Why I Don’t Worry About Saving Money

I’ve never been a scrooge. Ask anyone, I’ve been a spendthrift my entire life. When I was little, I’d save up my allowance to buy whatever American Girl Doll Dress I wanted next, without a thought as to pooling my money for a bigger purchase such as a furniture set, accessory pack, or additional doll. (I had two..#mollyandsamanthaforLIFE)

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(P.S. If you are an American Girl fan, read this hilarious article about American Girls of today. )

Over the years if I’ve learned anything about myself it is that I love spending money. I’m no longer addicted to it like I once was, but who doesn’t like being able to buy themselves something really beautiful, or fun? In college my spendthrift tendencies made me both the life of the party, and landed me in over $10,000 in credit card debt. Not cool.

Prior to moving to New York, I spent four months surviving off of unemployment and living in my grandmother’s attic. It was 2010, the very middle of the recession, and the only place I could get hired was Bath and Body Works. I had to be very, very frugal. This worked, but only because I had a lot of time on my hands to do things myself, and scout for great deals.  (more…)

Why I Chose to Pay Off Family First

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Last week, I posted my net worth update for Q3 2014. I got a few comments asking about why my credit card balance went up along with my savings.

It’s a great question, but some of the attitudes about why my credit and savings went up simultaneously seemed a bit negative. Finances are ultimately, personal, and while I know that using credit after you’ve already run up a tab is the #1 no-no, there was a reason I was bulking up my savings as much as I possibly could- because I wanted to pay back the loan from my Mom and Dad before I tackled my nearly $6k in credit card debt.

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7 Things You Never Knew About Me

I was nominated by my good friend Jordann at My Alternate Life for the Versatile Blogger Award. Thanks Jordann! It feels so good to be included. The crux of the challenge is to reveal 7 things your readers and friends may not know about you.

I was supposed to put this up last week. I know, I know. Timeliness and all that. If only you knew how difficult it was to get stuff done last week prepping for the conference I’m at right now! Still, I racked, and racked, and racked my brain for fresh facts, which is darn hard when you write about your life and former bad habits for a living. So here’s my take! Hope you enjoy.

#1 – I got my start in theater in the 5th Grade as, get this… Lady MacBeth.

I was part of an “gifted” program at my elementary school, and we were reading well above our grade level, including Shakespeare. As part of our spring project we put on a (very) abbreviated version of Macbeth. Since then I’ve acted in over forty shows between high school, college and my (very) abbreviated career as a professional actor. I even won an award this summer for my portrayal of The Baker’s Wife in “Into the Woods.”

 

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The One Year Anniversary Home Tour

I cannot believe it has been a year since I moved into the house. 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. I’m a little late getting this up, but this is the official documentation of what I’ve done to the house in the year since I moved in.

It’s been a weird, wild year… From October 2013 to now…and 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.

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Do These 3 Things Every Day

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I love anything that can help make me more productive. Especially after FinCon14, I came back with so many ideas, and many frustrations about how I was going to accomplish it all in a timeframe that was workable for me. Enter one Beverly Harzog, another Atlanta area blogger. She gave a great talk at FinCon13 on how to pitch to press and media, that I only recently watched last month.

One thing stuck with me from her talk though; her recommendation for doing FIVE things every day to help you progress to your goal. As a blog owner, video series host, full-time employee and ardent side hustler, I have a lot of goals. What I love about Beverly’s approach is that it forces you to hone in on what is most important.  (more…)

Quarterly Net Worth Update: Q3 2014

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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 28% 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

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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?

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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…)

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