And So It Begins

Hello Beautiful

Hey, I’m The Luxe Strategist, a scrappy 30-something living in tree-lined, brownstone-y Brooklyn with my partner husband. If you haven’t read my ‘About’ yet, check it out.

By day, I work in digital advertising, scheming to get creatives to submit their work on time. By night, I’m strategizing how to get clothes I love for less, how to see the world using miles, and how I can avoid being a wage-slave well before I’m 65.

Earlier this week, my coworker emailed me that he’d be travelling a lot this year, and he wanted my advice: Which credit card should I get?

I barely finished reading the question before I minimized the Excel sheet I had up and started getting to real work: putting together a summary of the best credit cards to get, complete with objectives, minimum spends, and benefits.

And that’s why I started this blog. Because I get way too excited about helping people achieve financial wins, even if it’s something “small,” like earning a free flight with a credit card.

I live in one of the nicest neighborhoods in New York City, I have a decent-paying job with good work/life balance, and my net worth is north of six figures. I don’t worry much about money anymore.

But getting here was a journey. A child of uneducated, immigrant refugees, I came from nothing. I didn’t start saving seriously until I was 26, because nobody told me I was supposed to.

If I can rise above my circumstances and get better with money, then so can you. Instead of touting impersonal advice you could get anywhere else, like, ‘spend less than you earn,’ I’ll try to add a practical bent to it, using examples from my own life. Mistakes and all. Like that time I got into debt because I couldn’t afford to live alone without a real job. Or when I blindly dumped $1000 into the stock market, and unsurprisingly lost most of my money.

I know what you’re thinking. Personal finance is confusing, daunting, and often wrought with negative emotions. That can be true. But what’s 100% true is that money is also a powerful tool—an instrument you can use to help you achieve your goals.

You can choose to be paralyzed by it, to hope and pray that “something will work out”, or you can choose to take action by developing a plan.

I’d choose the latter, each and every time.

If you’re still with me, keep reading.

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  • Hey there!! Congrats on starting your blog! As a fellow 30-something, I definitely hear ya on the “help your friends” on small financial winnings. This is something I’ve been doing for a long time and it’s also one of the reasons I started my own blog.

    • Thanks so much! Yeah, it came to a point where all my coworkers and friends knew about my little hobby. My coworker even got me a credit card colder for Christmas. “Because you love credit cards,” he said.

  • I can so relate! I love helping others with money questions. Ooo – and having conversations about the intersection of money and happiness. 😊

    Looking forward to future posts!

    • Thanks for reading! Yes, if I can help just one person I’ll consider it mission accomplished.

  • Cody @ Dollar Habits

    Congratulations on taking the plunge and starting your blog! The site looks really great. I look forward to following along and learning more about your story. Best wishes for your success! – Cody

    • Thanks for the kind words, Cody! I had planned on having 5 posts up at launch, but then I decided to just rip off the bandaid! I’m liking the series on your blog stats, too.

  • Jen

    I stumbled across your blog yesterday and have been HOOKED. I find your stories inspirational and love that you acknowledge the privilege place you’re in while sharing how you worked your butt off to get there. I was wondering, can you share how to start investing? I’m still being smothered to death by my student loans (because I wasn’t as smart as you and did enroll in that expensive private university), but I’m trying to also be diligent in my saving. Something I’d like to do is save more in my emergency fund and try to invest. Any advice you have would be much appreciated.

    • Hey Jen!

      I’m glad you found me, and hope you stay hooked on money crack!

      Good for you for wanting to build wealth while still paying down those student loans. I absolutely think you can do both. To answer your question re: investing, do you have a 401K? That’s usually the first and easiest way to invest.

      What usually sets people back on investing through regular brokerage companies like Vanguard, Fidelity, Charles Schwab, etc. is that the minimums to invest are at least $1,000 or $3,000. If you have that ready to go already, I would do that because the fees are lower. But many younger people don’t have that much set aside, so they invest with robo-adviser apps like, Acorns, Wealthfront, Betterment, etc. If you want to invest immediately and make it as easy as possible, then robo-advisers are a good option as well. I have an Acorns account because I wanted to test it and write a blog about it. It was very easy to set up and all you have to do is just answer some questions. However, my REAL investing accounts are all with Vanguard. I personally saved up the $1000 to invest with them, but if you are simply looking to get into the HABIT of investing, the robo-advisers can help with that. Here is an article I found that compares the top robo advisors:

      You will also have to decide on the TYPE of investing account. Besides a 401k, young people typically go for a Roth IRA or a regular investing account. I had all three!

      Anyway, I hope that helps!