My Foray Into Real Estate Investing (and Where It Went Horribly Awry)

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I’ve used my first home as endless fodder for content on this site. I’ve written about the 10 things to do before you buy a home, what I miss about renting, what I gave up to become a homeowner in my 20’s, and of course the lessons I learned (and what I wished I’d done differently!) 

Still, I don’t think I’ve quite laid out the why behind my investment, the numbers of it all, and where I went horribly, horribly, horribly awry. I’ve talked about it in bits and pieces, but never one long post that explained it all. So, here it goes! (more…)

4 Things I Wish I Knew When Starting My Own Small Business

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L Bee Note: Now that I work for myself full time, I’m learning something new each day. Still, there are a few things I wish I knew before I got started, so today I’m sharing 4 important things to know when starting a small business inspired by the Office Depot Business Solutions Center. This is part of a sponsored post series I’m doing with Socialstars. Want to join in the fun? Use the hashtag #GearLove. 

How Difficult It Is to Work From Home

Before I went full time for my own business, I was lucky enough to work for a company that allowed a few “work from home” days here and there. It felt like a fun treat, doing laundry in between the work I needed to get done for the next day. I actually got more done working from home in those days than I did in the office because I didn’t have the typical office distractions.

But when I started exclusively working from home I struggled with productivity. (I like this post on ways you’re inadvertently killing productivity on Office Depot Business Solutions Center.) Even still I sometimes feel incredibly distracted and a little lost. This is why it is important to set up a dedicated office space. It took me a few weeks to get everything set up (including new furniture and a new laptop computer), but now I’m working from home in a much more efficient way! (more…)

Ways to Save Money On Baby – Awkward Money Chat 2.3

I’m a single gal, but as many of my friends and acquaintances enter motherhood, I do know one thing: having a baby isn’t cheap!

Which is why I called my friend Joel from Save Outside the Box. Coming up with savvy new ways to save is his specialty and as a new parent, he knows first hand how much babies can cost.

In the video we discuss:

–unexpected costs with a new baby
–3 quick ways to save
–And a very exciting announcement from Joel!

From all the Mommies out there, any other tips on ways to save money on Baby?

Everything You Need To Know About IRAs In 2015

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L Bee Note: Today’s post is by Anum Yoon who writes over at Current On Currency. Her last post was so popular, I couldn’t say no to another piece. I get tons of questions about IRA’s so I hope this answers a few. For more LBMT Retirement/Investing related posts, click here. Enjoy!

Even though the tax code is tens of thousands of pages long and way too complicated for many Americans to understand, it still offers benefits to the average American taxpayer. One of those benefits is the Individual Retirement Account (IRA).

The concept of an IRA is based on a provision in the tax code that allows you to save for retirement with certain tax advantages. You want to be able to preserve as much of your wealth as possible, so when you’re ready to celebrate your sunset years you can do so with vacations and fun novelties.

You can open an IRA in one of several ways. You can contact your local bank, a mutual fund company or an online brokerage. (more…)

How-to Have a Great First Date When You’re Broke or Frugal

L Bee Note: The following guest post is from Martin of Studenomics. Today, Martin launches his book Next Round’s On Me, the only personal finance book that discusses FOMO, YOLO, rental properties, and credit without putting you to sleep.

“Should we split the bill?”

My friend was torn on this. This dude asked me for advice on a first date because he was somewhere in between frugal and broke. He also wanted to have a positive result from the date. Since I’m very involved in the finance and dating scene, I wanted to help this guy out. The only problem was that I knew how cheap/broke/poor he was. He didn’t have much to work with when it came to money.

Being cheap might be charming with your current group of friends, but your next date won’t exactly be drooling over you. You can’t expect a second date when you have a horrible first date. Chances are that you either want love, someone to spend the night with, or just want to have a fun first meeting. I get that and feel for you if you’re broke or frugal. (more…)

Awkward Money Chat – Finances & Start Up Life

Everyone has an idea in their back pocket for the next great “app” or technology company. Personally, I LOVE the HBO show Silicon Valley. Despite the glamour around owning a tech company, few actually succeed in making their ideas a reality. Enter Kenzie Biggins, Owner and CEO of Uniquely Virtual, a virtual executive assistant platform. I’ve known Kenzie for three years now, and two of those years she’s been uber focused on making her company a success and often at a cost to a glitzy personal life.

I thought her story was so compelling I wanted to share it with others, so I invited her on to talk about the financial side of having your own tech company. In what may be my most favorite Awkward Money Chat yet, Kenzie provides some great tips for those who may be looking to start a company of their own.

And to truly amp up the awkward, at the end of the video Kenzie also reviews some of L Bee’s own ideas for apps and businesses, and gives me the harsh truth- Shark Tank style.

