5 Things I Want to Change/Achieve in The Next 12 Months

Hey guys ❤

How’s everyone doing? I hope you’re all doing well and getting the hang of this quarantine thing even if recently it may be feeling a little confining. I know it’s not the best feeling, but at this point I hope you guys are somehow managing to make the best of it. This will all hopefully be over soon and we’ll be able to go back to *some type of* normalcy.

As you saw from the title of today’s post, I wanted to talk to you guys about 5 major things I want to change/achieve in the next 12 months (starting from right now).

I realized a few days ago that this year I didn’t do a New Years blog post with my vision board for this year and/or just some goals I had for the year 2020 the way I normally tend to do. I did do a video about it on my YouTube channel though which you can watch here if you want to check it out.

But that’s the reason for me wanting to create today’s post. It’s obviously not ALL my goals, but they are some of the biggest ones that I want to try accomplishing within the next 12 months.

It’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately while being in quarantine. There were some adjustments that needed to be made due to the current circumstances, but in a way, I feel like this is a weird blessing (financially anyway). This is the perfect time to clear debt, save and begin to accomplish a lot of these goals since I’m not out and about spending unnecessary money on things like food, coffee or transportation that I normally would be.

This is why I’m saying that these are 5 things I want to start working on from NOW. I have sort of been working on them in previous months, but I feel like under the current circumstances, now more than ever is my time to take advantage and get the process of these things going.

With that being said, let’s get into my 5 things….

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  1. Financial Freedom.

This one in particular is obviously going to take some time. It can take days, weeks or months, but it’s one of the, if not THE, most important thing to accomplish and change this year for the better. It’s number one because without accomplishing this one, there’s no way for me to be able to accomplish the others.

Without getting TOO much into detail about it I will admit that I have credit card and student debt that I am working on clearing. That’s my main concern right now, and I’m proud to announce that although I have a ways to go, I have been making SO much progress with this recently that I’m not exactly sure I would have made had I been in my normal day to day routine. I am so happy and excited about this one because I know it’s only going to continue.

2. Living On My Own.

This one is HUGE for me guys. Diego and I have been SO ready to have our own place and live on our own for such a long time but for a few reasons (one of them obviously being the financial aspect of it), it could not happen. But as we continue to clear our debt and take other necessary steps, we’re getting closer and closer to making it happen. God willing, by the end of the year, if not early next year, we can make this happen.

3. Travel.

Notice why I said that without financial freedom, we can’t do any of the other things we want to do? I’m a firm believer that money isn’t everything, BUT it sure does play a big role in being able to do certain things like this.

We’ve been really lucky to be able to go on the little travels that we’ve gone on in the past few years, but if I’m being real, we did cut each of the trips a little financially short. And the goal is to be able to travel without having to worry about much else. Have everything taken care of and not really think twice about it later on.

We’ve also made it a point to not only want to travel outside of the US, but also within it. We’ve realized that there are so many beautiful places to be able to travel to within the US that we never really thought about before. So, again, god willing the plan moving forward (and obviously after all this is behind us and we get the okay to be able to do so) will be to travel to 1 place out of the country and 1 place within the US. We had a plan to do that this year, but due to the current circumstances of the virus, we were forced to cancel our trip 😦 . There MAY possibly be hope for something small later on this year, but if not, for sure next year we are going to move forward with it!

4. New Job (career of MY choice).

I have been talking about this one for a WHILE guys, and I swore this year was going to be the year for it, but then COVID happened….UGH. I mean don’t get me wrong, although we pretty much lost out on the first half of 2020, there is still a chance that something BIG could happen in the second half of it, but that’s why I’m working SO hard right now during this time to hopefully guarantee that this can happen.

I don’t know you guys…..I’m REALLY enjoying being able to work from home. I’ve been loving it actually, and I don’t know if I’m going to be able to come out of this going back to my normal desk job.

I feel like this entire situation has not only been low-key a blessing financially, but it’s also opened my eyes A LOT, as far as my job. No shade towards my job at ALL, but I’ve realized that I really want and need to be working for myself, at home. I’ve been getting SO much personal work done for Instagram, YouTube and now my blog, that it’s made me so unbelievably happy. Obviously it’s going to be a lot better and easier once this is all over and I can actually go out to book stores, coffee shops, etc., but right now I’m pretty content with being home getting all my work done the way that I have been. I’m actually kind of shocked (in an amazing way) at how productive and motivated I’ve been, and I definitely never felt like this in my typical day-to-day routine. So I don’t know……we’ll have to wait and see what happens with this one…….

