I’m going to go out on a limb here and make a broad generalization:

 

I bet that at some point in your life, you attempted to track your spending and/or stick to a budget.

 

bill-organizer

 

I feel like it’s just human nature! When our financial lives start to feel out of control, we make big plans to set ourselves on a budget or start tracking our money. Unfortunately, much of the time we end up giving up on those good financial habits before they become habit… but still. At some point, we attempt it.

 

So I want you to think back to the time(s) in your life (maybe even right now!!) when you were on a budget or tracking your money. How did it make you feel?

 

I’m here to tell you that I L-O-V-E the feeling of tracking my money. (yes, confession time: I don’t put myself on a budget very often… just when I reeeeally need to cut spending!)

 

Here’s why I love tracking my money (and occasionally sticking to budgets):

 

1. For that awesome feeling of ‘working’ for a purchase.

I love the feeling of deciding what fun purchases I want to make this month (new shoes, candles, clothes, makeup, etc) and preparing my finances for it. Whether it’s budgeting that money or just keeping my other expenses lower so that I can afford my ‘fun’ purchases… whatever I have to do, working for it makes that purchase SO much more rewarding!

 

 

2. It’s like training for a race.

I know a lot of you are runners so I’m going to use a running analogy. When I train for races, (you know, 2 years ago when I actually ran more than once a month) I’m totally that type A planner who prints out the training plan in calendar form so that I can see what workout I have to do every day, then cross those days off as I complete the workouts.

 

That’s kinda like tracking your money or budgeting. Every day as you log your purchases and monitor how much you’ve spent that month, it’s like you’re crossing off a ‘workout’. At the end of the month when you review how much you’ve spent and how much you’ve saved, it’s like you’re looking at your ‘training plan’ and seeing how far you’ve come.

 

I love that feeling of slowly chipping away at my goals and monitoring my progress. It’s so rewarding!

 

 

3. It keeps you grounded.

As 20-something women, social media is alive and well in our daily lives. Every single day we’re bombarded with pictures and status updates and links to the awesome stuff that our peers are buying. It normalizes high spending and makes us feel that we should be doing that, too.

 

But when you’re on a budget or tracking your money, you’re reminded every.single.day of your financial goals. You’re well aware of how much money you bring in each month, how much you spend, and how much you can save. Seeing a $500 purse might be tempting until you remember that it would completely blow all your numbers for this month and is definitely not worth it.

 

 

4. Your ‘spending guilt’ disappears.

When you’re tracking your money or budgeting, you know how much money you have to spend on ‘fun’ things throughout the month. So when an awesome deal on candles comes along, you know that you can take advantage of it without going broke. Be serious… when’s the last time you spent money with ZERO guilt? It’s a great feeling, let me tell ya ;)

 

 

5. You can Live Your Life {+ still save money!}

You saw this one coming, didn’t ya? ;) This is the ultimate dream– we all want to live our lives and still save money. And I’m here to tell you… it’s totally possible!

 

TODAY (!!!!!!!) is the official launch of my new Life Your Life {+ still save money!} program, including my brand new Mini-Coaching program!

 

live your life logo

 

Check out more information by clicking that big green button above! I would LOVE to have you join the Mini-Coaching program or Budget Coaching!! :)

 

 

Also– I’ll be sending out a special discount for the Mini-Coaching to my email list at 11am EST today… so be sure you’re signed up there to receive the deal! (click the big pink button below to sign up, or click this link)

stay connected join email list

 

 

 

 

Have you ever tracked your spending or put yourself on a budget?

 

In your opinion, what’s the best part of budgeting/tracking your money?

 

This week for our Gettin’ Nosy interview, I’m chatting with Paige from Healthy Hits the Spot!

 

BTW– want to catch up on old posts in this series?

 

I am super excited to interview Paige from Healthy Hits the Spot today. Paige is a Certified Holistic Health Coach and blogs about strategies and tips to help women get healthy without counting calories or resorting to diets. I LOVE her perspective on health because she’s all about only eating things that truly make you happy… mostly because it sounds a lot like my philosophy on only buying things that truly make you happy! ;)

 

She also offers one-on-one Health Coaching and just launched a new program called Finally Free, a virtual, self-paced guide to pleasurable weight loss, a renewed relationship to food, self-love, & lasting body freedom. The program is open until March 31, so you should totally check it out ASAP! (right after you read her interview here, of course!!)

 

gettin nosy paige healthy hits the spot

 

1. I LOVE learning tips & tricks that can help me to save more money. What is the best financial tip you’ve ever heard?

Creating a comfortable budget. Which means, create a budget that is minimal, and comfortable for you. As you start to make more money, stay within your comfortable budget instead of making more and spending more. This is when saving really gets fun! I am all about experiences > things, & there are SO many fun, free things that you can do!

