Category Archives: Money Management

Flash Education Opportunity: Credit Repair Masterclass

Text reads "Tia Chambers & Chonce Rhea Credit Repair Masterclass femmefrugality.com" image: backlit african american woman crossing her hands across her chest. Dark pink sunglasses are reflecting a series of white lines on the ground.

Mmmmkay. Let’s get real today.

Sometimes your credit score isn’t super hot. Maybe you had no idea what the hell you were doing with your money. Maybe you knew what to do, but couldn’t get the money flowing in fast enough to meet your financial responsibilities.

Whatever happened, having a poor credit score sucks. It means higher interest rates on loans–if you can even convince a financial institution to issue you a loan–higher rates on insurance in some cases, and a higher probability of losing your job or having trouble finding housing.

It’s not right.

But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do about it.

Catch Tia & Chonce as They Break Down Credit

You guys probably remember Chonce. She’s written here on Femme Frugality in the past, and shared her epic story of overcoming in The Feminist Financial Handbook.

She and powerhouse Tia Chambers are hosting a Credit Repair Masterclass tomorrow and you don’t want to miss it! The class will take place live online on April 4th, 7 pm CT/8 pm ET.

Both women are Certified Financial Education Instructors and have increased their personal credit scores by more than 100 points.

In this 90-minute masterclass, they will go over:

  • What makes a good credit score?
  • Common credit score myths you might have fallen for
  • Step-by-step DIY process to improve your credit
  • How to properly dispute accounts without hiring someone
  • Debt payoff tips and strategies
  • Should you trust credit repair businesses?
  • How to protect your credit and identity for the long haul
  • And more!

The masterclass will also conclude with a Q&A session where Tia and Chonce will stick around to answer everyone’s questions about credit.

If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to improve your credit, now is the time to take action and learn from the experts!

Tips for Maintaining Your Home So You Don’t End Up with Huge, Costly Issues

This post is brought to you and contributed by an outside writer.

Outside deck with pink hues and blue pillows under a Califonian sky lined with other houses, palm trees and expansive white clouds in a blue sky.

When you’re a homeowner, there are regular costs to fit into your budget, such as monthly mortgage payments, various types of insurances, and repairs. However, while you want to save money and avoid putting your hard-earned savings into thing after thing when it comes to your home, keep in mind that you must complete maintenance throughout the year, every year, to keep things in order.

By sorting out maintenance tasks on a regular basis, and not leaving things unchecked for years, you will save yourself money, time and energy in the long run. Many people avoid doing maintenance jobs as they want to be frugal, but then find this backfires when they have to replace whole roofs, walls, floors, pipes or other areas because of a lack of maintenance.

To help you avoid this situation, read on for some top tips for maintaining your home this year and in future ones so you don’t end up with huge, costly issues on your hands.

Maintain HVAC Systems

One of the key things to stay on top of is your heating and cooling system maintenance. HVAC devices can be incredibly expensive to repair if major issues are found (and sometimes it can even be cheaper to replace units altogether), so it’s wise to do an annual or twice-per-year inspection to pick up potential problems ASAP.

Start by cleaning and replacing the filters in your heating and cooling units. The best time of year for this job is usually spring or fall, so that the machines will work more efficiently in summer and winter when you’re likely to be using them many more hours per day.

While a lot of people are comfortable doing the filter job themselves, for anything more intensive it’s a good idea to bring in an expert, such as these Atlanta HVAC contractors. In particular, if you notice cold spots in areas of your house, or if you hear any strange noises coming from the heating/cooling vents, you may have a ventilation issue, which will need to be examined by a professional. In addition, have a contractor check the condensation hose on your air-con annually to be sure water flows adequately from the line.

Pick Up on Pest Infestations ASAP

Pest infestations can be a big issue if they’re not picked up on quickly. Termites, especially, pose a risk as they can cause significant damage to the structure of your property and internal walls and doors, amongst other things. It’s easy for nests to both form and grow in a short timeframe, so have a pest inspector come to check the inside and outside of your home (including under the house and in the roof) annually.

There are some signs you can spot which indicate termites or other pests could be encroaching on your property, such as cracks and bubbles in paint and thin mud tubes on walls, but by the time you see these signs you’re actually likely to have quite a bit of damage to contend with. If you keep up with inspections, though, you should be able to avoid this situation.

