Author Archives: femmefrugality

Abundance Mindset & Income Goal Charts

Long-time readers will remember that I have, at times, struggled with the scarcity mindset. Recently, I discovered that as much as I thought I had moved on from it, I hadn’t.

Since the divorce, I’ve been operating from a place of survival again. I had thrown a lot of money at trying to save things, and have had a hard time getting back to a place where I’m comfortable. I feel like I’m running on a treadmill. It doesn’t matter how fast I run or how many calories I burn; at the end of the day, I’m still in the same place.

One day while listening to Lizzo, I decided to do something ambitious. I decided to start setting monthly income goals that weren’t necessarily realistic. Realism is typically what I do.

But perhaps in this instance, realism was holding me back. What I realistically expect out of myself may be far less than what I am worth or capable of.

I calculated my dream income, divided it by twelve, and realized I wasn’t quite ready for my mindset to be that abundant.

I subtracted about $1k/mo. The goal was still crazy ambitious, but I figured if I hit it, I could raise it. I’m cognizant of the moon, but I’m also totally cool if I hit that number that’s $1k less, landing among the stars.

Am I hitting my income goals?

I busted out a pen and paper and drew my Lizzo-inspired income chart. Want to see how close I came to reaching my goal?

RIDICULOUSLY CLOSE!

I’m counting income as work I lined up and completed that month rather than the income I actually receive. I have far more control over the former, so it’s the metric I’m choosing to focus on.

Did making a chart really help?

Yes. It’s in a place I can see it everyday, and that did two things for me. First, it helped me remember how quickly small amounts really do add up to big sums. Each small block I colored in was its own victory, but zooming out and seeing my efforts inch me closer to my larger goal was really encouraging.

The other thing it did was really motivate me. So much so that I’m going to be using motivational lyrics of female artists moving forward to get me into action. For example, July’s chart inspired by Cardi B:

Scarcity vs Abundance Mindset

I could cut back my spending; I know how to live on next to nothing. And I’m going to take more drastic steps in that direction as I move through this process.

But for the first time, I’m embracing the idea that I can build my income to a point where I could actually meet some more of my goals rather than just continuing to slog through with the focus on extreme frugality.

I’m starting to have a little more faith that I can create my own future and truly believe it will come to pass rather than waiting for the floor to drop as I brace once again to pivot my goals to match my ever-changing surroundings.

This time around, I’m finding that establishing that confidence in myself at the income level is a step in the right direction. I’ve had more faith the money I need will be there when I need it, which can be a major concern when you’re a freelancer.

That makes me marginally less stressed so I tend to make (marginally) better financial decisions.

Those marginally better decisions start to make life marginally easier and easier still, reducing stress and upping good decision-making. Because you’ve asserted power in one area of your life, you feel like you can regain it in all the others.

This is all kind of heady. I mean, I’m only on month two of this little experiment.

But I’m curious: Have you ever struggled with abundance vs getting by vs realism? And if you created an income goal chart, which lyrics would you use to motivate yourself?

Partying it Up for 8 Years of Blogging

Eight years ago last week, I started blogging. It’s been a wild journey–one that started as just a hobby and turned into a full-time job which supports myself and my children.

I am perpetually surprised by each bend in the road. Perpetually grateful for it all. And moreso this year than ever, ready to celebrate all the good that’s come along with the journey.

Celebrating at Solstice

A couple weeks ago, I went to the Urban Garden Party at the Mattress Factory. This year’s theme? Solstice.

It was crazy fun. We celebrated with great food, music and floral-themed drinks. We welcomed summer in the sun, in the museum itself and down in the basement where we listened to music in “Hell.”

I met Bowie in his full Labyrinth getup, a centaur and a million wood nymphs. It was a magical night, and one that encourages me to encourage you to attend all the Mattress Factory parties. You can check out more images from the event by following on Insta.

