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In this video, Chelsea shows us all the things she used to do herself, but stopped because they were costing her in the long run — from taking care of her business finances to finding an actually-good exercise routine.

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Hey, guys. It's Chelsea from The Financial Diet. And this week's video is sponsored by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

And today, I want to talk about the things that I waited way, way too long on to ask for help. Sometimes, this was because of stubbornness. Sometimes, this is because I thought I was saving myself money although in the long term I was costing myself a ton of money.

And sometimes, it was just because I was frankly lazy. But in all of these cases, I could have saved myself an enormous amount of headaches or started on something I loved way sooner if I had opened myself up to just being humble enough and making the investment to actually getting help from someone who knows what they're doing. You might not have the same ones that I did.

But chances are in your life, you are definitely doing at least a few things badly or not doing them at all because you haven't sought the right resources. So stop waiting to ask for help and stop letting your pride or stubbornness backfire on you and learn from my mistakes with these six things I waited way too long to ask for help on. Number one was learning to exercise properly.

Now a very, very frequent phenomenon in my life before I want to say it was New Year's 2017-- I would have to go honestly look back at my Instagram to know exactly when it was. But it was like around New Year's 2017, I think. But one of the-- or actually it was maybe 2018.

It was maybe 2018. Anyway, I've been exercising so long now I can't even remember when it was. But the point is there was a time in my life before I was quite frankly honest with myself enough to ask for help when it came to working out that I would get myself into a very familiar cycle.

I would sign up for some kind of class, or I would get a membership at a gym or a fancy studio. I would go to one of the classes, feel like a complete fool, not be able to keep up, not know what I was doing, and then eventually I would just abandon it. And sometimes, I ended up paying for things like these gym memberships for months and months after I stopped using the gym because I was frankly too prideful to go back in and be like hello.

I don't work out, so I need to stop paying this. Point being, I wondered all the time why does it seem like everyone else in these classes is really getting so much out of it? And I feel like I can't figure out what I'm doing, and I can't keep up.

Well, no surprise. For most of the classes that I was joining in on, I didn't know what I was doing. When I was using the equipment at the gym, I didn't know what I was doing.

So in addition to not really getting the most out of a workout, I was also really in many cases putting myself at risk of injury. So I made the life-changing decision to suck it up and pay for several sessions one on one with a pilates instructor so I could learn things like how to properly position my body in pilates. I could use machines like the reformer or the chair instead of just feeling like a complete idiot on them.

And I could actually get a lot out of the classes I was going to, classes which obviously are much, much less expensive than private tutoring, because I went in there with that level of confidence of knowing what I was doing. And in addition to making the workouts themselves more beneficial, I found that that feeling of knowing what I was doing and not feeling like I was out of place gave me an increased level of confidence to keep at it. Years later, and I still do pilates three or four times a week.

So suffice it to say I am definitely glad I finally asked for the help I needed and wish I'd done it sooner. Number two was trying to take care of my business finances without a professional. When I say the TFD's finances used to be a hot mess, I am in no way exaggerating.

My co-founder Lauren and I were so focused on the day-to-day production needs that accounting became a complete afterthought, which if you know anything about running a business is an extremely dangerous thing to make an afterthought. There was a time when our entire company's finances were held together through a combination of messy Excel spreadsheets, email chains, and actual pieces of paper with numbers written on them. There was no organization or coherence.

And we stayed that way for longer than we'd like to admit out of a combination of pride and familiarity. I'm happy to say now though that we today at TFD have an excellent system for managing our day-to-day finances and utilize CPAs for all the higher-level stuff that we need help with. And if you're a small business owner or freelancer, I highly recommend using the services of a certified public accountant to help you reach your business goals.

CPAs are qualified financial experts who give advice all year round, not just during tax season. They have broad business knowledge and financial expertise that's invaluable to business owners. They can help you with the parts of your business you should almost never DIY, including financial and tax planning, business valuation, accounting services, and setting and meeting your business growth goals.

To find a CPA near you, click the link in our description to check out the AICPA's Find a CPA tool. Number three is taking care of my mental health. When I was a little kid, I mean as little as I probably have memories for like two or three or whatever, I can remember not being able to fall asleep.

I would just sit in bed and think about things that made me feel nervous and upset. And I would run through all these scenarios in my head. And I could not focus on anything.

And I certainly could not calm my brain enough to actually fall asleep. I remember even when I was in kindergarten or grade school, I would stay up till 3:00, 4:00 in the morning every night just running through things in my head and then be completely exhausted at school the next day. This continued basically for my whole life.

And surprise, surprise. I did terribly in school. I graduated-- well, I barely graduated high school.

But I graduated with a 2.1 GPA because my father basically-- I don't know if he maybe bribed the guidance counselors to help me graduate or something. But let's just say I was like barely making it across that graduation stage. And even after high school, many different elements of my life continued to suffer because I had this really, really bad insomnia.

