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How To Get Through A Quarter-Life Crisis

overcoming a millennial quarter life crisis

There comes a point during your early to late twenties when you feel stuck. Not stuck in a traffic jam or being behind an apocalypse prep person at the grocery store. You’re in a rut where your sense of identity is thrown out the window and you don’t know what to do. The millennial quarter-life crisis is alive and real for lots of people.

Society loves to focus on formulaic and simple progression. You go to high school, get good grades, participate in extracurriculars, then go to university, do some internships, then start a job and climb the corporate ladder. We like to see a clear path to follow. When the clear path becomes blurry and full of uncertainty, anxiousness and doubt sets in.

Quarter-life crises don’t arise in the typical way people might expect: divorce, job loss, health issues, or death of a loved one. Most of them arise through a feeling of not being content. You don’t like the job you’re in but don’t know what new type of job you want. You don’t know what your values are in life. Staying in one place is unappealing, yet you still crave stability.

Understanding your purpose in life, the big sweeping thing that guides you constantly shifts. Maybe you’re underemployed, working a few part-time jobs to make ends meet, seeking the all-encompassing lustrous full-time job. Or maybe you work a full-time job you are disengaged with.

Regardless of the exact circumstances, you don’t think you fully know yourself and what it is you want.

Transitions are awkward. There isn’t a nicely laid out guidebook for you to fill out to be on your way. Some vague Google searches are usually the starting point.

It’s easy to stay stuck in the pit of uncertainty. If you watch any movie depicting twenty-somethings, the characters are usually working in jobs they don’t like and figuring out how to navigate the world.

Social media and mainstream media often make a note of the world conditions millennials face. There’s stagnant wages, low salaries, an ever rising unaffordable housing market, and student debt. It can be easy to drop into the mindset of always feeling like a victim unable to do anything.

Now, obviously, the system needs some changing. There is no doubt about that. I’m not going to preach about “work harder” as the be all end all. However, mindset really does have a huge role in your personal and professional development. It would be beneficial to cultivate a positive abundant mindset rather than a constant negative one.

When you feel lost and uncertain about your life and career, start by making a “not” list: a list of things you for sure do not want to do. Transitioning into a more fulfilling job and understanding your unique values is usually the main thing people want more clarity on in their millennial quarter-life crisis.

Write down things you don’t like about your job, things you do like, and so forth. Research different career paths you may be interested in. Start a blog about a topic you feel passionate about. Take some personality quizzes, some of which can be found here and here.

A great resource I used was a work personality assessment, by Disc Profile, which examined my areas of strength and weakness in the workplace. The assessment comes at a hefty price of $59, but I found the assessment to be valuable in helping me learn more about how I function in the workplace. [Include link to my assessment so people can take a peak?]

Start talking with other people about this period of confusion. Often times you find other people are going through the same thing. Reach out past your immediate friend group.

On the different token, spent more time alone. Haha, yeah, I know, you’re probably like “Whaa? You said start talking with other people? Yes, that’s important. Do that, but don’t forget about giving yourself some time to yourself. Think about it, how okay are you with being with yourself and processing your thoughts? Most of us crave interaction. When we are alone, we fill up the time with things like watching TV or scrolling social media. Two things that won’t exactly help you to understand yourself better.

TV and social media aren’t bad by themselves. However, when you’re using them out of boredom or avoidance of other things, they become an issue. Spent some time journaling or doing a hobby. It’s beneficial for your own good.

Small actions lead to big results 

As you start to spend more time alone, figuring out the things you don’t want and talking with others, begin to contemplate what sort of things you want to really have consistent in your life. Things that get you out of bed in the morning when you would rather sleep in. Stuff that excites you. This could be in the form of bettering relationships with those around you. A hobby you could do in your downtime. Setting aside time for writing every day. Reading. Almost anything. Keep a little checklist to make sure you’re working on those things consistently. It doesn’t have to be every day, just consistently.

Live Simple 

When you’re figuring things out with your life, money shouldn’t be a constant sort of stress, it’s important to live as simple as possible. When I graduated university, I started working at a job. After getting the job, everyone kept asking me when I would “upgrade” my crappy car with a new car. A lot of recent graduates get their first big person paycheck and spend it: they buy nice cars, nice apartments, new clothes, the whole shebang. I resisted doing this as I worked that first post-grad job because I found I didn’t really enjoy the job all that much.

It was a whole heck of a lot easier to leave that job because all I had were my student loans. Granted, I did still have thousands in student loan debt at the time, but I didn’t have a car payment or credit card debt or lots of expenses. Navigating the transition was a lot easier because I intentionally kept my expenses low.

Consistent smallness

Even though there is no magic blueprint for navigating the transition, not all is lost. Find things to work on. Things that can be a constant amidst a sea of change. Work on them consistently. Be small. Don’t balloon your expenses. Keep your “not-list” handy.

