MNM Vocabulary Lesson: Fiscal Schizophrenia

Fiscal Schizophrenia [fis-kuhl] [skit-suh-free-nee-uh, -freen-yuh]

  1. Contrived mental instability characterized by dueling internal thoughts relating to money
  2. Being aware of your current monetary status and choosing to blatantly ignore it
  3. i.e., “Knowing she was over her credit limit and will induce a penalty, Carrie struggled with her fiscally schizophrenic voices but still decided to charge her latest pair of Louis Vuitton’s to the card”
  4. See “You Ain’t Sh*t and Other Things Your Parents Never Told You” to see why Carrie Bradshaw suffers from the illness


  1. Just about anything else
  2. Conscious Consumer

We’ve all experienced it. Or seen someone going through it. She’s usually the one staring at a hot pair of new shoes, mumbling to herself; probably trying the shoe on and on again, trying to forecast upcoming weeks’ expenses. Having an internal dialogue between good and evil, cash or credit, paying more now or going to Payless. She’s the one who knows she may not be able to afford something (now) but is convincing herself she ‘needs’ the item and works out a way to pay for it.

Just as it is unrealistic for me to expect you to leave Nordstroms (for example) for Payless, Fiscal Schizophrenia is about giving in to an unrealistic belief. It’s really simple to determine whether you can afford something or not, but it can be difficult silencing the “want” in your head. Once you give in to the “wants” voice, you start rationalizing and negotiating with your wallet: a losing game, as your wallet has no leverage. It can’t make you miraculously have more money.

The facts are the facts and talking to yourself, albeit internally, just makes you look crazy.

Other vocabulary:

Mailbox Money – What to do when your mailbox starts making it rain…

New Money – Talking ’bout my generation..unless you got those cobweb coins!


Fashion for Haiti

All net proceeds benefit the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund

Forget about the “We are the World” remake, how do you feel about this? The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) has named Beyoncé as the official face of their limited-edition “Fashion For Haiti” T-shirt. Tee’s for charity has always been a fashionable contribution and the CDA previously raised over $2M following 9/11 for the Twin Towers Fund and their “Fashion for America” t-shirt. One of my fav e-boutiques, RueLaLa is selling them for another 1 Day, 02:27:04 sec. All net proceeds will be donated to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.

Remember when I told you to have faith in your money and donate it, well now you can have faith in your style (or Beyonce’s) and support the people of Haiti by making another donation.

Who else is selling the shirt?

Stay focused and find it here in one of these stores:

3.1 Phillip Lim  //  Academy of Art University Gallery Store  //  Adam  //  Alice + Olivia  //  Alligator Purse  //  Ankasa //  Anna Sui  //  Araks  //  Barneys  //  BCBG Max Azria  //  Bergdorf Goodman  //  Betsey Johnson  //  Billy Reid  //  Bloomingdale’s //  Botkier //  Buckler  //  Burberry // Calvin Klein Collection  //  Calvin  // Catherine Malandrino  //  Carolina Herrera  //  Coach //  Charles Nolan  //  Chrome Hearts  //  Cole Haan  //  Colette // Cynthia Rowley  //  Deborah Marquit  //  Dennis Basso  //  Derek Lam  //  Devi Kroell  //  Diane von Furstenberg // DKNY // // Donna Karan International  //  Elie Tahari  // Foley + Corinna  //  General Nutrition Corporation  //  Generra  //  Gilt Groupe  //  Giuseppe Zanotti Design  //  Helmut Lang  //  Henri Bendel  //  Intermix  //  J. Crew   //  J. Mendel  //  James Perse  //  Jeffrey New York  //  Jill Platner  //  Jill Stuart  //  John Bartlett  //  Kate Spade New York  //  Kenneth Cole  //  Links of London  //  Lisa Perry Style  //  Loomstate // Lord & Taylor  //  Lorraine Schwartz // Lyn Devon  //  Macy’s  //  Madewell  //  Malia Mills  //  Manolo Blahnik  //  Michael Kors  //  Mimi So  //  Missoni  //  Moda Pittsburgh  //  Nanette Lepore  //  Neiman Marcus // //  Nordstrom //  Norma Kamali  //  Odin New York  //  Oscar de la Renta  //  Philanthropist  //  Polo Ralph Lauren Retail  //  QVC // //  Rag & Bone  //  //  Rebecca Taylor  //  Robert Lee Morri  //  Rock & Republic  //  Rogan // Rue La La //  //  Saks Fifth Avenue  //  // Scoop NYC  // Selima Optique // Shelly Steffee //  Sigerson Morrison  //  Slow and Steady Wins the Race  //  Style Shop at FIT  // Stuart Weitzman  //  Swarovski  // Swarovski Crystallized //  Talbots  //  Ten Thousand Things  //  Theory //  Theory Japan  //  Thom Brown  //  Tommy Hilfiger Stores  // Topshop //  Tory Burch  //  Tracy Reese  //  Trina Turk  //  Uniqlo  //  Vera Wang  //  Vivienne Tam  //  Yigal Azrouel  // //  Zero + Maria Cornejo  //  Zoe //

