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This post is sponsored by Lexington Law.  

Buying a car with a bad credit score is not impossible. However there are certainly some things you’ll want to consider if your credit is not in an optimal place before applying for a loan.

According to Lexington Law, bad credit is defined as:

Generally speaking, any credit score below 580 is considered poor credit. However, when it comes to loans, many lenders consider anything under 650 to be bad credit. Even if your score is over 580, you may still have trouble getting approved for the loan you need. Remember that there is no solid rule for how high your credit has to be to get approved for a loan and that this depends on the lender’s criteria.

If you fall into this category, you’re not alone. Around a third of Americans have credit scores below 601, and many have no credit at all. If you’re in this spot, you do still have options when it comes to buying a car with bad credit.

Before you even think about applying for financing, make sure you check your credit score and report at annualcreditreport.com. I also suggest a free consultation with the credit repair professionals at Lexington Law.

Steps To Take Before Buying a Car

Whether you have excellent credit or poor credit, there are a list of things you should always do before making a big purchase, like a car. They include:

  • Knowing your budget and financing options
  • Check your credit
  • Compare models and prices
  • Research the dealership
  • Be prepared to negotiate
  • Test drive, check the vehicle’s history, and know your rights

You can read the full guide here.

Potential Options To Consider If You Have Bad Credit

Even with bad credit, you do still have some options when it comes to purchasing or financing a vehicle. 

1. Buy it in cash.

Your credit won’t matter if you pay for your car in cash and in full. If you have the ability to do so, this might be an option worth considering. 

2. Start repairing your credit.

If you have some time before you need to buy a car, your best option is most likely to begin repairing your credit. Even a small increase in your credit score has the potential to save you thousands across the life of the loan. 

Don’t start applying for loans until you’re sure you’ll be approved. Applying for a loan puts a hard inquiry on your credit report which can decrease your credit score. A single credit check might not make a big difference, but multiple hard inquiries will. Hard inquiries make up 10% of your credit score so if you’re trying to purchase a car with bad credit, it’s best to avoid unnecessary dings.

I created an entire guide on how to start improving your credit score in the next six months — you can read that here. However if you’ve found yourself in a place with errors, inaccuracies, and unfair negative items on your credit report, I suggest contacting the credit repair professionals at Lexington Law for a consultation. They will be able to review your unique situation and help you improve your credit going forward.

3. Accept a higher interest rate.

As a general rule of thumb, the lower your credit score, the higher your interest rate will be. With a higher interest loan, your monthly payments will be higher and you’ll most likely also have longer loan terms. 

It’s really not an ideal situation, however, if you do have the income and the ability to make the payments without falling behind, it might be worthwhile for you to consider this option. But if you truly can’t afford it, it’s likely best to not accept a higher interest loan. 

4. Choose a lower cost car.

Instead of opting for a new car, shop used. You might be able to get a much better price if you look for a well-maintained car with some miles on it.

Make sure to ask for the car’s repair and accident history. Also consider having it inspected by a third-party. Buying used without a warranty can leave you up a creek in the future and cost you dearly for out of pocket repairs. 

Weigh the pros and cons before signing on any dotted line. Consider what you want your financial situation to be 5-10 years from now. Don’t put yourself in a situation that will only make it more difficult for you to pay your bills and provide for yourself and your family. 

5. Consider a co-signer.

Asking someone to co-sign a loan for you is a big ask. It puts them on the line if you don’t or are unable to make the payments. However, if you’re married or have a parent willing to help, it could help you get a better rate. 

6. Lower your debt as much as possible.

Before applying for a car loan, reduce your debt as much as possible to reduce your credit utilization ratio. You should always aim to keep your used credit below 30% of your available credit, but optimally closer to 10%. If your utilization ratio is above 30%, pay off as much of that overage as possible to bring that percentage down.

Here are some additional tips and tricks to reduce your credit utilization. Tips #3 and #5 are serious game-changers!

How To Purchase a Car Responsibly To Improve Your Credit

So now you know your options and you’ve made a decision. You’re ready to purchase a car, even with bad credit. Here’s how can you use this big purchase to improve your financial situation:

1. Make your loan payments on time.

Payment history makes up 35% of your credit score. Just by making your loan payments on time, you’re putting yourself in a better position for the future.

Put your loan payments on auto-pay so you never forget to make a payment!

