money happy

***This is a Guest Post. <3 from the Dames*** Four steps to starting the new year with a positive outlook on your finances If you’re starting the new year in debt or with a little less than you like after Christmas, then you may feel that your prospects for financial happiness are gloomy. However, you can be totally money happy in 2017 by trying out a few of the suggestions below. Being money happy doesn’t mean being mega rich, but more about being happy with your situation and using the money that you do have to live a comfortable, happy life. So read on toRead More →

2017 goals

So it’s 2017, and I’ve got resolutions just like everyone else. Except I’ve got a plan in place to actually turn my resolutions into reality by year’s end. But let’s start with a recap from last year. My 2016 financial goals were the following: Pay down my credit card (goal is to have it paid off by July 2017) Build an emergency fund (goal is to have $2500 saved up by the end of the year) Save for retirement (no real goal here for the moment…just contribute something each month to my Roth IRA) I did pretty well on them. I saved for retirement each monthRead More →

whole 30

Oh hey there friends. As many of you know, I’ve been struggling with eating better (and within budget) since starting this debt payoff journey. The need to stick to my food budget got a little harder last weekend, when I decided to take the Whole 30 challenge. Essentially, you’re supposed to eat almost entirely organic, whole, foods…while eliminating a lot of cheap fillers like beans and quinoa. For more information and/or to be inspired to take your own Whole 30 Challenge, read It Starts With Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways. I’m doing Whole 30 mostly because of some physicalRead More →

spending fast

It’s been six months since I started my spending fast journey. Honestly, it’s become pretty routine now. Not that I ever struggled to not shop, but I’ve realized how little I actually need. I’ve also realized my food budget (& not packing my lunch) is a far more pressing problem. Oh well, I’m a work in progress. Regardless, I’ve learned a lot in my six months of fasting. Here are six lessons for six months: Impulsive shopping is the worst kind of shopping. I haven’t broken my spending fast, and I’m pretty proud of that (though I did ask my boyfriend to buy me aRead More →

FIRE

  If you’re a pro at FIRE, then welcome. If your new to hearing this word in a non-burning context, also welcome…welcome to the wide world of nontraditional living. From minimalism to passive income to early retirement, there are multiple paths to whichever ending you’d prefer, and FIRE is one of them. Today, I’m talking about why I’m rejecting one of these more popular goals in the personal finance world – FIRE specifically. Let’s get lit! (Sorry, I had to) FIRE – It’s an Acronym! FIRE is a term that refers to Financial Independence and Retiring Early. While these two might seem awfully similar, they areRead More →

We Tried It

***This post contains an affiliate link. <3 from the Dames*** Laundry, o laundry, I hate you. Clothes! Beautiful clothes! I love you. But you get dirty. Why hasn’t someone invented clothes that don’t have to be washed yet? How is this not a thing? Unluckily, we have no washer/dryer in the apartment 🙁 I’m ‘lucky’ enough to have a laundry room in the building, one of which always seems to be broken. There are three machines, for over 45 apartments…Somehow the math just doesn’t seem to add up. So, just to be clear, let me break that down for you: mountains of laundry > 3 machinesRead More →

affordable housing

Finding a new apartment can be daunting. I know, I’ve done it about 6 times way too many. So since I just got my new place (and hopefully won’t be moving again for awhile), I thought it would be a great time to share how I find affordable housing in LA for cheap. First, let’s talk about rent. Rent is way too expensive everywhere, but especially in LA. Thanks to record keeping in Mint, I can see how much I paid for rent, and in the last 12 months, I have spent over $12,000 on rent. Oof! And I had a decently priced apartment forRead More →

As you heard last week, I’m seriously cutting down on my food expenditures. My total food spending for March was around $750…ouch, so you can see why this needs to happen. I started my 5 food budget steps this past week, and things are going pretty good, but let’s get down to the actual numbers. My new monthly food budget is $300. I get $40/month for my weekly lunch out, $20 /month for my weekly treat, and $80/month for my weekly date night. This leaves $160 for groceries, meaning I’ll be trying to stay under $40/week. Hopefully this new arrangement is reflected in my foodRead More →

spending fast

Whew, somehow it has already been 90 days since I started my spending fast. I should mention that in addition to clothes, I added all unnecessary purchases to the spending fast (no knick-knacks, books, fancy make-up, or 5k runs, etc.) because I was feeling so good about the clothes-buying aspect. So far so good, I haven’t cheated at all, with the exception of getting a haircut, which I’m counting as a necessity since I only get 2 a year.Read More →

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