Preparation Is My Financial Empowerment

The following blog post is part of The Road to Financial Wellness blog tour. The Road to Financial Wellness is a three-month, grassroots campaign promoting financial empowerment on a national level and encourages people to pursue their dream lifestyle. Find out more about local events near you

preparation is my financial empowerment

Since embarking on my personal finance journey, I always credited two events as my rock bottom. One I actually learned from and that was not being able to pay for a semester of school at a community college. My FAFSA wouldn’t go through and it was less than a month to the starting of school. It was $900, I worked part-time and had maybe $50 to my name. I was 23 years old.

Since starting my financial journey, and blogging in some shape or form over the years, I’ve had highs and lows. I’ve had thousands stashed away and sometimes, I was living paycheck to paycheck. Although I think I have a grasp on things now, I feel like I never know what’s around the corner, and that is me being brutally honest with you. At any time, you could lose your job, get in a car crash or have a close family member die unexpectedly. And I can tell you these things happen because they have all happened to me and set me back financially, emotionally and physically.

But, what I can also tell you is that you can try to prepare, like I am doing now. Actually, my twenties have felt like a whole lot of preparation and it’s the times I stop that things go south. When I take time to actually budget my paycheck, I usually have an amount leftover for my goals versus not knowing where my money went. When I take time to prepare my day the night before, I’m usually not so rushed and grouchy the next day. And when I made the financial decision to go back to school, I knew two years of hard work was going to prepare me for the next step of my entrance in the workforce and in my life.

Preparation is the way I’ve been able to financially empower myself and it comes from within. I can’t stop bad things from happening to me but I can prepare and empower myself in whatever way I can. I can work on having a healthy savings account and remind myself why it’s imperative when I would much rather go out to eat and not warm up leftovers. I can go back to school and work on my skill set when I would rather just be comfortable. And, I can let myself feel my feelings when I would rather go shopping as most recovering spenders would and talk to my therapist instead.

Financial empowerment is about finding something inside you that empowers you to financially take on the world. Preparation is mine. What’s yours?


Latina Money Hack- Head To The Dollar Store!

Since making the decision to live on my own, I’ve had to work and rework my budget numerous times. Your budget is a living, breathing document that is supposed to be flexible to accommodate your life on your terms. So, it makes sense that I would work and rework to help me create the life I want to live.

One of the ways I’ve saved is by creating money hacks, which is a new series I’m happy to start sharing with you. And our first Latina Money Hack is… The Dollar Store!

Latina Money SaVing hack- Dollar store.

Why the dollar store? 
I myself used to be a snob and not realize the ultimate wonderfulness of the dollar store. I was always quick to run to Target instead to buy everyday items I needed until I decided to get my first apartment. My friend Briana told me to stop by the dollar store to stock up on cleaning items for my new pad and once I was there, I was amazed at what you were actually able to buy. Besides going to the dollar store for quick party items, needless to say, I wasn’t really taking advantage of all the things I could be buying to get my casa in shape!

Cleaning, Household and Kitchen Items
You can get anything at the dollar store but I really like stopping by now for stuff for my casa. Here, I can snap up garbage bags, comet powder, comet bathroom spray and sponges for less than big box store prices, because everything is a dollar. I can also grab random stuff for my kitchen like wooden spoons, a spatula, measuring cups and spoons, along with serving size Tupperware for packing my lunch. Since I also don’t print pictures all the time, when I do happen to have a special picture I can just grab one individually. The dollar store even has some pretty cute home decor items and kitchen towels and mats for, you guessed it, a dollar.

My Girl Likes Party Items All The Time
Anyone who knows me knows the importance I give when throwing or celebrating a special event. Since my current position at a non-profit enables me to throw celebrations but needs me to stay on a budget, I love hitting up the dollar store for this. Along with seasonal decorations that coordinate to a holiday, you can also find graduation swag along with fun items for Mardi Gras and weddings. I also enjoy stocking up on balloon weights which look cute as centerpieces along with fun items to decorate tables with, such as bubbles or confetti and dinner mints. And for gift giving, you can’t beat the gift bag selection, tissue paper and cards for a buck as well.