Clean Out Gutters

It’s not a job that’s fun or quick to do, but regardless every homeowner needs to ensure their house’s gutters are cleaned out throughout the year. This should be done annually at a minimum, but it’s usually better to get the job sorted quarterly or at a minimum twice per year. If you don’t want to do the task yourself, ask a plumber or gardener or other qualified contractor to take care of it for you.

Cleaning gutters out is imperative because it gets rid of ice dams and icicles which can form and then melt and pool up, leading to rust and holes. The job can be completed with simply a leaf blower and a rake and bucket. Professionals often have more intensive equipment on hand to help them get through the work sooner.

Check the Roof

One job for your maintenance to-do list is checking the roof of your home. It’s not something you probably think about often, but because the roof has to cope with all sorts of weather, it can wear down over time and be damaged from extreme climate or even plants (such as creepers and vines) and animals.

Tiles and shingles may break, and any exposed areas can open up. This creates leaks and holes which can get into the inside of your home and cause further damage. Unless you’re trained in roofing, it’s best to hire a professional who can come and check the roof for issues and make repairs as needed. An annual inspection is fine for most properties.

 

#InternationalWomensDay2019 PF Blog Tour

Hey, guys! March 8th is International Women’s Day. To celebrate, I got together with some fab personal finance bloggers to arrange a blog tour. Each one of us answered the question, “Why is financial independence important to you as a woman?”

Keep scrolling to read Robin’s piece. It’s deep, and will definitely leave you thinking about money on another level.

Want to check out other posts in this blog tour? You can do so here:

As an Asian immigrant woman, I have to survive on my own and have learned not to use my background to lower my ambition.”

Elise on brokeGIRLrich

“When we were fighting over where to live, he ended the fight one day by just going out and buying a condo.”

Mel on Mastering the Side Jam

 

“You’re forced into poverty. You learn to get by on what little you have. There is no pathway to financial independence. And that’s not okay.”

Femme Frugality on A Dime Saved

“Women have worked so hard for the rights that were begrudgingly given to us. Let us not relinquish them. Even in our minds.”

Robyn on Little Seeds of Wealth

And now, without further ado, I introduce you to Robin from Mastering the Side Jam:

Why Financial Independence is Important to Me as a Gen X Woman

In honor of International Women’s Day, a group of female writers were asked to share why financial independence is important to them as women. I decided to participate, knowing my story might be a bit different than others in my age range. I’m located squarely within the Generation X era, generally considered to be middle-aged.

Far enough from youth that one would assume I’d have a fair amount of knowledge and wisdom. And while I won’t exactly dispute that, I will say I’ve worn my share of blinders over the years.

But also, I love having opportunities like this, as it provides a venue to experience and share many unique perspectives. Because every story is different. Every scenario weighted and affected by millions of decision points. Not one person has a life, or background, or “why” precisely the same as someone else’s. We are a product of our genetics, upbringing, influences, experiences, actions, choices, and challenges.

So why is financial independence important to me specifically?

I think it essentially comes down to how complicated life can sometimes become. Because for all the planning, and education, and best-laid plans …. well, you’ve probably heard the end of that phrase. No matter how much time you’ve spent in painstaking preparation, things don’t always go the way you expect them to.

Family Structures

Case in point: I am in a long-term, committed relationship. However, I am not married. Our relationship has lasted a lot longer than the marriages of some friends and peers. But just the same, we have no legal document saying we are responsible for, or indebted to, one another.

In addition, I’ve been the parent of two children who are not my own. I chose to raise them, provide for them, support them emotionally and financially. That was my decision. Do they owe me anything? No, of course not. I am not their mother. I love them like the children I never actually had (and never will.) But they technically don’t owe me a thing.

As I grow old and gray, there’s no guarantee I will have anyone to care for me in my later years. There’s no reason to assume they will provide assistance, like one might expect children to care for their aging parents. While I do give them the benefit of the doubt, since they’re amazing young men — it’s not a position I prefer to even put them in.

In my early 20’s, I willingly entered into a relationship with a single father of two children. Their “real” mother had hightailed it out of there, for reasons no one will ever know. But I knew what I was getting into. I was fully aware of what I might be giving up. How they would always come first, since they were his flesh and blood. I was just the person who cooked, cleaned, paid bills, packed lunches, attended school conferences and baseball games.

