4.30.2012

How to Get Along With Older Coworkers and How It Helps You

Happy Monday! Today I want to talk about the place where I spend over 50 hours a week and my home away from home - my workplace. I'm the youngest person that works for the entire division and it wasn't easy getting recognition and trust, especially when people constantly ask me where I go to school and am I just interning here or working part-time.

Although I have only been at my current job for 2 years, I have been working with older coworkers since I was a freshman in college. I get along really well with them, and I have made a lot of good friends who I still keep in touch with! In contrast, I have worked in a company run by young managers and employees, and I much prefer working with a large range of ages. It's nice to cast a wide net of friendships, and I'm finding this especially helpful in terms of networking and getting ahead. It's nice to have your friends who are around the same age bracket, but there are also advantages to having older counterparts to give you advice from a different viewpoint and to help your career path. 
Avoid this ^^ via
For the purposes of this post, when I say "older coworkers," I am referring to Generation X-ers and Baby Boomers. In addition, these are tips that have helped me at the Fortune 500 company where I work at, and I am NOT the boss. Basically, these may not apply to every situation out there... so don't chastise me!

Here are some ways that I've been successful at getting along with older coworkers:

1. Show Respect
I think this is true for working with anyone, but for our older counterparts, respect is something that should be given at all times. Open doors for people, say hello in the mornings, ask how their weekend was, and just show that you are interested in getting to know them. You're not just there to work, but show that you are interested in forming a relationship with them.

2. Know Your Place
The one thing that may scare my older coworkers is the fact that I might replace them. Some of them don't have fancy college degrees but they automatically think that the new generation is going to take their jobs. If you're the youngest one in the company/department, try not to make it known that you want your boss's job. Whether you are at the bottom or mid-level management, know your role and do your very best at it.

3. Act Mature
There are some older people that like to joke around, but their way of joking is way different than those pranks I used to play on people in college. Sometimes the jokes they make are corny, so get used to sharing comics and funky chain emails and articles. Be serious when appropriate but also know when you should laugh and joke around. 

4. Listen
Older people tend to watch your every move. They know how to read people and they often make judgments of people quickly. I've learned to listen to my older coworkers, because they hate to be interrupted but also listen to what they are saying and why they are sharing information with you. Learn to listen to what they are trying to say but listen proactively and show them that you were listening by bringing up what they have said before in a different conversation.

5. Ask Questions
Most of the time, my older coworkers have been in their positions for a long time. They've been doing what they've been doing for years. This means that everything is second nature to them, so they may not remember what you are going through when you are trying to learn the company process. Instead of being angry at them for not training you properly or telling you everything you needed to know, probe them by asking tons of questions. It gets everyone's mind going and it also benefits you to pick their brains.

6. Seek Advice
Just like #5, it's great to ask questions about work related projects, but I've found that seeking advice from my older coworkers works great for breaking the ice. As a young person, I'm still navigating my way through life. They have been through a lot of life experiences already, and sharing your life stories with them is a great way to learn more about them and gain new knowledge. I get a lot of great advice from my older coworkers that my friends would never be able to tell me.

7. Be Willing to Learn
There's nothing worse than seeing a younger person join the company and then proceed to act like they know everything. Just because you have a degree doesn't mean you know everything about that topic. I've learned that there are a ton of different things to learn in every company. Each company has its own procedures, policies, and rules to follow and guess what, they are all different. Older coworkers like us young people when we are open to learning new things.

8. Stop Complaining
I'll admit it. I'm a a huge complainer! I complain a lot and I think my friends complain a heck of a lot more than me. I do know that I get annoyed whenever I hear someone complaining a lot. If you're the youngest one there and you're complaining, you get a lot of flack for it rather than an older person complaining. I'm not sure why a young person gets coined as "lazy" for complaining and an older person gets promoted after complaining - but if you're complaining too much, just know that people are noticing it.

9. Help Them
I have this one coworker who has no skills in Excel or anything computer/phone related. He needs help on almost everything, even though he is an attorney. He asks me for a dictionary (why doesn't he just use dictionary.com?) and he writes everything down. I help him all the time because in doing this, I am building a relationship with him and when I need a favor from him, he will return the favor without thinking twice about it.

10. Relate to Them
Older coworkers are no different than us. It was intimidating for me at first, but find topics that you can both talk about. Even though you don't have kids or grandchildren, share photos of your life - your pets, parents, siblings, vacations, etc. They are just as interested to hear about what crazy adventures you have been on, but in return, take interest in whatever they want to talk about. Ask them about their lives and what they do after work.

It's tough and it sucks to have to prove yourself, especially if you are the youngest person in your company. However, to gain respect and trust, you have to put some work into developing these relationships with your older coworkers. I have gained friendships and I have also used these relationships to my advantage in terms of networking, resume help, other employment opportunities, letters of recommendation, and your life will generally be a lot better at work if you make it work for you.

Do you have any other tips on how you get along with older coworkers?

4.26.2012

Financial Workout #Fworkout

Ever since I found out that I would be quitting my job and becoming a full-time student again, my spending and saving habits have become greatly affected. To put it precisely, when I made the decision to move, it was like a really hard kick in the butt to get myself in tip-top financial shape.

I've been working on my #PFworkout and I go to the gym pretty much every weekday, thanks to the motivation and dedication of others - Cait, Travis, Bobbi, Daisy to name a few. It's been really fun to challenge and push myself towards my limit for my health but now that I'm going to be jobless and *gasp* income-less (that's a word I think), my financial health needs its own financial workout. I like to challenge myself, which is why I joined the Yakezie challenge and why I started blogging in the first place.

I'm going to challenge myself to save as much as I can before I move. 

I decided that my last day of work will be July 20th so I have 6 paychecks left. This comes out to $6,600. It's scary to say good-bye to my bi-weekly income especially because just a few days ago, I thought I would be with this company for a long time. I knew that my job was secure and that I would be getting paid nothing less than what I get paid now for a few years.

Financial Workout Challenge

I want to sock away as much as I can and spend on only the necessities. I want to do this because I'll feel better knowing that I saved as much as I could and I'll feel safer knowing that I have more money in my savings.

Dependency on Income

I can't believe that I won't be getting a paycheck soon. I've become really dependent on money and I'll miss it. Is it sad that I get nervous and sad when I think about losing my income? It was so nice that it was all mine. I spent most, if not all, of my paycheck towards debt repayment when I first started working. I kept barely $100 for 2 weeks for myself during that time and I don't regret it at all. After I paid the last of my credit card, it just felt great to know that the entire paycheck was mine and I was able to pay myself first. I know that my parents will help me a little bit and the rest of the money will be coming from school loans, but it just won't be the same. I'm going to have to continue this challenge anyway when I will be using loan money, so I need to start changing my lifestyle habits and get back to hardcore saving. I remember what it was like being a broke college student, so I have to get used to it right now.

