I’m Not Perfect

Something funny happens when people I know IRL find out about my blog.

For starters, they start asking me for money advice (which I love). But something else happens – they start to think I’m perfect with my money.

Of course, they don’t necessarily say those words exactly. But little statements here and there have stuck out to me.

I went on a shopping spree the other weekend. I probably shouldn’t tell you – you’re going to judge me!

I have so much debt… Ah, whatever. You probably don’t have to worry about that, right?

Nice watch! What happened to writing about frugality?

*for the record, that Michael Kors watch they were referring to was a birthday gift from my mom!*

Create a wedding budget? You know that’s the first thing Lisa did after getting engaged!

Okay, that last one is very true #noshameinmygame

Honestly, I don’t mind it when people come to me for advice or anything like that. But it does bug me when people assume that I have it all together just because I blog about money.

J. Money over at Budgets Are Sexy captured my sentiments exactly in his recent post Even Experts Need Help With Money. J. Money talks about how a fellow personal finance blogger – someone who writes about money – reached out to him to help him with his finances. You would think he didn’t need any help because he has a personal finance blog for goodness sake, but in fact, he does.

It brought to mind all the times I felt like people assumed I was perfect when it came to my money. But it’s simply not true!

I am still fighting a battle with my credit card debt.

I have almost no control when it comes to my shopping addiction.

My emergency fund isn’t as big as I’d like it to be.

My stuff continues to stress me out every day.

We’ve already had to rethink our wedding budget.

I am not perfect with my money. I update my net worth publicly every month, but I am not perfect with my money. I write about living frugally and learning to live with less, but I am not perfect with my money. I am obsessed with different budgeting techniques and debt payoff methods, but I am not perfect with my money.

I try not to judge anyone when it comes to their money. We’re all on our own journeys, even us bloggers who write about money day in and day out. Everyone needs help with their money, no matter where they are in life.

What are some ways you can improve your own finances?


Links Lisa Likes – Early Wedding Planning

The Fiance and I have been doing a lot lately in regards to early wedding planning.

Our wedding date isn’t until February 2016. However, we both have experience planning/executing big events and know for a fact that the more we get done now, the better! That way, the months leading up to the wedding itself don’t necessarily have to be stressful or rushed. We want to enjoy our engagement, and getting things done early is helping already!

For instance, we already have our DJ and photographers booked as of this week! Granted they are friends of ours, but still – getting these set in stone is already such a relief!

The church is also booked already! Originally, I was going to call the church the day after the proposal, since I knew there was a huge wait list. But after going through the site, I realized that they wanted a deposit right away, which we did not have at the time. So we waited and saved for about a month, and now the deposit is in and our church is booked!

Currently, The Fiance and I are looking at potential reception venues. We haven’t booked anything yet, but we have a ton of appointments set to see different kinds of venues. Looking for a venue this early also gives us an idea of how much we need to save for that expense, as well.

Hopefully all this early wedding planning will pay off!

Last Week on LvtL

Links Lisa Likes – Warriors Basketball is Back!
It’s no secret that I’m a huge Warriors fan!

The (Semi-Surprise) Proposal Story
Yes – I’m engaged! I’m a couple of months late… but here is our proposal story!

The Price of Looking Rich
Looking rich may actually prevent you from being rich.

This Week’s LLL

10 Shockingly Expensive Things We Own – [Frugalwoods]
Perfect examples of when frugal does not mean cheap.

31 Genius Tips for Making Your Workday Easier – [The Muse]
My favorite? Take a nap!

It’s Not a Competition – [The Simple Dollar]
Having a more grateful mindset can help with jealousy.

My Family Has Been Happily Cable-Free for over 2 Years. Here’s How… – [Lille Punkin’]
Our monthly cable bill is ridiculous. I would love to cut cable, especially now that there’s tons of options for sports lovers!

Serenity and Personal Finance – [2 Copper Coins]
When I was in high school, I prayed The Serenity Prayer almost daily. It can lead to an eye-opening reflection on how you choose to react to certain things.

