Money Mentality, Women + Finances

Introducing Alex, Life Updates and 2016 Goals

It’s been a long time since I’ve written a post for this blog. In fact, it’s been so long that I didn’t even know what to say.

The truth is that 2016 has been a weird year for me.

I started the year with the ambition of becoming a full-time freelance writer. As I picked up more and more work, I quickly learned that it is NOT the career path that I want. I love my freelance clients, but I can’t imagine doing it full time. I realized that I love having a steady full-time paycheck from my day job while working with clients on the side. Making my side hustle all about money caused it to lose a lot of its joy for me, which was a bummer. Once I decided that I didn’t want to do it full-time, working with clients became what it had always been: a wonderful part-time job that I love.

So yeah, full-time freelance writing was a no-go. Luckily, I discovered all of this while working full-time so the discovery came with minimal drama, but if you are considering a freelance career, I highly recommend that you look (aka: try it) before you leap. I was firmly convinced that freelancing was going to be all my #dreams and it was not.

So once I discovered that, I was left with the question: what the heck do I do now?

After some intense soul-searching and endless conversations with my nearest and dearest, I’ve reached a career decision that I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT.

I’m still figuring out a lot of the details, but I’m planning to share them as soon as possible.

So yeah, there has been a lot of (internal) career drama.

HOWEVER, this year has also included some amazing milestones:

I paid off nearly $14,000 of debt, my net worth has reached $15,000 (!!!) and I got my first ever raise.

As we rapidly move into the end of the year, I have a few very specific goals I would like to achieve for the rest of 2016:

1. Move back in with my partner, Alex (who you will meet down below!)

After doing long distance between London and Los Angeles for nearly 1.5 years, we swore we would never do it again, and yet here we are. For the past 10 months we’ve been commuting back and forth between Los Angeles and San Diego. Even though it’s only a two-hour drive instead of a 10-HOUR FLIGHT, it still sucks and I miss Alex every day that we’re apart.

2. End the year with a net worth of $20,000

This will be challenging because I have some super large expenses coming up but I’m eager to try. Also, just as a disclaimer,           when I calculate my net worth, I only include cash and investments. I never include cars or any other “stuff.”

 

3. Blog 3 times/week

Yep, the person who hasn’t blogged for nearly two months is planning to post 3x/week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) *insert shame face emoji* I’m constantly inspired by so many other personal finance bloggers, I miss the community and I LOVE writing. We’ll see how it goes, but feel free to yell at me on Twitter if I disappear for a month again.

 

So now that we’ve gotten the life updates out of the way, I’m so excited for the best part of this post: introducing my better half, Alex.

Alex and Taylor

 

But before we do that, there’s one more thing: I’m in a same-sex relationship. I realized that I’ve never officially “come out” on my blog, and I’ve gotten a few comments asking if I have a boyfriend, so I thought it might be worth mentioning. I’m really open about it in real life, and if you follow me on social media, you probably already know, but I thought I would make it official and throw myself a little coming out party *throws confetti*

 

So back to the introductions: Alex and I met when I was studying abroad in London (Alex is British) during college at the tender age of 19 (!!!) Well, I was 19 and Alex was 20, but needless to say, we met super young, which I love because it means we get to enjoy the maximum amount of our lives together! Alex complements me in every possible way, including money (Alex is way more laid back about spending and balances my saving neurosis), and I feel so lucky to be in a relationship with my favorite person. And as we approach our 4-year anniversary next month, I can honestly say that sharing my life with Alex is a treat.

 

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So without further ado, here is an interview with Alex:

What are you studying and when do you graduate?

Alex: I am studying Fashion Merchandise Marketing at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) in LA. It’s my second degree and I’ll graduate mid-September

Tell me about your relationship with money

Alex: I wouldn’t say I’m there yet but I ultimately strive for a good balance between saving and investing and having money to spend and enjoy. I definitely think I’m a little more relaxed in terms of wanting to be able to spend money than Taylor is – I especially enjoy clothes shopping which is probably compulsory as a fashion student! However, I think savings are the only way to truly be financially secure and feeling secure with money is my long-term goal.

What’s it like to date someone who talks about money all the time?

Alex: I actually really admire Taylor’s attitude towards money. I know her journey with it hasn’t always been easy and I think she has handled that in ways that I often think I could not have. She’s a very independent person and that shows with her feelings about money. I really enjoy that Taylor feels so passionately about savings. I was raised to think of savings as important but I’m not the most naturally disciplined person with money, and I think Taylor has taught me how to have discipline within my finances, in a way which ultimately makes me feel better about myself. I love that she always wants to learn more about it and I love that her passion for it is about enabling herself to enjoy her life to the full.

Favorite thing about living in America?

Alex: I really enjoy living in another country and being a foreigner where I live – it kind of feels like you are always on holiday and it’s really exciting and powerful to learn a new culture as an adult. As cliché as it sounds I love the landscapes and huge skies – Southern California’s mountains are beautiful. I also love the popular culture – I’ve seen bands and shows and heard music that I would have been much more unlikely to come across in England.

Favorite food?

Alex: Indian food – specifically mutter paneer.

Favorite travel destination?

Alex: I have to say London because it’s where my entire family is. I could also name countless places I like in the US (particularly Disneyland!) but with England and America aside, I love Italy.

What are you most looking forward to this year?

Alex: I am really looking forward to moving back in with Taylor after I graduate school… as well as no longer having to do homework!

Interesting fact about yourself?

Alex: I forget how unusual it is, but I went to boarding school for five years. I absolutely hated it, but obtained the fun British status of being a member of the same boarding house as Kate Middleton.

