Lately: Blogs I Like, Travel Planning, and Controversial Money Tips

Blogs I Read

Happy weekend! Today I’m doing something that’s a little bit different. Lately I’ve found some interesting nuggets around the web that I’ve been dying to share with my readers. The problem is, I felt like I didn’t really have a space to share small ideas that aren’t full-on posts. So last week, I brought up the idea of adding these little thought nuggets to my newsletter. Many readers wrote back and seemed interested, so I’m now experimenting with a weekly round-up. Once a week, I’ll share things like, recent articles I’ve liked, upcoming sales, my favorite products, quick money tips, etc. Today I’m sharing the very first edition with you! Since it’s the first one, it’s super long, but future roundups will be more condensed and posted to just the newsletter. If you want more content like this, subscribe below:

Oh, and of course I meant this to be a quick round-up, but you should know by now that I can’t write anything that’s sub-1000 words.

On Competition

In my survey from last month, a comment caught my eye:
“Even though it may risk your niche/competition, if you know any other luxury personal finance bloggers/instagrammers etc, I would love to see a piece on them.”

Here are my thoughts:
I don’t see other bloggers as competition at all. In fact, you shouldn’t get all your info from just one blog. And if you like reading my blog, it doesn’t mean you can’t read another and still enjoy both. Think about it. Do you read just the one blog or watch just the one Youtube channel? There’s room for everyone. And honestly, if you are a blogger who chooses not to network or engage with others, you probably won’t get very far. So today I’m happy to share with you other similar blogs that you might like.

How to Find Other Personal Finance Blogs

If you ask me about how to handle daycare costs, you’ll be met with a blank stare. Since I like writing about my own personal stories, my blog’s helpfulness is limited to my own experience. This is where Rockstar Finance comes to the rescue. If you haven’t heard of Rockstar Finance, it’s an aggregate site where you can basically find every single personal finance blog in the universe.

I look at the ‘new posts’ feed every morning and click on what sounds interesting to me. At the top of the page, you can use the filters to drill down to what you’re interested. In Canada and want to read about debt? There’s a blog for that. There are over 1,300 personal finance blogs, so you’re bound to find one that resonates with you.

But I don’t read just personal finance blogs. I think it’s important to read things outside of your niche. Otherwise, it can feel like a big circle jerk. Below I’ve curated some of my favorites I think you’d be into.

If You’re into the Luxe Life While Saving Money

OK, so the reader from the survey asked me for blogs similar to mine, and honestly, there aren’t that many. However, I’ve dug around and there are five that stand out to me.

Youtubers

These ladies are the most similar to my blog in terms of philosophy. They love luxury handbags and fashion, but they are selective with what they buy, and seem responsible with their money. I totally respect that.

Joanna’s Logic vs. Luxury

Joanna is also a New Yorker and her channel is luxury-focused with a few super practical tips on money. I find her philosophy on money and spending to be the most similar to mine. Like me, she also doesn’t value spending money on expensive rent.

Recommended:
Investing 101: How to Get Started Investing in the Stock Market

Money Lessons from My Twenties, Budgeting and Saving for Luxury

Chase Amie

Amie is based in London and loves handbags and shopping. But she also argues that you kind of have to be good with money to actually be able to buy those things. I agree!

Recommended:
How to Afford a Chanel Bag

What I Earn & Where I Get My Money From!

Sugar Mamma

Another Youtuber you might like is Sugar Mamma. One day I noticed some site traffic coming from Youtube, and after investigating, saw someone had linked to my blog in the comments of one of her videos. Her channel is much more finance focused than the other two, with a sprinkle of fashion and lifestyle topics.

Recommended:
How to Get Rid of Credit Card Debt Fast

How to Budget!

Blogs

Finally, there are two other blogs I know of that talk about personal finance and fashion/style. They have tons of great posts to go through, so I’ll simply link to their blogs.

Invincible Summer Blog

Xin is a lawyer in New York City who happens to love fashion and style. She writes honestly about trying to shop more thoughtfully while managing student loans.

Save Spend Splurge

I dress super casually, but if you are looking for more workwear inspiration, this is the blog for you. Sherry is a boss at negotiating, and I also love her blunt, opinionated voice.