2. Avoid opening new lines of credit for awhile.

Applying for an auto loan puts a hard inquiry on your credit report. And if you’re already having a hard time financing a car, it will be more challenging to get approved for other lines of credit. Avoid more dings to your score by not applying for any new lines of credit in the next six to 12 months.

3. Put some money down.

Some dealerships might advertise ‘no money down’ when it comes to purchasing a new car. This could lead to a higher interest rate plus longer loan terms, which ultimately benefit the dealership and the lender. Dealerships earn commissions on loans that they originate, so really they’re just making more money off of you. 

Shop smart and put down a down payment. Whether it’s five percent, ten percent, or more, the more you can put down the less you’ll have to finance. And the less you’ll have to finance, the less you’ll have to pay interest on. 

As you can see, even with bad credit, you still have some options when it comes to buying a car. Don’t be discouraged by the numbers you see. Instead, take action and educate yourself on what you need to do to improve your financial situation. Don’t sign anything you don’t understand and take every step possible to get your credit score up before applying!

The post How To Buy a Car With Bad Credit appeared first on GenTwenty.

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If you’re anything like me, you might look at the people around you and wonder how they are so put together. When I was a college student, I would often gawk at my peers who were killing it. You know the ones: straight A students who have a full class schedule, part-time job, part-time internship, volunteer, and participate in extracurricular activities like sports and clubs.

And it didn’t stop in college.

Since graduating and entering the “workforce,” I see more of the same. My colleagues work full-time plus overtime, raise children, see their friends every week, maintain their households, and still find time to exercise, have a side hustle, and binge-watch Netflix shows.

…how?

I’ve since learned their secret: a schedule they can stick to that optimizes their time efficiently.

I’m guessing you’re wondering how it can realistically work? If so, stick with me. You don’t have to do it all, but if you want to make your life a bit more balanced and a touch more fulfilling, make these habits your own.

5 Habits Of A Successful Schedule 1. You map out a routine and stick to it. 

Just like with anything in life, if you want to be consistent, you need to develop sustainable habits.

Assess your scheduled as it has been and look for places to make changes to improve it. Perhaps this means you wake up an hour earlier each day. Maybe it means you need to head to to bed earlier, cut down on screen time, or use your lunch break a bit differently.

We all have gaps in our days that we could adjust to be more productive and more mindful. Map out a routine that you can realistically be consistent with day in and day out, even on weekends. This is the kind of routine that is sustainable for life.

5 Habits Of A Successful Schedule To Adopt Today
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2. You assign time for “the needs” and “the wants.”

You know the things you have to do versus the things you want to do. To create balance, you need to make room for both.

Look at your weekly schedule and assign time for chores and free time. For instance, try allocating 30-60 minutes per day for exercise, 20 minutes per day for reading, 30 minutes per day for chores around the house, and so on. When you allocate time for the things you have to do and the things you want to do, you get the best of both worlds.

I am so guilty of putting off household chores and running errands until it piles up and drives me mad. This is not an example of a successful habit. Try assigning time to everything so that nothing gets left out.

Date night once a week with your partner, catching up on laundry on the weekends, and reading to your kids before bed each night are all important responsibilities. Make room for all of it by allocating time to each facet accordingly.

Here’s the secret to successful time management:
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3. You organize yourself. 

A planner or calendar is an effective tool to keep your schedule in order. Consider picking up a traditional paper planner or utilize the calendar feature on your smart phone/tablet to organize your schedule.

Writing down your daily, weekly, and monthly commitments, appointments, projects, deadlines, and hangouts can keep yourself sane and organized. Schedule time with friends, book a reservation for dinner with your beau, write down your work obligations, and so on.

When you get your schedule organized in a calendar, it is easier to visualize your life on a daily, weekly, monthly, and even annual basis. This makes planning so much easier and also gives you practical to-dos to work through each day. Test it out to see if this works for you!

4. You remain flexible.

It sounds contradictory to organizing your schedule as aforementioned, but you also need to be flexible. Leave room in your day or week to let things fall into place naturally.

Sometimes we come home from work expecting to squeeze in a workout or catch up on projects, and end up crashing on the couch with our partner.

Listen to your body and mind to see what you need more of. You might need less screen time and more physical activity; less nights staying up late and more sleep; less overtime and more family time. Be flexible with yourself to take care of your mind, body, and soul.

5. You track yourself. 

Successful people are accountable for their actions. Make time to track yourself to assess how your schedule is performing and how productive and happy you are. Make adjustments on an as-needed basis.

