Was I Missed?


It’s been about a year and I’m just getting my thoughts together. There is a lot that has happened, but I won’t bore you with all the details. But, I will say that things happen for a reason in our life whether it is positive or negative. Instead of harping on what isn’t happening, I’m learning to be grateful for what is.

I’ve been so consumed with money and trying to make more of it,that I am driving myself crazy, lol. Still in pursuit of a better job ( as we all are) , but just having a more positive approach. Things will happen when it is suppose to.

So, what’s new with you guys? Spill the tea…

I am still working, but have really been slacking on my writing. I think about my stories all the time  and I really miss them. It’s just with this job, once I’m home I am mentally drained and I am too tired to write anything. Well that stops today. Starting tomorrow, I am going to write everyday because I have some stories to tell you guys! To my fellow writers out there, please hang in there. Keep fighting the good fight. To my folks on the debt free journey, we are still in this, but let’s make sure we are alive to see the journey of being debt free end. Don’t let work or money stress you to death.  I’m back and I feel good about it! From this day forth, my writing and finance advice will commense!


Money, Why Are You Stressing Me Today?


The Love Of Money
I want to love you, but today you are making it hard.

I was fine all day until now. It’s currently 9:35pm and I’m here pestering about you. Sure, they say you don’t grow on trees, but right now, it’s like you are growing in my mind and I am going to mentally combust! I blame you, money. This is all your fault! My dilemma is trying to figure out how to make you and keep you around AND still be happy with that choice. In my mind, I want to make you where you I have passion and purpose. But, I’m in a rut trying to figure out what that is. What is it? Money, do you know?


I want to make so much of you, but I want the task to make you is fun. Lately, I notice that I have a passion for you. Your real name is finance and I’m all over you. I love learning all that you bring to the table with different entities like personal finance, debt, credit card, financial advisor, everything that I’m learning you are standing for I am here for it. You are my new passion in so many different ways. I have to use you to pay my bills, my student loan debt, you help me budget. But, I tell you where to go for my budget and you listen. Unlike my ex boyfriends, but that is another story. We will NOT go there money. I’ve used you for those clowns, but you taught me a valuable lesson. If I don’t take care of you, you will disappear.  At this time in my life I’m learning so much about you which is great.

On the other hand, writing is a passion as well and I’m trying to make you while doing that. Right now, I work in your industry, in the corporate world, but I want better with you, with us so we can always be together. Just like everyone else, I want to have as much as you as possible while having fun earning you. Earning your trust.  The stress of you is how to make you with my passions. I love you, finance and I love the written words called writing. How do I intertwine them both to make you more successfully? I’ve prayed on it and even reached out to other writers on twitter who have been amazing. I met one tonight named Julienne and she helped me tremendously! Thanks, Julienne!  By the way, her work was featured in the New York Times! It feels good to know that writers still look out for other writers. My goal is to make as much of you as possible so I can be debt free.  Now, that I’ve had the chance to talk to you, I feel less tense and I’m more relaxed. With that being said, I’m grateful for you, I appreciate you sticking around when others haven’t and thanks for making me feel secure. Glad we had this talk. Until next time, keep growing for others in terms of promotions, raises, income, and continue to bless many with you abundantly.

Accomplishing Our Purpose, On Purpose


The statue above has been my mood for a couple of days now. Is it your mood as well when it comes to your purpose? Currently, I’m reading The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason. If you haven’t read it, PLEASE DO! The story that I just finished is called, ” Seven Cures For A Lean Purse.” As I read these cures, I noticed that it was a replica of how to get in tune with your personal finances. It reminded me of Dave Ramsey, Suze Orman, Tony Robbins, Warren Buffet, all of the greats who have had the opportunity to become wealthy. But, there was a section in the book that spoke on accomplishing your purpose.



We often hear or have heard to trust the process, but how do you do that on purpose or with our purpose? There comes a time when we feel like we have our lives figured out to a T and we know what we will become and how we will benefit from it. It’s funny, my mom just said today if you want to make God laugh, make plans. We learn so many things and can be passionate about all of them, but still have trouble seeking what it is we are not only good at, but can do that will make us money and we won’t get bored. Or, is that just me?

