Author Archives: femmefrugality

How to Combine Traveling and Earning Money

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

woman overlooking the ocean on a hotel balcony.Many travelers prefer to keep earning money even while they are abroad. In fact, it’s a common way to fund travel these days. After all, most jobs require only a laptop and some professional skills to find jobs remotely.

So let’s see how you can earn money while traveling the world without sacrificing in either domain.

NOTE: We are still living in a pandemic. Make sure you are following strict public health measures and think about the effects your travels have on others before visiting another part of the globe.

Think semi-passive income

When planning a trip, it’s smart to have a plan in place so you won’t drain your savings account. One way to do that is the build up streams of semi-passive income, freeing up more of your time for travel adventures.

There are many way to build passive or semi-passive income. You could rent properties and hire a property management company to run the day-to-day. If you’re wanting to create income from short-term rentals, you could create an Airbnb account or choose other platforms.

You can also rent out your car or other possessions while you’re away.

Another way to build semi-passive revenue is to create a digital product. You can create courses, upload photos or art to selling platforms, etc.

Become a digital nomad

The life of a digital nomad is an exciting one. But it’s not always as glorious as many want to
imagine it.

Yes, you get to travel across the globe, leave whenever you want, and earn money on the go. But you still gotta do the work, focus on your career, fulfill your commitments, and meet deadlines.

Sometimes, doing all of this while adjusting to a new culture can be challenging. But if you’re interested in the life of a digital nomad, it’s likely a challenge you’re up for. Here are some of the most popular professions among digital nomads.

Copywriting

Copywriters or content writers are in high demand right now. Their job is to write all the content for websites, social media pages, emails, newsletters, and so on.

It’s a demanding yet rewarding job. A writer will have to meet strict deadlines, follow instructions, and constantly expand their knowledge base within their niche.

But it’s a job you can do remotely while traveling, which is a great advantage.

Graphic design

Graphic design is another in-demand profession these days. People need graphic designers for a variety of tasks. These specialists can help businesses create beautiful sites, create posters for shows or Insta pages, advertisements, or make business cards. Overall, you need a designer whenever you need something more than plain text on a blank piece of paper.

This job can take a little more equipment than what you’d need as a copywriter. At the very least, a designer needs a professional laptop and mouse. At max, one needs drawing tablets, an extra monitor, etc.

But with the right packing system, you can still travel and complete work for clients even with the extra equipment.

Programming

Programming is one of the most popular professions among digital nomads. It’s also among the most high-paid professions on the global job market at the moment. Of course, pay will depend on your skills and experience levels.

Many programmers choose to travel the world while working on projects. It’s a high-demand
job with a lot of pressure. Travel experiences can help people unwind and deal with work stressors. You will need to study for a while to gain the necessary expertise in this profession, though.

Academic writing

People with the right experience, skills, knowledge and degrees can lend their expertise to academic writing for various writing services. First, you’ll want to find a legit writing service, as many of them out there are scammy. You can find reviews of various writing services at Writingpapersucks.com and similar sites to learn more about which companies are worth working with.

Writing papers can come with highly flexible hours, nice pay, and interesting projects. If you miss using your academic mind but don’t necessarily want to engage with the bureaucracy of academia, it’s highly like you’ll enjoy a job like this that allows you to travel.

Of course, this work often comes with no guarantee of hours or salary. Urgent assignments might pop up, and you’ll have to adhere to strict instructions for each project. However, it’s still possible to match it with travel experiences. But it’s still a way to bring in extra money while you travel.

How to Get $30 (or more!) Off Your Internet Bill

Father with two children on his lap looking at a laptop/tablet

Have you heard of the Affordable Connectivity Program?

If not, you might be missing out! This government program can help you save $30 or more on your internet bill every month.

Is the Affordable Connectivity Program legit?

One hundred percent yes. The Affordable Connectivity Program is legit and can help you save money on your internet bill.

How much money can I save with the Affordable Connectivity Program?

Most people will get a $30 credit on their internet bill per month.

If you live on Tribal lands, you can qualify for a $75 credit per month.

PLUS, regardless of where you live, you may be eligible for $100 off a laptop, desktop or tablet. You will have to contribute between $10 and $50 towards the purchase of your device to qualify for the $100 discount.

Your internet service provider must participate in the discounted device program to qualify for that extra $100 benefit. Here are the ones that do.

How do I qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program?

There are three ways to qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program:

  • Household income.
  • If anyone in your household uses certain government programs.
  • Meet special requirements for those who live on Tribal Lands.

Qualifying for ACP based on income

Income limits are higher than you might think — especially if you have a family! Don’t count yourself out just because you don’t consider yourself ‘low-income.’