Putting the needs of all others above my own, because that’s what a mother does. (Even though I’m not a mother.)

Three women wearing pink and white khimars standing looking out at a blurred vista underneath a flowering, pink/purple plum tree. Underneath, pink and black words on a white field read "International Women's Day Personal Finance Blog Tour"

They’re grown. What next?

Twenty years later, they have sprung into adulthood. They’re self-sufficient, and I am nothing but proud of all they’ve become. But as they get older, their lives will begin to evolve as well.

They’ll fall in love, get an apartment or a house, begin a family. Do I want to remain a part of their lives? Absolutely! But that’s not an ironclad promise. Because their “real” mother may enter back into the picture. They may begin to feel nostalgic, and forgive all of her transgressions.

And if their father and I part ways someday? There’s a chance I may be cut out of the fold. After all, he is true family, and I’m not. What loyalties do they have for me, over him? When push comes to shove, if they’re forced to take a side, I know it would be him. It would have to be, since he’s their father.

He and I have never married, which I suppose makes it both better and worse. Better, because we legally don’t owe each other a thing. Worse, because it would almost be too easy for one of us to make that decision, take that leap. No messy divorce red tape to cut through, because we are just “dating.” (For twenty years.)

Because of that, he also does not owe me anything. All I did was raise his children, keep house, act as disciplinarian, and give up a huge chunk of my youth and child-bearing years. But that was my choice. I know that, and have no regrets.

Raising those boys has been the absolute best part of my life, and I truly believe it was my purpose. But also, acknowledging there is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. “Why bother changing now? We’ve made it this far — and marriage is just a piece of paper.”

And now that I’m a bit older, wondering where my life has gone — there’s a renewed frenzy to start getting my financial house in order. Because back then, I was needed. Whether appreciated or not, I was a staple in the household. They couldn’t get by without me. And now they can.

So the years of putting others’ needs ahead of my own are finally beginning to gnaw at me. A lack of savings, inadequate retirement plan, barely perceptible emergency fund. Those are things I’m in the process of building, because no one else is going to do it for me.

I have to learn how to be self sufficient, financially independent, if need be. To have a handle on where the next phase of my life is headed.

I know plenty of middle-aged single women, who have been operating on their own for many years. And I know just as many middle-aged married women, who have the inferred safety of leaning on another for financial worries. And I’m not sure where I might fit in with these groups.

Because although I’ve been part of a family unit for an extended amount of time, I’m still essentially on my own. When it all comes down to it, no one is going to take care of me, except me. And that is my goal in pursuing financial independence.

I’m the odd woman out. Or am I?

So why is it important for me to be financially independent? Because there’s that possibility I may have to fend for myself one day. No one else has an obligation to care for me — which is a scary realization.

And while my circumstances may be a bit unique, I’m pretty sure there are women out there who may be in a similar situation. Putting too many eggs into one basket. Betting on something that is far too risky to gamble.

After years and years of giving pieces of yourself, be careful you haven’t given away too much. Make sure you have something else to fall back on, just in case you need it. And if you don’t — well, then that’s the best possible insurance policy for you to hold on to.

Financial Literacy & Wigs for Cancer Patients

pink boxing gloves. black text on white field reading "donating financial literacy to help cancer patients. femmefrugality.com"

This weekend in Pittsburgh, there’s going to be this great event. It’s Hair Peace‘s annual Recipe for Hope, where local celebs and chefs will be serving up food and raffling off prizes to a sold-out audience to benefit the charity.

Hair Peace helps women and girls here in Southwestern PA buy wigs after they’ve been treated for cancer. The organization started after local radio personality and founder, Bonny Diver, sought treatment for breast cancer and found out that most insurance companies will not cover a wig, even though you can lose your hair after the first treatment.

For over fourteen years, this event has been raising money to give girls and women battling cancer the confidence they deserve.

PF Community Giving Back

Several books and a mounted $2 bill in a white basked with a grey background. Titles are: "The Feminist Financial Handbook" by Brynne Conroy, Money Letters 2 My Daughter by Jackie Cummings Koski, Broke Millennial by Erin Lowry, Get Money by Kristin Wong, Her Money Matters by Jen Hemphill and End Financial Stress Now by Emily Guy Birken.

At the Recipe for Hope event this weekend, they’ll also be doing silent and live raffles for various items. You know, gift baskets, gift certificates, etc.

