10 Things to Do Before You Buy Your First Home

things to do before you buy a home

Buying a home is an intense process, especially so for first-timers. Since buying my own home in July 2013, I’ve gotten a lot of questions about how to get the ball rolling, so I’ve compiled all of my knowledge here.

Below are the 10 things to do before you buy your first home. Some of these are common best practices, and others are from my own experiences; the things I wish I’d known before buying my own little gem.

1. Build Your Wishlist

Everyone has a wish list for what they want in a home, whether you are currently looking, in a home already, or still renting and compiling a list of your “must haves” for the future. I’ve been making a  list in my head since I was ten, and even though I own a home currently, I still think about what features I’d like to have in the future. (more…)

3 Things I Learned About Money & Life in February 2015

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There is something about February- the brevity of the month, the momentum of a New Year cranking up beneath you, the possibility of spring just a few short weeks away- that makes it a quiet, special time. I’ve been keeping busy, just like in January, with my thriving side business, full-time job, and watching way too much Netflix. Here’s three new things I learned this month.

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The 10- Step Guide to Building a Fabulous Budget (#7 is Key!)

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How many have a budget?

Ok….

But how many have a budget that works?

I get asked about how to start building a budget quite a bit, so I thought I’d break down 10 steps (with lots of good advice and old posts mixed in!) to building your first, or maybe your second or third, budget. Either way, if you use these steps, you’ll end up with something that is both fabulous and that works for you. (more…)

What We Gave Up to Become Millennial Home Owners

home-ownership

As I’ve been getting to know new people, a common thread emerged: it seems like everyone and their mother has traveled the world, way more than I’ve managed to travel in the last five years since I graduated college.

I started to feel a little twinge of regret that I hadn’t traveled more, that I didn’t have thousands of travel stories to tell at dinner parties. But then I thought about why I haven’t traveled and the answer was clear: in the last three years or so when my income could have accommodated it I bought and have been renovating a house.  

Of COURSE I haven’t been jetting off to Cambodia.

As my good friend and fellow blogger, Paula Pant says, “You can afford anything you want, just not everything.” And she is so, so right. I traded travel for a slice of real estate in Atlanta.

I wondered else we-and by we I mean the few millennial homeowner unicorns- have given up to fuel our dreams of home ownership. Here’s what I came up with:

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10 Unique Tips on How to Shop Your Closet

shopping your closet

I love the idea of “shopping your closet” for outfits you may not already know you own. Shopping your closet can be great for a number of reasons like saving money or living a more minimalist lifestyle. I love to do it for three big reasons:

a) It cuts down on the clutter in my closet, so I can actually see and make use of my outfits.

b) It gives my clothes an even wear.

c) Everything feels new again because I haven’t seen it or worn it in six months!

Below are my 10 favorite tips and tricks for how to shop your closet cheaper, better, and more efficiently than you were doing it before (and I promise, most of these you haven’t heard before!)

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How to Get Strategic With Your Finances

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A few weeks ago, I attended an all-female solopreneur/entrepreneur networking event. The program included a great presentation on strategic planning for your business. The last section of the plan was focused on revenue for your business, and many of the attendees admitted that they didn’t know what they made the year before, or what they wanted to earn going forward.

Imagine a giant record scratch and my face. Even though I make financial missteps, I am still always, constantly, thinking about and managing my money. And you should too.

So I thought, if we come up with strategic plans for our businesses, careers, and life goals. Why not get strategic with our finances as well? Here’s a few examples of what I’m doing this year and how you can benefit.  (more…)

Leveraging Banking to Pay Down Debt

how to cut spending

So, last month I was able to pay down over $3400 in debt. This was through stepping up my side hustle game while simultaneously narrowing down my expenses.

I’ve struggled with overspending, both in the past as a textbook “shopaholic” and in the last year when I wasn’t really watching my expenses like I had wanted or planned to. I sought out a different way of managing my spending, because obviously what I was doing wasn’t working.

Then I read an article on Learnvest in which the financial planner suggested a client have many different bank accounts in order to cut down on extraneous spending. I started wondering if such a method could work for me, so I put it to the test.

My “Banking” Before

Before I had one banking relationship for everything. All of my freelance money, full time paychecks, and side hustle stuff went into my Chase account, and then all of my bills and discretionary expenses came out of that same account. (more…)

January 2015 Side Hustle Income Report (and Debt Repayment Update!)

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Over the moon! Over the moon, I am! I teased this post a bit in my January “About Me” update last week, but the results are finally in and I am tickled pink about how I did in January.

My Income

I have multiple income sources of income: a full time job, rental income from my house, my writing services business (Beehive Content, get it?), and income generated from activities on this blog, and occasionally random income from work related bonuses, good fortune, or Ebay.

I’ve written before about diversifying my income, and (personally) I like not having all of my eggs in one basket. Plus, as you’ll see later on in the post, side hustling is a great way to pick up extra money to pay down debt faster. 

To learn more about how to grow your own money tree, you should sign up for the email list and get your FREE copy of my “Grow Your Money Tree” tool kit, which details further some of the strategies I use to make extra money each money. Click here to get yours!

Anyway, without further ado, here is the exact amount of $$ I made from side hustles in January. (more…)

How to Get Better at Investing

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I struggle with a lot of areas of my finances (recurring credit card debt is one large example), but investing didn’t even count as a struggle for me. This is because I usually just ignore the stock market and investing as a whole. Don’t get me wrong–I contribute to my retirement like a good girl (as you should, too!), and let the money sit in Target Date funds while I monitor it passively on a monthly basis for my net worth updates.

Oh, and the few stocks I play around with are almost exclusively in Disney.

The reason I don’t pay much attention is because I feel like when I do try and learn I get very confused, overwhelmed, and frustrated very quickly. Even though I spent almost two years working for a big-money hedge fund in NYC, I never understood the basics of investing. The jargon is like legalese- you think you understand what it means, but you actually don’t.

Sound Familiar?

It’s meant to be intimidating and scary, but since most people are encouraged to start investing, how is anyone ever supposed to get better at it? Well now, there’s a fantastic solution to this problem. (more…)

About L. Bee…(January 2015)

about-lbee

Sorry for the break in financial content (actually, sorry I’m NOT sorry) but I have a few things going on this month that have really impacted my life and work and I wanted to take a moment and share them with you.

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Wasn’t it Charles Dickens in A Tale of Two Cities who said, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” I effing love that quote, mostly because it is SO true. Every time in my life that I thought was bad, was actually great for me in a lot of ways (2014 in its entirety excluded…), for example, my time in New York. I was miserable, poor and cold 90% of the time, but I often look back on that “era” in my life with a lot of nostalgia. Surviving that city made me tougher in a lot of ways.

Anyway, January has been both the best of times and the worst of times.

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