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Chelsea covers the various life decisions that can feel really complicated or scary in the moment, but which are actually pretty manageable once you understand them. TFD viewers share their worst money decisions in this video: https://youtu.be/cUMcxXIfUWc.

This video is brought to you by Verizon Fios.

Debt repayment vs. investment calculator: https://studentloanhero.com/calculators/student-loan-payoff-vs-invest-calculator/

Chelsea on Intermittent Fasting: https://thefinancialdiet.com/6-strategies-made-intermittent-fasting-work-1-5-years/

Consequences of not exercising: https://www.livestrong.com/article/501683-5-consequences-of-not-exercising/

Wardrobe decision fatigue: https://www.racked.com/2017/12/28/16822550/personal-uniform-multiples-decision-fatigue

Choosing the right credit card: https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/credit-cards/how-to-pick-the-best-credit-card-for-you-4-easy-steps/

Meal planning guide: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/menu-planning/art-20048199

Some of TFD’s best meal planning articles: https://thefinancialdiet.com/2-week-guide-get-started-meal-planning/

https://thefinancialdiet.com/my-10-go-to-cheap-healthy-meals-that-make-weeknights-a-breeze/

https://thefinancialdiet.com/4-reasons-try-meal-plan-losing-weight-saving-money/

Staying in your job could be costing you: https://www.forbes.com/sites/cameronkeng/2014/06/22/employees-that-stay-in-companies-longer-than-2-years-get-paid-50-less/#31212a93e07f

Watch more of The Financial Diet hosted by Chelsea Fagan here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLD30V46E07RR99cC0gCjKUbt-BKoDUcnc

The Financial Diet site:
http://www.thefinancialdiet.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thefinancialdiet
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TFDiet
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thefinancialdiet/?hl=en
Hey, guys.

It's Chelsea from The Financial Diet. And this week's video is brought to you by Verizon Fios.

And this week, I wanted to talk to you about all the life decisions, from our finances, to our careers, to the way we eat, which we're, generally speaking, making way too difficult on ourselves. It can be so easy to feel overwhelmed with choice or to not know the right questions to ask ourselves end to end up overcomplicating the issue. And sometimes a decision really is a very complicated one.

But often it isn't. And here are seven of those life decisions which we could start making so much easier on ourselves right now. Number one is investing versus paying down debt.

This is one of the questions we get asked most often by you guys. And ultimately, it really boils down to a pretty simple formula. Now, I will make a huge caveat here and say there are certain personal finance experts who will recommend getting rid of all debt before investing even a penny.

But we just don't believe that that is a practical way to live. And also, for many of us, will mean missing out on a lot of opportunity. So assuming that you are going to be investing while still paying down debt, it's a pretty easy formula.

As The Balance puts it, if you can earn a higher return on your investments than the interest on your debt, you should invest. Otherwise, you should pay off your balance. This is often applicable to things like subsidized debt where the interest is quite low.

And there are super simple calculators, which help you figure out exactly how you should portion off your debt repayment versus your investment, which I'll link you to in the description. But I should say that, for some of us, debt causes extreme anxiety. And you may find that paying off debt faster than even makes sense in just raw financial terms really helps you psychologically.

And if that's your case, then have at it. No longer carrying the burden of certain debts may improve your life in ways that pure financial gain simply can't. But it's important to know the reasons behind this.

And it's also important to know that you're making an active choice to continue paying down debt more aggressively, even though it may not be the best financial decision. So first, start by just knowing exactly where you stand by using calculators like the one I'll link you to figure out what the best ratio is for you. Number two is starting exercise.

So here's a sad fact. According to new data from the Centers for Disease Control, only about 23% of all US adults get the recommended amount of exercise per week. That is 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise plus two bouts of muscle-strengthening exercise.

And being in the over 75% of Americans who aren't getting enough exercise has huge impacts outside of just our fitness. It can lead to things like weakened bones, getting sick more frequently, having reduced cognitive ability, and our overall mood and energy levels. It might seem counterintuitive, but exercising more actually gives you more energy.