If You Want Smart Writing on Fashion and Personal Style

I don’t read fashion blogs anymore, because many of them basically look like giant ads. But I DO enjoy reading about personal style. There are a handful of blogs that smash the narrative that having in interest in fashion means you’re automatically frivolous and unintelligent. Here are a few that stand out to me:

To Universe with Love

Love, love, love this blog! One of the very few blogs that isn’t just “shopping hauls,” but deeply explores personal style. She’s not afraid to question things, like, naming brands that are overpriced.

Recommended:
Assessing Quality of Garments
Brand Notes: Price Vs Quality

Sophie with a Blog

I was browsing Bloglovin’ one day when Sophie’s blog popped up as a recommendation. I was immediately intrigued, because she lives in NYC, too. Then she won me over because her pictures weren’t overly glossy, the price points for her clothes weren’t unattainable, and she even wrote a post about how to cover up acne spots. In a land of overly manufactured bloggers, there was something real about her.

Recommended:
Don’t put yourself in a box and 5 things I wish I did in college
Thoughts on “Chinoiserie” and “Oriental” in the name of fashion

The Essential Man

Peter is a personal stylist for men and is the king of creating outstanding epic guides. I always value what he has to say and learn from his content. If you have no personal style and want to get some, check out this post for beginners:

A Beginner’s Guide: 16 Essential Style Tips For Guys Who Want to Dress Better

Guys are his target audience, but there’s no reason why women can’t gain style insights from his blog (I do!).

If You Want to Go Down a Rabbit Hole

Have a few hours to kill? You know the Lay’s potato chip tagline, “You can’t eat just one”? Well, visit these blogs, and you’ll have no choice but to binge read.

Paris to Go

Ever been curious about zero waste? Love Paris? Ariana is an authority on secondhand designer items and is very picky about what she buys.

Recommended:
Zero Waste Minimalist Wardrobe
Brand Size Fit and Quality Chart

The Origami Life

I recently came across this blog through Google. The Origami Life is a minimalist travel blog with personal finance posts mixed in. Usually I don’t like short posts, but for some reason, I find theirs to be super addicting.

Recommended:
The Life Changing Magic of a Fuck Off Fund
From Poverty To Middle Class & Forgetting My Roots

Currently

Planning our honeymoon trip to New Zealand! I’ve spent most of the week working on this, because, man, planning a road trip in another country requires a master’s degree in logistics. We also happen to be going during the most popular season, so that means hotels and things get booked quickly. At first I tried piecing together my own itinerary, but then I thought, this is crazy. There has to be an existing itinerary that checks off all our boxes: casual hikes, mountains, lakes, and stunning landscapes.

And then we found this two-week South Island itinerary that sounds perfect.

Only one problem: I want to go to Abel Tasman, too, which isn’t on the itinerary. Readers who have been to New Zealand, or live there: Can we squeeze it into a 10-day trip? Is it worth it? I wanted to Tongariro National Park in the North Island, too, but judging how far it is from the airports, I don’t think we’ll have time. I welcome any thoughts!

My Favorite Reader Comment

It makes my day when people take the time to comment on my blog. I read every single one. Some of my reader comments are basically blog posts in themselves. And some of them are hilarious. In case you never read the comments on my posts, I thought it would be fun to feature some of the ones that stand out to me. This one from my latest money diary post made me laugh out loud.
Eddie said:

“Hey Luxe, I saw red flags flying as soon as I read “car sit.” I do not trust myself with anyone’s valuables.”

Inspiring Money Article of the Week

I really love it when people aren’t afraid to take risks. Hasan Minhaj’s money story got me all nostalgic about when I made seemingly stupid decisions in my early twenties. However, after reading his article, I started to see my past decisions differently. Maybe they weren’t stupid after all. Maybe they were, in a way, investing in myself by not settling.

The Money Tweet That Blew Up


If you were on Twitter this week, you may have seen this tweet from money expert, Jean Chatzky. Well, Twitter blew up in a fit of disbelief and rage at how impossible it was to save 1x your salary at 30. Here were some of the comments:

“Yeah, it must be nice to be rich.”
“Can anyone do this in America?”
“Are you aware how irrelevant this advice is for actual 30-year-olds up to their ears in student debt?”

