Category: money and happiness

Some thoughts on accessibility and quality

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.) 

And it does seem a little weird that a live, five-week group program would cost less than a Target swimsuit.

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.

So why is Bank Boost $25?

Even though it comes with an ebook, live q & a sessions, and a private Facebook group?

Even though it helped one of my students pay off a $10,760 credit card balance?

Two reasons.

1. I’ll do pretty much the same amount of work no matter how many people enroll

I wrote the book and weekly emails. I’ll check our Facebook group most days. I’ll host three live q & a sessions. The amount of work I’d be doing for 50 people isn’t that different than the amount of work I’d be doing for 500 people.

But if I can help more people for the same amount of work, why wouldn’t I want to help more people? I set my prices based on accessibility, not quality. I create things that are highly accessible AND high quality. Click To Tweet

2. Everybody deserves help, regardless of where they are financially

I’ve been in a place where $25 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 ends tonight at 10 pm. I’d love it if you joined us! I’m not sure when I’ll run it again and next time it’ll probably be, like, $35!

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Rent Your Dreams Before You Buy Them

What would happen if you 'rented' your dreams before you bought them? If you're looking for money-saving tips or financial advice, this will save you tons of money, time, and energy. Click through to read more!

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…)

5 Things That Happen When You Stop Buying Shit You Don’t Need

Want to stop buying shit you don't need? Struggling to stick to a budget? Looking for budget tips that don't make you feel deprived? This post will help you stick to your budget. Promise!

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

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7 Real Talk Holiday Reminders For All Of Us

These holiday tips will help you navigate the holidays with intentional and grace. If you're hoping for a stress-free holiday season or a more minimalist Christmas, click through for helpful, sane holiday tips.

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.

s we head deeper into the holiday season, I wanted remind all of us (myself very much included) of these seven holiday truths.

7 Real Talk Holiday Reminders For All Of Us

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11 Minimalist Gift Ideas That Add To Happiness, Not Clutter

Looking for minimalist gift ideas? You're in the right place! A minimalist present is anything that's consumable, recyclable, or doesn't require dusting or storage. Click through for ideas for EVERYONE on your list!

“Minimalist gift ideas, Sarah? Like a single leaf in a vase? Or one drapey linen shirt? Har har har.” 

I can already hear the good-natured eye-rolling, friends. And let me tell you with all the love in my heart I AM NOT HAVING IT.

When I say ‘minimalist gifts’ I’m not saying you spite-give everyone a copy of The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up. I’m not suggesting you give your sister a single polished stone (though honestly that would be so funny.)

To me, a ‘minimalist gift’ is something that

  • Can be used up
  • Recycled or composted
  • Doesn’t require storage or dusting

Minimalist gifts don’t require us to lecture anyone about Consumerism! And Carbon footprints! And Fast Fashion!

I’m not talking about giving people things we WISH they wanted. (No matter how nice the sleeping bag is, I’m never going to like camping, guys.)

Honestly, you could probably give a minimalist gift to every blessed person on your list! No matter who you’re giving gifts to, there’s probably a way for you to give them something happy-making and life-improving that’s not for sale at Target and won’t end up in a landfill.

11 Minimalist Gift Ideas That Add To Happiness, Not Clutter (more…)

Everything That’s Wrong With Personal Finance (Not That I Have An Opinion)

What's wrong with personal finance? If you're looking for money advice, budgeting tips, or financial advice, this post will help and you're probably never heard THESE personal finance tips before!

I’m at a dinner party, sitting between two very nice people I just met.

The man to my left is a financial planner and the woman to my right is asking him about retirement, investments, etc.

“I mean, I know I’ve got to get it together,” she nods over pasta. “I know I should be maxing out my 401k and all that. I probably wouldn’t need help with my retirement if I’d just unsubscribe from the J. Crew newsletter.” She laughs self-consciously and takes a sip of red wine.

“I’d be happy to help,” Financial Planner Man says, and smoothly hands over his business card.

Reader, it was all I could do not to slap that card out of his hand and yell “YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG YOU’RE NOT GOING TO HELP HER YOU’RE TREATING SYMPTOMS NOT THE CAUSE!!!”

But, uh, that’s not polite dinner party behavior?

A bit of real talk: 99% of the money advice starts in the wrong place. 

It treats a symptom (living with debt, spending too much) without addressing the cause (buying things to keep up with our friends, shopping when we’re tired/overwhelmed.)

Here’s the truth:

You’re not going to have any money to invest if you keep shopping instead of feeling your feelings.

You won’t have any money for the down payment on a house if you keep buying shit you don’t really like because you don’t understand what ACTUALLY makes you happy.

You won’t be able to open your bank account and feel calm + proud if you don’t understand which purchases bring you joy and which ones bring you regret.

If we don’t understand what makes us happy + why we spend the way we do, a budget is just moving numbers around on a page.

Put Your Money Where Your Happy Is addresses allllll this. We get to the root of what makes you happy, see if it’s actually reflected in your spending, and if it’s not, I teach you how to change that.

Without deprivation, shame, guilt, or cutting the cable.

Of course, I’d love it if you joined us inside PYMWYHI, but even if you don’t I hope you remember this:

Saving money doesn't start with coupons or a budget. It starts with you & your mind. Click To Tweet