But I can definitely speak from experience in the sense that, for a long time, I was extremely sedentary in my adult life. About four years ago, when I first started practicing IF and lost about 20 pounds, I was, at the time, working an office job where I worked basically around the corner and got essentially no exercise every day, which meant that, even though I was eating around the same amount of food that I used to eat, because I was so sedentary, I quickly packed on weight. And as I've mentioned before, when I started IF, or Intermittent Fasting, I should say, which I'll link you guys to an explainer about that I wrote in the description.

At first, I focused entirely on my eating and did drop that weight. But pretty soon after, I wanted to add exercise to my routines because I felt like, wow, you're young, you're healthy, you have the ability to exercise. What excuse do you have not to be treating your body with respect?

So I started by setting myself a goal of 10,000 steps per day, which I found was pretty easy to meet once I treated it like a requirement. And yes, sometimes that would mean just getting up from my desk and walking in circles around my building for 15 minutes or choosing to get off a few subway stops early so I would have a longer walk. But I found that starting myself on that path toward exercising with something as simple and accessible as walking made the whole idea of getting into exercise or becoming athletic much more accessible.

And going from just walking to adding some real exercise took some trial and error. I first started running, which, even though I was trying the simplest versions-- like, I did couch to 5K, and I did walk/runs and all this other stuff that's supposed to help you ease into it, I just didn't enjoy running. I also signed up for expensive gyms that just had like the machines and the weight room and all that stuff.

And I would basically never use it, I think, largely because I had no accountability to it. It took me a while to find Pilates, which I did for a few sessions first with a tutor one on one so that I could get into it and learn how to follow classes, but really stuck with me. But even in that, it took me a while to find the studio that was right for me and right for my life.

And now it's not difficult for me to get my steps every day and to regularly go to Pilates. But in order to get over our hump of feeling like we're just not "the working out type," you have to start by finding something super simple and super small that will get you over that initial fear. Because, let's be honest, when most of us are super noodly and sedentary and have no strength or endurance, it can feel kind of embarrassing to think about working out.

I did a few really hard-core classes back when I was totally out of shape. And the sheer humiliation that I suffered from not being able to complete even basic elements of the exercise class in front of 30 really fit people was devastating. So finding something super simple, like walking 10,000 steps a day that you can fit into your routine and which puts you at no risk for potential humiliation, is a great way to get started.

But the biggest way we can stop over complicating this for ourselves is to stop dividing ourselves up into people who workout and people who don't. The more you think of yourself as unathletic or as someone who doesn't like working out, the more you will fulfill that destiny. And lastly, I mentioned first that I focused just on diet at first to drop the weight initially, which I wanted to drop and then got into exercise.

Because statistically speaking, exercise for the purpose of weight loss doesn't really work and often can be counterproductive. Plus, it's harder to try and master multiple things at once. So decoupling the working out in your mind from losing weight, if that is also a goal, is also hugely helpful to stop making this so complicated.

Anyone can be a person who exercises. You just have to find the first few steps to help you get there. Number three is deciding what subscriptions are worth it.

It's no secret that we live in a time where basically anything is possible from a convenience or access standpoint. We can be signed up for near unlimited streaming services, have a ton of monthly subscriptions, be in lots of online shopping programs. We can lease everything from a nicer car to more expensive furniture.

We can be a member of everything from a gym to a grocery co-op. And we can live with as many or as few home comforts as we're willing to pay for. And as you move into adulthood, it can be really hard to figure out which of these subscriptions and which of these memberships are really worth it to you and additive to your life and which aren't.

And if we're being totally honest, you've probably signed up for many things that you never really ended up getting use our of, like me and my gym membership. But the questions to ask yourself are simple. Does your life measurably improve from having this thing in your life?

How often do you actually use this thing you're paying for? And if this thing isn't something that's measurably improving your life or which you're getting a lot of use out of, even if it's something that you feel that you should have, like a gym membership or a nicer car, then the answer is simply no. Once you become radically honest with yourself about your life, the bills that are truly worth it versus the ones that you just kind of signed up for or accumulated without really thinking, become very clear.

And one very common monthly bill that's worth it for basically everyone is your TV, phone, and internet provider. And if you're looking for a way to streamline your TV, internet, and phone service, you should check out Fios Triple Play bundle. Right now, they're offering a special bonus of a $200 prepaid Visa gift card.

