“Put on your own mask before assisting others.”
I’ve heard flight attendants, or more recently the inflight video, state this line hundreds of times. The moral of course being you don’t do anyone any good if you fall over gasping for breath before you finish putting a mask on your child or panicking seatmate.
Currently, I’m flailing around in the aisle gasping for air and blocking everyone else from the emergency exit row. Or at least, that’s how it feels as I eat TUMS like its candy.
This hyperbolic imagery comes to you as the result of me overcommitting myself on several fronts. Running Broke Millennial and posting a minimum of once a week, handling freelance gigs (one of which is now Forbes!), taking CFP classes, working on a currently top secret project with a deadline and balancing it all around a full time job. It’s a classic entrepreneurial move. Instead of saying no to moneymaking and brand-building opportunities, I’ve just stopped caring for myself. This also turns into quite the money pit.
Full disclosure: this is a bit of self-indulgent rant or therapeutic writing if you will. However, it can provide some insight for those interested in balancing freelancing with a full-time job or serial over-commiters.
How exactly is me having less time to go out and indulge in activities that would normally cost me turning into a money pit? Seems like being a hermit would be quite beneficial to the ol’ savings account.
Not for me thanks to the increase in ordering meals, eating junk and doubling my coffee intake. I may or may not be noshing on a chocolate Easter bunny as I’m typing. It should also be stated that after much effort, I just can’t turn myself into a morning person so I’m a night owl who stays up late to get work done.
I usually get home from work around 7 or 7:30 at which point Mosby immediately needs to get walked and fed (putting on his oxygen mask first). He deserves a long walk after being inside most of the day, so it’s about 30 minutes of my time to give him a mile or two walk and then feed him.
Now it’s 8:00 pm and I need to feed myself. Normally meals have been prepped over the weekend so I can just pop something healthy and homemade into the microwave or heat it up on the stove. Not so much lately. Weekends are dedicated to slogging through work and getting some errands done (like laundry). Not much time is left to spend three to four hours grocery shopping and bulk cooking meals.
So, I’ve been reduced to quick, often unhealthy, meals (partially because it’s what I’m craving) or ordering out to save some time and get to work. This has become quite the little money pit in the last few weeks as I’m used to spending about $120 max on food each week.
I’ve also been putting off a much needed hair cut and exercise is often a low priority item these days, which has left clothing feeling tighter than normal and energy levels drained. (And yes, I know, I could just prioritize exercise but it’s hard to get it up about going out on a run when you’re tired and the habit just isn’t there.)
After another day of not getting down to work until about 8:45 and needing to stop at 10 to give Mosby another long walk it hit me: I’m growing a business and I can’t do this alone.
It’s time to get my act together and hire an assistant (virtual or real) to help take some tasks off my plate and consider ponying up for indulgences like a dog walker for Mosby during the day, laundry service and Fresh Direct to nix the time spent doing and folding my own laundry as well as grocery shopping. It should be noted here, I’m a city dweller without a car and no washer/dryer in the apartment. So tasks like grocery shopping and doing laundry aren’t as simple as they may sound. This of course, will require spending more into the money pit. But it goes back to the notion of when is it time to stop being cheap? These are certainly practices I can cease when life settles down a little bit, but perhaps they’ll still be worth the cost in exchange for my time.
P.S. I decided to add another thing to my workload and figure out Instagram. I am a millennial after all. If you’re feeling generous and want to follow someone who will post money tips (and obviously dog pictures) you can find me @brokemillennialblog.