When I was a senior in highschool, my father told me to take up accounting because it made $60,000 a year at that time. I wanted no parts of it. I was afraid because I wasn’t the best at math in school. I got a C. He told me, if you can count your money, you can be an accountant. Well, I wanted to help people. I loved giving advice and writing. First, it went to being working in Human Services, which was my first major at community college, I got wind of psychology and fell in LOVE! Then, I wanted to be a shrink and diagnose people mainly because the people in my household were crazy, lol. Then, I wrote my first book after a very bad break up that led to more break ups. I wanted to tell that story and I did. Now, thirteen years later, I develop this passion for personal finance. I noticed my current and previous roles were in the financial services industry. I did collections, customer service for student loans, collected on credit cards and now working with accounts who have six figures and will call about being charged twice for an item on their card. I mean, I get it, it’s their money. I’ve become fascinated with my journey of becoming debt free and personal finance. Crunching numbers, budgeting and figuring out where money goes, is enjoyable to me. Now, I find myself wishing I would have majored in accounting, lol.

How do we accomplish our purpose on purpose, if we are still trying to fine tune what it is? Granted, we learn through trial and error, this job, that job, this opportunity, that opportunity. What will stick that is ours and ours alone? At least the talent portion of it and wanting to do it. They say, if you love what you do, then it’s never a job. No matter if you know your purpose or you are still fine tuning it, keep at it and be the best at whatever it is you are doing. Excel in that job, career or entrepreneur on purpose until your purpose finds you!

New Year, New Financial Goals!


Happy New Year!

It’s that time of year when we all make promises to ourselves and the world and stick to them for one month. Some say setting goals or resolutions is cliche, but in my opinon, people are giving themselves hope. It’s very rewarding to see that people won’t give up on the changes that they want to make for themselves. But, what about your financial goals?

The Love Of Money
Love Money? How Much Do you REALLY love it?

The more I learn about personal finances and just finance in general, it gets more and more interesting to me. With that being said, how many of you made financial goals this year? Some may want to save as much as they can this year or pay off debt, or start to invest. The sky’s the limit. Whatever you do make sure that your goals are realistic and obtainable.

For example, say you want to save $10,000 this year. What is the first thing you have to do?

  1. Write out a written budget. See what your number is for your important fixed bills that are due EVERY month. This does not include netflix, cable, magazine or game subscriptions, etc. I mean let’s be honest, are those really important? Once you figure out what they number is it’s time to do some math.
  2. Calcluate your MONTHLY income and substract from that number(important fixed bills).
  3. Now you know what your important bills are every month.
  4. The goal is to save $1000 a month for 10 months. Depending on your income you may can do that in 10 weeks if you’re paid every week or $2000 a month for 5 months. Or pay $834 a month for 12 months and you are at goal.
  5. The way that saving works is to be CONSISTENT and have lots of discpline if you don’t already.

If you are paying off debt, let me just say, kudos to you! There are so many that ignore the debt that they have until the IRS comes knocking demanding their money. Don’t let this happen. Call the creditors, collectors, Navient, Sallie Mae, whoever you owe and make a payment plan, no matter how much your debt is. I know it can be frustrating and stressful, BUT the little payments do add up. Give yourself some credit, you are taking control of your finances.

Again, whatever you do make sure this goal is obtainable.

1. Get a copy of your credit report. Review it, STUDY it hard to make sure it’s correct.

2. Call the creditors and see if you can get on a payment plan.

3. If there is more than one debt, do the snowball method, which is to pay as much as you can on that particular debt alone. Just that one debt, once that one is paid off, put the same amount and a little more on the second debt.

4. You can pay off debt in two ways: the highest interest rate or the highest amount. My suggestion is to pay off the highest interest rate first. I.E, (If these are student loans, pay off the highest interest rate first because interest accures DAILY!!)

5. Keep track of how much you’ve paid off and I guarntee you will see the results in your credit score.

No matter what your financial goals are for 2019, have fun while achieving them. Don’t be so consumed by the number, but the progress you are making.

Why Is It Hard To Find A Writing Job?