I’m curious to see how different people react to the this money advice. When I see benchmarks like that, it makes me want to strive. What about you? Do you see the benchmark and think it’s impossible and give up? Or do you try to save whatever you can, even if it’s not the perfect amount? For the record, I didn’t have 1x my salary at 30, but I got my act together and will definitely have more than 3x my salary by 40.

Online Sale Pick

If you’re looking for a silk blouse (classic!), my top pick is the Equipment Slim Signature Blouse, which I have in black. It’s currently 30% off from Neiman Marcus in the pretty blush/nude color. The Slim Signature is cut more narrow than the regular Signature Blouse, and is a much better fit for me. You’ll be able to find the regular Signature Blouse secondhand pretty easily, but not the Slim Signature Blouse (trust me, I tried). This is a good sale opportunity!

NYC Sample Sale Heads-Up

NYC friends–if you love 3.1 Phillip Lim and have been wanting some of his stuff from the past few seasons, then hit up his sample sale on November 7th.

And that’s it for my first GIGANTIC weekly round-up! I hope you guys liked it and found it helpful. I look forward to sharing more with you, so if you liked this, make sure to subscribe below!

What are your favorite blogs to read?
How do you feel about “unrealistic” money guidelines?
Have you been to New Zealand? What do you think of my itinerary?

Image: The Luxe Strategist

  • GYM

    Nice round up! I love save spend splurge, and she’s a fellow Canadian to boot! 🙂 have a great weekend Luxe!

  • laura

    Thank you for sharing this! Yours is fast becoming one of my favorite blogs, and this was a really interesting round-up — I hadn’t heard of a lot of these blogs before, but I really like them, so it looks like I’ve got some new reading material for slow days at work.

    • Hey Laura,

      Thanks for stopping by! I’m psyched you’ve picked up some new reading material! I feel like it’s so hard to find good stuff in between all the noise.

  • SO MUCH TO SAY.

    1. Thank you thank you for the inclusion. <3 Yours is one of my must reads.

    2. Thanks for the other recommendations, I have lots to read at work now 😛 Except videos are banned so they'll have to be off work hours.

    3. As for salary / net worth saving…

    I started off with $60K in the hole after college in my 20s.

    Cleared it in 18 months (holla!)

    At 30, I had $217K saved, average earning was $60K – $80K based on how often I actually worked averaged out over the times I didn't work (lol.. a lot of free time)

    Now, I have $580K saved less than 4 years later…. ish.

    *shrug* It's possible. It's just rare. Student debt is crippling. And if you can't manage your expenses down to the bare bones (or it's already there), then you need to make more money. There are only 2 ways out.

    • Oh, haiii.

      I need to count my lucky stars that no content is banned at work. I remember one of my friends got in trouble at work for emailing me too much 🙂

      Yes, I remember you annihilated that debt! It’s one of the reasons why I admire you and your blog. For you, there are no excuses. You just get it done.

      I agree that student debt is crippling, but after it’s cleared I hope ppl don’t feel like just giving up altogether. I started out late, although I did not have a huge amount of debt, and I’ve been able to catch up OK.

  • Erika Brockmann

    I LOVE THIS! I love reading your posts; the way you write makes following your thought process so easy and fun! You’re the best and when you have a new post my day is made!

    • Hi Erika,

      Aww, thanks for the compliments! I’d say part of what makes my posts easy to read is the rigid outlines my husband makes me do before writing! I hope my future posts are up to snuff for you and you stick around!

  • Awesome post! I’m loving this unique approach to a roundup already. There’s a little something for everyone. As somebody who lacks much style and fashion sense, I still managed to come away with a blog to check out from your list of favorite PF/Fashion blogs – The Invincible Summer. I’m always curious what other law school grads are doing with all those student loans… and maybe I’ll learn a thing or two about fashion while I’m there too! Thanks for the recommendation 🙂

    • Hi Cato! Appreciate the kind words! I wanted to do something a little more substantial than simply posting links to things. And it’s the ultimate compliment when some of your stuff isn’t totally up someone’s alley, but they still come visit anyway 🙂 Glad you got a new blog to read!

