Feeling Like You Don't Belong

Everyone wants a sense of belonging and to be loved. It’s human nature and completely okay, but what happens when this need isn’t met? If you’ve been feeling like you don’t belong then you’re not alone. Don’t get me wrong it is good to be able to be by yourself, but I’m talking about the alone where you’re in a crowded room of people and lacking connection. What can you do to solve this? Do you take yourself out of the situation or figure out how to eliminate it by sticking it out?

Recently I’ve been battling with feeling out of place in the environments I’m in. It has been a huge struggle and I feel like nobody understands. I’m trying to learn how to change my situation starting with me, but the more I try I feel like the worse it gets. At the same time when I try to remove myself, it is still bad because my human need to love and be loved isn’t being fulfilled. So what have I been doing to keep the faith?

Lately, I’ve been getting myself out there by going to pilates, barre, and doing fun activities like sip and paint (basically a Painting With A Twist or Pinot’s Palette). I danced the night away at my job’s picnic by myself in front of everyone with no shame. Doing things like that helps me feel secure even if it’s only for a little while. I find that getting to know myself is helping build my confidence slowly to where I’m starting to feel secure with or without people. But since I’m human I still have that urge to belonging.

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The truth is, belonging is what makes us human and keeps us mentally healthy. It’s an important part of the bigger picture. Everyone I talk to, like my therapist or even my manager, tells me I need to make friends and be social because that’s how we build connections. I kind of brush them off because with my social awkwardness and always saying the wrong thing to where there are misunderstandings, it’s hard. I’m trying to learn how to not say everything that comes to my head and not pour my heart out to people I just met. I’m learning how to just take everything slowly. This blog post kind of defeats the purpose, but the reason why I’m writing this is that I feel that it’ll make someone else feel more human to know someone else has the same challenge.

One thing I’ve realized about finding my place in this world is that I’m going to fail. Maybe once or maybe a hundred times. The key is to not be so hard on me and remember that the only perfect person is Jesus Christ himself. I have to remember that I was fearfully and wonderfully made and am here for a reason. You should remember this about yourself too. I know it’s hard to not let the perfectionism take over, but it will benefit you in the long run.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: The Pressure To Be Perfect

Perfection hinders our ability to truly connect because we are so wrapped up in being something we’re not, whether you realize it or not. Nothing is ever going to be perfect so while you’re trying to figure out the perfect thing to say or even the perfect thing to wear that may not be who you really are then you’re not being true to yourself. Why would someone want to connect with you if you can’t connect with your real self? We teach others how to treat and love us by the way we do it for ourselves. How you love and think of yourself will usually correlate to how others perceive us. This isn’t true all of the time, but it is for the majority of it.

So when you’re feeling like you don’t belong, check-in with yourself. What are you telling yourself? Where is this feeling coming from? And how can it be improved? Sometimes we have to take a look within and then work on the external factors. I could go on all day about feeling like you don’t belong, but I’m going to go ahead and end it here.

With that being said, I believe that someday you’ll figure out your place in this world and I will too. These things come with time and can’t be rushed. Whatever misunderstandings you’ve had, every negative thing you’ve ever thought about yourself or a situation is over now. This is the day we start fresh and try to look at things with an open mind. Remember positivity isn’t about being happy about a situation that’s negative. It’s more so about having an open mind to all of the possibilities that could come out of the event. It’s not easy to keep this mind frame, but it’s worth it in the end.

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Money Diaries Will Change Your Spending Life

When I first picked up Money Diaries it wasn't something I thought I would enjoy reading. I chose it out of pure curiosity and once I skimmed through it I put it back on top of my shelf to collect dust until now. Let me tell you, I am so glad I gave it a chance after a whole year. They say you can't judge a book by its cover and this is one of those books. I want to share with you how Money Diaries changed my financial way of thinking and can change yours too.

