Make every dollar count.

I saw this canvas at Kohl’s the other day and almost jumped at the chance to get it. After all, it was 50% off and I loved the inspirational saying. $15? I’ll take it!

I told myself, “This is just an impulse buy. Stick to what you came here for.” Just as the cashier was about to ring it up, I asked her to put it back for me.

Sticking to your financial goals makes it all worth it. Sure, it was only $15, but that $15 can be combined with the next $15 I save on the next (almost-impulse) buy I choose not to pursue.  All that saving can turn into waiting to buy something that you actually need or money that can be put away into a mutual bond to help you retire earlier.

They’re all little steps. But we all know every journey begins with a single step.

Oh yeah, and always stick to your shopping list. 😉

Job Hopping

I’m a job hopper.

After college, I couldn’t find a teaching job anywhere in IL, so I moved down to FL for two years. That was always the plan: two years and then I’d move back to Chicago.

So that’s what I did. I lived in FL for two years and moved right back in June after the school year ended…without a job lined up. Was that the smartest thing? No, it pretty much goes against the holy grail of switching jobs advice: don’t leave a job until you have secured a job somewhere else.

But, I was young and naïve and figured the world was my oyster, blah blah blah. Luckily, I received an offer in Chicago in July, so it worked out. But, that job only lasted a year because of cuts after our district had a strike.

So, I went looking for another job. I had an interview on my birthday and got the job. I’ve been at the same school for the past two years. Actually, that’s the longest I’ve been at any school.

I’ve taught for 5 years in 3 schools.

And now I’m looking for the next best thing. I mean, I’ve got my reasons: I want to live car(e)-free, which would save me $2,000-$3,000 a year. I would like to move somewhere with less expensive rent. Right now, I’m paying $825 a month, and that doesn’t even include the bills. All of this would mean moving to a school closer to where I am now.

Sometimes I wonder if job-hopping so much will hurt me in the long run. I haven’t been somewhere more than two years. But, remember, no one cares about your money more than you. So, if you see it as a good investment in the long run, the numbers make sense, and you are confident in  yourself and your abilities, then go for it! You will be glad you did.

Are you a job hopper?

I am a frugal road trip warrior.

Many of us have heard that THIS is the time to take a road trip, with gas averaging $2.76 across the country. My cousins and I are taking a road trip to Cedar Point for a few days next week. It’ll be my first time there. I’m excited!
Traveling is one of my passions. Although I love to travel, I make sure to do it in a frugal way whenever I can. There are a few things we have taken into consideration and agreed upon before going on the road trip to cut costs and still have an amazing time. Here are 3 of them.

1. We’re not staying at a swanky hotel. For me, as long as the hotel has at least 3 stars, I’m good. Really, the hotel is just a place to crash and put your stuff while you explore, so why pay so much for it? I realize some people love the brand names and are all about the luxury, but I like to save that for rare and special occasions. I’d rather spend my money on an experience outside the hotel.

2. We’ve each designated who is bringing what snack on the road trip so we don’t pull over and impulse shop our way through the next gas station or rest stop. This will keep our mouths and wallets happy. 🙂

3. Finally, we are maximizing our spending when we need to use a credit card. Right now, the Chase Freedom card is 5% cash back on any purchases at gas stations and Kohl’s from now through September. So, you bet your bottom dollar, I’ll be bustin’ out my Freedom card at each gas station we stop at!

One thing I’ve realized is nobody cares about your money as much as you do. Only you can make your money work for you.

What frugal road trip tips do you have?

My FP on PF (First Post on Personal Finance)

Welcome, personal finance friends!

I have been wanting to start my own PF blog for a while, and now I am actually doing it! Summer has freed up some time for me to start on my next great endeavor.

A little background information on me: I am a 26-year-old teacher with no debt, and I love personal finance! My goal with this blog is to pass on personal finance information I have learned and learn from you as we all embark on our own personal finance journeys.

I have lived in the great city of Chicago for the past 3 years. Although I love living in the city, the high rental prices are having me look at buying something in the near future.  I am also applying to different schools for this upcoming school year, so I can ditch my car while living in the city.

What made me start this blog is listening to family members and friends around me talk about their financial worries. Many of these people began to come to me for advice, so I wanted to share that financial knowledge in another way.

I also think I bring a different perspective to the table. A lot of personal finance bloggers are married or have a family and their net worth looks a bit different from mine, as they are a dual-income household. I’m a single lady (holla Beyonce!) living in the city, trying to reach my goal of becoming financially independent by the time I am 35.

Thanks for reading this and being a part of the beginning of what I know will be a great journey!