8 Tips and Tricks to be more Financially Responsible

Learning How To Become Financially Responsible - How I graduated from college debt free plus more tips and tricks for saving money

 

Hey friends,

Today I thought I would share a little story with all of you. I get asked a lot of questions by friends and acquaintances about how I can be so young but so responsible. I always have a hard time explaining that I ended up this way based on the lessons my parents taught me growing up. I was extremely lucky to learn these lessons at a very early age. I didn’t always understand the “why” but I did understand what was expected of me.

I was lucky growing up. Both of my parents had jobs, we had a house to live in, drawers of clothes to wear, and there was always food on the table. However, I felt like the one girl in my class who did not have a Barbie Dream House. You know, the giant pink house with an elevator and fireplace with room enough for Barbie, Ken, and all of their friends?

I can remember going over to my friend’s house and playing with her Barbie Dream House. I wanted one so bad and made sure to tell my parents at every opportunity. I didn’t understand why they wouldn’t buy me one. They had jobs and I had lots of Barbie’s to put in the house. Didn’t I deserve a Barbie Dream House?

The answer is no. I was surrounded by Barbie’s, American Girl Dolls, and numerous other toys. My parents did not have a lot of disposable income but we still received many gifts and toys at Holidays and for our Birthdays. I can now appreciate all of the sacrifices my parents made for us.

What I didn’t know at the time, was that my parents were putting money into a CD and a savings account for me and my sister. The money that they could have spent on more toys for us was put into these accounts to save for our college educations. When I babysat or got money for holidays, my parents made me put half into the bank. I could spend or save the other half on things that I wanted.

Now I realize that this is the most important life lesson my parents taught me; how to be financially responsible.

I started working my junior year of high school and worked all the way through college. Here’s the cool thing, I wanted to work. My parents never forced me to get a job. I saved my money for tuition, books, a new car, etc. I took a lot of pride in being the only person in my college orientation group not relying on their parents for everything.

I graduated from college debt free. Partially because my mom works at the university but also because I knew how to save my money and applied for scholarships to help make up the difference.

Here are a few of my tips and tricks for managing money:

  1. Like my parents taught me at a very early age, put at least 50% of whatever you earn into the bank ASAP. That way you are not tempted to spend the money before it has been fully accounted for. For me, this includes my bi-weekly paychecks which are automatically deposited into my bank account as well as any birthday or holiday money that I may receive. My personal preference is to deposit 100% of my money into the bank first and then decide how the money needs to be spent or saved.
  2. Set financial goals for yourself that you would like to work towards. My main goal right now is to pay off my car and build another bathroom in our house. Since I know my goals it is so much easier for me to save money.
  3. Put $1,000 into an Emergency Fund for any crazy things that happen along the way. Life is crazy and there are always expenses that happen that we didn’t plan for. It’s great knowing that you have an emergency fund to fall back on if needed.
  4. Have different accounts for different reasons. My bank allows us to have several savings/checking accounts with the ability to name them whatever you want. I have a “house fund” and an “emergency fund” in addition to a couple of others.
  5. Communicate goals with your partner or spouse. Brett and I are constantly talking about our goals for the future. It’s so important to be on the same page about financial decisions!
  6. Have a budget. I cannot stress this enough. I have a budget for pretty much everything including groceries, gas, clothing, and “fun”. Your budget can be flexible but try to give yourself a range to stay within.
  7. Be willing to say no. My co-workers ask everyday if I want to grab coffee and the answer is always no. I say no for two reasons. 1. I don’t like coffee. 2. I’d rather save the $2+ every morning for something else. It’s okay to say yes every once in a while but be willing to bring your own coffee or lunch to save a bit of money.
  8. Be flexible. These changes will not happen overnight and that’s okay! Keep working towards your goals and eventually you will get there!

I’ve mentioned before that I work in the financial industry and I can honestly say that my interest in finance started from the lessons that my parents taught me about money. While people around me love to spend their money I would much rather save mine for something I really want or invest it towards my future.

I am lucky to have started saving at an early age but it’s never too late to change your spending habits! I hope these tips and tricks help you reach your financial goals!

