Being the Single Friend

One day, I looked up and realized that I was the single friend in my group. I had never noticed it, but a large portion of my friends were in serious relationships. Being the single friend has never really bothered me. But, I’d be lying if I said some days I don’t sit around and wonder if I’ll end up dying old and alone.

I feel like with all the hype surrounding having a “bae” and seeing everyone’s cute Instagram posts of their #realtionshipgoals, it’s hard not to get caught up in feeling bad about being single. On top of that, holiday season is right around the corner and can feel a bit lonely when you don’t have a special someone to keep you warm.

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If you do happen to be that single friend who feels a bit lonely, or is wondering if there’s something that’s personally inhibiting you from finding your own bae, stop. The reality is that there’s plenty of time left to find your future “soulmate”, and if you haven’t yet then maybe this isn’t the time for you to do so.

Being in your twenties is about much more than settling down and getting married before hitting 30. Take this time to enjoy bettering yourself and figuring out who you are as a person. At least that’s what I’m trying to do while I spend my time in singledom. Here are a few reasons why I’ve learned not to fret about being a single twenty-something.

You don’t have to deal with relationship drama 

When you’re not in a relationship, you often forget about all the drama that comes with it.

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You can take time to work on yourself 

Rather than seeing being alone as a negative, view it as a time where you can better yourself. Develop new passions, learn new skills, stack your money or whatever you feel you can do to improve yourself. After all, I strongly believe you attract the energy you put out. So, why not work on developing the attributes you want in a partner within yourself first?

There’s plenty of time to get into a relationship 

If you’re not married with kids by twenty-five like you thought you would be, it’s not the end of the world. I’m a strong believer in timing and that everything happens for a reason. So, don’t put a rush on settling down. Instead, enjoy where you’re at right now in life and focus on creating a better you. That way when you do finally meet your bae, you can hopefully attract someone just as great as you are.

 

 

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How to Save Money When You’re Young and Broke

I’ve never been good with saving money. This is most likely because I have a “money comes and goes” attitude in order to justify my spending habits.

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This mentality hasn’t gotten me very far, seeing as how I currently live from paycheck to paycheck and have no adequate savings for emergencies.

Today, I had the opportunity to talk to a financial advisor and receive free advice on how to plan for the future. The plan I created was unique to my spending habits and what financial goals I had for myself (the main one being to save money). Overall, it was extremely helpful so I thought I would share a few of the tips I received.  The very first thing my advisor told me to do was:

Create a budget 

We made a list of all my bills and expenses and were able to determine how much money I could put away each paycheck to create a savings. When we created my budget, we agreed to treat my savings as if it were a bill. That way, having an exact amount I was required to put aside each paycheck would get me into the habit of putting money away for the future.

Create a separate savings account 

After creating a budget and a designated amount to save each month, he suggested I create a separate savings account. Both my checking and savings accounts are connected, so when I run out of one, the other is right there to back it up. This was one of the major reasons I was having trouble saving. My advisor suggested getting a separate savings account so that I don’t immediately turn to it unless it’s an absolute emergency.

Find ways to increase your income 

I’m working part-time right now, which makes it difficult to budget and save. If I found a way to increase my income (by applying for full-time work or picking up side jobs), I could live under the same budget and lifestyle while saving more money.

Use your credit more and pay it down quickly 

Prior to taking out student loans and credit cards, I never took the time to understand how credit and debt actually worked. Using your credit and paying off the balances in a timely manner brings your credit score up, while keeping large balances and paying them off slowly can hurt you. So, be sure to swipe wisely and pay off as much as you can as soon as you’re able to.

Although these tips helped me establish a plan to get to where I want to financially, I’d be lying if I said it won’t be hard to change my money habits. It’s going to take a lot of dedication, discipline and saying no to brunch and dinner every now and then. But, Like all things that are difficult, it’s important to keep the end goal in mind, which is ultimately developing financial stability for the future.

