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Long 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?
Colin // RebelwithaPlan
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