Top Notch Bank

fashion + finance

Tag: Love


Need vs. Want


gird your loins, black friday is less than 5 days away. the day universally known as the kickoff to the holiday shopping season. while many (humble individuals) spend the day shopping for loved ones, i tend to take this day to self evaluate my wardrobe. selfish? not really, i have trouble thinking of thoughtful gifts in crowds…so i leave all my family/friends shopping for cyber monday. (pro tip)

in years past (i.e.: before i vowed to be debt free by my thirties) this would mean how can i get my hands on that gucci purse i’ve been eyeing for the past 7 months. but this year i’m starting to get my priorities straight (yay!!) and realizing the difference between need and want.

below are things i’ve realized are a necessity and things that i’ve realized are just wants:

WANT: sequin anything, snakeskin booties, chrome pants, the whole fall 2015 anthro catalog, over 3 winter coats** especially if you live in miami (cough, cough), boots of any sort (miami), designer handbag(s) (you’re broke)

NEED: black flats, beige pumps, black pumps, white top, black cardigan, black skirt, navy pencil skirt, 2-3 more basic tops, black blazer, 2-3 dresses, blue jeans, white tank

YES the need list is basic, NO it won’t be easy rejecting that 75% off Alice + Olivia sequin floral jacket that has an extra 25% off at checkout but is still weirdly 200 dollars but HEY it’s Black Friday and you deserve this jacket even though you live in a climate that rarely sees anything under 60 degrees (THIS MIGHT BE A PERSONAL STORY!!). the reality is that in the long-term you will feel more guilty purchasing the item than the high of getting ‘such a good deal.’…which we all know is very short-lived.

Remember, you are in DEBT…you don’t have time for trends (YET!) so own the “classic” look and make it WORK.

PLUS girls like us don’t follow trends…we set them.



Tis the Season…

…to go broke. Seriously, the holidays can get expensive ($$$). And since I’m on thrifty mode, I’ve decided that this year my nearest and dearest will receive personalized crafty gifts. The below is a cute, creative and CHEAP gift that anyone would love!

Painted Planter


Materials Needed (Total: $9.02)

  • Acrylic Paint (Americana – $1.39 – Michaels)
  • 6 inch Terra Cotta Clay Pot (Norcal Pottery – $1.32 – Home Depot)
  • Foam Brush (ArtMinds – $.99 – Michaels)
  • Succulents (Home Depot – $5.32 for one)

Craft Steps

  1. Make a design on your pot (tip: you can use tape to create clean lines)IMG_0140
  2. Choose your paint colors & use the foam brushes to paint your pot IMG_1041
  3. Take a break & let the paint dry
  4. Slowly peel the tape from your pot to reveal the designIMG_0145



everyone pray for me, i’m heading to my favorite city today. $$$

New Year Resolutions


Yes, it’s November 3, 2015. However there is no time to snooze on your resolutions according to this: article that discusses the importance of creating and starting New Year resolutions EIGHT weeks before January 1st. While this sounds absurd, it actually makes a lot of sense. Think about it, by the time NYE roles around your resolution will be a full-blown habit!! Rather than starting a habit with the masses, you get a head start. GENIUS! Therefore I presented to you my 2016 New Year Resolutions:


  1. Create: weekly budget – record and account for every expense
  2. Save: receipts – learn where my money goes
  3. Create: 2nd income source – etsy page (make money off of passion)
  4. Stop: mindless shopping – spend money that I have (not will have)
  5. Accept: credit card debt – stop being embarrassed


  1. Daily walk (at least 30 minutes)
  2. Ban social media after 9pm
  3. Pre-plan meals on Saturday (shop on Sunday)
  4. Do not eat out more than 2 times per week
  5. Blog at least once a week
  6. Plan girls trip – save for trip
  7. No alcohol: Monday – Thursday
  8. Implement meatless Monday’s
  9. Delete negative thoughts regarding money (debt does not equal worth)
  10. Journal daily: be grateful

What are your resolutions?

xx, A

Bucket List



chanel – small denim chevron quilting boy flap bag. 

Someone Gets Me


this article from Thought Catalog: 15 Struggles Only People Who Suck At Budgeting Understand speaks to my soul! seriously, finally….someone gets me! also, love the life motto: “do this now. eat popcorn for dinner later.” brilliant. kudos to Ari Eastman for writing this piece. It’s always nice to see that you are not the only one pretending to be fake rich and picking up friends drinks/brunch tabs. the struggle is real.

Weekend Vibes

largei have two birthday dinners to attend this weekend. good bye paycheck. le sigh.



ain’t that the truth.

Let’s Get Social


pst, i’m on tumblr. are you? follow: TNB.