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3 reasons you’re broke

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Good morning Loves.  Have you ever taken $20 out of the ATM in the morning and at the end of the day had zero cash left in your wallet?  Maybe you constantly find yourself asking where did my money go?  Have you ever just got paid and three days later logged in to your online banking to find next to no money in your account?  I know I have, or at least I used to.

When I was having money troubles I just couldn’t understand why I was broke all time.  I would get paid and couldn’t afford to pay both my rent and my cable bill.  It was weird because I was working full time at a bank making good money, but it just wasn’t enough.  Or at least I thought it wasn’t.

You live beyond your means

This was the major reason why I ended up in tens of thousands of dollars of debt.  I bought things I thought I should have – like a brand new car and I did things because other’s were doing them – like eating at the newest, trendiest restaurants – and I did them all on credit because I couldn’t actually afford to do any of it.  Bad habits.

It took me a long time to realize that expensive meals, extravagant vacations and lots of clothes don’t make me happy. I learned to stop spending on things that don’t matter and start saving for the things that do like retirement.

Paying all your bills at once

I was always taught never to have late bills so when I got my credit card, hydro and cable bills in the mail each month I would immediately pay them in full.  Big mistake.

Since monthly bills usually all come at the same time – at the end of the month this left me with a ton of expenses to pay and very little money to do it with.  I would use my entire pay check to pay bills and then leave myself nothing to live.  So of course I ended up using my credit cards to live until my next paycheck.  Terrible cycle.

Now I split the total of my monthly bills in half and pay each portion over two paychecks.  My bills are still paid on time but I’m not shelling out large chunks of cash each month.  It’s perfect.

Spending on wants not needs

This is one of the worst things you can do for your money.  Spending on things you want but don’t need is O.K. sometimes.  It’s O.K. when you have a little extra money to spend, it’s O.K. if all your other bills are paid and it’s O.K. if you give yourself a spending limit like $40.

Spending on wants is not O.K. if you’re going to use your credit card to do so, if the item won’t actually make you happy and if you’re only doing it just to spend money.

I’m glad that I no longer make these money mistakes because my finances are better for it.

Photo from Pixabay

Why I’ll never use Air BnB

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As you know I love to travel.  I like to get away whenever I can whether it’s a weekend getaway or a week’s long vacation. However I have yet to jump on the Air BnB band wagon.  It’s actually kind of strange because I love a good deal and that’s why I’m able to travel often…because I do it on the cheap.  But for some reason I just can’t bring myself to book a room with Air BnB.

Why I love Air BnB

Don’t get me wrong I think it’s a great service.  It allows people to travel for a fraction of the cost of staying in a hotel.  It allows people who may not otherwise be able to afford to travel to take a vacation by renting someone else’s condo or home.

It also brings money to local economies and I love that. If someone needs to earn a little cash on the side they can rent out their living space or a part of their living space to help earn more income.

If people spend part of the year in warmer climates they can rent out their homes while they’re gone.  It keeps their home safe and sound because instead of sitting vacant for several months it can be rented.

3 reasons I’ll never use Air BnB

Although I think this renter’s haven is a great service, it’s just not for me and here’s why…

I like fresh towels

Air BnB is cheaper than renting a hotel room, but it’s also comes with a price.  When you’re staying in someone else’s home there is no maid service to pick up after you, no housekeeping to deliver fresh towels and no room service to bring warm meals.

One of the great things about staying in hotels is you can live like you’re not at home.  However when you’re renting someone else’s home you have to act like you’re staying in someone else’s space.

I like to take over a space

When I’m in someone else’s home whether I’m visiting, staying or renting I always need to be on my best behavior.  That’s not how I want to feel when I’m on vacation.  This is a main reason why I like to stay at hotels.  If you book on discount websites like Priceline or Hot Wire you can find cheap hotel rooms – cheaper than booking directly with the hotel chains.

When I’m in a hotel I can leave my belongings all around and I don’t know if I would feel comfortable doing that in someone else’s home.

Hotels are safe

The thought of someone else having keys to the place where I’m staying freaks me out.  I like the sense of security that comes with staying in a big hotel where there are lots of doormen, staff and other guests around at all times.

