Girl’s Night.

“It’s girl’s night, remember?” I say, smiling.
Tony gives me the stink-eye. “What exactly happens during girl’s night?”
“Y’know. Girl things.” At this, I lift up my shirt and shake my breasts in his face while yelling, “WOOOO! GIRL’S NIGHT! WOOOOO!”
He tries hard not to smile, and instead, glares with mock anger at me. “Not funny,” he says, very serious.
Encouraged, I lift up an imaginary skirt and flash my make-believe audience. “WOOOOO! Let’s dance on the tables, ladies! Wooooo! Everyone take a good look!” I turn around, shaking my butt at him. “WOOOOO! Free drinks! WOOO!”
I laugh hard while Tony presses his hand gently to my face to push me away from him. “Not. Funny,” he repeats.
Still laughing, I turn around and give him a big hug, trying to kiss him while he squirms and dodges away from me. “I’m just kidding,” I laugh. “Come on. What would you do on boy’s night?”
“I’d say, excuse me,” he replies, pushing away swarms of make-believe women. “I have a girlfriend.”
“Well, that sounds really boring.”
He smiles at me.

Firmoo glasses are actually pretty great (and inexpensive).

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Not gonna lie, I kinda’ hate the glasses Tony normally wears. Sure, they’re from Armani Exchange (woo, brand names), but TBH, they just don’t fit his face.

Tony’s Armani Exchange frames are super thick, go out way past his hairline, and when he wears them, he looks cross-eyed. Comfort-wise, he constantly has to adjust them because they squeeze his head so much that he battles persistant headaches after extended wear. I realize this probably means he ordered incorrectly-fitting frames to begin with, but he purchased them so long ago that returns at this point are impossible.

Fail.

When the folks at Firmoo offered to send us a pair of prescription frames in exchange for an honest review, I couldn’t say no. Who am I to deprive Bae of free glasses?

I sat him down, scrolled through the endless eyeglass frame options on Firmo.com (srsly guys, there’s a lot), finally settled on a pair that appeared to fit his measurements well (using Firmoo’s “try on your face digitally” feature), and placed an order.

Less than a week later, the glasses arrived.

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Style: Framat #Pae9915 in Black(C1)
Price: $29 USD
Weight: 10g
Material: Memory Plastic

If I’m being 100% honest, I’m shocked we received such great, non-brand-name frames from a site we’d both never heard of before. Real talk, Firmoo is legit.

First of all, the glasses were dirt cheap. Like, even if we hadn’t received them free, their actual cost is only $29 USD outright, so really, we could’ve bought them ourselves with no problem. Second, the glasses came with their own hard case, tools for repairing them in the event of catastrophe, cleaning cloths, and a cloth case. Every pair of Firmoo glasses comes with these things. In fact, all Firmoo glasses are also scratch-resistant for free, and if we had paid for everything ourselves, it would’ve only come out to about $35 total including shipping. Da fuq! Warby Parker glasses cost $95 USD! NINETY. FIVE. That means that for one pair of Warby Parker glasses, I could potentially buy three pairs from Firmoo. Nothing against Warby Parker (a brand I also love), but that’s a freaking steal.

For blind and fashion-conscious babes everywhere that love to match their accessories with their clothing, Firmoo might just be the affordable, stylish-eyeglasses-alternative you’ve been looking for. Head to their site and pick up a pair or three. Your wallet (and your OOTD) will thank you.

I’M RICH!! … In personal finance knowledge.

I get addicted to mastering new (or returning) hobbies fairly easily. When something strikes my fancy, I’ll research and practice it like crazy until I’m an expert, then move on. As they say: knowledge is power.

This explains a recent obsession with personal finance, credit, and investing. I think I’ve checked out nearly every single popular finance app on the iOS App Store, researched almost every available rewards credit card, and have looked into investment options like stocks (ETFs, mostly), IRAs, 401k plans, and more. I’ve also read way too many articles from Reuters, personal finance blogs, and investment forecast sites.

What I’ve come away with is …
… Why the hell haven’t I taught myself about my personal finance options sooner?

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Did you know you can REDUCE YOUR TAXES just by changing the way you save?

Some of my friends have had credit cards since they were fifteen years old. FIFTEENI didn’t have a credit card until I was 23. As for knowing anything about IRAs and 401ks? Fuhgeddaboutit. The only reason I now know that I can reduce my taxable income by investing in an IRA or 401k is because my roomie, a financial consultant, mentioned it was possible.