And in addition, you can opt in to a two-month test drive. During the two-month period, you'll get ultimate HDTV with more than 425 channels, including Showtime, Stars, and direct access to Netflix. And Fios digital tools will analyze what you're watching so it can make a recommendation on the best TV package for you at the end of the two-month period.

You'll also get super internet so you can stream on all your devices at once. Check out the offer at the link in our description to sign up today. Number four is creating an adult wardrobe.

So I have been on a long personal hashtag journey to create a wardrobe that I felt happy in. As I've mentioned before on this channel I used to dress like a little girl, which would have been cute if I was a little girl. But I was like 25.

And then I got rid of a ton of my clothes at once, streamlined everything down to a few items and colors like beige, navy, white, black, et cetera, and I called it hashtag neutral life. And that helped me totally change how I perceive myself and also gave me a much more versatile and professional wardrobe. But after a few years, it became kind of stifling to only wear neutral-colored clothes.

So in recent times, I've been getting a little bit more adventurous in how I dress, including doing things like wearing statement jewelry, which I never used to do. And I actually don't even really think that this counts as statement jewelry. But I wear jewelry now, which never used to happen.

But the point is, I kind of settled into a sweet spot that is neither totally over-the-top girly and immature, nor totally neutral and boring every single day. And one of the best strategies that I have found to help myself get there and one of the things that I think we often don't do which leads us to overcomplicate the wardrobe question is that, if I like an item, I buy multiples of it. I'll either buy multiples in different colors, or I'll get a couple of the same color.

Now, I should immediately caveat to say that this does require the financial ability to do so. But if you do have this financial ability, it is so much better to get several of the same item that you know you love than a bunch of different items that you feel differing about. And yes, part of this is so that you can ensure that every item in your closet is one that you really love and you know fits you well.

But it also helps reduce what we call decision fatigue. As one author put it in Racked, "Decision fatigue, the exhausting expenditure of mental energy on endless trivial decisions, is a real thing and takes more energy than I have sometimes, especially with young children who might also have to help dress. When we're forced to continuously make decisions about what clothes to buy and wear, it saps our mental energy for other more meaningful tasks.

And this isn't just speculation. This is proven. So the more you can get to what I jokingly refer to as a cartoon character wardrobe where you open up your closet and there's tons of the same things, the more you can ensure that every time you get dressed, it's in something that you feel really good and confident about.

But it also reduces down your options and number of items to choose from every morning, which weirdly, and kind of counterintuitively, actually makes you feel like you have more options because you know they're all good ones. Plus, you don't have to spend endless amounts of time agonizing about what you're going to wear. There is a reason why many powerful and busy people choose to dress in uniforms.

And some of them are kind of bullshit, but some of them really make sense, i.e., they would rather dedicate their thinking space to other things. I'm certainly not at the point where I have a uniform. But I would say I'm about halfway there in the sense that I own many of the same items.

And I generally tend to dress in a very similar way every day. And as a woman, few items are more important to do this with than jeans because lord knows that, for every one really good pair of jeans you find, you try on about 60 that make you hate yourself. So stop overcomplicating your adult wardrobe, and start thinking about how you can find the items you really love, and make sure you have more of them.

Number five is choosing a credit card. So I am someone who has been on all sides of the credit journey. I have ruined my credit using a credit card.

I have avoided credit at all costs because I felt like I couldn't trust myself. I've gone through using a rehab credit card, which I'll get to in a bit. And I now use credit cards pretty actively and funnel as many purchases as I can through them to get all the points and miles and benefits.

And so many TFD viewers write us asking about how to know which credit card they should choose or whether or not they're ready for a credit card. And ultimately, there's no need to overcomplicate this decision, because it's pretty simple. The general rule is that, if you can trust yourself with a credit card, you should be using it because there are plenty of advantages you can get through them aside from the obvious ones, like funneling purchases through them in order to rack up cash back or miles or points.

There's also the fact that using a credit card rather than, say, your debit card puts you at a lower risk. Because let's say the card gets skimmed or there's a fraudulent purchase. It's much better for that money to be the bank's problem than money that actually came out of your account.

And you're also not giving access to your whole bank account with that one card. There are protections and benefits that you get just by using a credit card. But of course, trusting yourself also means you know that you can pay that balance in full every month.