My friend sits on the board and asked if there was anything I’d like to provide. My primary output of benefit to the public at large is personal finance content, so I thought that while my services might not be valuable to everyone, something like my book could definitely help out.

And I just happen to know some other awesome people who have written crazy helpful and transformative money books, too. So I sent out an email and got together a gift basket.

Guys, I was shocked by the response. I was expecting maybe a 50% response rate, and then I’d get together some potential names for email round 2. People are busy. Getting to the post office to mail a book is kind of a pain. I care about girls in SWPA, but maybe they preferred to focus their charitable efforts elsewhere–maybe somewhere closer to their own homes.

Instead, within 48 hours 100% of the women I reached out to responded, wanting to participate and asking me for the best address to send the book. I am so incredibly appreciative not just for their generosity, but also for their excitement.

We’ve got a great lineup of personal finance books going to one lucky winner at the Recipe for Hope event tomorrow evening. If you’re looking for a good read and won’t be able to make it to the event, I recommend reading not one, but all of the following:

The Feminist Financial Handbook: A Modern Woman's Guide to a Wealthy Life
black and white text on blue background reading "get it here."
Get Money: Live the Life You Want, Not Just the Life You Can Afford
black and white text on blue background reading "get it here."
Her Money Matters: The Missing Truths From Traditional Money Advice
black and white text on blue background reading "get it here."
Money Letters 2 My Daughter
black and white text on blue background reading "get it here."
End Financial Stress Now: Immediate Steps You Can Take to Improve Your Financial Outlook
black and white text on blue background reading "get it here."
Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping By and Get Your Financial Life Together
black and white text on blue background reading "get it here."

Jackie was awesome and sent along her signature $2 bill for the basket, too. And Jen included not only her book, but also the workbook that goes along with it.

Kristin and Emily were amazing with their responses, and Erin has a sequel to Broke Millennial coming out in April that covers investing!

Want to give back, too?

The money this basket brings in will allow more girls and women to buy the hair pieces they need.

But you don’t have to donate a book to help out. You don’t have to be local, and even if you are, you don’t have to go to Recipe for Hope to lend a hand.

If you’d like to help Hair Peace reach even more cancer patients, you can donate here (or click the purple button in the top lefthand corner of their home page.)

Don’t Let Millennial Anxiety Ruin Your Money

African-American woman with dreads dyed green and pulled up in a pony tail on top of her head sitting on a chair in front of a Home Depot or like store. She is wearing a white shirt, silver necklace and yellow and black patterned pants as she sits in a chair, holding her head in concern. Below this is white space and then bold black lettering reading, "don't let millennial anxiety ruin your money femmefrugality.com"

Millennial anxiety.

It’s a real thing. If you were given participation trophies and told you could do anything you wanted when you grew up if you just worked hard enough, your parents’ self-confidence-inducing plans may have backfired.

It has been well established that millennials are the most anxious generation, especially in the realms of health, safety and personal finances. This is a PF site, so we’re going to focus on the latter today.

But before we delve into all this, let’s talk about who you’ll actually find in the millennial generation.

Who are millennials?

The millennial generation spans births from the years 1981-1996. The oldest of us grew up with Saturday morning cartoons back when you couldn’t watch whatever you wanted whenever you wanted, before the internet was a big thing, before most people had PCs, even before AOL and Juno.

We remember these things because they unfolded before us in our conscious lives. We grew up knocking on our neighborhood friends’ doors to see if they could come out to play, but by the time we graduated high school a lot of us had cell phones or used AIM on our PCs to get in touch with our friends. That PC was too heavy for one person to pick up safely, and was usually kept in the basement or guest room next to the only dial-up line in the house.

But we’d still pick up and call each other for the most part.

Facetime wasn’t a thing for most of us in high school, though the younger portion of the generation may disagree on that point. Neither were smartphones until the vast majority of us had already entered our 20s.

Millennial Young Adulthood

My middle-of-the-Millennial-pack class in particular was slated to graduate college at the height of the Great Recession.

When we entered college and picked our majors, we assumed the world would go on just the way it had been as our parents raised us: With jobs that paid us enough to comfortably pay back our student loans, a country that raised us in apparent peace during the 90s–though there was a lot going on behind the scenes–and with strong military force after we saw the Twin Towers fall in college, high school or even middle or elementary school for some of the younger amongst us, and with a relatively stable economy which was largely able to bounce back from what we previously viewed as disasters–examples include the crash after 9/11 and the dot com boom and subsequent bust.

