Opening Yourself Up to Opportunity

The last year has been one of rapid growth for me. I graduated college, switched to an early morning job, began growing my online presence, started dabbling in freelance work, got into working out and even started therapy to better understand myself as a growing adult.

It sounds like a lot and honestly, it has been. However, we’ve all been given the same amount of hours in every day, and the time passes the same for each of us. The only difference is in how we utilize that time. There have been some struggles and compromises. I don’t go out like I used to. I’ve tightened my budget in many areas. I’ve let go of old relationships that weren’t helping me blossom in the ways that I now need. I’ve learned to pick my battles and to only allow my emotions to guide my choices; my emotions no longer define my decisions.

I wake up much earlier, usually around 5:30 am and I have more responsibilities now. I spend more time with close friends, family and my partner. I have to plan out my days ahead of time and I have more appointments and projects to complete. All these compromises and changes haven’t been easy, but what it all comes down to is how badly I’ve wanted to positively grow in my personal and professional life.
How bad do you want it?

Every bit of our days include opportunities. Either we are in the right place at the right time or we realistically manifest them ourselves. To meet the expectations of these opportunities, sometimes we have to make changes and go through the drudgery of hard work. To create opportunities, we have to open our minds.

A narrow outlook restricts us from approaching all possibilities.

Self created opportunities arise from approaching new people, organic networking and simply brainstorming new ideas. Naturally occurring opportunities are the ones that fall into our lap; and they are so rare.
If you really want to make changes and succeed in your work or whatever area in life it is, you are probably going to have to make your own way. Unless you have a rich parent with all the connections to land you a job or spoon feed you what you want;
but who really wants that anyways?

Succeeding on your own and climbing the ladder to whatever your personal goal is, is always incredibly rewarding.

These days, I try to make the most of every situation I am in.
For instance, if I’m at work, and our big boss comes in, I will make sure to say hello and chat him/her up. I won’t go hide in the back or avoid them. Any opportunity to network is useful. Even if it is just to show my face and that I have a great attitude; maybe down the line that boss will remember me and utilize me for some sort of promotion or side gig.
Another example is that even when I’m having a bad day, I live by the saying “Fake it ’til ya make it.” It always pays off, because eventually, I’m able to shift over into a positive mind space and working doesn’t seem as bad.

When we change our mind set, we change the way we view the world. We change the way we approach others which allows us to create opportunities for ourselves. You don’t have to be smiling 24/7, but a generally positive outlook does make all the difference.

When you’re able to focus on the present moment and put your best foot forward, even if it is in a job that you don’t plan on having forever, that will eventually be recognized. Even if you’re doing pro-bono projects on the side or cheap collaboration jobs, eventually that experience will pay off.

As I continue to apply these concepts to my life, I also remember that success doesn’t happen over night. “It’s 2018 though, why can’t I just get a job off of an app and make millions right away?” Because I know that true success takes time and hard work. Although it sounds old fashioned, those principles will never go out of style.

Approach each day with the thought “Today I will work as hard as I can and do the best that I personally can” and you will find that you achieve much more. Even slow progress is good progress. If you do find you’re having a hard time switching your head space to a positive one, maybe change your environment for the time being. Do what you can, and remember that making your own way will eventually lead you to where you should be.

Creating your own opportunities will open up the space in your life for those very rare naturally occurring opportunities to finally fall into your lap. If you do the leg work, the work will reward you.

Thanks for reading, keep doing all the amazing things that you do!

Much love~

The 10 Best Ways To Use A Planner

In a world full of technology and online advancements, I still use an old school planner. As a spatial (visual) and kinesthetic (physical) learner, I’ve always enjoyed seeing exactly what I need to do and how I can achieve it.
Utilizing a planner keeps me on my A-game and has transformed my level of productivity from moderate to full speed ahead.
Here’s how using a planner can help improve your life.