It’s about to be a new year and I must say I’m not 100 % sold on my accomplishments. Yes, I’ve written two books this year that I’m very proud of, but I feel like it’s not enough. I want more to do. Writing is my passion and it’s the only way that I release myself. Some may release stress due to gambling, food, sex, or greed. Food has crossed my mind, but writing doesn’t pack on the pounds,just the words. That is fine with me. I did some research today on finding writing jobs. This is nothing new if you’ve been a loyal reader of mine for the last five years or so. My goal is to write for a living. My only feat is deciding if I do that as a company or for myself? I’ve been doing it for myself for quite some time, but I have yet to be financially successful from it. I won’t ever give up on my personal writing, but I still want to acquire working for a company someday as head writer. I’m even willing to climb the ladder as they say. But, how does one do such a thing?


I keep fighting the good fight and pound the keys. Taking a short break was very helpful with my sanity as I feel I’m suffering from cabin fever a bit lol. But, the words still consume me. As in introvert I can often times be called timid, shy, or even closed to those who know me. But, nevertheless, I will always have something to write. Something to say. It’s the words that bounds our mind and speaks to us from our souls and our hearts. As of late, I have been researching how to find a writing job. Social media is top on the list! Studies show the best way to find a job is through social media by networking. I’ve tried this way and I haven’t had much luck. Most of the times people want to writers to work for free, which is ridiculous.  That is another blog for another day.  No matter what you are trying to do with your writing be it a job, a writing schedule, or anything where you use your words, don’t give up. Just take it one word at a time.


Why Is Validation So Important?

Hey readers! There has been a lot on my mind regarding validation. I feel we are in a society where we care about what others think. In my opinion, that is SO unesseccary. Why are we so fixated on what others think about us? I’m at the point in my life where I don’t care what anyone thinks about my lifes choices whether it’s a decision based on who I date, how much money I make, where I live, etc. We are so wrapped up with what others think it’s almost unfathomable. I mean, we try to wear name brand clothes, have the best cars, good paying jobs, makeup and even love interest to post pics and long drawn out stories on Facebook just for a like or a love emoji? What is that? Lol.

I’ve considered deleting my social media just because it’s such a time and soul crusher it’s not even funny. I’ve been re-reading a book called The Hollywood Commandments by DeVon Franklin and it talks about giving up or sacrifcing something to focus on God more. I think Facebook is that sacrifice. I will still have it to promote my book that is coming out next month, but other than that I don’t think I’ll post or scroll as much. There comes a time when you have to decide what you put your focus on. Mine needs to be writing and being successful with writing.
I LOVE this book! You have no idea. He talks about different ways that your gift makes room for you. I can not wait until my gifts continue to do that on bigger platforms. My goal is to write for a living whether it be for myself, a company or even a newsroom. My name will everywhere! I can guarntee that if I can’t guarntee anything else.  DeVon had to sacrifice a lot of things to get to where he is and I respect his work ethic so much. If you haven’t read this book, check it out!


Coming In December 2018

I must say that I have VERY excited for my new self-help book to come out! This book is for writers who want to write a book or a screenplay. I give some tips that I have learned from film school and with writing mentors that I’ve had over the years. I hope this will help writers get started in the process. This book means so much to be, and I was really nervous to be on the cover, but I am glad that I decided to do it. Also, in this book I talk how I got started with writing, my ups and down and more.

There are always going to be people who have something to say about what you do. It does not matter what profession you choose, clothes you wear, even down to the types of meals you eat. People will always find a way to either tear you down or lift you up. In the event that does happen, why does their opinion have to validate you?


The Frustrations Of A Debt Free Journey

Happy Friday

Hey Readers!

I hope that everyone’s Friday is going well. My day started out to be very stressful. I always try to talk positive on my blog, but I am also keeping it real, too. Being on a debt free jounrey is not easy for me. I’m currently reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad and it’s teaching me so much! I am grateful for the author, Richard. On the other hand, I have a plan on how to get out of debt, but on the other hand, it still seems impossible. Let me explain.


I’ve decided to start Baby Step 2 in the Dave Ramsey plan. BS2 is to pay ALL of your debt, My debt is currently at $211,000. I know I loose my breath everytime I think about the number. To prepare I have also been saving my money in an Emergency Fund so that way I can have a cushion. Let’s face it. $1000 is NOT ENOUGH for a starter emergency fund. My frustration is not just about the debt, but also about earning more income to pay it off. Which leads to the next frustrating thing.  Income. My current income is 38k. I’m looking for side hustles and even another job making more money.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaing at all. These student loan debts are just that mine. It just sucks that I’m not even working in ANY of the fields that I have degrees in. At least that would make me feel a little better.