Celebrating the Content

Over the past eight years, Femme Frugality has pumped out more than 1,000 posts. For its blogiversary, I wanted to show you guys my top eight faves. They’re not necessarily the most trafficked (though some are,) but they’re the pieces I’ve felt proud of either because I know from reader feedback that they’ve directly impacted lives, or they have inspired meaningful conversation within the personal finance community.

Children, Medicaid & Autism: State-by-State Guide

This guide was something I created out of frustration. Frustration that it didn’t yet exist.

You see, when you have an Autistic child, their needs likely aren’t covered even if you have private insurance. Medicaid coverage is essential.

But Medicaid coverage for disabled children does not exist in all states. This makes where you live a huge factor impacting your financial life.

So I created a guide. Each year, I get into the nitty gritty with representatives from all 50 states and DC to ensure this guide contains the most up-to-date information for American parents of Autistic children. It has been used by both parents and various organizations in different states across the country.

Hope: The Most Valuable Commodity

There’s a lot that goes into overcoming difficult financial circumstances. But above all else, I believe there is one quality that controls all other aspects of our ability to pursue upward mobility: Hope.

Without hope we can struggle to even believe we can achieve. And while belief is hardly all that’s necessary to reach our goals, it is an essential ingredient without which our efforts are in vain.

Self-Uniting Marriage Can Save Brides Money

This is the post I have the most feedback on. Whether that feedback comes from comments or readers, the communication has confirmed that it’s helped people across the country get married according to their own belief systems, which often do not involve clergy in today’s day and age. This methodology has also saved readers money on their weddings.

While this post applied to everyone, after I wrote it a reader notified me that some states, like California, have even more legal intricacies surrounding the concept of self-uniting marriage. As a result, we’ve been able to help people in the state drill down into the exact legal issues Californians face in this arena and how to overcome them.

Defining Success: Thoughts on God & Money

As you’ll glean from the previous favorite post, I really DGAF about how anyone does or doesn’t believe in God.

But I have been known to opine on the subject from time to time. What are the ethical implications of pursuing monetary wealth? Where should it be on our priority list? We explored this and more as we defined success relative to spirituality.

Is Food Stamp Fraud Ruining Our National Budget?

Lol. No.

But that didn’t stop the lively discussion from popping off after this post.

Virginia Beach on a Dime

I’ve told you guys plenty about all my frugal travel hacks!

But one post does stand out, if only because I’m able to track how many people this particular post has helped. I get a ton of readers booking their VA Beach hotel based on this post, and it makes me so happy. Because the hotel is so cheap yet so, so comfortable, clean and right on the beach.

Plus, hot tubs.

Winning.

The Golden Rule of Budgeting

This was my first ever Rockstar Finance feature back when J$ was still running things. I wrote it in a couple minutes while I was working out of a Starbucks, and was shocked at the reception it received.

It covers a budgeting rule that will help you no matter if you use pen and paper, a spreadsheet or an app to figure out your money.

This is the Golden Rule of Budgeting. It’s crazy simple, but has helped a ton of people do better with their monthly financial goals.

The Feminist Financial Handbook

One of the great privileges of this journey has been the book offers I have received as a result. Last year, I followed through on one of those offers and wrote a tome about finances as experienced at a variety of different intersections of oppression.

It’s called The Feminist Financial Handbook, and you can learn more about what you’ll find inside by reading this post.

Come Party with Me

Sad you missed out on the Solstice party but enjoying this one?

Then come enjoy more with me at The Best of the Burgh party on July 18, 2019!

For its 50th anniversary, Pittsburgh Magazine is hosting its Golden Anniversary Best of the Burgh Party. This Spring, they asked readers to vote for their favorite businesses in the Pittsburgh region, and this event at the casino will be to honor them.

It will also be a chance to wear all your glittery gold, sample some good eats and otherwise enjoy a good time on a Thursday evening.

The event starts at 7p, and admission normally costs $50/person. But in a joint celebration of Femme Frugality’s and Pittsburgh Magazine’s anniversaries, we’re teaming up together to offer you two (2) free tickets!

