Is anyone else confused at how it is already 2022?! Growing up, I always felt that the years were so much longer. However, the older I get the more I realize how quickly each day goes by. I began my career at the credit union when I was young and fresh out of college. Now, I am in my late 20’s and my back pops when I bend over! I only go out for drinks maybe once a quarter, and the other day I got overly excited at the grocery store when they had a deal on sweet potatoes. Either I am aging rapidly, or life is just flying by.
Because life is going by so quickly, I want to make sure that I make the best out of the time that I have. One way of doing this is by taking full advantage of the New Year! While it may be cliché to some, the start of a new year represents a clean slate, which is why it’s so popular to make New Year resolutions. Some of my reasonable resolutions will be in the categories of my career, hobbies and personal growth, all of which I have control over. However, I have also established financial goals for myself and those are much bigger!
I want to take control of my financial situation and pay off my student loans. It will help me be able to reach my other financial goals sooner. I want to become a homeowner and by paying off my loan, my debt-to-income ratio will improve! This can help me qualify for funding, like a mortgage.
I am aware that I am lucky to live with my parents in order to save enough money to pay off my loans. However, this isn’t the case for everyone. If you’re struggling with your loans, check out my College Loans blog for helpful tips and tricks to pay off your student loans faster!
I think it was quite evident during the “No Spend Challenge” that I am not great at sticking to a budget and saving my money. For 2022, I don’t want to quit shopping cold turkey because I realize that it does make me happy. However, I want to create a realistic budget for how much I will spend. It may not be my most exciting resolution in 2022 but it is an essential step on the road to managing my money.
This is my biggest goal of 2022. Buying a home is a serious financial commitment and one of the biggest purchases that I will make in my lifetime! Being well prepared and understanding the home buying process will make sure that I can meet those commitments.
For starters, I need to make sure I have a comfortable amount to cover a down payment and closing costs. (This is not a necessary step for all! Many places have first-time homebuyer programs that can help get you into your first home despite low credit and a lower down payment.) I also want to have extra money set aside for unexpected expenses that might arise.
As mentioned in my first goal, paying off debt can be a huge factor toward becoming a homeowner and may make it easier to qualify for a home loan. Mortgage lenders put a limit on the total percentage of debt payments, including the new mortgage, compared to income. As a bonus, having one less thing to pay for can help cover the other expenses of life and homeownership!
2022 is right around the corner and while you maybe haven’t had much luck with keeping your New Year’s resolutions in the past – it’s never too late to turn over a new leaf! I feel pretty excited to work hard toward the goals that I’ve set for myself to help bring my 2022 self into a better place than my 2020-21 self has been in. If you’re also up for the challenge, then let’s get started and have some fun!
Category: Budgeting & Debt Reduction
You just got home from your beach vacation. Instead of unpacking, you spend hours scrolling through photos reminiscing about your time away. But then reality sets in when you realize it is Sunday night and you have to work the next day. Your stomach grumbles but the fridge is empty because you haven't been grocery shopping for 2 weeks.
It is officially summertime, you’ve put in the request for some time off at work and you’re ready for some much needed R&R! You finally start to plan out your vacation getaway, and then… you see that the expenses are adding up quickly. The last thing you want is to arrive at your destination and realize you’re out of money. So how do you plan a vacation without overspending, that also fits your budget?!
Spring is finally upon us! While most people are thinking about spring cleaning their homes, it is equally as important to think about cleaning your finances. Yes, just like that one crinkled shirt hidden in the depths of your closet that you promise “you will wear one day” – your finances need some reevaluating, too! So, where do we even start? Here are a few tips and tricks to start spring cleaning your finances:
Before we start, I already know what you’re thinking, “Olivia, you’re not good at saving money. Is this going to be a huge flop like the ’No Spend November‘ challenge?” And my answer: potentially. I always do my best to be transparent when it comes to money… and I am a work in progress! I cannot guarantee this spending plan is going to be my “a-ha moment” where I get my life and finances together, but it is worth a shot!
