****This blog is no longer updated at this address! Come check it out at http://thinkandgrowchick.com. All of the archives are available there as well****

This site is my online journal that documents my attempts to reach various goals inspired by the principles found in the book, Think and Grow Rich. Join me as I strive to meet financial goals, fashion goals, school goals, hair-care goals, and everything in between. I hope that other young women will relate and find my journey useful to read about; this blog is for me as much as it is for women seeking resources for personal development and freedom. To get a daily dose, follow me on twitter and facebook...and don't forget to follow my blog!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Freelancin' Hopes and Financial Woes

It's been maybe three weeks since I've started this blog, and as you all know by now I have a lot a goals I'm striving for, all of which I'm documenting via this blog. Two related goals that I haven't spent a lot of time on (too much hair talk, I know) but are still immensely important are my goals of making a living off of my own endeavors (i.e. quitting my job and getting people to pay me directly for some skill of mine) and saving enough money to pay for summer school this year, as I'm going to need it if I have any hope of graduating on time.

I started researching women who have kicked meaningless jobs behind in lieu of self-employment, and subsequently ran across the name Michelle Goodman. Michelle has been cultivating her freelance life for 17 years now, and frequently writes and speaks about "fleeing the cube" for more greener pastures. Though my desire is to flee the host stand since I work as a hostess as a restaurant, the host stand is cubish in shape, so I reason that Michelle's advice can speak to me too. I ran downtown first thing the next day to pick up one of Michelle's book at the library.

As you paint the picture of my eagerness walking into that library, all hopeful and set to be a successful, self-employed young woman once I got my hands on Michelle's book, imagine the utter horror I felt as I walked up to the checkout counter only to be told that my library card has been blocked because I owe $50.98. Yes, I, Think and Grow Chick, owe $50.98 to the PUBLIC LIBRARY. With my parade literally rained on, it began to thunderstorm as I exited the library and walked to the train, bookless.

The whole ordeal made me want to kick myself not only because I didn't get the book, but because this habit of owing money for the silliest things is one I have extreme difficulty in breaking. I keep myself in what I call "dumb debt"...debt I acquire for really dumb reasons, like losing library books. I had originally planned to read Michelle's book over the weekend then write about it today; however, now my focus is on getting serious about eliminating and staying out dumb debt, especially if I have any hope of accomplishing my original goals of self-employment and saving for summer school.

The biggest accomplices to dumb debt, for me, are not paying attention to my money and wanting things that don't really matter. I'm a college student with little money as it is, so both of these problems are having a devastating effect on my finances. To stay true to the T&GR principles that have inspired this blog to begin with, I started thinking of a plan that could save me from my dumb, debt ridden ways. After realizing that self-reliance is what got me into this mess in the first place, I've decided to "borrow" a plan from Trixare4kids, a reader on Consumerist.com that paid off nearly $14,500 in 20 months, after following tips she learned on the internet. The snippets I've decided to take from her are as follows:

Go Cash Only

This is the granddaddy of all personal finance advice, but it's amazing how many people don't subscribe to it. Trixare4kids simply states, "If I did not have the cash, I did not need it". This is so true; I've justified splurges with my debit card on hair products by reminding myself that my bank transfers money from my savings if I overdraft on my checking account. I know, I know, I'm cringing as I type it. Clearly, cash can be the only way for me.

Set up a budget

...Another nugget of often-ignored personal advice gold. My mother is a "G" when it comes to finances and has always kept our family on a budget, though somehow I did not seem to inherit such financial tenacity. I've never had a budget because I've always figured that I'm poor and poor people don't need to budget; we need to make more money. Now I'm thinking maybe I'm poor because I don't budget...hmm...

Cut back on Expenses

This piece of advice is almost trite because it's repeated so often, but it's true. The problem is, everyone underestimates what is really an expense to them. For example, I'm about to move into an apartment where everything is included—internet, gas, electric, everything. I could easily reason that my only expense is rent, food, and transportation, but anyone who knows me knows I spend hundreds of dollars on hair products. Yes, hair products. As silly as it sounds, hair products are a major expense for me, therefore I have to cut back.

So, like every other goal I document on here, we shall see how this goes. Any of you have problems with debt. Care to share a success story? Share your comments below.


  1. This is very true. You wrote this very well. I feel like I am reading an actual magazine article. Love your blog. And yea I feel you on the "dumb debt" situation. I love your "cash only" solution. My only thing is I don't have credit so would this be ok all though I never had credit because I was recently told I will need to build up a credit score to buy a car or to get an apartment or something..

  2. Nice post. Simple but profound advice! great blog. I am personally going to subscribe to the cash only tip as my credit card balance is starting to "think and GROW"..sorry to hear about you dumb debt. I think we all have a few of those tho. Maybe we should just add that to our budget ;-)

  3. This was so informative, and girl I have my fair share of "dumb debt" myself. One thing my parents have been pounding into my head since the day I started college was NOT to get a credit card. Its a trap for us college students because we don't yet have the experience or discipline to control having a credit card without abusing it! So, I waited years until finally the summer before my senior year (last year) I got one. I regret it so much. Even though I haven't amassed more than my credit limit, which is imperative, I HAVE come close and a year later I'm just one payment away from paying off all the debt I amassed within just 1 year of getting it. Yes - you need credit to buy a house, lease an apartment, etc. but until you're financially stable enough to pay off all purchases made to your credit card immediately after you use it, DON'T get one. You'll regret it...

    LOVE the blog - keeps these posts coming!