Together, they will pull you through each day. Ready to move forward.   

overcoming a quarter-life crisis

Overcoming A Quarter-Life Crisis

An 8-page goal-setting workbook to help you get through a quarter-life crisis. Put in your email and get a download link to the fillable PDF workbook!

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8 Side Hustles You Can Start This Weekend

Getting started on a side hustle doesn’t have to be consuming. There are several side hustles you can start this weekend.

Getting started on a side hustle doesn’t always have to be consuming. Before I started making extra money outside of my day job, I always thought starting a side hustle was something that either took a lot of time. It doesn’t always have to be. There are several side hustles you can start this weekend.

First off, though, let’s talk about why having a side hustle of any sort is important. In the early dark ages of my personal finance journey, I focused way too much on cutting back as much as possible. It seemed like the more optimal thing to do since nearly every personal finance site listed it as step one of getting control of your money.

However, I reached that point a lot of people make when cutting back expenses. You’ve reached a line where you’ve cut back all you can and you’re just sitting there like “Uhhh, what now? I need to save more”.

That’s where a side hustle comes in. There are a number of side hustles you can start this weekend to be able to start making money relatively fast. Not get rich quick scheme by any means but the ability to make extra money nonetheless.

8 side hustles you can start this weekend
Sell a service on Fiverr

Fiverr is an online marketplace where people can look for and advertise freelance services. Prices usually start around $5 (hence the name Fiverr). It’s the place where lean and bootstrap entrepreneurs usually go to get services done by a freelancer.

Fiverr’s service categories include graphic design, writing and editing, digital marketing, video and animation, music and audio, programming and tech, advertising, business, and fun and lifestyle.

Since Fiverr is known for being the place of the $5 gig, usually people have more success selling a product or review of rather than their direct time. It can be a good way to get started with offering freelance services. One guy was able to make $7,490 in 14 months from doing part-time work on Fiverr. Read through some beginner tips before getting started.

Teach a course on Udemy or Skillshare

Udemy and Skillshare are online learning platforms where you can take on-demand classes at your own pace. Developing and selling a course on Udemy or Skillshare can be a great way to not only make money but also let you deep dive into full understanding something you enjoy doing. If you enjoy card reading, knitting, or bookbinding, why not teach others how to do it and be able to make some extra money?

I’m a little biased toward going with Skillshare because I LOVE Skillshare so much. I’ve had a membership there for several years and taken many courses. Teachers teach courses in design, marketing, writing, business, lifestyle and more.

Some of the unique classes I’ve found include: Designing a Modern Logo in 15 Minutes, Writing for Online Engagement: Fiction in a Digital World, Photoshop For Lunch, and Creating a Perfect Morning Routine.

Be a Brand Ambassador

Do you remember those people you see passing out t-shirts, stickers, and products at events. Those are brand ambassadors and it’s a fun way to make extra money.

I did some brand ambassador work back when I was in university. I worked booths for apartment complexes and drink companies passing out free t-shirts, cups, pens, and any other branded stuff. It was a fun way to make extra money. Usually I found these gigs from Facebook or a posters advertising it.

To find Brand Ambassador work, search Facebook (ex. “Brand Ambassadors of ___”)  for groups in your city. Searching Craigslist gigs for event work is another option, although you should make sure to apply quickly within a few hours of the gig posting.

Task Rabbit

TaskRabbit is a service that connects people who need help with jobs like house cleaning, deliveries, running errands, and minor repair work. Crafting a good profile and honing in on what type of work you and don’t want to do can help you get started on a good foot. Making extra money via TaskRabbit is relatively simple since you can do do gigs whenever you have free time.

Taking Online Surveys

Taking online surveys is a good easy side hustle you can start this weekend. Companies like to know what people think and they will pay you for it. Taking online surveys isn’t a big money maker but it is a way to make some extra cash. People can make around $50-100 a month from taking online surveys, depending on the survey site and amount.

For online survey sites, it’s there are legit ones and there are spammy ones. Stay away from any that ask for upfront fees or just look shady. Some of the best online survey sites include: Ebates, Harris Poll, Opinion Outpost, and Pinecone research.

Make Money using your car

Everyone knows driving for Uber or Lyft is a good way to make money with your car, but there are other ways. You can make money delivering food with services like Postmates and Door Dash.

Babysitting

You don’t have to just post fliers around town to babysit. Sign up for Care and make a profile to start looking for babysitting jobs. My brother actually did this during a summer while he was in university.

Take Photos

Photography can be a fun thing to learn. There are always people looking to get photos taken. It doesn’t have to involve a wedding photographer like many think. You can take senior portrait, headshot, and lifestyle photos for people.

Beginner photography classes on Skillshare and Adobe Lightroom presets can help you get started and better yourself.


