Category Archives: Money

Is There Such a Thing as Being Too Frugal?

When it comes to money, I always tell people that money management is an essential life skill. If someone makes a good salary but does not know how to keep the money in the bank, then this is definitely not in an ideal financial situation. It is for this reason that people should get better at saving their money and cutting back on their everyday spending. However, is there such a thing as being too frugal? I think too much of anything typically is not a good thing and that it is smart to find a balance with both of your money saving and spending habits.

While it is important to conserve your money, you also do not want to do so to the point where you are depriving yourself of living your life to the fullest or having everything that you desire. It is healthy to spend money on the things that you value and/or mean something to you which is why you should make it a point to do so. If you are constantly depriving yourself, that is also sending the wrong spiritual message out into the Universe that you are not deserving of nice things. Furthermore, it also on a subconscious level is hindering you from attracting abundance into your life if you are obsessed with saving every little penny because putting such strong limits on yourself comes from the belief that you cannot afford things or that you are not worthy of having something which is the total opposite of an abundance mindset. If you are faced with a lot of debt that needs to be paid off, then I would say that this is a situation where it is crucial to live within your means and to stay disciplined until you can get back on a good financial track again. There could be instances where being overly frugal might have to be the reality but it should only be a temporary one as opposed to a permanent one because as I mentioned, you are deserving of a full and happy life! 🙂

My Thoughts on Inflation and What Can Be Done About It

It is no secret that inflation is at an all time high right now. It is said that the rate of inflation has not been this high in about 40 years. While there are many contributing factors such as the pandemic, supply chain shortages within many industries, the war in Ukraine which affects the global economy, and many other things that are not within our control–there is something that we can all do to control the situation. The answer is: ADAPT. While I know on the surface, that might come off as ignorant because not everyone is in a good place in life or have the financial means to simply “adapt” but what I want to address is the point that we as individuals have to take life as it comes. People are so quick to complain about exterior things or to blame the outside world for the problems that we face or how we are impacted on a personal level. While I admit that I by no means am in favor of inflation, I do not let it get the best of me and you won’t hear me make an issue of it. Why? For one, in the grand scheme of things, it is the least of my concerns in that I choose to put my mental focus on the positive things in life and what I am most grateful for. Internally, we all have control on how we react to situations and it is best to not let the outside world bring our lives down. I know that might not seem easy at times but it is something that we all can consciously get better at. As I mentioned previously, it is all about how we choose to adapt to situations.

Although I am not a science person whatsoever, I do want to point out the basic principle that what goes up must come down. While this explains gravity, this concept actually applies to so many things in life! Inflation is inevitable but the high elevation rate in which we are experiencing right now is only temporary and is not sustainable. Eventually prices on certain things such as gas and real estate will eventually have to drop in price. People have to learn to stay positive and hang in there during these uncertain times because things are bound to level out over time.

If you are someone who is having a tough time keeping up with the rate of inflation as far as your finances are concerned, my advice is to take this as a time to level up your life. That might mean putting in more hours of work a week, picking up a second job, finding an extra source of income, or cutting back in certain areas of your life if it comes down to that. It is easy to blame inflation for not being able to keep up with daily expenses but I look at it that the underlying issue in this situation is SELF and not inflation. In other words, the money issues probably existed before inflation so rather than declaring that as the problem, it is better to take a deeper examination of self and find ways to develop better spending habits and finding ways to make more money so that you can live a more comfortable lifestyle that does not leave you struggling during these times of uncertainty. It is essential to both save and invest your money not only for a brighter future but also when unexpected emergencies arise such as situations like this where having extra funds as backup is incredibly beneficial.

How to Cut Spending Without Feeling Deprived

I haven’t really written a financial related blog in quite some time and I feel that while this is always a topic of interest, proper money management is also a much needed life skill. As important as it is to amp up your salary or to find multiple streams of income, someone can make all the money in the world and not know how to manage it or overspend it where they do not have much money at all. That is why it is beneficial to know how and when to cut spending but to do so without feeling deprived so that you can still live your life in abundance.