If you find your schedule is not as balanced as it could be, revisit the first habit in this list and re-map out your schedule for optimization of your time. It’s trial and error to find the right rhythm.

No two people have the same exact habits with the same amount of success. Be patient with yourself as you find your groove. It may take a few tries to find the right fit that brings you sustainable habits to lead a balanced, fulfilling lifestyle.

How do you maintain a successful schedule? Drop your tips in the comments below!

The post 5 Habits Of A Successful Schedule appeared first on GenTwenty.

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Summer vacations do not always need to be a massive trip or expenditure. Sometimes, all you need is a couple of girlfriends and 48 hours. It really can be that simple.

Let’s face it — between getting the time off from work and paying off all our bills, sometimes a large vacation may not be in the plans for us this summer. But that should not stop you from still getting away! Everyone deserves to escape reality, even if it is just for a little while. It’s personally my favorite form of self-care. That aside, there are countless studies on the impact that a weekend getaway can have on your mental health. We all can benefit from a break once and awhile.

And who better to take that little break with? Your girlfriends.

My friends and I have started doing these weekend getaways more and more these past few years. Whether it’s a roadtrip down to a beach area or quick flight to a city we have never been to before, there are so many great trips you can take in 72 hours or less.

Why You Should Take a Weekend Girls’ Trip This Summer 1. They’re easy to plan. 

For the most part, you can plan a weekend getaway all on your own, whereas if you were looking to take a larger trip it would be more beneficial to go through a travel agency or tour company.

Additionally, a lot of the times it is easier to get a bunch of people available the same weekend, rather during the weekdays when everyone would have to take time off from work. As we all know, scheduling gets harder in adulthood and planning a weekend getaway is a great way to take advantage of a time you and your friends likely already have off from work and likely do not have any other obligations.

2. If you do have obligations, it’s easier to find coverage for. 

If you have a pet or are married with children, getting away for the weekend tends to be significantly easier than getting away for an extended period of time. It is easier to find someone to watch your children or pets for a couple of days rather than a couple of weeks!

This also applies to work as well. It is obviously easier to ask for one day (or no!) days of PTO rather than two weeks in a row. Additionally, it is easier to find someone to cover your shift for one day (or a half-day) rather than for multiple days in a row.

3. They can be fairly inexpensive. 

Obviously this all depends on where you want to go. However, you can usually keep costs down on a weekend getaway but getting an A‌i‌r‌b‌n‌b‌ somewhere or by getting one hotel room and sharing it (depending on how many you are — let’s be real, we have all done the four girls, one bathroom trip before!).

If you are driving somewhere, fit everyone in one car and split the gas bill. If you have a friend that lives out of state, make this weekend trip an excuse to see them and you will not even have to worry about lodging! Plus as you are only there for a couple of days, costs tend to not add up as much.

Why You Should Take a Weekend Girls’ Trip This Summer
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4. You’re making memories. 

Yes, you can make memories at home too — but you can do that anytime! Taking a weekend getaway gives you a change of scenery and allows you to make new memories with your friends in a different place. You will likely be doing things on this little trip that you would not normally be doing at home.

You want to take advantage of all the area you are in has to offer and as you are only there for a short-time, you will probably be out and about much more, soaking everything in, than you would be if you were at home. Plus, we all love sharing stories, and a weekend getaway is the perfect place to make those memories you can tell for years to come.

5. It strengthens your friendships. 

Traveling together strengthens the bonds of friendship. You are experiencing a new place with these people and that is something that you will always have.

Of course, it is fairly impossible to say that all trips are “drama free” but that is just a slight blimp on things in the long run. In terms of taking a weekend trip rather than a logo trip, there is obviously less time for drama to happen (or people to get sick of each other).

Also, if you do choose to roadtrip somewhere, that is a fun experience in itself! Who doesn’t love being on the open road with their favorite songs blasting singing at the top of their lungs with their best friends? Half the fun is getting there!

6. You are escaping the stresses of real life. 

Just for a bit, but sometimes that really is all you need! A couple of days just to get away and not fret about anything — doesn’t that sound glorious? Plus, as you are only away for a short period of time, you can truly be more worry free as you are not leaving things unattended for too long. It’s the perfect time to focus on you!

So, where will you be going this summer?

The post Why You Should Take a Weekend Girls’ Trip This Summer appeared first on GenTwenty.

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The post GenTwenty’s 2019 Reader Survey appeared first on GenTwenty.

