June 2015 Favorites

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June 2015 Favorites

Instead of doing a weekly Links Lisa Likes, I’m going to start doing a monthly favorites where I share not only my favorite posts of the month, but also my favorite things. This can be books, movies, podcasts, clothing, whatever!

June went by super fast for me! The Fiance and I got a bunch of wedding planning done, which is always good. Other than that, work has been picking up and I’m keeping up as much as I can. Nothing I can’t handle, though!

Favorite Things

June 2015 Favorites

one – I’ve been wearing these Aviator sunglasses almost everyday! I love huge sunglasses and these fit the bill. I didn’t know these were men’s until today when I looked it up online but who cares – I still really like them!

two – This Contigo water bottle goes with me everywhere I go. Mine is actually bright orange, so it’s hard to lose and quickly brightens my day just looking at it. Staying hydrated is incredibly important, even while we’re in a drought!

three – When I saw these Marley Smile Jamaica In-Ear Headphones at Target, I was obsessed. I love the wooden design paired with the bright teal details. I use these every single day when I’m listening to podcasts on the way to work! The only thing I’d complain about, though, is that they don’t have volume control buttons on them. But that’s not really a big deal to me.

Favorite Posts Around the Web

Saving Money Isn’t About Deprivation – It’s About Freedom – [The Financial Diet]
This ^ is what it’s all about, people.

Start Now, Your Goals and Dreams Will Take Time – [The Shop My Closet Project]
Overnight success is rare. Hard work and time aren’t sexy, but they’re necessary.

You Truly Cannot Plan for Everything… But Plan Anyways – [Fit is the New Poor]
Just because you cannot prevent/plan for everything doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared.

Favorite Posts on LvtL

Still Shaken Up…
Honestly, I’m still trying to figure out what to do next after this scare. I’ve been reflecting on my life a lot lately and whether or not I’m really living up to my potential.

What the Golden State Warriors Can Teach Us About Humility
We ended up taking the championship home! Here’s the #1 reason why I think we were successful and how we can be more humble in our own lives.

What the Golden State Warriors Can Teach Us About Personal Growth
Another post in this series. Stop caring what others think about you and get to work instead.

Favorite Movie

Inside Out

June 2015 Favorites - Favorite Movie - Inside OutImage from Pixar Post

Pixar does it again! As a young girl, I always tried to fight off my emotions. This movie addresses the importance of all of our emotions and it does it in a very entertaining way. Pixar is great at creating movies that are truly family friendly – everyone from the kids to the grandparents will enjoy it!

My favorite character was Sadness. I’m weird like that 😛 But all the other emotions/characters were awesome in their own way. Anger was pretty hilarious – I saw a lot of myself in him and Sadness!

Favorite Podcast

 

To Do’s Before I Do

To-Dos-Before-I-Do-FINAL

As an engaged bride, I’ve been devouring almost everything wedding related, especially when it comes to being organized and saving money.

So when I stumbled upon To Do’s Before I Do – I binge-listened to all the episodes in one day! Shaina is incredibly easy to listen to and the episodes are relatively short so it doesn’t take up too much of your time. The podcast is full of real advice for the organized bride who strives to be a Bride-Chilla, not a Bride-Zilla.

How was your June? Any new favorites pop up in your world?

AMDG,
Lisa

My Advice for College Graduates

My Advice for College Graduates

My friends over at TheLadders reached out to me to share some tips for new graduates who are getting ready to enter the work force.

I thought this would be perfect for this time of year! We are just starting to wrap up graduation season over here and I’m sure there are a lot of graduates getting asked the dreaded question, “So, what now?”

I remember what it felt like, having just finished school and not having a job lined up like some of my peers. It’s overwhelming and exciting at the exact same time! Here’s my advice for college graduates.

My Advice to College Graduates

Take Time to Celebrate and Enjoy This Time

Hey, finishing up a degree is not easy! And you did it! Don’t forget to take time to celebrate what you’ve done. I’m not saying you should splurge on a vacation that you can’t afford or anything like that. I’m saying take some time to really enjoy and appreciate your accomplishments.

Have fun at your graduation party. Take this time to finally read that book you’ve been putting off because you were studying. Go on a hike or have a beach day with your friends. The first few weeks of the after-grad life are perfect for moments like this. Yes, the job search is important. But don’t let it completely take over your life right now. Let yourself enjoy this time. When you do find your first job, you’ll miss this free time.