Photo from Pixabay

 

Friday Faves: Why I love to shop local

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Good morning Loves.  There is nothing I love more than walking around a city, getting lost and discovering new places to eat, stores to shop in spots to hang out.  This recently happened to me on my weekend getaway to NYC.

Discover local shops in your area

I had to go to Union Square which I knew was at 14th street.  Unfortunately the subway line I was on didn’t actually go to Union Square but it did have a stop at 14th street.  So I got off an walked.  Along the way I discovered a great little jewelry store where everything was $1 because they were going out of business.

I was sad to see a local store going out of business, it’s sad because someone’s livelihood is ending and it probably also means that a big box chain is going to take over the prime real estate location, some type of store there are already too many of.  I bought two rings for $2 and to this day they are some of my favorite pieces of costume jewelry – surprisingly they also don’t turn my finger green.

Local shops need local customers to survive

That’s the thing about shopping local, you always find fantastic things but it’s hard for them to survive and compete against the big stores who have corporate dollars to fund their survival.

I like to shop local whenever I can whether it be at a farmers market, at my neighborhood restaurants or at independent shops.  With major purchases such as furniture and electronics I always shop at big stores like Best Buy because I know the quality is good and I can buy an extended guarantee.  I probably wouldn’t buy a sofa from Joe’s Furniture on the corner but I sure would buy my weekly groceries from Joe’s Fruits and Vegetables.

Shop local for your produce

Buying local produce is better than shopping in grocery store chains for several reasons including freshness and lower price.  I really love shopping at local farmers markets because I know the goods are farm to table which I love.

The produce hasn’t been transported very far and sprayed with chemicals to keep fresh.  The taste of cooking with fresh ingredients makes any meal so much better.  Since I’m a vegetarian having quality fruits and vegetables at a low price because we cut out the middle man is very important.

Local finds are one of a kind

There is nothing worse than walking in to a party and seeing someone else wearing the same dress or shirt as you are.  When you shop local you are bound to find unique items that are not sold to the masses.

Whenever I wear my rings I get compliments and that makes me feel good.  This is one of the great things about shopping local, you will most likely be the own person wearing it in the room.

Photo from Pixabay

 

The 1 Way to Get Out of Debt

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Good morning Loves.  Let’s talk about two of my favorite subjects, shopping and money.  As you probably know I’ve had my money troubles in the past.  My bad habits of overspending, constant shopping, and spending carelessly as a way to keep myself busy landed me over $50k in debt in my 20s.  Bad habits.

It’s not about the money, it’s about the mentality

It took me a few years to realize I had a problem, another few years to actually change my habits and a couple years after that to become debt free.  I think the hardest part about paying off debt was trying to change my mentality towards money and savings.  And that my friends is the one and only way to start becoming debt free.

If you want to achieve a financial goal – actually any goal in general – it’s all about changing your mentality.  I honestly believe that.  They say the definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome.  This logic also applies to your money management tactics.  I wasn’t able to physically change my money habits until I started to change my mentality towards money and spending.

You have to make changes to see change

I thought spending money made me happy and not until I overcame that urge to spend could I actually start paying off my debt.  I became so addicted to the adrenaline feeling of taking my finances into my own hands that I kicked it in to high gear.

My income wasn’t allowing me to pay off my debt as fast as I wanted to so I got two jobs to pay off my debt.  Honestly the hard work and long days weren’t even the hardest part, it was not spending the extra money when pay day came around.

Constantly remind yourself that you can do this

I think my debt – actually I know – my debt would have been paid off a lot quicker if I would have overcome the mental obstacle of spending money a long time ago.  When you’re addicted to shopping, spending money and carrying around a handful of bags life can be fun.  However if you don’t have the money to support your lifestyle it can become a total nightmare.

This was absolutely the hardest part for me to get over.  Every Saturday I would go out for brunch with friends and spend the afternoon walking around shopping until it was time to go out for dinner.  This was a terrible habit, but it was my routine.

Saying no to my friends and cutting down my social activities was the hardest part of changing my money habits – and it was completely a mental and emotional obstacle.  I was lonely at the beginning but then I started working more and kept myself busy.  The rush of paying off my debt became more addicting than spending money and that’s why I’m debt free today.

Photo from Pixabay