 

2. What is your proudest financial moment? 

For sure paying off my new Prius really early! This felt SO good!

 

 

3. Prioritizing your spending so that you spend money on things that truly make you happy is something that I think is SO important. What are some things that make you ridiculously happy and you feel zero guilt spending money on?

Oh my. I love this question! The things that truly bring me joy are: fancy coffee that is high quality and tastes amazing & a cute, new coffee mug that makes me feel happy every time I see it. Also, I think going out to eat/on coffee dates is SO fun, so I don’t feel guilty about spending money there either (within our budget). I also LOVE vacations. Vacations are SO worth it. They give me memories, help me to feel refreshed, fulfilled, and feed my soul.

 

 

4. On the flip side, what things do you try NOT to spend money on?

Hmm… I’d have to say clothes? I always remember that things only feel new for a moment, and then they just feel like everything else you own. I have a “fun budget” each month, that rolls over each time I don’t spend all of it. So, within this budget, I allow myself to have fun and buy clothes if I’d like. But, mostly, I just experiment with creating new, fun outfits with what I already own & I try to repeatedly wear everything in my closet once before wearing something twice. Whatever I don’t wear each time, I donate to keep my closest more minimal & fresh.

 

 

5. I’m big on setting financial goals. I think it’s hard to progress in our financial life if we aren’t really sure what we’re working towards. What are your current financial goals?

The amount of income I’d like to make is private, but I definitely set a goal that feels good and also is a challenge. It motivates me. I am most motivated by the amount of women that I’d like to help. So, I usually think things like “this year, I’d like to help 100 new women with my Health Coaching.” My Husband and I always save at least 10% of our income, & usually more. So in that sense, we have a financial goal of saving. We also have goals of being simplistic, and setting up savings that will allow us to have major flexibility. We would LOVE to buy a trailer and travel for a while!

 

 

Thank you so much, Paige, for letting me interview you!!

Now everyone should go check out her blog and the Finally Free program, and get a copy of her FREE 30 Days to Loving Yourself calendar on her blog :) Also, you can keep up with her on Instagram and Facebook! :)

 

 

Have you ever done a ‘closet challenge’ like Paige talked about, where you have to wear everything once before you can wear something again?

I have not but I think that’s something I should probably try! I definitely have a few favorite items and barely wear anything else… oops :)

 

 

First: Are you signed up for my email list yet?

 

live your life logo

I’m going to be sending out a special deal on my new Live Your Life {+still save money!} Mini-Coaching program to my email subscribers this week!! Woooo! :) So sign up here to be sure you receive the deal!

 

 

Second: How was your weekend? Mine was pretty good!

 

celestial-seasonings-strawberry-champagne

I FINALLY FOUND THE NEW CELESTIAL SEASONINGS TEAS AT TARGET! If you’re searching for them in your store: look everywhere except the tea aisle. Ours were not even close to the other teas. It was on a random display at the end of an aisle (but like, in the aisle) across from the oatmeal?! Such a weird place to have them and basically impossible to find. I just happened to stumble across them after already giving up, haha. Anywayy… this strawberry champagne one is good! Unsurprisingly, it basically just tastes like strawberry black tea. But it’s good!

 

 

forge-brew-works-tasting

Also, Mike and I hit up 2 new breweries in our area! They were both awesome.

 

 

shoppers-donut-st-pattys

And then I forced him to stop for donuts… the colossal ones from Shoppers. mmmmm. Side note: if you have a craving for donuts (and aren’t particular about where you get them) you should totally hit up a grocery store! These were GIGANTIC and only $0.69/donut. If we had gone to Dunkin’ Donuts (which was literally next door) we would have paid $0.99/donut for ones like, half the size. #NOTsavingmoneyinyourtwenties

 

Also I just realized that we got a St. Patty’s donut 5 days after St. Patty’s day… I’m going to hope these were made fresh yesterday and hadn’t just been sitting out for 5 days.. yikes

 

 

Third: I’m continuing to go through survey responses from new email subscribers (see, if you sign up for my email list, you can fill out these answers, too! ;) ) and found another response that inspired a post. In the survey, I ask, “What is your biggest frustration/concern regarding your finances right now?”

 

The response that really interested me was:

“I recently moved back home to save money so I can buy a house, but I since that goal is so far off, I think I am spending more on clothes and other novelties than I was before, since I have more “disposable” income.”

— Victoria

 

Here are my thoughts on this dilemma:

 

1 // Track your money. Duh.