Which leads me to the point that although it sounds like an oxymoron to preach about having an abundant life but then you have to cut back on spending money, the truth is that you can actually do both at the same time. For one, it is important to be thankful for what you currently have because practicing gratitude actually attracts more abundance into your life. Also consider that if you are happy with what you have, you will likely be spending less money on things that are not a true necessity which is a good thing because that means that you will be spending less money on things that you do not need.

Everyone has different areas in their lives that they are willing to spend more money on and things that they do not care about or prioritize as much. I would suggest establishing what areas that you can cut back on and the ones that you are willing to splurge on. For example, for me personally, I think it is a waste of money to buy lunch all the time or to purchase coffee daily so I do not spend much money on these items as I prefer to save the money and make my food and coffee at home. On the other hand, I know that there are people who find it to be quite enjoyable to buy their lunch and/or coffee on a daily basis because it is a luxury to them and just makes their lives more convenient. My point is, what I might label as a “waste of money” might be something that is very valuable to another individual so that is why I said that everyone needs to determine what they like to splurge on and then what areas that they can save their money on. This way you will have a balanced approach to your spending where you can have the things that you really care about but then you can also save money as well by cutting back on the things that are not essential to you personally.

“You Can Always Make Money But You Can’t Make Up for Lost Time”

The death of Gabby Petito had not only made headlines nationally but also worldwide. Gabby’s life was cut short at the age of 22 years old and she was sadly found dead in an area out in the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming. Her death was confirmed a homicide and is a tragedy that continues to draw media attention. At her funeral, her stepfather Jim Schmidt had said, “You can always make money but you can’t make up for lost time.” This quote resonated with me and I am sure many people can agree with this. As much as we dedicate our lives to our careers and working lives, at the same time, we have to realize that there is more to life than just working and making money.

I had recently wrote an article this past summer talking about this exact topic. As I have gotten older, I definitely value quality of life (aka my personal time) over money. That’s not to say that I don’t work as hard but what it does mean is that I make an effort to make time to do the things that I LOVE! I never want life to pass me by and look back wishing I had done something that I really wanted to do. I truly do try to live life in the present as best as I can. I think everyone should take the time to pursue their interests and as the title of my blog states, Make up the life you love.” I am not saying that work is not important or that we don’t need money. I just believe that we should find a balance where we have a healthy work life along with a healthy personal life filled with whatever makes our life feel most complete. 🙂

5 Money Saving Tips to Improve Your Money Management Skills

As much as we strive to increase our salaries and find multiple streams of income (which are both great financial goals might I add), it is equally important to become better savers. I truly believe that every dollar counts so every dollar saved is essentially money that is earned. It is incredibly important to be good at money management and I always say that I do not care as much about the size of a person’s salary as much as I care about a person’s actual money habits. One can be very “rich” when looking at their annual salary but on the other hand actually be carrying large amounts of debt or simply never have anything stored away. This is where money management comes in and why it is a life skill that we should also all strive to get better at–no matter how much money you make or what you currently have now as there is always room for growth and change.

Buy Things Second Hand – My parents instilled in me at a young age the benefits of thrifting which for me meant shopping at consignment stores and second hand shops. Of course there are certain items that I think is best to buy brand new but there are plenty of things you can easily buy second hand at a fraction of the cost. There are also many websites nowadays where people are giving stuff away or selling things at a very low cost which means extra money to be kept in your wallet.

Compare Prices Before Purchasing – While many people buy things impulsively or choose to purchase something on the spot, I cannot stress enough the importance of shopping around first before you make a final decision because often times you will find a better deal just from comparing all your options.

Online Coupon Codes – I will admit that there are many good deals to be found on the internet and for convenience, why it is best to do a lot of shopping online. Before I make a purchase, I always google coupon codes and often times get lucky with finding a percentage off or a free shipping code. I have even been more tech savvy where I’ll look for coupon codes from Instagram influencers who publicly post a code on one of their posts which they tend to get credit for and I also get to save a few dollars.