Dollar Stores Are Great For Random Personal Items
Do you ever feel when your buying something, say at Target, that you could be getting it somewhere else for cheaper? That’s probably true and it’s probably at the dollar store. I started buying cotton pads that I use for facial toner and nail polish remover because it’s cheaper. I’ve also gotten band aids, hydrogen peroxide and other items for a first aid kit here. Last but not least, I’ve snagged some office supplies from here along with a candle or two for someone as a small thank you gift. I’m telling you, if you give someone a small thank you gift or even a card, it goes a long way with appreciation.

What do you snag at the dollar store of awesomeness?

What I Learned Going Back To School While Working Full Time

Copy of Pinterest Graphic – Untitled Design

I’ve never been the traditional college student. When I was a freshman at a community college, I changed my major five times. After the fifth major stuck, I only completed one more year before running away from my small town lifestyle to the busy lights of Las Vegas where I thought I would be way happier after hitting one of my rock bottoms. I returned to school after taking time off and graduated with an associates.  I don’t regret getting my associates one bit because it allowed me to earn more in the work force sooner than finishing my bachelors. However, I do regret not finishing my bachelors soon after.

After taking more time off, I started the journey of going back to school full-time while working full-time. I was denied an interview for a promotion based on my education despite already having at least ten years in the non-profit sector. I was disappointed in myself to say the least which just reignited the determination to get my education completed, once and for all. Now, I truly do love school so I can’t say, as much as I want, that I am never going back. I was offered various awards and scholarships to attend graduate schools, but after feeling burn out, this time it’s not right for me. I may go back at a later time, especially as my field ever changes. But for now, I am content with my bachelors and I want to share with you somethings that I have learned along the way. I hope you can apply them to your life to help you be a Money Smart Latina too!

1.I have time. No really, I do.  Going back to school full-time while working full-time seemed to be very daunting at first. And I acknowledged the privileges I had while doing so. I don’t have children or a husband, which do take time. Those are major commitments. When I first started going back to school, I rented a room from a friend and had a very caring boyfriend who lived on the other side of the country. So, it was fairly easy for me to come home and study or go to class after working 8 or 9 hours. However, circumstances changed and it made sense for me to move out on my own and into my very first apartment.

It gave me the space and silence I needed for a very demanding schedule. I also created processes that helped me cut down on time throughout the week like meal planning and batch cooking. Along with processes, I had to cut way back on other activities I enjoyed such as seeing friends for just about everything, reading and any other hobbies I once had, like blogging. It sucked and some of my relationships did suffer. But, I had time when I thought I didn’t and still averaged sleeping 7 hours a night. It was just all about finding it. This does mean I no longer watch TV ( maybe an hour every other day at the most) and I may or may not have gained weight that I need to lose because I stopped working out. Oops.

2. Failure to plan is planing to fail. Even if you don’t go back to school, start using a planner stat. I’ve always been a big planner nerd but I became even more so when I needed to keep track of where I was half of the time and not double book myself. Towards the end of my academic career, I even started planning out what I would be doing hour to hour. This helps you see what you need to get done for the day and keeps you from spending excess time on Facebook and other time sucks. I also have taken to laying out my outfits the night before, organizing my bags ( I have a lunch bag, purse and work bag at any given time), and packing my lunch all the night before. The thing I am still slacking on is reviewing my day the night before just so I can be extra on top of it and not be tempted to hit snooze if time does not allow. People, including myself, waste so much time not being organized so this really does help ensure life goes much smoother.

3. I believe in myself. I am okay. One of the most life changing things that has ever happened to me was when I was attending ASU. I was invited to study abroad in Israel as part as a counter intelligence training program for my dual degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology. At first, I was weary. The program was going to cost at least $10,000 and I wasn’t sure I could fathom that. But, I did everything in my power to ensure I could go. I applied for scholarships, made dozens of phone calls and set up a Go Fund Me. Once I raised the funds, I crammed as much info about Israel and the people as I could before I got there and after.

