Links Lisa Likes – Mockingjay

Yesterday, my friends, the Fiance, and I trekked over to the movie theater to watch The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1.

As someone who’s read the entire Hunger Games series, I thought the movie was pretty good! I already know what happens and how everything ends, but the movie still surprised me and kept me entertained.

If you haven’t yet, I suggest you watch the Hunger Games series – or at least read it!

The Hunger Games Trilogy

Last Week on LvtL

Links Lisa Likes – Early Wedding Planning
The Fiance and I are doing a lot of wedding planning early on. Hopefully it’ll work out in the long run!

I’m Not Perfect
Writing about money definitely doesn’t mean that I’m perfect with my money.

This Week’s LLL

Are You Giving the Shaft to Your Future Self? – [Mr. Money Mustache]
Every thing you buy now affects the future you.

Holiday Budgeting Tips To Help Keep More Cash In Your Wallet – [Adam Hagerman]
I love the idea of giving kids something to read. Time to put the iPad down!

I Need Help But Don’t Want to Ask – [Luke 1428]
My pride and my stubbornness often prevent me from asking for help.

Ten Lessons Learned From Reading Over 100 Books – [Free to Pursue]
You don’t have to remember everything in a book to know that it changed you.

Why Pursuing Your Passion Is Not Enough (and What You Should Do Instead) – [Jeff Goins]
I’ve had the pleasure of hearing Jeff speak at FinCon14 and his posts always get me thinking. This one is no exception!

Have you read The Hunger Games trilogy? What do you think of the movies?


This post contains an affiliate link, which means I may receive a small compensation if you make a purchase through this link.

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?

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