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Social Media and Spending (Is your favorite blogger a Carrie or a Miranda)

Everyone here is old enough to remember Sex and the City right? I feel like it's mainstream in our pop culture enough that I'm not dating myself too much with my title reference but if you're confused trust me, it will all make sense by the end of this post.
 
One thing I always hesitate to write about is finances, but the reality is its something I personally focus heavily on and so if I'm going to be authentic here (which is my always my goal of course) its really a topic I can't ignore. And I know there's some fellow bloggers reading this now thinking oh girl, no - talking money is no ones business but hear me out - fashion and lifestyle bloggers pretty much tell people what to do with their money with EVERY SINGLE POST so while I'm not saying ever blogger should have to share a screen shot of their bank statement I am pointing out that how one spends their money is highly personal indeed so if bloggers are going to talk buy this, oh girl it's so worth it than a truly honorable blogger shouldn't be afraid to have a little transparency in this area.
 
So, what do I mean by being a Carrie or a Miranda? Well if you've watched every episode of SATC multiple times like I have than you'll remember both of the plot points I using today - that in season 2 Miranda buys her own apartment  all on her own with no help from a husband or her father as she has to politely remind the closing attorneys while in season 4 Carrie realizes that she has spent $40,000 on shoes yet does not have the money for a down payment on her apartment which is going condo. Of course you'll also remember how Carrie eventually gets a loan from her pal Charlotte but let me not climb on my soapbox why that was a terrible idea and save that for another day.

What's so great about being a homeowner you might wonder and why does it matter? There is of course pride in ownership and not having to follow anyone else's rules but more importantly owning property is about accumulating wealth. That's not to say renting is bad or there aren't situations or individuals where it is the most appropriate form of housing for their life phase but the reality is when you rent you are helping build someone else's wealth and when you own you are building your own.

Let's say for example you buy a home this month for $200K (this is the median home price in American and a nice round number) and you put the minimum of 3% down - with mortgage, interest , insurance and taxes you'll spend $443,672 over the 30 year mortgage - and lets not forget home repairs and maintenance so let's say $480K. And I get how people would think well you wind up paying for the house more than twice , that doesn't sound like a good deal. But don't forget at the end you have a property you own worth at least $200K, it will most likely appreciate to be worth much more but lets just say $200K.

Meanwhile, you have to live somewhere for those 30 years so unless you have a rich relative you can crash with you'll need to rent. The monthly mortgage plus home maintenance in our above scenario averages to $1,332 a month. Now if you want to wind up with the same amount of cash in 30 years you'll need to average $1,000 a month in rent, save an average of $332 monthly and assuming a 3% earning rate you'll wind up with $204,103.03. Don't save that money and spent it on shoes - well you'll certainly be fabulous and fashionable but alas, your bank account will be empty.

 
In Memphis you can buy this sweet 2 bedroom cottage in a nice neighborhood for $200,000
 
 
Meanwhile, $1,000 a month will get you a studio at this nice nearby complex , only you need to average $1,000 a month over 30 years and rent prices are surly to increase so you should probably be looking at something currently in the $800 range - uh oh! I'm not saying you can't find such a place - this is just a simplified model without doing a full case study of the Memphis real estate market but I can say with certainty that there is nothing in the $800 a month rent range that would be as nice of a standard of living as the two bedroom charmer. 
 
Because I think of my readers of friends I tend to think that y'all have a similar lifestyle to mine and have disposable income each month to buy a cute pair of shoes or a great dress and I link products that I have actually purchased or are similar to items I have purchased because sometimes I know y'all see something I'm wearing or using and would like it for yourself. I end all of my posts with a disclaimer using the phrase "my own money" so you might have noticed that I'm a very fiscally conscious blogger and I take the fact that might make a purchase based on my recommendation very seriously and I would never encourage spending that does not align with my own financial priorities. Right now in my life my husband and I have three main financial priorities 1. Pay all of our bills and make any purchases with cash 2. Pay off debt 3. Invest in our home and financial future . Sometimes that means picking one pair of shoes to buy this month, not the 5 or 6 I like. And I'll be honest, sometimes that sucks and I hate it, but you know what I don't hate - waking up in my home sweet home everyday. For me as a blogger, when I talk about a purchase being worth it I mean of all the super cute things I like and are available on the market right now this is the one I purchased.
 
So, why does it matter if bloggers are a Carrie or a Miranda? Well, on one hand it's true that someone's personal finance is not your business but on the other if you are going to take purchasing suggestions from someone else I would strongly suggest questioning if each purchase aligns with your long term financial goals because as Carrie and Miranda have taught us, unless you have "Big" money sometimes you can't have the closet full of designer shoes and own your dream home.

***This is not a sponsored post, all opinions are my own. If you are interested in your long term financial health I strongly recommend talking to a financial advisor - if you are local I have a great one I'm happy to recommend. Numbers I used here are simplified because I understand I would bore most people if I broke down the full math but when it comes to YOUR money, always know the full math behind the calculations***

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