Beginner’s Guide to: Budgeting and Finances

Beginner’s Guide to: Budgeting and Finances

Welcome back to another beginner’s guide! This week we’re talking all about budgeting and finances-a topic that can be overwhelming and complicated to deal with. I’ve laid out a few steps below that can help anyone set up an easy, maintainable budget!

Step 1: Write out all of your expenses for a monthly basis

I like to look at my budget on a monthly basis, that way I don’t get too overwhelmed. I like to break my expenses down into essentials, subscriptions, and personal expenses. Essentials I consider to be non negotiables that I have to spend every month. This can vary for everyone, but for me it includes rent, utilities, cable & wifi, groceries, and gas.

Next, I make a list of all the subscriptions that I have to pay every month. This could include things like Hulu, Netflix, Spotify or even a gym membership. These are not necessarily essentials, but are still reoccurring expenses every month that you are responsible for.

Lastly, there’s the personal expenses category, and this can include any extraneous expenses you may have. For me it mostly consists of my dining out budget, and whatever else I may want to buy that month that would not be considered a necessity.

Once you figure out these three categories, it gives you a better idea of how much your spending every month.

☆Step 2: Figure out a rough estimate of your monthly income

For some people like myself, you pretty much have a fixed income every month that doesn’t change. This makes it easy to calculate a budget because you always know how much is coming in. If you’re self employed, or get paid hourly, you may not have a set amount you make every month, but try to come up with a rough estimate, even if you keep it on the lower end.

Step 3: Decide what amount you want to save every month

The general rule of advice is to save about 20%-30% of your income. Depending on how much you can afford to save, I’d obviously recommend saving as much as you can, especially if you’re saving up for a big purchase. (More to come on How to Save post coming soon)

Come to a reasonable limit on your spending

Now that you have a clearer picture of what your financial situation is, you can set a reasonable budget that you think you can maintain. Budgets are meant to be changed and you should feel like you have to keep it the same for every month-some months your expenses may fluctuate, and your income may as well. Try to keep an open mind with it, and know that you can always adjust! However, don’t use that as a reason to continuously over spend-there’s a reason you have a budget after all.

I hope these tips can help any of you who may be struggling to set a budget or find a maintainable one!

Xo.

Tips for Flawless Makeup

Tips for Flawless Makeup

So- – no one likes cakey makeup. Or makeup that doesn’t last long. Or makeup that slides all over your face. Well, if you find yourself experiencing any of these terrible makeup applications tragedies, check out my tips below for flawless makeup!

Setting Spray

Setting spray is the last step in my makeup routine, and probably my favorite. Misting a nice smelling, cooling setting spray all over your face is honestly such a relaxing feeling. Not only does setting spray lock in your entire look, but it also can really allow the makeup to sink into your skin and look flawless. Applied too much powder and look cakey? Setting spray can soften the cakey-powder appearance and allow liquid and powders to mesh together beautifully.

Some of my favorite settings sprays include the Morphe Continuous Setting Mist and Mac Fix Plus .

Primer/Moisturizer

Applying skincare before makeup is an excellent way to create a flawless base for your makeup application. I love putting on eye cream and moisturizer before my makeup in the morning and it really helps my everything sit better on my skin. You can even use a priming moisturizer, such as the Smashbox Primerizer, or just whatever your current skincare products are. I currently am loving the Bobbi Brown Face Base!

*Note, even if you have oily skin, you should still apply a moisturizer! It’ll do wonders for your skin, I would just stick with something lightweight!

Liquid before powder

If you’re ever wondering why your makeup looks cakey, it may be because you’re applying liquid over your powder products. This is a recipe for cakey, uneven, not flawless makeup. Try to layer liquid products on before you put any powder products on and you will definitely notice the difference!

Cream instead of powder products

Generally speaking, I think cream products melt into the skin significantly better than powder products do, especially if you have dry skin like me. Cream products like highlighters and bronzers, can look so much more natural and blended when you use a cream formula. This is a sure fire way to get a natural, flawless complexion without piling on a million products. Some of my favorite cream products are the Milk Makeup Matte Bronzer and the Hourglass Vanish Flash Highlighting Stick.

I hope these tips can help you guys achieve flawless makeup! Let me know what your tips are to get perfect looking makeup.

Xo.

Beginner’s Guide: The LSAT 101-Do’s and Don’ts

Beginner’s Guide: The LSAT 101-Do’s and Don’ts

So maybe you’re debating if you want to go to law school, or you’re already in the midst of studying for the LSAT. Whatever it may be, I have compiled a list of Do’s and Don’ts, as well as helpful tips for anyone who is thinking about/is taking the LSAT for the first time! With the March LSAT date coming up soon, I figured now would be the perfect time to share my tips and tricks for studying for the LSAT.

☆ Do’s

  • Study -I know this seems obvious but I’ve heard of people going into an LSAT never having studied and I have never been more scared for a person in my entire life
  • Practice-Take as many practice tests as you can. Before I took my LSAT, I took about 25 tests over the course of 6 months. When I was a month out from my test, I was taking a practice test once or twice a week to prepare myself for the marathon that is taking the LSAT.
  • Consider taking a Prep Course– These can definitely get expense, but look at it as an investment in your future law career. I took the Powerscore course off of a recommendation from a friend, and I loved it. You can choose a plan that works best for you, and they send you all the materials you need. I wouldn’t have known even where to start had I not done a prep course, so for me it was definitely worth it.
  • Go over questions you got wrong AND right– A lot of people always say to review your wrong answers, but reviewing questions you got right is just as important. I definitely wish I had done more of this because I think it really could have helped me. Sometimes when you get a question right you may have guessed, but when you’re checking your answers you may not remember that, and just assume you knew the right answer 100%. Once you get the hang of the test, I’d definitely recommend spending a good amount of your study time reviewing past test items, and item type to really see where you weaknesses are.

☆ Don’ts

  • Do not wait until the last minute to study/take a practice test– If you look online, a lot of prep courses or websites say to allow yourself at least 6 months to study. I’d 100% recommend this or even more. If you have the time to take two LSATs, you definitely should. Chances are you may not be as happy with your first score, or you may be able to do a little bit better, so having at least the option to take a second test is always the better bet than being stuck with only one test date before applications are due.
  • Do not go over board studying the day before and/or the morning of the exam- this will only stress you out and may not help you in the long run. If you end up getting some questions wrong, chances are you’ll feel discouraged and it will not help your mental state for the test. If anything, I’d recommend maybe reviewing a few questions you have gotten right to make sure you really grasp a certain concept, but even that I would do minimally.
  • Do not leave questions blank on the exam– You only get credit for the questions you get right, so if you don’t know the answer, you’re better off guessing than putting nothing. You have a 25% chance of getting it right, rather than a 100% chance of getting it wrong.
  • Do not psych yourself out- Easier said than done, but if you prepare well enough, when it comes to take the exam it won’t be as nerve wracking as you thought. Also, don’t talk about the exam questions or the exam in general before, during breaks, or after the test. Not only is it against LSAC rules, but it’s not going to make you feel better to hear that the person next to you thought the last section was super easy and you could barely make it through all the questions. (Also, not everyone has the exact same test, so even if you did try to compare to someone else, you wouldn’t even be comparing the same type of section)

I hope this helped any of you out there who are considering or taking the LSAT! I’ve definitely learned plenty from my experiences studying and taking the exam, so I’m always happy to share. Do you guys have any tips/tricks for taking a hard exam like the LSAT?

As always, keep it klassy. xo.