Now that my eldest sister has exposed the world to her frugal ways, I’ll take a moment to just say… I’m most definitely NOT my big sis.

Unfortunately, I didn’t receive the budgeting/ financial savvy gene passed down from our lovely father. In the spirit of all transparency, I actually JUST became much more conscious and hyper-aware of my money management acumen. We can credit this to my recent move to the Big Apple. Approaching my 2nd year (MOMMA I MADE IT!) in the concrete jungle and I’m swiftly embracing the frugal lifestyle. The most challenging part about this is that I’m learning all of this in one of the most expensive cities in America. So yeah, I’m hard headed but I wear my middle child badge with honor.

So to all my single, early 30’s, millennial, Corporate America friends out there… yeah, I’m learning day by day too. As I’m hitting the means streets of New York and living my own melanated version of Sex & The City, I’ve had a few financial hiccups. There are a few things that I’ve learned over the course of the last year and a half that have helped me navigate this new space.

1. The Joneses don’t live here


Yep, we all know the infamous Joneses and at some point we’ve all tried to keep up with them in some shape or form. When moving to a new city, creating a new circle of friends and navigating a new workspace, we can easily fall victim to joining in with the crowd. Know your limits AND know your pockets. I’ve learned to say “no”, “next time” and “ehhh, not in my budget this time around”. Please transparent and honest with yourself and stay true to your own financial means and goals. It will save you a lot of stress and a few dollars.

2. Set short time/ bite size goals


I grew up in a house where goal setting was required. Our parents lived by visualizing and writing down your goals. It’s an amazing habit that I’ve carried throughout life, but can be overwhelming if you stick with long term goals. Yeah, I would love to have a couple million in the bank right now but how can I currently obtain a sizable savings within the next 3 months? Setting your financial goals in small increments can make things feel so much more attainable. Increase savings by 15% within the next two months? Put aside an extra $200 from each paycheck? All of these will begin to look like doable and actionable goals. Hold yourself to them!

3. Budget, yeah… yuck


Prior to moving to NY, my parents sat me down and made me draft an anticipated budget of my first few months. Talk about invasive, but so worthwhile. Yes, budgeting can be uncomfortable, but so can being broke. Now do I budget like my Guru big sister Felicia? Absolutely not (love you sister!) but I’m quickly learning the importance of understanding where, when and how my money exits my hands. I’m learning that a big part of being financially savvy is being aware and ultimately, self-aware. When I’m able to track down my expenses and visually map out my plans for the month, I’m essentially holding myself accountable. This is a work in progress for me but I’m learning to art of discipline daily.

This past year has been a whirlwind for me; moving to the crazy that is New York City to navigating new friendships, responsibilities and horizons. Now that I’m making this new environment a home, I’m stepping into a new challenge of understanding how to make money work for me and not the other way around. As I’ve started reflecting on this year and visualizing the upcoming, financial stability has become a priority. I have committed myself to learning my pitfalls, my misconceptions and my hindrances with money and shifting my mindset. I encourage you all to be kind to yourself, do all your money management googles and take a breather!

Money matters but your peace of mind matters more.