2017: The Year of Crushing

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I started 2016 off by going with Jun’s mom to a psychic. I always keep an open mind and try not to write anything off until I’ve done it. Considering that this was an old friend of hers, it didn’t hurt to try.  The outcome? This was probably one of the top 3 craziest moments of my life. Needless to say, everything the psychic told me indeed happened, both the good and the bad.

While I won’t get into the details of things that were said and done nor start a controversial discussion on new-age topics, I do believe that this psychic was damn right about a bunch of things. Like, she warned me to get a new job soon, because I wasn’t happy with where I worked. And she told me I needed to find one right away. I didn’t heed the warning and about a few months later some of my coworkers and myself at the car dealership got laid off due to company downsizing.

She also told me I was going to struggle with finances for a while, but that I’d find something I’ll love to do eventually and I’d know exactly what it is when I found it. So here I am currently, working on my blog which is now the center and love of my life, and yes, I’m struggling financially.

Launching the Baller on a Budget was a huge step in my life. Not only had I gone through my tiny 24 years of life shifting career paths and perpetuating my financial instability, but there was nothing I did that felt truly like I was meant to do it.

Of all the crazy things I believe, I believe my purpose on Earth was to be of a great service to people and impact them somehow with my story. So when I created this blog, not only was it a way for me to fulfill the void that I felt, but it was also a way for me to create both a living and a purpose for myself.

2016 in retrospect: A moment of self-reflection

In 2015 I’d ran my parents up over $10,000 in paying for my tuition to attend beauty school. I got my esthetician license that November, but after 2 years the spa I worked at closed its doors and we were all laid off. I was looking for something else and eventually decided to try starting a career in real estate. I spent the last half of 2015 collecting unemployment and studying for my state board exam.

Enter 2016, I was a newly licensed Realtor with high hopes of closing deals and building a huge client base. I was broke, hungry for money, and due to my previous layoff was also unemployed for 6 months. Trust me when I say it was no fun barely scraping by with unemployment checks and racking up my credit cards to pay for my basic needs.

I got a job at a Honda dealership the next town over and wore myself down to the bone working in the service department. I told myself I was going to use this job as a means to pay off my credit card debt while picking up clients for real estate sales. Come August, I’d paid off about $7,000 in credit card debt and was then laid off the week right after I made my very last credit card payment. We were given no advanced notice and were sent home with our last paychecks in hand that same day.

I took this as a sign to buckle down and focus on real estate full-time but unfortunately, all of my clients fell through and I didn’t make a single dollar from any transaction. That’s the tough thing about starting out – real estate is not only a business, but also a game of sales psychology where clients have no obligation to commit to you.

Now does my lack of sales make me a failure? I wouldn’t say so. Prior to obtaining my license I also worked as a receptionist at a real estate office a few years back, so I wasn’t necessarily fresh meat when I entered the field. I learned tons from my colleagues, networked plenty and had no issues finding clients, but deep down I felt that this business was simply not my calling. I pushed hard, harder than most newbies, but I didn’t push myself to the best of my abilities due to my lack of passion. I had tons of experience in sales due to my extensive work experience, but there were just certain aspects about this business that just didn’t align with my morals and ethics.

Why my goals escaped me

I created a vision board containing all of my goals for the 2016 and crushed nearly half of them within the first 5 months. Unfortunately, over 60% of those goals are yet to be accomplished. Lazy? No. The truth is, I no longer want those things anymore.

My constant lack of stable income made me desire financial security. I put some pretty ambitious goals on my dream board like make six figures’ worth of income through real estate, buy my own home in cash, treat myself to a pair of Louboutins, and put away a minimum of $10,000 in my savings account.

How ironic. It’s now the end of 2016 and I haven’t made a cent in real estate transactions, I’m living with my boyfriend and his family, the nicest pair of heels I bought myself this year were about $35, and I’m constantly withdrawing from my savings account to pay for things like food and rent.