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I recently moved to a new city, and thus, signed up for a new library card. This is the fourth library card I’ve signed up for, not counting the two school libraries I had access to for college and graduate school.

I remember my mom taking me and my brother to the local library as a kid. We’d walk from our house to the library and back, which was just as much of an adventure itself  as exploring the shelves of the library. My favorite series was the Henry and Mudge series by Cynthia Rylant.

In my teen and college years, I tended to buy books more than borrow, but once I moved to New York City, started paying rent, and realized I could have access to the New York Public Library, which has a branches everywhere, I signed up. Plus, I am in love with the Stephen A. Schwarzman building of the New York Public Library, and if any of you have watched Breakfast at Tiffany’s, you’ll know why. I couldn’t pass up a chance to be a part of history! Thus began my true love affair with libraries.

While I’m a first-and-foremost print reader, I travel a lot and like the ease of e-books and audiobooks. A friend of mine told me about Libby, a book-borrowing app that syncs with your local library catalog through your library card, I found new joy. I can read library books through my kindle or the libby app, and listen to audiobooks while I drive or clean my apartment. Now, I have books at hand (literally, on my phone which is always in my hand) and I love being able to read anywhere and everywhere. 

Libby Review: A Free Library App That Brings Books Right To You
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Libby Review: A Free Library App That Brings Books Right To You What I like about Libby:
  1. You can borrow up to 10 books a time. This is great for travel especially, because you can download a bunch and then peruse through them while you’re on the go, without having to worry about internet connection.
  2. You have each loaned item for 21 days, and can renew with a click of a button.
  3. The filters all you to search so you can look for books that are currently available, or by a specific author or genre.
  4. You can request books to be put on hold.
  5. You have a library in your pocket! Did I mention this yet!?
Things I don’t love as much:
  1. I have trouble navigating the app sometimes, I think it could be more user friendly, especially when changing your search filters.
  2. It can be frustrating to have access to so many books, but have so many still unavailable. This isn’t Libby’s fault, though, this is the reality of library life! I’m thankful that people still support their libraries.
  3. I haven’t figured out how to listen to the audiobooks without the app. So, sometimes I can’t listen when I don’t have wifi. That may be more of a user-error (definitely) but again I wish the app was a bit more user friendly overall!

There are other free apps available such as OverDrive and Hoopla. Do you use Libby or other library apps? If so, which ones? Let us know what you’re reading and how!

Also, don’t forget to check out our Blackout Bingo Reading Challenge with #G20Reads. Giveaways and prizes all year long!

The post Libby Review: A Free Library App That Brings Books Right To You appeared first on GenTwenty.

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Last September, I went on an exciting trip with my boyfriend to Toronto. It was his first time visiting another country and my first time going to IMATs, a convention for makeup enthusiasts. Although the trip was unforgettable, I made a few preventable, travel-related mistakes that ended up costing me over $500.

How I Lost $500 Because I Wasn’t Paying Attention 1st Mistake: Passport

Up until a couple months before the trip, both my boyfriend and I were under the assumption that you only needed your driver’s license/photo ID to travel to Canada from the US. I don’t know why we thought that or if that was ever true, but we waited up until the last minute to double-check.

I then realized my passport had expired just a few months before the trip was scheduled to happen, AND my renewed passport wouldn’t get to me in time before leaving, so it needed to be expedited. Instead of just paying $110 to get my passport renewed, I had to pay a total of $509 to expedite it.

Getting my passport renewed: $110

Getting my passport expedited so it would arrive on time plus other fees: $399

How I Lost $500 Because I Wasn’t Paying Attention
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2nd Mistake: Parking Ticket

Because my car system can easily switch to kilometers and other metric measurements like Celsius, I didn’t think there would be any big difference between driving in Toronto versus in the US. However, when we stopped to grab some coffee, I parked on a street and paid the parking meter, only to come back and see a parking ticket for over $100!

We realized there was a (tiny) ‘No Standing’ sign near our parking spot, which apparently means ‘No Parking,’ even though there was a working meter right next to our car. This is something I’d never heard of before. If my boyfriend and I had paid closer attention and then looked up what ‘No Standing’ meant to double check, we could have avoided this very expensive parking ticket.

All Parking Expenses: $63.91

Parking Ticket: $116

Total Extra Money I Paid: $515

I’ve picked up up two major lessons from this experience.

1) If you’re traveling to a different country (or even a different region within your own country), be sure to give yourself ample time to get your travel documentation in order, and check the rules of entry.