Plan Of Action

How do I tackle such a big amount? Well, I’m going to pay as much as I can on my student loans while continuing to try to get more income as a writer. Writing is my passion and it’s what I want to do for a living. I also want to bring personal finance in the mix as well since I enjoy it so much. Being on this journey I am sacficing being an even more nomad or homebody so I can be able to say I’m debt free and help others and different organizations. My heart is in the right place. I just wish the income would follow suit. I know in time it will because there is a man named Jesus who said that he would give me the desires of my heart to make it happen. But, I have an AMAZING support system with Clever Girl Finance and my acocuntability partner, Stacey. They understand the struggle and how real it is. So, I’m taking a deep breath, pulling up my big girl panties and getting to work.


A Review of Clever Girl Finance: Am I Really Learning?

Hey Readers!


I hope all is well with everyone. Thus far I can say that 2018 has been a monumental year so far. I look forward to what 2019 will have in store for me. One thing that I wanted to mention is a movement or empowering community/group that I belong to. It’s called Clever Girl Finance. Make sure you check out the website. It’s pretty amazing.

Twitter Image

I first learned about CGF in YouTube. The channel and company is founded by a woman named Bola who has become one of my financial mentors if you will. This new way of living and learning about my personal finances has shown me that I can acheieve my finance goals. Now, I know you maybe asking, well what are you learning?

Good question! On the website, there are several teachings from powerful women in finance who have had their own journey whether it’s getting out of debt, starting their own business or just being financially free. There are coureses that one must take that includes debt, budgeting and saving, insurance, investing and more. There is even a book club which is my favorite! The books are about working on your credit, personal financies, investing, buying a home, real estate and more.

These courses are VERY cheap too. You can pay $100 for everything or $10 a month and you have a year to finish the courses.  Check out the link when you click on the word courses.  Not bad, right? Right now I am on the first step of achieving my goals. This includes transforming my mindset regarding money, a money challenge, creating a budget and more.

If you have read my other blogs you know I’ve already mastered my financies and have a budget, but the course will be a refresher.  Another thing that I love about clever girl finance is that you can watch interviews with other successful women like Stacey Flowers and Natalie Bacon! Stacey and Natalie both have their own YouTube channels where they talk about how they become debt free and saved a lot of money. It’s VERY inspring for me.

Pritorities 1

I’m learning to not be afraid of my money. When I mean afraid, I mean not being scared to talk about my debt and knowing that it is okay to save money even if it means not having much of a social life for a while. My financial goals are going to be met in time. The group and girls of CFG all have one thing in common, to be as financially stable as we can.

We talk on Facebook and even have our own accountability partners! Now, to me, this is better than taking an online course for college, lol. At least with CGF, we work at our own pace and don’t have a deadline like you would in school, lol. It feels good to belong to a community where people understand where I’m coming from and they get me. Now a days since I’ve been on this finance journey, people will look at me funny or not understand when I mention a ” sinking fund” or even an ” emergency fund”. Here I belong and I’m not judged for wanting to get out of debt. You’d be surprised at how people will judge you based on your financial planning for YOUR life.

What has been most impactful to me is the book club and my accountability partner, Stacy. Don’t get me wrong, the courses are great, but I take my time with it because it is so much important information. I want to be a sponge and really grasp what my assignments are and how to utilize them in my life.

The books are very helpful and they give assignments too, which I admire. Learing is re-learning, and my grandfather always told me, ” you are never too old to learn anything.” Plus, I’m a book worm so I gravitate more toward books. My accountability partner is like my person I tell all of my money dreams and desires too, lol. We have great conversations and I admire them.

The one thing I look forward to is learning about investing and credit.  I’m interested to see how I can use what I learn from these courses in my real life. Credit is one of those sensitive subjects. Some feel it is needed and others like Dave Ramsey think otherwise. I however, do think credit is important because it is part of financial responsibility in your life. I won’t preach about credit, but I will say if you are looking to get on a financial journey, give Clever Girl Finance a chance. We welcome you with open arms, great advice and awesome tips on how to get your finances in order no matter what your goals are.

Dare To D.R.E.A.M?