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I will be cutting down completely eliminating:
Fro-yo :(
Starbucks
Boba
Candy
Chips
Ice Cream
Fast food
Dog stuff
Pilates classes (except I need use the remaining ones I already bought)
I can use gift cards - I have Coach, Gap, Starbucks

I guess now you know why I go to the gym so much. I eat a lot of junk! My plan is to go grocery shopping with a list, and prepare lunch for work each day. I'm going to bring lunch everyday even if it means a Lean Cuisine. Also, I'm going to go through my closet and sell a lot of clothes and shoes on ebay since I have the time right now.

Every time I save money or resist the urge the buy something, I'm going to tweet about it with the hashtag #Fworkout. Feel free to do the same or follow me for updates :) I could really use some motivation and help!

Does anyone want to join in on my Financial Workout Challenge to see who saves the most from now until August 1st?
Let me know how much you want to save each month and I'll keep checking in to see how you're doing as I give my updates.


Check out this post by Frugal Beautiful on How to Tell If Your Spending is Out of Control & How to Stop It! She's moving soon too, and I thought this was a perfect complement to my post.

4.24.2012

"You Have to Marry Rich!"

The title of this post may be misleading because this post will not be about how you have to marry someone rich, but it's a saying that I've heard far too many times as I was growing up. I find it ironic that my parents and grandma were quick to instill a strong work ethic such as hammering the fact that good grades will get you a good job which leads to a secure and safe future. On the other hand, they were quick to say that I should "marry rich."

It's pretty sad to look at a lot of young girls and how they aspire to be trophy wives. Maybe I see it a lot portrayed in the media, but a lot of my friends would joke around and say that they were just going to marry a rich man. In this economy, I'd presume it would be much harder to just find a rich man to marry. Most people I know met their significant others in college or before that. At that point in time, aren't most people building their careers? Isn't it much harder to date when you're working? Especially if you're a male in a male-dominated field or vice versa? How can we just find a rich man or woman to marry?

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Do I Really Want to Marry Rich?

When I was inundated with the "marry rich" advice, it never occurred to me that I would aspire to be some rich man's wife. I wanted to have my own career and my own money to spend. I didn't want to be dependent on anyone, let alone the man that I would marry. To me, love is something that is genuine and should be something that is strengthened with time and effort. Yet, money seems to be a major factor in making or breaking relationships.

My BF now actually comes from a more economically disadvantaged background. His mom is a stay at home mom (nothing wrong with that) and his dad has been the sole provider. I don't think his mom married his dad because he was rich, but they came to the U.S. together to build a new life together, and back then, it was totally doable to live off of one income of about $60k. They were able to buy a nice house in a beautiful neighborhood and raise 3 kids.

These days, with both my BF's income and mine, totaling over $90k, we are not qualified to buy even a small house in the same exact location. We are worried about providing for just one or 2 kids with dual incomes. In my head, I keep hearing what my parents told me and now I totally get why they always wanted me to marry rich. They had this idea that I would be set for life, and that money = happiness. Yet, when it comes down to it, I'd choose the life I'm living now than marrying someone just because they are rich.

Why I Don't Want to Marry Rich (for the sole purpose of money)

1. I enjoy working with my BF and how we are able to discuss the future and finances. It is great practice for working as a team and thinking through our differences. When we discuss financials and vent about what we are worried about, it helps us build a bond together.

2. Because we are both on the same page financially, neither BF or I feel insecure about who is the sole provider. I think if I were with a rich dude (solely for money only), I'd feel inferior and I'd feel like I wasn't contributing enough. Edited to add: If I were a stay at home mom, I wouldn't feel this way because it would be a joint decision and being a SAHM is a huge job in and of itself. I'd love to be one if we could afford it.

3. I'd feel like a gold digger, and quite honestly, who wants to feel that way?

4. I like to make my own money and I like to feel accomplished. The positive feedback and reinforcement you get by working is incomparable to anything else. I feel confident in my abilities.

5. Mo' money mo' problems. Haven't you heard that song by P. Diddy?

I think money comes after love. With no love in a relationship, how would it work? I may sound naive, but if you really want to make things work, it can happen. Of course, I'm still young so I have no idea what I will be saying in the future and I'm sure it doesn't always work this way. My parents are a prime example of how love turned sour because of money. Now, if my mom married my dad because he was rich, I honestly think that divorce would have still been inevitable, but that's another post of it's own that I'll get to some time.

What are your thoughts? Do you wish you could just marry someone rich and stop working?

4.23.2012

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger


I loved seeing this on Pinterest today, because I've been living to the tune of Kelly Clarkson's What Doesn't Kill You (Makes You Stronger). Along with that song, I always listen to the lyrics of songs and analyze them. I'm pretty sure a lot of people do this too but it serves as a huge inspiration and motivator for me when I can relate to what someone is saying in a song.

Finding Strength

I wanted to write today about many different times when I felt like I was kicked to the ground and just at rock bottom. I didn't think that my life could get any better. I am a bit melodramatic in real life though, so if you had known me back then - I would whine and cry about how crappy life was. Looking back on it, I gained so much knowledge and experience after these experiences, so hopefully this helps someone out there who is going through a tough time. Just know that we all have times in our life when we are down, feeling defeated, and sometimes you think your life is horrible because it doesn't go a certain way.

All of the emotions in the image are so true when you feel like you are faced with challenges. Cranky, pissed off, grumpy... but at the end of the day or at the end of the tunnel, you become a stronger person because you endured so much.

I specifically remember 3 different times when I felt like (and seriously thought) my world was going to end:

1. Getting rejected from UC Irvine. This was my #1 choice for undergrad back when I was in high school. A lot of my friends wound up going there and I probably just wanted to go to be near friends. I ended up going to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where I didn't know anyone. The rejection from UCI made me feel like a failure, but it also pushed me into learning how to be more social and how to network. In my opinion, going to Poly was for the best! For one, my dad went there, and two - I met my boyfriend there. I have lots of great memories from those years and it's a fabulous school. I wouldn't trade my experience there for the world.

2. Getting kicked out of college. Aka academically dismissed. I have talked about this before but at the time, it was the end of the world for me. When I told my dad about it, he started laughing at me. It was almost sad to think that he was enjoying it because he knew that I had never been faced with a challenge like this one before. He has a weird way of showing he cares, so I took his reaction with a grain of salt, and used it to push myself even harder.

3. Getting kicked out of my house. This period was really earth shattering for me. When you think of someone getting "kicked out" of their house, you think belongings being strewn across the driveway, and people yelling and screaming at each other. In my case, it was really different. My mom was tired of having me at the house and not working towards a goal. She didn't think that I was going to law school and she didn't think I was job searching. I spent 6 months helping my family out and also finding myself. I had no idea whether or not to be studying or job hunting. After 6 months, my mom gently told me that I had to move out. She couldn't have me at the house with my bachelor's degree, just helping her with the housework so she told me to either apply to law school or get a job. I decided I wasn't ready for law school so that's how I ended up at my job now in San Diego. If my mom hadn't done this, I wouldn't have started working, budgeting, finding the PF community, blogging, or strengthening my relationship with the BF.