2) Once you arrive at your travel destination, double check what all the transportation signs mean. Not knowing the language isn’t an excuse and isn’t going to get you out of a ticket.

Have you ever made a big traveling mistake that ended up costing you?

The post How I Lost $500 Because I Wasn’t Paying Attention appeared first on GenTwenty.

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 This post is sponsored by Lexington Law

Do you ever feel like an 800+ credit score is like a unicorn? Does anyone actually have one of those? And if they do, how do you get one? As someone with a credit score over 800, I can tell you it takes smart financial habits, knowledge, and time to end up with a very good or exceptional credit score. That said, there are some habits you can easily implement into your life to start improving your score.

Below we’ll be discussing some credit facts and habits that, if practiced regularly, can help improve your credit score.  

4 Habits To Practice To Regularly Improve Your Credit Score 1. Keeping your utilization ratios and balances low.

So what exactly is a utilization ratio? It’s the percent of credit you’re using over the credit you have available to you. This percent is important because it makes us 30% of your FICO credit score.

There are two types of utilization: line item and aggregate. Line item utilization refers to each individual line of credit whereas aggregate refers to all of your available credit. A utilization ratio — both line item and aggregate — below 30% will have little impact on your credit score.

So let’s say you have three credit cards. One has a limit of $5,000, another has a limit of $7,500, and your third card has a $500 limit. So your total available credit is $13,000. Your aggregate utilization should be below 30% of $13,000 or below $3,900.

For each card you have, you should keep your balance below $1,500, $2,250, and $150, respectively. To be safe, though, I would recommend aiming for a 20% or even 10% utilization ratio. It’s easy to let those balances creep up, so give yourself some wiggle room to be sure you don’t exceed 30%.

Calculate your line item utilization for each of your individual lines of credit and aggregate for all of your lines of credit. That way you’ll know what number not to exceed. 

2. Opening lines of credit strategically.

There are two types of inquiries that occur when your credit is checked: hard and soft. 

A hard inquiry is a formal request by another party or lender to see your credit report. Creditors are checking your credit score and report for potential red flags that would make you a risky borrower. Things like credit card, auto loan, student loan, mortgage, and apartment rental applications may trigger a hard inquiry.

A soft inquiry is when an individual or company checks your report. A few common soft inquiries include personal credit report checks, credit card pre-approvals, background checks by employers, and applying for certain utilities. They’re only visible to you when you check your report and will not be seen by someone doing a hard inquiry.

Inquiries on your credit report account for 10% of your score, but how much your score decreases varies based on your individual credit history. A single hard inquiry may decrease your score by five points or fewer, but again, it depends on your history.

There might be a greater impact if you have few or no credit accounts, have a short history, or authorize a lot of inquiries in a short period of time.

This last point is important because opening lines of credit triggers hard inquiries. And doing so can have a significant impact on your credit score.  

According to Lexington Law:

A hard inquiry will stay on your credit report for two years. However, they only impact your credit score for 12 months, with those from the past six months counting the most against your score.

If your credit history is substantial, a few hard inquiries on your credit report will likely not have a significant impact over the two years they are listed on your account. But be cautious of authorizing too many hard inquiries in a short amount of time. The more closely spaced hard inquiries are on your credit report, the more they will hurt your credit score.

So if you know you’re planning to make a big purchase soon, like a home or a car, avoid opening any new lines for credit for at least six months, but preferably up to a year.

Likewise, only open lines of credit that you know are going to help you reach your credit and financial goals. And if you find yourself in a situation where an inquiry on your credit report is on the table, ask questions about whether or not it is a soft or hard inquiry. 

Hard inquiries cannot be removed. However, If you do have hard inquiries on your report that are inaccurate or unauthorized, these can be disputed with the credit bureaus. If you’re unsure about what your rights are as a consumer, contact the credit repair professionals at Lexington Law for information on your unique situation. 

3. Paying all of your bills on time.

Your payment history makes up 35% of your FICO credit score. So needless to say, just making sure your payments are made on time can have a huge impact on your score overall. 

One late payment on a single account can lower your credit score by 15 to 40 points. And missing payments for all of your accounts in one month can lower your score by 150 points or more. So making your payments on time is a pretty big deal!

Also, consecutive late payments are even more harmful to your score because each late payment is weighted more heavily as they accrue. 

