Slaying My Consumer Debt

consumer debt, credit card, paying off

This month, I officially paid off the last of my credit card debt. I’m honestly a little embarrassed that I had any to begin with—I wasn’t all that careful with my money right after graduating because taking home a real paycheck was dizzying. I didn’t bother doing the math, and was pretty liberal to treating myself when I had a bad day and needed a pick-me-up. Or when I had a good day and needed to celebrate. Or really anytime I wanted something; I was a pro at coming up with excuses. Finally, when I got serious about budgeting just about a year ago (and subsequently fell down the FIRE rabbit hole), I was able to make real progress on tackling the beast. Continue reading “Slaying My Consumer Debt”

Mental Health, Part 2: Sanity and Financial Security

My Mental Health Four Years Ago

Remember that NBD accident from Mental Health, Part I? Yeah, it left me pretty screwed up mentally as well as physically. I did a great job of pretending I was okay for awhile, and the panic attacks and obsessive thoughts kept getting worse. I was a mess. And ironically, it took my therapist and I awhile to figure out that I was depressed. Turns out I was so good at faking normal by that point that even in my own head, depression was masked as extreme stress and exhaustion. But when we did finally put a name to that feeling of being constantly overwhelmed and unable to find a way out, things got a lot better. Why? Continue reading “Mental Health, Part 2: Sanity and Financial Security”

Mental Health, Part 1: The Dangerous Fallacy of Invincibility

When I was a sophomore in college, I got hit by a truck. And this isn’t the beginning of a joke, or a metaphor for feeling shitty (on a tangent, any time I hear people say, “I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck/bus,” I laugh because trust me, that’s definitely not how you feel). Continue reading “Mental Health, Part 1: The Dangerous Fallacy of Invincibility”

Financial Advice from My Cat

Pets have always been in integral part of my life. They make me happier, and they’re great companions to have through tough times. They’re also fantastic sources of amusement – both cats and dogs tend to do pretty ridiculous things (have you ever seen a cat get his jaw stuck in his collar? Or jump into the shower by accident when it’s running?). But in addition to all of that, my cats have also imparted some pretty deep financial wellness wisdom over the years. And being the generous person I am, I decided I had to share that wisdom with the world. Courtesy of my financially savvy cats:

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10 Pieces of Financial Advice for My 20 Year Old Sister

Lately, during my phone conversations with my little sister, I have this overwhelming urge to bombard her with financial advice. All of the things that I wish I had known before I racked up credit card debt and bought a new office wardrobe. Before I spent some of my first real money on a classy pair of “big-girl” diamond earrings. Before I got my first apartment and spent absurd amounts of money on takeout. You get the drift…

But usually our phone calls are short because she’s busy studying or going between commitments on campus. Plus, she’s 20 and thinks she has all the answers. So I thought I’d compile my thoughts here in the spirit of encouraging student financial health in others, and maybe in the hope that having a written response will be helpful to her. So here we go!

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Simple Rituals and Throwing Out my Keurig

Senior year of college, I became the proud owner of a secondhand Keurig coffee maker (courtesy of my mother, who decided to upgrade). It was red and shiny and glorious. I was convinced that it would earn me eternal goodwill from my five roommates, which was something I definitely needed since I was always experimenting with cooking weird things in the kitchen and, if we’re being honest, cut corners when it was my turn to vacuum. But I barely used the coffee maker. Sure, I made the occasional cup, but when I really needed a caffeine boost, I much preferred an espresso drink at the college coffee shop (frugality wasn’t fully on my radar at that point…). I also typically needed that caffeine boost halfway through the day when I was on campus between classes, and I definitely didn’t have my shit together enough to make coffee that morning for later in the afternoon—I was lucky if I had a clean mug in the kitchen at all. So the Keurig sat under-utilized all year. When I graduated, I moved it with me, convinced that as a real-life adult, I’d need to up my coffee intake. I even bought a cute drawer to put underneath it and store the K-cups. But again, I barely used it. I didn’t particularly like the coffee when I did make it (I’ve never been a huge coffee drinker), and the machine had a habit of leaking water and under-filling my cup. So when I moved to a new apartment, I decided to get rid of the machine, and I gave the K-cup drawer to my mom. But in my new apartment, with the Keurig gone, a funny thing happened… Continue reading “Simple Rituals and Throwing Out my Keurig”

The Value of Experiences

We all have that relative or friend (or maybe you are that person) who travels to some amazing destination and comes back with gifts for all of the people they know. And those gifts look like this:

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The Origin of a Name

When I decided to start a blog, I had a lot of trouble choosing a name. I wanted it to be something that meant something to me, and I didn’t want a name that was flip or too “cute” (I didn’t think that would fit my goal for the blog or my tone). Several great ideas I had were already taken, so I decided to turn to some of my favorite books for inspiration. Continue reading “The Origin of a Name”

The Joy of Cooking at Home

Something I decided to do when I got serious about eating healthier and spending less money was relying less on convenience foods. Last year I did a pretty good job cutting out delivery and eating out, but I was still such a sucker for higher priced items at the grocery store—the “oven ready” kits, the fresh sushi in the prepared foods section, the artisan bread loaves that always smell so tempting…the list goes on. In January, I resolved to cut back on these and make as much from scratch as possible.  Continue reading “The Joy of Cooking at Home”

Side Hustling FTW.

One of my goals that I’m talking about in this blog is Financial Independence. This one means a lot to me. When I graduated college, I spent money a little too freely. I needed a new wardrobe for my new life as a professional, I needed new furniture, I needed fun things and dinners out and travel. I needed to adopt not one, but TWO new animals (for a total of 3). And now, three years later, I’m stepping back and asking myself how I can be more strategic about getting to my financial goals because I’ve taken the time to figure out exactly what those goals are.

 

Continue reading “Side Hustling FTW.”