When I was swimming in the Dead Sea, I cut my foot which later got infected. I had to seek medical treatment and so, when our group was out and about, I found a pharmacy, a doctor and got everything I needed on my own. I’m sure my instructor would have helped me but a lot of people had a gross stomach bug so her hands were full. And, you know, my pride. I didn’t speak the native language and I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, but with fierce determination I figured it out.

I don’t share this quite often, but I have a mental health diagnosis that causes me frequent bouts of anxiety, depression and codependency.  I can be perfectly okay and seem on top of everything and then have an awful week where everyday is a sincere struggle to get out of bed and feed my cat, let alone go to work. A lot of people are surprised because I seem so “high functioning,” which is silly to me. Mental illness looks different on everyone and there is no one general picture of people when they are manic or hoping to sleep the day away.

Going away to a foreign country and having that experience was a game changer for me. Since I’ve been back in therapy, my personal motto has been, “I’m okay.” And while I believe it from time to time, after having that experience getting myself medical treatment, I actually started to believe it all the time. Accomplishing this degree while working full time and keeping my sanity intact meant I was okay. I can write tons of papers and do research and take exams. I can rock in my career and come up with great events while in the middle of finals. And I can have bad days and know that I am still okay.

While I’m glad I finished school, I am even happier that I decided to go back. Any big life event is an opportunity to grow if you allow it. And grow is definitely what I did.

Have you learned anything surprising about yourself lately?

Friday Wrap Up- Graduation, Friends & Free Time

Happy Friday Everyone! I always love it when bloggers do weekly wrap ups and posts on Fridays to share what goes on in their lives, and I’ve played with it myself on and off through out the years on various blogs I’ve owned. I love seeing what people are up and so, I decided to bring it back again myself for the time being. I think it could also be a great way to check in weekly on certain goals I’ve made for myself.

I graduated! 


The biggest and best thing finally happened, I GRADUATED FROM ASU! For the past two years, I’ve been going to college full time while working full time and it’s been rather exhausting. When I submitted my last final online three weeks ago, I really just wanted to bawl the entire time. It’s been so stressful having literally 70-80 hour work weeks between my day job, side jobs and night classes + homework. I’ve gained 30 lbs, got sick from exhaustion a few times, had a breakdown and all of my relationships took a hit.

But, I mastered time management, which is something I’ve never been good at. I learned how to prioritize what matters to me in the time that was allotted. I still got to travel and even studied abroad. And while my relationships may have taken a hit, I think a lot of them actually grew. And the most important thing is I now have a shiny new degree with my name on it and I accomplished my life long dream of finally getting my bachelors.


Along with graduating this weekend, I also had a ton of friends and family in town! Pictured above are two of my best friends who I rarely get to see since we all live in different states now. They both came in for my graduation and stayed for a long weekend so I took time off from work. Along with celebrating my graduation affectionately titled “Day Of Athena”, we went to nice dinners, saw a drag show and spent time just lounging around. I’m so happy they could both make it out and celebrate with me!


This past week has been spent unwinding from the past two years and spending time with H before he went home. Since being in a long distance relationship means we don’t see each other very often due to current commitments, when we do see each other, we stay for an extended period of time and soak up each other. We try to travel usually but this week was spent running errands and doing normal couple activities, like cooking together and watching Archer.

Since school has ended and two of my side hustles are wrapping up for the summer, I’m getting ready to have an influx of time! I can already predict blogging, laying out by the pool and reading in my near future.

What do you have planned for this weekend?

Quarterly Goals

I decided to break up my yearly goals into quarterly goals to help them be a bit more manageable. I can’t accomplish things in a month sometimes and a year has been a bit too broad. I don’t want it to be November and the year has flashed by, as it so often does.