Often times we dream of what we want? If you’re a little girl, it most likely was what your wedding would be like. What style of gown would you wear? How many bridesmaids you’d have? Even down to the husband. I know I would tear out a picture of whatever celebrity I thought was cute at the time and paste his face into the groom’s picture of a wedding magazine. But, as you become an adult, your dreams may shift a bit. At least it should. i’m talking about the type of career you want to have.  I’ve heard many sayings like, ” hang around who you want to be like?” or ” successful people hang with other successful people. While this may be true, do we really listen to reason?

I Can Do It

Dare to Dream. The way society is now these days it’s all about how someone looks or if they have money to spend it right away on the latest trend or fashion. Let me ask you, what does your dreams say about you now? My dream is to make a living writing. The more I think about it, I try to grasp what style of writing that maybe. A column? Successful blog? Articles? Novels? Screenplays? For me, the sky is the limit. Why do I have to put myself in a box of what society or others think I should do? My dreams are just that mine. Your dreams are yours. Never allow anyone to tell you not to dream, no matter how bizzaire others may think it is.

Recently, I’ve become part of a powerful movement that many strong women belong to. It’s called Clever Girl Finance. It’s a community founded by a woman named Bola ( check her out on YouTube) or her website at CleverGirlFinance.com. She talks about living your dreams and making the best choices with your financies. Although, the scope or focal point is financies, I take some of these practices in other areas of my life. For example, there is a course on the website that I’m taking and it discucess career development and forward movement for what you want to do in a career. The acronym for DREAM really stuck out to me.

D- Development

R- Relationships

E- Engagement/Enviornment

A- Acknowledgement

M- Money

From a financial perspective, I loved what it meant. But, from a way of life, I saw the potential of what dreaming can do other people. It’s no secret that I’m at a point in my life where I’m ready to write for a living. The D ( development), made me really focus on the way I want my writing and tips to value others situation and perspective on their lives. The R, made me think about relationships that I’ve lost or have yet to build on my writing career. As a writer, there are SO many people who will think their way is better than yours or they offer better teachings. It doesn’t matter to me. As long I can help someone the relationship will continue to build. The E for me, really made me get out of my shell and realize I actually have to exist in the outside world. Being timid or shiy isn’t going to work with the plans that I have. My environment will be one of a positive one and only wisdom and knowledge are allowed. It shows me that I can remain teachable. A is to ackowledge that I have a gift and I can be successful with it. M encourages me to use my gift to not only help others, but I can make a profit and become successful with it.

Let me know below, what is your dream and what steps are you going to take to see it through?




Getting Real With Your Finances

The Love Of Money

This blog is a bit different from others. It’s a different focus or scope of topic. Some may love this topic and some may dread this topic because they have to be real with themselves. Yep. I’m talking MONEY. Cream, Chedda, Dollar dollas bills, y’all!  Yes! There comes a point in every one’s life where they have to get real with their finances. I mean, if you won’t who will?

Let’s just get down to business. Where do we start? The beginning. I challange EVERYONE to get a copy of their credit report. If everything looks right, get a piece of paper and a calculator and write down your debt. I know what you must be thinking, ” Krystol, I owe a lot of money!” It’s okay. Breathe. Trust me, when I did this and realized I only had student loans a few medical bills from previous years, I wanted to through the entire calculator away. Being 211,000 in debt is no picnic. If your numbers are less than mine, consider yourself lucky.  Now, once you’ve written your debt, put it to the side.



Yes, the B word is a must whether you are trying to get out of debt or even trying to save some extra cash. You would be surprised of how much money you will have left over if you just buy your wants and not your needs. Before you write out all of your bills, look at the month’s previous expenses. Where are you spending too much? What can you cut back on? Take the time and think about it. Talk it over with your spouse or significant other if you have one. Once you have all of the bills laid out. Ask yourself, what do I really need? Once you know the TOTAL of all of your bills that you need, that is YOUR number, You know you have to have that amonut every month.  I’ll use my own number as an example.

My number is : $1,096.99

That number is how much my bills total to be every month. It was $1,300.00. Let me explain what I did.

After I totaled all of my bills, I decided to cut back a lot. I was spending $206 every two weeks on eating out! Yikes! When I saw that number, I was like oh no! Forget that. Now, I only spend $50 every other week if that. Now, I order out less and cook more. So, here is my break down budget using MY real numbers.

