Alumni to Follow is a blog series that features interviews with a variety of Darlington alumni about their careers in blogging, social media, music, art, and more and how you can follow them.
Today's post features Lauren Bowling Seeger ('05, LD '17), the creator of "Financial Best Life" and author of "The Millennial Homeowner: A Guide to Successfully Navigating Your First Home Purchase."
Tell us about "Financial Best Life"
Everyone has some idea of what their “best life” looks like, but they often don’t know how to pay for it. Financial Best Life aims to fill that gap - it’s a personal finance site geared toward money novices who want to be more financially secure, but aren’t quite sure how to get there. I share a lot of my money milestones and mistakes, so it’s a very no-judgment approach.
How did you get started or come up with the idea for "Financial Best Life"?
"Financial Best Life" is the rebrand of a personal blog I started back in 2012. I graduated from college in 2009 at the height of the last recession and was really struggling with my personal finances. I moved to New York and got an entry-level job in finance and it felt so good to finally be doing something right with my money and I wanted to share what I was learning. In 2016 that blog became “Financial Best Life.”
What is your greatest career accomplishment?
Growing a small “hobby blog” into a full-time online business is something I’m incredibly proud of. At the end of 2019, Financial Best Life was acquired by The Motley Fool - one of the biggest brands in the finance space. Having interest and eventually partnering with them really validated my career decisions and is probably what I’m most excited by at this point.
Can you share any tips or tricks for people managing life at home during this time?
With so much uncertainty, use some of your downtime at home to reconnect with your finances, make a budget, negotiate your bills (even if you have an income), and make sure you’re prepared in the event of an emergency or a long period of unemployment. Thanks to COVID-19, now we know that absolutely can happen.
Anything else you want people to know about you?
My husband and I just had our first child on March 11 and then they put the stay-at-home order in place the following weekend. It’s been a weird time to be at home with a newborn. :)
Darlington’s Motto is “Wisdom more than Knowledge, Service beyond Self, and Honor above Everything.” What ways have you applied the motto to your life?
Going through your life with honor is one of the most important things - especially in the online space when you deal with people and businesses you never get to meet “in person.” Being trustworthy and delivering on your promises is critical - especially if you want to own and run your own business.
Tell us how people can follow you.
Are you interested in being featured in the Alumni to Follow series or know of a fellow alum whose work would be a great feature? Email Becca Wood for more details.