    Dave says to PAUSE all of your retirement investing prior to this step. Some people will say you can get rich on $20 here or there, but your greatest wealth building tool is your income and you need to free it up to build wealth before you really can. Having $120,000 in retirement funds that you can’t touch without penalties does you no good when someone loses their job and it takes 2 months to find a new one. Your emergency fund is what will save you, not a huge nest egg.
  5. College funds for kids
    4, 5 and 6 happen all at once, because your income is yours, remember? You’re not sending someone else your money to take care of things you did before you could afford it. Start setting up college funds for your children.
  6. Pay off the home early
    Most people who commit to the Total Money Makeover pay off their house in SEVEN YEARS. We live in a society where debt is SO NORMAL and SO ACCEPTED that nobody even thinks of a mortgage as debt, but imagine if you have LITERALLY NO PAYMENTS. You don’t owe ANYTHING to ANYONE. That is the beginning of wealth, which is step 7.
  7. Become outrageously wealthy and generous
    The tagline of this whole thing is “live like no one else now so that later you can live – and give – like no one else.” The idea of the Total Money Makeover isn’t so you can sit and pat yourself on the back with how much money you have. When you have wealth, you are set up to give in ways that are unfathomable. You make sure your money is divided into three categories: enjoy, save and give. There’s really nothing else to do with money at this point. You’ve changed your family tree and can be a huge blessing to other people.

This is the foundation of all of Dave’s advice he gives on The Dave Ramsey Show and it’s a quick glance at what he writes in depth about in The Total Money Makeover. If you’re interested in the idea but think it might be a boring read, check out his daughter Rachel Cruze’s book Love Your Life, Not Theirs, which is a different spin on the Total Money Makeover.

PHEW! If you’ve made it to the end, I congratulate you! AND I want to know what your story is! Where are you at with your finances? I’m no Dave Ramsey, but do you have any questions?

ps never forget:

Me and Dave Ramsey // stephanieorefice.net


February 20, 2017

Things that feel really good.

Here are a list of things that feel really good:

  • the cool side of the pillow
  • holding a fresh cup of coffee
  • when a baby hugs you
  • cozy socks on cold toes
  • getting real mail in the mail box

oh and

how about




It has been such a long battle.

and it’s not over, y’all. I still have my beast of a car note. but paying off this credit card has been something I’ve had to FIGHT for. A few months ago I gave Justen my credit card so I wouldn’t have it in my wallet, and that’s helped, but it’s still been hard to shake.

I’ll write about this more in depth when it’s time for my monthly debt repayment recap, but this small-ish victory is HUGE for me in so many ways. I can’t wait to share with y’all where I’m going from here and how that’s going to affect my journey to get out of debt.

Anyway that feels freaking good.

I dare you.

Right now.


Find your lowest balance credit card/loan/etc and attack it with all the fire you have within you. Even if it’s “just” $400, or something with a really low interest rate. Just get it OUT. and then let me know how you feel. because I seriously feel like I gave myself a raise. The money in my bank account looks different. I’m not completely debt free, but this little warm up jog has got me fired up for the marathon of my car. But. More on that soon 😀

February 16, 2017