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  1. I typically start by writing in what days I work and the hours of duration. Visualizing how much time you spend at work will show you when you actually have free time. Be honest with yourself. Include your driving to and from work to know exactly how much time you are investing. Where can you squeeze in breaks? Can you make calls on those breaks? Write it all down.
  2. Once you’ve done this, you’ll be able to spend more of your free time, freely.  When you’re able to visualize how much time you need to work , you can then block time for your chores and appointments. Once you see how everything flows, your free time won’t be filled with miscellaneous tasks.
  3. When you see that you have days with lighter work loads, you can plan your workouts accordingly. Physical health typically affects mental health. To make sure you are at your best, be prioritizing some sort of physical activity often. My personal rule is that working out rigorously should happen 3-4 times per week. On the days I don’t work out, I will walk or spend time outside moving around. When I stick with this , my body releases more endorphins which improves my mental state. Planning time for physical betterment will help the rest of your life flow.IMG_2842 2
  4. I try to coordinate meetings and appointments in a cohesive manner so I can remain punctual. This one is really important. Punctuality is important in the professional world. There aren’t many applaudable excuses to miss a meeting, or to be late. An excuse is still an excuse. If it takes you a certain amount of time to get ready and transport somewhere, include all of that in your planner. Schedule it out so you can arrive or engage in a timely manner. Allow yourself more time than you expect in case you go over the regular duration of your meetings so you aren’t scrambling to get somewhere after.
  5. Health related appointments will become a priority when you begin to use a planner. Scheduling doctors/dentist appointments in advance saves you the hassle of wondering when you even went to the doctors last. Schedule appointments a couple of months – even 6 months in advance – and write them in your planner immediately. That way when you look at your week ahead, there are no surprises. If you need to reschedule when the time comes, you can. But at least it will already be a priority in motion.
  6. Once you’ve begun to fill out your planner, you will find that you have more time than you think. Now you can ponder, where are you wasting your time? How often are you mindlessly scrolling through Facebook or Instagram?
    To solve this problem, allow yourself a designated amount of time daily to utilize social media and stick to it. You don’t always have to pencil it in daily when you want to spend time on social media. However, if you are able to apply this rule, you will find that you often have an extra hour or two daily to utilize in other ways.
  7. You will be able to visualize goals and put them on a tangible timeline. I personally love to think about my goals for the week on Sundays or Mondays. Am I prioritizing something in my professional life? Or have I been working really hard, and need to prioritize my personal life? Is there a passion project I want to finish this week?
    Maybe start with a simple goal like setting a regular bedtime for yourself or practicing a hobby 2 times that week. Write it down on two specific days or write down the time that you need to be done with everything daily so you can make it in bed by that designated time. Feel free to review your planner throughout your day as a reference point.
  8. You can schedule in your passion projects and up productivity. Hold yourself accountable. Accountability is the name of the game here.
    If you write down that you will plan your project Monday evening, buy supplies Tuesday evening, work Wednesday-Friday evenings on the project and be finished by Saturday, then that sounds do-able. Schedule yourself a specific time limit to work on whatever “it” is daily. Be realistic and know that you can’t finish everything in a day. Patience and consistency are the keys.
  9. Utilizing a planner will present a clear vision of what needs to get done each day according to your values and positive habits.
    Your values dictate your actions. Your actions become your habits.
    So if you say you value health and wellness, but only cook yourself dinner once a week and never make it to the gym, you’re not really letting your habits reflect your values. If you need to change your actions, write down the ways you can do that. Then schedule them out in a realistic fashion. Once you have your actions dictated, follow through on them. Do this a few weeks, and those actions will become habits. Bam, your habits reflect your values!
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  10. Lastly, your finances will become understood much more clearly. You’ll be able to pay your bills on time, thus also saving you money. This is the aspect that makes it all possible. Sure, it’s easy to say you’ll make time for that vacation or redo your bedroom at some point. But have you looked at the costs or the planning required? Schedule yourself time once a month to go over your budget and analyze how you can get to where you want to be in a financially responsible manner.
    Will you have to work more? Will you need to save more? Incorporate these answers into your weekly goals and then pick the actions to make them possible. Write down bills ahead of time so you know what costs are coming and again, be honest with yourself.

    I have found that my life came together quite well and is still only improving because of the organization that using a planner provides. Time management and consistency are the not so secret keys to success. Sit down once a week, preferably at the beginning, and schedule it all out. I wish you all the most success and good vibes! Thanks for reading. Much love.

Spring Cleaning: Mental Clutter & Self Talk

Spring is here, so you know that means: Spring cleaning.
I’m not going to give you tips on how to clean out your closet or go through the piles of paperwork on your desk.

Let’s talk about mental clutter and then, how we create it with our self talk.

Just like the saying goes for our bodies- our minds are our temples; they are our personal space among a big and busying world full of distractions. With advertisements and new technology and constant social settings, it’s so important to really worship that mental space. Our headspace can be whatever we create it to be.