Because there aren't benefits to carrying a balance, but there are a ton of drawbacks, notably, you're paying interest, which you should avoid at all costs. And if you can't yet trust yourself with a credit card, but want to do something like build credit, there are other options, like the rehab credit card that I used, which you can either get one that has a super low balance, like $300, so you really can't get yourself in much trouble. Or you can get one where you prepay the credit card, so it's kind of like a debit card, except the bank treats it as a credit card.

So you're getting that credit benefit from making those timely payments. But you can't screw yourself over, because it's prepaid. But if and when you're ready for a real credit card, there are only a few simple questions to ask yourself.

One, you should know your credit score because that will give you a much better idea of the kind of credit cards that are available to you. And you can use a site like creditcard.com to figure that out for free. Then two, you want to just figure out what you're looking to accomplish with the card.

For example, my business credit card is with the airline we always fly with because we fly quite a lot for work. So getting a lot of those airline benefits is most useful to us. And number three, when you've decided what you want the benefits of your card to be, and you know your score, you can start comparing options using websites like NerdWallet or creditcards.com to apply for the best fit and to compare and contrast what they offer.

People do tend to overthink credit cards because, if you're not responsible with them, they can get you in a lot of trouble. But they also can be used to your advantage. And it's pretty simple to figure out which one will work best for you.

And the more and more you get to trust yourself with using that credit card, the more you can use it to your advantage or even use multiple cards in tandem to have different advantages. Don't overthink it. Just be honest with yourself.

Number six is planning out your weekly diet. Now, I'm someone who loves to cook and has grown up cooking, so it was never very difficult for me to get into regularly using my kitchen as an adult, which, obviously, has huge money-saving benefits over ordering in or taking out or going to restaurants or buying premade foods. And basically, every time I post a dinner on my Instagram where I like to share sometimes the food I'm cooking, I get the same question.

You're just cooking for you and your husband, why are you making so much food? Fucking, duh, I freeze the food. Like, I a big-batch cook almost everything I make because I don't like to cook every night.

I have classes in the evenings. I go places. I do things.

Sometimes I'm out of town, and my husband can't cook to save his life. So it's nice to have a freezer full of premade foods. I also usually have at least one serving that's portioned off and in the fridge to eat for lunch.

But the point is, I meal-plan. And it's helpful to me, even as someone who loves to cook and is pretty good at making things on the fly. Imagine how good it will be for you, someone who's had a really hard time getting into cooking.

A lot of this over complication around cooking is thinking that we have to come up with new things to eat every night. You don't. And if you successfully meal-plan and freeze properly, you can ensure that you only have to cook a few meals each week and that you can schedule them out when you're eating them, so you're not just eating several days of the same thing at a time.

A lot of people think of meal planning as like that crazy fitness shit where you see people with 17 Tupperwares that have like the same really sad looking chicken breast and dry looking broccoli and a pile of brown rice for, like, their breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But that is a really, really specific thing for people who are doing it usually for fitness reasons. You can meal-plan in a totally fun way.

And if you're someone who's been over complicating the idea of getting into home cooking, the Mayo Clinic actually has a great little step-by-step into getting into meal planning for total beginners. Here are a few of their great tips. Try a theme or two.

Don't start from scratch every week. For example, designate Mondays as pasta nights, and Thursdays as chicken nights, and plan to try new recipes on these nights to mix things up a bit. Then plan for and polish off leftovers.

Have extra pasta on Monday? That can be reheated for lunch on Tuesday. And leftover chicken on Thursday can be used to top off a salad or fill a sandwich or add to a soup on the weekend.

You can recycle your menus. Don't throw away your menu plan at the end of the week. Instead, hold onto it, and reuse it later.

And lastly, be flexible. Your menu is not written in stone. Feel free to swap things around or designate one night as the cook's choice, and use that night to clear out the fridge by making omelets, a casserole, stir fry, or chef's salad.

I'll link you guys, in the description, to some of my favorite meal-planning guides that we've shared on TFD's website. And when it comes to me personally, some of my favorite things to big batch and freeze are things like soups, pasta sauces, and quiche, which actually freezes exceedingly well and then reheats deliciously in the oven. Plus, quiche is basically completely un-mess-upable.