Income limits are based on your household size and where you live.

Income Limits for Contiguous U.S and Territories

  • Single person: $27,180
  • Two-person household: $36,620
  • Three-person household: $46,060
  • Four-person household: $55,500
  • Five-person household: $64,940
  • Six-person household: $74,380
  • Seven-person household: $83,820
  • Eight-person household: $93,260

For each additional person in your household, add $9,440 to the income limit.

Income Limits for Alaska

  • Single person: $33,980
  • Two-person household: $45,780
  • Three-person household: $57,580
  • Four-person household: $69,380
  • Five-person household: $81,180
  • Six-person household: $92,980
  • Seven-person household: $104,780
  • Eight-person household: $116,580

For each additional person in your household, add $11,800 to the income limit.

Income Limits for Hawaii

  • Single person: $31,260
  • Two-person household: $42,120
  • Three-person household: $52,980
  • Four-person household: $63,840
  • Five-person household: $74,700
  • Six-person household: $85,560
  • Seven-person household: $96,420
  • Eight-person household: $107,280

For each additional person in your household, add $10,860 to the income limit.

Qualifying for ACP based on government programs

You can totally qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program even if you’re beyond the income limits.

For example, multiple members of the Mom Autism Money community have qualified because most of their children are on Medicaid regardless of household income.

Here’s how it works:

If you or any of your dependents are on one of the following programs, you automatically qualify for the ACP. They won’t even ask for your income on the application:

  • Medicaid
  • SNAP
  • WIC
  • SSI
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance
  • Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit
  • Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program
  • Lifeline benefits
  • Received a Pell Grant in the current award year

That’s right: You can qualify based on something as simple as a PELL GRANT!

The ACP website says you might have to provide paperwork supporting your enrollment in any one of these programs, but so far none of the members of our Facebook community have had to provide anything beyond the last four of the eligible person’s SSN.

Qualifying for the ACP on Tribal Lands

If you live on Tribal lands, you may qualify for a juiced up version of the ACP, which gives you a $75 credit rather than the standard $30.

First, make sure you live on qualified Tribal lands.

Then, see if you qualify based on income or participation in certain federal or Tribal programs.

Income limits on Tribal lands are 200% of of the federal poverty line. To figure out this number, check the household size for where you live here. Then, multiply that number by two.

Regardless of income, you can still qualify if you participate in any of these programs:

  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
  • Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
  • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
  • SNAP
  • Medicaid
  • SSI
  • Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program (can be any time since 2019)
  • WIC
  • Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance
  • Pell Grant
  • Lifeline benefits

How do I apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program?

To start the application process online, visit the ACP application landing page.

You’ll fill out a quick application that will let you know whether or not you qualify.

Then, find your internet service provider’s ACP landing page via this list from the FCC. You’ll have to fill out a very basic form verifying that you’ve applied for the ACP. Then your ISP will vet you by checking for the approved application and giving you the discount.

How long does it take to get your Affordable Connectivity Program credit?

If you’ve ever interacted with a government program, you’re probably used to it taking weeks, months, or even years before you can access your benefits.

Amazingly, this is not the case with the ACP.

All of the members of the Mom Autism Money community who have applied have seen the credit reflected on their internet bill within 24-48 hours of their initial application on the ACP website.

So in our experience, it’s worked at lightning speed! But if you have circumstances that require extra paperwork, it may or may not take a little longer to process the application and get your credit reflected on your internet bill.

Is the ACP program permanent?

Yes, the intent of the ACP program is for it to be permanent. It’s a replacement for the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB,) which was a temporary COVID-19 response.

That being said, final regulations on the ACP will be decided upon in November of 2022. So while the Affordable Connectivity Program is scheduled to be permanent for now, we will see how things pan out in the Fall. It may end up being capped to four or five years.

In the meantime, start saving on your internet bill today. Taking a few minutes out of your time to apply could get your bill down by $30-$75 within a day or two.

Ways to Preserve Your Wedding Bouquet

A couple holding each other's hands and wedding boquets at the altar.

Your wedding day is special. It doesn’t matter whether you had a huge party or you had a COVID-safe wedding, like one via Zoom or one with a limited guest list via a self-uniting marriage.

It’s something you want to remember.

One way to remember it is by preserving your wedding bouquet. Today, we’ll go through a bunch of possible ways to keep something that’s temporarily in bloom beautiful for life.

How to preserve your wedding bouquet

There are a couple ways to preserve your wedding bouquet.

The first, and most expensive, is to have your fresh flower bouquet professionally preserved after the fact. A lot of times when you go this route, the bouquet will stay just that: A bouquet. It will probably be stored in glass, and will probably run you a pretty penny.