Therefore, when we’re negative, we create mind clutter.

Picture stacks of bills, ceiling to floor, that represent taxing emotions.
Picture walls stamped with old pictures of memories harbored, hung crooked and crammed together.
Picture dusty furniture and bookcases overflowing with the phrases you repeat to yourself, shaming yourself.

How can you get anything done in that kind of setting? How do you let the sunlight in again? How do you clear out the room and breathe?


Mental clutter is all of that. The negativity breeds toxic habitual thoughts. The thoughts become negative self talk. The self talk feeds the worry and clouds any view of the future. No wonder you can’t focus on anything; you’re forgetful and filled with memorized to do lists.
You need to get more done, look better, buy more, get better deals, be smarter, work harder, work faster, get promoted, be a better human, be a better friend, take care of your responsibilities. The mental clutter becomes worse when we internalize it.


It’s so easy to look at yourself and pinch any excess skin and call yourself fat. It’s easy to second guess your ideas and opinions. It’s easy to self loathe and throw pity parties. It’s second nature for most of us to put ourselves down.
Anxiety feasts on these hams of heartlessness and self hatred. However, this isn’t a death sentence. We can make things better for our brains.

Switching up our self talk.
Gas yourself up, compliment yourself, be a little selfish with your self talk. You really are great, you really are a bad ass.
Positive affirmations are helpful but tend to fall under the umbrella of a future tense with the usage of verbs.

For example you may find yourself saying-
“I will be successful. I will lose weight. I will be happy.”
Change that kind of language into-
“I’m perfect as I am right now. My body is beautiful right now. I am able to be happy and content right now.”

Even if you achieve all those goals and look perfect, you still won’t be able to enjoy it if you aren’t happy with what you’re already working with. And by the way, happiness is fleeting. It isn’t a 24/7 emotion like everyone wants you to think.
Genuine contentment is what you should be trying to attain, its much more reasonable.


Be reasonable with yourself. The harder you you are on yourself, and the higher your expectations are, the more disappointed in yourself you will be when you don’t get everything exactly right. You are a human; you cannot achieve every perfect task in every perfect way every single day. It’s great to hold yourself to higher standards and have goals, but be reasonable about them. You know your limits, enforce them with yourself.

Stop throwing pity parties.
If you have time to self loathe and feel bad about yourself, you have enough time to turn it around.
You have to choose not to sit in that stagnant pile of shit-pity.
Seriously, you will reek of it.

Your peers can sense when you are constantly downing yourself and feeling sorry for yourself. That isn’t going to gain you any kind of sympathy or change any situation you are currently in. Instead, those feelings will flood your mind with worry and sadness and prevent that beautiful light of positivity from radiating all over you!

Try this: Give yourself 5 minutes to feel down about whatever it is, and then shift your mentality. Turn on some music and focus on something totally separate. By changing your mind from this negative state, you will be able to control your emotions and still understand them, rather than letting them control you.


Utilize your imagination wisely.
Your imagination is a powerful tool. When misused, it can hoard negative what-if scenarios in the spacious place among your brilliant mind. Instead, utilize your imagination and exercise it positively.

Make shapes out of the clouds or daydream for a bit.
Read a book full of magic and mystery.
I actually just finished reading “The Hazel Wood” by Melissa Albert and it stimulated my mind by taking me away to a landscape of fairytales, mystery and action.

Check out the novel here!>> The Hazel Wood

These things put us in a favorable headspace and keep us from being caught up in the chaos of our surroundings. Mental clutter is a constant project and requires daily maintenance. When you find yourself feeling overwhelmed and putting yourself down, stop and ask if you would speak to your very best friend in such a manner. If you did, you probably wouldn’t have any friends at all.
So why is it that we think it’s totally fine to tell ourselves such harsh fantasies?
That’s what they are: fantasies.
Quite often, we are much greater than we give ourselves credit.

restaurant-table-sugar-kitchen.jpgChange your phrasing.
Every time you find yourself insulting yourself, tell yourself two good things right away. Not bullshit things either. Really dig in and indulge yourself. If your really feel like you should be working harder at something, change your vocabulary when you think about it.

Rather than saying-
“Wow I really suck at cooking, why should I even bother?”
Try thinking-
“I’m decent at cooking but the more I do it, the better I’ll get.”
Essentially the messages are similar and yes it seems like common sense, but how often do we really choose to alter our personal thoughts and vocabulary? You just went from sucking to being decent. I bet your mom would simply be impressed that you were cooking at all!


