Today, I’m having a bit of an anxiety attack that I don’t think is unique to me. There are a lot of different things leading to my anxiety today. A kind of anxiety that causes tears. Mine may not be entirely appropriate, but to me it is. Isn’t that the catch 22 behind anxiety – no one else understands? That’s why I wanted to share my feelings. You may not understand and I may not understand, but the best way to combat it is to talk about it. For me, I know it runs in my family, and my anxiety comes from a few different factors but today it’s from finances. If you’re like me, hopefully this helps you. As I finished writing it, I can say I felt better.
When I was younger, I was often lost in reverie, fantasizing about my financial future. I’d make good decisions on my education, do well in school, buy a house, do the whole damn thing. Hold up…waitttttttttttttt. Student loans and mortgages and grocery bills (I can throw down some food) and daycare and car payments and credit cards are a thing in the adult world. The desire from our parents to settle down. The desire within ourselves to travel, live our Instagram-worthy lives, throw FOMO induced parties, get the abs but still have the curves. The desire from our society to be 9-5ers, to live the lives our parents lived, to keep our heads down and our hearts covered and contribute to our 401ks and money market accounts (not saying this is a bad idea…) to not be worried about the impending debt we are going to be tackling when we finish college, but still should be able to move out and buy our “starter homes” and engage in politics but not too much.
There is a lot of pressure going on here.
As one may recall (if you don’t here a link to my original blog), I had goals when I first started this journey. Already, I can check some of my goals off. I’m being as honest as I can be on my accounts of most stories, I’m writing, I’m putting it out there. Most importantly, I hope I am being kind and uplifting and encouraging. As I tackle my goals, I hope I am encouraging you to tackle yours. Creating this blog has allowed me to see how much I love to write. I’m not sure I am any good, but I love, love, love it. Swaying among the letters until I find the correct word that will cradle my ideas and encapsulate my thought. It’s an out for me. It’s a way to take a few hours and relax. To put my baby to sleep, finish my workout, do some dishes, and finally sit down and (instead of watching TV), I write. My writing style is mostly about sitting on an idea and letting is fester and fume up inside me until I am able to regurgitate my brain matter into coherent-ish paragraphs. Today though, I am motivated by anxiety.
This is a different monster all together.
In my life right now, I am packing to go to Europe (see post on packing effectively so I don’t have to pay more for baggage), house hunting, paying for daycare, contributing to my retirement and savings, paying down credit cards. I feel like its a lot, but I’m doing it. It’s ok. I’m okay. I’m not crying – you’re crying. The panic from my childhood is probably the underline anxiety, where I feel like I did everything correct, so how are other people doing things more successfully than me? The comparative state of mind is something I’m not about and I constantly try to combat this. After all, we are stronger together than apart. But I mean….really. Luck and hard work? How do I get better at being lucky? Is that something I can work on?
I do know that hard work pays off. We all know this…somewhat. Right? So, while my anxiety is a real feeling, I think its somewhat misplaced. I know I can’t make you love me, if you don’t. You can’t make your heart feel something it won’t. So, I guess I am worried about my financial future. So, I feel like this is a concern for most in my generation. I wanted to help this and you all feel better. The more money we have, the more power we have to create change. We have shown we are not scared to donate our time and money and influence (how else was the Snuggy so popular – riddle me this). So, let’s get pumped up, y’all. Even with the doom of student loans hanging over our heads, we are able to influence whole industries – shout out to the makeup industry. We are able to change people’s lives for the better – IE @TalkThirtyToMe ‘s initiative of helping underprivileged schools, the countless natural disasters that have been sweeping our world we all donate to, and so many more. We have the ability to do even more. The more we save, we have proven that we are not nervous about giving. That lights my heart on fire and gives me hope.
I wanted to give you all some financial tips and what has helped me educate myself on topics that were not taught in school. Even though they have no alleviated my anxiety completely, they have calmed the burn. So, here’s a list of pages and videos and tips that have helped me. I hope they help you. I hope they help me, help you, help the world. Y’all. Together, we can make shit happen. We can handle the damn thing.
Money, money, money, moneyyyy.
The Financial Diet – this is a youtube channel that gives some amazing financial advice. Ranging from things to invest in, things to cut out of your life ($5 coffee), saving options, and so much more.
If you’re going to travel, shop around. We got our flights to London for $500 – NorwegianAir. You can find affordable flights to a lot of different destinations. And pack light! Avoid the extra baggage fees.
Get a side hustle. What are you good at? Photography, writing, bilingual, fitness. Here’s a website that will allow you to tutor. Follow @carloscantuart for inspiration on how he uses his creative genius to make some moo-lah (although, he really needs to make a painting of Tom Hanks and he really needs to answer my DM on this).
Wanting to save for a nice pair of shoes? Make your coffee at home, pack your lunches, carpool. Simply planning ahead can lead to so much savings. Make your own muffins and home, here’s a basic recipe to help you start this.
If keeping yourself from spending isn’t something you can do, at the beginning of every pay check, transfer a chunk you deem credible into savings. When its in savings, its out of you checking balance and (at least for me) out of sight out of mind. Try not to be too ambitious at first, though. It will give you a mental shock and may cause you to back out of the whole idea.
Self-reflect. Do you really need to go to the movies and buy $20 popcorn? The answer is probably no. Redbox and chill. Nothing is sexier than saving $50 in movie ticket and food. And if you must go to the movies, dollar movie that bitch up. Do you really need new clothes or make up? Think about your purchases.
My mother always told me, use cash. The mental process of taking money out, handing it over and much more strenuous than swiping a card. This will cause you to re-think your purchases.
Transfer your credit card balances to new credit cards that don’t incur interest. Paying $100+ in interest a month is ridiculous.
Don’t have a crazy wedding. We went to the courthouse and had a small destination wedding after. Still just as married as if we spent $1034878fdf923364he dollars, ammiright?
Homemade offerings are sweet and customizable (is that a word?). I made this for my friend that was having a new baby.
Last, but not least, think about your future. Have your goals and get them. You have the power.
You got this, babes.