Tag Archives: quarter life crisis

Do You Understand The Time Value of Money?

The phrase “time is money” is not just used in terms of a powerful career person talking to his or her subordinates. “Time is Money” is actually a mathematically proven statement that explains the value of money now versus its value in the future. The reason is simple: A dollar that you receive today can be invested so that you can have more than a dollar at some point in the future. Therefore $1 today, is worth more than $1 received tomorrow.

Perhaps you’ve heard the famous lottery debate: would you take the $100,000 now or in 5 years? Let’s just keep it VERY simple for now and review the basics of this concept. Once you understand it, I hope you will see how valuable putting your extra cash in an interest bearing account or investment is. I also hope you can apply the principle of TMV in your daily life.

For some of you this is a review. If you weren’t a business major, this may seem a bit foreign. Either way, it is very important stuff to understand because everyone has and needs to learn to deal with money.

Example 1

You have an extra $1,000 sitting in your checking account that you never touch. If you moved that $1,000 into an account that earned 5% interest and didn’t touch it for 3 years, how much would you have after 3 years?

Present Value of your money is: $1,000

Value at the end of year 1: $1,000 * (1.05)= $1,050
Value at the end of year 2: $1,000 * (1.05)^2=$1,102.50
Value at the end of year 3: $1,000 * (1.05)^3= $1,157.63

Future Value of your money after 3 years: $1,157.62

Example 2

You want to pay off your $5,000 student loan in 3 years.  Assuming the loan accumulates no interest, how much would you need today in order to have $5,000 at the end of 3 years at 5%?

To answer this question, we need to flip the equation. Therefore, $5,000 is the Future Value of your money, we need to solve for the Present Value.

So if, FV= PV * (1 + i)^n

Then, PV= FV/ (1 + i)^n

(n=period, in this case years; i= interest rate)

PV= $5,000/ (1.05)^3
= $4,319.19

So you will need to start with $4,319.18 today to grow your account to $5,000 at 5% after 3 years.

Example 3

How does saving $150 per month at 6% look after 5, 10, 20 and 30 years?

5 years: $10,466
10 years: $24,582
20 years: $69,306
30 years: $150,677

Plug in your own example using this calculator.  Here’s how to fill in the calculator for this type of scenario:

PV= 0 (you start with nothing)
FV= leave blank (because this is what we are solving for)
Rate= interest rate
Periods= # of years you want to save*12 (i.e. period for 5 years is 60, or 5*12)
Drop Down Menu, select monthly (you will be contributing to this account each month).   Then click FV to solve for Future Value.

The Rule of 72

The Rule of 72 is a popular way to quickly calculate how long it will take to double your money. It’s quite simple. All you do is take 72 and divide the interest rate you are getting, to find out how many years it takes to double your money.

So if you are earning 9% on your investment, 72/9=8 years

If you are earning 8% on your investment, 72/8= 9 years

In today’s economy, if you are earning 3% on your investment, 72/3= 24 years

If you have other scenarios that you’d like me to teach you to solve, send ‘em over.  I’m happy to help!

What’s Your Brand?

Americans are known to love wearing and buying big name brands. My guess is that we buy brands in order to feel or look a certain way. Try this. I will name two brands in the same category. Think about the first thing that comes to mind for each of them:

Bebe vs. Gap
BMW vs. Toyota
Panera vs. McDonald’s
Pepsi vs. Coca Cola
Mary Kay vs. Mac

Kind of weird where your mind goes, eh? If you really think about it, the products put out by these competing brands are almost identical. Yet marketers know how to make us view their brands in a more favorable light.

What is YOUR brand suggesting to others? If you want to pump up your career, I highly suggest you get your personal brand in order. What image, purpose and message are you sending to others around you? If I were to google you right now, what impression would I get? If I was a stranger walking into your office today, what type of person would I see?

We’ve all heard the term “first impressions are lasting impressions.” Think about what your handshake, clothing, tone of voice, and non-verbal communication suggests to those around you. It is said that 55% of the message you are trying to verbally communicate is derived from your non-verbal communication.

If you could pick three words that would describe your brand, what would they be? Make sure the words are clear and easy to understand. From here, focus on being consistent with your efforts to project this brand.

Building a strong personal brand will require promoting yourself. Don’t be afraid! I promise you don’t have to be that annoying person who only talks about herself. Instead, get your name and specialty out and do it frequently.

Here are a few actions you can take to strengthen your personal brand:
• Write a blog about your passion or specialty.
• Comment on other blogs.
• Make small talk with people and exchange business cards.
• Contact someone that inspires you and compliment his or her work. They may love to talk to you and give you some pointers.
• Observe successful people who are where you want to be and follow their lead.
• Write an article for your local newspaper or for a website in your field.
• Join a group you are passionate about.

• Join Twitter-and respond to your follower’s tweets daily!
• Have your elevator pitch mastered. (More on this topic coming soon!)

And of course, remember to smile and project confidence every day!

Ewww…The D word.

Debt.  Gross.  This is not a fun topic, but it is one that many of us face being in our twenties and beyond.