Because of that move, I was able to become independent from my parents, as well as find myself and learn more about what I really wanted to do in life. A huge crucial part too was when my dad told me to just give up on my dreams and to just find a different career path.

He basically told me that he didn't believe me anymore and he was tired of being "led on" as to what I would be doing with my future. It sounds really harsh but my dad is a Captain in the navy and also owns and runs an electrical engineering consulting firm. He's huge on sarcasm, tough love, and reverse psychology. Without his remarks, I don't think I would have found the strength or ambition to follow my goals. I was getting comfortable and he knew what to say to really hurt me. I wouldn't recommend parenting this way, but he obviously knows me well, so what he said worked because I channeled all of those emotions into studying and doing what I wanted to do - not what he wanted me to do.

The Goal
Figuring out what you want to take out of a bad experience is probably the hardest part of it all. Dealing with it by crying, screaming, yelling, or just drinking a whole bottle of wine is probably the easiest part. Once you allow yourself to think of all the positive outcomes that can come out of a bad situation, I think you will be free to figure out what you want to make out of that situation. It's all up to you.

4.21.2012

Anxiety: The Future and Change

I don't know what is with me but I am feeling so overwhelmed and getting anxiety attacks just thinking about following my dreams. I've always been determined and so focused on my goals. When you finally achieve your goal that you've been wanting for so long and working so hard for, and all the warm fuzzies go away, you remember that you have to start thinking rationally now. A lot of things will be changing and sacrifices will be made, and you have to see what you realistically will go through just to achieve your goal.

Things I am thinking about that are overwhelming me...

Tuition/Loans
I already filled out FAFSA and can get $20k a year, looking into the Grad PLUS loan for $45k a year just to cover tuition. I'm also looking into the GI Bill since my dad is a retired Navy vet who has been permanently injured while on Active Duty. This would be really helpful since I could get $10k a year on tuition, $22k a year for living expenses, and $1,000 for book stipend each year. I read through all of the policies and it said as long as you are a dependent you should be eligible. The school gave me the specifics yesterday so that's how I got the numbers. I'm pretty confused because I used the Cal Vet Dependents' Tuition Assistance for my undergrad tuition, and it covered almost everything, however that one is only for the CA school system (UCs, State schools, and community colleges).

Not Having an Income
This one is really making me nervous. I finally felt like I was comfortable with my salary, budgeting, and saving habits. I was feeling good about my routine and inching towards various savings goals. It's going to be really tough for me to live off of school loans and accepting money from my parents again. The BF said that he would add me to his checking account so that I can use his card whenever I need to, but I don't want to do that. I've always been independent and had a way to support myself.

Being Away from the BF
BF is my support system and my rock. I'm getting nervous thinking about how we will be apart. He motivated me so much during undergrad and even during studying for the LSAT, it will be difficult to imagine doing this without him around. I know a lot of couples that have done this before, and they say it makes you stronger, so I'm really counting on that. Our communication will really be tested but I think we can do it.

Living With My Parents
I haven't lived at home and I keep wondering how this will fare. Generally we have a good relationship and we always have, but my mom is OCD when it comes to cleaning. I will have to sit my parents down and tell them that school will be my #1 priority and that I'm not there to clean, cook, do laundry, or be a taxi driver for my siblings. My brother's high school is down the street from my school so we'll probably be carpooling.

Getting Adjusted to New (Old) City
I haven't lived at home since high school so it's going to take some getting used to. Sometimes my parents treat me as though I'm ignorant and like a child, because they are so used to treating my siblings like that. They like to be in control and they like to voice their opinions. I'm hoping that everything will go well and the transition will be easy.

Future Job
Just like my last job, I'm feeling too attached to my current job. I will really miss wearing jeans, going to the gym at lunch, taking long lunches, having a flexible schedule, chill bosses, and access to lots of resources and connections across the US. I have enjoyed working with so many different personalities, but there has also been a lot of slow and boring times too. It's bittersweet, but I'm sure there will be another job that I will like later. As one door closes, another opens.

Competition
I'm worried about doing well once I start school. Every class is graded on a curve, so you are essentially competing with your classmates. Only a limited number of As and Bs can be given out in each class, so it makes it really difficult to get an above average GPA. I'm hoping that since I won't be working, I'll be able to get good grades. I'd really like to put "cum laude" on my resume. Would be pretty sweet right?

I'm also really excited so I'm trying to focus on the good things. I am really for certain that I won't regret my choice. Some funny stuff - I checked out the gym facility at the school and they have fitness classes! I'll still get to get my #PFworkout on with you guys, so that will be a huge benefit (if I even have time to make it to the gym)...I really hope I can still make time to go often. It's such a huge stress-reliever so I'm glad that there's a nice gym there.


Hope you are all enjoying your weekend so far!

4.19.2012

The Comparison Trap

Thanks everyone for your support in my previous posts. Before I get into today's post, I wanted to update you all with my decision (yeah I make decisions pretty quickly). BF and I talked last night for hours and we came to the mutual agreement that I should go to law school in August. It would be better for the both of us since I will be done with school sooner and we can get married and start a family when I am finished. I will not be working so I can dedicate myself 100% to school and also help him start up his side business. I also have the option to transfer to USD after my first year, which could also be an incentive for me to work even harder. Santa Clara is still a great school and I originally wanted to go there when I was younger, so it all seemed to work out in the end.

So much is changing in my life and all so rapidly, but I am just grateful to get a lot of sound advice from fellow PF bloggers. It's going to exciting, crazy, and different and I'm nervous and scared, but I will still continue blogging so hopefully you'll keep up with me as I go from zero debt to swimming in mountains of student loan debt. It will be crazy to see how my spending and saving habits change!

Okay sorry for the rambling...back to normal posting!

The Comparison Trap

If you were to ask me what a normal life was, I would have told you that my life is far from normal. In fact, it's so different that it doesn't fit the mold of what society thinks is the "right" way to live your life. Funny thing is, the way life is now...being different is the new normal. I have divorced parents, really young siblings, family in other countries, I got kicked out of college and got back in, I took a few years off after graduation to figure out my life, and I do a lot of different things that most of my friends don't do. I barely drink alcohol and I barely go out, and I'm okay with that.

I used to compare myself to others a lot, whether it was with celebrities, my peers, my parents, my colleagues or even random people that were my age. I would judge what I knew and saw and compare my life with all of its ups and downs to someone else's life. Comparing yourself to others is dangerous. Why? Because everyone lives a different life and has to deal with different circumstances and situations. You have no idea what that person next to you is thinking or going through regardless of what they present as true on the outside.

