Life gets busy and crazy and before you know it all of the good habits you have worked on for so long have been thrown to the curb. This was my realization a couple of weeks ago. This summer has been incredibly busy in all areas of my life, between getting a new job, working on getting the final touches ready for the candle line, health issues with Nina (my dog, for those of you who don’t know), and trying to be the best aunt I can be to my niece and nephew on top of the regular day to day things we all want to spend time on – like – I don’t know, laundry, grocery shopping, family events - it’s been very, very busy to say the least. But I may be preaching to choir here because I know that we are all stretched very thin with so many daily demands. I’ve been feeling like I am stretched very thin. Maybe the stress has been showcasing itself because even my mom asked me if everything is ok with me! Which I am, there is just so much going on. It is at times like these when I really feel the need to exercise and meal plan and getting back to the good habits I know I’ve gotten the hang of before. Because adding more to my plate will definite help J.

So, while I know what I need to do I am having a hard time doing it. For example, lately, I have been having a hard time making time for exercise and preparing lunch. Lately, by the time 10pm rolls around I am so exhausted that all I want to do is crawl into bed and sleep. And because I have not been preparing lunch I have resorted to buying lunch which is not only expensive, but usually not that great. And as far as workouts go, while I do still work out from time to time, I have not gotten myself back into a schedule where I target a specific area for each workout. On my good streaks, I am good about taking some time on a Sunday or a Monday to I write out what workout I will do each day of the week (usually a Tone It Up or Blogilates routine). About 90% of the time I stick to the workouts I have pre-planned – I think that’s a pretty successful outcome.

This is why I have decided that I need to give myself a reality check and a dose of will power and self-discipline. After much thought I decided that it is really about getting back to the basics and the reasons for creating those good habits – whatever those may be for you. And the one thing that will get me going again is:

Remembering how good it feels to accomplish something

Personally, I have been thinking back to how I would feel after a workout. Aside from being sore and barely being able to walk I would feel energized and look forward to more workouts. The times that I would be very strict with myself and worked out at least 5 times a week I would actually begin to feel a difference in body. My legs would feel stronger, I wouldn’t tire as easily while going up stairs, and I would even get out of bed faster in the morning!

And the times that I have stuck to preparing my own foods I feel better about what I eat for the sole reason that I know EXACTLY what is in it, I use fresh ingredients and it is always cooked to my personal perfection. And as an added bonus, it saves me A LOT of money.

My point is that when we all decide we need to stick to something it is usually because we know some good will come of it. We get so far down the path of have motivational conversations in our own heads (which is really the biggest hurdle for most) that getting it done and sticking to it won’t be as bad as it may seem.  

So, how do you keep your will power and discipline strong? What have you challenged yourself to stick to? Do share below!


It is OHH so easy to rack up expenses that overtime take a toll on your monthly budget but making the decision to cut ties with those expenses can be hard to do.  On a general note, I recommend everyone to be very aware of where their hard earned money goes each month. This means you need to list out every single payment you have, even if it’s just .99 cents a month. Doing that will be a crucial step in having a clear picture and begin making decisions about where you can trim your budget.

Another fundamental thing to note is that you should have a goal you want to achieve, it can be buying a car, paying off debt, saving money for the trip of your dreams or saving up for a down payment of a house. Having a goal to strive towards will absolutely make trimming your expenses so much easier. The one word I can use to describe the feeling of getting rid of those unnecessary expenses is: LIBERATING!

Nix box subscriptions

It is hard to resist the temptation of signing up for unnecessary subscriptions and have then renewed on a monthly basis. I remember signing up for GlossyBox and BirchBox soon after getting hired for my first full time job I started racking up unnecessary expenses. While I do not regret those subscriptions because it introduced me to an array of products that I otherwise would probably not come across. At the same time, I was not using up all of the products and ended up with piles of un-opened and un-used products. I am still to this day testing products I received during my GlossyBox and BirchBox days!

