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speak up about your money strugglesLong before I started this blog, I was an avid reader of personal finance blogs. It had started back when I was in university  looking for a way to read about other people’s thoughts on money.

Up until that point, the only time I ever had money conversations was when it was centered on being broke and feeling super stressed about it. When I clicked through to the world of personal finance, new conversations opened up.

There were discussions about financial health, savings strategies, debt, career, and making extra income. It opened up my mind to learn more about navigating my financial life and ways to improve it.

Talking about money in day to day life was hard. Reading blogs and hearing people’s stories made it easier. I revised my budget. I went through different savings strategies after reading several posts. I tried out new tools and my financial life started to improve. It was at a glacier’s pace, but slow and steady progress nonetheless.

Eventually, it led to me creating my own personal finance blog. I was ready to set out on the mission of demystifying personal finance and blogging about paying off my student loan debt.

In a way, it was cathartic. I got to write about my inner motivations, my hatred towards my debt, and finding my way towards financial confidence.

Writing each post was fun, but I did start to get a nagging feeling. Whenever I was going through a period of struggling with money, I would shy away from talking about it. In place of any updates on my own money journey, I would usually just not write, as evident by a blogging hiatus and sometimes in-frequent content.

It’s hard to write about money when you’re broke or struggling

It’s hard because you feel like you’re constantly behind. You’re not putting thousands towards investments like the early retirement crowd. Debt still plagues you. You don’t have some high-paying job that allows you to take the ultra-common advice of “cut expenses and spend less”.

People like to ask the question “what’s next?” a lot. In some ways, growth is seen as trying and doing new things. The routine isn’t very fun.

When you’re just staying afloat with debt behind you and a low savings rate, there isn’t much to say.

Restlessness and stress are common among a lot of millennials. We constantly see others going on vacations and living it up. We have money struggles because we’re making low wages and stuck with $37,000 of student loan debt on our backs. Living like a real, bonafide adult (like our parents were able to do in their time) isn’t possible.

Massive saving rates, fully stocked emergency funds, and having the ability to travel don’t feel applicable to us. For most, we’re just trying to get through the day.

Experiencing money struggles is stressful and awkward, but it’s something you shouldn’t  hide away. Here’s why you should speak up about your money struggles.

Growth Comes From Discomfort

Discomfort can be a terrible thing. It keeps you anxious. You’re always in an “on” mode and never able to rest. Fear lingers as your back aches from carrying your burdens.

Your burdens could be a number of things. Maybe it’s a heaping pile of debt. You could be underemployment and hate it. Whatever it is, come to terms with it.

Don’t bury your head in the sand. Yeah, you may not be maxing out your retirement accounts or jaunting around the world, but when you get clear on your situation, you can start to make progress.

The path of personal growth is rarely a linear and comfortable route.

If you don’t speak up and say something, then nothing will change. Words are powerful. They allow you to get brutally honest about your strengths and weaknesses.

From there, you can start to make a plan to move forward. Maybe it’s throwing an extra $30 a month at your debt, doing a few Craigslist gigs for extra money, or reading up on ways to better yourself and your finances.

You’re reading this blog right now, so I know you’re committed to learning about how to get out of your money struggles.

Everyone Has Their Ups And Downs

I’m sure there’s someone you look up to a lot. There are people in real life who seem to have it all together. Someone on social media looks like they’re living it up and doing great.

While it looks like people have it together, everyone has their money struggles they’re going through.

Back when I started reading blogs, there was this one blogger who I loved. Their site was full of great blog posts, they traveled several places, got to work with well-known brands, and posted income reports. They even ditched their full-time job for a life of solopreneurship.

It truly looked like they were doing great.

As time went on, changes happened. This person struggled with their business, trying to find the right business model, and dealing with fluctuating income from month to month.

Then one day I read a post by the blogger where they had made the decision to quit solopreneurship and go back to working a 9 to 5 job.

Everyone has their struggles, no matter what the surface level looks like. People can have more empathy than you may think.

Connecting with others who are going through similar money struggles, either presently or in the past, can be helpful. Plus, a little accountability can be good.

When You Speak Up, You Can Make More

Speaking up and asking around can yield results and opportunities you may not have even expected. It could be doing compiling your work accomplishments and using it to ask for a raise, negotiate your salary for a job offer, or seeking out cheaper alternatives for expenses.

Let people know the ways you’re looking to improve.

How have you gotten through money struggles?

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Colin // RebelwithaPlan

Colin Ashby is the writer behind Rebel with a Plan, a website dedicated to people who choose to rebel against the norm of living in debt and feeling financially unenlightened. He believes everyone has an eccentric quality to embrace and that lattes are sometimes a necessity (despite what the personal finance community tells you).

Latest posts by Colin // RebelwithaPlan (see all)

18 Comments on Why You Should Speak Up About Your Money Struggles

  1. Chonce
    December 18, 2017 at 7:53 pm (8 months ago)

    I totally get the finding it hard to write about money! The people I tend to follow on social media are making all of these big money moves, when I just paid off my student loans and am now saving to buy my first home. BUT, I also agree that growth comes from discomfort. I don’t think I’d be as far financially if I wasn’t putting my words out there for the world to see. Love this!

