Quarterly Net Worth Update: Q3 2014

Net-Worth-Updates

Despite being a quarter packed with travel and intrigue, Q3 was my best one yet in terms of net worth increase. Overall I saw a jaw-dropping 29% increase from the end of June. I never thought I’d be able to top the 21% I managed to squeak out in Q2, especially with all of the weddings I’ve been traveling to this quarter.

I couldn’t believe it myself after I checked it in my spreadsheet. Here’s how I did it: (more…)

What I Learned During Shopping Addiction Therapy

Many of you may remember reading, in addition to having a “get out of debt story,” I’m also a recovering shopping addict. Not being dramatic here- I definitely went to therapy to work on my spending triggers and how to curb them. I even mentioned it in the season finale of Awkward Money Chat.

Fast forward to the 3:20 mark to hear the good stuff.

Even though I’ve mentioned before that I used to be a shopaholic, I’ve never really broken down what this means, or how I kicked the habit for good. (more…)

Conference, Schmonfrence: #FinCon14 was the best time ever!

I came back from FinCon (the financial bloggers conference) last year aglow with the knowledge I’d missed out on from FinCon12. Still, even though it went decently, and I even gave a little talk on social media for beginner bloggers, I felt as if I’d wasted the opportunity. Because of things happening in my personal life near the end of 2013, I didn’t much feel like networking. So, I missed out on a lot of great opportunities to meet folks and make connections.

Which honestly, is the best part of any conference, especially this one.

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How Much Do I Need to Save for Retirement?

investing and retirement blog posts

 

I love this little infographic on how much you should save for retirement at every milestone year of your life. Granted, the guy doesn’t make a lot of money, which is why I’m surprised he’s able to put so much away for retirement (especially with a family…) but you get the idea.

Ever since I was featured on CNN Money last week on how my job-hopping ways have cost me serious retirement dollars, I’ve been thinking a lot about my retirement fund. I haven’t written much about it on the site really, because, retirement is one of those “priorities” that falls beneath every other priority. Each year I contribute a little bit to retirement, but not as much as I should (or need to) as retirement savings comes behind emergencies in my life, home repair, or paying off debt.  (more…)

My Biggest Career Regret

I haven’t been in my current career for very long. I was an actor for a year and I’ve been writing/blogging for the last five. Still, I’ve made a few mistakes along the way (Who hasn’t?) Like the time I wore jeggings to work after a long night, or spoke without thinking and deeply offended a co-worker with (what I thought was) a joke. Still, nothing compares to the major blunder I made at FinCon (the conference for finance/money bloggers) last year.

As I’m leaving for FinCon today (New Orleans here I come!) I’m excited, and mindful. I wanted to share the wisdom and hope you all get something out of it (wether you’re going to FinCon or someplace else to further your career/work ambitions!)  (more…)

5 Lessons Learned From My First Year of Homeownership

Lbee-being-handy

I celebrated the day I closed on July 23rd, but because of the extensive renovations the house underwent last year, I wasn’t able to move in until September 15th, which is today!

Looking back, it’s been a weird, wild year… with the tail end of the renovation lumped into it (work wasn’t complete until November 6th of last year), and I’ve undertaken some projects myself as well. I’ve talked, written, praised and bitched about the house non-stop since I moved in. It’s become a big part of who I am and my journey on the site. Both for better and for worse sometimes.

My favorite quote from an older, wiser friend likened the first year of homeownership to the first year of being married: “You think you know what it’ll be like (because you’ve been renting…), but it’s completely different from what you knew before, and you’ll probably learn more than you ever thought in the process.” Cute, right?

I know I’ve learned more this year than I have than any other since I first went off to college, so that should tell you how much this house has taught me this year. I’ve since become the homeownership sherpa for a lot friends and people I know, which has been fun to use the experience to help others. So here are the five lessons I learned from my first year of homeownership.

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When You Shouldn’t Regret Ditching Your Retirement Savings

investing and retirement blog posts

 

Late last week I had the opportunity to talk with a writer for CNNMoney. I responded to a HARO bite about millennial job hoppers who left significant retirement savings on the table. I fit this to a “T” and so I responded hoping to gain some exposure for the ol’ blog and enhance my stret cred as a source for other articles like this. Here is the article I’m talking about.

I’ve been going gangbusters on the press/media mentions this year, but this was the first time I was actually disappointed. I originally posted on Facebook that I had been misquoted, but that’s not true. Everything the author wrote is accurate, and is what I said, but without the color of my commentary,  my quotes were tailored to fit the tone of the article, which sounded like I regret making the choices I’ve made in the past because I missed out on significant retirement savings. This is not the case, and I wanted to elaborate a little bit more in my own space about how I felt about my own retirement situation.

While I can’t speak for all millennial job hoppers, THIS job-hopping millennial did, in fact, leave $10k in retirement savings behind when I moved from New York back to Alabama in 2012, and I do not regret it one bit. In fact, in your 20’s I don’t think retirement savings should factor into your career decisions at all. Here’s why:

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I Just Impulsively Paid Off My Student Loan- Here’s Why

lbmt-debt-series

Last week I did something big. I paid off my student loan in one fell swoop.

The original amount of the loan was for $3800, which I took out in the Spring of 2008 to pay off my first two credit cards and put a deposit down on a house so I could escape the dorms at UAB. I don’t regret taking out the loan (I actually wrote about it here a few months ago…), but it feels like a huge weight off my shoulders. Especially since I was one of the lucky few to graduate without massive student loan burden, this loan consistently felt like a nagging nuisance…something I always put off for another day.  (more…)

Happy September!

Can you believe it is already September? I’ve always thought Labor Day signaled the “end” of the summer season, even though we still have 17-odd days left.

Thank You

I campaigned pretty hard last year to make the finals for the Plutus Awards. It wasn’t meant to be, but much to my pleasure and surprise I made the finals this year, thanks to your votes! LBMT made the finales for “Best Video Blog” and “Best Kept Secret.”

So, even though I shouted it from the rooftops yesterday via Facebook, I wanted to take a moment to formally thank you on the blog. (more…)

Amazing What A Can of Paint Can Do (Sunporch Makeover Part 1)

A few weeks ago I shared my inspiration for my big sunporch makeover. Before I left for the beach I painted, and painted, and painted like a mad man. It took longer than I thought and I barely got the room done before I left for my best friend’s wedding this weekend.

Here is what the room looked like before:

sunporch total room before

It was dark and damp, and no one spent any real time in there other than the dog.  (more…)

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