This will surprise approximately no one but here’s my biggest answer to this:  Track your money!!! I know, I seriously say this all the time, but I say it for a reason. It’s the best thing you can do for your finances!

 

I do understand where you’re coming from; it’s hard to have so much disposable income because it’s just so tempting to spend it on minor things. But tracking your money and reviewing how much you spent at the end of the month will show you just how much money is going towards things like clothes and other novelties, and that will probably be enough to scare you into shaping up :)

 

(but actually, Victoria does track her income so we need to move on to some heavier duty tactics!!)

 

 

2 // Mini-goals.

My second suggestion is to set mini-goals for yourself. Make sure they’re challenging, but not so challenging that you won’t be able to accomplish them.

 

Let’s say you’re trying to save $20,000 in the next two years. $20,000/24 months = $833 per month.

 

Now stop paying attention to that big $20,000 goal. Just focus on a monthly goal of $833. I find it’s much easier to achieve goals when they’re smaller and for a shorter time period.

 

Or you can break the big goal into smaller chunks and focus on those as individual steps. So just focus on saving the first $5,000 at this point. Once that’s completed, focus on saving another $5,000.

 

 

3 // Bribe yourself.

Set a reward for achieving that mini-goal for a certain time period. So, for example, if you achieve the goal of saving $833 each month for 4 months in a row, or you reach your $5,000 mini-goal, promise yourself some sort of reward (cheap/free, preferably, so you don’t completely derail your good spending habits).

 

Make it something that really excites you and keeps you on track for those 4 months. Examples: spending a day in Barnes & Noble reading whatever you want with coffee and no time limit; $20 to spend however you wish at Target; a day to binge watch whatever you want on Netflix without feeling like a bum (you earned it, after all!); a trip to your favorite brewery and a really big, possibly 5-day-old donut from Shoppers (ahem… see above); etc. Whatever makes you happy and would keep you on track to accomplish your goals.

 

 

4 // BUDGET! No, but really.

The final thing I would suggest is putting yourself on a budget (oh heyyyy, I can help with that!!), so that you really stick to your desired spending levels and have enough left each month to put into savings for your goal. But be sure that your budget isn’t unrealistic. Leave enough money for “fun” things each month, because cutting fun out of your life is an almost guarantee that you will NOT accomplish your goals (and will instead go off the deep end with your spending because you’ve felt so deprived).

 

After all, you’ve got to Live Your Life {+still save money!} muahaha I’m going to work that into like, every post EVER from now on :)

 

Oh, and did I mention that Budget Coaching inclues a lil’ something I like to call the “Savings Tracker” to keep yourself on track as you save up for big goals? Yup. It does. Also a “Debt Repayment Tracker” to keep yourself on track as you pay off big things. You’re welcome :)

 

 

 

How do you handle disposable income?

Are you tempted to spend it all instead of putting it towards your goals?

 

First things first: next week I’m going to be sending out information (and a special deal!) on my new Live Your Life {+still save money!} mini-coaching program. Make sure you’re signed up on my email list so you don’t miss out! :)

 

 

life-your-life-planning

This is what my desk has looked like for the past week as I brainstorm and work on the new program :) I found that I’m SO much more productive when I write things out on actual paper rather than on the computer!

 

 

ALSOOOOOO today is the first day of spring AKA Free Italian Ice day at Rita’s!! (12pm-9pm) Hopefully you have a Rita’s near you so that you can take advantage:)

 

 

Anyway. Onto the main point of this post. A few weeks ago, Mike and I were cooking dinner and opened a pack of chicken to find a little piece of metal (??!!) sitting on top of one of the chicken breasts.

 

chicken marsala broccoli

Not the chicken in question, but I didn’t want to start your Friday morning with a picture of raw chicken. So here’s a picture of chicken marsala. mmmmm

 

It was a weird discovery, but we weren’t really bothered by it. It was just chillin’ on top of the chicken and looked harmless. We were about to pick it off and throw it away when I stopped and realized that maybe we should take a picture so that we could tell the grocery store. So I snapped a picture and we threw the piece away and cooked the chicken. No biggie.

 

Honestly I wasn’t even expecting any sort of compensation or reimbursement by telling the store about it– I mean we used the chicken anyway so it’s not like we lost any money from this. I really just wanted the store to know that somewhere in their production process, metal pieces are falling into the food. Probably not a good thing, haha. And yes of course I was hoping for money but not expecting it. If that makes sense.

 

So I filled out their online customer service form with the information and the picture we took. They responded thanking us, and ended up sending a $30 check (!!!!!) for our trouble. Considering the original chicken purchase was somewhere around $12-13, I’d say this was a great success.