  • Kate @ making it rain

    Love this style of roundup and can’t wait to get these to my inbox every week, Luxe! Also a big fan of Save Spend Splurge and will definitely run off to check out those other recommended reads with my Sunday morning coffee.

    The response to Jean Chatzky’s tweet this week was….whoa. In a way, I get it. I didn’t save a penny toward retirement until my 29th birthday. Obviously, that goal was way out of reach for me (I just turned 30 and can indeed confirm I do not have 1x my salary saved ha)

    BUT…seeing tweets and posts and articles like that was a HUGE part of why I snapped out of it when I was 29 and went “Wtf am I doing with my money/life?!” And I did everything I could to remedy that as soon as possible – I now have 11K in my retirement fund. So I see tweets like that as challenges, as stretch goals, as motivators. Maybe it shouldn’t have surprised me, but it did shock me a little to see how self-defeating most folks on that thread were.

    • Ooooh, yay, Kate! I’m excited to write them even more now that I know you’ll be reading! Gotta up my A-game, heh.

      I personally feel like most people can improve themselves in some way, and your story is an example of that. It would have been easy for you to be like, well, it’s too late for me to save. And yet, you’re rocking it. I love reading about your journey, by the way.

      I guess it kind of bothers me that I WAS surprised. Like, have I been so removed from other people’s issues that I forget these struggles? I’m not sure what the answer is. And I certainly can’t tell from a 140-character tweet.

  • Thank you so much for the kind mention! I definitely found some sites from the list that were new to me and that I’ll enjoy reading. (I’m not usually into shorter entries like those on The Origami Life, but wow, they write really well, I like it a lot!) I’ve noticed from the few personal finance blogs I read that they’re very friendly and chatty with each other in the comments sections, which contrasts a lot with the comments sections of fashion/lifestyle-type blogs (where blogs are kind of a fading format anyway, and Instagram is becoming more dominant, as far as I can tell).

    Oh my, the negative response to Chatzky’s tweet is… really something. I guess Twitter isn’t amenable to in-depth, well-reasoned discussions, most of the time. I’ve heard the same thing from other sources before in a way that suggests it’s long-standing wisdom, so it’s not like a new position that she created out of nowhere. Anyway, I only started earning for real around my 27th birthday, and I just turned 29. (In the middle I took a year off to clerk at less than half my current salary, where I wasn’t even eligible for any 401K-type savings), so I’m not going to get to 1x my salary by 30. Biglaw salaries are also unnaturally high relative to many people’s long-term career plans, so our salary then isn’t necessarily a good benchmark. I do plan to have escalated my savings a lot by 40, so we’ll see what happens then.

    • I’m so glad I found your blog, and I’m happy to share it with others! Yeah, I think the thing with shorter posts is it’s hard to add any meaning to them unless you’re a stellar writer with an amazing brain. But The Origami Life’s posts somehow always have me wondering about something after reading them. Anyway, I’m glad you found a new blog to read!

      Yeah, I take those guidelines as general rules of thumb that can’t possibly apply to every single person’s scenario. But it definitely made me want to reach out to some of the people who were upset and find out more about them. I started out late as well, made a lot of “bad” decisions, but I was able to turn it around by saving extra once I DID have it together. For those with student debt, I can only hope that the resulting salaries (like in Big law, medicine, etc.) will warrant the student debt, but I know that’s not always the case.

  • Really appreciate the mention! You’re totally right that blogs aren’t a zero sum game. If anything, we should be looking to help each other raise the bar, to encourage people to read more and skim less. We really enjoy the community and talking to readers from different backgrounds.

    Looking forward to reading all your posts :).

    Ivan & Jennie

    • Hey! Of course, I was pretty shocked to have stumbled upon your blog just through Google search. Anyway, you should hang around some of us PF bloggers more–we’re a pretty friendly bunch!