So while some of us are younger, really we’re the last generation to remember a time before the tech boom. Before we socialized digitally. And before there was such uncertainty about America’s future.

Why do millennials have anxiety?

Science isn’t 100% on this yet, though UC Berkley is currently conducting a study looking into it. I do want to get into some of the potential reasons, though, noting that without data, it’s all speculation.

Career-induced anxiety

First, let’s look at the big thing we touched on in the last section: The Recession.

It came at a real bad time for us Millennials. Just as we were starting out our careers, jobs were scarce and experience was valued. Without experience, it was hard to hop on the employment train.

When people started hiring again, they didn’t want people in their mid to late twenties with no experience as their new hires. They wanted college students. While some of the younger millennials may have been spared the worst of this, for many, that jolt at the beginning of our careers would leave its mark. Our career paths were uncertain, and that was something our parents hadn’t readily prepared us for as a whole.

Recession-induced anxiety

We also got scared off from the stock market. It seemed like a risky thing to young people. We watched it go down as our parents’ generation freaked out over their retirement savings or even just keeping their home. We watched jobs dry up. We watched opportunities shrink and doors shut. Our childhood was based upon a relative stability that was irrevocably breached. And we remember.

Student Loan-induced anxiety

We also have taken on a massive amount of student loans. This is in part due to the rising cost of college, which was only accelerated through state budget austerity policies after the Recession. Those of us who were lucky enough to dodge the student loan bullet often do so at the expense of our own education and often our salaries–especially if you never returned to school.

Of course, there were some mommies and daddies paying for college, but far less than you may assume.

Millennials don’t feel secure. And maybe they shouldn’t.

Because loyalty isn’t as imperative of a quality in employees anymore, nor can it be expected from employers, we job hop more than any other generation. We’re also starting out or hitting the highest earning points in our careers with the growing gig economy, which is really just a way for companies to get around workers rights and sometimes even paying a fair wage.

No wonder we have a lot of financial anxiety. With rising prices, stagnant wages and a disappearing middle class, our worries are well justified.

Other sources of anxiety.

A lot of us grew up in religious households, but abandoned those religions as we grew up. Millennials are still into community; just not dogma. Ironically enough, we struggle to find that community as adults, even when it was the part of the religious experience we valued.

Instead, we put a lot of faith in our public institutions. Then things like 9/11 happen and the world changes. The economy crashes. We have a president who fixes it. And then he leaves because we used to have presidents who followed decorum, and then Trump is elected president.

The very things we tend to put our faith in have been shaking under our feet since adolescence.

Another problem is that when you’re told you can grow up to do anything you want, you feel like a letdown if you don’t reach your goals. With a lot of barriers placed in our paths early on in our careers, some realized they couldn’t achieve their potential.

Many more continue fighting a battle which feels like it’s in vain. We have more aspirations towards individual success than any other generation, and the fact that we can’t always achieve makes us feel like failures. Like we’re not working hard enough. Even though wages have stayed relatively stagnant while workforce productivity has gone up since we joined in the game.

The ironic thing is that when anxiety gets bad enough, it can affect how much you can work or the efficiency of that work. So let’s look at some solutions to common millennial anxiety problems.

Financial solutions to millennial anxiety.

NUMBER ONE: Seek mental health care. If you can get your brain worked out everything–including money–will be so much easier.

Career

Be kind to yourself. Cut yourself a break. You don’t have to have a job you love that fulfills your soul. Your parents likely didn’t. Their generation was largely able to expect steady work at one or two companies over the course of their career, and that was a good thing. Meaning be damned.

If you can find a position you love, awesome. But if you can’t, know that there are many other ways to find meaning in life as we talk about in The Feminist Financial Handbook. Your work can be something you do to pay the bills and save for retirement. You can find meaning outside the realm of dollars and cents.

Also, try to get comfortable with freelancing. Overall, the rise of freelancing is a negative cultural trend for American workers, but if you can run your business right, it can supply a varied source of income so that if one stream of revenue dries up, you’ve still got other clients to rely on. Having a thick emergency fund can be a huge sanity saver when you’re freelancing, too.

Invest

The stock market can be a scary thing, until you read JL Collins’ stock series.