And you can put essentially anything in it. Try just a few weeks of meal planning with a nice calendar where you can plan out, not only what you're going to be cooking, but what you're going to be doing with the leftovers and when you're eating them later. And see how much that can change both your culinary and your financial life.

It is so much easier than you think. Lastly, number seven is staying in or leaving your current job. So as I mentioned before on this channel, there is a big misconception that millennials are notorious job-hoppers.

But that's not true. Statistically speaking, we tend to stay as long in jobs as people from gen X did. But when you consider that, on average, millennials are underpaid and underemployed for their education levels, the idea of moving to a different company in order to get what you deserve becomes pretty pressing for us.

I have personally stayed in jobs way longer than I should have because it was so difficult to take that plunge, even when I got better offers. So much that keeps us in a job we may have outgrown is the same things that will keep us in relationships that may no longer be working for us. It's familiar.

It's the known. It's where you have a place you feel comfortable and a role you understand. But that comfort can easily become a kind of quicksand.

And when it comes to the money you're earning, that quicksand can really hurt you. The average raise an employee can expect in 2014 is 3%. Even the most underperforming employee can expect a 1.3% raise, while the best performers can hope for a 4.5% raise.

But the inflation rate is currently 2.1% calculated based on the consumer price index published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And this means that your raise is actually, on average, less than 1%. This is probably sobering enough to make you reach for a drink.

But the average raise an employee receives for leaving is between a 10% to 20% increase in salary. So what that means is that, long story short, for most of us, you need to move out in order to move up. And there's a whole section in the career chapter of the TFD book by career expert Joanne Cleaver who wrote the book, The Career Lattice because, as she puts it, our careers are no longer ladders straight up in one company.

They are lattices where you have to go out into the side and over. But when you're constantly going back and forth on leaving your job, it can be easy to overcomplicate the situation. First, I should say that, if you've been thinking a lot about leaving your job, it's probably a sign that you should.

But if you want further clarity, there are a few very key questions to ask yourself that will simplify the situation. Number one is, do you earn a competitive salary for your job, both inside and outside your company? And this will take some research.

And if you have a relationship with your colleagues where you guys can speak openly about salaries, which does have a ton of benefits, this could be a time when it's advantageous. I've worked at jobs before where I found out only after I left that colleagues who were doing the same work and sometimes not as well were earning tens of thousands of dollars more than I was. But even outside of your company, websites like Glassdoor can be hugely illuminating for knowing exactly what you're getting in proportion to other people in similar jobs.

If the answer is no, you need to ask yourself if there's anything else about the job that is uniquely compensating for that differential in your pay, i.e., is there a really flexible work-from-home policy? Or are there other benefits you have access to that make the job worth it despite the gap in pay? Next, if you do still want to stay in the company, but the answer to both of those questions is no, are there really realistic opportunities for advancement outside of just a regular raise, like a promotion or a different job?

And do you have a clear path for getting there? Next is do you like your job on the day to day? Do you like the people that you work for?

And are you still gaining valuable experience and skills that could be beneficial to you a little bit down the road if you were to wait it out a little bit and look for a job at a certain date in the future? These questions will help you figure out if you should be leaving and if you should be leaving now. But one thing that is so important to remember is that, while you should be a reliable and loyal employee while in the job, your loyalty in your career is ultimately to yourself and your future.

You do not need to feel badly about going to another job that will be better for you. And spending years going back and forth over whether or not you should leave is a waste of your time and, ultimately, will often mean that you're more checked out of the job than you otherwise would have been. So ask yourself these questions.

Think honestly about the answer. And make a decision about when you should leave based on your timetable if you're going to leave at all. Remember that no matter what decisions you ultimately make in any of these cases, the key is to be honest with yourself about the life that you're living today and what you realistically want out of it.

There are no right or wrong answers. But waiting in indecision or feeling perpetually unsatisfied with what you have is one of the only guaranteed ways to not get what you want. And if what you want is a smarter way to live your digital life, you should check out Fios where you can find the perfect package for the way you use your phone, internet, and TV, and get a $200 prepaid Visa gift card just for signing up.

Check them out at the link in our description to learn more. As always, guys, thank you for watching. And don't forget to hit the Subscribe button and to come back every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday for new and awesome videos.

Bye.