My Favorite Money App $$$

    I have always been pretty good with money.  I have an emergency savings account, I have a savings account set up for big purchases and I have very minimal credit card debt (the debt I do have at the moment is mainly wedding related).  I do have student loan debt and my mortgage debt, but I feel that is pretty normal.
    One area of money management I have never really excelled in is holiday spending.  I never really go into debt over buying gifts, but I never purchase the gifts I really want to and end up cutting the corners on a lot of other areas at that time like holiday outings.  Then I found my new favorite money app.
   Digit is an app that has helped alleviate the stress of finances when it comes to holiday or gift shopping in general for me. I literally haven’t bought or given a gift with money from my checking account in over a year!
       Digit is an app that attaches to your checking account and tracks your spending.  If you are spending less it withdraws money and adds it to the app which is like a savings account.  The highest amount I’ve ever had taken out at one time is around $17.  The app takes out amounts in such small increments that you don’t even realize that money is missing.  It’s surprising how quickly this money adds up!

   When you are ready to withdraw any amount, you go into the app and type in “withdraw” and the amount and within 1-2 business days the money is back in your checking account.  You can even type in what you are withdrawing the money for if you are interested in keeping track!
    I also love that with the app I get a text every morning with my checking account balance and what has caused my balance to change from the day before.  It helps to keep me on track and notice if there’s anything fishy going on.
   Now when I joined Digit it was free, however that has since changed.  It is free for your first 100 days and $2.99 a month after that.  I find that it is totally worth it because it has helped make saving money SO much easier for me!
    If you are interested in signing up, please consider using my link as I can get $5 added to my account! Then you can turn around and share this gold with your friends and use your own personal link!

    If you plan on using Digit or a similar app, what are you saving for?? I would love to know and help cheer you on!
**I am not affiliated with Digit at all- they have no idea who I am! I just love this app and can’t wait to begin my holiday shopping this year using it! 🙂

How I Cut The Cord With Cable (and why I’m mending that cord now)

    A few months back I decided it was finally time to cut the cord with cable.  I was getting so tired of my cable bill continuing to go up when the service stayed exactly the same.  I was paying around $130 a month for internet service, home phone (which I never used) and about 50 channels total.  This just seemed outlandish to me.
   
     A few friends of mine and some relatives cut the cord and just used Netflix or a similar service.  However, due to the fact that I am a massive sports feign, this did not suit me.  I also hate being out of the loop when it comes to my trashy reality tv!

     Playstation Vue became the ideal solution for me.  I currently have the “Core” plan which is $45 a month.  This includes a large majority of the channels I watch on a regular basis: basic cable channels, USA, Bravo, OWN and my sports networks!

     Unfortunately, my local cable provider is still tremendously expensive when it comes to internet service.  I end up only saving between $15-$20 a month by using my cable provider’s internet and Playstation Vue.  However, I am still saving around $200 a year which is a big bonus!  I also find myself not flipping as mindlessly as I used to with cable.  If there’s nothing legitimately on I will put on a show on demand or watch a Youtube video instead.  I truly love Playstation Vue and would recommend it to anyone who is looking for anyway to lower their expenses.

   With that being said, when my fiancee and I move in together we are reconnecting that cord.  Why??  Most cable providers, including mine, offer such fantastic deals for the first two years of a contract that a monthly bill comes out to be less than an internet + Vue deal!  We will take advantage of the promotional pricing and when it returns to “normal” pricing we will switch back to our Playstation Vue!

Speaking of Playstation Vue, 
would anyone be interested in a tutorial post on how to use the system??

Quick Tip Tuesday: Don’t Forget Your Vitamins!

      My friend Tanya is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to vitamins and supplements.  I got her advice a few months back on which vitamins to add to my non-existent regimen and purchased a cute pill organizer to organize them all for daily consumption.  And then I pretty much forgot about them.
    I found myself taking them maybe once or twice a week, because I needed to take them with food and I would always forget they were in my work bag!  If I was at home, I would completely forget about them until it was too late (am I the only one who can’t take vitamins close to bedtime as I get CRAZY dreams??).  I spent all this money on vitamins and I they were just hanging out in my cabinet!

   Finally, I found the perfect solution for me.  I packed my vitamins in my lunch bag!  Now, every time I take out my lunch at work my vitamins are right there and I take them ASAP.  Finally, my vitamin routine is on point!

Do you have a vitamin regimen? 