Choose and surround yourself with your role models.
Instead of mindlessly scrolling through airbrushed and face-tuned pictures of instagram models and Pinterest lists of how to be crafty-er, pick  a select few people that truly inspire your positive mindset.

Right now these are my personal role models:
(Click their names to see their instagrams!)

  • Actress/HRC representative Ellen Page
  • Business owner/Author/ex-actress/Lgbtq ally Lisa Vanderpump
  • Actress/activist/Brown University graduate Emma Watson
  • Multi-instrumentalist/Musician/Producer Tash Sultana

    These women are driven, successful, smart, openminded, claim their personal style and assert their presence. I’d rather see what they’re posting than some random chick promoting a tea drink to make your stomach resemble a washb
    Nothing wrong with tea or fitness, but do you catch my drift?
    The thoughts we produce become our actions. Our self talk decides our next move. Our mindset is our precursor for whether we will attain positive contentment or the latter. With spring blossoming on your calendar, I wish you the best on your mental decluttering journey. I send you all the good vibes for a more positive self speaking ability and hope that you found this article enlightening.
    As always, much love.

Hospitality for the Hard-At-Work

I’ve worked in the service industry for long enough to know how easy it is to forget about serving yourself. I’ve delivered pizzas, hosted, bussed, waited tables until the late hours, bartended until the morning hours and now, I actually wait tables in the morning hours on purpose. As someone who is literally making a living by meeting the needs of customers, I often neglected my own.

This applies to anyone who has found their self becoming a workaholic under the umbrella of taking care of other people. Whether it’s a manager calling you in on your day off, having to stay later than usual because a table decided to stay or having a customer complain to you about something beyond your control, we’ve all been there. Whether you are a hairstylist, massage therapist or you work in the food service industry, you know exactly how draining it can be to work weird hours and commit to making everyone else happy behind a forced smile. More often than not, my smile is genuine and that’s because I’ve learned to take care of me.

Here are some tips for how I’ve found it possible to create that genuine contentment and cultivate a life full of good energy while making a living in the service industry.


  1. Reclaim your morning.
    You might not go to work until 4 in the afternoon or you might get up at 4 am for your shift. It doesn’t matter what time you are waking up; but it does matter that you have a few things that make you feel like the day is yours to own.
    I would say pick three things to do every morning.
    Some examples could be: making a cup of coffee or tea, meditating or praying, making yourself food/packing snacks, playing a podcast, lighting incense, stretching, playing music, breathing exercises, glancing over your calendar, etc. Any of these will work.
    It’s so easy to fling yourself out of bed 20 minutes before your shift, throw on some clothes and go. I say take 25 minutes. Start by adding just 5 minutes of personal ritual to your morning. It will shape your day and set the tone for how you approach your shift.
    *Try this: set up your coffee maker, set out your uniform and write out your to-do list the night before. Transitioning to creating a morning all your own can start the night before and will open up more time for you the next day to do other morning rituals.


  2. Stretch and rehabilitate.
    You’re always on your feet. I know you want gorgeous legs but if you don’t take care of them, they’ll be decked out in varicose veins by the time you’re 30. Maybe you already have them and you’re looking to tend to them?
    Stretch out before your shift; you’re going to a shift that will have you monotonously walking back and forth but you’ll still be burning calories. Carrying plates on the same arm/overloading what you carry is going to wear on your body. Ask for help at work. Working in the service industry means everything is always in a time crunch, but that doesn’t mean you should break your back to get things done. Ask yourself, is it really worth it to run while carrying this bucket of ice?
    Stretch after your shift too. The amount of time you are willing to spend stretching is the amount of rehabilitation you will experience. You won’t feel as stiff and sore the next day. Even if it’s only 10 minutes before and after, it will make a difference.

    *Try this: lie on the floor with your legs/feet against the wall. This will reverse the blood flow and reduce any swelling. It also will help you wind down, relax and fall asleep after a shift.


  3. Limit your alcohol intake. And drink some damn water.
    I know, it sounds crazy. There’s unlimited soda everywhere. Plus servers love to get drinks after a tough shift. And there’s usually going to be drugs around you. You’re going to encounter it regularly. Point blank period. Not hating, just stating. I have found that I performed my best at work when I wasn’t hungover; sounds like common sense right?
    That is quickly forgotten in the world of restaurants and bars. There’s nothing wrong with going out for drinks when you feel you’ve really earned it. But did you really earn it the last 5 nights in a row?
    Find something else to do with people you enjoy being around after work or simply go home. You aren’t missing anything new and nothing good ever happens after midnight. If you think you’re forming an addiction, seek help. Chances are you could just be over indulging due to the environment but it’s always great to have support. The people that matter won’t judge you and those that do, don’t matter.


