Author Archives: femmefrugality

Pss! Pss! A #Pittsburgh Theater Ticket #Giveaway

PLEASE NOTE: This show and giveaway have been cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic.

This post is in collaboration with The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

This is it.

The final Children’s Theater Ticket Giveaway of the 2019-2020 season.

It’s been real. We’ve seen Ms. Frizzle.

Visited the deep depths of prehistoric oceans.

Watched the rise and fall of Nazi powers unfurl in a one-woman show that was alarmingly relevant to our times, yet incredibly age-appropriate.

In fact, you can still enter to win tickets to see Diary of a Wombat until midnight tonight!

Today, as we bring this season to a close, we’re going out with a bang.

Pss! Pss! Comes to Pittsburgh

Guys, today’s feature show has won the Cirque Du Soleil prize.

Enough said, I know. But here are some more details for the ultra curious:

Inventive, exciting, and ridiculous, this breathtaking duet of mishaps and acrobatics will have you laughing long after you leave the theatre. Inspired by physical comedy of silent film stars like Charlie Chaplin, Pss Pss is a timeless performance of enthralling physicality and delightful expressions. Winner of 15 international prizes, including the Cirque Du Soleil prize, you’ve never seen anything like this.

Content Information: Recommended for ages 8+. This Show features: acting, physical theater, humor, acrobatics, communication skills, conflict resolution. This show is played without traditional words. The theater will be darkened at times during the show. There are elements of surprise.

You’ll be able to catch the show April 3rd, 2020 at 7p or April 4, 2020 at 2p at the August Wilson Cultural Center. Tickets available here.

Win Tickets to Pss! Pss! in Pittsburgh

You know the drill from here!

We’re giving away four (4) tickets to see Pss Pss when it comes to Pittsburgh next month. Showtime of your choice.

The giveaway will be open until March 22, 2020 at 11:59p Eastern.

Use the widget below to enter, and remember there are many entries which you can earn once per day! Best of luck to all!

You don’t need a daughter to care about gender equality.

This weekend we’ll be celebrating International Women’s Day. On March 8th, to be exact.

This post is just one of many in a content celebration over at Personal Finance by Women. The entire celebration will be live on Sunday — be sure to check it out!

Why is gender equality important?

You shouldn’t care about gender equality only because you have a mother.

Or a daughter.

Or a wife.

You should care about gender equality at a basic moral level. Because when one group of people’s freedoms are limited, no one is truly free.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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You should care about gender equality because it’s screwed up that someone can work just as many hours and earn less money.

It’s screwed up that it will be argued that those hours aren’t worked “as hard” when they’re worked by women.

It’s screwed up that women feel pressured to reenter the labor force before they’re physically healed from childbirth. Because we’re under some legitimately crazy notion in this country that the cause of the gender pay  gap is somehow maternity leave.

Women lead the small business sector in terms of growth. It’s messed up that they have trouble securing funding for those small businesses. Most of the money goes to male-owned startups. Effectively stunting growth.

Actions spurred on by gender inequality are illogical.

Its impacts may be disproportionate, but not pursuing gender equality negatively impacts everyone in a society.

Don’t care just because you have a female relative.

Care because it’s wrong and detrimental to society at large.

How does gender equality help support sustainable development?

Gender equality is the UN’s fifth Sustainable Development Goal.

Why is it so important?

Well, for one thing, the world economy can and has benefited from increased gender equality. Over the past 50 years, 50% of global economic growth can be directly attributed to the increased education of girls.

Today, it is estimated that increasing female employment rates in OECD countries to that of Sweden — which is one of the most gender equal countries in the world — would boost GDP by $6 trillion.

When women are allowed to work and are then compensated fairly for their work, the entire economy performs better.

It is also important to note that the UN has determined the most dangerous place in the world for a woman is in her own home, and that domestic violence is a primary concern when we talk about sustainable development.

What can I do to run a gender-equal workplace?

Obviously big, institutional changes need to happen if we’re going to squash gender inequality completely, if that’s even an obtainable goal.

But there are things you can do to work towards a more gender-equal world, especially if you own a business or have some type of managerial control over your work environment.