Playing House Series: Making The Decision

        Yay! My first official blog series!  The Playing House Series will be all about making the decision to move in with your significant other.  This series will cover all of the steps leading up to moving in together and the actual process of moving in together.
         This is just my personal take on this situation!  I am not a life coach or therapist or anything like that so this is just my personal advice and my personal experiences with this.  Just wanted to post that disclaimer!
       The first post in this series is all about the most important step and that’s making the decision to move in together!

Image from equityapartments.com
  • Why are you making the decision to move in together?                                                                   Is it because you are in a serious committed relationship and you’ve talked about the direction the relationship is going in?  You’re both on the same page? Excellent! If you are in a committed relationship and haven’t discussed future plans, I feel that’s an important step prior to moving in.  You want to make sure you have common goals for your relationship.
  • Is it just a financial decision?                                                                                                            Moving in together can be a great way to save some cash and lighten a financial burden.  However, if it’s the main reason why you are moving in with a significant other it can lead to some other, non-financial problems later on.  Don’t try to force a puzzle piece that doesn’t fit simply to save some cash.
  • Is moving in together going to help or hurt your relationship?                                                   I will be the first to admit that I am needy mofo.  I spent so much time alone as a child that I crave time with loved ones now (don’t get me wrong, I still need my me-time!).  However, there are plenty of people who love being in a relationship, but still need to retain some of their independence.  If moving in together will make you uncomfortable it will undoubtedly lead to some problems in the relationship department.  Make sure that any decision you make, whether living apart or together will benefit and not harm your relationship.
  • Don’t worry what others think                                                                                                           There is no timeline for a perfect relationship.  I don’t think rushing into anything is wise, but everyone’s definition of “rushing” is something different.  As long as you and your partner have thought and spoke things out, and you are making a decision based on love and common goals for the future, I say go for it!  

    Quick Tip Tuesday: Wake Up Motivated

       A lot of the posts I am going to be writing will be focusing on making our lives more positive and a part of that is definitely making our mindsets more positive.  I used to think the positive mindset, manifestation, Secret stuff was a lot of hooey!  However, lately I have begun to look more into it and have really felt positive changes in my life due to a more positive mindset.  I find myself being in a bit more control of my anxiety due to my new mindset.

       One way I start a positive mindset as soon as I wake up, is by labeling my alarm.  I use the alarm on my iphone and it allows me to label the alarms- mainly to be used if you are using the alarms for different purposes.  However, I label my morning alarm with an inspirational quote or message.  This month I am labeling my alarm with 3 words that I want to focus on for my life and for my mindset.
         I labeled my alarm “relaxed, happy, balanced”.  These are all traits that I want to work on and exude in my life and my person.

    I am still not a morning person by ANY means, but this little trick helps me to remember my positive mindset from the second I turn off the alarm.
    What would you put as your alarm message??

    How to Watch Football With Your “Insert Person Here”

         I am a football fanatic.  I was raised watching college football every Saturday and the NFL every Sunday.  Nowadays, my weekend plans are made around the time the Penn State game is on and my friends pretty much know that fall Saturdays means I am unavailable.
       Watching sports can be a great way to bond with someone or strike up a conversation.  Penn State games continue to be a way that I bond with my entire family, especially my parents.  I remember watching football games with my Grandpa and Dad when I was little and getting so excited when I was able to identify a player or make a call.  On top of that, if you’re with someone who spends their Sundays engulfed in fantasy football, it might make it a little less dreadful to know a little bit of what is going on.

       Here is my little crash course on football and HOW to watch football with someone!

    • Don’t root against your significant others team to be cutesy.  If you genuinely like the team, cheer your heart out, but if you could care less just cheer for your boo’s team.  As a female who gets super passionate about her teams, I can only imagine how crazy some guys can get.
    • Try to get to a game.  When you go to a game you can totally feel the amazing energy and perhaps get a better understanding of why your significant other is so passionate about it.
    The SUPER basics of football:

    • The team with the ball at the moment is called the offense, the team without the ball, trying to stop them, is the defense.
    • A touchdown, where someone runs into or catches the ball in the endzone (the part of the field with no numbers on it and the team’s name or logo) is worth 6 points.  The team is automatically given a a try to kick an extra point which makes it 7 points total.
    • A field goal, where someone kicks the ball through the uprights (the giant plastic U thing), is worth 3 points.
    • The goal of the offense is to get a first down, which is to gain 10 yards. (A football field is 100 yards)  The offense has 4 tries to get 10 yards.  However, most times you will only see a team try 3 times because if they do not get it on the 4th try they automatically give the ball to the defense.
    • If a team does not get a first down, they have to punt the ball to the other team.  A punt is a fancy word for a kick.
    • There could be a turnover.  A turnover can be an interception or a fumble.  An interception is when the quarterback (person who throws the ball) throws the ball and someone from the defense catches it.  A fumble is when someone on the offense who has the ball either drops it or has it taken from them by someone on the defense. 
    • There are 4 quarters in a game which are each 15 minutes and a half time which is also around 15 minutes.  However, NO game is ever just an hour and 15 minutes.  Between commercial breaks and penalties and timeouts expect to carve out a good 3 hours to watch a game.
    • Try to enjoy!  Even though you may went to yell at someone “IT’S JUST A GAME!!” when they get mad or upset while watching a game (and it totally is) some people are incredibly passionate about their sports and have spent years invested in a team.  Let them be upset after a tough loss for the remainder of the day.  If they are still being sore losers after that though, it’s time for some tough love!!
    Are you a football fan? 
    Who is your team? 
    Comment below and let me know!

      Change Your Morning, Change Your Mindset: My Favorite Podcasts

            I am someone who is VERY into their routine.  I completely thrive within my morning and evening routines.  If any aspect of my routine is thrown off, it can sometimes throw off my day (I am working on that!).
           A huge part of my morning routine used to be watching my favorite morning news show while getting ready for work.  Then my favorite anchor was fired after I spent almost every morning for 11 years with her! How could they do this to me?? This threw me off and led to me looking into other options for my morning routine.  I tried a few other morning news shows, but nothing worked.
           I follow this lovely “Girlboss” Youtuber called Erin Henry.  In her Facebook group girls were talking about their morning routine and several people commented on how horrible watching the news was to start your day.  I never really thought about it.  While I loved my favorite anchor and felt a connection with her, she did deliver me a lot of bad news every day and this was how I was CHOOSING to start my day.
           I decided I needed to revamp this part of my morning routine and add in something that would help me start my day in a more positive way.  This led to my rediscovery of podcasts!
           I now start every day by listening to a positive podcast while getting ready for work and I truly feel it has led to me having better days.  It puts me in such a positive space that my mind is slowly beginning to learn to respond to situations in a much more calm way.  I wanted to share some of my favorites with you in hopes that you will give them a try and allow them to become part of your daily routine in some way!

      The Chalene Show

      The Chalene Show was one of the first podcasts I subscribed to and is definitely one of my favorites.  Although she doesn’t post as regularly as some of the other girls I am going to mention, she has a large bank of episodes for you to choose from already.  Her topics range from health, weight loss, organization, balance, etc.  She is a fitness guru for Beachbody and while I have never done her workout program, I love listening and learning from her and her husband.  She is very uplifting and uses tough love when necessary.  She provides tips and tricks that are tangible, especially in the health and weight loss department.

      Fit Fierce and Fabulous Podcast

      Erin May Henry on Youtube recommended this podcast in a video and I am so glad she did.  The host, Courtney, interviews a lot of guests to provide information on a lot of topics that may be deemed “new age” but I just find fascinating.  I have learned a lot about crystals and manifesting and using my mind as a tool to fight my anxieties.  This is probably my favorite podcast of the ones I mentioned and definitely helps to change my morning mindset!

      Style Your Mind

      For all you Instagram lovers, this one is for you!  This podcast is hosted by Cara Alwill Leyba aka The Champagne Diet.  It’s such an amazing show and really focuses on topics that will help you design your ideal life by making positive choices in all aspects of your life.  It’s very uplifting and has me definitely wanting to read her books!

      Rich Bitch

      Don’t be fooled or turned off by the name!  This is a great podcast for girlbosses as it focuses on money and on our ideas towards money.  Any girlboss can listen to this, but it is especially helpful for women entrepreneurs and network marketers.  I have taken a couple of great notes while listening to this one and I think if you gave it a chance you would too!
      As you can see, I have been loving the podcast life! 
       Do you have any great podcasts to add to my list? 

      Match.com- Does It Work?

             I’ve heard ( and even met a few people) who were embarrassed  to admit that they had met their significant others on Match.com.  Well, I am here to say proudly that I met my fiancee on Match and I’m grateful for it, because otherwise I most likely would’ve never crossed paths with him!

