4 Tips to Help Stop Unnecessary Shopping

We’ve all been there when we are excited about tax returns and feel that spending money to #treatyoself is completely justifiable. TBH, I’m all for treating yourself if you’ve been working hard achieving all your girl boss goals and saving money to buy something you wouldn’t normally spend money on otherwise.

But, what isn’t justifiable is dropping hundreds of dollars every few months on clothes, shoes, and everything in between that you truly don’t need or love.

I can relate in some ways because I loved having things. I loved having things even if I didn’t love that particular item. A pair of shoes sat in my closet for two years because I didn’t love them. Even worse, I would still buy other shoes if they weren’t practical and if I didn’t love them. The stuff piled up.

Why do we buy things unnecessarily? There are a ton of incredible articles on this topic that could be an entire blog post in itself, but I’ll that’s a different story for a different day, y’all.

So, how did I stop shopping unnecessarily?

I changed my mindset. I had a little heart-to-heart with myself over a year ago when I decided to get rid of more than 60 percent of what I owed. Today, I want to share some of those mindsets and ideas I incorporated to my lifestyle and how it has helped me even more than a year later. If you’re looking to add a little bliss to your life, wallet and closet, keep on reading!

1| You can’t take it with you when you die

Okay, Kiara…we’re starting off a little morbid here. But when you think about it—it’s true! You can’t take anything with you when you die, so how important are those pair of shoes or that handbag you want to buy? This also applies with minimalism because there are so many things we have in our closets that we never use or wear. Instead of having those pieces collect dust, you can sell them or donate them so they can go to someone who will love them. You don’t need to buy another pair of jeans when you have 10 pairs in at home. Use what you have and use it as motivation to remove what you currently don’t use or love in your home.

2| The things you own don’t truly matter

Picture yourself when you’re 70 years old. Are you really going to think about all the fabulous clothes you bought (and most likely haven’t had for more than 40 years) or are you going to think back on the important things in life like your family, where you’ve traveled to, your career, and what you’ve done on earth? I promise you won’t remember a dress from your 20s. So when you’re out shopping, think about the simple questions first like: if you need it? Do you love it? Is it versatile? Is there anything similar to it that you already own? Etc. Then think about the actual wear you can get out of that item over the years. If it’s a classic blazer you know you’ll wear for 10 or more year, buy it. If it’s a trend that you think won’t last for more than a year, skip it. Remember that you’ll be spending a lot of money on clothes over the years, so everything you buy at this point in your life is temporary. It’s best to save or invest where you can.

3| SO. MUCH. WASTED. MONEY

Going off that last sentence…can we think about how much money we spend on clothes in our lifetime? I can’t even imagine that number, but I know that I want to decrease that number by the time I’m 80 years old. When you shop, think long term. Don’t want to buy something that you’ll only love for a year or two. Invest in pieces you can keep for 10 years or longer. There’s this idea we’ve learned that buying trends is normal and that fast-fashion is inevitable. But it doesn’t have to be. We can invest in high-quality items that we will wear and love for decades rather than spending $10 on a top that we will only wear once. I would rather spend $100 on the perfect LBD that I’ll wear for years than spend $10 on 10 dresses than I will only wear a handful of times. Think about the money and time you’ll save yourself when you stop shopping unnecessarily.

4| What can I do instead?

Instead of buying a pair of trendy shoes, what can you put that money toward? Whether it’s a house, travel, your child’s college fund, retirement plan, or an investment for your business—there are so many more important things you can do with your money than spend it on clothes, shoes, accessories, and ALL. THE. THINGS. You have goals you want to achieve and you have plans for yourself, so think long term about your money and what you’re spending it on. I don’t know about you, but there are a lot of things I want to do with my money rather than see it wasted on things I don’t love in my closet. Next time you’re out shopping, think about what you could do with that money instead down the road.

 

 

I hope this inspired you to think about your spending habits and how you stop unnecessary shopping! Make sure to leave a comment below on other tips that help you stop from spending money when you’re shopping! P.S. what’s something that you almost bought, but were happy you didn’t spend the money on? 