  4. Have a hobby outside of your job.
    I can’t stress this one enough. This one will motivate you. This one will give you the energy to keep going on those days where it seems like you’re beyond over giving all your energy to people you barely know. It will give you something to do besides shoot the shit with your coworkers on your days off. It will help you form meaningful relationships with others beyond your place of employment. It will give you a general sense of joy and well being that work and money simply cannot offer.
    *Try this- pick one activity, hobby or skill and choose to actively engage in it once a week. Do this for a month. Rather than meter your progress, at the end of the month reflect on how you have changed instead.


  5. Take advantage of your ability to take time off.
    In most cases, you’ll be able to request a day off here and there or a weekend or even a week, if you give enough time. Maybe this is only your temporary job or maybe this is your forever job.
    Either way, you have the ability to grant yourself free time, which most other jobs don’t allow. Take advantage of that. The money will always be there, the work place won’t crumble without you.
    People that travel/take time off are usually more devoted to maintaining a strong work ethic when they are at work. It’s because travel and time off promotes a more positive state of mind. And if you’re feeling good inside, you’re more likely to put your best foot forward at work.
    *Try this: Request one day off per month. Of course you will have other days off. Yet you should still set aside one day per month, just to play hooky, to reset.


  6. Get comfortable.
    I’ve worked jobs where I had to wear booty shorts and panty hose and jobs where I wore slacks and dress shirts. I still found it possible to customize my uniform so that it was comfortable for my body. It comes down to wearing fabrics that feel good on my skin, not wearing anything too tight, and getting a great pair of shoes. I’m always willing to spend a decent amount of money on comfortable shoes because if my feet hurt then I’m not in a good mood. If I’m not in a good mood, I’m not going to make money!
    *Try this: essential oils like peppermint and lavender are so relaxing and soothing. You can apply them to the bottoms of your feet, wrists and behind your ears before and during your shift to consistently feel good. It’s like icy-hot but more soothing and smells great!

    I hope these tips help! If you have any questions about my suggestions, feel free to ask.
    Thanks for reading, much love.

So you’re a broke b*tch, and you’re tired of it.


The best way to have more money, is to spend less of it. Then you can save more. The modern “American Dream” isn’t anything more than to one day be debt free. And if you’re not in debt, you’re probably living week to week, wondering how in the world you’ll be able to retire one day.

If you have time to read this, you have the time and half the mind to make some changes and implement some new ways to improve you monetary well being. I believe in you. (And I’m not going to tell you to sell your clothes or fill out surveys for an extra $5). Old or young, here are 19 ways that can help you prevent blowing money and start saving on your monthly fortunes.

Student Loans should be avoided at all costs.
If that means you can’t go to school right away, then so be it. The world will keep turning and the job market is ever changing. Maybe work for a year and set aside some cash. Take this time to really figure out what you want to study. This will prevent you from changing your major and spending extra money on excess classes in the future. Check out things like Bright Futures for Florida residents and other scholarships based on your state.

Kill your ego, swallow your pride and be okay with taking time to get your education. College is to help you get ahead in the “real” world. So why would you want to set yourself back with debt and interest that you can’t afford? If that means taking a break from school, then so be it! College doesn’t guarantee a job anymore. Be wary of signing up for a lifetime of loans.
Take. Your. Time. Before. You. Sign.

Have an emergency fund.
The first way to stop being broke, is by being prepared.

Whether that be a fund of $100 or $1000, you should have money that you leave untouched. Yes, it is hard to leave that money alone. Yes, it is hard to put money aside for literally nothing; until you need it for something unannounced.

Bug infestation? Red light ticket? You got robbed? That’s what it’s there for; and trust me, those things happen. Start by setting aside $10 a week. You can have you bank set up a separate savings account or go old school and hide it under your mattress. Although, I don’t encourage the latter, the choice is yours. Get to it, thank me later.

Shop Discount Supermarket Stores.
Forget Walmart’s grocery section. They aren’t as cheap as you think. I will shop there for certain items but never grocery shop there. And Whole Foods is a dream, but they’ll also take your whole paycheck.

