HELLO, I’M CRISTINA,
AND THIS IS MY STORY…
Back in 1995, when our family fortune that had supported our family for over 8 generations came to an abrupt stop, my Mom decided she would raise us with “old money” values on a shoestring budget.
We wore thrift clothes. Took French classes. NEVER asked for things at the store.
We ate sushi with chopsticks by the age of 3. We didn’t have a TV.
We ordered exclusively from the dollar menu and were only allowed to drink water.
We answered the phone by saying, “Hello, may I help you?” and would ask to leave the table by saying, “May I please be excused?”
Talking about money was a HUGE “no-no.”
So, I never told anyone that my Mom grew up in an ocean-front mansion, had chefs, housekeepers, and even a chauffeur who took her to school in a limo every day…
I never knew that life.
And while I never went hungry as a kid, I do remember my Mom taking us to a Thanksgiving dinner as a teen the year she lost her job.
When we all sat down, it was then that I realized that WE were sitting amongst the poor and volunteers were serving US Thanksgiving dinner.
A volunteer clown came around to our table and I burst into tears.
That year on Thanksgiving I was served a big slice of humble pie and it was the best thing I had ever tasted.
I REALIZED MONEY WASN’T A PREREQUISITE TO HAPPINESS, SO I MARRIED A GUY FROM THE HOOD…
Fast-forward a decade and I really started to understand that money wasn’t a prerequisite to class, sophistication, elegance, nobility, or even TRUE happiness.
So I married Bebo, a guy who had eaten out of the garbage as a kid.
And slept in a baseball field as a kid.
And drank coffee to ease his hunger as a kid.
So sharing my tips about how to live happier than a millionaire isn’t about teaching you how to “fake looking rich” or a superficial way to feed my ego…
…it’s about knowing what it feels like to feel like the bottom of society…
It’s about knowing what it feels like to feel truly hungry.
And it’s about knowing what it feels like to feel truly thankful.
(SPOILER ALERT: Elegance is the key to a happy life.)
Anyway, not everyone has agreed with me about my perception of happiness.
Shockingly, the biggest slap in the face didn’t come from anyone on my blog or Youtube channel.
It came from two 80-year-old guys one day in Chicago…
THEY TOLD ME I SHOULD HAVE MARRIED RICH…
I remember one day back when I was modeling in Chicago, these two old guys that had to be in their 80’s came up to me.
They asked me if I was married.
I told them yes.
Then one of them leaned in and said, “With your looks, you shouldn’t be working. Take some words of wisdom… marry rich.”
Uhhhh… I was so shocked so I just stood there staring at them as they both started explaining why I should have married rich.
Heck, they even told me if they were born women they would have ABSOLUTELY married a rich guy.
I met Bebo when I was a 17-year-old lifeguard and he was a 21-year-old equipment rental employee.
He encouraged me to go after my dreams and I encouraged him to go after his.
We were both pretty broke… but at the same time, we were both very rich.
We had faith, determination, and a work ethic that made the “average hard worker” look like a lazy piece of sh*t.
12 YEARS LATER, WE BOTH HAVE REDEFINED HAPPINESS…
Anyway, 12 years later and we both manage our own companies, are working towards financial independence, and feel truly happier than a millionaire…
…and we would have not been able to do it without each other.
And want to know the best part about not marrying rich?
Being able to sit in your house, reminiscing on the WILD journey, and laughing when people assume you’re just a gold digger.
I believe anyone can be happier than a millionaire, regardless of where you are right now in your financial journey.
Because here’s the truth, you can become happier than a millionaire in just 6 simple steps:
1. Save Money
2. Make Money
3. Invest Money
4. Honor Your Body and Beauty
5. Create Your Signature Style
6. Establish A Thriving Home
WARNING: THIS ISN’T YOUR TYPICAL BLOG…
This isn’t your typical blog. I don’t sell out every single inch of my blog to advertisers.
I would rather get a super botched nose job than promote something I don’t believe in.
I don’t cut coupons.
If it takes longer than an hour, I don’t want to do it.
I don’t use marketing tactics to grow my following.
And in fact, I care more about helping you than I do about making money.
I don’t water things down so everyone likes me.
My goal is to help you.
My priority is to share REAL elegant tips with you and to serve you ZERO B.S.
My dream is that by being here, you have this incredible “ah-ha” moment and realize that you really don’t need a million dollars to be happy.
So no, I’m not the typical blogger.
I’m a wife. I’m a mom. I’m a cocaine addict.
(Just kidding, had to make sure you were still paying attention. Good job. Your reading skills and determination are officially above average.)
I GREW UP IN ILLINOIS AND MOVED TO AN ISLAND NEXT TO ANTARTICA AFTER HIGH SCHOOL…
I grew up in Aurora, Illinois, the largest suburb of Chicago.
So Mexican food tastes like home to me, even though I’m Greek and Puerto Rican.
After high school, I became a foreign exchange student and moved to an island off the Southern Coast of Chile, prettttttty close to Antartica, and it was then that I had this really great idea…
I needed to go to college in Florida. Because… sunshine.
So, I went to college in Florida, where I constantly skipped class to work as a model and compete in beauty pageants.
I majored in Integrative General Studies with a focus in Commerce and Communications and minored in Pre-Law… where I got into trouble for my sense of humor.
(Apparently comparing the Housewives of Orange County to the supreme court in a final paper is against the law in college.)
Anyway, I was far more interested in my hot, Puerto Rican boyfriend at the time than I was in my law or accounting classes. He had long braids, wore t-shirts down to his knees, and spoke broken English. Just my type apparently.
I MARRIED MY HIGH SCHOOL LOVE AND 12 YEARS LATER WE’RE STILL KICKIN’ IT…
Bebo is my partner in crime.
He’s the class clown, the most generous person I know, and a total neat freak.
He wakes up every week at 6 am to play basketball.
He gets HANGRY sometimes and converts into Sofia Vergara on bath salts…
Yet, he still manages to make me a much better person.
With that said, I still refuse to take him back to the petting zoo for the following reasons:
1. The tour guide took a group of us over to a box of baby chickens and ducks. Bebo then yelled, “Mmm organic!”
2. Bebo finally met someone else named Elmer… The water buffalo. (Bebo’s real name is Elmer, but don’t worry you can call him Bebo.)
3. He kept screaming, “Mommy I wanna ride the pony!” The. Entire. Day.
4. The guide was showing us the llamas and he turned to me and said, “That’s so sad. I can’t believe they sell those in the grocery store. They’re so cute.” After a long discussion, I realized he was confusing the words llama and lamb.
5. He now wants a pet baby goat.
WHICH BRINGS ME TO MOTHERHOOD… AHHH!!!
This is our son Sebastian.
He enjoys throwing random objects into the toilet and eating kalamata olives.
So now that you know us, there’s just one thing left to say…
Thank you for being here and welcome to the family.
I hope you read this and realize you are immensely wealthy right now, exactly as you are, and you don’t need a million dollars to enjoy a truly elegant and happy life.
I can’t wait to show you how!
Cheering you on always,
Download this free budget guide and template and learn 5 things you can fix on your budget NEXT WEEK to save more money without sacrificing elegance, including:
» how to fill-in the budget template in less than 10 minutes
» the secret about budgeting no millionaire will tell you
» how to budget and still look and feel elegant