As I hinted at last week I am really excited to bring you guys my first Q&A. I had this idea one morning to have other bloggers answer some questions about how they balance fashion blogging and personal finance. The idea came to me so quickly one morning I literally shot out of bed and fired off an e-mail to my some of my favorite bloggers. I asked each blogger to tell us a little bit about themselves and answer 5 questions about their budgets. Just as much as we all need style inspiration, it doesn't hurt to get a little financial inspiration as well. So without further ado, Lisa from Archives is going to kick off the madness of this Bloggers & Budgets series (it's a working title).
Location: Chicago, IL
I currently work as an executive assistant, but am about to quit and take selling vintage in my Etsy shop full time. My boyfriend and I don't have kids, but we do have a furry friend, Atlas, who is probably the only dependent we'll have! At least for quite a while.
1. How would you describe your approach to personal finance:
Mostly hands off....I'm awful at saving or spending responsibly. To give you an idea: the company my employer uses to manage our retirement funds has a retirement "forecast" in pictures (seriously). Mine has a big, rainy sad face with a storm cloud hovering above it. Since I'm about to make a major career change, adjusting to self employment will have to change my approach. I'm hiring an accountant to manage my business and personal finance. I think it's the only way someone like me can be successful!
2. How do you balance your finances with style blogging?
By nature, I'm a bit of a cheapskate. I will never pay full price at say, The Gap. They constantly run sales, it's kind of absurd to pay full price for merchandise that will go on sale in a few weeks. I've spent a lot of money over the years at "fast fashion" stores like H&M, Forever 21, etc. because their items were so affordable. Now, I'm finally learning that quality over quantity is important.
My love of vintage clothing has only furthered that sentiment - vintage items were often made at a higher quality, and thrift stores have no shortage of vintage clothes. So most of my recent spending has been at thrift shops; they pretty much marry everything I'm looking for at the moment: good quality vintage items at a price that doesn't break the bank. I want to inspire other ladies to make similar choices by wearing my finds and ignoring trends on Archives. Style absolutely does not come from a magazine or have to be determined by pricey designers.
3. What do you want to accomplish [financially] in the next five years?
If you asked me a few weeks ago, I would have said to save for a down payment on a house, buy said house and settle down. My boyfriend and I have wanted to buy a bigger place for a while (he owns the condo we live in now), and we decided this would be the year we get serious about saving for a house of our own.
As I started looking at how long that would take me, and how long that meant I'd have to stay at my job (read: forever and then some), it got me thinking about my life like my closet: quality is more important than quantity. I'd rather be happy working for myself than miserable working just for a paycheck. I must be the luckiest gal in the world, because my other half totally agrees and supports my decision, even if that means putting our plans on hold. So....in five years, I really have no idea what my situation will be! Hopefully I'll be a successful small business owner!
4. Do you have any financial regrets?
Definitely. Now that I see how much money I've wasted at fast fashion stores on items worn somewhere between 1-5 times, I definitely regret my reckless spending. If I could go back in time, I wish I had been saving all that money.
5. Share with us your best/favorite tip for saving/spending/paying off debt.
Clearly, I'm not the best person to be giving advice in this department! So, I would recommend setting a monthly spending budget and try to avoid impluse purchases. Easier said than done, but it's worth it in the long run.
Thanks Lisa! If you love Lisa as much as I do don't forget to check out her blog, twitter, and vintage shop!
I hope you guys enjoyed reading about someone else's finances. I've got plenty more where that came from.