Even more ironic, tons of my goals changed ever since I started the Baller on a Budget. And I’m totally fine with that. I’ve learned that my unrealistic goals weren’t any single representation of financial stability, but simply just material excess. I wanted nice things. I wanted a luxury life with really nice things in it, and I wanted to throw cash everywhere.

Now that I’m struggling more than ever, with every single post I publish on Bb I’m realizing that there are plenty more important things in life than spending near $1,000 on a single pair of red-bottomed heels that I can potentially faceplant in. Nice things are nice, but I wanted more than that.

I wanted to show people how to enjoy life and indulge modestly while compromising with the fact that money does not grow on trees. Most of the world consists of middle-class people or impoverished people. It’s just not practical.

In my self-enlightenment, I wanted to share with people the principles of practicality, frugality, and an occasional healthy dosage of treating yourself. Everyone wants nice things, but what we all need more than anything is a roof over our heads and food in our mouths. I’d rather have food in the fridge for the month than starve with a Givenchy purse.

Enough blabbing, here’s my goals for 2016

Pay off my $3,000+ credit card debt

Ever since I experienced my second job lay off earlier in August, I’ve been living off of unemployment while building this blog. I get less than $300 every 2 weeks, making it impossible to pay for rent and monthly bills. I began living off my credit card, charging every necessity to my card. As much as I tried to minimize spending, with my living expenses being over $600 a month, there was no way I could avoid touching my credit card. Over the past few months I’ve accumulated over $3,000 in debt, with huge charges to my credit card consisting of 2 expensive vet visits for my dog, buying a new mattress that I really really needed, and taking an online education course.

Last year I managed to pay off about $7,000 in credit card debt that was created by nothing else other than poor money management and spending habits that were both terrible coping methods I used when I lost my job at the spa. I believe that with the holidays out of the way, I can undergo a spending fast, tighten up my budget even more, negotiate my bills down to the best of my abilities, create a side income on top of this blog to pay off this debt in large chunks, and ride it through until my income becomes substantial.

Create an income of at least $1,000/month

I think with the past two job layoffs I’m realizing that working for someone else is simply unstable, contrary to popular belief. You can’t control whether or not your boss decides to keep or drop you. I’ve also always been frustrated with hitting a growth ceiling with all of my previous jobs, as there were limitations that I could not surpass. I did exactly what my job title and job description were, nothing more, nothing less.

Working for yourself can be an arduous journey in the beginning, but I have faith that I can reach my income goal of earning at least $1,000 a month by August next year. My living expenses are extremely minimal, so if I can at least make $1,000, that would cover all of my expenses plus give me a difference to pay off my debt.

Master a healthy work/life balance

Working for yourself means that work never stops. If I am passionate in my work, I don’t consider it “work” and begin losing myself in it. This is exactly what is happening with this blog. The growth I’ve received in the past 2 months is astounding and I truly hunger to see how substantial this blog will become, but with this excitement and non-stop work I am also burning myself out. Coupled with the need to save money, I’ve turned into a hermit and a workaholic, finding joy in my work and staying at home.

I really need to get out every once in a while and see faces other than my own. I also really need to take better care of my health, which means eating better and involving myself in some sort of physical activity.

Practice mindful eating

One of the biggest reasons I decided to stop pursuing 9-5 work is because of my most recent relapse with bulimia. Having an incredibly busy and stressful lifestyle either made me neglect healthy eating or become extremely obsessive about my diet to where a single cheat meal made me crumble emotionally. I was on the keto diet for a few months and had great weight loss results; however, it created an unhealthy relationship with food. I went to Utah earlier this year to visit family and relapsed quite hard with frequent binge eating and drinking. As a result, I am currently working on rebuilding the foundation of a healthier mindset.

Through the years with this eating disorder and extremely negative self-perception I am learning that bulimia is indeed a form of obsession and control. Diets never work for me long-run because once the obsession takes in, it consumes me, giving me the desire to be perfect every second of the day.

