I’ll be the first to admit that I’m kind of slow at this whole “adult” thing. Don’t get me wrong, I know I am doing pretty well for myself, but as a person who is borderline obsessed with self-improvement – I know that I am riding the short bus in a few key areas. Finance being one of them. I’m damn good at making money, but I’m also damn good at spending it.
What can I say? I’m a spender, not a saver.
When I scroll through my Facebook feed (what a dangerous place to be) I see all of the people I went to high school with. They are long settled into that “American dream” thing. You know the husband, the house, the kids, and the same group of women they bonded with back in high school. They probably have a nice fat 401k and money put aside to put their kids through college.
Then I look at my life. I kicked that “American dream” straight in the teeth. At 24 when everyone else was getting engaged, I packed up and moved to Los Angeles. Spent my first four years in LA making poor life decisions and working around the clock at start-up companies. I don’t regret a second of it because it shaped who I am today. At 28, I quit my job, got my shit together, and started not one but two businesses. Tack on seven more years of working round the clock, paired with much better life decisions (live and learn).
So here I am 35 years old not married, no kids, a closet full of clothes and a wall full of shoes, in a beautiful apartment that I rent in the city. Am I better or worse than my suburban high school acquaintances? No. Do I need to get my shit together? Yes.
The interesting thing about being a strong, driven woman is that time seems to pass us by a bit faster than everyone else. I’ve been so busy working and actively ignoring my version of the American dream that I didn’t bother to work it into my “plan.” Sure I’ve always wanted a house, kids (although I tricked myself into believing I didn’t want them for years), and a husband (another thing I pretended I didn’t want) but I always figured I could get to that later.
I’ve mentioned it before, but 35 has been a motherfucker (in a good way). It’s like awakening after awakening, so many that I can barely keep up. My most recent awakening is that I need to buy a house. Not because “you’re supposed to” but because I want to, and I’d like to start getting some real estate in my portfolio (look at me trying to use financial terminology).
I can clearly picture my “dream” life in my bad ass house but guess what, I need to plan for it. Part of that plan is not spending all of my money on shoes, clothes, and other things I mindlessly spend money. I don’t know if you watch Blackish but last week’s episode focused on this exact topic (PS- I’m obsessed with hat show) and was another reminder that this is a goal I need to focus my energy on.
Actual photo of the dream house, don’t buy it – it’s mine!
A few days after deciding on saving for my dream house I told a few key people in my life – one of my best friends, my man, and my business partner. Little did I know they would all start holding me accountable for my decisions going forward. Specifically, my man.
After a client fitting, there were a few pieces I wanted to buy for myself: a top, a pair of shoes, and a skirt. I texted him to show him how cute everything looked on me. His response? You need to buy a house.
I was seconds away from mindlessly spending almost $800. That is $800 that can go towards my house. Not to mention the vest I almost slipped in, that would have tacked on an additional $500.
Talk about a wake up call. I felt like Carrie Bradshaw when she couldn’t buy her apartment because of her shoe habit. I may have certain positive Carrie qualities (hello, killer style) but that financial commonality needs to be flushed down the toilet immediately.
So now I am holding myself accountable with all of you as well, and becoming a more mindful shopper, which is also a very productive method to establishing great style. Let me dive into that for a moment.
One of the questions I ask all of my clients is this, “On what basis do you typically buy your clothes? Impulse, as needed, methodically, or for special occasions.” I would have to choose impulse, and if I look back on my history, I know where that leads me. It leads me to epic closet purges, wearing items only once, and being left with pieces that don’t feel very me.
My guess is that this fashion diet will not only save me money but also force me to only buy pieces that I love, and that will fit in better with the rest of my wardrobe.
Maybe this fashion diet won’t be so bad. I’ll keep you posted. What I can tell you is that I put the money I was going to spend into my house fun. Baby steps.
28 thoughts on “Time To Adult: Let The House Hunt And The Fashion Diet Begin”
I agree with your bf. You do NEED a house…but your shoulders in that shirt? I think you *at the very least* NEED that top!
hehe! i agree 😉
Loved this! I am also an impulse buyer. I have many more years on than you and I still struggle with this. Even though I have had kids, a house and a 401K, certain life decisions, like making career changes has required me to sell the house, cash out the IRA, (I do still have the kids, because selling them isn’t legal, j/k LOL) but they are adult and almost adult-age. So, now I find myself wanting to get another home. I think I will do this “diet” along with you and see where it gets me.
It’s good to hear I’m not alone. Lets fashion diet together 🙂
Sending you positive thoughts and energy in getting your dream house.
You are in inspiration. Thank you for always opening up and being so honest with us. I know you can do this, you have come this far!
thank you so much for your support 🙂
I love this idea, I’ll join you on this fashion diet! Goodluck 🙂
woo hoo!!! group fashion diet 🙂
I think that anything you put your mind too, you can and will do! You have accomplished a lot in a little bit of time and that’s a great accomplishment. Good luck on the house!!
