Become a “Frugalista” with Me

Happy Monday!

I returned to the “big city” last night after spending a week on a quiet lake in northern Michigan.  It was a great vacation but it’s always wonderful to be home… especially after spending the last night of the vacation on a rainy camp site.  I had never been camping before and I’m definitely not in a rush to do it again (if I ever do).  I tried my hardest to stay positive and be a good sport while camping in the rain, but the truth is I’m more of a “resort-restaurants-and-shopping” kind of vacationer.

Speaking of shopping, the “good life” I’m used to indulging in must stop in my world- at least temporarily.  As the weeks of self-employment have passed, it’s becoming clearer and clearer that unemployment pay is meager. I’m working hard at developing really great products and services to supplement my income but great products and services aren’t born overnight.

I read a great book over vacation which I recommend to all the post-college women out there: The Frugalista Files by Natalie McNeal.   My story is very similar to Natalie’s in that I went through a period of feeling like I deserved anything I wanted: trips, new clothes, regular mani’s/pedis and hair appointments, “adult” home furnishings and dining out whenever I felt like it.  I’m almost done paying the consequences of this period of my life but it hasn’t been easy or fun.  Like Natalie, I wish I could take it all back!  But it taught me lots of huge lessons which is why I don’t carry a credit card anymore.  Also like Natalie, I’m taking a go at self-employment despite the fact that the bills are still there.  There’s no such thing as good timing in life, right?

Anyways, I’m pretty sure Natalie and I aren’t the only twentysomethings who’ve over indulged in the “good life” since graduating college.  That’s why Ms. Career Girl Connect’s September panel discussion will revolve around personal finance: paying off debt, saving, spending habits, home ownership, saving for retirement, managing finances with a significant other, etc.  None of us want to talk about it or think about it, but we really have to or things will get worse and worse.  My hope is that attendees will leave the panel discussion knowing they can be both frugal AND fabulous (not just one or the other).

And let’s be really honest here, cutting lattes and manicures can only take us so far.  Part of paying off debt is earning more money.    Therefore, I’m working really hard to make sure my “Small Business Setup Camp” course is all ready for you guys by September so you can earn more money on the side as soon as possible.  I’ll be giving away some free spots to the class in exchange for your feedback.  If you’re interested in getting your whole online business setup for free, please send me an email so I can put you on my very short tester list (  

I’m also looking for “beta testers” for my “Ladies Launch Pad” incubator program.  If you’ve got an idea, passion project or small business you want to take to the next level with the support of other great women, this is for you.

And to my most loyal readers, you might be wondering why I chose to do a written post instead of the video posts I’ve been doing lately.  Well, while taking a picture of my fur daughter (aka DOG) Giada swimming in her new life vest (I know, I know…) I dropped my brand new hot pink camera and it landed in the bottom of the lake.  My fiancé (oooo might be the first time I’ve called him that!) jumped in and got it for me immediately, but for the time being my camera is in purgatory.  The “Frugalista” in me is waiting for that thing to dry out before I even think about replacing it.

I’m off to a speaking engagement today (Social Media for Business) for a professional association’s conference.  Looking forward to getting back to work and chatting with you guys more now that I’m back to a regular wifi connection!

As always, thanks for reading and make today a GREAT day!


Nicole Emerick

Nicole Emerick founded Ms. Career Girl in 2008 to help other ambitious young professional women thrive in a career they love. Ironically, growing MsCareerGirl helped Nicole transition her own career from commercial banker to digital marketer. Today Nicole leads the social media team at a large advertising agency in Chicago. Nicole also served as an adjunct professor at DePaul University where she helped develop the careers of PR, Advertising and Communications students. Tweet with Nicole @_NicoleEmerick.