Ki Signature

 

 

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2017 Goals: 3-Month Update

2017 needs to slow down because I don’t understand how three months have already come and gone so quickly. 

When I listed out my goals for 2017, I knew that I wanted to have check-in points where I would check my progress throughout the year so I wouldn’t forget about my goals. It also allows me to make smaller, achievable goals so that I can work toward the larger goals I have set out for the year. Today is my first check-in for 2017, and I’m interested to look back and see the progress I’ve made over the last few months.

Make sure to share your goals for 2017 in the comments and let me know how you have been doing over the last three months!

Personal Goals:

1| Read 8-10 books throughout 2017

So far I read five books this year and I couldn’t be happier that I’ve been focusing on this goal for 2017. I’m hoping to make it to my goal by summer!

2| Plan 2-3 trips for 2017

We have our trip to Boston in April, but I’m thinking of a smaller trip with Josh even if it’s to Pittsburgh. I’m also considering planning a trip to visit my friend in San Francisco this fall. I’ll be sure to keep you guys up-to-date on my travel plans!

3| Achieve my career goals for 2017

This would be a little too long if I went in-depth with this section, but I have more than halfway through my career goals for 2017. This one has surprised me the most even under unique circumstances at work! I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the rest of 2017 in terms of my job.

4| Focus on my vision board

All the ideas are in place, but I’ve been waiting to physically make the board because I have been considering writing series of posts on how to make a vision board, what I’ve learned from using this method to achieve my goals, etc. If you’re interested in seeing a post on this, leave a comment below!

Blogging Goals:

1| Focus on my blog direction

If you caught up on my post back in January, you will know about how my blogging direction changed a little. Since then, I’ve incorporated more posts on minimalism, simple living and everything in between and I have loved every minute.

2| Increase blog social media engagement by 20 percent

We all know it’s not about numbers, but engagement. Not only do I want to focus on other’s engaging with me, but also focus on increasing my engagement with others, too. Let’s be real—this is a two-way street. So far, I haven’t done the best with this, but I want to make it my focus for the next few months.

3| Take more risks

Well, I took one amazing risk thanks to my lovely friend Erin! We did a collab on a monthly challenge where we gave challenges to help you relax and refresh your mind for February. The challenges focused on mental clarity and self-care, which are two topics I’m passionate about. I’m hoping to collab with bloggers more throughout the year and take more blogging risks overall. Stay tuned to read more on this!

Financial Goals:

1| Put an extra $8-10,000 into savings

So far I’m on track to achieve this goal a few months earlier than anticipated, which makes me incredibly happy. I know saving in your 20s is so important, and it’s something I want to focus on. If you want to read posts on how I save money, let me know in the comments!

2| Track my spending regularly

I had every intention of keeping up with this, but since Josh set up a spending tracker sheet, I have been horrible with updating it. I’m hoping to simplify this task, and make this work more for me so I can track my spending each month.

Health Goals:

1| Increase my weekly running distance

We’re not in running season yet, but by next month I think we will be out running through October.

2| Don’t focus on numbers

I truly stopped caring about numbers I have found that it has done wonders for my self-esteem and happiness altogether. TBH y’all, NUMBERS DO NOT MATTER. Once you stop focusing on the numbers and more on how you feel, you will see a huge difference!

3| Focus on workouts I enjoy

So far this has been going well. I’ve focused on workout that are specific to Pilates, abs circuit training, etc. It’s wonderful to love the workouts you do and not to hate every minute of my workouts!

How have you been doing on your goals for 2017? Maybe check your list you made a few months ago and start working on how you can work on them for the nest few months! Make sure to leave a comment below saying what goals you have been working on/already have achieved this year!

Ki Signature

 

 

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Finding My Blogging Voice & Why It’s Important For Your Readers

I’m about to be completely real with you guys.

I don’t feel like I am always 100 percent myself on my blog.

By that I mean that I think some posts from the past seem robotic, inauthentic, and not always who I am.

With my journalism background, I was trained to write in AP style. I removed some all cliches from my posts, I kept things to the point, and always took grammar into account. I removed needless words, and considered every technical writing term to see what would make the best “flow.”