You can use the widget below to to enter through July 11, 2019 at 11:59p Eastern. Best of luck, and I hope to see you there!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Work From Home As A Freelancer With These Online Freelancer Jobs

This post is brought to you and contributed by Sarah Morris.

Individual sitting at at desk in a coffee shop working on a laptop.

Having a job at a great company can be a fantastic experience. With a good-paying job, great people and the right environment, working outside of the home can actually be an enjoyable experience.

The problem with working in an office is that you may have to endure rush hour traffic to get to work. By the time you arrive, you’re already tired and stressed out. Then you get to do it all again for the commute home.

This is where working from the comfort of your home comes into play.

If you’re looking to work from home as a freelancer, here are a few online freelancer jobs you may consider from the get-go:

Writing

If you find satisfaction in writing on any specific topic, then you may want to consider writing as a freelance job from home. With a reliable internet connection and a laptop, you can start your own blog and use it as a portfolio to launch your new venture.

Writing can be a fantastic work-from-home opportunity. As long as you exert some effort and persistence, this online freelance job can bring in a family-supporting income. So get ready with your pitches and treat this as a significant money-making venture.

If you’re looking for other work opportunities aside from writing, you can check more online jobs here for further reference.

Virtual Assistant Work

Organizational skills are a must in virtual assistant work. If you possess these skills or have past experience in office administration, you can do a similar job in your own home.

Typically, the work of virtual assistants is to provide administrative support over the internet. Answering emails and Skype calls, taking minutes of the meeting and reports, and many more are some of the typical jobs of a virtual assistant.

Web Design and Development

With the advent of modern technology these days, working as a web designer and developer from the comfort of your home can be a fulfilling freelance job for anyone who possesses creativity and a technical mind. Considering the growing number of companies that need websites, jobs involving web design and development can make you more money. Moreover, by becoming a freelancer, you have control over your time, and you can get any clients you want.

Marketing and Personal Relations Job

Another profitable freelance job that you can venture into is in the field of marketing and personal relations. With a phone and an internet connection, you can fulfill the necessary tasks from your home. With just a few marketing skills, you can earn more income by becoming a marketer, manager or even a social media coordinator.

Doing Online Surveys

This is an online freelance job opportunity from home that you can work on anytime. You may be wondering why answering surveys can be a source of income. The truth is, people’s opinions and recommendations are essential to companies, especially if they want to get to know their target audiences and generate more sales. Many companies out there have taken advanatge of this need and serve as reward sites to distribute surveys to their members.

You’re unlikely to get rich doing surveys. But it is a quick way to drum up some minimal cash.

Transcription Jobs

If you’re familiar with the technical language of the legal and medical field, then you could have a bright future as a transcriptionist. This kind of online freelance job can be a fantastic way of making money from home. All you have to do is to listen to the audio recordings and write down whatever the speaker in the audio is saying. Be sure you possess excellent listening and typing skills so you can do the job with ease.

Bear in mind that less technical work will result in much lower pay.

Selling Crafts Online

You can use your love for making handmade gifts and crafts to earn more money online. Whether it’s luggage tags or knitted pants, selling crafts can be a great income opportunity you can pursue from the comfort of your own home.

A home-based job doesn’t always have to involve sitting in front of your computer. Sometimes, it’s also about sitting in front of the table doing some creative stuff, taking pictures of your products and posting them on your website. Also, selling crafts on the Web means you have to cater to your clients’ online queries, take their orders and payments, and handle the shipping for them. With this kind of job, you can work on your own time and with your own supplies.

Online Tutoring

With today’s modern technology, teaching online can be a profitable freelance job opportunity. For example, there are plenty of companies out there that offer online English tutoring jobs for anyone who wants to be a freelancer. All you need to have is a stable internet connection, computer or laptop, and basic knowledge in English. Aside from English, you can also work as an online tutor for any other subject you like.

Conclusion

Sometimes looking for the best online freelance job from home isn’t easy. You may have to get familiar with the kinds of home-based jobs that are in demand on the market these days. If you know what your skills, strengths, and weaknesses are, then use this article to help you find the right freelance work.