I choose to shop at Aldi, where there is everything from fresh organic food options to household items to a section dedicated just to gourmet half the price. I mean quality filets wrapped in $5? I’m not lying.

The catch? Bring a quarter to get a cart and your own reusable bags. You can also buy bags there. I feel good about not adding to the problem of plastic waste and everyone actually returns their carts to get their quarter back. And you’ll never have to worry about a cart running astray and hitting your lovely BMW that you bought with all the money you saved. Unfortunately Aldi sin’t everywhere, so here’s a link to a site with a list of discount supermarkets all over the U.S.!

Do online shopping while you’re sober.
Nuff said.

Be a responsible car owner, even if you aren’t a great driver.
Pay your tickets on time. Late fees are literally you saying “here, I messed up and I messed up again, so please take more of my money.” Seriously, set an alarm on your phone or write it on your calendar.

We live in a wonderful world, where you can compare car insurance and also buy insurance in bulk. If you aren’t buying your car insurance for 6 months, I don’t know what you’re doing. Buying every 6 months, gives you all that time to set aside money every month and you save hundreds of dollars. When you buy for 6 months, the company discounts the overall price. You don’t have to worry about paying every month. Instead, set up another savings account and have money automatically deposited to that account. Write down the date that the insurance is due, and pay it when the time comes.You can also adjust your coverage each time you renew, as long as it is within your states requirements. You’ve got options people!

Save for a new car before you jump into payments. Put as much down as you possibly can; and avoid getting a loan at all costs. If that means you can’t afford the newest, nicest and fastest car then again, so be it.

You will feel much freer driving a functioning vehicle that isn’t crushing your mental and monetary status. Also, get a sunpass/E-pass/whatever-pass for tolls. You can only avoid toll roads so much. You may as well avoid getting fees in the mail for unpaid tolls.

Insure gadget items.
You’ll eventually set your phone on the back of your car and drive off. Your cat will inevitably knock your coffee cup onto your laptop. And yes, you will bring home a one night stand that has actually been eyeing your new apple watch the entire time. Most times, insurance isn’t that much more, whether it be $10 extra a month on your phone plan or paying $100 extra when you buy that new MacBook.

It’s cheaper than replacing the whole thing. Can you tell I’ve been there, done that? Insurance is worth it. Here’s some math, just to show how easy it is. If you reduce going out to eat by just twice a week, you could save $10-$20 a week. Let’s stay on the low end. For $10 a week at 4 times per month, you’ll save at least $40 per month. If you set that aside for 2 months and 2 weeks, you’ll have that money for that insurance. That’s just a loose example; it’s doable!

You should be going out and having fun.
Just do it with a cost effective edge in mind. Wanna go see a movie? Go to a matinee show for $5 rather than $13. Or most theaters offer a monthly package if you like to go a lot. For instance, the movies near me offer a movie club for $10 a month and you can go as much as you want. If you go once, you’ve gained what it’s worth. Also, utilize apps that suggest drink specials and happy hours. Or simply google bars near you with specials. And don’t forget to uber! An uber is cheaper than a DUI every time.

Plan affordable dates.
It’s so easy to pack some snacks and bring a blanket to the park or visit your local botanical gardens. The botanical gardens near me offers free entry every Monday. Trader Joe’s offers bouquets of flowers ranging from $2.99-$10. Not into flowers or being outdoors?

Check local museums for discounted days of the week or or check out local coffee shops around some interesting eclectic areas. Live music is always a plus; some restaurants and bars offer live music for free on specific nights. Some of the best dates that I have ever been on, were the simplest.

Prioritize your health.
Buy prescriptions online or in bigger sums. You can save money on prescriptions by asking your pharmacist about buying in larger quantities. For example, I buy my asthma medications in 3 month supplies. Sometimes I can get the 3rd month for free or an overall discount on my inhalers.

When it comes to medications, make sure you have them but still see if there are ways to make them more affordable. It also helps to buy generic meds; they preform the same function at a much more affordable price. Also, make time to go to the doctor once a year and the dentist as well. It’s important to get your gynecological check ups as a female too.

It’s easier to pay for check up fees, than it is if a major issue goes undetected. Then you’ve got hospital bills and that’s what were really trying to avoid here by prioritizing health.