  • Eddie

    Hey Luxe! Sweet post and thanks for the shout out! I’m totally checking out The Essential Man blog. You should check out http://jennymustard.com/ Jenny and Dave are super cool not-in-your-face vegan minimalists. Definitely a lifestyle blog you might enjoy. Hope you’re having a wonderful Monday, Ciao !

    • Hey Eddie, thanks! Great find with the Jenny Mustard site. I feel like there are so many hidden gems that are putting out some great content–more people should know about them!

  • Loved reading this roundup. I am definitely guilty of not connecting with bloggers on their actual blogs as much since Instagram seems to take the precedence these days. But it’s my to-do. Your drive, motivation, and hardworking for your blog is seriously such an inspiration to me.

    I think the same way about bloggers as I do about doctors and teachers…everyone in the world doesn’t just go to the same doctor or have the same teacher. There’s room for all of us. I really dislike when people say that the blogging world is “oversaturated”…I think what they meant to say is something different…but that’s for a different conversation.

    Thank you x 1 million for the shoutout. I really appreciate it and had to officially thank you on here. Now, I’m going to go and read your latest post. 🙂

    • Someone else commented on the rise of Instagram over blogs in the fashion blog arena. That’s definitely interesting. I read somewhere that Instagram is kind of like mini blog posts now.

      I feel like connecting with others is vital to success these days. You’d be surprised how such a small action can make someone’s day. I remember how excited I was when a popular blogger followed me on Twitter, even though I had no tweets or friends. And no blog. So yeah, when you do that stuff for other people, they remember!

      Ha, I’ve been guilty of saying the blogging world is “oversaturated,” but yeah, I meant something different. I meant it’s oversaturated with very similar blogs and similar voices. Fresh voices are always great and WILL stand out, even in an oversaturated arena. It’s like the whole purple cow idea from Seth Godin. In a sea of brown cows, the purple one will stand out!

      Anyway, always happy to spread the love!

  • Hi Archana,

    Thanks for stopping by the blog! Happy to mention your site as I’ve recently gone down the rabbit hole reading it! Glad to hear you’ve found a couple good links that are up your alley. It feels good to pay it forward to other bloggers.

    That’s an interesting factoid about the origin of the word ‘compete’! I kind of see it as ‘lifting each other up.’ But yeah, competition in blogging is kinda silly. I mean, no one has your voice and brain, except for you, right?

    Talking about money is definitely taboo in many cultures. But I’ve found when I do share real numbers that those are the times people are more likely to be inspired and possibly make a change in their own lives.

    Any way, thanks to you for creating such a great blog! I love all of the deep thinking you do 🙂

  • Yeah, I think I’ve accepted that Tongariro is not an option anymore. It’s an awful long way to go for just the one thing on the North Island.

    We like, mountain, lakes, AND beaches! I mean, it is our honeymoon and all, so it would be nice to have some relaxation.

    Reddit is a tough crowd but I may just hit you up for thoughts on my itinerary!

    Thanks again for the help!

  • Freezeman24

    Another excellent post by Luxe really enjoyed reading this. Thanks Luxe hope your well 🙂

    • Hey Matthew,

      Nice to see you around here. Hope you found a couple new blogs to read!

      • Freezeman24

        Thanks I should be more active in the comment section. I did find a couple that I’m going to take a look at.

  • Scarletbee

    That route looks like it’ll hit some of the more ridiculously beautiful spots down south.

    I’m not from the *South* Island, but a local tip that works for the whole country in summer – no one is kidding when they recommend you wear good sunscreen, even if it’s not as *hot* as a lot of places around the world. Really high UV, sunburn’s an issue, etc. I’m fairly pale, and can burn in under ten minutes in summer. A friend managed to get heatstroke at Lake Tekapo – it’s pretty high altitude though doesn’t seem like it, so the sun can be a bit intense.

    Roads are worth a mention… Some of them are pretty narrow, and if the traffic’s holiday-busy, the last thing you need is to be rushing or tired on a sharp corner going through an alpine pass, you know? I did a road trip with some friends down south over New Years, and we avoided driving for longer than 4 hours on any given day, just to keep it chill.