Can It Still Be Done? The Journey Towards Buying A Home

This post is contributed and brought to you by an outside writer.

Can it still be done? The journey to homeownership in 2019.

Owning your very own home has always been part of the American Dream. Believe it or not, this remains true to this day. Around 75% of Americans express that purchasing a home is still a priority for them, according to a survey conducted by Harris Poll. That doesn’t mean there’s not a lot of skepticism on whether buying a home in today’s market can still be done. In a world of wealth inequality and stagnant wages despite increased productivity levels, is the dream of owning a home even still possible?

The Staggering Cost

One of the biggest impediments for aspiring homeowners is the fact that real estate prices are continuing to soar. The median price sale of a home goes for about $253,000 which is about 3% higher than previous years, according to the National Association of Home Builders. They say that the lack of affordability is one of the primary reasons why Americans feel that owning a home is nigh impossible for them.

Strengthen Your Financial Standing

What is one to do, then?

Boost your present and future financial standing.

It’s a good idea to approach a financial advisor who can point you in the right direction if you need to rehabilitate your finances. They may be able to talk to you about options that you can pursue like how to improve your credit score. A good credit score can help you negotiate better loan terms for your future home purchase. You may also consider setting up an account that is specifically for your house savings.

Study the Market

The real estate market can be one of the quickest shifting markets that exists. This is why it is important to familiarize yourself with the signs of a good buyer’s market, terminologies used, and even the average offers made. It also helps if you have a good relationship with your listing agent. They can keep you abreast of any up-and-coming seller’s markets that you can take advantage of. Supplementing your knowledge about the housing market gives you a learned point of view that you can use to correctly identify and score a great deal.

Have a Clear Vision

It helps your odds of buying a home when you have an idea of what sort of property or location of the property you’d like to have. It can be tempting to shift your desires from one style to the next but you must hold fast. A clear vision of the home you want can lend a strong foundation to your journey as a homeowner. Try to build a vision board and get your family’s vision aligned, too. Nothing botches up a good buying opportunity than contrary desires by different family members.

Buying a home can seem like an uphill goal with a lot of pitfalls but you shouldn’t let this dissuade you. Like all challenges, it takes careful planning and careful decision making in order to avoid any mishaps that may derail your dream. At the end of the day, you must never lose sight of your goal to own a home if you want it to ever come true.

Win a Myrtle Beach Condo

This post is in collaboration with Vacation Myrtle Beach.

Myrtle Beach is one of my favorite vacation destinations when I’m not trying to travel and absorb a new culture, but am rather just trying to get away and chillllllllll.

It’s ripe for Pittsburghers. Next time you go down you’ll notice Steelers and Penguins gear spread around disproportionately. It’s because so many of us go there!

Your Chance to Win a Myrtle Beach Condo

What if you could go to Myrtle Beach without having to pay for a rental or timeshare? What if you actually owned your own condo?

So much less money stress, right?

GOOD NEWS!

Vacation Myrtle Beach is giving away a condo (worth $100,000). The person who wins can choose $50,000 in cash instead of the condo. ENTER HERE!

Second place gets a 7-day vacation to Myrtle Beach, and third place gets a 3-day vacation.

If you want to take a look at the condo yourself, here you go, friend!

Should I take the condo or the cash?

Only one person will win the condo or $50,000, but if that person ends up being you, which should you take?

Fifty thousand in cash is tempting. But personally, I’d take the condo. Not only will it allow you to go to Myrtle Beach whenever you want, but you’ll be able to rent it out during all those weeks you’re not there. So it wouldn’t just be a nice vacation every year, it would also be a source of income.

Of course, you have to factor in maintenance and taxes. While I still have to delve into the specific math for this property, I’m willing to assume that the profit you’d get from renting it out would more than cover these expenses while still turning a profit.

No matter which grand prize you’d choose, best of luck! Enter here today!