 


 

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: After we filmed this interview I was made aware of the fact that not one, but TWO “Eskimo Brother” type apps already exist. Proving that every mediocre idea has already been thought of :) I am not claiming ownership of the idea, have not been compensated by anyone from the companies who own those apps, and clearly this episode was done largely in jest. Thank you!

 

LBMT Turns 3!

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And just like that you wake up one day and realize you’ve been blogging for THREE YEARS. What? When did that happen? Three years is the longest I’ve stuck with anything. Seriously, most of my relationships peter out around the 1 year mark, and I’ve never been with an employer for longer than 18 months. Through all of the changes, the incredible and the truly terrifying this blog has been my anchor and the only thing that gave my life any type of consistency and shape. Dare I even say this blog and the message I’m trying to promote through it is what gives me purpose?

I think at the three year mark it is okay to say things like that.

When I started this blog WAY BACK in 2012, I was unemployed, single, and living in my parent’s house in Alabama after New York City chewed me up and spit me back out. Did I know when I started this blog that three years later it would turn into a brand new career in content marketing, a now full-time booming online business, and a vehicle for a lot of sweet opportunities that have come my way?

No, I didn’t. I just wanted to write, and maybe…just maybe if someone read it and learned something from it that would make me feel good during a time when I was feeling incredibly low.

Read my one year anniversary post here.

Read my two year anniversary post here.

And now, it’s time to take a little trip down memory lane…:) (more…)

Ways to Become More Financially Empowered with Fidelity Investments – #AwkwardMoneyChat Season 2 Premier

It’s here! Man, this video has been a long time in the making, but I am finally excited to unveil the first episode in the second season of “Awkward Money Chat.”

This episode was sponsored by Fidelity, and they sent the charming Lyssa Berlinguette, a VP and Branch Manager of their Buckhead, Atlanta office to chat with me about the Money FIT Women Study Fidelity published last year, and ways people can become more engaged and empowered with their finances.

We talk about why finances are such a taboo topic (especially for women), women’s “confidence gap” when it comes to their money, and 5 ways you can start managing your money better TODAY.

Lyssa’s been working for Fidelity for seventeen years, and she’s super knowledgeable about ways to leverage Fidelity’s resource library to take control of your finances. She was a great guest and even agreed to do a special activity with me at the end of the video-  but you have to watch to find out what we did!

 

Here are some additional resources:

The Money FIT Women’s Study

Tips for Women and Money: How to Take Charge – A fantastic blog post on the topics we discussed in the video!

The #TakeAnHour Infographic – A great decision tree which can help you figure out where to start if you don’t know what to do first when it comes to your finances.

Keep Up with Awkward Money Chat

Like this video? Keep up with the series on social media using the hashtag #AwkwardMoneyChat 

LOVE this video? Subscribe to my Youtube channel and never miss an episode!

Check back next Monday for an all new video :)

About L. Bee (April 2015)…or Why I’ve Completely Been Phoning It In

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April passed by in a blink, and sometimes I feel I’ve barely had enough time to catch my breath. It’s been good, but while a large part of me has felt really “on” and motivated in many moments, there are others where I feel like I’m completely phoning it in when it comes to my life, my work, and my relationships.

Some may not have noticed it, but I’ve definitely felt it and I wanted to take a moment to address what has felt (to me) like a really big pink elephant in the room.

Total transparency: I probably went through 10 drafts of this post before I felt comfortable enough to publish it. I used to think that this post was the hardest one I’d ever write, but here I am a few months later writing about something else that scares the life out of me. Also total transparency–every.single. person I vented to about this steered me away from writing about something so personal. (more…)

Pros and Cons of Doing a Spending Freeze (+ Why It Worked for Me)

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Many thanks to everyone who read my post on Business Insider last week. I so appreciate all the support. In the midst of all the excitement, I’ve gotten a lot of questions from folks who read the piece and were inspired to start paying down debt.

“What kind of salary were you working with in order to pay down that much debt?” Was a big one. Got several emails asking why I decided to “leave that out” of the post. First of all, I was working full time in a corporate office, and knowing how much one of your colleagues makes is never a great recipe for success.

Second, how much I took home in salary is irrelevant, because the majority of the money I used to pay down the debt came from my side hustle efforts.

I don’t make six figures or anywhere close to that and my salary was, by and large, about average for what marketing copywriters can expect to make in Atlanta. Much of my “salary” money went toward building up my emergency fund so I could leave my full time job.

I also received numerous emails about my spending habits. The only way I was able to both super save and rocket through my debt payoff by following Anna Newell Jones’ “The Spending Diet,” which is what I want to talk about today. (more…)

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