As a healthy solution, I don’t want to diet nor lose weight. I simply want to build a healthier relationship with food instead of allowing it to rule me with fear. I want to be able to occasionally indulge in certain foods and not feel guilty or unworthy and throw up as a result. I want to eat like a normal person because this has never been an easy feat for me.

Start taking daily walks

Paired with my goal of eating mindfully, I also want to take the time to walk my little dachshund Sam every morning. Taking a short 30-minute walk will also help prevent the chronic back pains I receive as a result of sitting at my desk all day while also starting my morning in a good way. Sam is also getting older, so I would like to focus on keeping him healthy and active too.

Take better care of my skin

The bane of my existence has always been my sensitive skin. It was absolutely terrible working as an esthetician and treating clients when my own skin was so bad, and due to plenty of dietary allergies it’s incredibly rare for me to experience clear skin. I break out from dairy, chocolate, high-fat content, salt, and much more. My skin scars extremely easily, I’m oily, and my T-zone always builds up an excess amount of oil.

It is extremely tough to win over clients when your skin looks awful, so I want to be more diligent about my skin care routine to become a better advocate of skincare. This means cutting out all of my dietary allergies from my diet, including cheese. No more cheese and crackers, no macaroni and cheese, no sour cream in my tacos, no bread and butter, no pasta. It’s going to be rough, but it’s time for me to practice what I preach!

3 things to do to crush 2017

Read “It Works

I’m a firm believer that having enough drive and desire will lead you to accomplish anything you want to do. When I read “It Works” by RHJ last year, it drove me to pursue my goals and check them off my list, one by one.

This book takes less than 20 minutes to read but it so powerful it will literally change your life if you implement the practices into your daily life. I definitely recommend looking into this book – at $3, it’s the most affordable yet valuable thing you could ever gift to yourself or someone else.

Make a vision board for the year

Another simple yet powerful practice I’ve started to do for the past few years is creating a vision board for every year. After reading “The Secret,” I learned a lot about the power of attraction (this is also discussed in “It Works,” but more in-depth”) and how envisioning your goals helps solidify and materialize them.

Every year I buy some poster board from the Dollar Tree, print out a bunch of images pertaining to my goals and then slap them on the board along with written goals in huge letters. Something I also do is reserve a spot on my board for my to-do list and write down my specific goals on Post-It notes. I divide my list in half from “to-do” and “done,” as this helps encourage me to move the Post-It notes from one side to the other. It also serves as a reminder to myself that I am indeed being productive on the days I may feel really low about myself.

Improve yourself

Sometimes people don’t have a set list of career-related goals or may be fine with where they are currently. If you don’t know what goals to list, a fool-proof goal would be to improve yourself. Get healthy. Save money. Start a side hustle and earn more income. Do charity work, or make more time for friends and family.

Learning to become self-aware is an art form in itself, so I try to include some self-awareness goals every year.


Are you ready for 2017? I know I’ll be pretty busy! Tell me what your plans are for the upcoming year in the comments below, and don’t forget to subscribe!

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The new year gives us a clean slate and new chance to improve ourselves in all aspects of life. But how often do you actually accomplish all of your goals? Here are 3 simple steps I use to crush my goals every year. Read more to see how you can make 2017 the year of crushing! - THE BALLER ON A BUDGET


  1. December 28, 2016 / 7:20 am

    Hi Aileen! I’m sorry so much unfortunate things happened to you this year, but it’s inspiring to see that you look at the positive out of everything. Here’s to a new year and better things! You always have an accountability partner <- right here! So feel free to message me anytime!

    • The Baller on a Budget
      December 29, 2016 / 7:31 am

      I agree – better things are in store for us both this upcoming year! Lucky to have you as an accountability partner <3 let's continue pushing each other and bouncing ideas back and forth!

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