I plop down on the deck with a freshly-made vodka gimlet in one hand and a print out of our bank statements in the other. I take a long sip and start working my way through our budget, line by line. “Food. Utilities. Insurance. Bullshit.” Now, I’m not saying that food, utilities, or insurance are bullshit. I’m saying we have an actual line in our budget labeled ‘Bullshit.’ We have a Bullshit Budget and IT IS TRANSFORMATIVE. I think you should have one, too.
She said it with the absolute best intentions. I knew where she was coming from when my business friend reached across the table, and did that “I’m about to say something important” head tilt: “Sarah, I’m concerned that you’re under-pricing your stuff. When you price things that low, people don’t take you seriously. They associate low prices with low quality. And if you’re starting at $25, how far can you ever really raise your prices? You’re going to be trapped selling things for $37 for the rest of your life.”
I get it. Really! With zero snark, I appreciate her concern. Money blocks are real, women chronically undercharge, and when people pay more, they’re more committed. (And don’t worry, I also sell $200 products and my hourly rate for coaching and consulting is high + industry-and-experience appropriate.)
But here’s the thing: if someone has five-figure debt, they probably can’t (or shouldn’t) buy a $2,000 online program. They probably can’t (or shouldn’t) be spending thousands of dollars on things that aren’t 100% necessary. Most programs and courses about money aren’t really priced for … people who are struggling with money.
2. Everybody deserves help, regardless of where they are financially
I’ve been in a place where $57 is a lot of money. I’ve spent ten minutes hemming and hawing between the $11 lipstick I really want and the gritty, chalky $3 lipstick. And I was just as worthy of help and support then as I am now. Of course, there are plenty of free resources for people to get their financial lives together. We can all use the public library and Google. But I wanted to create a real-time, accountability + support system for people struggling with money. Now matter how much they have now. Enrollment for Bank Boost opens on May 6th. Last time I ran it, it sold out for in four days – so you might want to get on the wait list!
I hate to be this person, but I think you guys should know:
I liked Airstream trailers before they were cool.
In 2001, I’d pull off the highway, scramble over barbed wire and peer into the windows of Airstreams sitting in fields with hand-written ‘For Sale’ signs in the window.
At 22, I stopped into a dealership and toured new models, opening tiny fridges and eye-balling counter space. I researched living in a travel trailer above the frostline and how much it costs to rent a spot in a trailer park.
So when I found an Airstream trailer on Airbnb, I viewed it as A Sign. All my dreams were about to come true! I would confirm that, yes, I was meant to live inside a stylish silver marshmallow, winnowing my belongings down to only what could fit under my snug, cocoon-y bed!
Imagine my surprise when I hated it.
Now, to be fair, the Airstream in question was the smallest model; it’s 22 feet long. But I felt like a marble in a tuna can. YOU SIT ON THE TOILET TO SHOWER. (more…)
Friends, it’s time to talk about the back corner of our closets. And the bottom drawer in the bathroom. And that weird, hard-to-reach cupboard above the fridge. You know what I’m talking about. And you know what lives in those places.
The dress that still has the tags still on it. The expensive conditioner the stylist said you absolutely needed. The KitchenAid mixer that seemed like a great wedding gift. I KNOW THIS BECAUSE I’VE LIVED IT MY DUDES.
For yearrrrrs I’d fill my closet with ‘close enough’ clothes I found on sale. I’d buy any cosmetic that was packaged cleverly or dispensed in a novel way. Oh, what’s that? Spray-on eyeshadow and foam lipstick? Into it. For a huge swath of my life, I bought shit I didn’t need. Like, lots of it.
But one day, after my second Goodwill drop-off in as many weeks, I took a long, hard look at my spending habits and decided things needed to change. I decided to stop buying shit I didn’t need. Of course, these changes didn’t happen overnight. Habit change is hard. But little by little, Target run by Target run, I started spending my money more intentionally. I started to make my spending align with my happiness and my values.
And interestingly enough, I don’t get a lot of happiness out of $17 Target sundresses that fall apart after two washes or a tube of clear lip gloss when I already have five at home!
Without exaggeration, my life changed when I stopped buying shit I didn’t need. And I bet yours will, too.
5 things that happen when you stop buying shit you don’t need
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! It’s time for thematic sweaters, egg nog, and the joy of finally giving that perfect gift you’ve had tucked away for three months! It’s also time for holiday card-triggered feelings of inadequacy, credit card debt, and never-ending sugar crashes.
As we head deeper into the holiday season, I wanted remind all of us (myself very much included) of these seven holiday truths.