How to Stop Procrastinating and Develop Your Side Hustle

I’ve always wished I could be my own boss. I love the idea of working on your own time, not reporting to anyone and developing something you’re passionate about. The only problem with being your own boss is that there’s no room to procrastinate. I, as an avid procrastinator, loved daydreaming about achieving this vision, while putting off the work by scrolling through social media and taking periodic naps in between. Although I spent a lot of time daydreaming about becoming my own boss someday, I could never seem to push myself to do the work to get there.

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As all procrastinators soon realize, you can’t always put everything off. I woke up one day and had to face the fact that I haven’t done much work to change the position I was in. I began researching what it would take to turn my passion for writing, and creating content, into an actual business, and found that turning your side hustle into your career requires constant work behind the scenes. If I really wanted to branch out and get serious about my passions, I should put in just as much work as I do at my day job fulfilling someone else’s dream. Here are 5 things I’ve found to be helpful when trying to stop procrastinating and turning your side hustle into a possible source of income.

Figure out what you’re good at 

The obvious first step to developing a side hustle is finding one, or at least one you’re good at. I figured out that I wanted to develop my writing through blogging by making a list of my skills and then narrowing them down to the ones I enjoyed doing the most. If you have a lot of hobbies or passions that you would like to make money from, figure out what you’re best at and most passionate about and look into ways to developing it further.

Study it 

One of the best ways to learn is from observing. In order to get better at your side hustle you need to study it. Research some of your favorite influencers in your niche and learn what worked best for them, and what didn’t, on their journey to success. Read books, watch documentaries or listen to podcasts about your point of interest. Do whatever it takes to find out as much information about your passion as possible.

Practice 

Practicing your side hustle will only make you better. You can be great at something, but never putting the work in to produce it will get you nowhere. If you enjoy writing and want to turn it into a business, create a blog or work on getting your work published on other sites. Make practicing your craft a part of your daily routine.

Build up a portfolio 

Once you’ve began practicing and putting in the work, develop a portfolio. A portfolio doesn’t have to be the typical black book that comes to mind with the term. It can be a website, or even a social media page with images of your past work. Having a great portfolio can make you stand out against other people in your niche. Find a creative way to showcase your talent and make people want to invest in what you have to offer.

Remain consistent 

This is the one thing I find myself struggling with the most, but consistency is key when accomplishing anything. Things may not take off when you want them too, but it’s important to keep in mind why you started. Nothing great was ever achieved overnight. It can take months and often years of hard work and dedication to begin seeing even a little success.

I Chose My Happiness Over My Dream Job

I’ve always been a person who seeks advice from others to help me solve a problem. Recently, I was faced with a dilemma that could have potentially changed my life…or at least the course of my career. I was given the opportunity to take a job that was seemingly perfect from an outside perspective. It would have been everything that I wanted to do career-wise and maybe even more.

As I progressed throughout the interview process and became closer to being offered the position, one thing didn’t sit right with me. An encounter I had with a person, who would have been my direct boss, was unpleasant to say the least. I came to discover that his form of communication was a combination of aggression accompanied by a splash of verbal abuse. After speaking to sources close to him, I learned that was simply the way he was and dealing with his personality was just another part of the job. Now, I completely understand that not everything in life is handed to you wrapped to perfection, but was this something I was willing to endure in order to potentially advance my career?

Deep down I knew the answer to this question, but of course, I had to consult with a few family members and friends to make sure I was making the right decision. After listening to multiple pieces of advice and hearing the phrase  “If I were you I would…”  over and over with different responses at the end, I only became more confused. It wasn’t until I got the best advice of all, did my decision become crystal clear. Everyone can tell you what they would do in your situation, but you have to decide what choice is best for you. It’s easy for others to tell you what they would do in your shoes when they’re not standing in them, and at the end of the day, my family friends wouldn’t have to work the job, I would. I ultimately decided to respectfully decline to continue with the interview process. Although not everyone agreed with my choice, I did what I felt was right for me in the end and I feel at peace with my decision. Everyone is unique, and when it comes to making decisions that can heavily impact our lives, it’s important to make sure we’re taking the steps necessary to make the right choices for our own individual needs which includes:

Following your instincts 

I could feel it in my gut that this was not the right move for me, but I still toyed with the possibility of taking the job anyway. When you can instinctually feel a situation is not right, often times the best choice is to go with your gut feeling.

