Personal finance.

Something I’ve been wanting to write a post about for a while is how I have gotten a hold of my finances. By the way,it’s not sponsored (that would be ironic right? I got better at budgeting by doing more sponsored posts ha ha).

Since I was left without a job for close to 9 months, I essentially lived off of savings for a while…Since I do not have unlimited savings, that plan would obviously not work forever. When I began working again I needed to rebuild my savings account. While Tim and I have a joint savings account, we also give separate accounts too. From March until roughly July, I was working unsuccessfully to rebuild my savings.  It’s kind of like someone who knows nothing about dieting.  You just kind of wing it and hope it works.  For some people it works and for some people it doesn’t work. In my situation, I was very unsuccessful.  I decided I desperately needed help.  That is when I began researching personal finances and budgets.  I began looking for a professional to help.  That is when I found Ashley.

In July, I decided I really wanted to save for the Oiselle team camp. My goal was to set aside the extra 1350 dollars for camp (between flights, the cost of camp and extra money). Due to personal reasons and the timing of the camp, I ended up not being able to go.With Ashley’s help and advice, I was able save that amount and ended up depositing it into savings. Over the last few months of working with Ashley, I’ve been able to rebuild my savings. It hasn’t been the most “fun” or enjoyable thing to do but it’s necessary.

I enjoy working with Ashley because she isn’t intimidating. She is much closer to my age. Even when I’ve spent more than I should have (on unnecessary things) she is very motivating to help me get back on track. I would absolutely recommend Ashley to other people. I asked if she was interested in writing a guest post and more about what she does for my blog.  She has truly helped me so much!


Hi LOLZ readers!!! I am so excited to be chatting with you today! Thanks, Hollie, for having me on your blog!


My name is Ashley and I am a financial coach for women in their 20s. Basically, my job is to help people get comfortable with their money. Today, I want to share one of my biggest tips for sorting out your financial life. Are you ready for this? (it’s a big one… brace yourself…)

Okay, here goes. My biggest tip for financial success is…

Figure out your financial priorities!

Sounds easy enough, right? I think most 20-somethings have this issue (myself included) of wanting everything right this very instant. We have no idea of priorities… we just want to buy ALL OF THE THINGS. So my advice is that you do a little soul searching to decide what truly makes you happy in life. Allow yourself to spend money on those things, but cut back your spending on everything else!

{Side note: one of my favorite things about working with Hollie was that she knew exactly what she wanted to prioritize. From Day 1, she was like, “I like going to diners, drinking coffee, and running races.” So I can now confirm that everything she writes about on the blog really is what she does in real life, haha!}

I mean, let’s be honest for a sec. Imagine if you cut out all those silly little things that you spend money on (you know, the stuff you buy and immediately regret because, let’s be serious, do you really need another chevron throw pillow?) and put that money towards your financial priorities.

For example…

Do you really care about going to fancy restaurants? Or could you cut out the restaurant trips and put that money towards paying off your student loans?

Do you really care about your bi-weekly manicures and pedicures? Or can you do your nails at home, and put the saved money towards race entries?

I believe that you can do WAY more with your money than you think you can. Take a few minutes to really think about what makes you happy in life, and then cut out any spending that doesn’t support those priorities.

Do more of what you love, less of what you don’t. It’s an easy recipe for financial success— and overall happiness!

I’d love for you guys to stop by my blog and get in on the money convo with me! I also send out a monthly Money Saving Challenge newsletter– sign up for that to kickstart your money saving journey! 🙂

Questions for you:

What are some of your financial priorities? 

Have you ever worked with a budgeting coach? 


27 responses

  1. I thought I had finances figured out until kids came into the picture. Then it all fell apart! Well, the priorities became all about getting the best for the kids, and I’m still not sure it is all worth the struggle, but I’m glad to prioritize activities they love and good schools. Just had no idea HOW expensive all that stuff was beforehand.

  2. I love reading Ashley’s blog, she makes some great points on there that I don’t think a lot of 20somethings really consider. Plus it’s nice to see that you can budget and be frugal without being super cheap or being like one of those extreme couponers or cheapskates on TV :).

    My dad taught me about saving money and finances from a young age. When I got married, obviously Clay knew it was important to me and that I’m not the type to blow money and he was on board with that. He is now the primary breadwinner and is probably very, very glad that his wife doesn’t want to shop all the time or spend money :).

    Like you prioritize coffee, diners, and running, I prioritize a few things too- obviously running is one of them but also vacation. I will splurge on a nice vacation because Clay didn’t get to travel much as a kid and I did, and I think it’s good to see places and experience things. I have the same car I’ve had since college, but I have no problem spending hundreds on vacations (but you can save on those too!).

    • It is awesome how many vacations you and Clay are able to take! I would love if you were able to do some posts about your deals and travels!

  3. Money is something women are so scared to talk about for some reason, as if it’s not feminine to plan for your future and make sure you have the funds to do what you want. Ridiculous. I’m glad you are getting started on a plan that helps you achieve your life vision (coffee/racing/diners is a legit life vision, that stuff makes you happy). More women should get going on this in their early 20s so that they have a solid foundation to work with as they age. I’m so glad I got started saving in my retirement and house downpayment accounts right when I graduated from college, it’s enabled me to enter my 30s very financially secure so that I have the freedom to spend money on things that matter to me.

