Are You Embarrassed To Be Frugal?

13593743944_a9d4b19c9f_zI remember I was in the 6th grade (or so) and I had just gotten these new sneakers from Payless. I’m not really sure if Payless is only on the east coast but it’s basically a store that sells cheap footwear. I didn’t really have any kind of understanding about brands or labels at the time and my parents actually did spend quite a lot of money on me for nice clothes and shoes since I’m an only child. But we had walked into Payless one day and I really liked a pair of sneakers I saw. So my mom purchased it and I wore them to school the next day, all excited to show off my brand new kicks. Well, a boy came up to me and said “ewww, you got those from Payless” (kids can be so cruel! :) ). I didn’t really know what to say but felt embarrassed to be wearing cheap shoes so I never wore them again. That was the first time I remember being embarrassed to be frugal.

As an adult, there were definitely times I was embarrassed to be frugal. Years ago, I wouldn’t be caught dead shopping with a coupon or in the sale section. Why? Because I didn’t want people to think I was poor or that I couldn’t afford something at regular price (please forgive my younger, naive self).

But there in itself lies the problem. We often tend of associate being frugal with being poor, as if there’s something to be ashamed or embarrassed about. If we weren’t poor, we wouldn’t have to frugal, right? Wrong.

The richest people are the most frugal

The people who wear the designer labels, live in the big houses, and drive the fancy cars aren’t actually rich. Because they’ve spent all their money on stuff. The richest people are actually the ones who are the most frugal. In my college days, my goal was to get a big, fancy job so I could have money and buy whatever I wanted. I did that for awhile and realized I was digging a deeper hole for myself everyday. The irony was that the more money I spent, the more “poor” I became. I like to think that the richest people, in terms of both money and happiness, are the most frugal. They learn to live more on less. I’m trying really hard to adapt that concept and while it’s hard, I definitely believe in it.

Stop caring about what other people think

My biggest problem was and still is, to an extent, that I care too much about what other people think. That’s sort of the problem with Americans in general. Everyone tries to keep up with the Joneses, even if it’s driving them to debt. Don’t try to keep up with appearances because you’ll never be able to. There’s always going to be something bigger, fancier, flashier. Who cares if someone has something nicer than yours? It’s all relative ,anyways. If you’re happy with what you have, then be happy with it. Trying to compete with someone else on material things is always going to be a losing battle. Live happily and frugally. And in the meantime, you can sit comfortably while you watch the “Joneses” self-destruct.

There is a fine line between frugal and cheap

With all this said, there is a very fine line between frugal and cheap. And if I cross that line into cheap, then yes I will be embarrassed for myself. When it comes to saving money, I won’t do anything that puts my health in danger (like dumpster diving) or unethical (like stealing).

Have you ever been embarrassed to be frugal?

Almost There: My Goals For The Rest of 2014!

4450623309_5a01157463_zThe BF and I are back from our trip. It was SO much fun but boy am I jet lagged. This was the most time zones I’ve ever traveled across and let me tell you…the aftermath is not fun. It’s been 3 days back now and and my brain still feels like a big pile of mush.

Once I get over this bad case of jet lag, I plan on really hitting the ground running. I can’t believe that October is practically over and there are only 2 full months left to the year. I know I say this every year but I can’t believe how fast 2014 has gone by.

2014 has been one of the one of the best and most memorable years for me. Too much to talk about now but one notable milestone is quitting my full time job just last month. We also finally got to traveled to Asia.

Since my life (particularly my work life) has changed drastically over these past few weeks, I thought it’d be a good idea to reset my goals a little for the rest of 2014. There’s only two months left to the year and I really want to finish 2014 strong!

Work / Freelancing / Solopreneur-ship

As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, I quit my full-time job. I’m not really worried about income or finances since I have a sizable emergency fund in place. But I don’t want to get too comfortable. My main goal for the next couple of months will be to build my up my freelancing gigs, while diversifying my income streams at the same time. I’m currently making enough to cover expenses and save a little afterward but it’s nowhere near what I use to make. I don’t think I’ll get to that point by the end of the year but I’d like to be at least 75% of the way there.

Blogging / Savvy With Saving / Connecting With Others

One of the things I always wished I could do more of while I was working a full-time job was spend more time on this blog, along with connecting with other bloggers. Well now I can! This blog is a big part of what led me to freelancing and it’s also a big part of my plans the rest of the year and next. I’m working on some ideas for new content and a new design…stay tuned!

I’ve also come to realize that the personal finance community is such an awesome one to be apart of. When I first started blogging, I heard so many awful stories of bloggers being mean and rude to each other, which scared me a little. But from what I’ve encountered, everyone has been so supportive. Unfortunately, I missed FinCon last month but I’ll still be working on connecting more with fellow bloggers going forward.

Health / Fitness

Staying healthy is ALWAYS a struggle for me. I’m what you call skinny-fat. In other words, I’m skinny but not necessarily healthy. There are some months when I go to the gym 3-4 times a week and other months when it’s hard to motivate myself to go even once. But on a positive note, I’ve been eating much healthier now that I am working from home. I was scared that I would be compelled to binge eat all day but it’s actually the opposite. I cook all my meals and only snack on occasion. I’ve also found more time to go the gym. When I worked in a office, I was so beat when I got home that the last thing I wanted to do was go to the gym.

My goal for the next couple of months is to go for 1 hour workouts, 3 times a week. Totally attainable, I think.

Home-life / Home-stuff / Misc.

