Friday, August 26, 2016

Learning Experience

I definitely don't look this stylish today. My outfit consists of shorts, a tshirt and a messy bun. Like the above picture though, I am travelling by car. Not that big of a deal except I am doing something I have never done before. I am driving long distance by myself. Needless to say, I am nervous. 
I do not have the greatest history when it comes to driving. I didn't get my license till I was 19. I spent all of my childhood and teenage years living in Europe where the driving age is 18. You need someone to navigate a subway system, I am your girl. Driving buddy? Yeah, no. So when I moved to America for college, I had only been behind the wheel once. That initial experience didn't go well. My husband, then boyfriend, and future mother in-law were the ones who taught me how to drive. Talk about an exercise in communication!
Even after I finally got my license, I was super scared and nervous. The best thing that happened to me was when I had to drive myself, forty-five minutes each way, to college everyday. That was a super valuable experience. Since then though, the extent of my driving has been just around our community with occasional trip closer to Atlanta (but never actually INTO Atlanta. I am not that brave.)
Today, I driving to Virginia for the wedding of one my college roommates. I made up my mind I was going to drive when I knew about it. I probably could have flown for about the same amount of money but I knew this trip would provide me the perfect opportunity to get out my comfort zone. I don't want to be limited by my fear of driving. I don't want to let my nervousness keep me from doing things I want to do. Driving 6 hours by yourself may seem pretty insignificant to some but this is a very big deal to me. It is a learning experience that I have to have. Hopefully, I will make it through in one piece. 

Any other nervous drivers out there? What is the longest journey you've ever taken by yourself?

Friday, August 19, 2016

Dream Big

(Pinterest, purchase here)
One the biggest motivators to overhaul our finances was the realization that if we continued to do what we were doing, we were never going to get to do the things we wanted to do. It's easy to talk about future plans or dreams. "One day we will do this," or, "One day we will go there." They roll of the tongue easily. They are dreamy hypotheticals. Good intentions with no substance. When it really truly hit me that we were never going to get to do those "one day" things was when I became really intense on whipping our financial life into shape. If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. The old adage by Benjamin Franklin holds true, especially in the world of personal finance. 
Some people, like me, can get down and dirty in the numbers and budgeting, and that brings a sense of enjoyment and satisfaction in itself. My husband on the other hand, could care less. He doesn't get excited about allocating money to different categories. He is a spender through and through. He needs a big reason for doing the nitty gritty. The prize for a race well run. Chris Hogan's book, Retire Inspired, stresses the importance of dreaming big. What would you do if you could do anything you wanted? Honestly, this question is hard for me to answer. I am such a practical person at heart that it takes a lot to get me into that frame of mind. Scott and I talked about this and his answer was quick and definitive. All he wants is to buy a sailboat and sail around the world. That's a big dream but it is the perfect motivator. It's big enough that it will require sacrifice but it still attainable. My dreams are similar. We both love to travel and I cannot wait to take our future family all over the world. I want to plan a trip, have the money, and not stress about anything. 
So what does that really look like? If the whole point of this dreaming big thing is to actually do it, then how do you get there? One word, budget. It's not a dirty word. For a person like me, who will get the worst case of buyer's remorse, it is a life saver. Knowing that I have money allocated to a specific category keeps me from freaking out when I go to buy something. It also assures me that I am not sabotaging future goals for a momentary pleasure. Seeing how all the pieces fit together is amazing. Now you might be thinking, "Yeah, that is great for a nerd like you, but what about me? I don't care about numbers! I just want to spend my money how I want to!" 
Your thoughts are real and valid. I would argue that your definition of budget might be slightly wrong. Budget doesn't mean cheap or constricting. It simply means that there is a finite amount you can spend on any particular thing. How does that sound any better? Well, the reason is because YOU decide what that finite amount is. You tell your money where it is going to go. Sure there are some things that you going to have to pay even if you don't want to. Utilities, maybe rent or a mortgage, food, transportation, but the rest is up to you. It's is when you consciously decide how you going to spend your money that you actually can see those big dreams becoming reality. Otherwise the money just leaks out of your bank account month after month, and you will never make any progress. 
If you still don't believe me, I strongly encourage you to try out It is great budgeting tool that has helped us to so much. When I use it, I can see that we are going to get to those "one day" things and I can actually start dreaming bigger. I am confident that those dreams are going to become realities. 

Any other personal finance junkies out there? Are you more of spender or a saver? What big things do you want accomplish? 

Friday, August 12, 2016

105 Days And Counting

If you haven't heard, Gilmore Girls returns to TV (but really, Netflix) this year on November 25th. To say I am excited is the understatement of the century. I am a GG super fan. I have watched all the season multiple times. Plus, coffee is practically my middle name. In honor of this glorious occasion, I decided to put together a list of my favorite fan items. Etsy is an amazing resource for finding cute fan gear. I tried to pick items that pay homage to the show without crossing the border into overly cheesy or tacky. Some may still think it's too much, and I get that. These are a few things that I either wouldn't mind having or are already in my fandom collection. 

1. Coffee of Gilmore Girls, minimalist design, quotes and coffee! What more could you ask for?! 2. Gilmore Girl Gold Engraved Pencil Set, the perfect way to carry the show with you throughout the day. 3. In Omnia Paratus Poster, add a little GG to any room with this vintage style poster. 4. Coffee. Pizza. Gilmore Girls. Tee, this was gifted to me by my sweet sister-in law and is tried and true favorite. 

Anyone else out there a Gilmore Girls super fan? Do you have a TV show or movie that is your everything? Am I completely ridiculous?
 P.S. the answer is yes.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Mental Check

(Verily Mag)

I had to take a little mental check this week. I was going throughout my day, reacting to what was coming my way, and I this thought, "I don't think I am a very nice person." I have always prided myself in being an empathetic person. The key word there is prided. It was a source of pride. People have described me as sweet or thoughtful and I happily agreed. When I was having this mental check, I realized that on the surface I may appear sweet but my thoughts were quite the opposite. It was a little wake up call. I kept thinking of the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus talks about how it is not just our actions that count as sinful. The thoughts and intent of our heart condemn us as well. It was humbling but really, it was what I needed. Being faced with such a poor yet accurate picture of myself, I can truly rejoice in the grace of God. He sees the true me, with the flaws and sin, and still sent His son to die. 

Are you curious about spiritual things? Check out