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The reason for bringing this up today is because I used to compare myself to people my age a lot. I told myself that I needed to go to law school right after college. I was going to be finished by the time I was 24. I was going to get married by 25 and have a family at 26. I was going to be working in a wonderful company with the best benefits and a nice car before 30. I thought this was the right path for me because everyone (the media and my parents) kept telling me that this was the right path to take. They would tell me about their friend's daughter Julia or so and so's son Matt who was already making 6 figures and driving a BMW at 25. This would make me feel like I had such high standards to live up to and consequently I'd feel inadequate and like I was already failing.

Be Yourself

A lot of the time, the hard work and the things that bring you down in life are all things that you keep to yourself or your loved ones. When I got kicked out of college, I was mortified. Me, an A student, was kicked out of school! I didn't tell anyone besides my boyfriend and my mom, as well as the people I went to school with. I honestly think that if I had let my close friends know what I was going through and how I had to work so hard to get back in, I would have had a lot more support which could have been more beneficial for my well-being at the time.

People don't like to share and brag about the times when they were at their lowest points. We like to share triumphs with each other and we like to talk about all the good things that happen to us. No one wants to be a negative Nancy! Yet, after creating this blog and sharing my experiences and raw emotions with strangers over the Internet, I have found myself being more open with people. In return, I've gotten a lot more support and encouragement than I ever have.

In the past, I would compare myself to my friends and I would get jealous when they were doing well in life. I would think along the lines of that person being "better" than me. I realized that no one is perfect and we are all human. Seriously, it's so much easier to be nice to people and to be honest, especially with your friends. This comparison trap also applies to almost everything else in life and it's something we all have to avoid.

I used to compare myself to others in many, many areas of my life:

School: She has better grades than me! She's smarter. I am so stupid.
Body Image: She's taller and skinnier than me! She's so pretty and I'm so ugly.
Finances: She drives a BMW! She's so freaking rich. I hate my life.

See what I mean? Without the comparison trap, I'd be a much happier person. I think this world would be a better place! Now, if only the media didn't encourage this behavior all the time...

Do you find yourself in this comparison trap?

4.18.2012

It's Official... I'm Going to Law School

I want to thank everyone who gave me great advice in my last post. As of today, I checked my status checker and I am officially admitted! It was funny how I was just talking about it hypothetically and then all of a sudden, I was admitted. It's a great feeling to know that I'm not a failure.

I feel like all signs have been pointing in this direction and I think that I will be making the move. The scary part is that school starts on August 13th and I will have to move all of my stuff back to my house up north and I will have to tell my boss. The toughest part will be talking to my boss and also leaving my BF behind. We have done the long distance relationship thing for awhile after he graduated college, but he was only 4.5 hours away and we saw each other often. This is the first time that we will be far apart and I know I will be too busy with school. The BF has only been at his current job for a year and he is still building experience. He has a security clearance and a great title and position, and he wouldn't be able to move to another company in this economy right away. We have to play our cards right. We still have to talk about it tonight since this will have a huge impact on my savings goals and how we wanted to invest in a property together. I will have to use all of that money I have saved as my living expenses.

Tuition for law school is $43,680 per year. Multiply that by 3 because I'll be there for 3 years and that comes out to $131,040. If I have to take a loan (which I will have to) that will also amount to way more than $300k if I take over 30 years to pay it off. I'm already getting anxiety attacks just thinking about that number.


However, it's almost similar to investing in a property, except I am investing in myself, and I'm following my life long dream of going to law school. I talked to my mom and she said I would be able to stay at home and she would help me as much as she could with tuition. I also will talk to my dad and stepmom to see if they can help me out at all. I don't want to rely on anyone's help though so I am thinking about just using my savings for living expenses and taking out a loan for tuition. Also I will be checking with the school to see if I can get need-based grant since I file for my taxes independently from my parents. Once I am unemployed, they will see that I will absolutely need as much help as I can get and hopefully this will get me at least $10k a year.

Does anyone have advice for when I should tell my employer I am quitting?

I promise to get back to normal posting routine soon. So much is changing in my life so quickly and I didn't even think things would move this fast!

4.17.2012

Making Huge Life Decisions

We just got back last night from a whirlwind weekend of events, after another long 8 hour drive. I had an amazing time and it was nice seeing my family, but now I'm feeling homesick, which is how I always feel after being at home. This weekend has got me reflecting on my life and my future, and where I want to be.

My mom, dad, brother, sister, grandma, and my close cousins and friends all live in northern CA. I was born and raised there, and moved out after high school, so I haven't lived with my parents for the past 8 years (except my short stint after college grad, which lasted 6 months). If I get into school #2 for law school this year, I am seriously thinking about moving back for school but I have a lot to think about. I don't want to make the wrong decision and I don't want to think impulsively or irrationally. I have to really think this through and I could use your advice!

School #2 (Near home)
Pros of Moving Back Home (Going to School #2)

  • I would still get to live rent free, and I would get to live with my mom, dad, brother, and sister. I'd have my own room, and my mom agreed that as long as I am in school, she will help me out.
  • School #2 is close to my house and there is no traffic. It's about a 5-10 min drive.
  • I would be closer to my grandma so I would get to visit often (this one is huge).
  • I would be in school full-time which means I could graduate in 3 years instead of going to school part-time at school #1 and graduating in 4 years.
  • I'll be 27 instead of 29 when I graduate.
  • I wouldn't have to take the LSAT again in June and reapply in Sept to all the law schools again. This means I wouldn't have to pay for application fees.
  • All of my friends live there so I'd get to see them more often.

Cons of Moving Back Home

  • School #2 is ranked at 96. It's still a 2nd tier law school like school #1 but #1 is ranked in the 60s. 
  • I'd have to do a long distance relationship with the BF. It will be difficult but I know we can do it.
  • I haven't lived at home in so long, I would have to help with cooking, laundry, and driving the siblings everywhere.
  • I don't know if I will be able to study at home because it's always so loud. I'd have to be in the library all the time.
  • I wouldn't have a job which means I can't budget and I can't contribute towards retirement.
  • I wouldn't have any scholarship money because I applied late. If I retake the LSAT in June and reapply next cycle I could get into school #1 and #2 with at least some scholly money.
  • I wouldn't be able to invest in a property yet since I won't be working. I'll have to use the money in my down payment fund for living expenses.
  • I want to work and live where I live now in the future so obviously a degree from #1 would be better than a school #2 degree.
  • #1 has a highly ranked tax law program, which is what I'm leaning towards.
  • I'd have to quit my job...like by July of this year! I really like my job and can see myself here for awhile and possibly move up if I got my law degree and passed the bar. That's a huge IF because I have no idea how the company will be in 3 years. However, I know there will always be other opportunities out there.
School #1 (where I live now)
I haven't been accepted to school #2 yet but I have a feeling I will be because my stats are in the ballpark of those of applicants that have already been accepted. I am just trying to think ahead because the seat deposit is due on May 1st. That's less than a month away. 

I know I listed a lot of cons to moving back home if I got into school #2, but being near my family is very important to me. I always get homesick whenever I leave them, and my siblings will only be young once. They are 15 and 12. I will always have the opportunity to work later and to climb the corporate ladder. Yet, I know it will be difficult to leave the life I have started in the city I am now. I am completely torn.