Rakuten.com – I am obsessed with Rakuten! Who doesn’t like free money?! Formerly known as “Ebates,” this website offers plenty of online retailers who will give you a small percentage back from your total purchase (on average between 2-10% cash back). Once you create an account, you just search the online shop and it tells you how much cash back you can receive that day from making an online purchase. Each store varies and the rebate amounts change daily.

For every person you refer, you both will receive a $20-30 cash back reward so it is a win/win because your friends create an account to save and you’re also getting a little something in return. Last summer, I referred 10 friends/family members to join while it was a $30 cash reward promotion so I earned $300 on top of my online purchases. Again, who doesn’t like free money? If you are not familiar with Rakuten and want to start collecting free money today, be sure to use my referral link — (we each receive $30 back after you make your first purchase)!

Don’t Buy Something for the Sake of a Good Sale – Of course I advocate buying things on sale but how often have we purchased things on sale or in the clearance section when we really didn’t need these items? I am sure we have all been guilty of this and have just bought things for the sake of a really good deal. I have gotten much better at passing up on sales because even if it appears to be a good deal, it is a waste of money if I am buying something with little to no use. That is why it is much wiser to resist the urge to shop during sales so you don’t end up with useless items. I much rather pay a little more for something that I truly want and/or need than to just buy things to “save money.” Remember that the things that are on sale are often on sale for a reason.

Quality Time vs. Money – What’s More Valuable?

As adults, we spend much of our lives working and developing our careers in order to build wealth and financial security. I am definitely all for working hard and making a lot of money but at the same time, I don’t think money is everything. Yes, money can buy many material goods and is needed to pay the bills but over time, I have discovered that quality time is much more valuable in the long run. Quality time to me means having the luxury to do the things that you enjoy such as pursuing your favorite hobbies and spending time with the people you care about most. The way in which we choose to spend our quality time really is personal to all of us and can also vary throughout the course of our lifetime. (Hey, it is never too late to pick up a new hobby!)

However, I will admit that the catch 22 of the situation is that you sort of need to have financial security (money) to buy you more quality time. By that I mean, in order to have more freedom and time, one must really have the money in the bank to be able to do what you want without having to constantly be working in order to make the money. That is why I cannot stress the importance of striking the right balance between work while also setting up free time for yourself. Working a crazy amount of hours might mean extra money in the bank but if you do not have the free time to enjoy it, is it really worth it? On the other hand, utilizing more of your free time without bringing money in is also not the way to live as it’s an added stress when you cannot make enough money to pay your monthly expenses.

When you’re much younger, sometimes it is necessary to really put in the extra work while you have the energy and are more dependent on working towards financial security which means less quality time to dedicate towards your passions; however, I can tell you from my personal experience, it is actually worth it (later)! That is not to say I was not having fun in my youth, I still think I managed to find a balance but I definitely made many sacrifices in order to comfortably build financial independence which now has paid off in giving me the opportunity to have more free time where I can afford to work less than I did before and allot more free time for myself. Working will always be very important to me as I look at it more for providing me a sense of purpose in which I will continue to be dedicated to my profession; however, I am not in a position where I am working incessantly in order to get by. It is wise to strive towards both financial security AND putting time aside for yourself but it’s good knowing that financial security will often provide you the quality time you deserve. Nowadays, I can take a step back and relax a bit to enjoy more quality time that is separate from my work life thanks to all the times I put in the extra work previously. Often you might find that you need to work harder in the beginning in order to earn quality time in the future. Trust me, it’s worth it! 🙂

This is a photo that was taken of me yesterday on my day off. Quality time is valuable, so let’s all find a way to enjoy it!

When You Have to Pay, You Pay Attention – How I Became Financially Savvy With These 5 Money Principles

When it comes to personal finance, I think this is an area in life where people can always improve and there are definitely ways to plan ahead to ensure that you are on a road to a better financial future. I am fortunate in that I had strong parents who taught me very good money lessons at a young age which shaped me into the financially savvy person I am today. I would not say I am an expert but I can provide some basic money principles that work and it is never too late to adapt them into your life no matter what your financial status is right now. With the right practices put into place, you can achieve your money goals and become a financially independent individual along with passing these money principles down to your children and the people you care about most.