A more frugal route is to dry your bouquet yourself. You could opt to press each individual flower between the pages of a thick, heavy book. Or place your bouquet in an empty vase until the flowers dry.

But the best way is to use a flower and herb drying rack. Ideally you’ll store this in a dry area of your home that’s typically dark. Your flowers will be ready in about two to four weeks.

What to Do With Your Dried Wedding Bouquet.

After your bouquet is dry, there are tons of creative projects you can do to help preserve the memories of your matrimony.

Make a Shadow Box

10x10 shadow box by Studio Decor from Michael's. Pictures flower bouquet inside in addition to Studio Decor's advertising text, which is mostly illegible.

One option is to put your flowers behind glass yourself. Simply get a shadow box, like this one from Michael’s, open it up, and place your flowers inside. Depending on the size of your box, you can either keep your bouquet whole or clip the stems of each original flower, arranging them in a new display pattern.

Make a Christmas Ornament

Another cute way to remember your wedding is to take one of the roses from your bouquet before it’s dried. You want the petals to be flexible and supple.

Then, put them inside a clear Christmas ornament from a craft store. Gently slip each petal into the opening at the top. Once you’re happy with the fill, leave the ornament out and open in a dry place for a couple weeks.

Once everything’s all dried out, install the top of the ornament. Now every Christmas, you’ll be able to take a minute and reminisce about your beginnings as a couple.

You could do this by drying the flowers first, too, especially if you’re worried about moisture building up inside the ornament.

If you think each bud of your bouquet will be small enough to fit into the top of the ornament without crumbling, you could try putting the entire bud inside that way, too. It’s a little riskier, though. The petals could shatter.

Make Potpourri Bouquets

Dried red rose petals with yellow at the tip.

Want a daily reminder of your vows?

Make a ‘potpourri’ bouquet that you can store in a place you’ll see it everyday, like your clothes drawer or jewelry box.

After your flowers are dry, crush up the petals. Or don’t. Some might get crushed in the process whether you want them to or not.

Then, get a square of decorative gauze. You can find some at Michael’s, but if you’re being uber frugal, looking someplace like your local reuse store is also a possibility as a ‘scrap’ may be enough.

Place your crushed petals in a pile in the center. Pull the edges of the gauze together, creating a bundle full of flower petals at the bottom. Tie a ribbon around the gauze just above the top of the flowers.

Then, trim the ribbon and any excess gauze. Now you have a nice little potpourri bundle full of your wedding flowers.

Make a Japanese Herbarium

Two tall slender glass containers, one filled with flowers and mineral oil in shades of blue, the other containing mineral il and white and green flowers.

You can get pre-made herbariums from TheBloomingBottle

Maybe you don’t need your flowers to last forever. Maybe just a year would be enough.

Or maybe you’ve already done one of the ‘forever’ projects, and still have few flowers left over.

In these cases, you might want to make a Japanese Herbarium. First, you’ll dry your flowers.

Then, you’ll place them in a glass container. Traditional herbariums are on the taller and relatively skinny side, but really, you can use any container with a lid or cork.

TIP BASED ON MY OWN PAST FAILURES: On past projects like this, I’ve tried using glass baby food jars. In my experience, they do not work. They’re only really meant to be opened; the lid won’t completely fit back on. Even if you use glue, there’s a huge risk of leaks.

Your flowers are going to be fragile. Be careful putting them in, or the petals could crumble. Once they’re safely inside the glass, you can gently use tools like tweezers or wooden skewers to arrange them to your liking.

Keep layering flowers until you’re to the top. Or until they’re as high as you’d like them to be.

Then, fill the jar with baby oil or mineral oil.

Your herbarium will look beautiful in the sun. But the UV rays will degrade the colors, and eventually the flowers themselves will degrade. You usually get about six months to a year out of this display method.

Create anniversary bath bombs

Woman's eyes peeking out of bath water filled with red flowers.

Want a super sweet romantic tradition for your anniversary?

After you’ve dried your flowers, use them to make a batch or two of DIY bath bombs. You can get an all-inclusive kit to make your own from almost any major retailer.

But you could also opt to make your own from scratch. Here’s a great bath bomb recipe. She hides toy dinosaurs in her bath bombs.

You don’t need to do all that. Instead, just before your mold your bath bombs, throw some dried flower petals into the mix.

Store them in a special place, and use one or two each year for a candle-lit, rose petal bath.

 

Plutus Season

It’s that time of year! Plutus Award nominations are open!