    Abel Tasman – yeah, that’s going to be hard to fit in without adding another few days. There aren’t a lot of roads going across the island, so you’d pretty much have to add another big loop. But, it *is* really lovely up around that Takaka/Golden Bay area, mellow beaches etc, and the road to get there goes through Punakaiki, a teeny tiny town which has the pancake rocks, and a curious sort of not-actually-tropical jungle just along that stretch. The South Island has some really dramatic shifts of scenery that can make it seem like you’re not even in the same country from morning to afternoon.

    I’d suggest you save Tongariro for a dedicated North Island trip and take some decent time for it rather than a rush. There’s a fair bit to check out in the North, too :). Still, NZ is small, so a plane trip from (e.g) Christchurch to Wellington is about 45 mins, and then about a half-day drive to the central plateau. Or, you could fly Christchurch to Auckland, because from Auckland there are flights to Taupo which gets you closer.

    • Hi! Thanks so much for taking a look at that itinerary. We’ve actually decided to adapt it and mix and match with other itineraries. I’ve let go of Tongariro and also Abel Tasman. We let go of Abel Tasman because we were literally only staying one night in each place, which is CRAZY.

      Re: the driving, there was one day we were going to drive 7 hours, but I decided to split up that driving over 2 days. I will also have to scope this rainforest place along the west coast. I love contrasting terrains!

      Thanks for the sunscreen tip! We definitely planned on bringing some, but I didn’t expect it to be super hot, even in summer. But knowing the altitude is a factor, I’ll be sure to apply it liberally!

  • DL

    Luxe, that itinerary on South Island NZ looks great, and Abel Tasman, while yeah, okay, cool, is *not* something to disrupt this first trip for. You are absolutely going to hit the most spectacular stuff following the loop she lays out; just trust and stick to it. A 10 day trip is already going to be tight on those narrow and twisty roads they have; don’t push it further.

    I’m not sure about your car rental requirements, if you have to return in Christchurch too or maybe a one way rental with a drop out of Wellington would be feasible, and you fly home from there? (tho this then adds the ferry to your equations), but one idea is to just tack on a small stay in wonderful Nelson at the end, after the glaciers. This gets you a pretty close feel for the gold sand beachiness offered by Abel Tasman but WITH a cute little bustling and hip town to boot.

    And none of the other places are going to be ‘ahh, it’s so warm; let’s swim!!’ like Nelson will be. I am hugely not a fan of Q’town (which I find charmless, commercial, and overfull of dreadlocked backpackers, but admittedly in spectacular surroundings) so if you’re skimping on anything time-wise, you can skimp there, IMO. Wanaka is its way better equivalent.

    • Hi DL,

      Thanks so much for stopping by and offering your thoughts on the itinerary! We did decide to scrap Abel Tasman because we realized we were literally driving almost 3 hours every single day, not staying in the same place for more than a night. Optimizer Me was trying to hit up all the spots, but my husband brought me back down to earth, haha.

      We are going to stick to the South Island only so the car rental should be OK. We’ll fly into either Nelson or Christchurch, and end in Christchurch. Definitely NOT into ferries (enclosed space on the water for several hours, yikes), so flying is the preferred mode of transportation. After your comment, I may need to consider starting in Nelson now! Gold sand beachiness?? YESSS.

      Yeah, Queenstown I didn’t feel was really for us. We both aren’t interested in adrenaline activities, and we tend to prioritize visiting small towns/more rural areas over cities. We’ll be staying an extra day in Wanaka because I want to do the Rob Roy hike!

      Thanks so much for such valuable info!

  • Rowing Viola

    Howdy! Love reading this blog – thank you so much for all your hard work producing such excellent, thoughtful content. Reading your posts has given me the conviction that yes, a curated style and mindful purchases are something I want in my life.

    Anyhoo, I have thoughts about visiting NZ (as someone who lived there long enough to become a naturalised citizen!). First off – you can’t go wrong with the scenery and geography. Everywhere is jaw-droppingly stunning. Nowhere is a bad choice when it comes to the view. Second, once you are there, NZ is really easy to navigate by car. Yes, some of the roads are twisty (I use to take a bus through a mountain pass once a week, and it was terrifying), but the benefit of stonking good signage and a small country is that is hard to get lost. Also, NZ has some of the world’s friendliest people – they will all help you out if you get stuck!