Have faith in your money – give it away

The earthquake that hit Haiti this past Tuesday, the worst in two – hundred years, has left thousands dead and / or missing and has left many without shelter and basic necessities. As of yesterday afternoon, the Red Cross received donations in excess of $5.1 million. This week MNM takes a break from the focus of earning money and talks about giving it away.

Regardless of one’s spending or savings style, the blessing present in the ability to earn money is reciprocated and counter balanced with the ability to not only spend, but to be able to give it away and donate. Being generous to others with the money you make is much more than advantageous tax-write off.

I talk a lot about ‘buying stuff’ on this website, but the overall big picture is that of personal responsibility. You owe it to yourself (your future-self and your present-self), your family and your community to make smart financial choices. Everyone listed has an interest in … well… your pockets. Make a not-so-smart decision with your money and you and your family may end up in the hole. Make a smarter choice and you, your family and generations to come may never have to worry about home – ownership. 

Today your community needs you. All too often, people walk this earth feeling disconnected to those around them, but especially to those in different countries. The people of Haiti are a part of your community and they need you to make financial decisions that will have an impact on them. (Even a few of my favorite online boutiques are temporarily halting sales, basically not making any money,  out of respect to this national crisis.)

This tragedy is the first to utilize technology to an all time maximum. It is easier than ever to make contributions, as many sites are allowing you to simply send them a text message (removing many lazy excuses). “U.S. cell phone users have contributed more than $5 million in $10 increments to the Red Cross for Haiti disaster relief, by far the largest outpouring of support via mobile devices in history.”

For Mobile Donations (highly recommended) check out the sites below:

  • Wyclef Jean’s, Yele: to send $5,  text the word “Yele” to the number 501501
    The William J. Clinton Foundation: to send $10, text the word “Haiti” to 20222
  • Red Cross, text the word “Haiti” to the number 90999

Wireless carriers, including AT&T, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile and Sprint, said they were not charging regular text-messaging fees on top of the donations.

Let go of your money in faith that it will return. More importantly, let go of your money in faith that it will have a real impact on those you gave it to. It is not business as usual and you should not follow your same routine.

* Remember in times of disaster, the rats come out! Be sure to validate the legitimacy of the site before you donate.

** Update: CNN has a complete list of VALID charities. Check it out here!

PHOTOS: 24-hours after the Haiti earthquake (from Reuters)

MNM Vocabulary Lesson: Mailbox Money

mail-box mon-ey /ˈmeɪlˌbɒks/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [meyl-boks muhn-ee]

  1. the money one collects from having to do no additional work
  2. monies placed inside one private box for incoming mail
  3. i.e: “As a landlord, I simply collect mailbox money every month”

– antonym

  1. Earned Money
  2. Employer set-up direct deposit
  3. i.e: “After working 80 hours, it’s payday. Trading hours for dollars is draining. I wish I had mailbox money”
Picture from Intuit

Picture from Intuit

Even with a job, career or otherwise, the addition of mailbox money to ones personal income can help offset many expenses.

Mailbox money is not only earned from investing in real estate, but from freelance writing (both online and off), monetized blogs or even some auction sites. Check out this Podcast from the Simple Dollar. It offers a unique insight to this writers sources of mailbox money.  Listen here!


For those who ended up with “too much month-at the end of our pay”, you’ll be happy to know that tomorrow is Payday. Many of us, myself included, are anxious for the clock to strike midnight, and for direct deposit to make a smooth landing into our bank accounts. I write this post to remind all budding Finanshionistas to “approach with caution” when divvying up how you are going to allocate your money until August 15th – I mean 14th (the 15th is a Saturday).