Some of us may have discovered a credit card in college or shortly thereafter.  The high of having your own credit card(s) seemed euphoric at first, and you promised yourself you’d pay it off as soon as you landed that great job, but whoa- 3 years later that balance just keeps on growing…


Some used a credit card to help float them through a period of unemployment, or move to a new city.  Others figured they’d only use their credit card to furnish their lowly first apartment because: “It is zero percent for 6 months!”  (“Um oops, its been 6 months already?!”)  Before you know it, your car was vandalized again, you had unexpected medical bills to pay, parking tickets etc and the emergency credit card was there for you.


Like a drug, over time you needed just a little more to get that same euphoria.  So naturally,  this turned into keeping up with friends in the city: buying stylish clothes, going to dinners at trendy new restaurants with friends, weekly mani’s/pedi’s, bar tabs, tanning, going out 3 times a week, daily lattes, cabs, going out to lunch almost daily, and never denying yourself something you wanted at that moment because “you deserve it!” 


Ok, so you work hard, and one day you will get the pay you “deserve,” but what’s really going on behind these spending binges?


As someone who has fallen into this trap, here’s what I think other young women like me struggle with…


  1. We are too impulsive.
  2.  We mistake having a bad week at work, a bad boss/boyfriend/friend/relative, or feeling blue as code for:  “You deserve it, who cares how much it costs!”
  3. You can justify a need for just about anything to yourself, even though none of it is rooted in truth.
  4. Boredom.  (i.e. “I’m really sick of that suit/staying in/my hair color/that old TV so I will buy a new one.”)
  5. You want it all NOW.
  6. You want to show an outward appearance of success, independence and happiness, even if your salary is modest.
  7. Having nice things “motivates you” to do well and work hard.  (Danger Zone!)
  8. Fear and avoidance of facing the amount of debt you have, therefore not making a plan to get rid of it.
  9. You’re living a very unrealistic lifestyle:  It might be time to admit that you are not a celebrity.
  10. You feel like you need to have the life your parents have, even though you are half their age.

Does this resonate with anyone?!  More on this later, but obviously there is something bigger going on here behind a high credit card balance!

Do you have “Elle Woods Syndrome”?

images-11For me, the term “Quarter Life Crisis” entered my mind only a few years after graduating college. This commonly coined phrase of Gen Y refers to twentysomethings who are feeling strangely confused, fatigued and questioning their career paths while screaming: “What’s next?!”

How did you get here in the first place? Well Lady, you may have done this to yourself. You were caught up in the image of what you wanted to be. You were trying to prove that you ARE the real life Elle Woods; you are the beautiful, social, smart, well dressed, successful woman that kicks guys’ butts at the office and brings home the bacon while being the perfect girlfriend, citizen, daughter and friend. I mean people like Elle Woods ARE real, right?!

Ok obviously you’re gonna crack. Even reading that paragraph stressed me out.

Women are natural pleasers. We want to be accepted, loved and appreciated by those around us. Those of us who are competitive or driven by money may temporarily feel that we have something to prove.

Wanting it all is fine and fabulous. I promise you can have it all. Now pick something that YOU love, admire, and are passionate about. Not something that is validated by the size of your paycheck, your family, friends, or whatever society says about that profession. Erase the thoughts of your parents and grandparents telling everyone “Susie is so smart! She’s going to grow up to become a doctor someday!” Rather, ask yourself what is important to YOU: What will get you out of bed in the morning?

In order to do this, you really have to know yourself, and I’m not about to say that that is a quick or easy thing to know about. It’s just another fun leg of your journey!

Get a Modern Day Dream Catcher

Dream CatcherNot sure what your calling is? You are not alone. The twentysomething years of many of our favorite and most respected entrepreneurs did not start in a glamorous corner office at that investment bank in NYC. Many started out feeling exactly how you do right now. The people who are running the world now were college drop outs, retail store workers, athletes, teachers or nerds who followed their heart and passions to success. If you don’t believe me, I highly recommend that you go get yourself a copy of the book “Road Trip Nation” for inspiration.

If you can relate to any thing I’ve blogged about so far, please go to a local Target today and get yourself a cute small notebook. This is your new friend. Carry it in that fake Fendi Spy Bag you bring to your underpaying office job every day. When you think of a great idea, write it down. When you are inspired by a client, a thought, or someone you meet on the El, write it down. See a cool news story or blog article while you were killing time Friday afternoon? Print it out and store it in your notebook.

If you are considering getting on anti-depressants solely to make it through the work week, start setting some goals girlfriend. Use your notebook to plan your next move, write down what you want, and do research on new career paths.

You’d be shocked to see how helpful this notebook will come to be as the random thoughts, ideas, passions and career paths fill up the pages. Your notebook allows you to see things on paper as an outsider, instead of being all in your head. Therefore you can more clearly define patterns of good and bad in order to move into the next chapter of your life.

Finding your passion may be right in front of you, but that doesn’t mean you are going to see it right away. Don’t be discouraged, keep on dreaming.