If you find yourself forgetting to make your payments on time, set up automated payments to combat that. Even making the minimum payment will keep your payment history intact and likely hurt you less than carrying a balance, presuming you can pay the balance off quickly and it’s below 30% utilization.

4. Keeping an eye on your credit reports and scores.

This last one might seem like an obvious one, but it’s one so many people miss that leaves you susceptible to errors and inaccuracies on your credit report. Approximately 79% of credit reports contain errors. These errors can negatively impact your credit score, and therefore your ability to do things like buy a house or even get a job

Related: How Your Credit Impacts Your Life

You can check your credit report for free once a year at annualcreditreport.com. Here’s how to do it. 

I also strongly recommend using a credit monitoring service. You’ll be alerted to changes on your credit report. Having those notifications can give you peace of mind but also the ability to act quickly in case of something like identity theft

Lex OnTrack gives you your FICO credit score, a score analysis, access to credit repair as needed, and $1,000,000 in identity insurance. You can learn more and sign up here.

In the event that you do find unfair negative items on your credit report, there is still hope. You do have rights for those negative items like charge offs, collections, medical bills, and late payments. Contact the credit repair professionals at Lexington Law for a consultation for your unique situation.

A good or excellent credit score is possible to achieve. Even with a not-so-positive financial past, practicing good financial habits and making smart moves can help you improve your score over time. 

The post 4 Habits To Practice Regularly To Improve Your Credit Score appeared first on GenTwenty.

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Whether it be a romantic relationship, a professional relationship, a family relationship, or a friendship, a relationship can be toxic. And sometimes, we do not always realize that they are toxic. On top of that, to let go of toxic relationships isn’t the easiest thing to do.

Our friends may warn us, but we are in denial and we shrug it off. It is not always easy to leave these types of relationships. Especially when the person has been in your life for an extended period of time. We have a habit of forgetting about all of the bad things and solely remembering the good, which in turn, makes it even harder to let go.

But, we have to let go. There is no reason for us to be harboring toxic relationships in our life. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

It all just isn’t healthy. It’s  not healthy for either one of you in the situation. I would also bet money that this toxic relationship is also negatively affecting other aspects of your life as well. And that’s just not good.

Letting go of toxic relationships is much easier said than done (as is most things in life). But it can be done, and it has to be done.

How To Let Go Of Toxic Relationships 1. Surround yourself with good people. 

Your friends are your friends for a reason. They want what is best for you. Surround yourself with them; there is no reason for you to be trying to do this on your own.

In most cases, your friends likely realized how toxic this person was for you – they probably saw it before you did, because they only want what’s best for you. Lean on them. Have them remind you of why you need to let go of this relationship, and why it is okay to.

When you’re feeling weak and like you want to go back to that person, reach out to them. Text them instead of the person you were going to text. Additionally, surrounding yourself with good people will remind you of the way that you should be treated, and will remind you of how to have good relationships.

2. Remember the bad times.

It is so easy to get caught up in the good memories. In fact, it is too easy too. It seems as though we only want to remember the good times and just forget all of the bad. But you can’t do this, because it’ll cause you to think that the relationship was not as toxic as it actually was.

In order to let go of toxic relationships, force yourself to remember the bad. Anytime a good memory pops into your head, think about the fight that happened right after that. Think of all of the anger and hurt you felt. Think of all the name-calling, the screaming, the yelling, – the toxicity.

Remind yourself that no matter how good the good was, it was not worth the bad.

3. Know your worth.

You. Are. Better. Than. Toxicity. Say it again and keep on repeating it to yourself – “I am better than toxicity. I don’t deserve toxicity. I am too old for this sh*t.” Don’t knock it – sometimes, talking to yourself works.

We already have enough stress to deal with in our daily lives that is out of our control. You do not need the stress of a toxic relationship too. Reminding yourself of all of these things will help keep you on track to letting go.

4. Think about what you would be telling your friend in this situation.

This one is my favorite. I would spill advice all of the time to my friends… and then take none of my own advice. Like, what?!

Because of it, I started thinking of things not in terms of myself, but in terms of my friends. I would ask myself, “If this were one of my friends in this situation right now, what would I be telling them?” I then would take that advice and follow through on it. If I’m telling someone else to do something, all while looking out for their best interest, of course I should be following it myself!

Talk to yourself like you would talk to a friend: with kindness, respect, and a healthy dose of reality.
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5. Get away.

The best way to remove yourself from a tricky situation is to get away from it entirely. If you have the means, take a road trip or book that long overdue vacation.