I want to start off by saying, this expression is absolutely true when it comes to money–“When you pay, you pay attention.” Meaning that when you have to pay for everything, you do very well pay attention to what you are spending your money on and every little cost along the way. As soon as I could get a job as a teenager, I was held accountable for paying for everything. My parents never paid my cell phone bills, car insurance, clothes, entertainment, etc. Although they were never poor and as an only child, they easily could have covered all these costs–they still refused to pay for these things. Think about it: If they provided me with all these basic necessities, what would be the incentive to go out and get a job? Their attitude from the start was, “If you want something, you need to work for it and figure it out yourself.” Their underlying message was that I had to work for things like everyone else in this world while also instilling their full confidence that I had the capacity to earn it all by myself without relying on their credit cards and bank accounts. Their tough love approach was effective as it provided me with a burning drive at a young age to work hard along with becoming money motivated for not only survival purposes but for everything beyond that. In other words, besides paying bills and basic needs, anything else I wanted that extends beyond that such as a nice vacation, I can create the resources to make it happen. 😉 [Side note: It is for this reason, when people I know tell me their children are spoiled, don’t appreciate anything, and don’t work–my response is to cut them off financially. Sounds harsh but it is the dose of reality and tough love that is needed to build their autonomy, confidence, work ethic, and self worth while also doing them a huge favor in the long run. Trust me.]

My point in sharing this is to show how I became financially savvy at a young age because my parents taught me the value of money by having me always have to work for it. These are principles I have applied since my youth and that I continue to live by to this day.

Spend Less Than You EarnHow often do you see people spend money that they don’t really have? I see people do this all the time where they barely can pay their bills and do not really have a savings in the event that they need it for an emergency (such as the current pandemic) which is why I would rank this as the most important money principle. It is essential to spend under your means in order to prevent sinking into debt and giving yourself the opportunity to bank more money into your savings/investments.

Focus on Excelling in Your Profession – It does not matter what professional field that you chose as there is always room for you to build your career which typically means a higher salary over time. If you are extremely good at what you do, people will want to pay you for it and/or promote you so focusing on your career should be a main focal point for both personal development and financial growth.

Find Multiple Streams of Income – I suppose if you chose a career path that already provided you a hefty salary, there is not as much of a need to find multiple streams of income but I do believe this is something people often overlook and is a missed financial opportunity. Most people are content with just having their weekly job and will call it a day which in certain situations, I understand if the job is incredibly taxing and takes up the majority of your life where there is little room for free time. However, what if you found something that you loved to do and could also make a little extra income? Anyone can turn any small hobby into a few extra dollars or sometimes a ton of money (hey, why limit yourself? 😉 ) and there are always people willing to pay for services that they may not like or have the expertise in but you do.

Save As Much as Possible (Every Penny Counts) – People often underestimate that every little bit saved adds up to a big amount of money over time. For example, if you enjoy getting a cup of coffee everyday, you might think it’s such a small expense, why not treat yourself every morning; however, so much money can be saved just by cutting back the amount of days you go a week or simply by making it yourself at home. My point is, every little bit saved is extra money in your pocket that can be used for bigger and better things for your future.

Make Investments to Grow Your Money Over Time – There are many things one can invest their money in, such as real estate but first and foremost, you absolutely need a retirement fund. I know it is something most people do not really think much about until they are actually getting closer to that stage of their lives but this is where you need to think long term and start investing NOW! I always contributed towards an IRA thanks to having a financially savvy mother who had me open an account when I was 18 years old (all my money of course, not a cent from my parents) but looking back, I wish I was putting in much more as I could be benefiting from all the compound interest. As I mentioned before, the good news is–it is never too late to start investing and now I maximize my IRA every single year because I am more consciously aware of investing and have the money to do so. Even if you are not currently in a position where you can maximize your contributions each year, remember that every little bit you invest now will grow into much more money in your future so anything is always better than nothing. The key is to start a retirement fund if you have not already done so and to consistently add what you can each year.

