How We Turned Our Dream of Home Ownership into a Reality

Eric and I have known for a long time that our ultimate dream was to one day own a home. Living in an expensive housing market like Southern California where three-bedroom single family homes start at half a million dollars, we knew that it would take us a while to reach this goal. So we started our journey to getting our finances in order and working our way up in our careers ....more

Thinking About Going Back to School? What You Need to Succeed

Finishing my master’s program was a time-intensive and challenging ordeal. As an early thirty-something, I had no desire to go back to school and I’m still sort of dumbfounded when I hear about colleagues of mine who go to school “for fun.” School wasn’t fun for me. At all ....more

How Our Finances Have Changed Since Buying Our First Home

When we bought the house in November, our mortgage, property taxes, and homeowners’ insurance was 75% more than what we were paying toward the rent on our two-bedroom townhome. It was a big change, but one we felt we could comfortably manage considering we were saving such a large portion of our take-home pay in order to fund the down payment. In December 2014, we were pretty much broke ....more

Do You Believe in Psychics?: My Experience with Psychic Source

My first experience with a psychic was getting my palm read at a local fair. Everything the fortune teller told me was spot on, and I left thinking “she knew me so well!” The next year, I went to the same fortune teller and heard the exact same spiel. To say I was disappointed is an understatement ....more

Get Off the 50 Shades-Bashing Wagon

Let me start by saying that I never finished the book, even though it was a book club selection, because I just couldn’t get through it, I found the writing that bad. And I read the whole Twilight series so my expectations of decent reading material are pretty low. Also? ...more

How We Saved More Than $1,000 on Vacation with Credit Card Rewards

Eric and I went on a Mexican getaway to the Riviera Maya earlier this month, staying at Tulum and Playa del Carmen for a few days each, and happily we were able to use credit card rewards to pay for vacation (or at least a large chunk of it!). We had a wonderful time and it was so great to celebrate Eric finishing his year of work probation, which means no more studying, test-taking, or being the rookie firefighter anymore, he is officially official! It was also wonderful to get away from the stress of new home ownership ....more

How I Started Getting More Freelance Jobs

I recently learned that I may be losing a major freelancing client of mine, through no fault of my own. For the past two years, I’ve had to really limit my freelancing. Between working full-time and going to school full-time for my MPA, I just didn’t have much spare time to devote to my side hustle business ....more

Two Months as Homeowners: Update

Eric and I have been homeowners for two months now and I thought I would give an update on the reality of it. For us, it has absolutely been a dream come true. We live in an expensive housing market ....more

How far would you go for a price adjustment?

I have to tell you a story that made me feel really dumb. Its the kind of incident that leaves you reeling because you feel pretty stupid even though you know you’re right. And the kind of moment that you can’t shake off your head–so I decided rather than to continue to feel stupid about it, I would blog about it, because somehow I know you guys will all understand ....more

How Our New Mortgage Will Affect Our Budget

So now that I’ve talked about the cost of buying a home in Southern California, it’s time we talk about the real important stuff, like how this new jumbo mortgage payment is going to affect our budget. Before I give you some financials, I want to present to you some numbers about salaries in Orange County, CA and the cost of housing–because let’s face it. You can’t compare the cost of living in southern California to the cost of living in the mid-west ....more