Doing hard things, part 1: nothing horrible has happened (yet)

Listen, y’all, I’m going to tell you a secret: I have never once in my life asked for or negotiated a raise.

For my first big girl job, I was coming off of two months of unemployment and would’ve (and did) accepted the first thing offered to me with zero questions asked. For my current job, it was such a step up in terms of salary and job description that I didn’t feel it was my place to fight for more, other than the obligatory asking if that was the highest they could go. Plus they told me that they were paying me a bit extra because raises were coming out in a few months, which I’d miss out on, so I’d have to wait until the next year for a raise.

So, okay.  I got a 3% raise last year as a cost of living increase. I didn’t ask for more then, especially because my job was…let’s just say up in the air as a result of the reorganization happening in my department. Not in the sense that I’d be let go eventually, but in that no one knew (or still knows) what my job will ultimately look like.

But a switch flipped for me last week. Continue reading “Doing hard things, part 1: nothing horrible has happened (yet)”

The unconventional (but critical) part of my FI pursuit

I’ve got a trick up my sleeve (literally, actually, but we’ll get into that later) that I’m using to help me on my path to financial independence. It’s unusual in that it’s not a savings app and it’s not a mindset that helps me spend less money. But it’s not a secret: everyone’s heard of it, and a vast majority of women have used it in some form or another for a variety of reasons.[*]

I am, of course, talking about birth control.

While I’m on the yelling about women/political post train, what’s another this week, huh? Buckle up, kids! Or rather, don’t. Because kids—or more specifically a lack of them—is what I want to talk about. Continue reading “The unconventional (but critical) part of my FI pursuit”

On female voices and representation in the financial independence community

Late last Wednesday, Angela from Tread Lightly, Retire Early published a post that was a list of female bloggers in the FI world. I was honored to be on the original list of approximately 30 women, and I also could think of a few off the top of my head that didn’t make the list. And then I thought of a few more.

Before I knew what was happening, Angela and I were frantically messaging back and forth about the list. She said she was sorry she hadn’t asked me to take a look at the list before she published it (not that she had any way of knowing I’d be so helpful about adding in people she missed!); and we decided we’d work together to get everyone we could think of on the list, including the women who commented and asked to be added.

Looking at the list does not tell you what went on behind the scenes or our experience of expanding it. Here’s some of what went into that undertaking. Continue reading “On female voices and representation in the financial independence community”

The day I broke my frugal month challenge

Today. That would be today, y’all. Well, yesterday by the time you read this, but the fact remains that we’re only halfway through January and I just absolutely annihilated all of the savings from the spending I previously hadn’t been doing this month.

I have to laugh at both myself and the universe here. Wasn’t I just saying that because of my uber frugal month challenge and my double side hustle income that January’s spending report might possibly rival December’s success? Or that the frugal month challenge was going strong? That was literally two days ago. Clearly the universe heard that and decided to throw me for a loop.

I’ve had an expensive day. The numbers aren’t finalized, but I spent somewhere in the neighborhood of $700 today. Considering that was the sum total of my expenses last month excluding rent, I have well and truly broken the uber frugal month challenge. Continue reading “The day I broke my frugal month challenge”

How the library is helping me reach financial independence (guest post on Millennial Money Man)

Surprise, everyone! It’s Wednesday, not Thursday, so why are you hearing from me today instead of tomorrow?

It’s because I’ve got exciting news: I’ve got a guest post over on Millennial Money Man today!

Just in case the title didn’t give the topic away, here’s how the post starts: “I’m a huge nerd and a voracious reader. I always have been, always will be.” Surprise again, I wrote a post about libraries! Continue reading “How the library is helping me reach financial independence (guest post on Millennial Money Man)”

Five things I don’t regret spending money on

I spend a lot of time on this blog talking about ways I’m saving money or things I’m no longer spending money on. It’s a function both of being on the FIRE path and also just a fact of life for someone on a non-profit salary. There’s lots of talk in the personal finance community of how to save money, ranging from small things like lattes to the big things like houses and cars.

But saving money isn’t the whole story—sometimes there are times when it makes more sense to spend money than not to spend it.  I’m a broken record when it comes to talking about why I spend so much money each month on my barre membership. But here are five not-so-obvious larger-ticket items I’m glad I’ve spent money on. Continue reading “Five things I don’t regret spending money on”

What I’ve been eating lately: healthy-ish holidays edition

Welcome to another round of what I’ve been eating lately, aka here are the recipes I’ve been making and loving. Except this time it’s the holidays and temptations abound!

Yes, I had three pieces of toffee at work today that a coworker made. Yes, I ate and drank way too much at my side gig’s holiday party on Wednesday. Yes, I am Erin, Goddess of Rum Cakes. But that doesn’t mean I’ve given up on trying to eat a veggie or two occasionally. It’s difficult, but I’m making it work. Here’s how. Continue reading “What I’ve been eating lately: healthy-ish holidays edition”

Failing upward and looking towards 2018

Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” -Norman Vincent Peale, apparently/countless motivational Instagram posts
Aw, isn’t that some sweet inspirational bullshit?” -me from not that many moons ago[*]

I’ve never really been a goals person. My concrete plans ended after graduate high school/go to college/get a job, and I’ve never really known what I want to do with my life. Perhaps there’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation going on here (if I had goals maybe I’d know better what I want to be when I grow up?), but it also always seemed silly to me to make goals. “Figure out your life and get your shit together in this next year” doesn’t really work, you know? (Trust me, I’ve tried.)

And yet. Continue reading “Failing upward and looking towards 2018”

What are your trade-offs?

Essentially all of life is a trade-off: when we say yes to something, we’re saying no to something else. We trade our time and energy 40 hours a week at our jobs in exchange for a paycheck, which means saying no to the myriad of other things we could or would rather be doing during that time.

When we say yes to an evening in reading a book or watching tv, we say no to an evening out somewhere or spending time with friends. And vice versa.

When we stay up late writing blog posts, we say no to getting more sleep. Ahem, I digress. Continue reading “What are your trade-offs?”