Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Day 13: Reader Q&A - Tiffany

Tiffany asked:

What advice would you give a young girl (early 20's) for leading a chic life?

Thinking about it, there are a couple of things that I would offer.  They are deeper than lip gloss and good hair (although those are important too), and they affect everything externally from the inside.

One piece of advice I’d go back and give myself (without changing the path I took because I wouldn’t have ended up where I am right here today and I LOVE my life) is to feel more worthy.  Just the fact that each of us is born means we have self-worth.  We don’t need to earn it or prove it and that is still something I am learning.

I thought I had to be a good person and do things for others more than I accepted them for myself to prove my worth and deserve good things.  I still want to be a good person of course, but I am worthy without needing to do anything to earn it.  Just knowing that makes me feel calmer.  And I believe self-sabotaging behaviours such as over-eating, smoking and drinking, over-shopping and many other activities like this come from us not feeling like we are good enough.  We are literally punishing ourselves by doing one or more of those things.

Along with that goes the thought that you can’t control what people think of you so don’t even worry yourself with it.  What you think of yourself is far more important and will make you feel a lot happier.  And when you feel good you make better choices.  How freeing is that?  Knowing that the only person you really have to make happy (and the only person you have control over) is yourself.

Another piece of advice to my twenties self? (because it’s easier for me to answer that than think I can tell anyone else what to do)

I probably could have saved a bit of money rather than spend everything I earned (I had part-time jobs from quite young, maybe twelve, and then a proper part-time job from age fourteen through to when I left school and started working full-time).  That would’ve meant I’d have had a house deposit some time in my twenties and I could have bought into the housing market and would have told myself never to leave it, no matter how hard it may have been at times. 

I’d also tell my younger self to avoid all consumer debt – credit cards and hire purchase.  When I was about nineteen, I wanted to buy a stereo.  I actually went to the bank and asked how to borrow the money.  It wasn’t that much as the stereo was small and mid-range.  The lady I spoke to told me it was too small an amount for a loan so signed me up for a Visa card. 

Ahh, if only I’d saved up instead!  Where was that advice?  I never had a huge limit on my Visa card but it’s not hard to feel trapped once you get into using them.  I do have one nowadays but am in control of it, and I use it in a way that banks don’t like (by paying it off each month so you never pay interest). 

I hope this has been helpful Tiffany, and thank you for a fantastic question!


  1. Great advice. Really enjoy your posts.

  2. Ah yes! Hindsight is 20/20. Great advice!!

  3. I would tell my 20 something self to slow down and be more intentional about everything. Have joy in the small and that not every beautiful thing-be it bric a brac or clothing or accessories have to come home with me. I don't bring art home from the museum even though it has a deep impact on me. As you stated, save up for the best I want to afford then buy it and take care of it. Everyone is different, but I find I can live with so much less than I thought I needed. And don't save "special" for some nimbus future event, wear special, use special all the time. Because we are special all the time. That one or two of something is enough.
    Thank you for all you do.

  4. Aha ... I would go back and tell myself to always be true to YOURSELF and not lose myself in someone else by trying to impress. With me, I was always trying to change for a boy. It was incredibly stupid.

  5. Anonymous 1, I love this advice that you can appreciate something without having to take it home with you. When I first heard that thought I found it quite revolutionary. Before that, I believed that if I loved something it meant I had to own it. Of course, one ends up with a lot of extra stuff that, and items that often aren't the real me. It is so freeing to know that I can adore something and walk on by.

    Anonymous 2, so wise. I've done it myself, many, many times. I may not have gotten married the first time if I'd take this advice...

  6. My best advice would be, don't try to impress other people with money. When you are 22 and making $25,000 a year, don't blow your cash on every fad that rolls down the turnpike. Pay yourself first. At 22 you might not be thinking about what you want to do when you retire, but it's going to happen someday and how comfortable it is will be up to you. Not to mention things like owning a house (if that's what you want) or a car, or just having money to take care of yourself if you lose your job.

    The other thing would be, people who like you will act like they like you. Don't chase the person who wants to change you, instead, go find people who think that you are fine the way you are.

  7. Thanks so much Aurora, this is wonderful advice! I love the money advice of course, and the second part of your comment is fabulous. It's so freeing to be who you are and have people accept - and love - that.


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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