That’s perfectly fine when you’re working on a news story, or a magazine feature, but not when you’re trying to create relatable content on YOUR blog. Your blog should be a direct reflection of you and the work that you want to share with the world.

For me, I was afraid for ruining my “reputation” as a writer altogether. But the truth is, I’m NOT that serious (like some of my writing may come off) when you meet me in person. I’m quirky. I make jokes and keep things laid back. I’m also incredibly sarcastic. The only person who really sees this side of me every single day is Josh and my coworkers. Trust me, they can attest to my behavior. I’m professional but like anyone, I open up a little more once you get to know me outside of the office.

I think I tried to make my blogging voice more subtle, professional and straight to the point. But when I read back my content, I wanted to add a joke here, a sarcastic comment there and make it more me.

Instead, I would hit publish and carry on with my day.

Now, I’m not saying that every post I’ve written has been this way. But there are a few where I look back think, “Wow, that’s so dry and emotionless, Kiara. That’s not you at all. You wouldn’t have said *insert long-winded, sarcastic comment here*.”

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty here. You’re not going to see some completely different voice in my content. I simply plan to not delete anything that I would write naturally. And, I’m not going to keep change the style of my content. I might add the occasional, sarcastic tidbit that’s completely unnecessary but it will definitely bring a smile to your face.


So here’s what I’ve learned about my blogging voice and why having your blogging voice important:

1| Your readers get to know the REAL you.

When I read other blogger’s content, I truly feel like I get to know them as a person; and I want them to feel the same way when people read my content.

2| It gives a unique edge to your content.

When you toss in a sarcastic comment here or a random pun there—it takes your post from standard to unique! It helps readers identify your content from other bloggers!

3| It helps you stand out among other bloggers.

See above. But it’s amazing what showing your true self can do for your blog content. Help your readers pick out your post from the thousands of blogging online. It will resonate with them and they will remember you.

4| You’ll be able to write more naturally.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stopped mid post because I felt like I had to not be myself with the jokes, comments, etc. This makes the writing process difficult and frustrating. Be yourself and the words will flow easily.

If you’re a blogger, inspiring writer, or somewhere in between—I hope you never fear to make your content uniquely yours. It’s okay if it doesn’t fit another blogger’s style. It’s not supposed to. It should fit your style.

Have you ever struggled to find your blogging voice? What tips would you share with bloggers going through this? Make sure to share in the comments below!

 

Ki Signature

 

 

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8 Tips to Master Your Closet

It’s that time of year where we declutter old items that no longer fit our style or lifestyle; and take control of our closet space as we transition from winter to spring. Decluttering your closet can be a huge undertaking, especially if you haven’t gone through your wardrobe in over a year or longer. Regardless if it’s your first time decluttering or your tenth time decluttering, I’m here to share 8 tips to help you master your closet. Keep reading if you’re looking to add a little bliss to your space as we move into spring.

1| Make A Plan

Don’t just go into your closet and start throwing things out and putting clothes in a donation bin. Sit down and set aside five minutes to plan out when and how long you’ll need to go through your closet and clothes altogether. Will it take a day or a few hours? Scheduled adequate time to go through your clothes so you don’t run out of time or feel rushed to get it done in an hour.

2| Take It All Out

Yes, take it all out and put it on your bed or floor. Literally everything from tops to seasonal items to shoes. You will be surprised with how much you truly have in your closet. This will help so much because you can see what the damage it and see how much you can donate, sell, toss, etc.

3| Try It All On

Does it fit? Does it look flattering on you? Does it fit your style? It is damaged at all? Is it versatile? Do you feel good when you wear that item? Ask yourself all these questions (and more) when you’re trying on different pieces in your closet. Don’t keep something unless your truly love it and it fits your personal style. If it doesn’t fit/if it’s damaged or you simply don’t love it—out it goes. Read 10 things to remove from your closet right now for help!

4| Create A “6-Month Box”

If you’re not too sure about some items, put them away in a box and store them in your basement, spare closet, or attic for six months. If you don’t find yourself looking for any of those items over the six months, or even thinking about them—you should definitely donate or sell those items once the period is up. it’s a sure way of knowing you didn’t love or need those pieces in your life.

