All in Money

One Year Later: A Reflection

It’s been a year since That First Year was launched. 365 days. And in those 365 days, more than 30 people (33, to be exact!) have contributed 131 posts to this li’l blog; more than 30 people have willingly put figurative pen to figurative paper to write about just how messy and confusing, yet oh-so-beautiful that first year after college can be. We’ve had posts covering the gamut of topics: from life to love to friends to travel to dreams to some of our favorite things.

“These posts are getting too relatable now.”

Someone said this about a post recently and I wanted to give ‘em a big ‘ole hug through the computer because that’s exactly what I was hoping this blog would be: a place where people can relate to the stories this community has shared. 

Knowing Your Worth: How to Negotiate Salary

When I started my job search as a recent college graduate, negotiating salary was intimidating. Thankfully my first job offered my goal salary with the promise of a raise upon exemplary performance. Great; everything was smooth sailing for about a year.

When I hit my one-year anniversary I began plotting how I would ask for a raise. “Ok, once the annual report is in, I’ll ask before the board meeting in January.” Well the annual report wasn’t where it needed to be for me to ask for a raise. I’d done well in sales, but we had some substantial expenses so I chickened out. I could wait.

Granted, during that time I was working hard. I worked every weekend in January and 11 weekends straight from Easter to the mid-June. I’m sure there were opportunities to ask for a raise during that first quarter but I wanted to make sure that as an institution we were profitable so my appeal wouldn’t be viewed as greedy or selfish. I asked for advice from my parents, friends, friends’ parents—anyone who had insight into the best practices of business.

Here’s what I heard: You should be formally evaluated once a year. Normally a raise is given to cover inflation so ask for 5% but expect 3%.

Mini with a Mini: 5 Tips for Your First Car Purchase

On August 8, I bought a car.  I don’t even know where to begin with this post because it’s about 6 years in the making.

Only a handful of people know this but I actually didn’t have a car consistently until my last semester of college.  My close friends know it’s been a soft spot for me to talk about.  Yes, I know how to drive and I’ve had my license since I was 17.  But being the middle child and the third to go to college left me without a car to call my own. It’s not that my parents didn’t want to buy me a car, they just couldn’t.  Every year we would have the same discussion about how we could move cars around in the family or possibly buy one for me but every year it came down to either paying for school or for a car, and I wasn’t about to stay in my hometown just to be able to drive to a community college.

A Post-Grad Guide to Managing Money

Being alive is expensive.

It’s something you never really think about when you’re growing up because someone else is usually always paying for you. I didn’t even realize it when I was in college, because although I was paying for rent, utilities, groceries, gas, etc., I wasn’t yet aware of all of the hidden expenses that come along with being a person. That changed pretty quickly once I graduated and got my first adult job.

Gone were the days that I could just waltz into the campus clinic and get a free checkup and some $10 cold medicine. Now, even with health insurance, it’s at least a $20 co-pay to have someone look down your throat and be like, “Yep, you’re sick!” and then you have to go set fire to more money to get the medicine. Is your vision anything less than a perfect 20/20? Then have fun paying $70 a month for contacts, unless you want to just gouge your eyes out, which is what I’ve contemplated a few times.

7 Tips for Mastering the Apartment Hunt

Y’all, I’m officially heading to corporate America, where the sun does shine, but you can’t see it from your cubicle. I’ll be moving to Houston in two weeks to start my new job (and life lolz) and I needed to find an apartment. FAST.

This was the process I used to find the best “bang for my buck” when it came to moving to an area I knew nothing about.