Define Your Must-Haves and Decide What You Can Compromise

The job search can get pretty overwhelming, so I say you should start with defining what you want and what you can live without. What location do you want to work in, or does location even matter to you? What kind of company do you want to work for – big, small, public, private – or do you just want to work for any company? How does your degree tie into all this?

For example, when I was searching for my job, I knew I wanted to stay in the San Francisco Bay Area, but I didn’t have to stay specifically in the city. I was open to the East and North Bay as well. As far as what kind of company, I didn’t have any particular wants – I was open to whatever company would have me at that point! When it came to how it tied in with my degree (I got a bachelor’s in Accounting), I knew that I wanted to try my hand at accounting, but I was also open to finding any position within business in general.

I ended up getting a job as an Administrative Assistant at a small company in San Francisco. While I was more of an office assistant, I also helped both the accounting and finance departments. This position was perfect as my first job because I gained accounting experience, but I learned that finance was more my cup of tea.

Learn as Much as Possible

Being a new grad, you’re probably really proud of all that you’ve learned. However, when you start a new job, I would say refrain from being a show off and instead soak in all the real life knowledge you can. Sure, you may have gained a lot of skills and knowledge in school, but your first priority in your first job isn’t to completely change up everything and make your mark. It really is to learn the ins and outs of your new duties and company.

When I was a fresh new grad, I was excited to show off my Accounting Skillz and how much I knew about Excel. Then I quickly learned that in fact, I had much more to learn about Excel and a lot of other things. Although you’re no longer a student, keep the student mentality.

Take Your Time and Trust the Struggle

Don’t feel like you have to change everything once you get there, at least not for your first job. Take the first month or so to really study how everything works. Became a master at your position first before you take on new things.

I’m not proud of this, but I used to say that a lot of my first job was “b*tch” work. But now, I look back and see that it wasn’t. Sure, some things like making coffee, making copies, and opening the mail can be tedious and boring. But when you become a master at it, people will notice and will eventually trust you with other things.

I hate saying cliche things like this type of work “builds character”, but it really does! Show them how good you are at the mundane things and they can’t help but trust you with bigger things as your career progresses.

So there you have it – my advice for college graduates!

Did I miss anything? What would your advice be for a new graduate?

AMDG,
Lisa

 

Still Shaken Up…

Still Shaken Up…

It was just like any other night.

I was driving home from The Fiance’s house after the Warrior’s game last Thursday. It was pretty late, around 10:30 pm. We don’t live too far from each other, the drive is only about 10 minutes. I’ve driven this way probably 3-4 times a week at least. Nothing was out of the ordinary.

As I was driving through an intersection, I saw a car coming towards me from my left side incredibly fast. I stomped on the brakes as hard as I could and as the car passed me, I could feel the air from their momentum rock my own car. You can say it was a pretty close call.

I sat there in the middle of the intersection completely frozen. I looked up to make sure and yes – I did have a green light. It was my right of way.

I was shaken up to say the least

Thankfully, I wasn’t hit. But it was pretty damn close.

As I continued my drive home, a million thoughts ran through my head.

still shaken up

I did everything right…

As I was frozen shortly after, I made sure to look up and ensure that I really did have a green light. I did! I proceeded to double check everything else. It was pretty dark outside. Were my lights on? Yes. Did I signal? No, I wasn’t even turning, no need to signal. Was I speeding, too? No, I clearly remember checking my speed right before crossing that intersection.

But I guess that doesn’t matter…

This was the scariest thought for me, to be honest. You can do everything right and things can still turn out the way you don’t want them to. You can be a great driver – following the speed limit, going ahead when the light is green, signalling when needed. But when someone on the road is not being a great driver, it doesn’t really matter.

Then I started thinking that this can apply to other things as well. You can do all the right things when it comes to your career, your finances, your health. But someone else, or even just life in general, decides to ruin things.

Didn’t that driver see that s/he had a red light?

At first, my thoughts about the other driver were not kind to say the least. The words “idiot” and “moron” were used heavily in the minutes following the scare. I mean, a bright red light is pretty damn difficult to miss!

I’ve come to the conclusion that the other driver was either distracted or was incredibly bored. The thought came up that maybe there was a pregnant lady in the car that was giving birth right that second – but still! I understand the urgency but I do think that the driver should still be careful when there are others in the car.

Either way, I’m speculating. It doesn’t matter. No one’s perfect and I need to stop focusing on that other person. It’s not productive.

What if I really got hit?

Ultimately, I don’t know. I don’t know how bad it would have been, physically and monetarily. I immediately thought to what I have set up. I have an emergency fund that could help cover some costs. I also have some great health insurance offered by my employer.