I personally have (7) savings accounts…


Emergency Fund – Amtrust
H10 Savings – Amtrust
House Account – TD Bank
Brokerage – TD Ameritrade
Money Market – TD Bank
ROTH IRA – First Investors (Value)
ROTH IRA – First Investors (Growth)

and (11) people who on a given month will find their way into my pockets. Like vultures, they (the dreaded expenses) hover over my head and mailbox, daily.


Student Loans
Victorias Secret
Sovereign Bank
Utility: Rent
Utility: Cell Phone
Utility: Electric
Utility: Gas
Utility: Internet

“B” word withstanding (budget), I organize my payees according to priority. Me, Myself and I are first! With seven savings accounts, I am hoarding for a rainy day (or Burberry rain-boots). The point is I’m covered and will continue to make sure that I am.

Active expense accounts tally at (7) too. I’m C3 debt free, remember? Unfortunately, all of my expense are recurring and quite necessary. Since I like having a roof over my head, good credit, heat, electric and gas, I’ll continue paying for those items.

Once the appetites on all accounts are satiated, I’m left with a new kind of mutual fund; a “WTF Fundwhere I can do “whatever-the-F” I like with it. In the past, it was usually splurging on the nearest H&M. Recently, I’ve been gifting or reinvesting into the Queens Estate (my empire).

Treating my savings the same as I do my expenses, forces me pay the most important debt collector first: myself. Why should they have first dibs before me?

Podcasts, and newletters, oh my!

 Photograph by Colleen AF Venable [via Flickr Creative Commons] GradMoneyMatters, a down to earth blog about the realization that “in the real world, money matters”, posted a great article titled, “20 Free Personal Finance Podcasts and News Sites“. Podcasts are great convenient ways to hear some of your desired materials. Think book on tape but cooler.

I decided to listen to one podcast every morning as I write my daily posts. Money Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for a Richer Life, hosted by personal finance author, entrepreneur, real estate investor, business consultant, and former corporate trainer, Laura Adams (who by the way is everything I want to be when I grow up) offers insightful info on topics like improving your credit score and Good Vs Bad Debt:

one quick and dirty rule of thumb for identifying whether a particular debt is good or bad is to ask yourself whether the debt is financing something that’s appreciating or depreciating in a value.

There’s even a free podcast from financial powerhouse Vanguard, entitled “Plain Talk Investing“. Feed the Pig speaks from a Piggy Bank reminiscing about when “we used to be friend”. I like the humor.

These are So Money sites so check them out and I’ll continue to post my recommendations as I listen and read.

Miss New Money OUT

Cease and Desist

While I would like to say that I filled my absence researching and scouring the Internet for the latest applicable solutions, but instead, loyal Finanshionistas,  I spent it studying, working and graduating with my Masters. For that I cannot apologize. However, also in my time outside of the blogosphere ™, I started a new business, created a great professional blog site for my youth internship (, made an expensive business investment without comprehensive research, watched that purchase go on sale and the revealing of a new model the very next day (hint, hint) and was scammed (oh, they were good)! But worst of all I made a not so smart financial decision during my time outside the country.

Needless to say, I made some unwise and un-fashionable financial choices that I must apologize for. One day soon, I’ll muster up the courage to reveal my ultimate mistake but for the time being, would you help me get back on track?

First things first, I organized all of my debt, for those balances simply fell by the waste side. What is it with vacations that make people feel they have to buy new stuff? Whatever it is, my urge to splurge completely took over and I am still working to turn off the spicket. I brought my balances back down to zero and removed my “so-not for emergency” credit card from my wallet. I also will be returning purchases this weekend; taking the dreaded walk to the “Returns” counter.

I also have put things into perspective now. I’m back to work full time, but I’m also looking for an apartment that my BF and I can comfortably but cheaply move into; I’m getting a new biz off the ground; student loans are gonna start to come knocking; and I want to buy a triplex that can generate some money (more on everything to come).

For now, though, I wanted to reconnect with my readers. There’s a lot coming my way. It’s promised to be a great transitional period, so stay tapped in and fabulous. Miss New Money is now a daily blog-site!

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