$Rent – $750.00

$ Cable ( Used to be $94 a month)

$Internet only – $60.00 ( saving $35 because I turned cable off)

$ Netflix _ $7.99

$ Electric $40-$60 tops now that it isn’t the summer

$Cell Phone – $20 (saved $60 by having ONLY unlimited talk and text. I use wifi for data at home and at work)

$Car Insurance $124 ( I paid cash for my car so no car payment)

$Renters Inc $15

$Food – $80 ( My food budget used to be $100 every two weeks. Now, it’s $40 every other week)

$Gas – $20 a month ( I live very close to my job and grocery stores)

This is it. I’m not paying student loans right now because they are in deferment.

Saving Money


I know this next topic is hard for everyone! I get it. I sucked at savings, until I got serious and really wanted to learn about money. Savings can be fun and a great challange. Many people save in different ways by:

  1. Saving 10% of your paycheck into a savings account ( I do this automaticaly. As soon I get paid money goes straight to that account. Can’t afford to save 10% of your paycheck? No, problem. Start with $25-50 and LEAVE IT ALONE!! Trust me it ADDS up. 
  2. Piggy Bank- Some people keep money at home in a piggy bank. This is a great concept for adults,too.
  3. Money Challenges – There are SO many different money challenges out there like the 26 week challege. After 26 weeks you will have $1,378 saved. The 52 week challange is the same as well where you put a certain amount in savings every week. I’m currently doing the 26 week challenge and putting a certain amount of money in every pay.  For example, 1 week is $3, second week is $7 and so on and so forth.  Singles challenge, is a good one too. I’m currently doing this as well. How this works is that you save ALL of your single $1 for a period of time. For example, I’m saving mine for 6 months. I started two days ago and already have $35 in singles saved. Not bad, right?
  4. High Yield Savings Account. Some people put money in a savings accont that has a high interest rate. This means you will earn a little more money just by keeping money in your account.  For example, I have a high yield savings account with the interest rate of 1.85% APY, the more money I add in, I get a little extra on top of that! Not bad, right?
  5. Saving Your Change. This is another way to save money. My grandfather was the KING of this challange. He’d have money in his fishing buckets, jars and in pennt wrappers. When he passed away we found them and he had $500 in pennies and , $300 in quarters. I can remember taking it to the bank with my grandmother. Who knew how much saving your change could really add up. I’m currently doing this as well with a big old popcorn container, lol.
  6. Left Over Money. Okay, so you know how I told you my number is $1,096.99? Without overtime, my income is $2,099 a month (this is after my 401k 6% with employee match of 6% as well, and an employee stock plan where I buy shares at a discounted rate through my job as well. If your employer matches your 401K, PLEASE take advantage, that is FREE money. If you can’t afford to do the 100% matchm at least start with 3%.  With overtime, I make ($2,500). So, subtract my monthly income from my total of bills for the month and you get $1,002.01. What do you think I do with that left over money? You’re right SAVE IT! I have $208 a month going to my high yield savings account and the $794.01 in my other savings account. But, in total I’m able to save $1000 a month. Imagine what I’m have in 6 months or 1 year?!! Now, if I need things like my hair done, money in my pocket, or other items like cleaning and hygeine products, I will use my credit card for that and it’s usually $100 in total between both of my credit cards. This way I’m keeping my card utilization down AND building my score. I don’t use what I can’t afford to pay in cash. Plus, I buy those things in bulk where they will last a few months at a time. For clothes I have a charge card at my favorite store and again, I only spend $50 and can get great deals.
  7. Adjustments. There will be time where you will have to adjust your budget or make it work for you. For me, I am single with no children so I only have to worry about me at the moment.

Living Below Your Means

The thing is not over spending and saving where you can. Some people are not as anal as I am with my savings plan, but I have a goal to reach. My financial goals are to have my Emergency fund fully stocked and money for a rainy day because you never know what may happen. One could loose their job, get laid off or anything.  There are so many people who are trying to ” keep up with the Jonese’s” and they don’t even know them. You are buying materiaistic things that loose value as soon as you take it off the lot or even leave the store. Is it worth it? Not to me. I want to make sure that I can take care of myself just in case. My goal is to live as a minimalist and only have what I need. I can splurge and treat myself sometimes, but of course that will be in the budget. I hope this post will help you with your own finance journey.