Bah Humbug: A Little Scrooge in Me

December is a lot of things for a lot of people. For me? Well, it’s mostly a race to finish A Christmas Carol before winter break begins. The Dickens classic is part of the curriculum so I’m up to my eyeballs in ghosts, chains, and mince pies.

While the iconic antihero Ebenezer Scrooge is typically held up as the opposite of kindness and consideration, I’m finding I can’t totally write him off this year. No, it’s not that I’m turning into a sourpuss myself. It’s simply that there are a few lines that pre-reformation Scrooge spouts off that really resonated with me this Christmas season. Continue reading “Bah Humbug: A Little Scrooge in Me”

Bah Humbug: A Little Scrooge in Me

Is thredUP Worth It? $5.60 Says Maybe

thredupA few months back, I agreed to make $4 an hour selling to Clothes Mentor*. Like a dummy. Because if there’s anything that I don’t do, it’s learn my lesson the first time. Enter: thredUP.

ThredUP promises to  be worth it. There is the unrelenting social media advertising. There is the adorable green polka dot bag. There is the promise that it is quick and easy. So was thredUP worth it? Since I made $5.60 in just over a month, let’s go with maybe. Continue reading “Is thredUP Worth It? $5.60 Says Maybe”

Is thredUP Worth It? $5.60 Says Maybe

My Biggest Money Mistake

money-mistake-1I’ve made more money mistakes than I can count. There were $700 wedding shoes and a $26,000 new car. Then, there was the actual wedding that I still haven’t blogged about because I don’t even know what it cost. A lot. It cost a lot. But these mistakes actually don’t bother me. In fact, unlike many people in the personal finance world, I don’t actually consider them to the biggest money mistakes I could make.

When it comes to ruining myself financially, Jimmy Choo isn’t going to do it. Toyota isn’t going to do it. I am. I continue to allow a powerful combination to exist in my life: fear and a lack of information. While I’d like to blame all of the things in my life–and if you’ve read my blog at all you know there is a lot of stuff–I am my worst money mistake. Continue reading “My Biggest Money Mistake”

My Biggest Money Mistake

Millennial Money Chatter: Money Sense for Us

moneychatter_450x375-01You know FOMO and YOLO and adulting. You’re probably familiar with regifting. But what about degifting and frugle and debth? It turns out, that as we sort through our money, millennials are creating new language right along side of it.

Why the need for the new vocabulary? Our generation is looking at money differently. Sometimes we’re confronting new issues. Other times, we’re confronting age-old issues in new ways. And when an entire generation is faced with unprecedented money obstacles, it’s going to take some new words to sort through the numbers and the emotions behind them. Because when it comes to millennial money, some of it is good, some of it’s bad, and some even gets a little ugly. Continue reading “Millennial Money Chatter: Money Sense for Us”

Millennial Money Chatter: Money Sense for Us

Frugally Awesome…Or Awkward: Haircut Edition

haircutAbout a month ago, I was driving home from work and decided long hair was exhausting. So, I did what any sane person does. I found a Great Clips coupon and lopped off 7 inches of hair less than an hour later. And man, did things get awkward. Continue reading “Frugally Awesome…Or Awkward: Haircut Edition”

Frugally Awesome…Or Awkward: Haircut Edition

Money, Marriage, and Motorcycles

MotorcyclesI don’t hate my husband’s motorcycle. I mean, it gets better mileage than his car, and it’s not like I didn’t know about it before we got married. So I try to maintain a cool, wary distance from it. You know, when I’m not giving it the side eye for taking up space in our garage. Or wondering if it truly is loud enough to make his presence known to oblivious drivers. Or refusing rides because it’s uncomfortable to sit on and helmets are hot. Truth be told, if you asked me what kind it was, my response would be, “A red one.” Shrug.