    • Thanks Victoria, that’s kind of where we are now. We would like to start saving so we aren’t stressed in our 30s-40s.

      I do agree and I think finance is kind of like weight. No one ever talks about it openly.

  4. Love this! We’re currently in the process of buying a house (Talk about expensive… haha) so we’ve already started setting additional budget categories for home projects and things like that. My husband and I are both really “into” budgets (haha we’re kind of nerdy) but it makes me feel much more relaxed when I know my finances are in order!

  5. I’m an odd one but I LOVE making budgets and setting up rules. I do well with limits and not so well when not limited. Good for you for staring this now, Hollie. I started a savings goal when I was a senior in college (16 years ago) and have continued with it. I don’t believe that money can’t buy happiness b/c it can provide a huge sense of security and lets you sleep well at night. If you aren’t stressed over money it certainly makes things happier 🙂 I stopped prioritizing clothing – realized that I have so many clothes now and can make myself look presentable so why go shopping every single weekend? I actually like to window shop (without purchasing) and don’t need to clutter my closet with any more “stuff”.

  6. I actually really really appreciate this post! I JUST opened my first savings account a few months ago after finally getting out of the unpaid internship circle of hell and while it isn’t the most glamorous thing in the world I get really excited putting money aside for things like, say, my first apartment! I like spending money on food and fitness, concerts, and just experiences in general. “Things”, not as much. So I need to work on cutting out those “things” that just randomly come up. I will definitely be checking out Ashley’s blog!

  7. AHHH thanks so much for the nice words! 🙂 you’re the best! I’m so glad we found each other because I’ve really enjoyed chatting with you! I’m so impressed with how dedicated you were to your finances… yeah, it might not be “fun” but you totally rocked it!

  8. Good for you! It’s so funny how money is one of those taboo topics but yet there are some great ways we could all help each other if the lines of communication were a bit more open. For example, I’ve had friends who have been too embarressed to tell me they couldn’t go out to eat b/c they were focused on paying down their student loans…if only I had known, I would have been totally happy cooking dinner at my house instead so I still got to see them. Glad you have a plan that’s working for you!

  9. Very informative post and important topic! For whatever reason, it seems like budgeting and managing finances isn’t talked about as much as it should be. My parents taught me early about savings and such. SO much of my money goes toward food. You know you’re an athlete when …

  10. My husband and I took Dave Ramsey’s 10 week class “financial peace” right after we got married and it has done wonders for us! I paid off my entire car loan, my husband paid off his student loans and we have a very big emergency fund saved up now in case anything happens. Financial security is so important and I’m glad that you are learning that young! Every dollar you save and invest in your 20s means SO much more wealth in the future. Keep it up!

  11. After a year with two major moves and a stint of unemployment between the two, I came into this fall with a severely depleted savings myself and have been struggling to build it back up. This post is really timely for me and I will definitely check out Ashley’s blog – thanks Hollie!

  12. I’m almost 40 and I’m just now learning about how to budget. Earlier this year my husband and I almost lost our home and it was a huge lesson for us. Now I budget and have let go of a lot of small things that we did or bought so that we can get back on track and hopefully pay off our home sooner. I wish someone had explained things like credit card debit and finances to me when I was in my 20’s. But better late than never!

  13. I absolutely love this post!! Mike and I are having a hard time right now prioritizing and not spending money on everything. Thanks for the info!

  14. Part of getting your financial house in order is also planning now for a comfortable retirement. If you have a job with a retirement plan, start saving ASAP because a dollar now is worth a lot more over 30 years than over 10. Too many people are going to have less than they need when they retire, even after working their whole lives.

    • I wish I could give this comment +1000. I started putting the IRS maximum into a 401k-type savings account when I got my first full time job at age 21 (back then, it was limited to 15% of your salary). If you can afford to do this, do it, because I hit 30, looked at the balance, and was amazed at how much it had grown. And since I had always been having it withheld from my paycheck, I never missed it.

  15. I’m droppin’ them dollas at Target lately. Haha. But really, I am. I need to stop! I’m super good with money. My mom always said not to buy stuff unless you got money for it! I’ve never paid for something on a credit card without having money in the bank for it. Ever. I tend to hoard money in savings and while it’s been lower than normal lately after the wedding/etc, I really don’t like having less than $25k in savings JUST IN CASE! I put at least 40% of every paycheck into savings, if not more. And I do kind of buy pointless things randomly (like Target trips) but not if I’m really tight on cash. I just try not to even go shopping when that happens!

  16. My financial priorities are my apartment rent, running shoes and Internet. I have never worked with a budgeting coach but I have a philosophy: Pretend you’re poor and put all your money away…oh and never say no to free samples! It usually works pretty well for me 🙂

  17. I started being obsessed with personal finance before getting into all this running stuff 🙂 So I’ve been all about saving for years, but I agree, it’s important to figure out your priorities and what you want to save for (and what you still want to spend on!) Glad that you’ve found someone to help you out with personal finance stuff. It can be overwhelming, but you’ll be glad that you started saving when you did!

    Glad you found Ashley! She sounds like a pretty awesome person. Going to check her blog out now 🙂

  18. GREAT post Hollie and Ashley!

    I WORK in finance, but that doesn’t mean that just like Ashley said, I don’t want to buy ALL of the things, because I do! More often than I would like I do.
    The one thing that works for me thought, is asking myself, what my goals are. The $3 cup of coffee could be way better spent on a trip to Peru!

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