Ready to live your best life? Let's chat. My name is Lauren (know to my chums as “LB”) and I'm known for scratching up the cash to pursue big dreams. From paying off $8,000 of debt in 90 days, moving to New York with just a suitcase and $300 in my pocket, and risking it all to buy my first fixer-upper at age 26 … my twenties were pretty wild, but I'm just getting warmed up. Now, it's my full-time job to blog and teach how to live your best life.
And that's all well and good, but how are you going to pay for that best life of yours?
This is where I come in.
The Two Most Important Things to Know About “Living Your Best Life”
- First, is that living your best life is very attainable for anyone.
- Second, is that in order to get there you have to commit the time and do the work.
Upon further reflection, I boiled down my own financial best life (and subsequent content on this site) into five game-changing steps.
Achieve and Live Your (Financial) Best Life in Five Steps
Step #1 – Master the Money Basics
Spend time figuring out what your own best life looks like, and then create a plan for how you're going to afford it.
“Affording it” doesn't mean you have to get rich and make a million dollars. It just means you have to learn how to manage your money well. In fact, it's one of my core money beliefs that you don't have to be an expert (or hire an expert) to manage your everyday finances.
But below are just a handful of things you'll need to know “money-wise” in order to make your best life dreams a reality.
- Learning how to build a budget
- Saving up your first $1,000 rainy day fund
- Working to create a healthy relationship with credit
- And finding the financial tools you'll love to use along the way.
The important thing isn't to get it right, but to simply start spending time with your money each day if you're new to it.
Step #2 – Pay off debt
While debt can be a tool to be leveraged for whatever you want to do (like buying a home, investing in a business, or funding an education), in most cases debt is just another thing that holds you back. I know for me and my story, I never would've been able to leave my full-time job if I hadn't gotten serious about paying off my debt.
The wealthiest people have learned how to make their money go further by paying as little interest as possible.
So, here's how to get that debt monkey off your back:
- First, come up with a plan for your debt and how you'll get out of it.
- Pay it off fast as you can (Here's how I famously paid off $8,000 in under 90 Days.)
- Stay out of debt. Save up money until you can afford something and avoid financing when you can.
Step #3 – Earn More
Okay, so this is the most important step. If you're going to get ahead financially, you have to think about how your money can earn more money for you. This is called “investing” your money, but this doesn't always have to mean putting money into the stock market.
Once you've paid off debt, you're now free to invest that money in what makes you happy.
Invest in ways that can help you earn more money than you would've by just following the status quo. Investing in things such as yourself, your education, your kid's education, a small side business, or a home for your family. (Even if that family is just you and a little dog!)
You want to be investing in things that will make your money grow for the long term.
If you take only one thing away from this post, it's this: EARN MORE MONEY. Figure it out.
If I hadn't begun to break out of my money scarcity mentality, I'd still be a broke ass actor.
Here's how to start:
- You have to shift your money frequency and vibrate on a higher plane in order to get the cash necessary to live your best life (whatever this looks like.) It's imperative you do this.
- Get a small side hustle. Here are 17 great gig economy jobs.
- Build multiple income streams.
- Consider real estate investing or putting your money toward a mortgage instead of rent by buying your first home.
Step #4 – Develop Tenacity & Keep Saving
I was on a podcast the other day and someone asked…
“What was the biggest challenge you faced when you first started blogging?”
The biggest? Finding the strength/courage/motivation to keep going when things weren't exactly going well.
6 years ago it was just me, a computer, my terrible grammar and a handful of new friends I'd made on Twitter.
I can't tell you how many days it felt like I was spinning my wheels, trying to say something but unsure of my voice, if I was explaining my sentiments correctly, frustrated if anyone cared or would come back to read.
More than that, I've openly struggled for several years with combating burnout; writing 8 hours at my day job and then coming home to blog and side hustle was really, really tough and took a lot of the joy out of it for me a lot of the time.
There were definitely days and weeks when I seriously entertained taking a break or giving up entirely.
Then I realized, my life only looks the way it does now because I started my blog and kept going.
Then realized it could make revenue..so I kept going until I learned how to do that.
…And then I figured out how to grow that revenue. Because I invested in myself and my “blogger education” early on, I was able to market myself as someone with a skill and I got my full-time jobs in marketing this way.
Acknowledge, It Won't Happen Overnight
Say you want to save up for a house. To do this, you'll have to commit for over a year to set aside money for that goal.
It takes persistence, and it's harder than it looks. Especially if you have several wants competing for your attention at the same time.
Nothing in life: money, relationships, career, ever fully blossoms without day-after-day commitment and diligence.
If you don't commit to building wealth, you'll never break the paycheck to paycheck cycle. Your life will just be about existence. Trust me, no one who is broke is living “their best life.”
Maybe you're not the most frugal person, maybe you don't like risk. But you can set your financial goals for the year ahead and practice tenacity day in and day out. Instead of committing to a goal, flip your perspective and commit to seeing the goal through.
And then show up every, single, freaking day until it's done.
Step #5 – Travel
I didn't really start traveling until I was 29 years old. I had to wait until my late 20's because all of my free cash was tied up years 23-29 in paying off debt, buying and renovating a fixer-upper, and building my business. In my beliefs, travel is such a large part of what a “best life” looks like because what they say is true: it's the only thing you'll ever spend your money on that makes you richer.
This is a money website, but I'm not here to tell you how to spend your money…or even that you shouldn't spend at all. Financial Best Life is about building a life you love, how to build a life aligned with your core values, and how money – and a few other super smart and strategic decisions – can help you get to where you ultimately want to be.
For me, where I want to “be” is either in Atlanta with my husband and our dogs, or learning about the culture someplace new in the world. And traveling extensively became an option for me because I no longer had anything to pay off or financial obligations holding me back.
I hope you enjoy this website. Feel free to email me, anytime via the “Contact” button in the menu or sliding into my DMs on the insta. I always respond.
Finally, answer this question. Write it down in your journal or on a piece of paper somewhere.
What “best life” will you build once you figure out your finances?