Then I thought about everyone else. I don’t have kids yet and I’m not married yet, either. But I am in charge of all the house bills, making sure they get paid on time and all that. What would my mom, auntie, and brother do if something happened to me? I would imagine it would be incredibly stressful to deal with me being in the hospital on top of trying to figure out the house bills.

With that being said, I’m thinking of writing up a list of all of my/our bills along with due dates and amounts. I recently read this post about creating an emergency list for your family from Michelle over at Making Sense of Cents, before the incident. After the incident, the post came to mind all over again. I really need to set this up for my family.

Thank God I wasn’t hit

Most importantly, I’m grateful. I’m thankful that this didn’t turn out wrongly. I truly believe God allows certain things to happen to you to wake us up and reflect on our current life. Are we doing everything right? Are we on the right path? Have we lived the way we wanted to?

I’m still shaken up. But now I’m more motivated to actually do something. I’ve been complacent lately and I’ve chosen perfect inaction over imperfect action. I’m going to work on getting my sh*t together and after that, I’ll be working a lot more on my happiness and life in general.

Sorry this was kind of scattered. Just felt like sharing.

AMDG,
Lisa

What the Golden State Warriors Can Teach Us About Humility

What the Golden State Warriors Can Teach Us About Humility

This is another addition to the “What the Golden State Warriors Can Teach Us About…” series that accidentally came to be these past few weeks. Read the last one here. As always, if you’re not a fan of basketball, don’t worry! This series proves just how relatable this team is to you and your life.

Tonight is Game 4 in the NBA Finals and our beloved Warriors are trailing the series 2-1. Lebron and his Cavaliers have proven that they are a force to be reckoned with in this series.

The Warriors are resilient, though. Although it seems a little bleak right now, we have our eyes on our goal. We made it this far for a reason!

Golden State Warriors and Humility

The Golden State Warriors Are True Examples of Humility

As I was reflecting on why the Warriors are so successful this season, I can’t help but think about their humility. Our fan base sees the players’ humility in every single game and even in every single off-season decision.

Humility – a modest or low view of one’s own importance; humbleness

 Sign of Humility #1 – Accepting Roster Changes

Towards the beginning of the season, the decision was made to have David Lee and Andre Iguodala come off the bench – meaning they were no longer part of the starting 5 players on the court. This might not mean much to people, but these two were NBA All Stars and to have their starting position taken away must have taken a blow to their pride.

But these two have proven that they’ve taken this decision with grace and acceptance, allowing themselves to grow more in their roles on the bench as well as on the court. They have accepted their new roles and have absolutely no complaints. Iguodala has said in numerous interviews that he was willing to take this new role. Lee even posted the following on Instagram:

Minutes, points, and recognition are pointless when compared to team accomplishment.

What This Means for You – Know When to Step Back

The decision to move Iguodala to the bench didn’t only affect him – it also meant that Harrison Barnes would get to start. Sometimes, you’ve got to know and accept when it’s time for you to step back. Letting others do their thing instead of thinking you can do it all is a sign of humility and it really helps with the overall chemistry of whatever group you’re in.

Sign of Humility #2 – Steph Curry’s MVP Speech

This year, Steph Curry, our star point guard, was voted the NBA’s Most Valuable Player this year. Every year’s MVP gets to do a whole thank you speech. During Curry’s MVP speech, he didn’t talk about himself too much. Instead, he took the time to thank everyone on the team individually, his family, heck – even the equipment manager and head of security! He made sure everyone got their moment and recognition even though this moment was supposed to be about him and his accomplishments.

Although Curry does recognize his own hard work, he can’t help but recognize that there are many people that helped him along the way.

What This Means for You – Acknowledge All Those Who Have Helped You

In times of immense success, it’s easy to soak in all the compliments and praise. But I challenge you to actually take this time to acknowledge and thank those who have helped you get to where you are. As much as we’d like to think we are Superman/woman, rarely does one person get to where they need to be all by themselves. Don’t forget to thank those who have helped you grow.

Sign of Humility #3 – Warriors’ Owners and Executives

It’s not just the team. Two weeks ago, when we won the Western Conference Championship, our coach Steve Kerr, Warriors owners Peter Guber and Joe Lacob, and Warriors GM Bob Meyers literally stepped out of the spotlight during the trophy ceremony so that it could be all about the team. As the players lifted their trophy up high, the executives beamed with pride from the side, allowing the players to relish in their moment.

