You don’t need to be an expert to manage your money well.

Since you're here, you're already halfway there—and you can get all the way there without stress or guilt (seriously).

Half Banked is a personal finance blog for millennials who want to manage their money and still have a life.

My name is Desirae Odjick, and I’m on a mission: help you use your money to live the life you want, because yes, it’s totally possible.

If you’ve ever felt like you have no idea where your money has gone at the end of the month, or been so overwhelmed by financial jargon that you were like nope, better not even look into this stuff? Friend, you are so in the right place.

I know, because I was you. (I still am you in a lot of ways, I just have cheaper car insurance because I finally learned how to compare my rates.)

Two years ago, I considered it a good month if I didn’t end up carrying a balance on my credit card. I never did, so like… I was doing money right! Right?

Well, it turns out I had a lot to learn.

After opening up an online bank account made me feel like I was a Person Who Was Good With Money, I dove into the world of DIY money management, and got thrown for a serious loop.

All of these (amazing) finance bloggers were like, “Invest your money!” “Stop drinking coffee!” (lol no) “Don’t spend, ever!” “Compare your insurance rates!” “Cut cable!”

As a person who’s very all-or-nothing, it was a lot to take in, and I tried to do it all at once. It turns out, that’s a recipe for disaster, and so is trying to make coffee at home while simultaneously trying not to buy coffee-making supplies. Frugal, sure, but a total disaster nonetheless.

Since then, I’ve figured out how to make all of this Being Good At Money fit into my life in a way that makes sense, and still allows me the occasional latte. That’s what I’m here to share with you.

I’m here to demystify the whole money thing.

I’ve already done the “Do it all at once!” thing, and the “Pretend it’s not happening!” thing, and neither one left me feeling especially good about my money situation. They were also spectacularly bad at helping me actually save money, or afford the things I wanted to do in life.

What did help was taking a step-by-step approach to handling my money, and making sure that I was spending in line with what I wanted to do, and what made me happy.

Since I started doing that, I’ve managed to save up a $20,000 downpayment for a house, fully fund my dog’s emergency fund (pets are expensive yo) and finally – finally – get my emergency fund to consistently stay above $2,000.

I know, it seems like a low bar, but I kid you not, I always ended up raiding it back to that exact dollar amount.

Even better than the numbers, I know exactly where my money is going every month, and I feel fantastic about it. No more guilt-trips over lattes, or freaking out about a birthday dinner with friends, or daydreaming about a vacation I could never afford to take.

There’s also no stress when it comes to big expenses like car repairs, or a dentist’s appointment, or a vet visit for my dog. (Cannot understate, a lot of my money goes to that dog.)

If that sounds like something you can get behind – no more money guilt or stress – you’re in the right place, and I am so glad we connected. Let’s dive in to how you can get to that same “Everything is going to be OK, and maybe even awesome” moment, shall we?


Some goals require a bit more time and money than you’ll get in the average month, which is where saving comes in. But don’t worry: even if you’ve struggled to consistently save before, I got you.


Figuring out how to use your money to live the life you want is a process, and a big part of it has to do with your spending. To get a handle on where your money is going when it leaves you, check out…

Putting Your Money to Work

Ok, “investing” can be hella scary when you’ve never done it before, but trust me when I say it’s not actually that bad – and that it’s so, so, so important. There are beginner friendly options that can get you started, like…

Tools to Manage Your Money

There’s so much else that goes into the whole money thing, from planning to mindset to the literal tools you use every day. Here’s some posts you should start with if you want to tackle the “everything else” part.

The quickest budget you’ll ever do

Grab your copy of the One-Minute Budget and build a full budget in under 60 seconds (for real).