Don’t Demonstrate or Tolerate Pervy Workplace Behavior

The only workplaces I’ve operated in where I have not experienced pervy behavior have been those dominated by women.

Whether you’re hitting on a woman, telling a gross joke, or comparing her looks to those of her coworkers, none of it is appropriate.

Don’t even get close to that line, and do not tolerate the behavior in any of your business dealings — whether it’s a client you’re assigning to the sales team or that annoying jackass at the water cooler.

If women don’t feel safe in the workplace, they’re less likely to advocate for themselves — with due cause. This can result in anything from less confidence in salary negotiations to her leaving the job altogether — perhaps even without an explanation.

Pervy behavior makes women feel unsafe. It doesn’t matter whether you think it ‘should’ make them feel unsafe or not. It does.

And that is more than enough reason to stop.

Flexible Work Hours

In an office environment, you could operate your business so it’s open longer, but employees have more flexible options.

For example, you may be open 7a to 6p. You could then require employees to pick any 8 hours to come in and work. As long as they’re attending necessary meetings and getting their work done, it shouldn’t matter if they need to run home for an hour to get their kids off the bus or drive someone to soccer practice.

This and other larger, institutional measures are suggested by Chatón T. Turner, Esq. in The Feminist Financial Handbook.

Implement Parental Leave Policies

Oh, did you just assume that was mom getting the kids off the bus and driving everyone to soccer practice?

It’s okay.

I would have assumed the same thing.

We assume women are primary caretakers. We assume that is their primary role — one they are morally obligated to dedicate more time to than the paid work which feeds their families.

If we want to remove this perception, we need to encourage and recognize that men can be primary caretakers, as well.

Providing parental leave policies, and actively encouraging employees to take advantage of them, is a key step.

Allow for Remote Work Opportunities

Where possible, allow for remote work opportunities. While we’re working towards a gender equal world, the burden of childcare still falls largely on women in this moment. Women who are the heads of the overwhelming majority of single-parent homes.

Allowing for remote work acknowledges the extra burden women continue to shoulder as de facto primary caretakers. It permits them to stay home when the kiddos are sick without losing their job. It allows them to add value to your company even in a situation where they’d typically face gender discrimination — and you’d typically have to go through the time and expense of finding a new hire.

And it allows men to do the same, further normalizing the care of children as a responsibility all parents must shoulder regardless of gender.

Publish Salary Audits

Oof. No fun.

But neither is the gender pay gap.

Or the racial/etnocentric pay gap.

Or the pay gap gender minorities experience in the workplace.

Publishing salary audits does a few different things. First, it keeps you honest. You know you’re going to be publishing this information. Hopefully that fact encourages you to pay people equitably.

It also builds trust. Your employees are now empowered to ask for what they’re worth if they’re not getting it. If they are, it builds further respect.

I’m not a boss. How can I work towards a more gender equal world?

While the burden is on no individual woman to force the system to respect her, there are things you can do even if you’re not the one in charge of your workplace.

A lot of the changes we need to happen are cultural, and cultural opinions change one person at a time. When you find yourself in a conversation where gender discrimination is at play, challenge it when it’s safe to do so.

The other big thing you can do is vote. Research who is running in your area, where they stand on different issues, and if they support the cause of equality in potential legislation or judicial conscience.

Not just gender equality. Also racial equality. Equality for the Rainbow community. Equality for the disabled, the victims of Islamaphobia, xenophobia and all the prejudices that come up against Americans in the workplace and elsewhere in their day-to-day lives.

Because until we all have equal access to true economic freedom and justice, all the arguments about individual economic actualization are bullshit.

Why You Should Keep Investing Despite COVID-19

Quick note before today’s post: I make the assumption in here that the American economy will recover over the long term. That prediction cannot be guaranteed, no more than in 2008 or 2016 or any other moment in time. Though I do believe it to be extremely likely.

The past week has been scary for a few different reasons. Most obviously relevant to us here today is the fear many have experienced as they watched the investments in their retirement accounts drop.

Quickly.

Before you panic, there are some things you need to remember — especially if you’re a millennial investor.

Panic is the problem.

The panic around COVID-19 is real. While we don’t yet know if this will be any better or worse than the 1918 influenza outbreak, there is one thing we do know for sure: Panic rarely serves humans well.

