Millennial Issues · Mindfulness

Let Your Money Work To Make You Happy

I shouldn’t buy this, I should save.

I always wanted this, and I have the money, but I still shouldn’t.

I feel so guilty buying this.

How many of you reading this have thought those exact same thoughts – or something similar when buying something or considering doing so? I know I have. Being a millennial with a limited income and a minor shopping addiction has left me with those very thoughts every now and then.

Like most of us, though, I like to treat myself. And, treating myself to something nice honestly is a nice feeling, because the items that I treat myself with are items that I’ve been lusting for years such as my Nook or my Apple Watch.

However, when I do, I can’t help but shake the guilt.

I bought this up with my therapist up recently when I was discussing some of my financial plans. Her response was: it’s not a waste of money if you are investing in something that makes you happy.

Good food for thought.

I began thinking about my relationship with money, and the relationships that my friends have with money. Let’s be honest – everyone has their priority on what they want to spend their money on. For me, my weakness is Barnes and Noble – particularly when I am loading things on my Nook e-reader. For a friend of mine, it’s making sure that they have money to go out.

But, before we get there, let’s talk about the important stuff. Before we can buy the stuff that we love, we have to use our money for the important things – utilities, rent, payments, and groceries. Sure, it is not the most fun thing to have to write out a check for the gas company. However, it’s awfully nice to have heat during a cold night.

Once those are left over, and then you can use your money for whatever, right?

Well, once you make sure that you have gas in your car that is.

Therefore, once we ensure that everything is paid, I think it’s okay to splurge on a little something that makes you happy. After all, we work hard for the money that is in our account? And, sometimes, we need retail therapy to get through our lives.

So, I think that the most important takeaway from this is this – let your money work for you to make you happy.

End of story.

 

Relationships

Relationships Are A Two-Way Street, Folks

One thing that continually bothers me is seeing a girl essentially lower herself for a guy who essentially does not care about her, or does not put in the same amount of effort that she does.

I get it. It’s not 1950 anymore. Women are more and more taking the reign of the relationship, whether it may be making the first move or splitting the bills for dates Personally, I think that is great, since relationships should be a two way street versus putting a heavy amount of pressure onto the guy to do all of the work or shell out the cash.

But, at the same time, I’ve noticed a shift in the other direction — a shift where it suddenly becomes weighted on the woman to do everything — such as driving to see the person, shelling out the money, and pretty much doing anything to keep the guy happy.

So, I have to ask: is this the new normal of the modern day relationship?

If it is, then I want out. Please give me a one-way ticket on a time machine to 1950.

Call me old fashioned, but I think that the guy should pay for the first date. I think it’s a sign of respect. Depending on the situation, I also think that the guy should pick the girl up. After all, you’re trying to win her over, am I right? Therefore, you need to put the effort in to woo her. And, chances are, she was probably fed on a diet of romance movies and Nicholas Sparks.

However, as time goes on, I think that both the guy and the girl should shell out the effort in the relationship. This is especially true if it is a long-term relationship.

It bothers me more than anything to see someone who always goes out of their way for their partner — only to get the favor not returned. I think both parties should always do whatever they can to showcase that effort. For instance, if someone is consistently doing the driving, and the other party doesn’t make an attempt to help out with that, then that’s a problem.

At the end of the day, I am spoiled in my relationship. My boyfriend picks me up, and pays for a good portion of the meals. Every now and then, I do contribute. I make the drive to see my boyfriend when I can. Not as often as my 86-year-old grandmother would like. However, I think that’s a good medium, since both parties are contributing.

By having that happy medium, I feel as though both parties are respecting each other. Respect is number two in the relationship — right after trust.

And, seeing someone who puts all of that effort into a relationship with the partner on the sidelines? I see no respect there.

So, if you are in this kind of relationship, know that you deserve much better than what you are getting. Why? Because everyone in this world deserves someone that is devoted to them and their happiness. That’s why I get so happy when I see someone spoil their boyfriend the same way he spoils her. I think we all deserve that.

Book of the Month · Book Reviews

Book of the Month: Daisy Jones and The Six

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For those of you who didn’t know, I am a huge fan of classic rock music. So, when Taylor Jenkins Reid’s latest novel, Daisy Jones and The Six was one of my choices for this month’s Book of the Month, I knew that I had to chose that one. Now, I’ve always wanted to read her other book, the Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, a book that was all of the rage on bookstagram and recommended to me by several friends. Hopefully, I will get to reading that. Anyways, I figured in the meantime, I can get a taste of Reid’s writing by diving head first into this wonderful book.