Money Diaries Book Review

This book was written by Lindsey Stanberry who is a part of the company Refinery29. I purchased this book at Target last year because the subtitle intrigued me due to honestly not being the best at finances. It seemed like the perfect book to help me understand how to save and spend money efficiently. When I originally opened it up I landed in the diary. Since I didn't start from the beginning I closed it. Now here we are actually reading it a year later. Don't be like me.

Stanberry actually makes it really easy to understand finance terminology and different approaches to money management. I think I learned more from this book than from my parents, college, and the internet combined! That says a lot! So if you're asking me if I recommend this book, the answer is HELL YES! I like that it gives real women's perspectives and talks about real women's financial concerns. I know that little summary isn't why you're here so let's get to the good stuff, shall we?

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Debt Is A Beast You Can Conquer

We’ve all experienced some type of debt whether it’s owing someone five dollars to owing fifty-thousand dollars in student loan debt. So I feel it is safe to say that in a way we have all been in debt. If you’re battling with big girl debt, I feel your pain. I personally fell victim to credit card and student loan debt. I’ll admit that sometimes it makes me question why I went to college anyway when I see my paycheck. Yikes! But I digress.

In Money Diaries, there are different ways to ideally spread out your paycheck to accommodate your regular living expenses, debt, and savings. These plans are meant to help you live comfortable although they may be hard to follow at first. My point is that following a financial plan helps you get and stay out of debt. So that brings me to talk about the different plans discussed:

50/30/20 Rule

The book revolves around the 50/30/20 Rule. If you’ve never heard of it or need a refresher, I’ll explain. Basically, 50% of your income goes to fixed expenses. These are things like rent, car expenses, or any kind of insurance to name a few. The fixed expenses are mandatory for you to live. It’ll be impossible to cut them out because they are the essentials and basics you need in life.

30% of your income is what Stanberry calls flexible expenses. Think about your Hulu, Apple Music, gym membership or even clothes. These are expenses that are nice to have but aren’t necessarily essential to give you a quality life. You can even put credit card debt in this category.

20% of your income should go to savings. This includes a retirement fund, emergency funds, and that precious student loan debt we all love. You should always try to have money set aside for a rainy day. What if you were to lose your job? How about a scenario where your car breaks down? Without savings, you’re screwed. I’ve personally been on both sides of the spectrum I used to save all of the time, but since my debt got out of control I find myself living paycheck to paycheck. This book is helping figure out a way to get back to my old saving habits and get out of the debt hole I dug my self in.

If you’re like me and don’t have an emergency fund because of tons of debt you should switch the way you handle your money. What I mean by that is you should start focusing on building up an emergency fund even if you can only give two dollars at a time. Every little bit counts. Money Diaries suggest you save an emergency fund that has at least $2,000.

Other Rules

If you’re in a lot of debt the 50/30/20 rule may not be as feasible right now. So that’s why financial advisor, Priya, suggest you do the 70/20/10 rule. The 20% goes to paying off debt while 10% is what you save. A little more manageable, right? If you’re not too bad off financial, but still feel that you can’t quite live in the 50/30/20 rule then try the 80/20 Rule. 20% goes to savings and the rest is yours to play with.

401K's Matter

You may be thinking duh Paige, everyone knows you need a 401K for when you retire so Of course, it matters. Yes, that's the general consensus, but can I ask you how much you're contributing? Your contribution is the difference between you retiring a 401K millionaire or struggle to make ends meet due to low funds.

Stanberry opened my eyes to how important it is that you include saving for your 401K as part of your 20 or 10%. Think about it. You can’t work forever and you want to be comfortable so that you don’t realize you took a pay cut.

She explains the different types of 401K’s available and what they can do for you. After reading about the different options I think it would be best for me to have the traditional 401K with my job and a Roth IRA that I’ll personally set up on the side. That way when I’m of retirement age I won’t have to pay as much taxes because the Roth IRA wants the taxes paid now.