Ah, February – the month where love is in the air and, for us single folk, it is the month where we get amazing deals on post-Valentine’s Day chocolates. In February, relationships are celebrated with romantic dinners and roses, however, there is an important relationship that often goes uncelebrated – your relationship with yourself!
When you’re 25 years old, retirement seems so far away. Even though I have at least 40 more years in the work force (sigh) I still know that one day I am going to be burnt out from working 5 days a week- I already am! Eventually, I’ll need to stop working as hard as I am now to enjoy some relaxation except I can’t get to that point if I run out of money prematurely.
When my mom was growing up, my grandparents would pull off the clown car illusion of stuffing every neighborhood kid into their car to go get an ice cream cone every Friday night. There were days when my grandparents had only a couple dollars in their pockets, yet, they never turned anyone down.
The painful truth for most people my age- we have no clue how to file taxes. And what do you do when you have no clue how to do something? Ask your parents!
When I was 10 years old, I envisioned that by age 23 I would be an “adult.” I’d be married and living in a colonial home that I’d raise my family in. Fast forward 16 years. At 26 years old, I am not married, I still live at home with my parents and I couldn’t imagine having kids of my own right now. It seems laughable now but how did my 10 year old vision change so drastically over the years?
Is anyone else confused at how it is already 2022?! Growing up, I always felt that the years were so much longer. However, the older I get the more I realize how quickly each day goes by. I began my career at the credit union when I was young and fresh out of college. Now, I am in my late 20’s and my back pops when I bend over!
Hi my name is Olivia and I am a total clothes horse. I buy for a mixture of reasons, including being a spin instructor so always “needing” new workout sets or severely overestimating the amount of times I go outside my house. In reality, I wear the same t-shirt and sweatpants every day (yay for working from home!). Essentially, I have spent so much on clothes that my bedroom has started to look like a TJ Maxx popup shop.
At one point in my post-grad career, I had to temporarily switch to an Income-Sensitive Repayment Plan. This option stipulated that the loan payments were going to be based on my annual income. I was only on this plan for about one year but I was paying almost $200 less than what my regular payments were supposed to be.
When I was young, I was gifted the coolest plastic safe. It was deep grey with a bright purple handle that you would spin to open and it had clinking sound effects whenever you opened the safe and deposited money. Since this was before I had a savings account, I threw all of my money in there until it would all fall out when I opened the safe.
According to a survey from CreditCards.com, “47% of Americans are carrying credit card debt.” This statistic would make my grandfather furious if he heard it. He would often say to me, “Vivi, the world started to go downhill once they introduced plastic money!” Following my grandfather’s testament to the downfall of society, he would then tell me the story of how he used to always leave a wad of cash in his work locker for emergencies.
If you’ve been a regular reader of the ThinkPink blog series, you should be well-versed on the importance of a budget. When it comes to saving money and having a plan, a budget is one of the best ways to take control of your finances and reach your financial goals. However, I’ve found that following through with a plan can be cumbersome and while there may be momentum in the beginning, eventually it fizzles out before a goal is even reached. Why is that?
For some readers, the No Spend Challenge could be done with ease and that is awesome! For me, a No Spend Challenge is difficult. It is especially hard when participating during the month of November. Let’s cue the smallest violin here, again. For starters, every store is now fully stocked with their transitional fall into winter pieces, which is arguably the best season for creating outfits.
When you graduate from college, one of the first things that you start to save toward is getting your own place. You just lived on your own for 4 years and had that taste of “freedom.” You could go about as you pleased without having to tell your parents where you were going at 11:00 pm. And if your diet consisted of late-night pizza and mozzarella sticks then so be it. College is essentially a 4-year long sleepover with your closest friends but then one day it ends and before you know it you are back in your bedroom at home.
Since starting this blog in 2020, we've covered a wide range of topics. It has been fun doing deep dives into the world of personal finance. All this big thinking, though, can cause us to gloss over basic financial principles.