Put yourself in a place for a bit where you are leaving real life behind and truly escaping. This way, you won’t be tempted to contact anyone, least alone the toxic relationship you are trying to move past.

Surround yourself with new sights, new people, and hey, great food and drinks never hurt either! Treating yourself to a little rest and relaxation can work wonders in helping you regain your perspective and helping let go.

It Is Possible To Let Go Of Toxic Relationships

Again, all of this is easier said than done, I know. But it is possible. The above are just some suggestions, but everyone has their own reference as to what helps them.

It’s important to remember though that everyone deals with toxic relationships in their life – regardless of what type of relationship that is. And we can all get through it, and move on from that relationship.

Why do we need even more negativity in our lives? We don’t! And that’s an important thing to remember.

The post How To Let Go Of Toxic Relationships appeared first on GenTwenty.

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Do you ever find yourself stuck in a bout of laziness? You might be laying in bed for hours on end as the day passes you by. Maybe you haven’t showered, brushed your teeth, or eaten a real meal beyond snacking on chips. Your homework might be piling up. You may have emails impatiently awaiting your responses from work. In short, you’re slacking.

What gives?

It’s fair to say that from time-to-time we all experience a spell of laziness. While sometimes it’s good for the soul to drop responsibilities and do absolutely nothing, it can easily get carried away.

Pressing pause for one day on the weekend is one thing. But, allowing laziness to creep into your life and set up camp for days on end? That’s not healthy.

Here are 5 ways to combat laziness the next time you find yourself stuck in a rut: 1. Unpack why you’re feeling lazy. 

Maybe you’re overwhelmed with schoolwork, assignments piling up from your boss, or in dire need of time to catch up on sleep. Or, perhaps you’re feeling lazy as an avoidance technique.

Isolate the real reason why you feel unproductive and unmotivated. If you’ve been working super hard and really just need a day to relax, then take it. We all need some R&R time.

But, if you’re feeling lazy because you’re avoiding responsibilities, call yourself out on it! Laziness is no excuse to let your chores, projects, or commitments fall to the wayside.

5 Ways To Combat Laziness
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2. Create small, actionable steps.

If I am feeling particularly lazy, especially on a Saturday after a long week, I let myself take the day at a slower pace. I’ll sleep in until 9:00am, work my way to the shower, and plan smaller goals for myself throughout the day.

Whether it’s a list of chores waiting for me around the house, or some errands I need to run, I negotiate with myself to make sure I get it all done, but in smaller pieces. This method might work for you, too!

Make a short list of the things you absolutely need to get done, despite how unmotivated you may feel. Organize the list in order of importance and take small steps throughout the day. Reply to one important email. Complete one small task. Do something, even if it’s just one thing on your list, so that you’re still working toward your goals, even on a day where you feel uninspired or run down.

Productivity Tip: Make a short list of the things you absolutely need to get done, despite how unmotivated you may feel.
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3. Turn off the distractions.

An hour of Netflix will not completely throw off your day, but eight hours is bound to send you in a spiral of laziness. Unless you really have no obligations, turn off the distractions.

Close out of your social media apps on your phone. Turn off the television. Put your phone on vibrate or silent mode to limit calls and texts. Quiet the environment you’re in and you’re bound to feel more focused to accomplish the task in front of you.

Nothing is more distracting than scrolling through an endless Instagram feed or binge-watching The Office for the 100th time. Minimize your distractions to put a stop to the laziness you’re feeling.

4. Set alarms for your day.

Alarms are handy to ping us when it’s time to wake up, but they’re also useful throughout the day.

Consider setting alarms on your phone for the tasks you need to accomplish during the day. For example, set an alarm at 8:00am to wake up, again at 10:00am to tackle your email inbox, and again at 1:00pm to run those errands you’ve been putting off.

Mapping out your day with alarms can prove to hold you more accountable so you don’t let the day slip by without realizing what time it is.

The alarm trick I love to keep me productive:
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5. Negotiate with yourself.

Sometimes I know I need to revel in my laziness a bit and be productive all in one day. It happens to the best of us. In order to do both, consider negotiating with yourself.

Set aside a few hours in the morning or evening for “you time” where you can spend that allotted time doing what you want to.

Read a book, write in your journal, listen to music, or binge-watch your favorite show. But, the rest of the day you need to get through the items on your to-do list. This method gives you the best of both worlds: indulging in your laziness a bit, but also seeing your responsibilities through.

