A Weekend Away in Chicago!

As you may know, my sister has visited me in New York quite a few times over the past four years. I, however, did not get a chance to visit her in the great midwest until this past weekend. She rode up to Chicago to pick me up, and the two of us met up with our dad, who was making a quick stop in Chicago during a business trip. After a great day in the city with food and fun, we made the trip to my sister’s school in Notre Dame… which turned out to be completely different from my campus (if you can call it one) in downtown Manhattan. Here’s a video of what my weekend was like!

Without further ado, Here’s a video of what my weekend was like!

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7 Easy Ways to Make Money

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Life in New York City isn’t all that glamorous for a broke twenty-something.

With Manhattan’s notorious monthly rent and the endless (albeit necessary) takeout coffee, the soaring cost of living can take a toll on your bank account. So today, I wanted to share some easy ways to save money and make some extra change – with very little effort!

 

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1. Be smart with your credit cards.

If you have a credit card, chances are it offers some kind of a cash back deal on your purchases. So I prefer using my credit card for everyday purchases, to the extent that I can safely pay off the bill at the end of the month. Plus, sometimes companies offer special promotions on certain purchases. For example, my Chase credit card will offer extra cash back for drugstore purchases for one quarter, and on restaurant purchases the next quarter; you can stock up on household supplies at the drugstore, or offer to pay the check at a group dinner then have your friends pay you. Other credit cards offer special deals on travel – you can redeem your cash back points for more value when you use them to book a trip. Being savvy with your purchases can earn you extra cash back.

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2. Earn money from online shopping.

In this day and age, most of us do a lot of shopping online, whether it be beauty products, shoes, or household supplies. Websites like Ebates and Honey track your online shopping trips and give you cash back. Honey will also scan the web for any coupon codes when you check out to make sure that you get the benefits of any discounts that are out there (especially useful if you’re a frequent shopper on Amazon). If you use Google Chrome, you can install extensions for these websites to receive notifications when cash back opportunities are available.

3. Take surveys.

In college, the research center at my school used to offer students a chance to take a survey or complete a study in exchange for a couple bucks. You can do the same thing, except it’ll be easier because it’s online! SurveySavvy lets you take surveys for compensation that ranges anywhere from a dollar to $20. InboxDollars also offers surveys for slightly lower incentives, but there are more surveys available. InboxDollars also offers a variety of ways to make some spare change – you can watch videos, answer trivia questions, or search the web to start earning. Speaking of searching the web…

4. Get paid for searching the web.

Along with InboxDollars, Qmee also pays you for your searches. They pull up links to websites or advertisements that you could click through to make anywhere from 5 to 8 cents per click. Cashing out is super easy since you can get paid instantly through PayPal.

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5. Join rewards programs.

If you have shops that you visit frequently, you might want to consider getting a membership card. Stores like Walgreens and Starbucks have rewards programs that offer discounts and free credit as you accumulate points. Downloading LevelUp apps for various restaurants around the city can save you a lot of money during lunch hour. These apps allow you to pay with your phone, and every time you spend a certain amount, you can unlock free credit! Most of them also offer free credit when you first download them. Here is a list of apps that I enjoy using around the city:

Fresh & Co ($3 credit on download)

Bluestone Lane ($5 credit on download)

Sweetgreen ($3 credit on download)

Glaze Teriyaki Grill ($5 credit on download)

By Chloe. ($3 credit on download)

CAVA ($3 credit on download)

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6. Clean out your closet.

I realized during my recent move that I have a lot of clothes and accessories that I don’t wear anymore. There are many platforms online through which you can sell things that you don’t need. EBay is a common one, but if you want an easier way to access your shop, apps like Poshmark are pretty effective. For a small haircut on your sale, Poshmark guarantees payment and also covers shipping. You can interact with potential buyers, share your listings, and track your shipments all from the palm of your hand.

7. Get paid for unlocking your phone screen.

Selling old clothes isn’t the only thing you can do on your phone. S’more literally pays you to move your finger; that’s right, the app pays you to unlock the screen on your smartphone (Sorry iPhone users, this app is currently only available on Android). For each day you keep the lock screen on, the app gives you 10 points. These points can be redeemed for rewards like Google Play gift cards, Starbucks cards, and Amazon gift cards (which is basically cash). S’more also offers opportunities to take surveys or complete offers for extra points.

Hope you enjoyed this list – Happy saving! 🙂

Summer Diaries 2: Moving, Long Talks, and Reading for Fun

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We are already halfway through 2017! I have finished the first batch of summer classes, and although final projects and exams were quite overwhelming, I have been trying to remind myself that tests and school are not the only things in life. The weather has been pretty nice these days, but I can’t decide which is better: a super sunny day that makes me sweat like a waterfall or rainy weather that literally feels like a waterfall.