The novel is about Daisy Jones, a wanderer who just wants to make it in the music business. It is also about the up and coming band, the Six. The two come together on a song entitled Honeycomb, and soon they decide to create an album. However, when lust, drugs and of course, ego gets in the way, it is nothing short of a disaster.

Now, the novel is told in an interview format where each of the characters were interviewed over a period of eight years. I liked that format, because it made the novel go through quickly. What I also liked about the format is that it felt like I was watching a classic rock documentary. That format of writing helped me visualize the story, which I really liked.

I also liked that format, because it helped me see each character’s point of view of the story, whether it may be the chemistry of Daisy and Billy, the commentaries about the music, and so much more.

Furthermore, what I also liked about the book was that it felt like it was an authentic documentation of the ‘70s rock era – you have big egos, hookups and temptation and drug addiction. Addiction rang heavily throughout the novel. You have Daisy’s addiction to the party scene and drugs. You have Billy who struggled with breaking sobriety all while keeping a family. The novel chronicled those addictions and showcased that struggle in a way that was believable.

Overall, I really loved this book. It introduced me to Taylor Jenkins Reid’s work, and made me hunger for more. But, then again, that’s what I love most about Book of the Month – you get to try a little something new. Now, I can’t wait for the TV show. . .

Uncategorized

Remembering Mom

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Whenever I think about my mother, the one memory that always comes to mind is her in her sweatpants and slippers with her iPod shuffle. The iPod was a gift from me one year for Mother’s Day, and since I bought it for her, it was her buddy whenever she cleaned the house. She would always dance around to songs by The Carpenters, Luke Bryan, and her favorite songs Tarzan Boy by Baltimora and Party Train by D-Train.

It has been over a month since my mom has passed away, and as time goes on, it becomes more and more real that she is truly gone. Whether it be a simple realization when I accidentally call her number while driving, only to realize that the phone has been disconnected or thinking that there will never be another Saturday where we will go to the diner for lunch and grocery shopping at Big Y afterwards. Nor will there be another Christmas where she will attempt to get me to wrap presents on my own without her help, only to take them back so she can do them “the right way.”

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And, the list goes on. Every time I think about it, it hurts. Truth be told, we take time for granted. Honestly, you think that everyone is immortal, and that someone that is so central in your life like a mother, will be there forever. Or, at least until she becomes Sophia Petrillo. However, the reality is, we never know how much time we have with a person.

My mother was a strong and independent woman who was never afraid to vocalize her opinions. She worked her ass off continuously, and always made sure that her house, garden and car was the cleanest.

However, my mother was a single mother. She had to raise me alone — other than the help of my grandparents. Truth be told, I don’t know how she took care of me, the dog and the house daily. Oh yeah, and maintain a full time job to support the house.

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And, she always made sure that I had everything that I wanted and needed. Thanks to my mother, I don’t have a student loan, as she was determined to make sure that I walked onto the stage without a dime of debt. My mother read every newspaper article I wrote, proudly displayed the bracelets that I made (even though sometimes they weren’t always that great), and applauded every good grade that I got. I credit my mom for my love for reading, as she would never deny me a book. She sat through flute concerts, and badminton games — even though I wasn’t the best at either of those. She was the person I always gossiped about my friends to — and the one person that I knew always had my back.

Thinking about the fact that even though she won’t be front and center for the remainder portions of my life really is devastating, whether it may be my wedding day, or if I choose to get a Master’s Degree.

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But, what gets me through those tear-jerking thoughts are the little and big things she did get to witness: high school and college graduations, the day we bought Maggie home, meeting my current boyfriend, the Saturdays at Big Y, and her screaming “The Curse Is On” every Tuesday at nine when The Curse of Oak Island aired on the History Channel.

In her graduation speech from Chilton, Rory Gilmore said “But my ultimate inspiration comes from my best friend, the dazzling woman from whom I received my name and my life’s blood, Lorelai Gilmore. My mother never gave me the idea that I couldn’t do whatever I wanted to do, or be whomever I wanted to be.” 

That quote single handedly describes who my mother was as a mother.

Thank you, Mom. Thank you for guiding me through the past 24 years.