An Open Letter to the People who Broke my Heart:

Everyone has a moment in their life when their world is COMPLETELY shattered by someone or a group of people. This could be a bad break up, a failure at school or work, or even just a plain old series of unfortunate events. At that moment, and for several moments after, you feel as if your life is broken and will be forever changed, in not in a good way.

There are two reactions to this – either you can give in to these feelings of hopelessness OR you can acknowledge how you feel and do what you can to move on.

A little over a year ago, a group of people maliciously conspired to end my relationship with my SO. My approach to healing and moving on after this is to address what happened with this open letter and pray that God gives me the strength to forgive them.

So, here we go:

I wanted to write this letter so that I can begin to seek closure and put an end to the chapter you have in my life. 

I have tried to understand what your motivation was for cutting me out of your son’s life and I have been unable, even after all this time, to come to a conclusion that is even remotely rational. All I do know is that I must possess qualities, unknown to myself, that you sincerely take offense to. And this, combined with the malicious intentions of others, led you to your decided course of action.

For anything that I have done to offend you, please know that it was never my intention to do so and I am truly sorry.

I don’t know if I will ever be able to understand your malicious nature or why you were so quick in your execution. I can see now that cutting off my relationship was something you had thought about and what I once saw as a hair-trigger reaction was instead a well-thought-out plan.

My hope is that one day you will be able to recognize the pain you have caused to innocent people because of your selfish actions. I continue to pray for you.

I want you to know that I forgive you and in some respects, I am grateful that you have had such a profound affect on my life. Because only by forgiving you can I forgive myself and only by acknowledging the pain you’ve caused can I begin to heal. 

I shall always remember the life lessons that you and your family have taught me.

Regards, me.

Savings Galore with the Tax Free Holiday!

If you’re lucky enough to be in a state that offers a Tax Free Holiday for kids, parents and teachers preparing for the school year, I hope you’re planning on taking full advantage!

Not only is this a big money maker for retailers, but it’s also a big money saver for shoppers!

Check out a list of states that offer the holiday and a list of what’s tax free in your area.

What’s on my list, you ask? Here’s the breakdown:

  • Tops and tanks
  • Jeans
  • Skirts, business casual appropriate
  • Intimates (Ladies – we all know how expensive bras can be!!)
  • Flats/Heels

What’s on your list? I’d love to hear. Happy shopping you savvy saver, you!

Things Daddy Warbucks Doesn’t Want You to Know

moneydiaries

Ever wonder why the rich stay rich and the poor stay poor(er)? I did. As a kid who grew up in a middle class family I was always envious of the kids who seemed to have it all.

Now, as a full-time adult – both professionally and personally, I can tell you that the concept of being “rich” is broad and most of the time there are no set rules to boosting your bank account.

So, I decided to research the topic a bit more and find out just how the 1% do it. Here are a few basic tips that have helped me along the way:

  • Think differently. OK, I know what you’re thinking…rich people are all just a bunch of pompous bozos who thumb their noses at the rest of society…right? Wrong – or, at least that’s not the complete picture. People with money have it because they think differently than you or I do. They’re willing to take bigger risks because they KNOW that will give them greater results. They are passionate, ambitious and incredibly action-oriented. And it’s not because they were born with some divine right (although some are born into wealthy families.) They’re just people, like you and me. Learn how to think rich here.
  • Look for bargains and negotiate. That’s right, the people with money are pros at pinching pennies. They all know how to find bargains and then negotiate the terms of the sale. After all, saving money and earning it is their JOB.
  • Know your account balances, credit score and what you’re worth. This one probable sounds like a no-brainer… or, maybe not. Throughout college I waitressed on the weekends to help cover expenses, and I based my account balance off of how much cash was on hand. I was afraid (yes, afraid) to look into my credit score and I couldn’t tell you how to balance a checkbook. Getting older and having some serious student loans to repay has changed all of that. And, in the process, I know what it’s like to “invest” in my future through savings and budgeting. Oh – and I now keep an eye on my credit score. 😉

Want more tips? Here’s an article I enjoyed with 23 tips on how to become a cash king!

Your College Degree Isn’t Worth What You Think It Is

I was one of the lucky ones when I graduated college. I had “real-world” experience in the form of 5 summer internships and a 4-year part-time job as an editor on the student newspaper.