If you get all TLDR on me, let me give you the main take away: Invest in index funds as preached by Bogle. Collins also wrote a book on getting started with investing which I highly recommend: The Simple Path to Wealth.

If you think investing is just for rich people, allow me to prove you wrong in a happy-for-all-of-us way:

With the advent of FinTech, or financial technology, you don’t need a big chunk of change to get invested in the market anymore. There are tons of roboadvisors out there who allow you to get started with $20-$25 minimums, and do all the asset allocation for you. Make sure you find one who is charging low fees by doing comparison shopping before committing to any one robo advisor.

You might not be able to do the index fund thing right off the bat if you use some of these roboadvisors. But it will get you started with the habit of investing, as you build up your nest egg until you meet that minimum opening balance requirement on a Vanguard or like account.

If you like the idea of investing, but are broke af and kind of need to know the money will be accessible if you need it, look into Roth IRAs as a potentially viable option outside of those traditionally offered by employers. You can’t withdraw interest you earn without incurring fees and tax penalties, but you can withdraw the money you contributed.

Take time off work

You know those vacation days you’ve been piling up in an effort to look like a dedicated employee?

Stop that. First of all, even if you have an employer who pays you to cash in days at the end of the year or end of your tenure, the payout pales in comparison to the value you gave to the company for free.

Secondly, taking breaks isn’t just good for you as a human being. It also makes you a more creative, focused and efficient employee.

Remember that this is true even if you’re a freelancer or business owner. That time that you invest in yourself, away from work and email and everything, is time you’re really investing in the efficiency of your business.

If you don’t have vacation days and you want them, you can try to negotiate them into your compensation package, or you can find ways to go back to school for cheap or even free so that you are able to find a job with benefits or gain the connections you’ll need to build your business.

Make sure you’re on the right student loan plan

Several years ago, we had a reader and fellow blogger contribute a piece on the proper way to pay off your loans if you wanted to qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF). Essentially, if you want the government to actually forgive your loans because you entered the field of public service like they promised to in 2007, you had to make sure you had the right type of loans AND that you were on right type of repayment plan.

Most people weren’t familiar with the intricacies of the rules, and the government for its part did not make the process easy to navigate.

This resulted in suspiciously low forgiveness numbers in 2017–the first year the first applicants qualified for forgiveness. Many were turned away because they did not have the right loan or repayment plan for either a portion or the entirety of their loan.

Talk about questioning your career choices.

Budget for Convenience Spending

This is a tip I’m taking from Abigail Perry, who wrote the great book Frugality for Depressives. She recommends this method for those suffering from depression because some days you just can’t.

And to ignore that fact is to fail your budget from Day 1.

If you’re highly anxious or stressed out, odds are you’re going to have those “just can’t” days, too. Pretending it won’t happen is fiscal folly.

As we talked about a couple of weeks ago via Hasan Minhaj, millennials will pay for convenience, many times even if it means compromising on their values.

Automate your bills

When you can’t even, you’re probably going to have a hard time remembering to pay the bills. Automate them as much as possible so things will be taken care of even if you forget. You can do this with many bills, like utilities, health insurance, credit card bills, retirement savings and more.

Separately, you can set up an automatic transfer from your checking to savings account every payday to make sure you’re saving as much as you’d like to be for your emergency fund, vacation or whatever other goal you may have on the horizon. This makes the savings process a whole lot less painful and your goals more likely to become a reality.

Redefine Success

Millennials are very concerned with individualistic over familial success. This is often reflected via our careers or our perception of how much money we make or save as individuals.

If you can manage your money, great. It’ll help you achieve your goals that much easier.

But money is just a tool. It is not the end in and of itself. Your money story is not likely to be a straight line. Learn to embrace failure, and to recognize each step as a journey unto itself. When you start defining life more by the things that are important to you and your values rather than using monetary measurements, you’ll gain more peace than dollars and cents could alone confer.

Know you’re not alone.

We are Generation Anxiety. There are a lot of other people out there going through the same thing as you, wondering why it’s so hard to make plans when you have a rolodex of thousands of “friends” on social media. Wondering why despite all your hard work, you’re reaching a mental breaking point without achieving the success you had been aspiring towards.

Reach out. Budget for reality without scolding yourself for your lack of discipline. And know that we’re all messed up. You are not alone.