-Pay off dental scaling $500
-Fix car $250
-Fix car belts $650
-Put $250 in my emergency fund
-Save $300 for gay pride
-Stretch goal- Save $500 for a cap

-Start writing regular content again
-Hit 1,000 page views in June
-Create a newsletter
-Build resource page
-Find two freelance jobs

-Start counting calories again
-Lose 10lbs
Workout 3x times a week

-Read 8 books
-Finish crochet project
-Have fun in LA, at my Graduation Party & Utah ( Given)
– Deep clean my apartment ( not fun but I don’t have anywhere else to really put it)

What are you working on this quarter?

I’m Back!

I’m baaack! Did you miss me? I missed all of you! My schedule has been extremely overwhelming but now that I am graduating, it’s a little bit better. And by little bit, I mean I have traded working on homework into catching up on all areas of my life I have neglected which means pretty much all of them that didn’t involve my education. Relationships, work and my house have all pretty much taken a hit so playing catch up is a huge must, along with adult responsibilities.

Along with my over-extended schedule, I seem to have forgotten about my goals I set at the beginning of the year, although two major ones were checked off. I completed Warrior Dash and I will be graduating from ASU next weekend. I have friends and family coming in from all over which I can’t explain in words how much it even means. I suffer from depression and anxiety and battle demons on a daily basis, but to know I have such a supportive network of people means more than you can even imagine.

I’m excited to get back into blogging and connecting with everyone again. I still read a ton of blogs but now I’m excited to have time to comment and connect again, bloggers are the best. I’m also excited to have time to bring you new content and to start work on one of my audacious goals,  building the MSL empire.

Cheers to the weekend!

2016 Goals

The past few weeks, I have been in bliss! I finished my second to last semester at ASU and have been taking some much needed time off from life! I decided to spend my Christmas vacation ( two weeks, thanks teacher life!) in Pennsylvania at my boyfriend’s. We’ve spent some time in the city ( both New York City and Philly), I helped boyfriend organize his office, I read some amazing books and drank way too much coffee. I’ve also let my inner gluten come out and my comfy pants may or may not be a little tight.

I’ve also spent some time reflecting on myself and what I want in 2016. I decided what I really wanted was to stay on my path and flourish.  In 2014 I rocked the word mindfulness and this year I’d like to rock the word flourish. I want to focus on myself and my goals and not lose my way. Shonda Rhimes writes in her new book “Year Of Yes” that the people who are successful aren’t the dreamers, they are the doers. And I want to keep myself doing rather than sharing my dreams and then wondering what everyone else is up to.

2016 goals graphic

  1. Graduate from ASU. I am so close to finishing my degree this Spring and I am so excited. When I decided to go back in 2014, I knew it would be much harder this go around but I am so glad and happy that I did it. I’m almost there!
  2. Train for Warrior Dash. I let my friend talk me into signing up for the Warrior Dash this April. I remember I had wanted to a few years ago and then realized how much physical activity it would take and then decided against it. But you know what? Life is too short to doubt myself. I may not be in shape but I am going to train and do it. I’m hoping this gets me out of my lack of fitness and health rut while helping me drop some of the 30lbs I’ve gained since going back to school full time.
  3. Build up MSL Empire. I’ve been thinking a lot about my upcoming graduation and what that means for my work path and what I would happy doing. I currently love my job and make the most I’ve ever made in my life. But, I want to make more. I don’t know if that is possible in my field if I stay in Arizona. I don’t know if that means I have to move or change professions. But, I do know that I want to start building my business in the mean time. I want to have more money coming in and I want alternate sources of income besides my day job. I have a lot of ideas, including some surprises, and it’s going to require a ton of hard work on my part. But I want to help latinas with their finances and everybody else, myself included!
  4. Go to Hawaii. Since I am graduating and I turned 30 recently, I would love to take a trip to somewhere I’ve always wanted to go. It was between this or Italy and I decided the beach and pina coladas wins out. I’ve invited some friends so we’ll see if anyone can make it work or if I’ll be drinking by myself but that could be fun.
  5. Save $10,000. This sounds and IS a ton of money on my income so this is going to require some creative budgeting, cutting expenses and my favorite, earning more money. I will be ear marking this amount through three different accounts, one is my Hawaii trip, another is my emergency fund and the other one is a possible moving fund. If moving isn’t something on the cards, it will go towards my emergency fund and student loans.
  6. Fix my car. My car isn’t broken but it does need some work to keep it running in prime condition. I’d rather put some money into keeping my current car running safely then a down payment towards a new one and then additional car payments.
  7. Finish up dental work. This just means finishing up my veneers and getting a deep cleaning plus any small fillings I need.
  8. Read 52 books. I was so close to this goal and since half the year I won’t be studying, I am going for it!
  9. Learn to crochet. My mom used to crochet all the time and it was something I had been meaning to learn. I decided there is no time like the present and really, I want to crochet Star Wars figures and scarves.