    Reply
    • Colin // RebelwithaPlan
      December 21, 2017 at 10:07 pm (8 months ago)

      Buying your first home? That’s so exciting! Have you read Lauren’s book (from Financial Best Life) “The Millennial Homeowner”?

      It provides so much information I wouldn’t even think about when it comes to buying your first home.

      Reply
      • Chonce
        December 21, 2017 at 10:16 pm (8 months ago)

        I’ve heard of the book a while ago but actually forgot about it so I need to check it out and add it to my reading list.

        Reply
  2. Mrs. Adventure Rich
    December 21, 2017 at 11:34 am (8 months ago)

    I could not agree more. It is so easy to get caught up in an attempt to look like you have everything under control and are on top of it. Admitting to an area of struggle and opening up about that difficulty takes courage, but it can also lead to great growth.

    Reply
    • Colin // RebelwithaPlan
      December 21, 2017 at 10:10 pm (8 months ago)

      I always remind myself of the benefits of speaking up. It can be hard to do sometimes. Thanks for the comment! How’s the adventure streak going?

      Reply
      • Mrs. Adventure Rich
        December 23, 2017 at 3:43 am (8 months ago)

        It has been going really well! Definitely a challenge but it has been motivating hearing others check in with their streak updates!

        Reply
  3. Dave
    December 21, 2017 at 12:34 pm (8 months ago)

    I feel that personal finance blogs are changing how people communicate about money. Blogs are a way for individuals to share their financial victories and struggles. Blogs help others when they can relate to a post or it motivates someone to change. Sharing helps other people and can also reduce the burden because it brings a struggle to light. When people provide feedback, it is no longer an individual problem. It becomes a group problem. More solutions are introduced to resolve the problem.

    Reply
    • Colin // RebelwithaPlan
      December 21, 2017 at 10:12 pm (8 months ago)

      You’re definitely right that personal finance blogs are changing how people talk about money. I love the stories and series blogs have on how different people approach things like saving and setbacks.

      Reply
  4. OMGF
    December 21, 2017 at 1:58 pm (8 months ago)

    All. Of. This. The more money remains in the shadows the longer people will struggle with it. It’s hard to say, “I have no clue what I’m doing!” or even more embarrassing to admit, “I knew better but didn’t do better.” While it seems that everyone has it all together, the truth is that so many of us don’t. Many of us go in and out of debt freedom. Many of us make investments that go south. Many of us don’t know what we don’t know. We should be able to admit that and get support. Glad you’re being so transparent.

    Reply
    • Colin // RebelwithaPlan
      December 21, 2017 at 10:14 pm (8 months ago)

      From what I’ve seen, it can also be difficult for a person to formulate their thoughts in a cohesive manner when it comes to speaking up. It’s hard for them to articulate their feelings. I like that PF websites have been doing spending series and personal growth stuff!

      Reply
  5. PeerlessMoneyMentor
    December 21, 2017 at 8:07 pm (8 months ago)

    Wow, good post, Colin! I sometimes think I am a failure because I am not maxing out my HSA or Roth but I have to stop comparing myself to others and walk my own path to financial independence.

    Reply
    • Colin // RebelwithaPlan
      December 21, 2017 at 10:15 pm (8 months ago)

      It’s all about what your goals are and growing with the perimeters you have. Thanks!

      Reply
  6. Rybo@HardComeEasyGo.com
    December 22, 2017 at 2:47 am (8 months ago)

    Yep, this post represents much of what I believe as well. Not everyone can be FI for many different reasons, and sometimes it seems like the de facto assumption is that anyone can do it. I think that’s because a lot of people who ARE FI can spend more time writing blogs and giving good advice from experience. Plus, they tend to be more likely to read about money, so FI blogs attract a larger audience. Also, people like to read those who succeed in whatever it is they’re writing about because they’re living what they write, and it gives them an example to emulate (like you intimated). But if you’re struggling, it’s better not to “fake it” because then you’re not really being true and accountable to your situation.

    Reply
    • Colin // RebelwithaPlan
      December 29, 2017 at 7:38 pm (8 months ago)

      Lay stuff out and figure out your own plan, that’s how I like to think of it. Thanks for the great comment!

      Reply
  7. Kristine
    December 25, 2017 at 1:48 am (8 months ago)

    Great post! It’s really true for any area of your life. When you are willing to open up and talk about it, it’s easier to move past it and get yourself back to where you want to go.

    Reply
    • Colin // RebelwithaPlan
      December 29, 2017 at 7:30 pm (8 months ago)

      It’s crazy to me how much our mindset can help and hurt us. Thanks for sharing!

      Reply
  8. Sean @ FrugalMoneyMan
    December 29, 2017 at 7:14 pm (8 months ago)

    Great post!

    Money has always been a taboo subject in our culture, which is why the majority of us are broke? When we don’t talk about our finances openly then how are we ever supposed to know how to handle them? The great thing is that when you finally are open about your finances and show what they actually are, all you care about after that is growth. I try and display my personal finance numbers all across my work so that everyone who reads it can 100% understand what I am doing and how I am responding to it.

    Thanks for the insightful post!

    Reply
    • Colin // RebelwithaPlan
      December 29, 2017 at 7:32 pm (8 months ago)

      Thanks for reading! I checked out your site and love it. Congratulations on starting your blog!

      Reply

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