Things I’m Looking Forward To At FinCon

I started my blogging journey in 2009 when I was a broke college student. The very first blogs I had ever started reading were Fashionably Broke In The City, Well-Heeled and Give Me Back My Five Bucks.  At the time, I was trying to make better financial decisions and had recently gotten into personal blogging, so it just seemed like the right fit. Although I didn’t attend the very first FinCon in Chicago, I’ve made it a real point to be at all of the other ones ever since and I am so glad that I’ll be going to New Orleans in a couple of days for FinCon 14. What am I most excited about?

  • The energy. If there is one thing I am most excited about, it’s the energy I always feel at FinCon. It’s amazing to connect with so many like minded people in one room at one time and to bounce ideas off of each other and get creative feedback. Motivation, ideas and creativity are definitely not in short supply at this conference which I appreciate the most. The conference has amazing keynotes this year and I’m definitely most excited about my personal mentoring session with Dr. Daniel Crosby through the Bloggers Helping Bloggers mentoring session that will take place on Saturday.
  • The people. Not only have I met other bloggers, I’ve made relationships with other bloggers as well. I’ve gone on vacations with other bloggers and stayed at their homes. I even started dating another personal finance blogger earlier this year and there is no way I ever would have met him if we both hadn’t blogged. Besides building personal relationships, I’ve also start professional ones as well and have gotten writing & social media gigs over the years by networking at this conference. Huge bonus to me and my growing online business!
  • The Plutus Awards. I’m the social extraordinaire for the Plutus Awards this year and it’s something that I take pride in! Not only have I done the social media this year but I’ve also planned the Happy Hour that takes place right after the awards. Last year I planned the Plutus Awards After Party in St. Louis and we had a blast. One of the last social events of the year, we’ll be catching up, exchanging contact info and congratulating this years winners!
  • New Orleans. I’ve always wanted to see The Big Easy and I am so happy that this year required me to travel there by default. I’ll be arriving a day early to explore as well as staying a few days later. Not only am I hoping to soak up the culture, I’m also a big sightseeing buff so you know I’ll be touring the French quarter, stopping by Pat O’s to listen to the dueling pianos and seeing a cemetery or two. I can’t wait!

If you’re going to FinCon, what are you most excited about?

 

Dating Myself – My Quest To Enjoy Alone Time

In order to be nicer to myself, and not suffer from exhaustion like I did a week ago, I decided to take the weekend off from civilization. I had gotten back from New Jersey earlier in the week, and while I wasn’t exhausted by any means and had tons of fun, I didn’t have my usual time by myself to prep for the week. Not prepping for the week made me feel rushed so I decided to have a time out. My self-proposed time out was also to keep me from spending money since I am going to NOLA for a week. So I need to save all the money so I can enjoy myself in New Orleans. At least, that’s what I told myself.

On Friday night, I went to happy hour after hitting the gym and hung out with my friends for a few hours before going home. Friday nights I’m usually exhausted anyways so I was happy to watch some Netflix before passing out. Saturday I woke up early and decided to take a long shower before hitting the library. After reading for hours and finishing two books, I started cleaning and doing laundry. And then in between switching loads, I wondered over onto social media to see what everyone was doing. And then my FOMO kicked in hardcore. It seemed like everyone and their mom was doing something fun this weekend except me. Festivals, birthday parties, dinners, date nights, you name it and they were out doing it. :( What do you think I did? Threw myself a big pity party, that’s what I did. And I ended up throwing out my back while cleaning so I ended up passing out early anyways due to meds. But still.

I am my own worst critic. I know that there are going to be weekends when I am hanging out by myself alone. I actually am starting to like alone time, when I’m not faced with hours and days of it. So, I decided I needed to start keeping a list of things I can do by myself that don’t involve throwing myself pity parties. And I decided that I am going on a social media timeout. Social media can trigger my depression and anxiety with FOMO for some odd reason and I don’t need that in my life. So, I’m going to start dating myself on the weekends when I’m by myself, just to show myself how good alone time can really be. You never know the windy roads of life and I might not have it much longer.

What are your favorite things to do alone? Are any of you dating yourself aka enjoying alone time?

 

September Goals & Budget

Last month I turned 29, went back to school, got a new staff writing gig and traveled out of the state twice! Since I was so busy, yet still successful on the goals front, I wanted to keep the momentum going. This month I’ll be going to FinCon and will be actually spending a week in NOLA. I am so excited about visiting this city and seeing everyone again, not to mention I’ll be throwing the Plutus Awards Happy Hour on September 20th. Please make sure to say hi and to follow the @PlutusAwards on Twitter, where I give daily updates and interact with bloggers! With that being said, on to the goals.