“You’re telling me I get to drop an entire tax bracket just by investing in an IRA or 401k, and I get to keep the money I put away without being taxed on it?!” Me.
“Yes. And with a Traditional IRA, you won’t get taxed on it until you withdraw after you retire. But by that point, you won’t be working anymore, so your taxes will be even lower.” Him. “You should consider investing in stocks and bonds to diversify your portfolio — let your money work for you. By keeping it all liquid, it’s only gaining minimal interest. You’d make way more just by investing.”

Say what?! I get to retain MORE of my normally taxed-to-hell money (fuck you, federal taxes) by investing? Not only that, but my current savings account hasn’t actually been making money for me, and I can make MORE just by investing in stock options?!

Uhm…
BRB. Fantasizing about dropping all the extra money I’ve saved into a swimming pool and floating around in it like Beyonce.

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Sign me up.

Since diving into personal finance, I’ve opened two new rewards credit cards (thanks to having excellent credit due to being a cheap bastard in the first place) that actually give me money back on my regular monthly purchases. For example, not only do I get 5% back whenever I buy groceries (my largest expense next to my monthly rent), I also get rewarded for riding public transportation, traveling, and buying lunch near my office (I am so addicted to falafel, you guys). In fact, I can take a $500 flight for free just for using my rewards cards monthly instead of usual my debit card.

Again, why the hell didn’t I do any of this sooner?!

That’s not even the best part. The best part is that through the combination of apps I currently use to track and budget my spending as well as my investments (apps that make investing and budgeting more accessible and easy to understand for millennials like myself), I’ve already netted $1.40 in stock since this morning. Do you know how long it takes to net $1.40 in interest from your regular Joe-Shmoe FDIC-insured savings account?! Definitely not 3 hours. And if my stock keeps rising at the forecasted 52-week rate, I’m on track to net nearly 4x what I paid per share. That means a $1 share would be worth $4. And a $20 share would be worth $80. $80!!! Which means if you own 2 of those shares, that’s $160 worth in shares that you only paid $40 for, which means you’re walking away with over $120 in profit!

Holy shit, right?

I repeat: why didn’t I do this sooner?

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I’m not the only one who wasn’t taught jack about personal finance.

“Where did you learn all this?” I asked my roomie after he divulged information about IRAs and 401k plans.
“Personal research,” he replied.
“You didn’t learn this in college?”
“No. You’d be surprised how little they teach you about personal finance in college.”

Actually, I’m not surprised because the educational system is broken as shit, but still. Hearing this from my roomie is really scary. If I’m 28 years old, with zero college debt, super low overhead, and only just now getting into personal finance, what the fuck are all of my college-educated friends with zero personal finance experience (and who actually have student loans to pay off) going to do?

Our poor economy.
Our poor, shitty-ass economy.

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Wouldn’t it be cool if our expensive educations
required us to manage our personal finances?

We are so screwed.

Gone are the days when we could rely on 10-year pensions to carry us through old age. Today’s worker hops around like crazy from job to job while seeing volatile shifts in their income. Can you imagine what might happen for the person who needs to liquidate their 401k early (assuming they knew to invest in one in the first place), drains their entire retirement savings, never took advantage of their other investment options, and ends up with nothing? How will that person survive through old age? Taking out more loans? More credit? Borrowing more and more money until they’re so far in debt that they’ll never get out of it?

… Yeah, fuck that.

I wrote this blog post because:

  1. I’m an idiot who’s never taken advantage of my savings and investment options before, and if I’m an idiot, I assume there are plenty more idiots out there who could benefit from this knowledge.
  2. The US economy is totally fucked, and a big part of that is due to lack of education on the subject.
  3. A shitton of millennials follow me who are probably just as financially-ignorant as I am, and I’d prefer we all get on the personal finance train now while we can still afford to.

Assuming I ever get around to it, in follow-up blog posts, I’ll reveal which credit cards I’ve looked into, which combination of apps I use to budget and track my own expenses, and explain it all in easy-to-understand terms, because a lot of the mumbo-jumbo out there is full of tons of financial jargon that the average millennial will look at and go, “… Huh?”

Don’t trip.
I got’chu.

In the meanwhile? Start saving, and start doing your own research. Blowing all your money on alcohol, shopping, eating out, etc is really fun for a while (trust me, I’ve definitely been through my “buy fucking everything” phase), but you could be doing so much more with your money.

The next time someone encourages you to spend way above your means, don’t be afraid to tell them:

giphy-5“Umm, s’cuse you. I’m on a budget.

Step by step, baby birds. We’ll get there.

~ Sherilynn “HeyCheri” Macale