The Plutus Awards are industry awards for creators who work in independent financial media. In years past, you guys have helped nominate me for so many different categories — some nominations were a surprise even to me!

Thank you for that. Times a million. Getting nominated for these awards have really helped my career, in addition to being a great honor.

This year, if I could ask you for one more favor, it would be to nominate Mom Autism Money for Best Personal Finance Content for Underserved Communities.

How to Nominate

To nominate Mom Autism Money, you would use this form.

At the top, you’ll fill out some very basic info about yourself.

Then, if you scroll down to ‘Best Personal Finance Content for Underserved Communities,’ you should see the Mom Autism Money URL already entered.

If for some reason it isn’t, simply type this in the box: https://momautismmoney.com

If you crush on content from other PF creators, you can enter them in the form for the remaining categories, too. But if you don’t, it’s okay to leave the rest of them blank before you hit ‘Submit.’

Catch Up on Mom Autism Money

Want to check out some of the latest episodes? Here are a bunch of our faves from Season Two! Be sure to follow or subscribe to Mom Autism Money on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, etc. so you’ll be notified each time a new episode goes live.

How to Successfully Apply to SSI

So far, this is our most popular episode this season! Brought to you by CalABLE, in this episode we speak with Dena Gassner about her proven strategy for successfully making it through the SSI/SSDI application process.

It’s centered around Autism, but her framework can be applied to any disability.

 

Autism in the Latino Community

This one just went live today!

Brought to you by ABLE United, it’s part one of an engaging, two-part discussion about Autism in the Latino community with self-advocate and editor Arianne Garcia and researcher Dr. Kristina Lopez. I learned a TON from this one, personally.

 

Retirement Planning

OMGosh, retirement planning when you have a disabled child is OVERWHELMING. Luckily, Joe Saul-Sehy and Brenton Harrison joined us to break everything down. So much great info that we broke it down into two episodes!

TBH, there are large chunks of these episodes that are great for anyone to listen to — whether or not you have an Autistic child.

More Mom Autism Money

We’ve covered a lot this season, and we’re excited to cover a lot more, too. Here are some of our other Season Two episodes:

Thank you!

Thank you all so much for your support over the years. When I started writing online, I never thought it would replace my day job. But it did. And you all made that happen. I am eternally grateful.

And thank you for taking a couple minutes to nominate today. Your continued support truly means the world.

Lovepop Cards for Mother’s Day

For International Women’s Day, Lovepop reached out to me to see if I’d like some cards on the house. I was thrilled to take the opportunity — Lovepop cards are so beautiful, unique and fun!

The problem? Well, this International Women’s Day, this is what we had to celebrate:

Bummer. I know.

And to a certain degree, I’ve been one of those women. With truncated work hours, I had a hard time getting my order in in time for the celebration.

The good news? A lot of Lovepop’s cards for International Women’s Day can double for Mother’s Day Cards. So I’m here today to share my haul with you. Be forewarned: Everything is super cute!

Savings Tip: Give Lovepop your email address to get 10% off your first order. Also keep an eye out for sale items and 5 for $50 deals. All of the cards listed below fall into one of those two categories.

Cherry Blossom Pop-Up Card

Pop up card of pink cherry blossom tree

Saw this card and fell in love! Which should be no surprise for those of you who remember my love of Japan. The magic of cherry blossom season is real, and I love how it’s captured in this card.

Mother’s Day Dragonfly Pop-Up Card

Dragonfly popup card on watercolor background

This card is specifically for moms! The dragonfly’s wings are so intricate, and the watercolor background is gorgeous.

Dragonfly popup card on watercolor background

Butterfly Basket Pop-Up Card

Popup card of weaved basket filled with flowers and butterflies

Give mom a bouquet of flowers and butterflies with this butterfly basket card! This card is particularly full and has so many tiny details that make it just perfect.

Popup card of weaved basket filled with flowers and butterflies

Mom & Baby Elephant Pop-Up Card

Pop up card with mom and baby elephant. Background popup of horizon line with trees and a watering hole on the ground.

I love these next two for new moms especially. The mom & baby elephant in this card are so cute, and the added horizon line in the background really makes it.

Mom & Baby Bunny Pop-Up Card

Baby white bunny riding on mom brown bunny's back in a popup card. Background popup is a grassy knoll with painted bunnies peeking out of their holes.

Another adorable card for new moms! Again, the background adds a lot, with bunnies peeking out of their holes and bunny ears peeking out from behind the hills. Baby white bunny riding on mom brown bunny's back in a popup card. Background popup is a grassy knoll with painted bunnies peeking out of their holes.

Have you ever bought Lovepop cards before? Share your favorites in the comments!