  • Be nice to myself. Being in school full-time while working full-time has been…an adjustment. Last week, I was so exhausted that I called my boyfriend and M and vented about how tired I was and how I wasn’t sure if I could keep on. Both were supportive and reminded me of my goals so that helped a lot. And so did a good night of sleep, so I’m not ready to throw in the towel just yet. I’m just amazed at how much I can fit in my schedule and I need to be nicer to myself on days I’m tired and fatigued. I suffer from chronic asthma which affects my energy levels and I need to remember that. It doesn’t hold me back 98% of the time, except days when I have burnout. I need to remember to be nice to myself.
  • Do all of my September homework before FinCon. I wrote down a list of everything due this month, along with said due dates and I want to have all of it done before New Orleans so I can really enjoy my vacation and time away. At first, I got overwhelmed but I know that if I just do a bit each day, I can really get everything done, and not worry. I also want to have all of my freelance work done by the middle of the month as well. A week free of commitments sounds right up my alley! Well, I’ll have commitments at FinCon, so it would be nice to just worry about those.
  • Save $500/ Make an additional $1,000 - I am getting my own apartment in January so I am trying to save as much as I can between now and then. In a perfect world, I’d have $2,000 saved up which would mean $500 a month between now and January. I know I don’t necessarily need $2,000, but, I would really really like to purchase a nice comfortable couch to do my homework on. I have bedroom furniture but not a couch. I also don’t have anything for a house after moving so much in the past two years so I need to buy stuff for my bathroom, kitchen, etc. Also, the more money I can make, the more money I’ll have towards my house fund so that’s definitely something to keep me motivated.

That’s it. I will have a daily goals/ to do list, to help me accomplish all of these things, mainly school and side hustle. I’m going to try to do two things per day in regards to these goals to see if that makes a genuine difference.

In order to ensure I work on my house fund AND chart my spending, I worked on a real life, flexible budget. Usually, I would just tell myself I have X amount of dollars to work with and would make it until payday. But, that’s not working anymore. As you grow, stuff no longer works and that’s the beauty of being a grown up. You can do whatever you want. So, my new budget consists of four categories for me to track-  living expenses, transportation, health and variable. Living, transportation and health are my bare bones budget items. I really debated about putting an amount to household items as well as hygiene products but I really feel that those aren’t negotiable. I need to be clean and I need to be able to clean my house as well as buy toilet paper.  But, variable is just all of the extra stuff that’s  fun.

Living Expenses 

  • Rent $325 ( I rent a room!)
  • Utilities $35
  • Household Items $20
  • Groceries $150
  • Phone + Internet $90

Health Insurance 

  • Braces $210
  • Chiropractor $40
  • Dentist $50 ( copay for filling)
  • Prescriptions $30
  • Insurance $117
  • Gym $20
  • Hygiene $25
  • Therapy $140

Transportation

  • Insurance $130
  • Gas $150
  • Maintenance $50 ( oil change)
  • Parking $50 ( no free parking at ASU :( )

Variable/ Misc

  • FinCon $600 ( NOLA is pricey!)
  • New Jersey $100
  • Entertainment $25
  • Dining Out/ Coffee / Alcohol $50
  • Beauty $25

*This doesn’t include any of my savings, just my predicted spending. *

What do your goals and budget look like this month?

August Goals Recap!

 

A tantalizing game of chess!

A tantalizing game of chess!

Happy Labor Day! I’m back from a quick whirlwind trip to the east coast. My boyfriend and I decided to take advantage of my three day weekend to fly me to the east coast and tour the Grounds For Sculpture show in New Jersey this past week. I will be doing a review later this week to showcase some highlights in a new installment in my “Places To Visit” series  so stay tuned! Besides Grounds For Sculpture, we did totally normal couple things, like watch movies and make dinner together. Being in a LDR, it’s easy to always seem like you’re vacationing but I think these everyday things are normal to incorporate as well. He also helped me with my homework, in which during the process we found out my great great grandparents had 17 kids! :O

On ward with the August goals recap, shall we?

  • Have a fun birthday in Las Vegas! PASS! I had the best birthday weekend ever in Vegas. I was sad because three days before my birthday I had found out my grandfather passed away but I still celebrated my birthday in honor of him because that’s what he would have wanted. Also, the boy got to meet my besties in Vegas and my padre!
  • Do not spend any money eating out unless it’s my birthday weekend/ trip! PASS! I’ve been really good about eating in this month so please excuse me while I pat myself on the back! I have packed my lunch everyday and have even figured out how to have a 12-13 hour day without starving to death!
  • Go to the dentist. Ugh. PASS. I did go to the dentist because I ended up needing a root canal but I also have my cleaning done so pass. Good news? I’ll be getting my braces off hopefully by Christmas!
  • Make sure everything is ready to go for school! PASS. Everything was good to go and went smoothly!
  • Have a good first week back at school! PASS. I had an excellent first week back and so far, I’ve been on top of it besides one pesky essay I didn’t notice. However, I suffered from exhaustion last week so I need to be mindful of that. Having chronic asthma, I really need to be conscious of my energy levels and be more proactive with my health. Yes, I said more.
  • Launch my new site off the ground. FAIL. I would really like to do but I have a lot of other things currently in the air so we’ll see.
  • Make an additional $1,000 FAIL I didn’t make this amount BUT I got another staff writing gig which I’ll be announcing soon. And if anyone is looking for a staff writer/ VA/ social media manager, please let me know!
  • Save $500 ( more on this later) PASS. My emergency fund is looking a lot better so I am keeping my fingers crossed that I can continue to save.

Next month will really be about keeping my life on track while maintaining everything that’s going on. I’ll be posting my September goals tomorrow!

How did you do this month?