Budget realistically.
Start by identifying what you’re willing to actually reduce in cost. If you use your cell phone as a mini-computer for your work, then maybe you should be splurging on unlimited data. But if you aren’t, then maybe you could lessen your phone bill by reducing the data or minutes you buy. I know I text way more than I chat on the phone, so unlimited talk isn’t totally necessary for me.

This is applicable to food costs, electric/gas and water too. Can you dine out less? Buy less drive-thru coffee? Turn off your A/C when you leave the house? Take shorter showers? It’s up to you, but be real with yourself. You don’t have to sit in your hot apartment while starving to death in the dark to cut corners. Also that sounds very uncomfortable.

Another tip is to put bills on auto pay. If you’re following your budget plan, the money will be there. I’m such a stickler about paying late fees. Stop giving away your money and set up auto pay!

Don’t gamble.
Do I need to explain this? Just don’t. You look like a fool and unless you can count cards like Zach Galifianakis in “The Hangover” I don’t want to hear it.

Shop around on big ticket items.
You don’t have to wait for black Friday to buy that bicycle you’ve been eyeing or that laptop either. Most websites run weekly specials or offer coupons. I recently bought my own bicycle. In the cycle dealership stores, the one I wanted easily went for $600+ but then I found something similar through Dick’s sporting goods.

I then kept looking on Amazon and found an even better deal with a bicycle that better fit my needs. Craigslist also has a plethora of bikes that people are getting rid of that were hardly ridden. Apps like Decluttr, Letgo and OfferUp are all great alternatives as well to buy lightly used items. Decide to set aside that money weekly. Then when you have the lump sum for the item you desire, and have done your homework, go for it!

This brings me to my next point- save for splurges.
You’ll feel even more satisfied; you’ve literally earned it. Have savings goals. If you want a tattoo, say okay I need X amount of dollars. Then do it. You can, and you will if you really want it. Sitting through that session will be much more exciting, knowing that you own the ink you wear- fully.

Buy secondhand/used clothes.
I personally love going to second hand stores for clothing items. I know the items won’t shrink and that essentially, nobody else will have the same outfit as me. It feels good reusing something that brought someone else value and can now serve purpose in my wardrobe.

Utilize credit cards in a better way.
Get a credit card with cash back and low apr. The Capital One card is great for earning cash back on all purchases. The citi chase credit card is another great option with low interest. If you have a lot of debt, one way to deal with it is by consolidating debt onto cards with lowest apr. Then transfer balances when interest rises so that you can continue paying on the actual balance, not interest.

Shop like a crazy couponer – without being too crazy.
If you have pets, you know you’re going to buy pet food. If you wear make up, you know you’re going to buy make up. There are price matching apps and simply downloading apps for the stores you shop at will allow you access to weekly deals and coupons for free. Before you rush into the store, pull up the information and give it a quick scan.

I personally choose to buy mostly Elf make up because it’s affordable, quality and the products aren’t tested on animals. Besides, who’s to say a rabbit’s skin will react like mine will anyways?

Have a side hustle.
Whether it’s driving with Uber or waitressing to earn some extra money or volunteering to get your foot in the door for a job, a side hustle helps. It doesn’t have to be entirely draining or time consuming, unless that’s what you’re wanting, just something to bring in some extra cash or opportunities.

Utilize student discounts or state resident discounts.
Spotify, Hulu, gym memberships, yoga classes and libraries are just a few places to mention that offer student discounts. For a while, even Joanne’s fabrics store offered student discounts. Don’t be afraid to ask while at the register, the worst they can say is no and the best they can say is yes; and you save a few bucks!

When heading to theme parks, check for state resident discounts. Disney offers passes on close to 75% of their days, that are discounted nearly $20 for Florida residents. That’s $20 extra that you could put towards gas or food!

Be patient.
Any article, website or video that says you can rid yourself of debt, save money or make cash fast, is lying. This is a process. This is a breaking and making of old and new habits. There is no quick fix- unless you’re willing to enter the black market or sell your body and that’s an entirely new set of skills to learn; and also a different article to read.

These are small changes with big effects; which take time. It may be a month or two before you notice the extra money. It may be a year or two before you notice a decrease in your debts. Be patient.

The results will come when you put in the work. It’s all achievable, but patience is key. Only you can make the decision to lead a more responsible monetary life. Only you can make that happen on your own timeline. Hopefully these apps and links can help facilitate your journey. I hope I’ve been able to enlighten you to some of things that I implement into my own life and have found successful.

Thanks for reading! If you have any tips, feel free to share them with me 🙂