5. Meet My Content Creating Goals.

This one kind of goes hand in hand with the new job point that I made. But, within the next 12 months, I would really love to be able to solidify my brand and social media content on all platforms to hopefully be able to make a living off of that. I can truly see myself doing this for the long haul and making a successful career out of it. This is why I am trying to take the necessary steps during this quarantine to be on top of all of my content (as much as I can anyway).

I have SO many different ideas for all my platforms’ content (at home during this time and once this is all over and we can be mobile again lol), some may take-off and some may not, but that’s all part of the learning process with this and I won’t ever REALLY know what works and what doesn’t unless I try it. So, I’m super excited now and for the future to get a move on all of this content creating. I’ve been reading and learning a lot about it all and I can’t wait to finally put it all to the test and bring it to life!

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I hope you guys enjoyed this post. It was definitely on the personal side but it’s because like I said, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and coming to a lot of deep realizations throughout quarantine that have really been opening my eyes.

We are only a month into this, and I’m not sure how much longer it’ll be before things go back to “normal”, so a lot can change, but right now these plans are weighing heavy on my mind and heart. I’m motivated like never before to make these things happen. And I’m not trying to make it seem like I’m going to accomplish these things right away because a lot of it will take time, but with the progress I’ve been seeing lately, I have no doubt that they will all begin to happen for me little by little. I am SO excited for what’s to come for me in the future.

If you enjoyed this post, please remember to like it and don’t forget to follow my blog if you haven’t already.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you guys in the next one!

-Xoxo, LeoGirl ❤

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California Vacation Costs

Hey guys,

It’s taken me a while to put up this post not just because of a deadly disease I have called procrastination, but also just because I’ve really been trying to think of the right ways to be able to explain and breakdown everything that I did in a way that makes sense and is helpful; which, I think I’ve finally got.

Recently I got a request from someone I know asking me to detail more or less the cost of our California trip because they were interested in setting a trip up there as well, BUT they were on somewhat of a tight budget.

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Before I get into the technicalities of it all, I just want to mention that throughout our time booking this trip (which was pretty much only 3-4 months), we were on a tight budget as well, AND it was somewhat of a last minute decision to book.

We had been going back and forth about it for a WHILE until we were all finally just like screw it…we’ve never traveled altogether before, and it could be a great and fun experience for us all; plus (at the time) my brother had been going through a break-up and his birthday was approaching, AND the time we were going was a little bit after MY birthday, so we figure it was the perfect time to do it.

Being that it was all a little last minute, we tried to be as smart as possible about our finances, like putting money to the side from each of our checks and as much as we could  put to the side at the moment, going for Airbnbs instead of hotels, buying groceries in bulk instead of eating out every night, and finding discounts on park tickets.

I also just wanted to mention that since we were all traveling and doing these things together, we split relatively all of the costs down the middle so that it was all even and wouldn’t be nearly as much as it would have been had we all paid for this stuff individually.

That being said, I’m going to go into all of the nitty-gritty details about all of the things I just mentioned.

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Necessary Expenses: Places to Stay, Food and Transportation

  1. First thing’s first, FLIGHTS. We used this app called Hopper which really came in handy when it came to booking our flights because it allowed us to track them for a while to see when/if prices for them were going up or down. It would also give us predictions for the best/worst times to book because they would either be the cheapest in the moment or they may get slightly cheaper (same with the alternative of it possibly getting more expensive). Does that make sense? Per person, our flights going to San Francisco was $119 which was the absolute cheapest price we probably could’ve gotten it for (and we flew Alaska Airlines and was a straight flight). Coming home from Los Angeles, we actually weren’t as lucky with a straight flight or a cheap one for that matter. We ended up accidentally waiting a little too long and the price per person went up to $181 (we flew American Airlines coming back home).