 

baked-nachos

Also not the chicken in question, but there’s too much text in this post and too few pictures. How good do these baked nachos look?! We need to make these again ASAP.

 

Sometimes it doesn’t occur to me to tell companies about things like this {remember this post when I talked about how I don’t like confrontation in situations like this?} but we really SHOULD! I mean, if I was the boss of that grocery store I would definitely WANT to know that something wonky is happening somewhere in the production line because uhhh hello if someone ingested a piece of metal the inevitable lawsuit would end up being much larger than $30, haha.

 

So today’s lesson is this: always take opportunities to give companies feedback! They just might thank you for it by sending you some money. And even if they don’t, just look at it as good karma and you’ll get repaid some other way :)

 

 

PS– I know I’ve promised you this hair cutting video like 15 times in the past week BUT I kinda want to remake the video because the first one wasn’t that helpful. So give me a bit longer and I promise I will post about it as soon as I have a coherent/helpful vid :) But I promise, it’s totally worth the wait. I really, really like my hair cut!!

 

 

Do you let companies know when something weird happened with your purchase?

If so… have you ever gotten money back for it?

 

Soooo for today’s post I want to give you a little peak into my brain and what went on behind the scenes when I was coming up with the idea for my new project! (still so excited gahhhhh!!!)

 

But first. Some random life updates because I like sharing:

 

 

st-patty-green-beer

Last night (and by ‘last night’ I mean 5:30-7pm… we’re old) we celebrated St. Patty’s at a bar drinking green beer. It was very festive. Also I got to try Guinness Blonde (finally!!!) It was pretty good but I think Mike described the taste best: “it tastes like a light beer, but with more flavor.”

 

 

Also. You know those little “Val-pak” mailers of coupons that come in the mail every once in awhile? Basically its just coupons for local businesses. We have been keeping an eye out for good car wash coupons because we figure we should probably get a good car wash to get our cars cleaned off from the past year of Rochester road salt. We found some pretty sweet coupons for 50% off a car wash at our local Shell!

 

car-wash

I used the coupon on Monday to get a $6 car wash (usually $12). Winner! Now cross your fingers that it doesn’t snow any more so my car can stay clean, haha.

 

 

Then we headed over to Dairy Queen to take advantage of their free cone day (I know, I’m sorry I let you guys down by not mentioning it in my Monday morning post! Hopefully you saw it on my Instagram in the afternoon and went to get one! :) )

 

free-dairy-queen-2015

How beautiful and perfect and delicious does that look?! PS– It took so much restraint to NOT immediately dig in to the cone but instead carry it all the way back to the table to take a picture :)

 

 

Also this weekend we celebrated St. Patty’s (St. Paddy’s? which do you say?) & Pi day at our friends’ house and Mike and I brought green pies to celebrate both holidays!

 

frozen-limeade-pie

My mom used to make this awesome frozen lemonade pie back in the day and I wanted to make that for the party. She couldn’t find her original recipe but we think it was basically like this recipe. To keep with the St. Patty’s theme, I substituted limeade concentrate (instead of lemon) and added green food coloring. It was awesome!

 

 

Okay now on to the peek inside my brain…

 

Soooo the first part of my exciting project idea from last week is that I’ve come up with the PERFECT overarching title for all my coaching programs and products —->

 

live your life logo

 

Check out the video below where I explain how I got to this epiphany and explain more about what programs will be included :)

 

{if it’s not working, click here to watch the video in YouTube}
 

Basically, here’s how it’s going to work. The Live Your Life {+still save money!} title will encompass ALL of my programs, present and future. I like it because it just describes SO PERFECTLY what I want people to achieve with my programs. Literally… I want you to live your life, and I also want you to save money :)

 

So at the moment, it will include the Budget Coaching program… but in a few weeks, it will also include a new Mini-Coaching program! (the second thing I’m super excited about!!!)

 

The Mini-Coaching program will be only 1 month long (rather than the 3 months for Budget Coaching) and will basically be a quick little kick start to get you back on the right financial path. You’ll get all my financial tools (money tracking sheets, monthly review instructions, debt repayment tracker, etc) plus I’ll hold your hand and guide you through my financial tracking process for a month, and then provide you with my recommendations on what you should do next/where you might cut spending/etc.

 

I like to think of it this way: Budget Coaching is a total revamp of your financial life over the course of 3 months. But if you just want a one month kick start to get you back on track, Mini-Coaching is for you.

 

So take a look at the video above where I explain more (it’s less than 7 mins; not too long) and make sure you’re signed up on my email list so you get news of when the new Mini-Coaching program is launching! Oh, and there miiiiight even be a special deal for email subscribers, too ;)

 

 

 

How did you celebrate St. Patty’s?