My BF obviously would like me to stay, but he says that it is ultimately my decision and he will have to support me depending on what decision I make. I think a huge factor will be what my mom thinks regarding my financial situation if I move back into their house.

What do you guys think? I could really use your advice.

4.14.2012

Fave Reads of the Week

Happy Saturday!
I'm out of town this weekend, but I wanted to share some of my favorite reads this week. Seriously, what was up with this week? The PF blogging world has been on a roll this week. There were so many good posts, I wanted to link sooooo many.

Fave Reads of the Week

10 Personal Finance Tips for Young Adults by Young Cheap Living


Worst Money Advice Ever by Step Away From the Mall


Do You Worry About Meeting Basic Needs? by So Over Debt


Is a Business Degree a Waste? by Making Sense of Cents


Is Routine the Key to Success? by Blonde on a Budget


Why My Mom Owes $30,000 in Taxes by Young Professional Finances


3 Different Views on Money and Relationships by Bog of Debt


Personal Finance and Geography by TeacHer Finance


Why Can't I Wear a Pinball Machine? by Digging Out and Up


Tips for Interns by Add Vodka


The Simple Gal's Guide to Coupons by Live Simply Live Well


Decorating on the Cheap by Elle and Ish


Everything Else You Need to Know About Living on Your Own by Mo Money Mo Houses


7 Simple Ways to Remove the Barriers to Cooking by Fabulously Broke


Lastly, check out Newlyweds on a Budget's new home!

Hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend :) I'll catch ya guys on the flip side on Monday.

4.13.2012

The Rich Are Gettin' Richer and I'm Gettin' Left Behind

I have shared a lot about my condo hunting journey for awhile now. You've heard of the ups and downs and how we have submitted quite a few offers, and even argued about submitting an offer on a place. Every time there was a different outcome - we didn't offer high enough, we were counter-offered but there was a deal-breaker because of hazardous risk, we were out-bid, we weren't fast enough, and most recently, we are constantly competing with investors who are offering above list price with cash which results in the property being contingent within just a mere 2-4 days of being listed.

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Those darn investors
After over a year of saving for our down payment, we were so happy to have over 20%. Remember when 20% down would be the norm?

Yeah, it's not like that anymore. You actually get even better interest rates when you have a 25% down payment. No one told us that until we spoke to the third lender we worked with. So here we are trying to save 25% down and also have cash on hand for closing costs (fees and all that fun stuff), repairs, and some left for our emergency fund. We watch the market like hawks and have MLS listings sent to us each day they are posted, and we check on it throughout the day.

Condos are being listed at great prices due to short sales and REOs, yet the past 3 properties we have wanted to submit an offer on have all been scooped up by investors within mere DAYS! Less than a week! I'm talking about 2 days here! The most recent place we wanted to see was only on the market for 2 days when the owner decided to stop showing people after receiving multiple cash offers above list price from investors. Our agent called her agent on the day it was listed, and we had to give 24 hours notice to view the property. In a matter of a few hours, we got a call back and we weren't able to see it anymore because of overwhelming cash offers. They wouldn't even allow us to submit an offer.

This is where it gets sticky. How are we supposed to submit an offer if we can't even view the property? We don't have the funds or the patience to do repairs. In the past, we have passed on a lot of properties after viewing it because of mold damage, air duct repairs, huge cracks in walls, structural problems, etc. I'm not talking about minor repairs like replacing the carpet or a dirty kitchen, a lot of these places that are being sold are in terrible condition and the repairs could cost up to thousands of dollars. Going under the foundation, fixing the structure, or finding the root of a water problem from another person's condo is not fun and not cheap. There is no way we want to submit an offer without viewing the place. That's what makes this process so difficult. The number one thing that is important to us is location, and the locations we want are unfortunately ones that investors are looking at too.

The rich are getting richer

The good news is we are just saving more and increasing our down payment to get a lower interest rate. The bad news is that we won't ever know when we'll get a property. Will it even be a good deal? It's a mystery. I know everyone says that you must be patient, but buying a property in these days is not as easy as a few years ago (just talking about condos, not sure about houses), especially in a city like San Diego.

It frustrates me because the rich are getting richer and people like us who are just starting our lives, are left with the crappy condos in the bad areas that need a lot of work. This also means that people our age will have to be renting longer because the opportunity to buy an affordable property is diminishing and lenders are wanting more money as a down payment (for a conventional loan not FHA or VA or anything).

I didn't mean to bash on the rich people because hey, they're living the life I want to live. If I had the money to drop 200 grand when I felt like it, I guess I would too.


Is anyone else in the condo or home buying process right now? How is it going for you?

4.12.2012

Look Who Showed Up Late to the Yakezie Party

Proud Member of the Yakezie Challenge
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It's about time that I joined the Yakezie challenge. I should have joined a long time ago since I started this blog in 2010, but now that I am joining, I am making a commitment to myself to put even more dedication to my blog. I love sharing and blogging, networking and commenting and just finding people with like interests. I never really looked into the Yakezie challenge before but I have been missing out and I can't wait to see where this takes me!

I figured that if I partake in the challenge now, during an extremely busy time in my life, I'll feel like I can accomplish anything. I already pour my heart and soul into this blog and I love doing it, so why not push myself even farther? I've always talked about motivation and pushing myself so this is the year to practice what I preach.

My alexa ranking currently stands at:

Global: 781,572 
US: 81,182
Sites linking in: 116

Other:

Blogger followers: 73
Twitter followers: 134

Although I'm studying for the LSAT, then working on law school apps again, working full-time, studying for my notary test, working out everyday, helping the BF with his side business, and traveling, I feel like I can take all of these things on at once by creating balance and prioritizing. I love being busy and also everything that I do makes me happy, so I continue to do them. 

I'm really interested in guest posting because I love to write so feel free to email me at shopping2saving@gmail.com if you would like me to guest post for you.

So thanks for staying on this journey with me and I hope you continue to read my blog :)

4.11.2012

How I Ended Up in the Emergency Room Because of Vanity...Twice

Today I wrote a guest post over at Modest Money about Modesty Reflected in Your Clothing. I really hope you check it out and show Modest Money (and me!) some love. I enjoyed writing the post because it's about an experience that I go through too often, and I think a lot of you may relate.

In keeping up with the theme of appearance, my post today relates to some funny experiences I've had in the past due to wanting to look good.

"Why do you always end up in the emergency room for vanity?" 
- My Mom

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I have had my fair share of disasters because of what I have done for vanity. There are your typical burns from the straightening iron and blisters from wearing heels for too long, but I have ended up in the emergency room not once, but twice, due to reasons that were embarrassingly for vanity. Luckily and probably unfortunately, during those times I was still in college and under my mom's insurance. I didn't have to pay for anything since I was a broke college student, but I do feel really bad now that I reflect upon the amount of money she spent on me. She didn't even get mad at me, but she would laugh and ask me why is it that you always end up in the emergency room for vanity?

