How to get your financial life together

What does that even mean? “Get your financial life together”? The answer varies from person to person because everyone has their own idea or opinion of what that means for them. Being financially savvy can be anything from cleaning up your credit score to paying off your debt to building a nest egg. Depending on your personal goal, I might not be able to tell exactly what you need to do to achieve it, but. I can share with you have I manage to reach mine. 

BMW-Expense- car
Its all about wants and needs

Wants and Needs 

The first step should be determining what you want versus what you need. Everyone wants to be given a million dollars, but what you really need is to get to that point in life you’ve earned that million dollars over the course of your career. To prove my point, 70% of people who win the lottery go bankrupt within a few years. They got the millions of fast dollars they wanted, but it was not what they needed, which is to develop a financial education and budget. It may sound like something simple and stupid, but budgeting and financial education should be the square one for getting your fiscal life together.  

Understanding Yourself

I’m not talking about some zen; center yourself and do yoga understanding yourself. To understand your financial self, you first have to ask yourself, “how much do I spend and on what versus what Learn”? Most likely, you can’t answer this question—nothing to be ashamed of. We are raised to spend and not think about it. If you asked me a few years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to answer that question either. At one point, I was blowing money out the door faster than I could earn it. The spark to get my finances together was 5 years ago when I looked at my W2, saw how much I made that year and had only 50 bucks in my bank account. You feel a certain amount of shock when you realize you’ve wasted $100,000 on just stupid stuff. That’s when I knew that something had to change. (Don’t get me wrong though, it was one hell of a year) 

Tracking my Expenses 

Once I identified the problem and the need to fix it, how did I decipher what was spending and my actual expenses? At first, I spent hours logging and tracking everything in a spreadsheet. This was a horrible way, and I hated doing it with a passion, which is why I would recommend you not bother with that. That’s when I found Personal Capital, and it made my life so much easier. Personal Capital allows users to track all of their finances online by entering all of their financial information. The site works wonders. It breaks up all of your expenses into categories and allows you to set budget limits. Personal Capital’s main benefit is that it sends you notifications once a week on how you are doing compared to the month before and following your preset budget. Now my favorite feature of Personal Capital is how it tracks your net worth. Nothing motivates you to save money, like knowing how broke you really are on paper. 

Bring a Horse to Water.

You know how the saying goes, you can bring a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. This post is. I can show you how to get what you need, but I can’t make you do it. It’s your financial lifestyle; you can do whatever you want because it’s your life. What works for me might not necessarily work for you, but it’s worth the try at the very least.

Sign up for Personal Capital

I monitor all my money with Personal Capital. Join & we’ll both get an Amazon gift card. Make sure you use my link.

Some Quick Ways to start saving

My Favorite the Restaurant Saver or if you would like something a bit more traditional. Try the Envelop Challenge click on the hyperlink for more information.

FLYING JetBlue AIRLINES DURING COVID-19 to Fort Lauderdale and back

I wish I had a different reason to fly to Fort Lauderdale, but work has been more and more draining. Issues outside of our control keep piling up and forcing delays, changes, and breakdown of relations between parties. Besides having everyday feel like “Groundhogs Day”, I had the bright idea of taking another trip since the first one was a great experience. (Here’s the article if you want to read) To top it all off, I had the crazy thought of “Hey, if United could do it, then JetBlue will kick ass.” BUt Covid-19 had other plans for this trip. I have rarely been more wrong in my life, and I have made some major mistakes. 

Window view of New York City from my seat

JetBlue Terminal A at LaGuardia Airport  

I have to give it to LaGuardia Airport again, another solid experience. There were no major issues, some minor changes from United, and from flying on JetBlue pre-covid. There was barely any flight leaving the same time as mine; the terminal was empty. Security was a breeze, even with a Junior’s cheesecake I brought with me. TSA just made some quick jokes about the cake, and then I was on my way.

The most notable difference between United and JetBlue was a lack of people control. They kept calling groups up to the board, and there was no way of keeping social distance between the number of people standing around the board. It’s like COVID-19 didn’t exist. It was a quick experience, but they still were not following guidelines. JetBlue did get one major thing right; they gave out unlimited sanitizer pads. There was literally a sanitizing napkin station that you are free to take as many as you need. The flight itself was smooth, but getting out of the plane had the same social distance issues as the boarding. Overall, not bad, not good, but I have been through worse. 

JetBlue Sanitizing napkin station at LGA
Complimentary Sanitizing Wipe from JetBlue

Florida man or Murphy’s law strikes again. 

I don’t even know where to begin; pretty much anything that could have gone wrong went wrong. This was the literal definition of no social distancing. Zero. None. If you think that I am joking, look at the photograph below. 

Lack of Social distancing at the JetBlue Gate during Covid-19

I understand thatFort Lauderdale is in Florida, and the rules are lax, but when I flew United from the same airport, they were enforced. The JetBlue crew maintained social distance, but none of the staff made any effort to ensure this. It was even encouraged when they requested bags to be checked in at the gate. The trigger point for me came long before boarding started. I came to the airport early to make sure that I could get some snacks and water. Sat down near the gate as more and more people gathered. While there was some spare time, I grabbed a bottle of water, so I left my book bag filled with gear on my seat. Returning to the area, some lady had moved my bag and didn’t understand why I asked her to move.  

Her answer was, “NET English.”. She then proceeds not to understand/ignore me until I started saying COVID-19 louder and louder. Finally, she moves and pretends to be injured. I saw her walking just fine and talking to her uber driver in perfect English when we landed. I guess JetBlue cured her and taught her English over the duration of the flight. This is called “The Dying Swan” (“Умирающий лебедь”), where the person pretends to be injured or not able to speak English to guilt people into helping them.


Lack Of Social distance while boarding

Getting off was a complete nightmare. There were people without masks piled on top of each other at the exit.

Lack of Guidance and information about COVID travel forms. 

The next major issue was that no one from JetBlue notified any of the passengers on the ground about the NYS COVID traveler Health form. Passengers got a generic speech from the pilot to follow local laws, and then once we got off, the National Guard was waiting for us, requesting filled out forms. 85% of the people on the plan had to fill out the form there on the spot, knowing they were supposed to do it prior.

When Can you Fill out the Covid-19 Traveler form?

You can fill the form out on the NYS COVID traveler Health form up to 24 hours before landing. It is a waste of resources to have military personnel wait for people to fill out forms. Also, here’s a pro travel tip: BRING AT FUCKING PEN WITH YOU! None of the people filling out these forms had their own, so people were sharing pens instead. Not the best thing to do during a pandemic. 

No more JetBlue for a while

In conclusion, I will not be using JetBlue for the foreseeable future. I truly expected so much more from this airline. I loved it before the COVID-19 pandemic started, and they are even my preferred airline for my AMEX.  

National Guard inspecting New York State Travel Forms

As always if you would know to know about covid-19 I highly recommend getting a certified for Covid-19 tracing