And for whatever reason, my brain just would not quiet down. And it took me a while to realize that girl, that's not normal. You shouldn't be staying up super late every single night just thinking about things that make you upset.

There is a name for that. It's called anxiety. And in the case of this situation, it's called anxiety-induced insomnia.

Now for many people, these types of mental health issues can be contextual. You can have times in your life that are more difficult to navigate than others. I'm sure that 2020 has hit most of us in a pretty profound way and could lead to you feeling a little bit let's say less prepared to deal with day-to-day life than you usually are.

But for many of us, there are ongoing elements of mental health that should be treated with the exact same level of seriousness and care that any kind of physical ailment would be. Years ago, after finally being like the way I am living is not normal, I should talk about this with someone, I ended up trying many different kinds of sleep medications. I ultimately made the decision to not use pharmaceuticals to help myself sleep on an ongoing basis.

But I have integrated many, many different practices in my life in order to have what is called better sleep hygiene. That's how you know you're old as hell is when you use the term sleep hygiene unironically. But suffice to say, through taking my mental health seriously, I have created a whole system of tools to help me overcome some of these difficulties and make myself better equipped to deal with life.

And one of those things is working with a mental health professional. I see a psychologist once a week. And this can be beneficial for many different reasons.

Obviously, the primary goal is managing anxiety disorder and helping to work on maintaining those good habits, but also part of it can be about helping to overcome those more contextual issues. I'm sure many of us are left feeling a little unprepared to deal with some of what we've all experienced this year. And that can also be a good way to give yourself a nice, steady anchor and someone with whom you can have those conversations that maybe not everyone else in your life is equipped to have.

The point is for a long time, I just simply didn't take my brain as seriously as I would any other body part that wasn't doing well. It took me a long time to ask for help. And when I look back at my life and how much my anxiety and therefore my insomnia had a negative impact on basically every element of it, the more I wish I had reached out for help sooner.

And if you're someone who feels like there's a stigma in going to the therapist, let me just say nothing is more chic. Number four is getting a wardrobe I actually like. Do you see the dress I'm wearing?

Because I own it in no fewer than four different colors and patterns. Why? Because I have made the adult, I would consider, and more importantly economical in the long-term decision that if I like an item of clothing, it fits me well, it's functional, I wear it quite a bit-- I get a lot of use out of it-- I buy it in multiples.

Because ultimately you will find I think in creating any kind of long-term, sustainable wardrobe that isn't let's just say susceptible to the fickle winds of fashion trends and actually lasts year over year, you are going to have to stick to a relatively narrow set of items. Obviously, some people go as far as to create a full-on capsule wardrobe in which they sort of interchange a few very specific items in fairly neutral colors or at least a limited color palette so that basically everything can go together. But even if you're not going to go to that extent making sure that your wardrobe is basically only comprised of what I would refer to as A team items in the sense that they're all items that you wear frequently and always feel good in is going to be a key to making sure that you're not wasting money on clothes that you don't wear, and you're not constantly spending to update your wardrobe with things that you ultimately don't really need.

I'm not saying that you have to reach the level where your wardrobe is like a cartoon character. And when you open up your closet, there's just 15 of the exact same outfit. But something relatively close to that is probably going to be much better in the long term.

Take note of how you feel when you wear different things, when you wear certain cuts, certain colors, pants versus a skirt, blouse versus a button down. All of the kind of choices that you're making on a day-to-day basis, you should pay attention to. When do you feel your best?

When do you feel your most comfortable? When do you feel your most professional? Start to take note and replicate what's working while cutting out the rest.

And a huge part of this that involves asking for help from someone else who knows what they're doing is in tailoring. Long ago, I realized that there was really no such thing as a pair of jeans that fits perfectly off the rack and feels great. I'm sure that exists for some body types but not for mine.

But the good news is for a few small dollars per item, you can pay a professional to transform an item into something that looks like it was made for you. You might wonder why do celebrities always look so good in whatever they're wearing, well, some of them anyway. And yes, part of it is that they have professional stylists, which I don't have.

But another part of it is that almost every single item that touches their body down to their t-shirts is tailored for them. And now I'm not saying you're necessarily going to be able to afford to get every item tailored. But making sure that a few key items in your wardrobe are made to fit perfectly, something like the perfect pair of jeans, can upgrade the rest of the look considerably.

And when you consider that some stores like Nordstrom for example will offer free tailoring with some purchases, you almost have no reason not to do it. But again, even if you're having to pay for this separately and out of pocket, I think that a $10 tailor job on an otherwise imperfect item that could suddenly become a staple of your wardrobe is always worth it. Number five is complicated but valuable home tasks.

So I live in Manhattan. So kind of by necessity, I'm a renter although I've heard mysterious tales of some people who actually own apartments in Manhattan. But that means that as someone who loves updating her home, it's kind of hard to do that to a certain extent.