I spent the first several weeks of class living with my younger sister Lisa. Not only was she a tremendous help when I was in the process of moving out of my apartment that I had lived in for over two years, she really supported me emotionally through all the changes and the tough times I was having recently. Being just two years apart, I feel like she has been kind of like my best friend. Yes, we fight nonstop, especially when we are physically together. But we spend way more time laughing at stupid things and having each other’s back. That’s just how siblings work, right?

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Lisa and me in our kindergarten years, cheesing with Grandma at a resort back in Korea. I remember those dresses were custom-made to match.

 

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Summer Diaries 1: Graduation Week!

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I’ve always strived to be good – to ace that test, run the race, to find the answer. But I had never really thought about my life as a whole. Who am I, and where am I going?

In May 2017, I was officially finished with my undergraduate education! I was especially excited to have my family here to celebrate this joyous occasion with me. But having my parents and my sister stay in my measly midtown apartment wasn’t so easy. ‘This week was supposed to be about me’, I thought. I had successfully completed four painstakingly arduous years of college education away from home, and now it was time to honor that. But as the week went by, I was starting become tired down by the constant need to satisfy my parents’ jetlagged, awkwardly-timed hunger, both for food and visiting attractions in New York City. On top of that, I was in the process of moving out of my apartment, so I couldn’t even find where anything was amongst the storm that was the disarray of suitcases and clothes. Disoriented and stressed out from having to play the tour guide… There I was, kindling a love-hate relationship with my family all inside my own head.

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The night before my all-university commencement day, I suddenly realized that this week wasn’t about celebrating my achievements. In fact, this was all thanks to my mom and dad. They had poured their support and resources into my education and to helping me study what I wanted to pursue in life. I had been so preoccupied with getting the attention that I did not even deserve that I’d totally been ignorant of how thankful I should be for my parents. Truthfully, sometimes it’s the people who are the closest and most precious to you that you find the hardest to be grateful for.

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Spring Break in Cancun!

Last week during spring break, I went on my very first tropical vacation to Mexico with my friends! It was truly one of the most amazing trips I’ve ever had. I was able to escape the major snowstorm that hit New York and enjoy beautiful summer weather instead… I’m already missing the ocean breeze and the unlimited pina coladas!

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February Catch-Up

Hello! It’s been about a month since I last blogged. Every time I go on a mini hiatus like this one, it means that I’ve just been crazy busy either too caught up in work/school. But I always make sure to try and document daily moments as best as I can. Here are some highlights from February that I want to share with you:

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This month, I went to a retreat with my church family. I also happen to be on the planning team, so the whole process of coming up with the schedule and the recreational events was quite a challenge. But with the grace of God, we were able to pull off a great afternoon filled with fun and meaningful activities! We stayed at a Christian Academy, with all the girls in cozy little bunk beds (although I probably got around six hours of sleep over these two days). But most importantly, the seminars were quite eye-opening, and they really made me think about what kind of Christian I want to be.

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With February also came Valentine’s Day. My boyfriend and I spent the day with a nice dinner and a movie – all with flowers and a fluffy teddy bear 🙂 I gifted him a box of handmade chocolates.

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One night, we were just having dinner in Koreatown – and as I was walking out of the restaurant, I saw Claire Marshall, one of my favorite Youtube beauty bloggers! She had flown from LA for New York Fashion Week, and it just felt so surreal to see her in real life. I felt really nervous about approaching her because it wasn’t a meet & greet or anything, just me literally walking up to her. But she was incredibly nice and cool about taking a picture by stepping outside of the restaurant as well.

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(Still can’t believe this happened.)

I told myself that I would continue to try new things and challenge myself in 2017, and I think this next item definitely falls in that category. I signed up for a week’s worth of aerial yoga classes this month, and I really liked it! I was actually really scared that I would fall off the silk and embarrass myself, but like any other yoga class, everyone was very considerate and the instructors were very encouraging. The one thing I like about yoga classes is that you can always take the class at your own pace and do what makes your body happy. After just a week, I can already tell that these classes really strengthen my muscles – I am strongly considering going back! Plus, who doesn’t like swinging on a floating hammock?

I’m still walking to and back from school, but with preparing for the CPA exams and all, I feel like I haven’t been living on the healthiest diet & exercise schedule. I’m really hoping to get in shape before spring break. I should probably start drinking more water (since I drink A LOT of coffee as well) and really work on developing those toned muscles.

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That wraps up my February catch-up, and I leave you with the unbelievable fact that we only have two days til March. Time really flies…

Seoulful Moments: Winter in Korea

It’s the first day of my last semester as an undergrad today… but I just can’t seem to break out of winter break mode! On that note, I wanted to share the fun times I had in Korea over the winter.

Except for my family’s little hiatus in Busan, I spent most of my break in Seoul. I edited the footage in three parts – and here they are!