Meanwhile… In Cleveland…

Golden State Warriors and Humility

What This Means for You – Know Where Credit is Due

Have you ever been praised for something, maybe at work, when you really didn’t do anything? It can be easy to just accept it and move on, but for those who actually did the work, that can be devastating. Instead, know where credit is due. Let your teammates shine when they’ve earned it and make sure they get the recognition they deserve.

In my opinion, humility is the reason why the Warriors have been so successful this season. Not only do they play selflessly on the court, their actions off the court have proven that they really, truly are humble people.

When we can let go of our own personal, individual success and start to focus on our team’s overall success – whether it be our families, our work teams, our circle of friends – we all win.

How do you work on humility? Do you think humility is important?

AMDG,
Lisa

I’ve Decided to Stop Saving for Retirement

I’ve Decided to Stop Saving for Retirement

You can probably tell from the title what this post is going to be about.

Yes – last week, I made the decision to stop saving for retirement.

Stop Saving for Retirement

For me, this means I’ve stopped contributing 3% of my salary to my 401k, which in turn means I’m also forfeiting that free money that my company matches. On top of that, I’ve completely stopped my maximum contributions to my Roth IRA.

I didn’t just do this on a whim. I’ve been thinking about this decision to stop saving for retirement for a while. The main reason being that I have a wedding to save up for.

Now, I’ve mentioned before that I’ve also stopped saving for my wedding. (Am I just allergic to saving??? Maybe. But that’s a post for another day.) Instead, I’m attacking my credit card debt with full force because I do not want to bring my credit card debt into my marriage.

The Decision to Stop Saving for Retirement

Like I said, the decision to stop saving for retirement wasn’t just a spur-of-the-moment kind of thing. I’ve been thinking about it for a while now and actually only brought it up to The Fiance about two weeks ago.

He actually told me that he already made the decision to stop saving for retirement a few months ago for this wedding and our debt! Man, I wish I had told him sooner. Just another lesson on why we should always be honest and transparent with money.

Knowing that The Fiance has also made the decision to stop saving for retirement assured me that i wasn’t alone, but I still had a lot to think about.

Weighing the Pros and Cons

Cliche – I know – but weighing the pros and cons of any financial decision is never a bad idea.

Cons – Why I Should Not Stop Saving for Retirement

1) I’m giving up free money. My employer matches 100% of my 401k contributions up to 3% of my salary. Who would say no to free money???

2) I’m missing out on the benefits of compound interest. Compound interest is something I haven’t really gone in depth on the blog, so I’ll save that for another day. But basically, by not contributing money now, I’m giving up the time factor, which is the most important factor, of compounding.

Pros – Why I Should Stop Saving for Retirement

1) I throw a lot of money into my retirement – 3% of my salary to my 401k plus about another 8% of my salary to my Roth IRA. This is no small chunk of change. With that being said, this amount of money can do a lot of damage to my credit card debt!

2) My wedding is coming up. The Fiance and I always get compliments, saying that we’re ahead of the wedding planning game. But my own personal goal before the wedding is to step into this marriage with no credit card debt. The money I would normally stash into my retirement accounts can really help me reach this goal a lot sooner, meaning I can start saving for my wedding sooner!

3) I’m currently satisfied with my retirement account balances. Right now, I have a little over $32,000 in retirement. I think that balance looks great for a 26 year old! Of course, there can be more (I don’t max my 401k), but I think I’m doing great for my age.

4) This is only temporary. I’m not done saving for retirement. I’m just pausing it for the next several months. Right after my credit card debt is gone, which hopefully will be in 3 months or so, I will probably start contributing to my 401k again.

The Game Plan

Stop Saving for Retirement

Obviously, this is step number 1. I’ve stopped my automatic withdrawals into my Roth IRA and I’ve inquired to my company’s HR department about pausing my 401k contributions, as well.

Throw Money at Credit Card Debt

Again, this is the goal as of right now. I refuse to bring my credit card debt to my marriage and the wedding date is only getting closer.

Restart 401k Contributions

After the credit card debt is gone, I’ll be starting up my 401k contributions again. The main reason being I already miss the free money from my employer!

Throw Money at Wedding Savings

Once my credit card debt is gone and my 401k contributions are back in place, my extra money will be thrown toward this wedding. Just as I personally refuse to bring my credit card debt into my marriage, The Fiance and I absolutely refuse to go into debt for our wedding. This is the Big Goal of the rest of 2015 and the beginning of 2016.

Don’t worry y’all. I have a plan! It’s going to suck for now, but it’s temporary, I promise!

What do you think? Am I making a mistake? Did you stop saving for retirement so you can throw it at your debt or your wedding?

AMDG,
Lisa