3 Qualities Needed to Attract an Abundance of Wealth

Most people want more money and strive for financial security; however, many find themselves in bad financial situations. That could include having endured a hefty amount of debt, barely being able to pay the bills, or simply not being in a position to save and/or invest their money. No matter what your situation is right now, there are ways you can change your financial fate and be on the path of attracting more wealth. This first comes from within and examining your money mindset while adapting these qualities that can help you accumulate more wealth over time.

[Money] motivation– It is one thing to be motivated in various areas of your life but to become wealthy, you specifically need to be money motivated. By this, I mean you are driven to want to earn a lot of money, not simply being comfortable with having enough to get by each week. People who are money motivated are not interested in just having enough money to survive and often times you will never see someone who is money motivated ever broke. Why? They are so money motivated that the idea of being broke is not even an option or way of life. In their minds, it is an unacceptable so things never get that financially dire. Now a person might start off not having much money or perhaps poor which would propel this person to become money motivated. As a result, you often find these people to really maximize their money earning potential because it stems from their deep money motivation.

Responsibility – Responsible people tend to have the ability to save money and large quantities of it. Being able to save means more money in their bank accounts. I strongly believe that it does not matter as much how much a person can earn but how they ultimately manage their money. People who make less money still have the potential to accumulate wealth by simply being exceptional savers which means it might take them longer to become wealthy but at least they’re on the road to financial security. Whereas on the opposite spectrum, there is a reason why you see millionaires and lottery winners go bankrupt. This is a classic example of poor money management. Which translates to irresponsibility which is why it truly is essential to be responsible when it comes to your money.

Discipline – Discipline applies both ways when it comes to your overall money management. It applies to how you save and how you earn. If someone has enough money to buy something but says no, that requires a high level of personal discipline. This could apply to very expensive items but also inexpensive items that by not spending, a lot of money is getting saved over time. I always say that every dollar counts which is why it is important to save on both the little things along with high ticketed items. In regards to making money and elevating your earning potential, you also need a good amount of discipline to put in the time and work that is needed to make the money. You might feel overworked or just want some personal time off but thanks to being disciplined, you recognize the reward of earning the money than being lazy and not working for it. Discipline essentially requires a no pain, no gain mentality. You do what you have to do to earn the money but also preserve it by saving and investing it as much as you can, even if that means giving up material goods and services that you would normally spend your money on.

[On a final note, I can tell you from my personal life experience, that having these three qualities are highly effective in building wealth. I would not necessarily classify myself as rich (yet 😉 ) but I can tell you that I live a good life where all my essential needs are met along with having both an emergency savings and retirement funds that I continue to grow thanks to having money motivation, responsibility, and discipline].

Traveling and Dating – Who Should Pay for What?

I actually have had this question asked a few times in regards to wanting solid advice on what is the right thing to do in terms of how couples should handle expenses while on vacation when they are ‘just dating’ (not married and perhaps have only have been dating for a short time). To be honest, there really is no set answer to this one because there are so many factors involved and each dating situation is different. For example, are we talking about a weekend getaway or full week vacation overseas?

I think that if one person (usually the man but hey, it’s 2020–anything is possible nowadays) is paying for all or a contribution towards your travel expenses such as the flight and accommodations then it can be expected that once you arrive at the destination, you can pick up a good amount or at least some of the food and entertainment tabs. Personally, it just feels good to reciprocate if someone is that generous to pay most of or all my travel fees up front.