Hope y’all are having a wonderful weekend so far!


The Price of Looking Rich

On Saturday, The Fiance had his last day at work at his current job.

He’s not leaving the company though. In fact, he got promoted and is transferring to a different location with better hours and higher pay. Yay!

For those who don’t know, he currently works at one of the major banks here in the U.S. I don’t want to say which one, just to keep some veil of anonymity here on the blog.

Ever since he started this job a little over a year ago, he’s noticed something. He’ll tell me that the customers who come in wearing fancy suits, flashy jewelry and watches, and leave in their super shiny luxury cars end up having the lowest balances in their accounts. On the flip side, the customers who come in wearing torn up jeans, old T-shirts, and drive vehicles that are practically falling apart end up having the accounts with six to seven figures!

In other words, those who spend money looking rich aren’t really rich!

These experiences have been pretty eye-opening, both for The Fiance and myself. As someone who still battles shopping addiction, it has definitely changed my views on certain purchases. Now, I tend to look at the real value of things, despite the brand name. In fact, some brand names turn me off completely. Why buy a $1,000+ bag with an ugly print all over it when this more affordable one that looks better can do the same exact job? Oh wait, that’s right – for the sake of looking rich.

When I was younger, I was always so envious of the girls who got to wear Coach sneakers, Ugg boots, and Louis Vuitton handbags on the daily. Yes, this is what you see everyday when you go to a private school all your life. Whenever I asked my mom for something like that, she would say we simply couldn’t afford it. Back then, I thought she was punishing me. Now? I’m grateful that she said no.

Sure, I still get a tinge of jealousy when I see someone posting about their latest shopping haul or show off their new fancy car. But now I know that sometimes, buying these things come at a cost:

  • An emptier wallet
  • Increasing credit card debt – believe me, I’m still battling this one.
  • An increased obsession with stuff

The price of looking rich? Not worth it in my opinion.

Do you think looking rich is hurting peoples’ finances?


The (Semi-Surprise) Proposal Story

I have a way of always ruining surprises.

One time, when I was in New York on my birthday, I looked over across the table at my mom at the exact moment that she was pointing me out to a server to “surprise” me with a birthday cheesecake.

Not only do I have a knack for being at the wrong place at the right time, I also generally don’t like surprises in the first place.

When I turned 18, my cotillion court successfully surprised me once with a video and song. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t upset that they surprised me – I was super appreciative of the surprise! But at the time, I was more sad that they spent all this time without me to plan the surprise instead of being happy about it! I know, I’m weird like that.

I don’t know what made me this way, but The BF has been warned and knows this about me. So this proposal was a feat in and of itself – not only did he want to propose to me, but he wanted to surprise The Girl Who Hates Surprises herself.

The BF and I have been dating for quite some time now (about 10 years on and off), so the topic of marriage has definitely come up a few times. Months ago, I was jokingly asking him when he was going to propose to me.

This is probably why I’m always spoiling surprises – I have a pretty good sense of what a “surprise situation” looks/feels like as it approaches, so I annoyingly start asking about everything!

For some reason, I had a hunch that it was going to be on a special day. I kept throwing out dates to him.

“Are you going to propose on our anniversary?”

“No, stop asking.”

“Are you gonna do it on Thanksgiving?”

“No, stop asking.”

“Not Christmas, right?”

“No, stop asking.”

“It’s your birthday, isn’t it…”

“Noooooooo… STOP ASKING!”

The topic quickly changed to something else, and I forgot all about the conversation…

Up until about three months ago.

The BF and I went on a dinner date. He said he had to tell me something. He told me he was going to propose to me on his birthday, but since he didn’t get the promotion that he was hoping for, he would have to delay the proposal.

Little did I know, this was all part of his plan to throw me off.

The day before his birthday, we had a very busy day. We spent most of the afternoon at a practice we had for an event we help run every year. Not to mention this rehearsal was out in the hot heat and there were A TON of mosquitoes biting at us all day (seriously, I think I still have the marks from all the bites on my legs).

