Buying A House At 22

I have so many things I want to say in this blog post. Let’s just start with the obvious…my husband and I bought our first home at the ages of 22! Like what?! Yes, it’s a thing and it’s most definitely possible. I’m here to tell you how we did it!

A Dream

Throughout my husband and I’s relationship, we struggled financially. We went from living with my mother-in-law to a one bedroom apartment, a 500 sq ft studio, to a teeny tiny rental home. It’s been an uphill battle but our goal throughout those hard times remained the same – we wanted to be successful, independent, and happy. Despite our less than perfect living situations, we continued to make our future a priority. We knew what we wanted.

Working Hard

We recently got our big breaks a little over a year ago when we both landed jobs that paid well. Each of us probably interviewed a handful of times every week until we finally found companies worth wild. I’d like to point out too that throughout the whole “finding new jobs” process, we didn’t settle. We were offered positions at companies that were only commissioned based or positions that paid out less than what we knew we were worth. Looking back now, those days taught me important lessons about business and communication that I now value tremendously.

The Military

I should mention we would never be where we are now without my husband’s time in the Army. Since deploying this past April, we’ve had the opportunity to replenish our savings accounts and qualify for the VA loan.

My husband is actually an Army reservist when he’s in Illinois but since his deployment he’s been considered active for the last 10 months. To get the VA loan (at least from my understanding) you must have either 90 days of active duty service or 6 years as a reservist. Deployment turned into a positive real quick after we learned those rules. If the hubs never got deployed, we wouldn’t have been able to purchase until after his reserves contract ended. So confusing I know, stay with me here

Closing In Under 30 Days

Thanks to our amazing, and I mean amazing, home loan officers, attorneys, and realtors we were able to close on our first home in less than a month! If you know anything about the home buying process then you know this is very uncommon. Truthfully, it was not simple. I was taking phone calls, faxing, emailing and signing papers 24/7. If you’re thinking of closing on a house in the amount of time we did, be prepared to be available at any given moment!

In addition to the regular home-buying paperwork we needed to complete, I also had the job of getting these papers to my husband who (as I’m writing this) is still out of the country!

We Stopped Listening To Others

This sounds terrible to type but we stopped listening to the opinions of others in the first week of the process. There was a large amount of individuals who felt the need to weigh in on our finances and decisions. They expected the worst out of us. Word of advice, choose to listen carefully when someone else decides to judge your actions. Ultimately, it’s not, nor will it ever be their place to live in.

I know this post was all over the place! I just wanted to share some of the things I went through personally during this whole thing and thought maybe it would help one of you! If you’ve gone through or are going through this process feel free to leave a comment below sharing your experience! I’d love to hear how your story differs from my own!

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How I Made My First $1,000 Blogging

This first year of blogging has been incredible, a learning process for sure full of unforgettable opportunities. Throughout this journey, I’ve been lucky enough to make a few extra dollars doing the thing I love most. This post will focus on how I’ve made an income while blogging and how you can too!

Reach Out To Brands

This is first on the list because truly I wouldn’t be making anything or receiving any free product without reaching out to brands myself. Up and coming companies are in need of people to show off their product. These brands need you as much as you need them. I’d say I’ve spent about an hour each day emailing, messaging, and calling the companies I’d be honored to work with. It’s not easy and I’ve been pushed out of my comfort zone more than I can count on one hand…even two! For every 9 no’s I get at least 1 yes which just proves I’m doing something right by putting myself out there!

In the beginning, don’t be discouraged if brands would rather collaborate on posts in exchange for product rather than payment. Establishing a connection with the company can be much more rewarding and beneficial in the grand scheme of things. Brands want to develop a trust with the people they work with and I don’t blame them! I’ve tested the waters with many companies that have now allowed me to create content on a long-term basis for real money. It’s all about proving yourself and selling the services you can provide.

Download Apps To Make Connections

I think a handful of bloggers forget about accessible free apps that can help them grow! For instance, I’ve made a few good paychecks off of apps likePopular Pays which connects Instagrammers and bloggers with real-deal brands. Companies such as Kraft, Macy’s, Chameleon Cold-Brew and so many more are listed on the app.

Once you find a brand you’d like to work with you pitch a creative idea to them, request the amount of money you’d like to make, and answer a couple of questions regarding your social platform. From there, the brands can choose to work with you or not. The process is easy and completely cost-free to the influencers!

Some other great apps and networks include SocialNative.com, Obvious.lyMaverick.co + Collabor8, and Influenster.

Establish A “Blogger Resume”

This is more of a tip but I’d highly recommend creating a blogger resume. A single document or media kit that can be sent out to potential partners and companies is important! Some things I’ve included in mine are my contact information, a collection of my best photos or written pieces, my analytics from my social platforms, and a professional photo of myself with a description of what I do best! This goes along again with…selling yourself!

Use Affiliate Links

The last and final thing I did over this last year to make my first $1,000 was using affiliate links. You can do this easily by signing up online with some of the brands you may already know and love! Personally, I’ve found the biggest return by using affiliate links through Target and Amazon. You basically earn a percentage of the purchase someone would make by using your link!

The appReward Style also does an awesome job of simplifying the affiliate link process by putting everything you’d need in one place. You can easily search for a product and see what percentage you’d make if someone bought the product using your link, you can copy links, and keep track of your commission!

So that’s the jist of it guys! 2018 is near and now is the perfect time to make some financial moves! If you have any suggestions that I didn’t mention in this post – please leave a comment down below!

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Fort Building 101

Totally nerdy yet completely cool. Fort building is fun no matter how old you are. On a night when Riverdale was set to come on, I chose to build a blanket fort containing pillows, fairy lights, and of course a fire place. Always gotta stay classy.

Here are just a few of my tips and necessities that I think you need to know when building your own:

1) Fairy Lights 2) Hot Stuff Mug 3) Fuzzy Blanket 4) Holiday Candle 5) Silky Pajamas 6) Slippers 7) Body Pillow 8) Inexpensive Tripod

-If you have a tripod, use it. That baby can go smack dab in the middle to make for a teepee style fort. That’s what I used and it worked great!

-Use the couch. The couch is your friend and will help make your blanket fort even more epic. Push your chairs and other building materials as close to the couch as possible so you have a nice back rest from the ground.

-Twinkly lights aren’t even a question. We need those. I got mine from Target for $8! Not expensive and really tend to set the mood!

-Pack as many pillows in the fort as you can! If you have a body pillow, use it! Those are the best!

-Comfy clothes! Get dressed up in your favorite pair of sweats, pop some popcorn, dim the lights, make yourself a hot cup of cocoa and enjoy what you’ve just built!

What’s the must-have item for your fort?! I wanna know in the comments! I’m dying laughing at myself while typing this post because once again, I’m such a nerd. Maybe none of you even make forts anymore?! Let’s bring them back! If you make your own from my little guide here, be sure to tag me on Instagram so I can see!

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