Thanks so much for reading!

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Dealing With Bad Roommates in College

Dealing With Bad Roommates in College

Hey, friends!

I had way too many bad roommates in college. By sophomore year I thought that I deserved to finally have a good roommate. But fate played a cruel trick on me and made sophomore year ten times worse than freshman.

My freshman year ended with me choosing to live in the same dorm for the next year. I picked a room right down the hall from where I lived and threw myself into the roommate pool. My university had us take surveys to match us with a roommate and I answered very honestly.

I found out my match about a month before move in. I e-mailed her right away to introduce myself but never heard back. I couldn’t find anything out about her on social media but I am a pro internet searcher so right before we moved in I was able to find her. Turns out, she didn’t go by her actual name and instead went by a “stage name”.

Let’s call roommate “P” for the sake of the story. P had already moved into our room when I got there. Our dorm was pretty cool because we had two rooms. The first room had to be walked through to get to the second. P picked the room in the back.

I have no idea how long she had lived there when I moved in but the room was disgusting by the time I moved in. There was trash everywhere and it smelled horrible! My mom and I tried to introduce ourselves but she didn’t move from her bed or acknowledge us. I thought it would get better.

I moved all of my stuff in and got settled. P slept during the day and hardly left the room. I wondered if she went to any classes. I swear she slept with her eyes open too. There was a door separating our rooms but she refused to shut it even when I wanted to change or sleep. At night she’d blare her TV which was against the same wall as my bed. I tried to ask her to turn it down or shut the door but she was super rude about it and I hate confrontation.

My mom works at my university but I hated using her for anything. I didn’t want any special treatment. I went straight to the hall director and he explained to me that I had to stay in that room for two full weeks before I could petition to move rooms. I was devastated.

The more I stayed in the room the more I felt unsafe. I couldn’t sleep, study, or relax in that room. I tried to talk to my RA who came to our room to mediate but it was a joke. My RA actually seemed scared of P and the mediation only made things worse for me.

The hall director gave me two options after my two weeks were up. 1. Move to a single room and pay an extra $2,500 per semester or 2. Choose the only remaining room needing a roommate. I chose the roommate.

This post is already super long so please let me know if you want to hear about Roommate #2. Let’s just say that she was the exact opposite of me in every single way.

I don’t want this post to be negative or to scare you away from having a roommate. I know a ton of people who met their best friends in college and I wish that was true for me. Take the chance on a roommate! Even if it turns out bad then at least you tried and had the experience of living with a roommate

If you are about to start your freshman year I really urge you to take a chance and say yes to new opportunities. You honestly never know when something great will happen and it’s better to put yourself out there then regret not doing anything.

If you are in a bad situation make sure you ask for help. I wish P and I could have resolved our issues but she really didn’t want anything to do with me and that’s okay. You won’t be everyone’s cup of tea and that’s a life lesson that I needed to learn. It’s not okay to treat someone the way she treated me and I’m usually not a quitter. But in this case, I needed to remove myself from the situation in order to feel safe.

Just remember that you never know what someone else is going through. I try not to think too negatively about P because I have no idea what was going on in her life at the time. It was still no excuse to treat me the way that she did but I still wish her the best.

Let me know what your roommate experiences were like!

Thanks for reading!

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Friday Introductions

 

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Hey friends!

Since I re-launched my blog in late 2017 after taking a year long break I figured now would be a great time to introduce myself to my new and old followers.

For starters, my name is Hayley, hence Life of Hayley. If I had to categorize my blog I would say that it is a “Lifestyle Blog”. I love to share my favorite products, books, travel, and most recently, wedding planning. Not only do I love blogging, but I also love reading other people’s blogs. I am also looking for new bloggers to follow!

I began this blog in November 2013 right when I was turning 20 as a way to document all of the things I wanted to accomplish before turning 25. It’s been four years and I am so proud with how far I have come! I will be 25 next fall and I feel more than ready. I have accomplished far more than I ever thought possible and am in love with the way my life is turning out.