           The way I met my fiancee on Match is not the norm.  I signed up after the urging of a co-worker to get off all of the free sites.  Nick was the first and only guy I met and it was an instant spark.  It sounds like a fairytale and don’t get me wrong, it totally was (and still is) but it wasn’t THAT easy.

           I had been on Match previously a few years before with zero luck.  The most successful date I had via Match that round (I was on it once previously as well) was with a guy who proceeded to tell me on our first date that he wanted to be dominated.  Not like whips and chains, but like treated like a “house boy” (his words, not mine) and given chores and demoralized.  UMMM BYE!

             In my mind using a dating website like Match (like real dating) is all about timing.  If you aren’t on the site or a member of the site at right moment you are going to meet the same weirdos that you would on a free dating site or in a bar.  However, there is a way to help navigate through some of it and this applies to all dating websites (not apps) not just Match.

      Picture from Reddit.com
      • Be honest with your pictures!                                                                                                            The point of a dating website is to actually meet someone in person right? Eventually they are going to find out that you are 5 years older or 15 pounds heavier, so be honest with your pictures.  You would be disappointed if you were talking to someone who you thought looked like a clean cut gentleman and showed up with a full beard and a ripped freebie t-shirt.
      •  Be honest with your description                                                                                                        If you’re not into sports, don’t say you are or you may be going to a sports bar for a first date.  Don’t say you spend your weekends doing charity work if you don’t.  Be honest here.  We all want to show our best selves, but theres a fine line between showcasing our best features and selves and being bullshitters.
      • Look outside your normal geographic area                                                                                     My fiancee lives in New York City and I live in the suburbs.  If I limited my search to my immediate area, I would have completely missed out!!!  Set your search limits a bit outside of your normal comfort zone.  However, don’t set your search too far if you aren’t willing to regularly travel some distance if you meet someone great.
      • It’s ok for a female to initiate conversation                                                                                      The notion that a female should wait for a male to initiate is kind of outdated in my mind.  I “winked” at my fiancee first on Match and that opened up the way for conversation.  If you aren’t confident enough to fire off a message right off the bat, try the wink option at first.
      • Start a conversation based on their profile/picture                                                                          If you are going to initiate a conversation, try to do so based on a question to do with their profile or a picture.  Ask about a trip they posted about or a quote.  It shows that you actually read their profile instead of just generically messaging them.
      • Set a time limit for chatting/texting                                                                                                     My friend Bernie had a great rule- if after a week of talking they haven’t set a date it’s time to go.  For some reason there seems to be this new breed of people who are content with just having someone to text.  If that’s not what you’re looking for, set a time limit for communicating with someone.  If there’s no solid plans to meet them within that time limit, it’s time for them to go.
      • Take it all with a grain of salt                                                                                                              Dating, whether online or “regular”, is just not normal nowadays.  There’s a lot of dishonest people out there and a lot of game players as well.  Chances are you will get “ghosted” on, chances are, you will see a profile of someone who you think is perfect and they won’t respond to your message and you may have to kiss a lot of frogs.  But try to remember, don’t settle for anything less than butterflies and what you deserve.                  

      Welcome!!

         

      Who am I?

        Hello all and welcome to Adulting 101 for the Grown!  I’m so happy you decided to pop on over to my little area of the web and I hope you’ll stay for a while.

         Let me tell you a little bit about myself.  My name is Melissa and I’m a 32 year old woman who still calls her dad to kill bugs and asks her mom how long chicken is good for in the fridge.  I haven’t exactly mastered adulting yet.  Despite my occasional lack of adulting,  I have been a special education teacher outside of New York City for 4 years now and actually got engaged to the man of my dreams this past July.

          I am a sports feign and the passion for my teams rivals that of Jimmy Fallon’s in Fever Pitch (ok not that bad).  To balance out tomboyish I am also a makeup addict, so much that I sell makeup as my side hustle.  I love most trashy reality tv, and I must be honest, really haven’t found a balance for that yet.

      What To Expect..
      So what the hell is this blog about?  It’s going to be pretty random!  I am going to share a lot of personal stories, tips, tricks, advice, etc. about adulting situations that come up in my life!  I’m in the process of:
      •  selling my co-op
      •  moving in with my fiancee
      • planning a wedding
      • finding a work/life balance
      • tackling my anxiety
      • finding my spirituality
      • finding my personal style (I’m 32, I should know what my favorite store is!)
      • HOW TO BE A GROWN UP
      If any of these topics sound relevant to you, I invite you to stick around! I’m hoping you’ll learn something, but if nothing else, I promise you’ll be entertained!

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