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2. Second were the Airbnbs. Doing this ended up helping us a LOT too believe it or not because we easily would’ve ended up spending twice as much had we stood in a hotel. In total for the airbnbs we spent about $1,386.20. We were only in the San Francisco airbnb for 2 nights, which came out to a total of $830.16 (which per person was $207.54).We were in Los Angeles a lot longer (4 nights, 5 days), which came out to a total of $1,112.07 (which per person was $278). The thing that I liked about booking the airbnbs the most was the fact that they did the payments in installments. That was super helpful, they asked you to pay half of the cost the day you booked it, and then the other half later on down the line (which for us was about a month and a half after we first booked). So we didn’t have to worry about putting all that money down all at once.

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3. Next was Ubers. Unfortunately while we were in San Francisco, our only real form of transportation was taking Ubers everywhere. We spent a LOT of money on it, which kind of sucked, but honestly, we had no other option. We didn’t know the buses or trains like that so if not for Ubers, we would’ve lost a lot more time simply trying to figure out how to get around. So, I would not recommend doing this unless you completely plan ahead for the public transportation use OR do a car rental, which we didn’t think necessary to do since we were only in San Francisco a day and a half. We spent almost $200 on Ubers all over San Francisco.

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4. Next was booking our MegaBus tickets from San Francisco to Los Angeles. We played around with the idea of renting a car to drive ourselves to LA, but thought it would be an extra unnecessary expense plus paying for gas, snacks along the way, etc., so we stuck to taking a bus there. The tickets in total were $216.50, which per person came out to about $54. Not too bad. Plus it was an interesting experience to drive along the coast for ALL of us to enjoy instead of taking turns driving and what not (it was also a 6 hour trip btw).

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5. Next was our car rental in Los Angeles. This we found to be a little more necessary just because of the longer amount of time we spent here, plus all the places we ended up going. It was just better and easier. We rented our car from a website called Turo , which was super quick and easy to use. The guy we rented from was really nice and super responsive for any/all questions we had about the car. Plus his car was really nice (we had gotten a 2017 Nissan Altima). The total for the car, given the amount of days we needed it for, was $261.91, which came out to about $65 per person; it was also pretty good on gas and we only had to fill it up 2-3 times.

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6. And finally shopping for food in bulk. We thought this would be one of the best ways to attempt to save some money out there as opposed to spending on eating out every single day whether it be breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks or all of the above. So, on our first official day in LA we went to a nearby Walmart and spent $140 on groceries with all of those things to sustain us for the rest of the week. Now, of course we did end up eating out a few times because there were certain places out there that we wanted to try, but generally, I think we did pretty good with saving SOME money by buying our food in bulk. Plus our Los Angeles airbnb we had the entire house to ourselves WITH a fully equipped/stocked kitchen, so why wouldn’t we take advantage of that?

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Leisure Expenses: Eating Out, Theme Parks & Souvenirs

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So this part is for the extracurricular things we obviously decided to do on the side that weren’t “necessary” but did cost a decent amount of money.

  1. Amusement parks. While we were in Los Angeles we couldn’t pass up the opportunity of going to the amusement parks….I mean, we could’ve, but I wasn’t going to let that happen!!! So, we ended up going to Disneyland and Universal Studios. Typically, the prices for tickets to these parks could be pretty freakin’ pricey, if we’re being honest, BUT we were able to get discounted prices on ours thanks to my mom’s job and this website that employees there tend to get discounts for on a variety of things. A typical 1-day ticket to Disneyland (per person) costs $174, for an adult. With my mom’s discount, we were able to get our tickets for $149. Similarly with Universal Studios, one ticket normally costs about $139, and we were able to get them for $94.50. Unfortunately I don’t have any tips and tricks for this one other then to try googling discount codes or seeing if your job or anyone you know’s job offers discounted prices on things like this.

2. Souvenirs & Food. This one is kind of hard to write and talk about just because I didn’t bother to calculate how much I/we spent on food or souvenirs, and even if I did, it wouldn’t really matter just because stuff like that depends on the particular person traveling. Personally, whenever I travel anywhere, I’m a huge souvenir person, that’s just how I am, but Diego for instance isn’t. I have to like force him to get little souvenirs because he’s fine with just experiencing the places, taking pictures/videos, and just being good that way. As for food, again it depends on the person or people you’re with, as well as yourself. We ate at a few different places in the Disney parks, we got In n Out, we tried this bakery called Susie Cakes, we tried this place called the Rose Cafe for breakfast one day and then we bought the food in bulk from Walmart for all the other days we were there.