You’re probably thinking “Wow. What an overachiever.” But really, I wasn’t. I was just another college kid looking for any (ANY!) way to get ahead of everyone else. At the encouragement of colleagues and professors, I put more effort into getting articles published, gaining experience, than I did in acing my exams. I wanted to be a writer and would do whatever it took to make that dream come true, even if it meant failing and then re-taking a class or two…or three.

In a study released earlier this year, AfterCollege reported that “14 percent of this year’s college seniors have steady, career-type jobs lined up for their lives after graduation. Thus, 86 percent of America’s college grads — about five out of every six — have zilch in the way of career prospects for their post-campus lives.”

That figure is down 6% from 2013.

After finally graduating with a C- average and more than a lifetime’s worth of stress-induced anxiety, I can tell you that in the end my grades and coursework didn’t matter. What people wanted to see was what I had done with my time in college, beyond coursework.

My degree was essentially a way to check the box beside “Must have 4-year degree or equivalent experience.” And let’s not kid ourselves, no matter how insignificant your degree might seem, if you don’t have those 4-years under your belt, you’re not going to get a call back interview.

It took me 3 months to find a job after college. Now, in my day-to-day workflow, I’d say the only “training” I use from my studies are the typing lessons I took in middle school. (Thanks, Mrs. Benson! You rock!)

What the University and High School guidance counselors had marketed as ‘THE GATEWAY’ to financial and personal security, was now nothing more than a piece of paper (that is, if you could afford a copy of your diploma) and a basic way of saying “I can comprehend [insert subject here.]”

My advice – apply for as many internships as possible, attend all most of your classes and earn your degree. In the end, you’ll be better off and your family will be happier.

Are You a Movie Buff?

Ask my boyfriend and he’ll tell you there aren’t many movies I haven’t seen. This can make date night especially difficult when he doesn’t want to watch something I’ve already seen AND new movies aren’t available on HBO® yet.

But, I can’t help it! I’m a ‘90s kid – I grew up binge-watching Disney movies, eating way too many Lunchables® and obsessing over my giga pet™. #RIPkitty

Ok, so as it turns out I’m NOT technically speaking an actual movie buff. But so what if I can’t name every director, producer, songwriter for every movie I’ve ever seen ever. I like collecting my ticket stubs and looking back on all the movies I went to. I like movies because of the stories they tell – for the characters’ triumphs and tragedies. I like the emotional combinations of music and climactic scenes! (Can I get an “Amen!!”)

I don’t need to be a walking/talking movie trivia card – I’m just fine being another obsessive movie consumer whose main concerns are if they’ll open early on Thursday night, or do I have to wait until Friday, and if there will be extra scenes after the credits. The struggle is real, people.

Happy movie watching!

(Are you a movie buff? Or, do you just really, really like the smell of hot and buttery popcorn??)

Leave your favorite movies in the comments below!

The Leap Second – It’s like Y2K all over again

The world’s time will be forever changed today when a 61st second is added onto the last minute of the day.

This so-called “leap second” isn’t something new, in fact, scientists around the world have been adjusting clocks since 1972 – making this the 25th time an adjustment has been made.

So, why do we care and what does it really mean?

This extra second is what keeps the world’s “official” clocks, and the world’s computers, in sync with the rotation of the earth. The problem: some of the world’s computers aren’t exactly up-to-speed software-wise and don’t adjust well to this change.

We add on the extra time

In 2012 the world saw a “leap second” when it happened and again when companies such as Reddit, LinkedIn, Gimodo and FourSquare experienced glitches as their network clocks failed to read the extra second; financial markets were also impacted.

Just like Cinderella, 8 p.m. EST might be a good time to fall in love update your Facebook status before the world’s computers (potentially) crash. (I’m only kidding!)

The silver lining in all of this is that people really shouldn’t see an impact – I mean, Google says they won’t “go down” as they created a workaround in 2005 after their systems stopped responding to commands, so we’re good. We can continue Googling on to our heart’s content.

Will the leap second ever go away?

Some say YES, it definitely should since every time it happens there are always a few unforeseen problems. The International Telecommunication Union will meet in November and vote on abolishing the leap second.

While they’re at it, could we also do away with daylight savings time? I’m all for “endless summer days”…but when the sun sets at 8:30 p.m., on average, in Florida that’s just pushing it a little bit in my book.