I’m Bella Patton and this website is about my journey into financial intelligence.
If you told me over a decade ago that I would be managing my own personal finance blog in the future, I would have laughed in your face. I was just an ordinary southern girl growing up in Greensboro, NC during the 80’s and 90’s. My dad always called me his “Southern Bella” and it just stuck. I am an only child too, which meant I was spoiled by my parents.
We weren’t rich, but I never had any money worries growing up either, and I thought I never would.
So when my parents both passed away in a car accident in 2005, aside from being emotionally devastated, it caught me totally unprepared because I was “financially illiterate”. All I knew about managing money or saving any of it was keeping spare change in a jar. I found out the hard way that that wasn’t going to be enough to finish college, build a career and a life and live comfortably while establishing some kind of financial security for myself.
I never thought this website would amount to much. And to be honest, when I started it, it was more for me and my own financial education than anything else. You see, I always found it easier to keep track of my goals and ideas if I put them into writing, so I started this blog to document my financial progress and to air out any frustrations I had with my financial situation. And as it turned out, having my financial life online had the added benefit of my friends keeping me accountable to the goals I always seemed to be setting.
I was knee-deep in debt, and I was the type of consumer who purchased any old product off the shelves without comparison shopping at all. This blog is a combination of tips from wiser friends, relatives, co-workers and some other people I trust, plus lessons I unfortunately had to learn the hard way.
Now that my 20’s are behind me, I realize how far me and this little blog of mine have come. From a creative documentation of my attempts at being a proper adult, I’m happy that it can now serve as a guide for others who find themselves in the same spot as I was many years ago – in debt, clueless, and living a lifestyle I can’t afford.
This website is filled with tips on budgeting, finding affordable professional services, saving money on common household items, plus some DIY articles so you don’t have to pay others to do something you can do yourself. Everything is explained clearly and to the point, without any complicated financial and technical mumbo-jumbo.
All articles in the website are tried and tested by me – they’re decisions I’ve made for myself. This is why you may notice a common theme on this site: frugality without sacrificing life’s enjoyment. I believe wholeheartedly that you can be frugal and financially responsible without being miserable. It worked for me and I hope it works for you as well.