Canceled gym membership

Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to be a member of a gym to get fit or stay in shape. I went through gym memberships from $10 a month to a whopping $100 a month! Yes. I do not know what possessed me to spend $1,200 a year on a gym membership. But alas, I finally came to my senses and canceled that membership. Instead of the gym I know follow at home workout programs like Tone It up and Blogilates. They have a ton of great (and FREE) resources on their websites and awesome videos on youtube. Another hidden benefit to this is the amount of time and money you’ll save in getting to and from the gym and our house and/or work.

Got rid of cable

I was paying $175 a month for a cable subscription that I never used. I finally got the courage to cut that expense and stick with the streaming services I was already paying for, like Netflix, Hulu and HBO. I also got an antenna with a good range so that I could still have access to local channels - it was secretly just for The Voice :).

Have you trimmed your budget recently? If so, what have you gotten rid of? Do share below!


For a long time I felt that you needed to land a job with a big fat salary in order to be successful. It took me several years to come to this realization, but the truth is, you do not need a big fat salary. Although having one will really help! The main ingredient we all need in order to reach our financial goals is good old planning mixed it with patience and determination.  In this post here, I discussed 4 things I learned as a young adult with a degree (a.k.a student loan debt) under her belt. One of the things I discussed is saving money. I cannot stress that enough – saving your money is the best way to achieve your goals.

One of my short term goals is to buy a home, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I moved back in with my parents after graduating college. I have an amazing relationship with my parents and it was also a very strategic decision, in the sense that rents in the Boston area are ridiculously high and unless you give in to the idea of having a roommate (or two) it can quickly become unaffordable. I had also lived on/off campus during my college years so it did not feel like I was missing out on the whole living on your own deal. But I digress. My point is that moving back in with my parents allowed me to put extra money towards my loan payments (money that would have otherwise gone to rent payments).

While I realize that moving back in with your parents may not always be option, however, if it is an option I would advise you to do it, even if it’s just for a year or two.  That will give you a huge head start in your personal finance department. There are other things I have done to save money in ways that have been pretty seamless to me:

Automated my savings

I began automating savings a few years back. I did this by opening up a savings account with a completely separate bank than where I had my day to day checking account. Then I set up bi-weekly withdrawals (which lined up with my paycheck deposits) – I started putting away 20% of each paycheck into a savings account and watched that number grow month after month.

Consolidated and refinanced my student loans

I did my undergrad from 2006-2010, this was at the peak time when interest rates were at an all-time high for borrowers. Lucky me! After graduation I was hit with bills from every direction with loan repayment plans that read interest rates that varied from 10-12%. I stuck with those terms for a couple of years until finally a light bulb went off in my head and I decided to re-finance my student loans. I refinanced them once and got it down to about 7.5% and about a year later I refinanced them again and got the interest rate down to about 5.3%. However, this part would not have been possible without the next tip.

Increased my credit score

Be very mindful of your due dates. I use an old fashioned (but very pretty) planner where I sit down and write down my due dates once a month. I have done this without fail every single month for the past 6 years. Making all of your payments on time will drastically help improve your credit score. A very good credit score will help save you money (i.e. student loan refinancing).  And also when it is time to buy your home, a good to excellent credit score will be instrumental in securing a loan with the best interest rate you can get.

Payed off my car

Earlier this year I decided to pay off my car. I know that cars are depreciating assets and are never a good investment but I need my car to get to and from work and around town to run errands. While I live in the City of Boston I don’t live in the heart of the city where almost everything is within walkable distance. Paying off my car gave me extra cash to work with in my budget that I re-allocated to my student loan payments. So while this approach did not technically save me money it is allowing me to pay down my student loan debt at a faster rate (which will save me thousands when it is a ll said and done).

The changes I have made regarding my money and my money habits have come from hours and hours I’ve spent reading books, articles and listening to podcasts on personal finance. The two that I have become very fond of are Farnoosh Torabi and Dave Ramsey, I think that they have given pretty solid advice that has worked well for my these last couple of years. 

Are you on a journey to saving money and reach your financial goals? If so, share what has worked for you and what has not below!