In the past year, I mentioned a few times that the BF and I have been looking to purchase a home. After losing a couple bids, the outlook isn’t really looking good for us. It’s really a seller’s market where we are and prices just keep climbing. Plus now that I’m self-employed, I’m practically unemployed in the eyes of a lender so its harder for us to get a loan. We’re not completely throwing the idea of purchasing out the window but we’re also considering downsizing (if that’s even possible) or moving further out. Our lease doesn’t end til May 2015 so we still have plenty of time to think it through.

In other news, we’re thinking seriously about getting a kitten! I’ve never had a pet before and I certainly never thought I was a cat person but we’ve been absolutely obsessed with cats lately! I think we’re pretty much set on getting one so I might be a pet parent by next month, ahhh!

All in all, I think my goals are pretty achievable. But I only have 2 months left so I better get cracking.

What are your goals for the rest of 2014?

Week In Review – I’m In Tokyo!

Sorry I’ve been a little MIA this past week. I had the best intentions to write a post while on vacation but well, I’m just having too much fun. :)

I’m currently in Tokyo, Japan. The BF and I spent about a week here and previously, a week in Taipei. We are loving every minute of it… especially the food! Today is actually our last day in Tokyo and we fly back to New York tonight. While we’re sad our adventures are over, we’re really excited to get back home. I’ll keep this short and sweet but I will be back next week and I’ll tell you all about my trip!

P.S. Here are a few snaps!

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GlamBot Review: Sell Your Used Makeup Online

glambotI have ALOT of makeup. My excuse is that I use to work in the beauty industry so I buy a lot of products to test and I would also get things for free. But I’ll admit, that’s just an excuse. I have more than enough products for a lifetime and most of it just sits in a drawer, never touched. Now that I no longer work in the beauty industry, I thought it was time for me to try to get rid of some of it.

I’ve been going through my stash and picked out a pile to give away to friends. After that, I was still left with a pretty big pile that I didn’t know what to do with. I didn’t know if selling used makeup was actually a thing for sanitary reasons but I did some Googling and stumbled upon GlamBot. GlamBot is basically an online consignment store…for makeup. You ship your used products to them, they give you a price, and you can choose whether or not to accept it. On the flip side, you can also shop for used luxury beauty products at a discounted price.

Since all my unwanted makeup was basically going to be tossed out, I decided to give GlamBot a try. I went on their website and requested them to email me a shipping label so that I could ship my makeup to them (shipping is on them). One note – they will only accept high-end, luxury brands. That means no drugstore products. You also must ship them at least 10 items per shipment.

IMG_1635I have more than 10 products I don’t want but I decided to start with shipping them 10. I sent them a mix of high-end brands, all used (pic to the left). The price of each vary but I would estimate, on the low end, about $30 each. Of course, since they are all the used, the value of it is drastically lower.

It took me about 2 weeks to get a quote back. They offered me $78 in cash (payable by Paypal), $95 in Glambucks (credit to their store), or a 50/50 distribution. I opted for the cash and received it in my Paypal account a couple hours later.

All in all, I would definitely sell to Glambot again. You don’t get much back but when you use a makeup product once, it’s not worth much anyways. Also, it’s a lot easier than trying to sell it one by one on eBay.

Also, on the other hand, this might sound strange or contradictory, but while I would sell to them, I’m not sure I would purchase anything on GlamBot. I take good care of my makeup but I’m not sure if everyone else does too. I don’t know if they hold their sellers to any type of standards or if they sanitize everything before selling it. There’s something about using someone else’s makeup that I’m not totally comfortable with!

Would you consider buying or selling on Glambot?

I Quit My Job!

It’s time for me to fess up. Maybe you’ve noticed that I’ve been much more active on this blog, on your blog, and on social media. No, I didn’t stop sleeping. I actually did something kind of crazy.

I quit my job.

Well, it’s actually not that crazy. In all honesty, it’s something I’ve been thinking seriously about since the beginning of the year. While my job had wonderful perks and a nice salary, the grind of the 9-to-5 (or 6 or 7) was starting to take it’s toll on me. If I loved my job, of course I would’ve stayed. But I can’t help but think that there’s more I need to explore. The more and more I thought about my future there, I just couldn’t picture me doing it forever or even for another year. So I did it. I quit my job. I gave my notice in June and originally planned to stay until the end of July. July came around and they couldn’t find anyone to replace me….so I offered to stay until the beginning of September. Luckily, they were able to find my replacement just in time and I trained her my last week there. I think I should win some award for most notice given.

I’ve been fun-employed for about 3 weeks now and let me tell you, it’s awesome. I wake up without an alarm, work out a little bit each day, and catch up on my morning shows…the possibilities are endless. But still, even though I’ve built up a sizable amount of savings and have my freelancing income to cover my expenses, it’s still very scary. I’m not use to not having a stable income and it’ll probably take me some time to get use to it. I worry about something catastrophic happening and not having a steady income stream to protect myself. But I’m also very paranoid. It’s going to be OK. Actually, it’s going to be more than OK. For sure I’m nervous about this next chapter but really excited as well.

So what’s next for me?

I’m open to anything really. For one, I’m going to continue freelancing (anyone need some help? :) ). The dream would be for me to turn that into a career because I really love writing and all things digital. But I also want to take all this new found time to do things I’ve never had the time to do before. For instance, no joke, I’ve cooked more in these 3 weeks than I have in all my life. And I found out I’m not actually that bad at it, who would’ve thought?

I’ll also be taking some time out to travel, starting with our trip to Taiwan and Japan in a couple days. I’m also trying to hit up a few cities in Europe at the end of year so definitely need to start planning (and credit card hacking).

So that’s my leap of faith. Maybe things will work out, maybe it won’t. But I’m just glad I tried.

And with that, we will be back to regularly scheduled programming next week.

Have a great weekend! :)

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