It is recommended to focus on paying off debt & building up an emergency fund before contributing at least 6% to your 401K. That makes sense because you need the extra money to contribute to those other priorities. That may sound scary, but remember it’ll only be temporary because debt technically doesn’t last forever. There’s more detail about what to contribute to your 401K and the different ones you can set up in the book.

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Ask For A Raise The Smart Way

We all hope to make more money at our jobs if we don’t have our ideal salary right now. I know I do! That’s why the section about how to ask for a raise was so important to me and maybe for you too. I got encouragement from reading the ladies’ stories about how they asked for raises and what they got in return. It makes me feel as though I will be able to do the same.

The main takeaway I got from this chapter is to be confident and ask for what you want. That’s the only way you’ll get what you want and be taken seriously. You may even get more than what you asked for! It was also surprising to me that she said to not wait until your end of year review to ask for a raise. Before this book, I thought that would be the prime time. If you’re not sure about how to ask for a raise before your end of year review, Lindsey Stanberry has you covered. I think the approach I’m going to take is asking my boss how she would recommend I ask. I think that is foolproof. Side note. Don’t forget to keep track of all of your accomplishments and things you do no matter how big or small. You’ll need these for reference later in your meeting.

Getting Out of Student Loan Debt Is Possible

I’m going to be transparent with you and let you in on some of my financial situations specifically student loans. Right now I’m around $21K in student loan debt and before this book, I felt like I would be paying on it forever. Mostly it’s because I also have credit card debt to go along with it that I’m trying to get under control so I don’t have much money to put toward my student loan. I know there is someone out there who can relate! Money Diaries gives two different solutions to paying off student loan debt:

  1. The Avalanche Method

  2. The Snowball Method

The Avalanche Approach

The avalanche method focuses on taking care of the minimum payment and then targeting any leftover money you have to the loan with the highest interest rate. That will help you pay down your loan faster. I think I’m going to try and start doing this, but only if my total payment is less than the recommended 20% of my income.

The Snowball Approach

I was using the snowball approach before I got into a ton of credit card debt. It worked! I think this method is perfect for those who still live at home and don’t have a ton of bills because of it. That was my situation anyways. With this method, you will pay the minimum monthly payments and the leftover money you have targets the loan with the lowest balance. Now that my situation has changed, I think the avalanche method will better suit my needs.

Bonus: Stanberry recommends tackling your credit card debt with one of these methods before trying to pay down your student loan faster. I believe it is because the credit card debt has higher interest rates and will have a bigger impact on your credit score if you’re utilizing more than 30% of the balance amongst all of your credit cards combined.

We Need To Talk About What Happens After Death

When I say we need to talk about what happens after death, I don’t mean something spiritual or morbid. I’m talking about what yours or your parents’ financial state will look like when either of you passes away. Most of the time when you pass away, any of the debt you’ve accumulated stays on Earth for your family to handle. I know that sucks. So it’s important to have these conversations with someone you trust like a family member or close friend that will know what you want them to do after you’re gone especially with your finances.

You need to talk to your parents about their financial affairs because most likely you will be the one who will have to deal with any wills, debt, and estates. I’ve partially had this conversation with my mom, but it is important to talk about it multiple times because anything can change over a year or even a month! The book breaks down what you need to ask your parents and an appropriate way to bring it up without it sounding like you’re waiting on them to die. Hopefully, they’ll just bring it up themselves, but if not take notes from Money Diaries.

The Wrap Up

As you can see I learned a lot from Money Diaries and will definitely be reading it again. It has tons of information that I couldn’t talk about today so you’ll have to pick it up for yourself. Let me know if you want me to do a part two of this. I enjoy reading things that fall in the self-improvement category. This is a great read and I’m glad I purchased it. I’ll also let you know that this post wasn’t sponsored and I bought the book with my own money. Also, make sure you subscribe to my email list! We have tons of fun over there!