There you have it, all nine scary audacious goals I am throwing into the universe. I’m excited and I wish everyone the very best this year. What do you all have planned? Any goals I can help with?

2015 Yearly Recap

I had a lot happen in 2015 that I wasn’t expecting, some that I was and some I had been planning for. I wanted to take a minute to share my year with you and to look back on all that I accomplished with some hard work and elbow grease.

My three year long legal battle finally ended. 

Probably the hardest thing to write about all year was the fact that my three year long legal battle finally ended and not in my favor. In 2011, I was in a severe car accident which totaled my car and caused discs in my neck to bulge. I had to seek year long medical treatment and finally underwent a procedure to help with nerve damage I experienced. The accident wasn’t my fault and I sought legal representation about a month and a half after it happened but I wish I had done it sooner and had found someone better to represent in my court.

My experience wasn’t awful until my medical treatment had been finished because it seemed everything that could go wrong did with the law office I had picked to represent me. I had a total of over five lawyers, endless legal secretaries and trips that resulted in nothing. Once my legal representation had realized that they had screwed up my case pretty badly, they dropped me and left me on the hook for my medical treatment. After many sleepless long nights and stress, including stomach problems and panic attacks with chest pains, I decided to settle outside of court with the opposing counsel on my own through the judge.

I’m happy I can finally put some of this behind me, even if I am left on the hook with some additional debt I wasn’t planning for. I did need the treatment my neck and the procedure, I just wish it hadn’t ended like this and left such a bitter taste in my mouth.

I got my first apartment!


I achieved one of my main goals this year in February and moved into my very own apartment! I had decided back in 2013 that I had wanted to try living by myself. I wanted the freedom to have my boyfriend stay for long periods of time, get a pet and experience life on my own. My roommate was great and I’m glad I lived with her since she’s still a good friend, and I’m grateful to her. But, I’m glad I was able to be in a place in my life where I could do this and I have learned soooo much. This is a snapshot of my kitchen and I plan on doing a more in depth home tour later on in 2016.

I adopted a rescue cat!

harrison 1

I adopted a rescue cat named Harrison around the time I moved into my new apartment. He was pretty much meant to be. I went for a run with my friend Monica in her neighborhood down the street from my new apartment and she showed me an ad with Harrison in it. I met his rescue family and took him home two weeks later. Living alone was scary and I’m so happy and grateful I had him to help me navigate the way. He helps me with social media clients, likes naps and has six toes! Look at those thumbs. Totally adorbs, am I right?

harrison 2 harrison 3 harrison 4 harrison 5

I went to the Grand Canyon, Borrego Springs and New Mexico! 

grand canyon

I was able to travel a bit this year in between school and work when I could snag time away! This year, I went to the Grand Canyon with H and tagged along on his annual family vacation which included going to Borrego Springs this year. I also spent Thanksgiving in New Mexico with one of my best friends who I hadn’t seen in three years and had a great time shopping and eating my way through the state. Too much good food!

new mexico

I got my braces off! 

no braces

After three long years, I finally got my braces taken off. Huzzah! In 2012, I was finally able to get braces put on to help fix my severe overcrowding and overbite. For years prior, I had been getting my teeth filled, fixed and pulled to make room for the corrective procedures that needed to be done, including three different pieces of hardware. My teeth were really bad and my parents were never able to get the fixed and keep up with everything else, bills wise. I had a lot of resentment towards my parents for not fixing my teeth when I was younger but it’s funny. When the braces came off, so did my hard feelings and I got a brand new smile. My braces were well over $6,000 and that’s not including any previous dental work but you know what? I’m glad I was able to do this for myself.

