How I took control of my financesThe following blog post is part of the The Road to Financial Wellness Blog Tour. Over a period of 30 days, the Phroogal team will go to 30 locations to raise awareness about financial empowerment. Today they will be in Los Angeles. Our goal is to help people learn about money by starting the conversation. We understand that local conversations can help bring about national awareness.

When I turned 15, my parents took me to a quiet, farm country road on a Sunday evening. I gripped the wheel of my mom’s ’92 Ford Taurus. I cupped the parking break. This is easy, I thought. I know what to do. I’ve played Mario Kart a million times! I put the car in drive, pushed my foot on the gas, and jerked us forward, nearly onto the other side of the road. Naturally, my parents clutched their doors and yelled for dear life. In an instant, any feeling of control I had was gone. I’d spend the next few months determined to drive, but all too aware that I had no idea what the hell I was doing.  [click to continue…]

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Recover from a spending bingeNo one likes a hangover. They’re painful, regretful, and depending on how bad the binge was, recovery can be a nightmare.

And, actually, a spending hangover might be worse than a regular hangover. You can’t just drink some Gatorade, fall asleep and hope it goes away in a couple of hours. Nope, the headache from a spending binge can last for months. It throws your budget for a loop, and makes you feel all kinds of frustrated.

I’ve been there. The more I get control of my finances, the less often it happens. But I’ve had enough past experience with overspending that I know how to deal with it when it happens. Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting back to frugal after a spending binge.    [click to continue…]

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cheap recipe: onigiri rice ballsLast week, my brother came to visit. We went to downtown LA’s Little Tokyo, on the hunt for onigiri. In Japan, I ate onigiri nearly everyday. It was my favorite quick snack. Best of all, it was cheap. My bro and I found what we wanted, then sat down to enjoy our snack–a simple yet delicious ball of rice wrapped in seaweed and hiding a fishy surprise in the center.

Okay, fishy surprise doesn’t sound appetizing, like, at all. But somehow, it is.  [click to continue…]

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How to make a budgetBudgeting is a lot like exercising. It seems like a huge pain in the ass, but after it’s over, it actually feels pretty good. You might even feel in control.

Control is what it’s all about, really. Whether you’re in debt, you’re saving for a house, or you’re just trying to get your money sitch in order, the general goal is the same: you want to take control of your finances. A budget is the first step in doing that.

To me, budgeting is a no-brainer. But I’m also a money nerd, and as sad as it sounds, I also kind of like budgeting (I have other hobbies, too, I swear!)

Not everyone is as keen on budgeting, so getting started might not be easy. If you have no clue how to build a budget, this primer is for you.
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Phroogal's Road to Financial Wellness

Money is a pretty taboo topic, and it has been for quite some time. We could all probably stand to talk about it a little more. Talking about it leads to learning, and learning leads to financial wellness. And let’s face it–we need some financial healing.

That’s why I admire what Jason Vitug is doing over at Phroogal. He told me about his new endeavor: a 30-city road trip throughout the month of June to talk about money with anyone who’s interested. It’s dubbed the Road to Financial Wellness, and here’s how they sum the whole thing up in a press release:   [click to continue…]

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