If both people are paying separately and in this case for me as the woman, the man I am dating is not paying anything towards my personal travel expenses, then I do not really expect to pay for meals or much during that time away. In a normal situation when I’m NOT traveling, I do expect a man to pay for most meals (unless it is a special occasion or I am asked to pay the tip). Why? I firmly believe in gender roles and that they should still exist. Whereas I know not everyone might feel the same because the counter argument could be that most women are in the work force today. If a woman has a stable career/job and can pay for meals as well, why is she not paying those bills? I totally understand this way of thinking, it makes sense to me as well but it does not change the principle or belief that I have which is that a man should want to pay for the dates. It actually for me has nothing to do with money being spent but to do with showing a woman that he wants to take care of her along with being chivalrous and conveying his financial strength. Especially in the early stages of the dating game, if a guy is asking the woman to go 50/50 or to pay for dates, then my immediate thought is, “Next.” I do not mean that in an entitled, conceited, or stuck up kind of way. I might still stay to get to know the guy better but I am not going to invest too much of my time because I have been in the dating game long enough to know that this is the golden standard (if you ask most men, they actually do want to pay) and there are an abundance of men who would never ask a woman to take her wallet out. So why would I make an exception now or settle for someone who is a 50/50 kind of guy? I actually do not encounter those kind of men in my life because I set my standard from the start what my expectations are (which mind you, I don’t think is even much to ask) and if this were to be a problem, my response would be, “Then don’t date me.” In other words, I am not going to lower my dating standards as I could keep it moving at that point. However, with travel, I recognize things can add up fast depending on where you go and how long you are away in which I think offering to pay for things from time to time is classy and often appreciated.

Note for Men: I think it is extremely important to consider, if you do NOT plan to pay for much during the trip or expect a more equal contribution financially with how money will be spent throughout the duration of the vacation, then you absolutely need to have this conversation and set those standards. Just as it is important for women to set standards, men should be doing this as well. I have had many male friends complain to me how they do not like having to pay for things all the time when they are dating–especially if there is not a relationship status or if they are unsure how much they like the other person. I ask if they have expressed that to the person they are dating and often times the answer is, “No.” Most women would not know this is bothersome unless it is brought to their attention. Chances are, they would be more than willing to contribute or to pay for things too. Like anything in life, you just have to ask.

Why Couples Should Have Separate Bank Accounts

It has been said that one of the most common reasons for a relationship or marriage to end is due to financial matters. This can range from having two people with completely different spending habits to someone making substantially more money than the other person which can cause some level of resentment over time. (On the other hand, for some couples, this might not even be a deal breaker–it really depends on each person’s values). Before getting too seriously involved with someone, it is important to make sure you are financially compatible with someone. By that, I mean that you have some sense of how they value their money (ex: are they better at spending or saving?) and how much they have (not exact figures but things such as approximate salary, debts, etc.) Knowing this information is valuable along with discussing financial expectations as people’s views on money management can be radically different.

Once two people have established they are relatively on the same page financially, I advise to always keep bank accounts separate to prevent financial problems to arise later on within the relationship.

Each Partner Can Still Maintain Financial Independence – This is probably the most important reason for keeping things separate as it allows for both people to make their own money and do what they want with it. When there is a joint account, often times there could be arguments such as, “Why did you spend that much money on going out this week?” When both people have access to the account, there is less control on how the money is spent causing one person to get mad at the other on how the joint money is spent outside of their monthly bills.

Both People Can Take Financial Responsibility – It is good for each partner to be able to contribute financially on some level. Although it is easy to just split everything down the middle, this often times is not the case. By assigning certain monthly bills to each person to come out of their own individual account, this holds everyone accountable instead of relying on one person to be completely in charge of the finances. Although this can successfully work in certain relationships where one person is fully in charge, the downside to this is that if something happens to this person, this leaves the other person incapable of managing the finances on their own or at all.

One Person Makes Significantly More Money That the Other – If one person is making much more money than the other person, I think it is only fair for there to be separate bank accounts as the person who is making more should be entitled to be able to keep some of it for themselves as well. If everything is put together, the person who is not contributing as much could take advantage or feel a sense of guilt if they are unable to level up to their partners financially. When accounts are kept separately, this avoids potential problems or tension to build up over time.

There are pros and cons to everything including the subject matter of whether or not couples should have a joint or separate bank account. In the long run, the benefits of having a separate bank account typically outweigh the benefits of a joint account in today’s modern world, especially now where we live in a society where most households are two income households. Of course everything is situational in which it is important to have these conversations with your partner to see where each person stands on finances and what option is best for each partner.