Because as a renter, you only have so many things you can change. And also from an investment perspective, there is only so much you can really justify on a financial level. But actually, a writer friend that I've mentioned here on the channel before Amanda Mull recently posted on her Twitter that she swapped out her kitchen sink faucet for a much better one entirely by herself because it makes the entire process of doing dishes infinitely better basically like that with very little skill needed.

I've made similar changes in my apartment and have found that even the smallest day-to-day changes can have a huge impact even if you're just renting the apartment. And for context, she's renting hers. But she YouTube tutorialed herself up in order to make that change.

So you can go all the way up to things that seem a little bit more substantial than your typical swapping out handles or putting on a fresh coat of paint. But there is a slight level above that that's somewhere between work you would only do in a home that you own like remodeling your kitchen and things that you can totally do yourself like painting a wall. And for a long time, I considered those things out of bounds.

But of late, I've started to say, hey, there's an in-between level of stuff that I can have a professional do that will make a big impact on my day-to-day life within the home I live in. For example, in my current apartment when I moved in-- and I love my apartment. It is like the perfect space in New York.

I could not have dreamed of a better place. But there were a few things about it that were really just-- did not sit well with my spirit, number one being that the kitchen lighting was just a huge fluorescent panel that reminded me of being in school, which I was never a fan of. It was completely ugly.

It had no vibes. I absolutely hated it. Any time I walked by that fluorescent light, I was like, oh, kill me.

And I love being in the kitchen, and I love cooking. So that was a big issue. And I realized pretty quickly that this is not something I have to live with.

If you're willing to pay a professional electrician, they can come in and switch that lighting fixture like that, which is exactly what happened. And now I have a beautiful lighting fixture on a dimmer switch, which took like 10 seconds for him to change out. And that makes a huge day-to-day quality of life difference in the home that I live in.

Similarly, one of our bedrooms has a really, really awkward amount of space and storage. And there's really not a whole lot you can do in a small New York City apartment to add more places to put things unless you're willing to go up. So having a skilled carpenter come by and help build custom shelves to help store the things that we needed to store without taking up any of the floor space was a really great way to make the space instantly more functional without necessarily tasking myself with something I'm not equipped to do.

Yes, both of these items were investments. But over the years that I live in this place, they are investments that mean quite a lot to me. And where you are living in your home, you might have resigned yourself to several elements of your home that you don't love but you can't fix yourself.

Consider that you can transform your space and reap all the benefits that that entails by simply asking for a little bit of professional help where it counts. Lastly, number six was learning about my neighborhood. Like many New Yorkers unfortunately-- and I would say that this has always been one of the biggest problems of late in New York-- I didn't really know that much about my neighborhood or my neighbors that well.

I've lived in my current neighborhood in New York, Morningside Heights for those of you who would be asking or trying to find out on my Instagram, Morningside Heights, I've lived in this neighborhood for a little over three years now, maybe 3 and 1/2 years. And only in the past six months have I really started to get invested in the neighborhood itself. I joined a mutual aid group when quarantine started.

And I'm also part of a community coalition that works on various building and zoning projects, talks about the sustainability of the neighborhood, the greenability of the neighborhood, where schools are going, where hospitals are going, new condo buildings that are going up, affordable housing, all of the various issues that really impact a neighborhood on a day-to-day basis. And it's been really interesting because for a long time I avoided getting involved in any community organization because I felt like I don't know enough about New York. I haven't been here long enough.

I don't deserve to be a part of a community board. And to be fair, I do way more listening than I do talking. I barely talk because listen.

I'm here to listen to the people who've been living in my neighborhood for decades and decades. But once you are willing to put yourself out there into something that is totally new to you like community organizing or community management, you suddenly realize that this is something that should be part of everyone's life. Everyone should have an investment in where they're living, what's going up around them, what's being built, what's being torn down.

The future of your neighborhood, which is a living, breathing thing, is up to the people that live in it. And you as an individual especially working on just a small neighborhood level can have an enormous impact on the future of that neighborhood. I was always very shy about asking for help or trying to learn and join about the neighborhood.

Because again, when you're a transplant, it can take you a while to feel like a real member of the city. But I'm incredibly glad that I did join these orgs and frankly can't wait to join more. Because even before the full year mark, I already feel like much more of a New Yorker who understands so much more about the way that she lives and the place in which she lives.

And I cannot wait to be even more involved. Asking questions is just the first step. But ultimately, no matter what you've been a little shy about or stubborn about or proud about, chances are there is someone out there who is more than willing to help you and wants to welcome you into a world that you don't maybe know too much about so that you can start taking it on as a valuable part of your own life.

And do not forget if you're ready to take the step to getting more help with the financial health of your small business or freelance operation, click the link in our description to check out the AICPA's Find a CPA tool. As always, guys, thank you for watching. And don't forget to hit the Subscribe button and to come back every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday for new and awesome videos.