Going into my first year of college, I did what I thought was the most responsible thing I could with my finances. I established my credit with a secured credit card at my family’s bank and officially started my financial journey. However, that same summer I applied and received my first store credit card with Victoria’s Secret. Over the next few years I signed up for card after card, building my wardrobe and my chic style on borrowed money! 😬
By the time I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree, I realized that I took on so much debt that it was crippling my spending. I was forced to create a very strict budget on my college student income resulting in $20 in spending money bi-weekly! The only BIG thing I was able to afford was my dues for pledging Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. during my sophomore year.
I immediately went to graduate school after undergrad, so my income didn’t drastically increase to make a dent in my credit card payments. So, I got crafty! While in grad school, I experimented with different budgeting systems and came up with a solid “zero sum” budget that allowed me to incorporate more spending money into my budget, and fully afford splurges like trips to Orlando, Austin, and Orange County in one year.
As a result, I published the Basic Budgeting Strategies using Google Sheets course which is now available as an easy to follow eBook.
In 2018 I consolidated my credit card debt and started to make progress! However, saving for a 2019 wedding, competing in a pageant, and moving cross country really took a toll on my budget. At this point I went back to the drawing board and further refined my budget. I allocated every single penny and logged every single transaction in my life to maintain complete control. I was able to prioritize major events and long-term goals, but I sacrificed lots of my financial freedom and splurges like traveling.
After experiencing a home purchase AND sale, plus two cross country moves (MKE ✈ Dallas ✈ Seattle), I finally cracked the code to my perfect budgeting system! I now toss the budget out of the window 🤯 but intuitively keep tabs on my money. I still glance at my bank accounts daily, and I even pay most of my bills manually (I can’t let go of wanting control). I intentionally spend less time with my money these days but I’m still saving aggressively, investing automatically, and spending freely. Over the years I’ve learned to be more abundant with my mindset and allow my chic lifestyle to lead the way!
These days, I help other millennial women get ahold of their personal finances to find peace with their situation, overcome paycheck to paycheck living, and find ways to even increase their earning potential.
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