So, all in all, when calculating everything, yes we still spent a decent amount, BUT it just basically comes down to being mindful of your spending habits and looking for deals whenever you can. At the end of the day, it’s vacation so you should be splurging a little, BUT there are also ways to be smart about it like finding affordable apps for flights, places to stay, etc.

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I hope you guys enjoyed this post and that it gave you a better perspective as to the cost(s) of a trip like this, more specifically when you’re in a group and on somewhat of a tight budget.

Also, just an FYI that I did 2 travel vlogs on my YouTube channel completely showing how our trip went in both San Francisco and Los Angeles , which, if you haven’t already done so, you should DEFINITELY check it out. It also shows you a better idea/view of the airbnbs in case the pictures on the site aren’t that great.

Don’t forget to like and subscribe to the channel btw to stay up to date with all of my videos 😉 .

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you guys in my next post.

-Xoxo, LeoGirl ❤

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FINALLY!

Another life update post?!

Yes, unfortunately for now this is just another life update post.

Hi everyone, long time no see!!

I know that it’s been a while….*3 months to be exact 🙃*…..but I swear I’m back this time!! I know you guys don’t believe me at this point, and that’s fine, but I’m willing to wait and gain your guys’ trust back little by little as I continue to post more.

But for some background context, I did want to just quickly update you guys on a few things that’s been going on in the past 3 months.

  1. Diego and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary!! (July 5, 2014 ❤️)

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We kept it chill and low-key for the most part, doing a few of the things that we always loved to do together (i.e., eat a lot, watch movies, etc. lol). But one of the best parts was being able to do this little wine tour in Long Island, New York, where we were able to visit 3 different wineries and try a TON of different wines.  Super fun and really not THAT expensive; we got tickets for this on Groupon!

2. I FINALLY STARTED MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL!!! (July 12, 2019)

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This is probably one of the most exciting things I wanted to update you guys on, because even here on my blog I’ve spoken quite a few times about wanting to do this, and I FINALLY did. It was so nerve-wrecking, and I’m still getting the hang of it, but it’s been so much fun and I have a TON of videos coming soon!! 😀 If you haven’t already done so, please make sure to check it out, and don’t forget to subscribe to stay up to date with all of my videos!! 😄 Check it out here!

3. I celebrated my 24th birthday!! 🎈🎉 (August 17th)

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The day before my birthday, Friday, me, Diego and about 3 of our other good friends actually ended up waking up at the crack of dawn to go have a little birthday photoshoot for me in the city. I actually can’t believe that we all pulled it off, woke up that early and made it happen honestly, but we did and the pictures came out AMAZING (I think). *If you haven’t seen them already, be sure to head over to my Instagram to check them out!!*

For the day OF, we kept my birthday pretty low-key for the most part. I’m not the type to like to do anything over the top and extravagant, I’m actually pretty simple and appreciate the little things, which Diego knows, and that’s why he ended up surprising me with a group of my closest friends at my house. We just ended up eating pizza, snacks, drinking a little and jamming to some music in my backyard for the night and I had the BEST time doing it. It really was a great time!

4. AND FINALLY, We went on vacation again!!!!! (August 31st-September 7th)

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Thats right, ANOTHER vacation!! Except this time it was within the United States and we went with my brother Chris and our good friend Geno. It was actually a late sort of birthday trip/celebration for me. This time around we actually went to California (specifically to San Francisco and Los Angeles). *Stay tuned for my travel diary videos about them coming soon to my channel! 😉 * We were in California for only a week and man did I instantly fall in love with it!! I can’t WAIT to go back! For the meantime though, go check out my Instagram to see my saved California story highlights as well as pictures from throughout the trip (social medias are always linked below 🙂 ).

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Well there you have it guys; that’s my “major” life update that I have for you all at the moment. I really do apologize for being so M.I.A. on here, I just kind of fell off and lost my mojo for it, which I’m sure many people, writers, etc., can understand happens from time to time. But, here I am, starting fresh again and hopefully coming back stronger then before!

I hope you guys enjoyed this post, and I’ll see you all in the next one.

-Xoxo, LeoGirl ❤

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