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Basics of Budgeting & My Experience

in Goals & Progress

Progress Report: February 16th, 2017



So it’s mid-month again, which means it is time for me to review my goals and progress in terms of finance, health and this blog. I believe in the importance of reviewing your finance in order to keep you motivated and on track. As you may know by now, I track all of my spending/earning on Excel in order to keep track of my finance and health. This wouldn’t work for everyone, but if you like to micro-manage, you can download a free Excel template here.

January Goal Re-Cap

in Basics of Budgeting & My Experience

How to Build up Your Credit as a Millennial

Photo by Riccardo Bresciani

This post is going to talk about credit, and the ways that you can improve yours. As millennials, we have certain goals that for many of us seem so out of reach – and credit plays a sizable role in these.  Does it feel like you’re never going to be able to afford a down payment on a house? What about that month-long backpacking trip you’ve dreamed about for years? Just want to be able to pay your bills on-time each month?

When you finally do have that down payment, you want your credit score to be high enough to snag you a good interest rate.

First of all; if you have credit card debt (or other high-interest debt) that should be your highest priority after your monthly bills. The interest you might be paying on your credit card is not going to be pretty after a few months. You could be paying hundreds by the end of the year if you carry a balance on your cards.

That’s not all! I know other people who are nearing thirty years-old with no credit because they’ve never gotten a credit card or had to take out loans. Friends of mine have been given cars by their parents, or they’ve never gotten credit cards, or they never went to college and therefore have no student loans.

I think millennials have been drilled with the idea that “credit cards are bad,” due to the mistakes our parents may have made. The result has been that we are more careful with such things, which is excellent! But having one or two cards is going to help you build your credit so that you won’t have trouble getting a house or a car.

It’s important to note that you can have great credit even with a ton of debt! I’m up around $80,000 in student loan debt and I have a credit score of 751 at 26 years old!

in Basics of Budgeting & My Experience, Finance Hacks

9 Effortless Hacks To Save You Time & Money


Ever feel like you’re short on time and cash? What am I saying, of course you do! Just about everyone would agree with you on that. Below I’ve listed several effortless (or nearly effortless) life hacks that have saved me time and money! You’ll have some extra cash in your pocket so you won’t have to feel guilty about the extra time you’ll spend binge-watching Netflix!

in Goals & Progress, My Income / Progress Reports, Uncategorized

1 Month Goal Review


I can’t believe it’s been one month since I started this blog. In this post I’m going to re-cap my numbers for you (everything) and tell you what I learned in my first month of blogging that I didn’t learn from other people.

I want to be totally honest with everyone about the numbers I see, because I think that people are sometimes misled. I was buying into the whole “Make $10,000 in Your First Month of Blogging!” Sure, that may be true for someone who already has successful blogs and websites, but I think on the whole this doesn’t happen. This certainly didn’t happen to me!

in DIY Projects to Save Money

5 DIY / Low-Cost Valentine’s Gifts for Millennials



With Valentine’s Day only a few weeks away, this is probably a good time to start thinking about what you’re going to get your significant other. If you’re looking for gifts that won’t break the bank, maybe you’ll have some luck here.

Full disclosure; these are not the most romantic gifts. I’m not a very romantic person, but you will be able to tweak most of these to make them more suited for Valentine’s.

Also note; this post may contain affiliate links. It in no way changes my opinion of the item.

in Basics of Budgeting & My Experience

Where to Start Budgeting When You Don’t Know What You’re Doing


“Where did my money go?”

We’ve all been there. You open up your bank account and see an awful small number staring back at you. Your first thoughts might be, “My account’s been hacked,” or “But I just got paid.” Double-checking your transactions, you see the costs start to add up. $9 at Starbucks, $38 at eBay (what did you even buy again?), a risky glass of wine for $11 last night at the bar. You find that your account hasn’t been hacked and yes, you did just get paid.

in Basics of Budgeting & My Experience, Goals & Progress

Progress Report: January 16th, 2017


About halfway through every month, I’m going to review my goals and progress in terms of finance & health. I believe that reviewing your progress every once in a while will get you motivated and ultimately help to keep you on track. As you may know by now, I track everything through Excel spreadsheets. This wouldn’t work for everyone, but I like to micro-manage my finances and see the entire year at once.

So let’s review goals:

1. Stay Within Budget (Keep Spending <$1,292)

in Basics of Budgeting & My Experience, DIY Projects to Save Money, Uncategorized

4 Side Hustles I Did Last Year & How They Worked for me


While I was reviewing my budget from last year,  I noticed quite a few things. Not only did I save myself over $3,000 just by tracking my spending, but there have been a few side hustles that I’ve tried that have failed miserably and a few that have worked out in my favor.

I value my time highly and do not want to spend much time on one avenue when the payoff is poor. I work a full-time job already, and anything that takes away from my off-time has to be worth it. That’s why I don’t do any extreme couponing – because of the amount of time it can take. I would rather just shop smart and live beneath my means – which is why I made this blog. I want to be able to share my techniques (which should be realistic) with the rest of you. So, let me tell you what I tried in 2016.

in Basics of Budgeting & My Experience, Finance Hacks, Uncategorized

5 Budgeting Strategies You Can Try When Others Fail

This image has been edited. Smith

Often times we may try something that we don’t always see through ’til the end (New Year’s Resolutions, anyone?). Maybe we set our goal too ambitiously, or maybe the means of achieving the goals are not convenient enough. Maybe something goes wrong (like a birthday cake to a diet), and our mental fortitude slips.

I used to try different diets, and when they didn’t work I resorted to my old ways. I’ve tried gym memberships to places that are not convenient enough for me, and then they never get used.

It’s easy to do the same with budgeting! When you search online or talk among your friends, you may find everyone has their own way of doing it (if they do at all!). There is no reason to quit your attempts at budgeting when one  method doesn’t work. You just need to tailor it for you, or try a different way to go about it.

There is no 1 right way to budget. If it works for you, then it’s a valid and good method. It may work for you and no one else, or it may work for you and others.

Below are different methods you can try when all-else has failed you. You may know right off-the-bat that some will not work for you, but you never know unless you at least consider. That being said, we’ll move on.

in Basics of Budgeting & My Experience, Budget-Friendly Travel, Uncategorized

1 Week in Europe for $1,000


Let me tell you – few things get my heart pumping like travelling. I somehow have been to very few places in my life, but it has been my biggest dream for years to see the world.Now that I am finally in control of my finances, I can start travelling the way I’ve always wanted to. Switzerland is the land of cheese, chocolate and premiere hiking – it is everything I could ever want in a destination.

This explains why I couldn’t pass up cheap tickets to Zurich, Switzerland! Round-trip, nonstop flights from Boston to Zurich for only $450 each?! I must be dreaming.