This is just as true in the stock market as it is in any other aspect of our lives. If you are saving for retirement, the worst thing you could do right now is panic.

Panic may lead to:

  • Selling off your investments after they’ve just experienced a dramatic loss.
  • Taxes on withdrawals you shouldn’t have made.
  • Loss of future returns your money now cannot earn because you pulled it out of the stock market.

Panic can lead you to exit the stock market altogether until you once again feel confident in it — presumably because it’s doing well again.

That’s called selling low and buying high. It’s the opposite of what you want to do as an investor.

You’ve already accounted for this. It’s a part of the plan.

If, however, you keep a level head and leave your money in your retirement account, continuing to contribute on a regular basis, you’re sticking to the plan.

And the plan has already accounted for this.

When you sat down to figure out how much money you needed to save for retirement every month, you probably picked an annualized rate of return somewhere between 6%-8%. That does not mean you will see a 6%-8% return every year.

Some years it will be dramatically more.

Some years it will be dramatically less.

In fact, some years, you might even experience a loss.

That 6%-8% interest you calculated accounts for the fact that there are going to be dips in the market. Heaven forbid, there will even be recessions.

But over the long term, the American stock market has historically always gone up.

That is what the 6%-8% represents: Over the entirety of your investment career, the stock market is extremely likely to rise, though it might dip and/or rise wildly between any given two days.

Sometimes those runs or dips can last for a sustained period of time.

What we experienced last week was one of those dips.

To be fair, it was a dramatic one. But it’s already been accounted for.

You haven’t lost any money unless you cash out.

You might look at your IRA and see that the number has gone down, but that doesn’t really mean you’ve lost any money.

That just means that if you cashed out today you would lose money.

If you let your investments ride this out and the market recovers as it has every other time in the past, you won’t lose money.

Quite the opposite. Your money will grow.

No one can tell you where you’ll find the floor.

Right now there’s a lot of people thinking:

“Hm, I wonder if this is the lowest the market will go. If it were and I invested right now, my money could only grow.”

If you’re one of those people, I’ve got nothing for you.

No one does.

Because no one can tell you where the floor is, just as no one can definitively tell you the future.

But many stocks are clearly less expensive now than they were seven days ago. If you’re investing for the long-term, it’s not an unattractive time to get started.

Don’t have a retirement account yet? Now’s a good time to open one.

If you’re feeling all cocky because you have zero stock market stress in your life because you don’t have a retirement account, let me take you down a couple notches.

First of all, if you don’t have a retirement because you cannot afford to save due to a low income, let me introduce you to the Roth IRA. It may just solve your problems.

But a lack of retirement accounts or any investments is not something to feel cocky about, even in the worst of times for the stock market.

In fact, when the stock market is doing poorly, you just may want to consider getting in on the game. While you cannot time the market, this is much closer to a successful “buy low, sell high” strategy you’d ideally want to achieve.

How to Open a Retirement Account When You Don’t Get One from Work

Since the Recession last decade, fintech has grown. There are now ways you can get in on the stock market even if your employer doesn’t offer you a retirement account because, ‘benefits? lol what are those even?’

There are ways you can get in on the stock market even if you don’t have an initial investment of thousands of dollars.

Roboadvisors now allow you to save for retirement with crazy small sums, even as little as $1. They allow you to do so outside an employer plan, though you can rollover your employer plans over using roboadvisors, too.

I got a really late start on investing myself. Coming of age during the last Recession, I was terrified of the stock market. I was great at setting aside money, but my cash wouldn’t earn enough interest to keep up with inflation, nonetheless grow.

Roboadvisors made investing an option for me by making the barrier to entry lower once I realized what a fool I was being for being afraid of the stock market. Once I realized how much I had caved to panic.

I currently like Wealthsimple, as they give me good options for socially responsible investing. They’ve also got Halal investment portfolios. Because they’re a roboadvisor, their portfolios run off an algorithm; you don’t need to know anything about investing to get started.

But this is bad.

It might be. We don’t know yet how bad things are going to get. I do not mean to minimize the loss of human life that has already happened and that which is yet to come.