 

Thanks so much to Alex for answering my random questions and thank YOU for sticking with me and reading this blog. It means so much.

 

Are you in relationship? How do you do money together?

 

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18 Comments

  • Reply Penny @ She Picks Up Pennies August 4, 2016 at 9:59 am

    So much confetti for so many reasons! Glad you’re back. Your goals look fantastic, and it sounds like you have the plan to make them work. I definitely am a look-before-I-leap person. That’s why I love education – after a zillion practicum hours, teaching a whole semester (for free!) in student teaching really helped me decide if this was truly something I wanted to do. I’d say about 75% of the people I knew continued on to become teachers. But you’re so right! They got their peeks into the world and made the best choice for them. Cannot wait to hear what’s next on your journey. So nice to meet Alex! Hi! 🙂

    • Taylor
      Reply Taylor August 5, 2016 at 1:29 pm

      THANK YOU! You are truly the best and as you already know, I appreciate you SO MUCH! Can’t wait to talk all about the career changes with you 😀 😀 😀

  • Reply Cait Flanders August 4, 2016 at 10:12 am

    What a fun interview + great introduction to Alex! So excited about everything the future has in store for you, Taylor. Can’t wait to see you in September!
    Cait Flanders recently posted…The Great American Road TripMy Profile

    • Taylor
      Reply Taylor August 5, 2016 at 1:28 pm

      Thanks, Cait! I can’t wait to see you either! (And to hear about your amazingly epic road trip) As you know, you always have a place to stay in Southern CA 🙂

  • Reply TJ August 4, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    Yay for trying freelance and deciding it isn’t for you and being able to admit it. Also yay for feeling comfortable sharing details about your relationship.

    • Taylor
      Reply Taylor August 5, 2016 at 1:27 pm

      Thanks, TJ! I still remember your comment about relationships from many months ago (and how my answer was no help, haha) Any updates in the dating department? And more importantly, how is your net worth going?! 😉

      • Reply TJ August 6, 2016 at 3:18 pm

        I replied via e-mail to some of these questions my being more active on personal twitter account has led my blog commenting persona and my real life persona to intermingle.

        As far as the blog post answer to my relationship comment goes, I thought that post you did was quite well and it answered important questions that i think a lot of people might have. It definitely opened my mind in some regards even if it wasn’t the magic potion I needed to drink to solve all of my dating woes.

  • Reply gwen @ fierymillennials August 4, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    Congratulations! 4 years LDR is incredibly admirable. I might shoot you an email some time and get some tips- I’m currently seeing/talking to/dating a Dutch guy. He’s worth it but it can be difficult!

    • Taylor
      Reply Taylor August 5, 2016 at 1:26 pm

      Thanks, Gwen! I’m so glad I discovered your blog the other day! It’s so inspirational to see someone who is close to my age KILL IT with money. I hope to join you in the $100k club within the next few years 😉 (CONGRATS btw!!) And yes! Please feel free to email me whenever (taylor.milam [at] gmail) As you probably already know, I definitely think long distance is worth it, but it’s also so hard and painful 🙁 Alex and I got pretty lucky because her dad was actually working in NYC when she was born. They moved back to the UK shortly after, but it meant that she was born with dual citizen. I know that for most couples, the hardest part is figuring out the visa and/or getting married in order to live together, but I know it can be done! And an international relationship also guarantees a life of travel, which is super fun 🙂 Let me know how it goes. I’ll be rooting for you two!

  • Reply Claudia @ Two Cup House August 4, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    Yay! I’m so glad to see you back. And it’s great to meet Alex–I hope to meet both of you in person at FinCon! 🙂
    Claudia @ Two Cup House recently posted…Alternative Living Arrangements: Living Small So We Can Live LargeMy Profile

    • Taylor
      Reply Taylor August 5, 2016 at 1:20 pm

      Thanks, Claudia! I’ve missed all the wonderful PF people (including my favorite Two Cup couple!) so it’s nice to be back! I can’t wait to see you at FinCon! Alex will not be there sadly 🙁 She typically leaves the extreme PF stuff to me 😉 haha.

  • Reply Kris August 4, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    Taylor, good for you! Nice to hear you’ve found someone to share your life with. Good luck with your blogging goals, I’m still “on hold” too even after our great conversations with Sarah. I look forward to seeing your progress!

    • Taylor
      Reply Taylor August 5, 2016 at 1:18 pm

      Aw, thanks Kris! I’m sorry to hear that your blog is still on hold. I love your posts and emails, so I’m looking forward to it picking up steam again! Is there anything I can do to help?

  • Reply ZJ Thorne August 5, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    All the confetti! Being near your love makes such a difference to daily happiness!
    ZJ Thorne recently posted…Net Worth Week 17My Profile

  • Reply Kara August 9, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    What a cute couple of photos! This is a great update. I won’t yell at you on Twitter if you go MIA, but I will inquire sadly why there are no posts. 🙂 I love hearing your excitement about upcoming plans and goals!

  • Reply Fervent Finance August 13, 2016 at 7:17 am

    Good luck with the new goals and career!

  • Reply NZ Muse September 5, 2016 at 11:59 pm

    YAYYYY! Love getting to know more about you.

    I really love the freelance work I do (I refuse to do non fun free lance stuff) but man am I glad it’s only a side thing for me. Whew.

  • Reply Yomi Gupta April 3, 2017 at 5:10 am

    Nice blog, its very interesting and informative blog, thank you for sharing the guides.

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