On top of being exhausted from practice, we went to a birthday party of a friend who actually has the same birthday as The BF. He was being extremely quiet the entire time we were there, but I just tossed it up to the fact that we were super exhausted from that afternoon.

Before the clock struck midnight, The BF and I left to go to a spot in the town over next to the water that we used to go to a lot back when I didn’t have a job and had all the time in the world. We were with people all day and his only request for his birthday was to have it just be us two at midnight. We ordered two slices of cake from a local bakery earlier and enjoyed them as we looked at the stars and listened to the sound of the water.

Right when midnight struck, I sung him a super quick happy birthday and was going to suggest going straight home since I was so tired and figured he was tired, too, since he was quiet all day.

But instead, he convinced me to go on a walk. As we were strolling along, he says,

I’m sorry I couldn’t propose to you on my birthday”.

“That’s okay, don’t worry about it.”

“…I’m sorry I lied”


He continued to lead me to the middle of a landing to stairs that lead to the water and started to go into his little speech. It was super dark, until I noticed a very bright light coming toward us and the sound of music coming from the same direction. The song that was playing was “Endlessly” by The Cab.

At this point, everything was a blur. Immediately after he proposed, I discovered that my brother, cousins, and two good friends were there to help create and capture this moment. Things that didn’t make sense months and even days ago suddenly were clear to me.

Absolutely unreal. #LisafoundtheJuan

A photo posted by Lisa E (@liseezy) on

Thanks to my crew of ninjas who helped me pull off an epic proposal #LisafoundtheJuan

A photo posted by Juan M Danganan (@juanhundred) on

Oh, and the importance of the song? If you read the lyrics, it’s about knowing the road won’t be perfect, that it’ll be a hard journey, and it won’t be easy. We might not have a lot of money, but we’ll make it through.

Yes, I’m super late with this post but I did want to share with you all the proposal story!

How does your proposal story go?


Links Lisa Likes – Warriors Basketball is Back!

Summer is still my favorite season, but I’ve noticed that every year, I look forward to the fall season.

Sure, the return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte is here, and the weather gets a bit more predictable and bearable around these parts (HA! Who am I kidding – I will never understand SF Bay Area weather).

Fall also means that the holiday season is just around the corner! Though it may bring stress to most people (including myself), I still love the holiday season.

These reasons to love fall are great and all, but there really one reason why I love this time of year…

Golden State Warriors Basketball is back!!!

*cue happy dance*

*cue happy dance*

That. Is. All.

Catch Me if You Can

17 All-Star Bloggers Share Their Best Fall Budgeting Tips – [ReadyForZero Blog]
Speaking of fall… I’m so very honored to be on the same list as these blogging all-stars! Check out all of these lovely frugal fall tips!

Last Week on LvtL

Links Lisa Likes – Engagement Party Recovery
Looking back on our engagement party – I don’t know how we pulled it off! Honestly, I’m still recovering!

Stylish and Affordable Eyewear – Warby Parker
Last week, Warby Parker launched their Winter 2014 Collection! Love the new frames!

October 2014 Net Worth Update
October was an incredibly busy month. Great for the overall net worth! But I still need to work on my credit card debt

This Week’s LLL

6 Ways Being Cheap Can Cost You Money – [Making Sense of Cents]
There is a difference between cheap and frugal!

The Devil Made Me Do It. Why We Always Have a Choice – [Free to Pursue]
What choices do you want to make and why aren’t you choosing to do so?

The Difference Between Jealousy and Envy – [Club Thrifty]
I also wrote about jealousy a while back and I still think it’s a waste of your time.

How One Woman Paid off $55,000 in Debt in 3.5 Years – [Well Kept Wallet]
I had the pleasure of meeting Kassandra at FinCon14 and this woman is amazing!

Why You’ll Never Be Happy Keeping Up With the Joneses – [The Frugal Farmer]
Keeping up with the Joneses is a losing battle.

Hope y’all had a wonderful week!

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