Most of all, when you’re trying to figure out a side hustle to start this weekend, think about people’s pain point. What type of service can you offer to make their lives easier and better? There’s a reason people hire house cleaners, dog walkers, and such a lot. Figure out what people really need.

Paul Jarvis’ Podcast Challenge

I took park in Paul Jarvis' podcast challenge to create and launch a podcast.

I’m subscribed to an awesome email newsletter called The Sunday Dispatches. It’s run by Paul Jarvis, a writer, designer and freelancer for the past 17 years. He has created an array of e-courses and products designed for online creative makers.

The Sunday Dispatches is one of THE emails I look forward to receiving every week in my inbox. There’s discussions about the sour nature of online advice monetization, client process, mental minimalism and even the correlation between happiness and gravy! Whohoo!

Back in May, he sent out an email out with the subject line “I have a challenge for you”. I thought maybe he had gotten on the internet bandwagon and was asking his email list to do some “out there” sort of thing. What challenge? Cinnamon? Smoothie? Phone pinching? Nope.

It was a podcast challenge.

He wanted people of his email list to start a podcast. They’re easy to consume (even passively) and are on-demand media. You just have to grab a person’s attention once. They sign up for your podcast (by subscribing via iTunes or a podcast app manager like Podcast Republic) and if you have good content and hook them, you have a long time listener.

If you weren’t one of the ones who was part of the Serial craze, then let me tell you, podcasts are a great way to consume content. It’s nice to hear someone’s excitement or nervousness or tenacity as they talk about something. It makes for a (warning: I’m about to use a saturated word most often used as a hashtag on Instagram) rich ~authentic~ experience.

I had been toying with the idea of doing a podcast for a while. Reading the podcast challenge email finally prompted me to get started. The challenge required getting three episodes recorded and uploaded to iTunes by July 15, 2016. There were no prizes or incentives. Just a good ol’ kick in the pants action to take part in a medium of communication worth exploring.

At first, I had no freaking clue what to do a podcast about. Eventually, and at the last minute, I decided to do a solo mini-show about money tactics and current trends going on. The official synopsis for my podcast:

Rebel with a Plan: a solo mini podcast series centered around millennial personal development, personal finance, and intentional living.

My podcast is on iTunes now with three episodes and I will be adding two more episodes to it soon. I really loved doing it! Recording the show made me get better at organizing my thoughts and making sure things were cohesive. Whenever I get into telling something, I sometimes have a problem with rambling on and not being sure how to tie things together. Recording over, and over, and over, and practicing some more helped a lot.

Rebel With a Plan podcast

As a result of Paul’s podcast challenge, 29 people started podcasts! Yessssss. I plan to listen to at least some of all of them. Company Ink is one I really like so far.

Company Ink is one I really like so far. The podcast is an audio diary of two business owners, living, working, and sleeping together.

Here’s the full list of all 29 podcasts below:

  • New Age Nomad Podcast – telling the personal backstories of the individuals who turned their back on the status quo and have made travel, the great outdoors, and extreme sports their life.
  • Black Sheep Podcast – are you a woman who owns her right to design her life celebrating her brown skin but not being defined or contained by it either? Welcome.
  • The Cool Kids Club – we’ve all been led to believe that “normal” is cool and the older Dillian gets, the more he realizes cool isn’t what he thought it was.
  • Life Beyond The Message Table – a short, no BS weekly talk about the realities of running a Message Therapy practice.
  • Road to Launch – a podcast focused on the product building process.
  • A que no me crees – a podcast by Fernando Castellano.
  • Southland Students – a podcast by Southland students.
  • Breaking Espanol – one family’s honest journey into becoming more compassionate for other cultures by learning Spanish.
  • The Secret Library – most people believe that books are created in cabins all alone, where authors pound away on some manner of keyboard.
  • Company Ink – audio diary of two business owners living, working, and sleeping together.
  • Rebel With a Plan (hey, that’s me!) – a solo mini podcast series centered around millennial personal development, personal finance, and intentional living.
  • The Business Plan Podcast – a weekly show for small business owners and entrepreneurs.
  • Loose Parts – a podcast about a bunch of interesting things all loosely related to a topic that changes every week.
  • The End – disasters, dystopias, and doomsday scenarios: apocalypse stories and why we love them.
  • Taking Charge of Your Life – yoga philosophy meets artistic expression in podcasts that reveal personal authenticity and beauty.
  • Emma Fogelholm – a podcast from Emma Fogelholm.
  • Let’s Meet in The Now – mindful connections with Nicole Birkholzer.
  • Bloom Baby Bloom – straight talk from now or never kind of women over 50.
  • Behind the Canvas – inspiration, insight, interviews, and action steps for artists and creative entrepreneurs.
  • Anthony’s Desk – lessons learned from entrepreneurship, building social impact businesses, startup investing, and running succcessful for-profit and non-profit organizations.
  • Anita no Trabalho – on female entrepreneurship.
  • Indie Comic Audio – interviews of indie comic creators and makers as well as how to’s and reviews.
  • Hey Batter Batter – the baseball podcast that’s more about stories than stats.
  • Front End Center – a podcast by Chris Landtiser that talks about design, development, and how to keep things simple and effective.
  • What’s It Like To… – dedicated to turning over stones, pushing past assumptions, and discovering what it’s like to have unique experiences in life!
  • Design Yourself – for people who want to lead a well-designed life.
  • Creative Women International – a global group with women connecting from over 27 countries, all working in the creative industries.
  • Sociale Media voor Zelfstandig Professionals – a Dutch podcast from Jolanda Gooiker.
  • Definitely Totally Normal – 3 totally normal people define phenomenon in various states of coherence.