My besties from Vegas came for gay pride in Phoenix and I was able to host them!

gay pride gay pride 2

This was a big deal for me because I always lived with a roommate or a boyfriend and had to ask if it would be okay. Not this time! Sure, let’s squeeze as many people into my apartment! Everyone is welcome! Don’t let the cat out! We had tons of drinks, fun, dancing and did I mention we got to see Wilson Phillips perform live? Best gay pride ever!

Speaking of besties, my sister wife and I went to RuPaul’s Drag Con. 


Yup, that’s me with Rupaul guys and you can tell how giddy I was to hug him in his pinstripe suit. If he was in drag, I’m not entirely sure I would have been able to keep it together since drag queens are a few of my favorite things. I loved this event and had so much fun, including seeing so many drag queens work, checking out the Rocky Horror Picture Show and meeting Daniel Franzese. Daniel, if you’re reading, I want my pink shirt back.


I went to Israel for a study abroad program, studied something super scary and had the greatest experience of my life. 


I’ve never been what one would call a “traditional” college student. I went to community college for years and earned an associates while maintaining full time employment. I then took a four year hiatus before returning for my bachelors still while working. I’ve always had to support myself and could never be someone who just focused on school. This meant I lost out on a lot of “traditional” college experiences, such as living in a dorm or on campus or being away from home for the first time.

In January, I received an email from ASU inviting me to participate in a study abroad program I qualified for based on my GPA. It was studying counter terrorism in Israel for several weeks during the summer which coincided with my time off my full-time teaching position. I was excited but unsure if I really wanted to participate, especially since it was attached to a $10,000 price tag which I found unfathomable in my budget. But, I did it and probably had the best time of my life while there.

I swam in the Dead Sea, blessed my cross necklace on the stone that Jesus laid on and saw the field David and Goliath had their battle on. I learned how to gather intelligence, keep my cool and made new friends and explored new cities where I didn’t speak the language but survived. I learned a lot about myself but mainly learned I’m a strong person who loves traveling and I don’t give myself enough credit. I scrimped and saved and hustled my ass off to make it happen and after next month, it will finally be paid off!

israel 3 israel 2

I went to FinCon again!

fincon 3

I have gone to FinCon every year since 2012 so this is the fourth time I’ve been and this year it was in Charolette! One of my many side hustles is doing the social media and event planning for the Plutus Awards, an annual awards ceremony which allows people to nominate and then vote for the best of the best in the personal finance sphere. I have to say, as much as I love traveling and exploring, I love the people at this conference the most. I met my boyfriend here, met some of my most treasured friends here and it’s a way to gain knowledge. This conference has motivated me to do so much with my life even when I don’t always agree with certain people or ideas. And not only was I able to be a guest on my first podcast explaining my struggles and triumphs, I also got to go to special dinner hosted by Prudential and I got to snag this selfie with the Mama of Personal Finance, Lynette Cox.

fincon fincon 2

I completed another year of my studies and only have a semester left before I graduate!


I completed another year of my studies and I am on track to graduate after the Spring. I went nonstop this year to make it happen, which included sessions in the spring, summer and fall but I had a hard time finishing one of the classes I signed up for, which was a higher level microbiology class I was taking for fun! I thought it would be more of a social commentary class and I really struggled with it and my time constraints. I also really struggled because of something else.

I stopped therapy, had a breakdown and had to go back. I had to re-define my happiness. 