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My biggest accomplishment was studying abroad in London in 2015. I was SO scared to move to London for a semester but it turned out to be the best decision. I made life-long friends and cherish the memories that I made along the way. London will always feel like home!

I graduated from college in April 2016 with a Bachelor of Business Administration. I majored in Electronic Business Marketing and minored in General and International Business. After I graduated, I began looking for a full-time job in my field. I ended up accepting a position at a financial company in September 2016. I expected to like the job but never expected to fall in love with it! I love my company, my co-workers, and the work that I am doing every day. I really feel like I am making an impact on my community and our client’s lives.

Wedding Planning - Wedding Pictures

On August 19th, 2017 I married my boyfriend of six years, Brett. Our wedding day went by so quickly but it turned out better than we could have ever imagined! We got married at a Lake where I spent most of my summers growing up. We were surronded with all of our favorite people; our friends, family, and co-workers. Everyone who joined us had made an impact on our lives in some way. It was so special to start our married lives with all of the people who we love the most.

Brett and I went on a two week Honeymoon in London directly following the wedding. It was just like coming home. Brett proposed to me in London so the city holds a special place in both of our hearts.

Now I am just enjoying life with Brett and our cat, Lucy. We live in a cute little apartment and love spending time with our friends playing trivia or old PS2 games. I love tea, The Crown, Harry Potter, and reading. I’m an introvert who greatly values my alone time. I am also a Target addict and a wannabe interior designer.

Welcome to my little corner of the internet. I hope you stay awhile!

 

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5 Tips for Post-Grad Success

5 Tips for Post Graduation Success

As a recent college graduate, I understand the highs and lows of post-grad life. Figuring out what your next step should be is a scary task. Let me start out by saying that everyone is different and what worked for me may not work for you. However, it is always nice to know that someone out there understands what you are going through.

So, here are 5 tips that worked for me in achieving post-grad success:

Step 1: Figure out what you want. This sounds hard but it’s really actually pretty simple. Start off by asking yourself if you want to continue your education or look at starting your career? Or maybe you want to take a year off and travel? The decision is completely up to you! I really thought that I wanted to pursue a Master’s degree after graduation. I studied, took the GMAT, thought my world was ending, and moved on. Grad school is not the right decision for everyone and it’s perfectly okay if you decide to move on.

Step 2: LinkedIn. I was lucky enough to start my LinkedIn during my sophomore year at college for a class. If you don’t have a LinkedIn, join! It’s really easy to setup your account and start connecting with your classmates, friends, co-workers, professors, etc. LinkedIn is an amazing job search tool but you should start one even if you are not currently searching for a job. It’s a great place to document your achievements and goals.

Step 3: Give yourself a break! This was a huge thing for me. I was so hard on myself after graduation. I had this picture in my head of all of the amazing things I wanted to do and I felt as though I had failed. Take the time after graduation to do some soul-searching. It’s okay to move in with your parents and figure some things out. I took a couple of months to enjoy life before hopping into the work grind. This may be the last time in your life to be selfish by just enjoying a little down time.

Step 4: Figure out your professional life. Invest in clothing and accessories that make you feel and look like an adult. I never wear makeup and rarely put any thought into my outfits but it’s nice to have a nice outfit to wear to an interview that makes me feel confident. If you don’t have a lot of money to spend on clothes, start out small and buy basics that you can build on.

Step 5: Breathe. Everything will be okay even though right now it feels like your life is a giant mess. Just breathe. You will fall down a few times but as long as you are able to build yourself back up, everything will be okay.

I hope this helps! I cannot describe how much I struggled after graduation. But after over a year, I am successful in a job that I absolutely love! It’s in a field that I never imagined I would enjoy but I do. So hang in there, friends!

 

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The Reason Why I Quit Blogging

The Reason Why I Quit Blogging

Hello, friends! Today I thought that I would share the reason why I quit blogging for over a year.

I did mention back in the fall of 2015 that I was taking an Internet Marketing class that I had to start a blog for. So, Adventures of Hayley began and I hated every minute of it. The class was all about getting views, comments, and likes. I was obsessed with my blog stats and humiliated when I didn’t do well. My professor made us talk about our blogs in front of the class on a weekly basis and I hated comparing myself to others. I used to blog because I loved it but this project made me start to despise blogging.