I’m on a similar journey. I got off the clothes and shoes train long ago. I wasn’t particularly disciplined even after that. My goal is to purchase my home cash money is this year. It will take me a couple years to renovate, but I don’t care it will be mine. Good luck!
cash money! that’s what i’m talking about 🙂
Lauren, I relate to this on SO MANY LEVELS!!!!!! I’m also 35 and still getting my shit together. I was a at a job for 12 years that I felt I slept through (like where did the time go), don’t have a house, don’t have kids or a husband (I tricked myself into believing I didn’t want them too), and am working on my businesses which THANK GOD seem like their going to work. I found you because my first business was styling which I’ve decided to do on a one-off basis now (I was obsessed with School of Style for a bit and was going to take classes). I put myself on a fashion diet too and only buy things that I need or make me look on point. I have to at least look like everything is together, and work on the real things in the background. I hardly ever comment, but felt like I had to. Best of luck to you, girl. There are more of us in this boat than we think.
thank you so much for your comment!! means the world to me
Kudos, Lauren! I can tell you that the easiest way to save money is to make a budget that is realistic enough to stick to. I recently starated a job making more money than I ever have, and the first thing I did after I accepted the offer was rewrite my budget. I laid out all of my monthly expenses, without omissions no matter how trivial (hello, Spotify Premium) and then figured out how much I could put into savings each month, but still have a good amount left to actually ENJOY making more money. I mean, what fun is making Gucci money if you can’t buy Gucci? The way it shook out, I’m able to save/invest 20% of my monthly income and still have a nice allocation for when shopping happens.
Good luck to you, boo!
thanks, girl! super helpful. you know i gotta leave SOME room for style 🙂
Hi Lauren! I must say you are a very fantastic person , very true to yourself and so true to we your readers . You know what just following here makes me feel like I have a real life friend in you. Well, I can relate with the epic closet purge situation because I am also guilty of the impulse shopping thing, I know how bad the impact of this habit on my finances. Going forward, I will surely begin to embrace a super healthy fashion diet so that I can at least save towards investing in my self – improvement by taking part of one of the classes at School of Style in order to gain clarity and get real life acquaintances that could turn friends and maybe business partners as I really dream to be one of the top Stylists here in my country.
Thank you 🙂 Can’t wait to meet you at SOS
Been there done that! Bought a house at 35, never wanted children but always wanted a husband… Still unmarried boo hoo! i’ve always been into fashion too, I’m a hairstylist ( A clientele based business just like yours) who loves flyy gear! Long story short, after a series of unexpected undesirable situations took place in my life I ended up losing my house (Tears) you can’t anticipate needing brain surgery, true story! So while you’re doing the adult thing now, make sure you have health insurance in place, a years worth of living expense money saved up because you just never know, I hate to be a Debbie downer but the reality is that sometimes life can throw you a curve ball! Good luck on the house take care of yourself and definitely do your homework!!! Homeownership is a bona fide game changer! #GotToBeReady
Thank for you sharing your story! I definitely have health insurance and an emergency fund but good call on a years worth of emergency funds. Life is full of curve balls. Good looking out.
Hi Lauren! I enjoy reading your posts, this one got me to comment. I also have to do the diet. I did all the right things minus the kids (and I’m okay with that!) and now after SOS I’m changing up careers, therefore I have to get creative with my money and assets. I need discipline to be more frugal. Focusing on building a lifestyle around my passions rather than having a ‘normal’ job will have to be the focus that will get me to decrease my impulse spending while re-building. : )
P.S. I do love the blouse!
Thank you for your comment, L 🙂 It’s taking all of my power not to get the blouse. Maybe I need it for the intro class this weekend … one last fashion hurrah?
OMG! I just love your personality! You sound like me (profanity and all)! LOL I just turn 34, but I am a single mother of two children; a 12 year old boy who thinks he’s sexy as hell and a 6 year old daughter who stays in my closet and nail polish! Being an adult is soooo overrated, but investing in real estate is a MUST! Starting your “fashion diet” is awesome. ** DON’T BUY THE BLOUSE!!!! Put the money you were going to spend into your savings account!!! hahahaha I have faith in you!
Side Note: You might see me at SOS for the Los Angeles location. Looking into becoming a personal stylist…I have an obsession with clothing, organization, and helping people get the looks they desire…hints my past as a Retail Coordinator and Visual Merchandiser. LOL
Thank you so much, Natasha! I will stay away from that blouse (unless it goes on sale … jk. kinda). Hope to meet you someday at SOS.
Interesting thoughts. It’s funny, but I hold myself back from commenting on some blogs when I see ladies buying ridiculous quantities of clothes and too many expensive shoes and bags, as well as far too much skin care and cosmetics for one face. I so want to ask if they own real estate and if they have financial plans for the future. Don’t get me wrong, I love nice stuff and always buy quality and don’t deprive myself at all, but it is wise to think about the future, equity and your security as well, and the latest jacket or top isn’t going to provide any of that for us. Your man is definitely steering you in the right direction and giving you wisdom. You have so many beautiful things already, wear them girl!
Absolutely love your work Lauren.