Check some of them out and let me know what you think! Have you ever considered starting a podcast? 

Learning to Accept a “Bad Budget Item”

Learning to accept a "bad budget" item in your monthly expenses

What are some of your money vices? “Bad budget” things?

I can tell you two big ones I see the personal finance community target over and over: lattes and gym memberships.

If I had a dollar for every time an article told me to cut lattes and my gym membership, I would have enough money to be a millionaire right now. I mean, some of the articles talk about how if I cut lattes and gym memberships, I will be a millionaire before I know it. Right? Yeah…okay.

With lattes and gym memberships so often being looked at as “bad budget items”, it made me wonder what small things people spend money on every month that wouldn’t be considered part of a “good” budget.

The idea behind the whole “ditch the latte and gym membership craze” centers on cutting out the unnecessary expenses in your budget and focusing on the expenses you need and that really matter.

Cut the unnecessary expense and you’ll have more money to put towards debt or retirement, they say. You don’t need it. Yada Yada Yada.

Now, I have done a good job of not taking on unnecessary expenses into my monthly budget over the years. I only get lattes from coffee shops occasionally, so they aren’t a detriment to my budget.

My bad budget item is having a gym membership.

So many articles about cutting back and saving money mention ditching the gym membership. There are workout videos you can do yourself! Gyms are expensive! Do yoga at home!

How about…no. Good habits die hard my friend. I’m one of those people that actually uses their gym membership. *Shivers*. At $20+tax per month, It isn’t an overtly expensive item to keep.

What are some common bad budget items?

  • Eating out (don’t we all want to try out the most amazzzing restaurants and be an amateur foodie?! Also, apparently brunch is a legit thing now)
  • Endless subscriptions (magazines, Spotify, Neflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, subscription box services)
  • Excessive ready made food, snacks, and drinks
  • Small purchases that add up (I had a issue with this for a while when I kept ordering $10-25 dollar things on Amazon, 🙁 )

Having one or two bad budget items isn’t going to break your budget and keep you from reaching your financial goals.

So often people get caught in the mindset of “If I just reduce my expenses to basic needs” them I can achieve my financial goals.” This logic is part of the equation but not the whole thing.

On the other hand, there are the articles centered around not focusing on cutting your bad budget items and instead increasing your income. This, again, is part of the equation but not the whole thing.

Achieving financial goals involves a healthy mix of getting into a good mindset of what/when to save and when making additional income is more practical.

Having one or two bad budget items (as long as they aren’t big ticket things) are okay for a budget. They are useful even. They become that little incentive that keeps you going and helps maintain your day to day happiness.

A bad budget item keeps your happiness up while also keeping you in check from spiraling into a multitude of bad budget things. After all, saving money is rooted in a person’s mindset. It’s not about depriving oneself.

When bad budget items ruin your monthly budget…

Little money wastes can be fine in a person’s particular situation. The key is to not let a bad budget item ruin your budget completely. For instance, if your bad budget item is having cable, what happens when the cable bill increases?

What happens when you start getting a little to comfortable with getting lattes and start purchasing them more frequently?

Best thing to do is to temporarily eliminate the item from your monthly budget. Try a 30 day challenge where you go without it. At the end of the challenge, you will have a better idea if you really need it or not.

For me, I loved having Hulu and Spotify. The assortment of playlists on Spotify was kinda life changing (kidding, not kidding). However, as time went on, I found Spotify to be a time suck better served for reading. I also wasn’t using my Hulu subscription as much.

After temporarily eliminating them for one month, I realized I didn’t have a big use for them anymore and got rid of them. $17 bucks a month saved! (Now I just gotta stop buying pretzels from the mall so frequently!)

The good thing about personal finance is that it’s personal. Figure out what works for you.


What “bad budget” do you have in your monthly budget? Do you keep the expense because it helps bring happiness? 

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