Weighing your options 

Even though I knew what decision I wanted to make, I made a pros and cons list to help me weigh out the possible benefits of taking the offer. When faced with a difficult decision, weighing the pros and cons on each side can sometimes help you go in the direction that’s best for you.

Doing what feels right for YOU

This falls in line with following your instincts. A lot of the time, we know what decision is best for us, but we still seek advice from others for validation. It’s completely ok to get counsel from people you’re close to, but they don’t have to live with the decision they’re telling you to make. Ultimately you have to end up doing what’s right for you, and the rest will fall into place.

Steps Forward

In my past posts, I’ve written a lot about perspective. Particularly, how perspective can change your entire outlook on a situation. I’ve completed some major milestones in the last couple of months, one of the most important being finally graduating from college. That’s right, ya girl finally got her degree! Well, almost…I have one class left in the fall, then I’m really done. Not only have I completed a major chapter of my life and finally wrapped up getting my degree, I also made the decision to move back home.

I’ve gotten a lot of questions about why I chose to move back home after living on my own for a while. I’ve heard it all. From being told that I’m taking a step backward by graduating then moving back, that I’m going to allow myself to get stuck at home and become comfortable, and that I should just stick out living on my own before making such a rash decision to move back home. Rather than having a negative perception about  moving back after graduating college, I choose to see it as a step forward, and have  chosen to make the most of my time at home by making sure to…

Save money 

This by far was the biggest reason I chose to move back. I loved experiencing  going from having extremely strict parents to making my own rules. But, everything comes with a price, and making my own rules came with quite a price tag. I found myself struggling to save money and make it through the months (especially after going from full-time to part-time at my job). Although I had freedom from my parents, I didn’t have  the funds to do much and save money the way I wanted to. Now that I’m back home, I’ve been able to see a difference in my finances and have more freedom to do more with my money since it isn’t all going towards rent, bills, food, and everything else that comes with living on your own.

Plan for the future 

My move back home has not only allowed me to save money. I’ve also been able to use the money I’ve been saving to plan ahead. Whether it be for planning to move out again, take a trip, or just grow my bank account, I have the means to do so now. Working less, and spending more time at home gives me more time to reflect on what I want in the future and create a path to get there. Like I said at the beginning of this post, it’s all about perspective. Rather than looking at this as a setback, I see it as a time where I can grow and map out my future.

Take risks 

I read a quote once that said “If you don’t take risks, you will always work for someone who does.”. Letting go of the many obligations I once had, has put me in a position that has allowed me to take a few risks and pursue the goals I have. I have no more excuses for why I can’t take risks in order to get where I want to be in life, and I plan to use my newfound financial freedom and time in order to take the risks necessary  to achieve what I want.

Travel 

Traveling was another major reason I decided to move back home. It has always been my dream to travel to as many countries as I can. I used to use finances and school as an excuse for why I haven’t seen the world yet, but now I have no excuse. Now, I can begin planning to save as much as I can so that I can travel and experience different cultures from around the world.

Graduating school and moving back home may seem like a setback for some, but it’s just the beginning for me. The best has yet to come.

Finding Your Way Back

For the past couple of weeks or so, I’ve felt a little out of the ordinary to say the least. Ok…if I’m being completely honest, I felt like my whole entire life was becoming one big flaming mess. Between having school, work, an internship, being involved on campus and attempting to schedule in a social life, I felt like I was being stretched in a million directions and was on the verge of never snapping back together. One random Tuesday was finally the tip of the iceberg and I finally lost my cool after being scolded by my internship supervisor (who was having a bad day). I held it together just long enough to make it to my car, but was able to finally release the mass of pent up stress and anxiety I had been feeling once I reached for my key and opened my car door.