One day this month, I noticed its title sitting out on our kitchen table. I knew what that meant. After years of ownership, my husband was finally ready to part with his bike. Our neighbor made it clear on day one of our move that he would happily take it off our hands when we my husband was ready. That was three long years ago. So I did what any other finance loving, clutter-hating  person would do: I hid the title. Continue reading “Money, Marriage, and Motorcycles”

Money, Marriage, and Motorcycles

One Year In: Blogging for Fun About Money

One YearShe Picks Up Pennies turns one this week. While many bloggers are able to share impressive, jealousy-inducing numbers in terms of income and views, I cannot. Just like all those spam commenters aptly note, I did not monetize my blog. And I’m not entirely sure how to get back to the view in WordPress that shows you how to find an in-depth look at your page views. Don’t tell me. I don’t want to know. More on that in a moment.

Beyond that, I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that I wanted to quit repeatedly. Cut my losses and find another hobby. Or watch cable that I’m still paying for. But I got so much more out of this year of blogging that I can’t imagine my days any other way. Through the insights and interactions, dialogues and debates, comments and tweets with all of you, I learned so much about finance and mindfulness. And I had a ton of fun along the way. That’s something worth hanging onto. Continue reading “One Year In: Blogging for Fun About Money”

One Year In: Blogging for Fun About Money

A Money Book with the Heart of a Teacher

Money BookTitles of favorite personal finance books are volleyed about all across social media. Books that win favor based on their content as much as their titles, like The 4-Hour Work Week and I Will Teach You to Be Rich. Then, there are the heavyweight financial gurus: Suze Orman, David Bach, and even Dave Ramsey.

I always have at least one finance book in my library haul, but I’m equally interested in the history and the philosophy of money. For instance, most people read The Richest Man in Babylon to learn the secrets of smart wealth building. It’s not that I didn’t take note of those themes, but I also spent my time fact checking the history and applying all sorts of gender theory to the writing. I am that person.

So when this perennial-student-turned-teacher was gifted a copy of It is Only Money & It Grows on Trees by Cara MacMillan, my heart fluttered. The book promised a deep dive into finance using different cultures and religions, and it more than delivered. In a small-but-mighty format, the text explores the meaning of money, the ways in which money is utilized, and smart finance tips in a way that is really comprehensible.  Continue reading “A Money Book with the Heart of a Teacher”

A Money Book with the Heart of a Teacher

Money Lessons from My Garden

My GardenWhile I’m a far cry from an expert gardener, it’s been a hobby of mine since I was little. And it’s always been a family affair. I can’t ever recall a summer where my dad and I weren’t trying our hands at a tomato plant or twelve. Not to mention the ill-fated encounter with a pumpkin vine and his riding lawn mower. When I was even younger, my grandma taught me how to grow moss roses from seed and then harvest them for seeds for next year’s gardens. Then there’s my mom. She has a remarkable eye and knack for landscaping that I wouldn’t put it past her to retire a second time and start working for a gardening center. Now that Mr. P and I have been living in our home for three years, he’s been roped into the gardening mix as well. We’ve had our share of successes and failures, but he’s equally enthusiastic about gardening.

While I still can’t really explain the difference between a brandywine or a beefsteak tomato, I can say that there are quite a few parallels between starting seeds and planting pennies. Here’s what my garden has taught me: Continue reading “Money Lessons from My Garden”

Money Lessons from My Garden

Frugally Awesome…Or Awkward: Part 4

Awkward 4There’s something about money: It brings out the best, the worst, and the most awkward side of people. Since I’ve dedicated a fair amount of time this summer to side hustling, I’ve had to do some explaining for how I’m spending my time. I get it. A lot of people think teachers have summers off and spend time eating bonbons ice cream straight out of the carton. But even fellow educators have had some really interesting things to say when they hear about my hustling. As usual, my interactions lean more towards awkward rather than awesome. Continue reading “Frugally Awesome…Or Awkward: Part 4”

Frugally Awesome…Or Awkward: Part 4