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My Constant Struggle…and I Can’t Be the Only One.

25 Mar

Money. Let’s talk about it. I have a progressive view on discussing finances. I don’t feel like it’s taboo in any way. Our society norms have taught us that it is inappropriate to openly discuss money, especially related to income, debt, and what’s within our “means”.  Yet, we live in a world where most people want to appear like they make more than others. That’s usually how we fall into debt – and that’s a shame. As an example, how many times have you felt pressured to go to a “$$$$” restaurant when you really should be going to a “$$” this month?

Anywho. Practically every day I wrestle with finding that balance between smart spending (the pay-yourself-first strategy) and spending to make you feel satisfied. I’m a woman. I like pretty things (Essie nail polish, J Brand jeans, pretty dresses…you get the picture). But, I learned to love security even more.

Security isn’t meeting and marrying a rich man. It isn’t counting on your dad to back you up. It isn’t even trusting that “you’ll figure it out” or “you’ll think about that later”. In my opinion, security is feeling confident that you have a plan in place to be able to live 100% independently, if necessary.

Why am I rambling about this? I follow fashion-loving women on Twitter who often share their outfits, buys, and deals online. Boy do I get jealous. Just a bit ago, someone Tweeted about Birchbox. So I begin to browse the site…see this foundation that I LOVE…almost buy…crap, it’s $28. No. I’m gonna rock out that $9 Maybelline Dream Mousse for just a bit longer. Begin brief period of sadness and dreaming of a shopping trip.

My 20s have taught me to find balance. Okay. I love pricey nail polish. However, $8/bottle or weekly manicures can’t be a regular thing. I had to strike a deal with myself to limit my buys to one color per month. Shopping trips? I budget to go shopping once a season. Preferably, wait until end-of-season sales when merch is 30-50% off. My weakness? Dining out. Still working on that. Speaking of which, need to check out Union Pig and Chicken ASAP!

I’m fortunate to have so many inspiring women in my life. These women are smart, talented, passionate, gorgeous, friendly, and forward-thinking. My dear friend, Sarah Sudar writes for The Style Clutch – providing budget-friendly fashion tips for women of all ages. Worth the follow 🙂

I welcome further conversations about budget challenges for you. What are your challenges? How do you stay organized and on budget?

Until next time –

Katie

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Quit Slackin’

13 Mar

Make it Happen

This is the motto I live by. These words run through my head practically every morning, afternoon, evening, and late at night….

“Get Shit Done”…”Make it Happen”…”Just Do This Already” 

Why have I chosen this to be my first topic on gchatwithus.com? Well, between Liz and I, we have tons of ideas, wants, dreams, and plans. Really, tons and tons. I’m sure we’ll blog bits and pieces as this venture continues. However, none of our big dreams will become reality by hangin’ low and doing the same old routine. Clearly, I fall into the Type A realm, but there comes a time when you realize – if you REALLY want *XYZ* to happen, it’s time to put some moves in motion.

Three years ago, I graduated from Pitt and felt so lost. My parents did a great job preparing me for this moment, but damn did it feel overwhelming. After racking up a few $K to the credit card, several spontaneous weekend get-a-ways, and flat-out overdoing it in my social life – I came to this ‘A HA!’ moment: enough is enough already. We coined the term: “you gotta get your life together” and that’s exactly what I did.

What was the tipping point? Moo-lah. Dinero. Bones. I got to the point where I just didn’t know how much was in the bank at any given time. So unsettling. So Scary.  My mother once told me, “they day you can talk to me about your financial situation without tears is the day you are in control.” This lasted about a year or so until I went full force into my own little personal financial bootcamp. This will definitely be something I write about often. Pulled myself out of debt, built up a serious emergency savings, and got a great start with retirement – all within 2 years. Damn that felt great. I haven’t cried about this since.

This sense of ‘gotta make this happen’ extended into the rest of my life. I learned quickly that to reach my dreams, I need to think out of the box. Problem solve. Constantly learn. Dream big.

Why am I putting this into words today? Because this determination isn’t easy to maintain. This past weekend, I was a machine. Accomplished work for both my professional and personal lives plus enjoyed a beautiful weekend. Soaked up the productivity bliss. That determination carried into Monday. Tuesday morning, gone. I fought with myself the entire day to stay focused, keep pushing, MAKE SHIT HAPPEN.

A walk, clear mind, healthy foods, and an up-beat Pandora station eventually did the trick. But man, all I wanted to do was pin pictures to my Pinterest boards all day!

I’m sure some of you have been in my place. Nothing I just said was ground-breaking – however, it’s comforting to know that everyone has a mental personal struggle to keep focused, driven, and productive.

-Katie

"I'm Possible"