I called my oldest sister, in tears, and was able to vent everything I was feeling to her. I told her how overwhelmed I felt and she simply listened, which was exactly what I needed. I didn’t realize that that was the first time I actually voiced my feelings to someone and let everything out. Bottling everything up inside finally forced everything I was feeling to spill out. I know I’ve made it a point to emphasize that, despite what we may feel, our twenties isn’t a time where we have to have everything together, but even I forget that. We all experience feeling overwhelmed from believing we have to do everything on our own and constantly keep on a happy face despite feeling as if our lives are falling apart. After finally releasing all the stress I kept inside, I learned a couple things about how to better handle my feelings the next time I’m a bit overwhelmed.

Talk about how you’re feeling 

Part of the reason why I found myself feeling so overwhelmed was because I consistently bottled up my emotions until I couldn’t handle it anymore. I didn’t realize how much simply talking to someone about the things that were making me feel stressed out would make me feel better. Sometimes all we need is a shoulder to cry on (or in my case a sister to cry to over the phone) to make us feel a little less overwhelmed by what we’re going through.

Divide and conquer 

Accountability is a great trait to have, so I’m going to hold myself accountable and admit that a lot of the reasons I stress stem back to my undying love of procrastination. I allow a bunch of tasks, that seem small, to eventually pile-up into a mountain of chores I can’t even begin to tackle. After allowing so many seemingly small things to pile-up, I had to break everything down and prioritize what was most important and tackle those things first. Feeling like you have to do everything at once can cause you to feel more stressed than you should be. Instead, try dividing up tasks and conquering them little by little. It’ll make all the difference in the world.

It’s ok to take a break 

These were words I needed to hear from my sister (and luckily my spring break was that following week). I never feel like I can take a step back and collect myself for a second when I’m feeling stressed out. Instead, I end up stressing out more thinking about how stressed out I am! It’s always ok to take a break and gather yourself when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Sometimes we just need time to get ourselves back on the right track.

It’s a bad day, not a bad life 

I remember reading these words and telling myself to remember them anytime I feel like life is just too much to handle. Everyday isn’t always going to be the best. If life worked that way, the world would be a much happier place. It’s always important to remember that everything is temporary. With a little bit of time, I found my way to feeling less like my world was falling apart and more like things were finally coming together again.

Stop Making Excuses & Do More.

We’ve been categorized as the entitled generation. The generation that expects everything to be handed to them on a silver platter, and complains when things don’t go their way. I, for one, don’t like to place myself in the category of “spoiled expectant millennial”. The things I currently have I’ve worked hard for, and none of it was simply handed to me. However, although I know I work hard for what I want, I have been guilty of falling back on excuses to justify not being where I desire to be.

I used to be extremely good at placing the blame elsewhere for why I didn’t get something or why a certain outcome didn’t go my way. I remained being very good at this, until I realized it was getting me nowhere. I saw my “reasons” for why I didn’t have the things I wanted for what they actually were- excuses.

What caused me to think about this was a conversation I had with my sister, yesterday, about job hunting. My sister was frustrated because she had been applying for jobs, for quote some time, but has yet to hear anything from potential employers. Hearing this caused me to reflect back on when I was unemployed and avidly searching for jobs. Although I was struggling to find a job, there was no real fire under me to hunt for jobs with everything I had. It wasn’t until I was forced to move back home and under extremely strict rules with my parents that I found that fire. I went from applying to maybe one job every couple of days to applying to a minimum of three jobs daily.

Anytime I spoke to a friend, I asked if they knew of locations that were hiring or had open positions. I exhausted every option I could to become employed and, eventually, did. Even though I stepped it up when it came to searching for jobs, was there still more I could do? Of course. Rather than only applying to three jobs a day, I could have applied to five or even ten jobs daily. That being said, no matter how hard you think you’re trying, there is always something more you could do. That’s not to discredit the hard work you may have already put in, but rather to challenge yourself.

Unless you’re extremely privileged, nothing will ever be handed to you. We will always have to work extremely hard in order to achieve what we want. If you’re not getting the results you desire, take a step back and ask yourself “What more could I be doing?” No matter how close you are to your goal, or even if you’ve already reached it, there’s always more you could be doing.