1. oh amen, annie! amen!! it’s been interesting to see how i’ve been able to test myself and develop an even GREATER self-discipline since i started blogging. and thank you! 🙂

  1. This is awesome advice! My husband and I are actually doing the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University right now and what you’re saying is just lining up with it so well.

    I love your comment about how in a few years, after college and all that, you’ll have so much more financial freedom. So true! Because we don’t have debt we can do the things we never did before when I was in school. At least, we did for a year but now we’re making the grown up saving for house decisions. But still!

    It’s so empowering to not have to deal with money stresses and realize you’re ahead of most of your peers when it comes to finances. And not empowering in an “I’m better than them” way, but in a, “we’re happy with our life choices” kind of way.

    1. thank you so much, anna!! that’s great you’re doing Dave Ramsey! i wish i’d had heard of him when i was starting out. 🙂 and it’s SO TRUE – the freedom to be “free” later in life is so much better than feeling “free” in college and getting into trouble.

  2. This is tough. I’m kind of going through it right now. It’s hard to find that balance, but even more so, to be strong willed! I love your money posts, you remind me to stay on track!

  3. This is great advice, Molly! I think a lot of people wind up in financial trouble because they live beyond their means. It can be difficult to think of clothes as something non-essential especially when someone loves to shop! That is something I’m still dealing with myself, but I’d never spend money on clothes if bills still needed to be paid.

    The Tiny Heart
    Jewelry Giveaway!

    1. thank you so much, sharon! 🙂 and it’s so true – often i wonder why i wasn’t able to pick up on that earlier – just living on less than you make. seems like it would be an easy concept – but it was tough for me!

  4. Molly, I love these posts! As you know, I am indeed a shopaholic. However, the key is to be a smart shopper. Though I am beyond the years of being a college student and living the college life, I now have to worry about things like paying our mortgage bills and boring things like taxes (yuck). You’re totally right about balance. It’s so important to have balance, in almost every aspect of your life really. Great advice as always! 🙂

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

    1. thank you so much, yi-chia! 🙂 and so true – smart shopping is super important… and i feel you… being an adult and having “adult” things to worry about is the worst sometimes!!

  5. I totally agree with this– I have the same issue! I work in an industry where it’s expected that you dress trendy, and preferably high-end. Obviously, that’s way out of my budget range, so I really have to work on buying quality timeless pieces and shopping my closet. It’s tough, but I just tell myself that saving now will help me buy that dream bag someday!

    The Glossy Life

  6. Couldn’t have said it better myself, Molly. Figuring out the difference between wants and needs can be hard, especially when you’re a woman who loves shopping! Having my boyfriend around as a positive financial influence helped me a lot. I know it is my responsibility to contribute to and pay the bills on time each month, and I would never put my relationship in jeopardy because of careless spending habits. Anytime I want something, I force myself to mull it over for a few days. Most of the time I realize my want will fade and that I was just acting on impulse (I’m totally an impulsive spender sometimes). By forcing myself to really ask if I need that new dress, shirt, etc I usually realize I don’t need it at all. Great answer to a great question!


    1. thank you so much, stephanie! 🙂 i agree – having john in my life has definitely helped, but i don’t think it would have been as easy if i hadn’t already put habits and discipline into place for myself. you know?

  7. I feel like this was made for me. Last night instead of studying I was thinking about since I have started blogging I have spent small but steadily purchases and at this point in college I cannot be doing this!! I bookmarked this post to read thoroughly after class!

  8. Another great financial post! I think most people like shopping, but you just have to understand your personal limits and budget for those items. And like you said, there is a big difference in need and want….don’t necessarily need a pair of boots like you need to put gas in your car.

  9. I definitely identify with C and also with you, Molly! When I was in college, I got myself into a LOT of debt. Like you said, mall store credit cards are SO tempting. For me, it all started with an American Eagle credit card. Then I got another one … and another one. I always made payments on them, but sometimes it was just the minimum, which was a big no no since I was always charging more than I was paying off every month. In the end, I had racked up $24,000 in debt over about 3 years. I still cringe when I think about it. In 2005, I enrolled in a debt repayment plan and actually paid my debt off 6 months earlier than expected. In fact, and this is amazing to me still, it was 6 months before our daughter was due and the 6 months of payments I would have been making toward my debt equaled the amount we needed to save up for the hospital bill. Crazy, right?!! God is good.

    Self control and being realistic is very important in budgeting and managing your finances. I really can’t emphasize that enough. I still struggle with wanting things that I can’t afford (three kids, man. they kind of eat up our budget, haha!), but I’ve gotten to a point where it feels good to have self control. Like, I can wander around Target and see things that I want, but when I walk out of the store with nothing, I give myself a little imaginary pat on the back.

  10. Molly, I LOVE to shop but my first priority is to make sure the bills are paid and my family has food. We always have a few extra bucks when I am done with the bills and family necessities ie {food, clothing, toiletries,cleaning supplies, pet items}. I know that my family is lucky that we really do not want for nothing. We can generally pay cash for things we want because I budget as best as I can. My hubby and I go over the budget every few months to make sure that we are on the same page. I am the bill payer. I took that over a few months after we got married. We have gotten away from using the credit cards for the most part. We do use one to pay for gas, but I am hoping ot have it paid off by the time he retires from the military in 2015. That is going to mean that I have to buckle down a bit harder on the budget to make that happen.

    Anyways, the point of my reply is that with a little enginuity, you can have a kick butt budget and still have a little room for some fun once in a while if you budget wisely. 🙂 Something else I plan to start doing is taking $5.00 a week and just putting it away, not touching it till a certain date to reward the family with something fun.

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