Post: Travel Cheap

Traveling around the country is something I love to do and hope to do more of in a next couple of years. The downfall of travel is the price. After a lot of research (and trial and error), I have found some ways to save money when traveling. Here are the tips that I think are most helpful:

1. Skip renting a car. When possible, consider not renting a car. Renting a car can easily add hundreds of dollars onto your trip. If you are staying somewhere that is walking distance to what you need and you are able to take public transportation (including Uber, etc.) compare the costs. 
2. Use travel sites for booking your flights and hotels. Expedia is usually my go to for finding deals. You can save hundreds going through travel sites because they will compare prices for you. You can also call hotels directly and ask if they offer any deals. 
3. Only bring a carry on bag. Learn how to pack light and only bring a carry on bag with you when traveling on an airplane. It’s usually around $30-$50 to check a suitcase each way. It’s definitely doable to pack for a week in a small bag. 
4. Budget ahead of time. It can save you a lot time and money to budget ahead of time. Budget how much money you want to spend on food, activities and extra expenses per day. Try to be realistic but still keep a budget while planning. By keeping a budget it will help keep you within your goals when making choices on the trip. 
5. Research activities before your trip to look for deals. Some examples of deals you may find are that certain days may be cheaper at a museum or if you buy your tickets online you could save money at an amusement park. 

Exploring new places, experiencing new culture and getting away from normal life can be so rejuvenating. Whether traveling near or far, I hope you get a chance to do some traveling in the near future!

Post: Positives of Breakups

Breakups can hurt. They can be unexpected, unwanted and scary. Breakups can cause you to feel a lot of uncertainty in your life as you face a new reality of living life without this person.

While it may not feel like it, there are some positives to breakups that you should keep in mind:

1. Every relationship teaches you something new. You may have found a more fun side, a more analytical side or a more emotional side of your personality. Broken relationships can teach you what to avoid in the future and what you are looking for in a partner.

2. The fun memories happened. Breakups don’t erase the past. While it might seem sad to reflect on fun times (and I don’t recommend doing this right away) it’s important to remember that it wasn’t wasted time. There were good times but this relationship wasn’t meant to last forever.

3. You are still amazing. Breakups can cause you to doubt yourself (especially if the breakup wasn’t wanted by you), they can cause you to wonder if something is wrong with you. Remember that breakups are a normal part of life, a relationship doesn’t define you, and you are still the amazing person you always were.

Approach the time after a breakup as time you get to spend doing things you love without having to worry about a significant other. Take a new class, start a new hobby, go on a trip you have been wanting to go on. While breakups will never be fun, the time after them doesn’t need to be negative. You are still the wonderful you!

Post: Failed an interview?

I do contract (temporary) work for a living which means I have to go through the interview process with different companies at least once a year. I’m not an expert at interviews (they still freak me out). One thing I’ve learned how to improve on is being easy on myself when an interview doesn’t go great.

Here are some things to keep in mind when you feel down about how an interview went:

1. This wasn’t your one and only shot. You will have opportunities to interview for other great companies.

2. They won’t remember you. Are you concerned they are going to think about how bad you were during your interview? Chances are they have a lot of other candidates they are interviewing and you will be forgotten.

3. You probably did better than you think you did. Really. We are our worst critics and tend to be all or nothing with ourselves (I.e. we think we either did good or bad, instead of just okay).

4. There’s more to life than your career! I know this can be hard when you are focused on finding a job but remember there is more to life than just your career. You are a person with many interests, talents and gifts.

5. Every interview helps you grow. Each interview is a chance to improve, to learn and to practice your interview skills.

After every interview pat yourself on the back, congratulate yourself on going through the interview process and be proud of what you did right! The fact that you are putting yourself out there is no small triumph.

Post: Dating Yourself

Whether you are single or in a relationship, taking time to date yourself is crucial for your self love. It gives you a chance to spend time getting to know yourself, getting to reflect on your thoughts and interests, and most of all it teaches you to make yourself a priority in your life.

What does dating yourself really mean?

Dating yourself means to intentionally set aside time for yourself to indulge in activities you enjoy in order to further develop love for yourself. In other words, it’s doing activities independently to grow as a person. It’s fun and it’s fulfilling.

How often should you take yourself on solo dates?

There’s no set amount of time in which one should date themself. For some it may be weekly and for others it may be monthly. It’s important to focus on what works for you.

Here are some fun solo date ideas:

1. Stay at a hotel for a night. Spend time by the pool, work out, get comfy in bed, watch a movie, order some yummy food.

2. Spa night at home. Draw a warm bubble bath, put on a facial mask, light a candle and relax. A nice way to end a spa night at home is by journaling or reading an interesting book.

3. Check out a local museum. Most states have a variety of museums you can visit. (Tip: Your local library might offer discounts on museum passes)

4. Dinner and a movie at home. Cook up your favorite dish or order some za. Curl up on the couch with your food, a delicious drink and a movie you have been wanting to watch.

Never forget how important it is to set aside time for yourself and to make yourself a priority. When you take care of yourself you will find you have more energy to help and love those around you.

Post: Start a savings with no money!

How can I grow a savings when I’m barely paying my bills?

Has this question ever crossed your mind? The great thing about savings is you can start with small tangible goals that will be beneficial for you in the long run.

Here are some tips on how to save with a small amount of money:

1. Set small realistic goals. Setting small realistic goals will help you save without overwhelming you. An example of a small realistic goal is putting $10 of every paycheck into your savings.

2. Consider setting up automatic payments to your savings. It’s easy to forget to move money into your savings every week. An easy way to fix this is to set up automatic payments to your savings every week (or biweekly). If you are paid every Friday set up a specific amount to go into your savings every Friday.

3. A percentage of unexpected money should go into your savings. When you have an unexpected increase in money (think bonus or birthday money), set aside a percentage for your savings. Example: Your given $100 bonus. Save $50 and spend $50.

4. Don’t touch your savings! It can be tempting to dip into your savings when your bank account is low and you really want something. If you find yourself too tempted to touch it at times (when there’s no actual emergency) you may want to consider having two saving accounts- one for minor situations and one for emergency situations. 

No matter if you have a lot of money or just a few dollars, everything adds up overtime. You will thank yourself in the future if you make the choice to save.

Post: Where to begin decluttering?

How do you start decluttering? It can seem overwhelming at first to declutter because you don’t know what steps to take first. Here is a quick starter list of things you can declutter today!

1. Books. Chances are you have some books that have been sitting on your bookshelf for over a year not being used. Books collect dust and can start to look overwhelming. A decluttering tip is to go through you books and decide what books you still have use for. If you collect books perhaps decide how many books is the max you want to have in your collection.

2. Clothes that don’t fit. It’s daunting to open up your wardrobe to clothes that may or may not fit you. A good first step to decluttering your wardrobe is to get rid of all the clothes that don’t fit. Don’t keep things that may fit you in the future. The clothes that you have should fit you and flatter you right now, not at a distant time. Opening your closet to clothes that all fit you is a refreshing and wonderful feeling.

3. Old makeup and beauty products. Look through your bathroom cabinet (or wherever you keep your beauty supplies). Throw out items that haven’t been used in a long time or are past their expiration. You may be surprised at how many items you are hanging onto that you don’t actually use (when I did this I found I had over 20 lipsticks/lipglosses that I never even used!).

I am confident that once you start the decluttering process you will feel rejuvenated and inspired to clear out more!