The other hardest thing to write about besides my legal battle was that my mental health didn’t have such a great time towards the end of the year. I stopped therapy in April thinking that I was “better” and could handle my emotions on my own again but my health starting deteriorating when I got back from Israel and started school again. It got insanely bad in September and after fighting with almost everyone close to me, I had a breakdown at the beginning of October. It’s not hard to admit I struggle with mental illness, but it is hard to deal with at times, when I wish I could just be “normal” and not have to worry about not wanting to get out of bed, oh like, everyday. I was re diagnosed, put on meds and started psychotherapy, with an emphasis in mindfulness, meditating and allowing myself to have “bad” days.

And almost two months later, it’s working. I feel better although I’m still tired but I actually look forward to things again. I didn’t get the news I wanted at work and instead of getting upset, I dealt with it the best I could. I only cried once this month about my mother ( holidays are especially hard for me) and I’ve been trying to work on my relationships. I’m learning what unhealthy codependency traits I have and learning new ways to work around them. I am learning and that’s the best I can hope for at the moment.

And speaking of relationships, I reconnected with my father. 


While having my breakdown, I called my father. I can’t explain why since I only talk to him on holidays and birthdays, if we remember, but I heard a voice in my head and listened. And I am so glad I did. I packed my cat and I up for a weekend and went to see him. And, it was actually a good visit. He apologized for so many things that have happened in the past and I feel at this point, we are both in a good point in our lives to work on our relationship and actually have one. I can’t and won’t go into too much of his business, but I will say that my father had events and circumstances happen to him as well that have created different things he’s had to deal with and I am okay seeing that my father is human too. I hope we can continue to put the past behind us and work on having a relationship again.

And so, that’s my year in a nutshell. Crazy to look back and see all things I accomplished and did. There are so many other things I didn’t touch on, like my 30th birthday party extravaganza or seeing the Foo Fighters or other fun things I did. But I hope you enjoyed all that I did share and I hope you’re excited about the new year with me!

2015 Goals Recap

2015 Goals

I would say that I can’t believe the last time I posted here was three months ago but in all honest, I totally can. Although I try to stay as involved as possible in the blogging community, through my work as a social media manager for the Plutus Awards or through the FinCon group, my own site suffers because I often put it last on my mile long list of things to do or accomplish.

2015 was a good year for me. That doesn’t mean there wasn’t shit that didn’t hit the fan, or I didn’t have some serious revelations, because that’s not true at all. It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows guys but that’s life. Really good stuff happens then bad stuff then good stuff again. And as I sit here on my boyfriend’s couch while he cooks me dinner, I can say that bad stuff has to happen sometimes so you can appreciate the good things again. But God, that’s not a challenge, okay? I’m just acknowledging it so please bless me this year. 🙂

I will also be honest and say I completely forgot about my 2015 goals halfway through the year like the rest of America. But, I have looked over them and realized that I still wasn’t an utter failure. I also had found a handwritten list of things I wanted to accomplish and I actually did a lot of those too, which makes me happy. Sometimes, just writing out the intention may be enough to remind yourself to accomplish something. But, next year I am going to take a slightly different approach to goal accomplishing. I’m still contemplating what I want to accomplish in the next year ( besides my major goals, graduating from ASU and trying to grow my online business so I can travel more long term), but other than that, my mind is still up in the air with the possibilities.

So…how did 2015 go?

1. Regularly make $1,000 in side income. Sort of pass. My side income still averages around $500 per month. At $6,000 per year, that’s nothing to sneeze at for sure. I don’t put a lot of time into my side hustles either, which is nice since I am still currently going to school and working, both full time until May 2016. I haven’t scaled my online pursuits mainly because I wanted to keep my sanity but my mind shift towards the end of this year has changed slightly. I still want to keep my sanity but I do want to increase my income next year.

2. Save a $3,000 emergency fund. Pass! However, it’s no longer intact. Moving was expensive and living on my own was more expensive then I had imagined. And then I needed car repairs, dental work and you know, the usual adulting things. This will be a goal again in 2016.