The First Visit

I used to like getting French manicures with gel nails when I was in high school and when I was a freshman in college. I had no idea how quickly those $30 manicures could add up and how quickly they ruined your nails! I didn't even hate my nails to begin with but I think I began getting these because all of my friends used to get them. I'm the clumsiest person in the world so when I was running around the house one time and lifting a dresser, my fake nail got snagged on the wood and PULLED OUT my real nail from the cuticle bed, resulting in my real nail cutting into my finger. Half of my nail was still attached but half of it came off and was digging into my skin. I had to go to the emergency room and the doctor had to keep numbing my finger until he pulled my whole fingernail out of my skin. 

Lesson Learned - I never got fake nails again.

The Second Visit

During my junior year of college, my friends and I decided we would go to LA for a huge Halloween party. It was fun and I had one of the best times of my life, but I decided to wear heels because I wanted to look cute. Silly me, I didn't think about all of the walking we would be doing because we had to park far from the convention center and we were walking around the whole building the entire night. Also, dancing in heels is not fun, especially when the heels pinch your toes. I should have just taken off my heels halfway through the night when they started hurting at midnight, but no, I kept them on until 4am. I ended up in the emergency room because my toes were so swollen and there was something wrong with my nails (AGAIN!). Well when I got there, they took my toenails off of my big toes because they were in the way and were about to come off. Have you ever seen your nails grow from an empty nail bed? It grows curved and it sucks.

Lesson Learned - I only buy comfortable heels and I always have extra flats with me.

Overall Lesson Learned

I'm scared to ask my mom again for the total amount she spent, but I know it wasn't pretty (no pun intended.) I do know that I used up the money for the entire family in her insurance plan for 2 years in a row, because in addition to these ER visits, I ended up in urgent care and going to the doctor because I got sick a lot (I never got enough sleep or rest and I never wore jackets.) I do know that it costed her over $1,000. I feel grateful that she paid for these visits but they were so unnecessary and I could have avoided them. 

Now that I'm older I stick to what I know works for me and I wear light make-up. Occasionally I'll still injure myself due to vanity...like that one time I got eyelash glue in my eye and the next morning I woke up with a stye, but ultimately I know how expensive it could get to keep wanting to maintain your appearance. It's not just the make-up, clothes, and shoes that you are paying for, but bad things could come out of it. I'm still a girly girl at heart, but now a more thoughtful one haha.

Have you ever spent unnecessary money at the doctor or emergency room? Funny stories are welcome.

4.09.2012

Boyfriend's Financial Style

Happy Monday!

I'd like to direct you all to Daisy's blog at When Life Gives You Lemons to view our joint post: Men are from Mars - Vanessa, Daisy, Michelle and I talk about our boyfriends and their financial habits. It's so funny how men have different ways to spend and save, but hey...all of them are able to put up with GFs like us, so it seems as though it can work. Big spender, big saver - it just takes a bit of communication and working together to make it work for the both of you.

Since 2 paragraphs weren't enough to cover my BF's financial style, I thought I would expand more on him in this post since he is a huge inspiration to me. Hopefully he is ok with it...I haven't asked him yet but I think he will be :)

via (this is not my BF btw haha)
I am very lucky to have my BF. He's extremely supportive and always willing to talk about finances with me. While we don't combine our finances yet (it's just easier that way), we talk about it a lot. We are both aware that our spending styles are different but only because I have more freedom to spend money because I do not have any school debt. That will change sooner or later though. Right now we don't split anything - we just switch off with paying when we go out to eat or do stuff together. For large purchases, we usually split the cost or again, we switch off. I honestly like it this way since we are not the types of people to say "hey you owe me $10 for dinner last night". Our philosophy is "what's mine is yours and what's yours is mine". It seems to work because here we are after 6 years, and we still use that same method.

In the beginning of our relationship he was carefree with spending. That was before the stress of school loans took over his life. We now are on the same page with saving money and we will always choose to save money when we shop or eat out. However, because I have more freedom to spend, I'm a bit looser with my budget. He does not have a budget because he just wants to save almost every last bit of his income, which is fine with me. Some arguments have come up because of this but ultimately we always talk it out and think rationally. Also, we have different investing styles but at least we both invest!

It's funny when I see or hear about women hiding purchases from their significant others. I never have to hide anything from BF because he knows that I spend my money wisely and that I save a lot of my money. We talked the other day about me taking full control of our finances. Although we will still be keeping them separate, I'll be organizing everything together so I will see how much we have left and how much we can save for a future education fund - think it's the 529 fund. Also, once I get the whole financial snapshot of where we stand, I'll get to plan vacations! I'm most excited for this part since we have never been on a real vacation. We usually just visit family and friends when we have free time from work. Excited to research more about the 529 fund.. and will probably post up my thoughts on that later.

In a future post I'd like to talk about how my parents got divorced...and the reason behind it? Different spending/saving habits.

What's your significant other's financial style?

4.08.2012

Confession: I Wasted $4,495 Because I Was Lazy

Happy Easter everyone!

The reason I blog is because I like to keep myself accountable but I also like to share my stories. I'm not a special snowflake by any means, and I have made a lot of mistakes in the past financially and academically and I still make mistakes now. I think it's truly important to learn from our mistakes, and to pick ourselves back up again even after failing. Remember my motto for 2012? Never give up.

I have previously talked about my history with the LSAT.

I am almost ashamed of how much my parents and I have spent on this test. If you have taken it, you know how difficult this thing is, especially if you don't naturally think in a logical way. It's hard to explain... if you want to try an LSAT question, google it.

I have the worst attention span when it comes to reading boring stuff. Give me a fun book to read and I'll read it in a few hours. I love fiction of all sorts and I used to get in trouble for reading too much as a kid. When I achieved anything as a kid and when it was my birthday, I would ask for books or a trip to Border's. I can't understand why the LSAT gives me such a headache and gives me A.D.D. but 6 months ago, I recently became empowered to take on this test and took it in December 2011. Because I got rejected from USD and I want to increase my chances for scholarship money (anything would help), I'm retaking it this June.

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The purpose of this post is to set an example and show you that I have wasted a lot of money because I was lazy, and didn't feel ready, and was just listening to my parents and not myself. If I had been a mature adult about it, I would have had the courage to tell them that I didn't want to go straight to law school and that I was still trying to figure out what was going on in my life and where I wanted to be in the future. I was 21, fresh out of college and had no idea what life had in store for me. I was afraid and nervous and stuck between wanting to work and wanting to go back to school. I only began seriously studying for this test last July after I decided I was ready. I finally found my motivation and knew that I wanted to do what I wanted and what was best for me. The first step in growing up was how to stop listening to my parents.


