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Showing posts from January, 2019

Money Mastery, Part 2A: Saving like a Pro

In Part I of my Money Mastery series, I wrote about how I take inventory of my money. For Part 2, I talk about tips for saving money. After writing up my tips, I realized that the topic of saving money cannot be done in one post. So for Part 2A, I delve into the different savings buckets and cover (very lightly) tax breaks! Part 2B will cover saving money on things you buy, and how to have a better purchasing mindset.
Automated savings deposits, tax-free and tax-deferred accounts The idea of saving money is either oversimplified or overly complicated. When done right, saving is a strategic way of putting *you* first! When you’re saving, you need to think for the short term (emergency funds) and the long term (retirement). You also should take advantage of tax-free or tax-deferred accounts.
I always meet my saving goals because my savings are automatic. The transfers/deposits usually come out of my paycheck or because I pre-set a debit to pull from my main checki…

Money Diary #002 - Mid-month Budget - January 2019

Heyyyoo, Sunday may be over, but one more free day-- thank you MLK, Jr!

Instead of resting up on my long weekend, I’ve actually fully booked myself with errands, grad school work, events, the gym, and some blogging time. I feel pretty darn productive with this Money Diary post off my checklist! Money voyeurs rejoice because I dropped some big bux this month.

I mentioned in a prior post that I use a very comprehensive app (Mint) to do the legwork for me. I check the app to make sure that the purchases don't look suspicious and that I've been charged correctly for certain purchases. That's why it was pretty easy to pull together my spending data.

Here's where I stand mid-January (rounded to the nearest dollar, for simplicity):

This is a pretty simple and easy exercise. I use my existing budget as my benchmark column, my actual spend month-to-date (MTD) with data pulled from Mint goes in the next column, and what I have left in each bucket is in the final variance co…

Money Diary #001 - New Year, Newish Budget

I had all good intentions of having this post up this past Sunday. Then life happened and Money Mic Drop was put on hold (I will likely convert my my car-related drama into a productive post at a later date). It’s okay, I’ve bounced back!

My first money diary involves providing context and a budget. Otherwise, it’s just gratuitous “look at what I spent” and you’ll end up thinking “wow, this girl is a(n) [expletive].” I mean, that may still very well be the end result, but it’s all about the journey, people.

I’m been very fortunate to have consistently increased my salary in the past decade of working. This has come from working hard, working part-time since 12th grade, transitioning to full-time work, speaking up for promotions, and getting certified in my field. The only "connections" I had were through teacher referrals and my college’s career center. My pay has also increased due to my negotiation skills. When I negotiated my offer several years ago, I realized a 20%…

Money Mastery, Part 1: Taking Inventory

From your girl here at Money Mic Drop, happy first Friday of the year! You made it, fam! Now let's get talking about money, via the topic of habits and mastery.
Forming a habit is hard. How long does it take? Sources differ so much so that some say 21 days, others say close to a year.
How about mastering a skill? That takes even longer. According to many studies it takes 10,000 hours. Or, anywhere from 6-10 years. If you like to take it slowly and steady, you'll find that a decade is a freaking long time.
Clearly, there's no time like the present to take inventory of your money habits and evaluate the mastery yourfinancial skills. (Sidebar: dear readers, get used to my many, many metaphors.) Regardless if you're reading this because you've just got your first paid internship (yas) or if you've already been building up a stash of moolah, this is my first post in a series of how I'm becoming a master of my money and how you can, too.

Happy New Year & Welcome to Money Mic Drop!

It has been a recurring theme every new year for me (and almost everyone you know) to have personal and professional resolutions. This year the goals have gotten loftier and I’m going to push myself to both believe and achieve. Case in point, starting this blog! I've been thinking about starting a public money blog for many years, but there were many mental roadblocks that held me back ("What topics should I write about?", "I don't have the time", and "Will my blog matter in the grand scheme of things?"). 
Money is not a taboo topic for me. Many of the major money moves I've made didn't happen overnight. It took lots of time researching reputable websites, getting advice from people who I know have "been there, done that", and then apply my newfound knowledge into my own situation.

I'm very transparent about my retirement goals with my family and friends. I opened my first traditional IRA account in my sophomore year of coll…

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