3. Save + spend $2,000 in dental work. Pass! I actually put around around $1,000 into my dental work but will be finishing it up next year. I couldn’t have the final touches done to my pearly chompers because my teeth need to stabilize. I didn’t realize how loose your teeth were even after you had a retainer for months after.

4. Visit H four times. Fail. I didn’t get to see H nearly as much as I had wanted to for a variety of reasons. His apartment pipes burst which had him stuck on the east coast along with his prior commitments and I was given the opportunity to study abroad for several weeks which drained my finances for half the year while I was in aggressive savings mode ( The trip costed $10,000). I also had somethings to figure out towards the end of the year but I was able to come out for Christmas break.

5. Lose 30lbs. Fail. I actually gained 10 more lbs but I haven’t gained anything since March. My health definitely took a back seat while I was working and going to school full time and I have suffered for it. I have absolutely no energy ever and sleep all the time with my cat.

6. Pass all classes at ASU. Pass! I’ll give myself a pass here and I’ll actually be graduating in the spring!

7. Read 52 books. Fail. I’m currently at 43 books read on December 27th, 2015 and will probably end up with 44 by the 1st. 43 books is nothing to snuff at which makes me happy but still bummed. I had a lot of reading this year for classes, no doubt.

8. Move into my new apartment! Pass! Along with passing all my classes this year and getting ready to graduate, this is the goal I am most proud of. I have lived on my own by myself for almost a year now with my cat. I still don’t have everything I want on the walls but the place is mine, 100%. Between my trip to Israel and moving into my own place, this is where the majority of my cash flow went this year. I am okay with it.

Well, those are my 2014 goals. Stay tuned and I’ll be sharing a 2015 recap later this week!

Fall Is Here! Goals update + a big goal.

Hello and Happy October! My September was a hit and miss so so so many reasons and because of that, I really lost focus on my goals for the month of September.  Along with traveling, I got terribly sick which knocked me out of commission for two weeks. I’m talking fainting on a plane sick due to a severe double  ear and sinus infection that has seriously just started going away.

Along with being sick physically, I decided to start seeing a new therapist to help with my mental health again. I stopped taking care of myself like I should have earlier this year for a number of reasons, mainly because I thought I didn’t need to see a therapist any longer. The tricky thing about your brain is that you think you are fine and healed and then everything falls down around you like a glass house. I thought I was fine and stopped taking care of myself the way I should have mentally, emotionally and physically, and so many things this past month hit me in the face.

I am a caring, compassionate and positive person, although you wouldn’t know it from the way I’ve been acting, if I am being perfectly honest. I’ve been so focused on the wrong things and not the right ones, which has really damaged everything from school, work, and some of my relationships. I’ve been a jerk to more than one person because of my perception sometimes and I’m okay admitting that, which is why I am seeing a new therapist. I’m not proud of the way I’ve treated some people, acted in certain situations and I am truly sorry.

I’m a happy, beautiful, compassionate and intelligent person who has a lot going for her, but on the right day, I wouldn’t believe you. I can turn the smallest thing into the biggest thing thanks to my anxiety and I can throw everything away the next moment thanks to my depression. I think everyone is against me and start fighting, sometimes for a reason and than sometimes for none. I’m so used to fighting for so many things in my life that if I’m honest, I feel I can’t stop or everything will go away. And that’s so not true. But anxiety and depression really don’t let you think anything different, even when you may be in your best season yet.

My main goal is to work on myself with my therapist so I stop repeating unhealthy patterns and start moving forward with my life instead of staying stagnant. I want to learn how I can deal with my emotions in a healthy way and not let them boss me around and affect everything I have going for me, from a great career to graduate school to helping people.

I didn’t want to share this, mainly out of fear but then I realized it’s okay. It’s okay to say you need help and get it, and to focus on you so you can become a better you, not just for yourself but for everyone in your life that needs you. They not only deserve that but you do as well. And I’m finally realizing that.