Here's how much I've spent on LSAT courses (this doesn't even include all of the books I've accumulated after sporadically purchasing them through Amazon):

December 2008 
Signed up for a weekend Powerscore course $395
I was still in college at the time and I had no idea what the test was about. I figured I could take it like how I took the SAT - without prior knowledge or practice. Boy was I wrong and in for a surprise.

June 2009 
Signed up for a full-length Testmasters course $1450
I had just graduated college and moved back home with my parents. Do you know how difficult it was to get back into that mode? My mom was having me take my little bro and sis to school every morning and I had to drive them to all of their extracurricular activities on top of cooking for the family, doing all of their laundry, and going to the gym. I was busier than I ever was and I had no time to study. I stopped going to class after I got so behind.


January 2010 
Signed up for a Blueprint full-length online course $1150
At this time I was interviewing for jobs since my parents were telling me that I needed to be on my own and support myself. I decided to take Blueprint's online course thinking I'd be able to do it on my own. Wrong again. I was driving back and forth between San Jose and San Diego (a long 8 hour drive) and I would spend a week at home and a week in San Diego going to job interviews. I made finding a job my mission and looking for a job was a FT job in and of itself. Needless to say, I never studied.


July 2011 
Signed up for a live Blueprint full-length course $750 (if you retake, you get 50% off)
I finally decided to take another crack at the test since I was back into a routine and comfortable at my job. My 1 year there had just passed and it was time to hit the books. I ended up going to class 3 times a week and having 14 hour days. I turned studying into a 2nd full-time job. 2 months was not long enough so I postponed the test until December, but this was the first time I studied for the test and went to every single class. So very worth it.


October 2011 
Signed up for a Blueprint full-length online course $750 (again, 50% off)
I definitely think this was worth it since it helped me stay on track and I was able to brush up on my techniques for 2 months until the test in December. It helped a lot and it was worth it.

Total: $4,495

I regret procrastinating on this for so long only because I wasted so much money (and my parents' money since they paid for the first 3 courses for me). I wish I could go back and tell myself that I should have studied, but I don't regret hanging out with my siblings and taking different classes at the gym with my mom while living at home. I don't regret figuring life out and living between 2 cities, and I don't regret finding my job and gaining real world experience before realizing I really wanted to go.

So there you have it. My LSAT history and how much money was wasted on this darn test. I thought I would never have to see it again after last December but after I got the letter from USD, I am pretty happy to hit the books again as it is so familiar to me and I want a higher score. The way I look at it is - "How hard will I work for almost $150,000?" If I can raise my score and get scholarship money next year, that would make EVERYTHING worth it.

Thanks for staying with me on this journey. I really hope all this hard work (and money spent) pays off.

4.06.2012

Money Psychology: Why Do We Have to Save Money?

The BF and I constantly talk about money. I feel like I open up every blog post with this. We can't help it when all we want to do is roll in the dough and take vacations everywhere, but we can't because we have to save money and live in a shack. 

We're huge fans of Netflix, Hulu+ and Blockbuster Express. We get our money's worth out of Netflix at $7.99/month but I am going to be cancelling Hulu+ since most of the shows on there are available for free on the networks' websites. Also, we're homebodies so we like to spend our weekends catching up on lots of TV series. Our favorites currently are: The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Supernatural, Sons of Anarchy, Awake, Once Upon a Time, Fringe, New Girl, and a lot more that I can't think of right now. Apparently we watch a lot of TV. 

After we watched all 3 seasons of Breaking Bad through Netflix, we were conflicted with what we wanted to do. That's what's wrong with Netflix. It ropes you in, and then they leave you hanging. After Season 1 of Walking Dead was up, we just had to get Season 2 of The Walking Dead, because Season 1 ended way too quickly. We had to know what was going to happen next. After the 3rd season of Breaking Bad ended, we were dying to see Season 4. Let's also not forget about how I also purchased Fringe Season 1 and Season 2 a few weeks ago! Because of our recent TV series binge, I said I would save up $20 to buy Season 4 of Breaking Bad. 

I mentioned that our PS3 burned out a few weeks ago. Since it was a first generation PS3 and super old,  our only options were to send it back to get repaired ($150) or exchange it for a new PS3 Slim ($120). Not sure why it would be more expensive to repair it when we could just get a new one. This is when I suggested that we save up $120 to exchange it for the PS3 Slim.

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BF then asked, "Why do we have to save up if we already have the money?"

I had to seriously think about that one for a bit. I'm not sure if I just like having all of my savings accounts clearly labeled and ready to go for different spending categories like gifts, travel and condo down payment or if I was just making things too complicated. I could understand if you are saving for something specifically, it makes it more rewarding when you reached that savings goal. I also understand if you don't have the cash on hand, then one would be logical to save up. What do you do if you already have savings but still want to save up for something else?

I'm conflicted because I love saving for specific items, but is there such a thing as TOO MANY SAVINGS GOALS!? I should probably just have one "Fun Fund" that I contribute to that encompasses all of these random entertainment purchases. That would solve my first world problems. But it still got me thinking how we can psychologically change our mentality when we are basically just moving money around. It still feels like we are saving specifically for something, yet if you think about it... it's just virtually separated. Sorry, I'm getting way too philosophical for a Friday. Btw, I'm only talking about cash and not investments or retirement funds. Those should be separated to grow interest and all that fun stuff.

How do you determine what you should "save up" for and what you can buy right away with the money you have on hand?

4.05.2012

How My Smartphone Saves Me Money

It's no secret I love me some gadgets. Obsessed might be a bit much, but my smartphone is kind of my BFF sometimes.
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On Monday the BF and I decided we wanted pizza. I have no idea why we felt the urge to fulfill such a craving on a Monday night no less, but we ordered and prepaid online, and traipsed to Round Table to pick it up. As I was signing the receipt I noticed that the total was $29. When I paid online, my total came out to $24. We had gotten a deal for a large pizza and breadsticks for $17, and I added a bunch of toppings. I asked the cashier why I was charged $29 and she didn't know what to say. I demanded that they cancel the transaction and that I would sign a receipt that said $24, but not $29.

This is when I whipped out my smartphone.

I checked my email and sure enough there was my electronic receipt that stated all of the facts, and proved that I was correct. I may have shoved it towards the manager's face but it worked. Victory! They cancelled my transaction, apologized and gave me a receipt to sign that was $24. I know it was only $5 but my smartphone allows me to save money all of the time! And it all adds up quite nicely.

I guess the lesson is... if you order and prepay from Round Table online, make sure you check your receipt because the cashier still rings you up at whatever price they want regardless of the online amount. Seems wrong to me.