5| Don’t Be Sentimental

You still have your bridesmaid dress from your friend’s wedding from five years ago. It doesn’t fit and you know you will never wear it again. You have scarves from Europe that are damaged and you can’t even wear anymore, yet they’re taking up space in your closet. Why keep those things if you want wear them? Try to remove the sentimental memories from those pieces and stay practical.

6| Be Honest With Yourself

No pair of shoes are worthy of keeping if you can’t wear them for 30 minutes without screaming in pain. Get rid of things that don’t make sense to keep. Why keep a pair of jeans from high school that you probably won’t fit into when you can appreciate the jeans you have now that also fit your body? Don’t hold onto things you don’t need or can’t wear.

7| Organization is Key

Find an organization system that works well for you. If you love to organize your closet by color and sleeve length, perfect! If you prefer to organize the Kon Marie way, that’s great, too! It’s all about what works best for you and what you love. Everyone will have a different preference and that’s okay! Take time to see what is visually appealing to you and what will help you keep your closet organized.

8| Maintain Consistently

Your closet will be easy to maintain if you find an organization system you love (see #7). Also make sure you set aside time every season to review your closet again and see what you can remove, donate, sell, etc. After your initial declutter, it will be much easier to see what you love and don’t love in terms of fashion, style, etc. As long as you dedicate 30 minutes to go through your closet, you will be able to maintain your hard work.

Are you ready to tackle your own closet? When is the last time you decluttered? What other tips do you have for mastering your closet? Make sure to share in the comments below!

 

Ki Signature

 

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5 Benefits of Minimalism

There’s no doubt that minimalism has been a huge topic in 2016, and 2017 seems to be another year of the minimalism trend. Hopefully, this doesn’t remain a “trend,” but more of a conscious way of living for others. For me, since I’ve adopted more minimalist concepts into my life, I’ve noticed benefits that outweigh unnecessary shopping trips, etc. Make sure to leave a comment if you want to know my secrets on how I stopped unnecessary shopping!

Today I’m sharing five benefits of minimalism. Granted, there are many more than five, but these benefits are what I call, “undeniable benefits.” No matter how much you incorporate minimalism into your life, you are guaranteed to feel these benefits!

1| More Time

Let me break it down for you. The less you own in your home, the less you have to clean. The less you have to clean, the more time you have. See how that works? It’s not complicated! Instead of dusting off five extra pieces of furniture that you don’t use or love, you could sell those items, free up more space, and free up your time! Plus if you’re selling your items that you don’t love, you can make a little money through the process.

2| I Appreciate What I Own (Even More)

Before I decided to take on this lifestyle, I had so many things that I didn’t love in my life (mostly clothing). Because of this, I didn’t appreciate the possessions I owned. Now that I decluttered my home, and drastically downsized my closet, I have a deeper appreciation for all the items in my own. Everything I own, I love. That has helped me so much in this journey.

3| More Money

With pursuing minimalism means that you become a more conscious shopper. I haven’t purchased anything that’s non-essential for the last few months, and that has been a wonderful feeling for my wallet. You won’t believe how much money you save by cutting back on what you own because then you’re more aware of your shopping habits. This means more money for travel, or saving of a different purchase!

4| Your Home Is Precious

Be a ruthless editor of what you bring into your home. The less you own the less than owns you. When you decide to take on this lifestyle, your home becomes a personal sanctuary. It becomes your peaceful place. It is a place that you find the most joy because there’s no clutter or excess items to distract you. It is only filled with items you love. That is how every home should feel, but that isn’t always the case until you decide to pursue minimalism,

5| Strong Focus 

Without clutter and items distracting you, you have more time and energy to focus on what you truly want to accomplish with your life. You have more clarity in your life to ask yourself, “What do I want to achieve?” “What brings me the most bliss?” With less stuff, you have more space in your mind for achieving all your #GirlBoss Goals! Minimalism helps your clarity and helps you remove any mental clutter in your mind that could be affecting you from accomplishing what you truly wish to do.

What are other benefits of minimalism have you noticed in your lifestyle? What benefits have I missed? Make sure to leave a comment below!

 

Ki Signature

 

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