Are you filling an ’empty shell?’

How to heal your spending problem

No matter who you are or where you come from—all of us have a coping mechanism that’s unique to us.

Some people internalize their feelings . . . hold onto them and then release them at a later time. While others hold nothing in and do whatever it takes to get an immediate sense of release and gratification through acting out in whatever way they’ve conditioned for themselves.

We don’t develop a coping style or mechanism overnight. Usually it takes years of conditioning to determine what gives us an escape from our pain or stress.

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Take someone’s trash and turn it into treasure

#Shameless dumpster diver by choice

Before we get to gist of what I enjoy about other people’s junk, let me give you some background about myself. I have a passion for buying things that I find value in when others have spurned them. Continue reading

Live a little life, save a lot

A smaller footprint can make for a bigger bank account

Sometimes bigger isn’t always better and that can include the scale of your life. This is true for me personally as my husband and just downsized from a three bedroom, two bathroom ranch to a two bed, one bath bungalow (it’s super cute BTW).

By society’s standards the location is less desirable and the size is worth snubbing—but who cares? For us it’s an improvement. For one—the character has me smiling ear to ear. From archways to 1900’s glass doorknobs and a large Jack and Jill bathroom—this property has everything we’ve ever wanted.

So, while it might be small to some, it’s a castle to us… and I can see our quality of life improving before my eyes.

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Side hustling for a cause

How picking up extra hours can be your path to financial freedom

In 2012 I left the comforts of a steady paycheck and job some journalists would kill for to return home 900 plus miles away to be closer to family and my roots. What I hadn’t anticipated was that the risks I was taking at the time would be greater than the ones I took to take the job in the first place.

Back home I soon learned that life was much tougher without having a 40 hour work week to keep the cash flowing and worries at bay.

As you can likely guess, my optimism faded within a few weeks of being home. The grass really wasn’t any greener on the other side.

Waiter is serving a coffee to a customer

Ain’t no shame in serving others. This guy is probably making it work as a barista while also freelancing on the side. Make dreams come true with #sidehustles.

My bills and expenses didn’t go away just because I didn’t have a job. On top of that, the family dynamics had shifted while I was away. There really was no “returning home” for me because it wasn’t the same as it was before, I was treated differently. People didn’t get as excited to see me either… as I was “back.”

It was around this time that I set a different goal for my life—to live simply and debt free. I decided to start by paying off my student loans. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy considering I was jobless, but once I started toward that dream, I didn’t back down. I did anything and everything I could to get closer to accomplishing the goal—enter the side hustle—or hustles(sss) I should say.

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Pick your poison

How consumerism could be the cause of your money ailments

For some it’s neck ties and blu-rays. For others it’s a barrage of pricey hair products, “As Seen on TV,” gadgets and more. I once dated a guy who didn’t seem to have the discipline to resist anything. It was as if his interest and aims had no limit. He had multiple obsessions and weak spots for spending and it put my stomach in knots.

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Got bill frustration? Keep calm and pay on

Close-up of figurine couple on wedding cake

Happy figurine couple on wedding cake, oblivious of challenges they may face.

Oh’ the joys of matrimony

For those of us in relationships, money can be one of the BIGGEST polarizing topics that can easily slip into conversation every hour, on the hour… EVERY DAY. Just look at your own partnership and ask yourself — are you the saver or spender? There could be two savers or two spenders — but of the two, chances are one is more dominant in one area over the other. Looking at my husband’s habits compared to my own, it’s clearer than it’s ever been that I’m the saver out of the duo…

Jason is by far the one who enjoys nice things, looking at them… touching them, then buying them and bringing them into our home. I’m not suggesting there’s anything wrong with having expensive taste or admiring and wanting fine things, but there’s a time and a place for it. I know somewhere down the line I’ll look to water down my cheapness and open my wallet a bit more, but at present, our money fights and differences over how to save and spend have created strong divides with little to no room for compromise. And I don’t see myself budging to indulge his whims and wants. So, hubby… if you’re reading this… here it is in print: I simply don’t think now is a good time for us to be daydreaming about our wants, we’ve got time – years and years for that.

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