My name is Emily, and I want you to get obsessed with a plan.

Bluegrass Bones is a lifestyle and personal finance blog that helps former students and professionals pursue new career goals and live an adventurous life through financial planning and smart spending.

No one ever thinks they’ll drop out of their PhD program… But I totally did! Once upon a time, I was a bioarchaeologist who spent her days cavorting with skeletons. Then one day, my dreams changed and I decided to escape the grad student exploitationdrop out of my PhD program, move to a different state, find a new career, and start living a COMPLETELY new life.

This blog began as a chronicle of my personal financial journey as a grad school survivor and has turned into a creative outlet that’s allowed me to share my experiences with financial planning, budgeting, debt payoff, and frugal living. My goal is to spread the knowledge I’ve acquired throughout this process and create a community of professionals (ac and non-ac alike) who strive for financial independence and stability.

This blog is important to me because I started with NOTHING. In fact, I started in the negative because I had credit card debt and no job! But now, after turning my life around professionally and financially, that time in my life seems like a thousand years ago. But honestly, I never want to forget it because it reminds me how far I’ve come and motivates me every day.

I want you to know that if I could pull myself out of a hole like that–dropping out of grad school with no job and loads of credit card and student loan debt–then YOU CAN TOO. I come from research and education and I believe in sharing knowledge with the hope that it can help you like it helped me.

No matter where you are in life, you can ALWAYS take small steps to improve your financial situation. With a ton of student loan debt and even more motivation, I embarked on a financial journey that’s taught me that–with a plan–I can save money and pay off debt while still living a rock-awesome life! On Bluegrass Bones, I’ll share with you how I paid off $10K of credit card debt, continue to navigate student loan repayment, and use my frugal skills to travel, plan for the future, and live a life of options rather than limitations.

Now, a little about me–I love plants, metal, travelling, La Croix, books, writing (obvi), animals (especially my dog and two cats), women who support other women, large handbags, scouring second-hand stores for the perfect piece of clothing or furniture, and exploring local (and not-so-local) breweries with my husband, Stuart…


Our relationship was born of bones and a perpetual battle of wits. He’s smart as hell and tough as nails. Our couch and bed are usually populated by our two ornery cats–Huitzi and Chac–and one giant beast-hound, Sebastian (also known as the Seebs). You might confuse him for Shere Khan in tall weeds…


Starting a new journey, whether it’s personal or professional, is one of the most difficult decisions a person can make. That being said, I don’t know ANYONE who ever regretted it. Even though I left academia, I didn’t leave research completely. After moving to Columbus, I started working as a clinical research coordinator. After just over a year, I moved on (and up) to a different organization where I work on non-clinical biomedical studies (checklists + laboratory research = my jam). Basically, I LOVE research, which is why I try to include the most accurate information in my content and I invite you to reach out with any knowledge or insights you might have about the subject at hand (seriously, don’t be shy because there’s always something to learn!).

You don’t have to be rich to be successful, and you don’t have to stay stuck in a position that doesn’t work for you anymore. I believe that dark chapters produce the best stories and, regardless of what they say, you CAN live a champagne life on a beer budget. All it takes is a plan and a little creativity!

If you like what you see here, follow me on Instagram (@bluegrassbones), Facebook (Bluegrass Bones), or contact me here: emily@bluegrassbones.com

I’m so excited you decided to join me for the ride!

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