    Some general thoughts about the proposed itinerary (nitpicks really, it looks great):
    – Christchurch is NZ’s least interesting city (in my humble opinion), so getting on the road sooner rather than later is a good idea (also, none of the city life in NZ compares to NYC – that’s not why one travels to NZ)
    – If the weather in Wanaka is unfavourable, a quirky indoors alternative is: https://www.puzzlingworld.co.nz/ It’s definitely geared towards families rather than honeymooners but is still really fun if it’s pouring buckets outside
    – Scenic flights and helicopter rides is hands down one of the best ways to see all the stunning landscape if you’re not able to hike it all. Also, all of the pilots are hilarious – entertainment and a view!
    – I have done the boat tour of Milford Sound and would highly recommend it, particularly if you’ve never seen fjords before
    – Another commenter said that Queenstown in touristy and overrated. This is sooo true. I’d actually skip it, and if your trip is for the winter months don’t bother with the skiing, it’s crap. However, if you are going, the best stuff is definitely everything related to the adventure sports: bungy jumping, luging, skydiving, gorge zipline, etc.
    – Franz Josef glacier is fantastic
    – Arthurs Pass is stunning and you should stay here: https://www.wildernesslodge.co.nz/new-zealand/ I have stayed at both these Wilderness Lodge’s and they are actually resorts. The food at the Arthurs Pass one was SOOO GOOD!!! Also, I think the Lake Moeraki one is a good base for seeing the Franz Josef glacier/on your journey

    Abel Tasman is worth it, but if it’s logistically too difficult, don’t worry, you’ll still be having an unforgettable experience. A thing I would invest time in researching beforehand is food and restaurants. When I lived there (getting on for 10 years ago now!) the food and restaurant scene was pretty dire, especially in some of the more remote areas. Hopefully that has changed now, but I would definitely travel with a plan. Also, just check the opening times of grocery stores: Fresh Choice and New World. When we lived there, things shut at 10pm on a weekday, 8pm on Saturday, AND EVERYTHING WAS SHUT ON SUNDAY!!! It was a bit of a culture shock coming from Atlanta and left us totally unprepared. Also on the subject of food, if you eat seafood and drink wine, those are the things to go for. When we were there (again, this may have changed) they exported all of the good meat, so it was easier to buy amazing NZ lamb in Fiji than NZ. If you’re veggie/vegan, my apologies.

    Ok, that’s possibly enough typing. Have fun in NZ, wish I was going back soon!

    • Hey!

      First of all, I’m super excited I’ve won you over as a fan!

      Second, thank you so much for your detailed suggestions! Since we live in a city, we tend to want to visit places that are the total opposite. So, other cities aren’t the top things on our list to do, so we don’t have much of a plan for Christchurch or Queenstown besides just a stopover point to other attractions. Although, I’m sure there will be much more variety in terms of food in both cities than in the smaller towns. In Wanaka, we’re spending an extra day to do the Roys peak hike. Really, our main priority is just casual walks/sightseeing, and less focused on organized activities.

      I’ve JUST started investigation restaurants and food options, so thank you for validating the time I’m putting into this research! We’ll definitely check the opening hours for the grocery stores. And my husband is allergic to shellfish, so I guess that means I’ll just eat enough seafood for the both of us 🙂

  • Why did that Twitter status cost so much controversy? It doesn’t have to do with wealth. It says 1x your annual salary which can be anything. If your annual salary is $30k then save $30k. I think a lot of people using Twitter are young and bummy. America is the place to make your wealth – why do we think as Americans that America is bad? It’s seriously annoying to blame the system rather than aim for a goal!! /End rant!

    • LOL, did you click through to the tweet? People think it’s impossible to save that much by 30, and they were angry at Jean for suggesting something so “ridiculous.”

  • I love this roundup! Thanks so much for sharing. I’m going down the rabbit hole later. <3

    That tweet looks great! I wonder where she got that piece of advice from, is it through research? I want to share with my friends, and I know they'll ask me what the basis is, so I'm asking in advance haha