Not only did I start to hate blogging, I also started to hate my major. I majored in Electronic Business Marketing. I thought that I wanted to go into Social Media Marketing after graduation. But as graduation quickly approached and my Internet Marketing class continued to depress me I realized that maybe I didn’t want to do what I thought. It was too late to change my major as I was about to graduate in spring so I just kept going.

After graduation I stopped blogging completely. I was confused about what I wanted to do with my life. I applied and interviewed for a few marketing positions but none of the prospects were very exciting. I eventually applied for a finance position on a whim and became very interested and invested in the position. After interviewing for three months, I finally started my new job in October of 2016.

After working for a while in finance I realized that I missed having a creative outlet.  I tried to start blogging again several times but it just didn’t feel right. I was also planning a wedding which took up most of my free time. Now that I am  a married woman I have once again found myself missing blogging.

So, that’s the story of why I quit blogging. I stopped focusing on the joy of blogging and only thought about the statistics. It’s okay to both enjoy the process of blogging and also enjoy watching your blog grow. But over my 4+ years of blogging I have encountered numerous roadblocks and have let myself get discouraged by them. I’d like to just enjoy the process of blogging from now on. I’d like to interact with other bloggers and re-join the amazing blogging community.

Thank you for reading!

 

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I’m Graduating!!

Hello again!

I won’t make any excuses as to why I haven’t blogged since October. But I do apologize and I promise that I have been very busy! I was blogging over on Adventures of Hayley all last semester for my Internet Marketing class. If you want to read about my travel adventures please visit!

I have big news though:

I’M GRADUATING ON APRIL 30TH!!!

I will be graduating with my Bachelor’s in Business Administration. My major is Electronic Business Marketing with minors in General and International Business.

It seems like just yesterday I was moving into my freshman year dorm and signing up for my very first college classes. Now I’m sitting here applying for “big girl” jobs and getting ready to graduate! College goes by so fast. I’m not exactly sad to see it go; I’m just trying to figure out my next move from here.

I’ve shared my class schedule on the blog before and it’s always cool to be able to look back at it in the future. So here are the classes I am taking this semester:

  • Advanced Internet Marketing
  • Consumer Behavior
  • International Marketing
  • Urban Politics in the U.S.

Those are the final four classes that I have to take in order to graduate! I seriously cannot believe that I am about to reach such a huge milestone in my life! I almost want time to slow down a little so that I can enjoy these final couple of months. But at the same time, I am ready to start my adult life and find a job that makes me really happy.

Thanks for reading! Hopefully I will be back again soon with another post!

Is anyone else graduating this semester?

P.S. My laptop is broken so I’m not able to post any pictures 😦

The Final Fall Semester

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Hello, friends!

Thanks for the overwhelming support on my last post! I’m so thrilled to finally have been able to share the amazing news with you guys! The reason it took me so long was that I have been extremely busy since returning home to the U.S.

As I have said before, when I returned to work I was offered a promotion that has turned into a really great work experience. It is challenging yet very rewarding but does take up a lot of my time.

This summer I also took two very time-consuming classes that I am very glad to be done with. Now I am taking five classes this fall and working at the same time. I can’t believe that this is my senior year in college. In just a few short months I will have completed my Bachelor’s degree!

Today I had a meeting with my adviser so I thought that I would stop by and share how my final fall semester is going so far. My current classes are listed below:

• Strategic Business Solutions
• Business Web Architecture
• Legal Environment
• Internet Marketing
• Advertising and Promotion

After this semester I only have four more classes left to take before graduation! College went by way too fast…

For my Internet Marketing class, one of the projects is to build a blog that represents your own personal “brand.” I really didn’t want to start another blog but I had to for this assignment. I am now also blogging at Adventures of Hayley which is my brand new travel blog. I would love it if you could stop by and read, like, comment, or follow it because I have to reach certain milestones for the class. I would also appreciate it if you could take my anonymous survey!

Thanks for reading and for your continued support!

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