larissabahrphotography-9760Hi there, I’m Melissa. A few months ago, I decided I was done feeling trapped with work and income. I’m in my late-20s and though I have a good job, am well-educated, and generally well-organized, I had poor money management skills. I’ve always invested, but still felt stressed with the way I spent money. It turns out that the problem wasn’t what I spent money on so much as it was that I didn’t keep track or “manage” my money well.

But thanks to Warren Buffett, Mr. Money Mustache, Joe Mihalic of No More Harvard Debt and my friend David Kretzmann of the Motley Fool (and the financial guidance of an awesome ISTJ coworker aka finance guru), that has all changed. I slashed unnecessary costs from my budget, paid off credit cards and increased my investment contributions, and am now focused on paying off my car within a year (it’s due in five years), keeping track of/properly managing my money, further increasing my retirement contribution and saving to buy a house.

Follow me to see how I do with realizing these goals and for health tips (you can start with my first blog). The two main things we invest in in life are health and wealth. I’m a big fan of investing in both, and both certainly overlap, so I figured I’d wrap them into one blog.

Some extra stuff about me: I teach therapeutic journaling and meditation workshops through my Inner Awakening Writing business; work at a university; love cooking, running, hiking, biking, swimming in the ocean, Pilates, yoga, reading and writing; have undergrad degrees in journaling and American studies, a master’s degree in American studies, and studied documentary filmmaking in Chapman University’s graduate program; I’m a journalist and former counselor for sex trafficking survivors; and I’ve lived in Portland, Ore. and the Sierra Nevada Foothills of California, was born and raised in Orange County, Calif., and currently live in San Diego.