Don’t let laziness be an excuse! Here’s how to beat it:
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Laziness is an inevitable feeling we will all experience from time-to-time. Sometimes it’s a feeling you only endure once in a while, while other times it can plague you on the regular.

It can be really tempting to give in to this uninspired, unmotivated mindset, but in the long run you’re only prolonging reaching your goals. If you need time to rest, take it. No one can be productive on a tired, rundown brain. But if your laziness stems from avoidance, don’t give in. Combat it as best you can. These tips should help you persevere!

The post 5 Ways To Combat Laziness appeared first on GenTwenty.

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Are you hitting the snooze button more often than usual? Find yourself craving a nap mid-afternoon? Or maybe the only thing that mid-morning Starbucks run is increasing is your waistline? You’re not alone. Around 2.5 million Americans are estimated to suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

So why are we so tired all of the time?

It seems like nearly all of us struggle with tiredness, exhaustion, and burnout, at least at some point. However, there might be a simple solution to fix your sleep problem:

1. Stay hydrated.

The Mayo Clinic reminds us that our bodies need water to maintain and perform essential functions. They suggest consuming eight-8 oz. glasses per day. You may need more depending on your body type and activity level. Eight cups per day is a good rule of thumb to start with and keep building up from there!

Not drinking enough water puts stress on your organs because they need to work harder in order to function properly. Being dehydrated can cause you to tire easily because your energy is being diverted elsewhere. 

Also keep in mind that drinks that are diuretics (encourage your body to get fluids out) can actually dehydrate you if you don’t have health problems that cause water retention. For every cup of diuretic liquids and foods you take in, try to consume an extra cup of water.

2. Sleep more:

According to The NSF (National Sleep Foundation) a leading cause of tiredness is simply not getting enough sleep. Young adults often need 9+ hours of sleep per night for optimum functioning. Your exact number of sleeping hours may vary, though. Try testing different lengths to find your optimum level. Remember, sleep cycles happen in about 1.5 hour increments. Keep that in mind when planning your bedtimes and wake-up-calls.

Try making sleep a priority by practicing time management. Plan social engagements, time for your academic work, your workouts and free time around a set sleep schedule. Sleep is incredibly important and should be a high priority!

Having a set bedtime routine and have a huge impact as well. Your quality of sleep will improve under the right conditions!

3. Drink less coffee:

As a stimulant, caffeine has the ability to give you bursts of energy. This energy may wear off quickly, however, leaving you reaching for cup after cup to power through your day. Too much caffeine may cause you to have anxiety, headaches and trouble sleeping. If you consistently feel a “crash” after drinking your coffee, you may be having too much. Try swapping your cup o’joe for water.

Why Are We So Tired All Of The Time?
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Medical Conditions

While these problems are simple enough to address, there is an array of medical conditions that name fatigue as a symptom. If adjusting your diet and schedule doesn’t help, it’s time to talk to your doctor and see if there is an underlying condition causing your fatigue.

The top three most common are:

1. Thyroid disease:

Your thyroid is a gland located in your throat that regulates how your body uses energy. An imbalance in hormones secreted or maintained by your thyroid can leave you feeling tired, irritable and anxious according to WebMd. Left untreated, an over or under-active thyroid can lead to serious health complications.

2. Depression:

Depression is a mental illness that comes in many forms. Some symptoms of depression include:

  • lethargy
  • lack of interest in normal activities
  • insomnia
  • difficulty concentrating

There are physical and psychological causes for depression that can only be diagnosed and treated by a doctor. If you are having thoughts of suicide, call 1-800-273-8255 immediately.

3. Iron Deficiency:

According to the CDC our bodies use iron for a multitude of functions including moving oxygen throughout our bodies. Not enough iron due to lack of consumption or the inability to absorb the mineral, results in anemia, a condition characterized by a low count of hemoglobin.  An iron deficiency typically presents with a lowered immune system, difficulty concentrating and decreased performance. It can be prevented by eating more iron-rich foods or by taking an iron supplement as prescribed by your doctor.

If you are feeling overly sleepy, try drinking more water, getting more sleep at night and cutting out sources of caffeine. If you are still feeling lethargic after making these changes, it could be a sign of a serious illness. Visit your doctor to get tested for an underlying condition if your tired feeling is persistent and unexplained. 

The post Why Are You So Tired All Of The Time? appeared first on GenTwenty.

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