Other ways my smartphone has saved me money:


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  • While waiting in line at the Blockbuster Express kiosk, I have found promo codes that earn me free rentals.
  • Since we road trip it a lot, BF and I are always looking for the cheapest gas station. Enter GasBuddy app. Saves us a few cents per gallon.
  • I love being able to deposit checks through the camera on my phone thanks to the Chase app. Saves me gas and time.
  • I have actually used coupons via my phone at the store (H&M). 20% off just like that.
  • On the way to the airport, I am able to check if my plane is delayed. This has happened a few times to me and I'll end up hanging out somewhere else or staying at home if it's delayed for more than a few hours.
  • I use an app called PDAnet which allows me to connect my phone through the USB cable to my laptop, and I get to use the 3G on my laptop for free. This one feature alone makes my phone worth it, and I can't count the number of times I have used this when I've been at a hotel and they charge for wi-fi. Also it has worked while on our long road trips, and we watch TV shows while in the car.
  • I use the IHeartRadio app at the gym, which allows me to listen to different songs that I would have otherwise had to pay for. I love it because they play a lot of mixes during lunchtime, and I usually get bored of my songs quickly.
How does your smartphone save you money? I'm sure there are a lot more ways!

4.04.2012

Interview with Cassey Ho of Blogilates

Happy hump day everyone! Today I have a special interview for you guys that really means a lot to me. As you all know I'm in love with fitness and pilates, and fitness fashion. Cassey Ho from Blogilates has graciously allowed me to interview her so I could share it with the PF community. I am so happy she took the time out of her busy life to answer these questions because she is such a big inspiration to me. She is a great role model and business woman, and she is living my dream job. I hope you enjoy this, and definitely check out her POP pilates videos, her bags and her blog. You'll thank me later! Thank you so much Cassey! <3


She has an amazing body! That's inspiration right there :)




Please tell the personal finance community a bit about yourself!
Hi! I'm Cassey and I guess the best way to describe me is that I am a young entrepreneur. I am a YouTube fitness guru (creator of POP Pilates), healthy living blogger, and yoga/gym bag designer. I basically workout for a living - haha - and talk about it and design for it!

I love your oGorgeous bags and POP Pilates! How did you get started?
oGorgeous started when I was in college and couldn't find a yoga bag that could fit my mat, bottle, shoes, towel etc. while looking stylish. So I made one! Then I got requests for orders, so I made more. oGorgeous was born! POP Pilates was not supposed to happen - it was me leaving a farewell workout vid for my real life students when I was about to move away. Surprisingly, people did the workout, liked it and asked me to do more.
Did you have a good grasp of your finances before starting your venture?
Yes. I had mini businesses throughout high school and college, so I had saved up.

What is the hardest part about managing your own business?
Not having enough time. I stay up super late, even today, just to make sure everything gets done and gets done properly. 

Do you budget for your personal life and business, and does this get tricky?
Def tricky. My personal life meshes with my business life nowadays and it's seamless. But! That means I never get a break from my business. Which is fine because I love what I do...but when business is bad or something goes wrong, it affects me on an emotional level.

Most of us PF bloggers are busy in our lives, can you share how you balance work and play with a healthy lifestyle?
Well my work is pretty much my play too! I get to be on facebook, twitter, YouTube, and in front of the cam or in front of students all the time and I love it. I also kind of HAVE TO eat healthily because that's what Blogilates is all about - so my fans keep me accountable! But you know what? I don't think I am good at the balance game. Because I do not sleep. Like like literally. It's past 4am and I am doing this interview.


Here is another one of my favorite printables from her site. As you can tell, I'm kinda obsessed.






Thanks again Cassey! 


It's nice to know a successful entrepreneur still stays up late and needs to stay accountable for eating healthy. It reminds me of how the PF community blogs to stay accountable for our spending and our saving. I learn so much from Cassey, whether it's learning how to do new pilates moves or getting motivated, she is a breath of fresh air. 

4.03.2012

Where Did My Paycheck Go?

I loved Bridget's (at Money After Graduation) post about the allocation of her paycheck. I was so inspired to check mine out and after I did, I thought I'd share it with you.


Disposable Income 60% - Looks like Bridget and I see the same amount of disposable income. This must be a good thing! I honestly think I can do with less, so maybe I will put more towards my roth.

Taxes 19% - I hate that so much of my paycheck goes towards taxes.

Roth IRA 8% - I'm very happy with the amount I contribute to my roth, however I could contribute a bit more since allocating 8% still does not max it out to $5,000 a year.

401k 5% - I contribute 5% and my company contributes 3%. Not bad, but I wish we had exact company matching, but nonetheless I still like contributing 5% to my 401k while I still can afford to.

Stocks 3% - Our company allows us to purchase stocks at a hefty discount so I started buying company stock at the minimum amount. I think 3% is a good amount for now, and I don't feel ready to increase that yet.

Insurance 5% - My company offers a lot of incentives to decrease the amount you pay for insurance and I have taken advantage of all of the programs. It's mostly just taking health questionnaires, pledging to not smoke tobacco (which I don't anyway), taking a personal health assessment, and also having your finger pricked so they can calculate your BMI and all that junk. I don't look forward to it each year, but if it saves me over $60/month, I will always choose to get my finger pricked.

I'll post an updated one once I switch things up, but for now I feel pretty comfortable with where I am at. When I get my next raise in July (hopefully!), I will increase my contributions to my roth so that I will only see less than 60% of my paycheck as disposable income.

Do you know your exact paycheck allocation?

4.02.2012

Why I Hate Large Balances in My Checking Account

This past weekend was crazy. My sister's volleyball club placed 11th overall in her league (12 year old girls) and ended up #1 out of all of the Northern CA teams at the National Junior Qualifiers this past weekend! I am so proud of her!

I'm not sure if I blogged about it yet but I did tweet this (another reason to follow me on twitter!) - We did not get the property we both really wanted. Apparently even after our aggressive offer, someone outbid us and we were not even given a counteroffer by Fannie Mae. We were pretty bummed out but hey, everything happens for a reason. "Do not give up" seems to be my motto for 2012 and I'm sticking with it. The perfect one will come along when it is time. 

Anyway, because our lender told us to transfer the balance for the down payment into our checking accounts so it would be ready to go, I had over $25,000 just sitting in my checking account. This makes me so uncomfortable because I usually only leave a small balance in there and I use my credit cards all the time to get rewards. Yes, I'm that annoying person that charges a few bucks. Sorry!

Back to my story. I get sidetracked easily.

I decided last Thursday that I would transfer all of my money back into my ING savings account and left $100 in my checking account. After we found out that we did not get the place I wanted my savings to incur interest so I transferred it immediately. Turns out I forgot that I did my bi-weekly thing of paying off my credit cards a few days before that and it hadn't posted up yet. Well lucky me, I overdrafted and even after the overdraft protection where they take money out of your savings automatically, I was hit with a $10 overdraft protection charge. It's not $35 which is nice, but still....$10! I swore to myself that I'd never get an overdraft fee again.

This wasn't even because I wasn't tracking my spending. I was just being stupid and forgetful, and probably really excited to see my family this past weekend. Ah. Oh well. Lesson learned.

Do you leave huge balances in your daily checking account? My BF totally does and I have no idea how that doesn't make him nervous. He has one account for his cash, and it's his checking account. Fun stuff.  Happy Monday!
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