My words do not come with an ignorance of supply chain disruptions, and how food shortages and Machiavellian healthcare policies could disproportionately affect those who have traditionally not had access to the stock market at all.

This could get bad. But so much of the stock market is what we believe it to be.

While I’m disgusted with much of my government at this current moment in time, I fundamentally believe in America and her ability to overcome all types of ill — whether they be physical or political. Her ability to strive for a better tomorrow, even when today is so tragically flawed.

So I’m choosing to invest in both her future and my own. I’ve got a few international mutual funds in the mix, too.

How to Stay in Top 2020 Destinations for Free

If you want to head some of the top 2020 travel destinations, but don’t have the money to shell out for hotels, I’ve got good news.

You might be able to score FREE accommodations while you were in town.

Stay in Top 2020 Destinations for Free

It’s true! You can travel to many of this year’s most popular destinations without paying for an expensive hotel.

The catch is there’s labor involved.

The beautiful thing is that the labor involves cuddling adorable animals.

TrustedHousesitters

If you’re a pet lover, traveling just got a whole lot cheaper for you.

That’s because if you’re willing to pet sit while you’re in town, you can use sites like TrustedHousesitters to score free accommodations.

Your host will be out of town while you’re in town, so you’ll have the place to yourself — and the pets. Remember, in exchange for free digs, they’re trusting you with the love and care of their furry family members.

How do I get a pet sitting gig?

Just because a job is available on TrustedHousesitters doesn’t mean it’s there for you to claim.

It’s there for you to apply to. It’s the homeowner who ultimately designates who they let into their home.

You can up your odds, though, by making your profile more attractive. You can do this by adding quality photos to your profile, along with completing an array of verification options.

Where can I get a pet sitting gig?

Without further ado, here are the top 2020 travel destinations where you can stay for free via a TrustedHousesitters gig.

Dubai

That’s the Museum of the Future being built!
  • Country: United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  • Number of petsitting jobs available at time of writing: 16
  • Why is Dubai on the list? The World Expo, the opening of Museum of the Future, indoor skiing.
  • Know before you go: The UAE’s drinking laws are strict. Be sure to stay abreast of the most recent legal and cultural norms for the region in which you’re staying.

Find current pet sitting jobs in Dubai.

Courtenay, BC

  • Country: Canada
  • Number of petsitting jobs available at time of writing: 1
  • Why is Courtenay on the list? Ecotourism, for all its problematic trends, is on the rise. Airbnb saw a 114% increase in year-over-year bookings for Courtenay in particular. Your stay is likely to be a bit less problematic as you’re presumably lending a hand to a local.
  • Know before you go: You’re going to need to take a plane or a ferry to get to the island.

Find current pet sitting jobs in Courtenay.

Aberdeen

  • Country: Scotland
  • Number of petsitting jobs available at time of writing: 7
  • Why is Aberdeen on the list? Known for its biodiversity, including dolphin sightings on the regular! You’ll also want to visit the Medieval Crossing and soak in the city’s legendary architecture.
  • Know before you go: You don’t just drive on the left side of the road in the UK; you also want to make sure you keep to the left as a pedestrian.

Find current pet sitting jobs in Aberdeen.

Eugene, Oregon

  • Country: United States of America
  • Number of petsitting jobs available at time of writing: 6
  • Why is Eugene on the list? This city is going carbon neutral in 2020! It’s also nestled in a natural wonderland, and is a foodie paradise.
  • Know before you go: Pack a light rain jacket. You may need it on-the-go when you’re least expecting it, so make sure it’s compact and easy to carry with you.

Find current pet sitting jobs in Eugene.

Romania

  • Number of petsitting jobs available at time of writing: 1
  • Why is Romania on the list? It’s beautiful. It’s affordable for and welcoming to tourists. Dracula castles. Prince Charles has been obsessed.
  • Know before you go: The peak of Ceausescu’s madness happened before most of us millennials can remember. Steadily but slowly, Romania has been healing the wounds that era left behind. It’s a work in progress — but one people are increasingly looking towards with hope.

Find current pet sitting jobs in Romania.

Copenhagen

  • Country: Denmark
  • Number of petsitting jobs available at time of writing: 2
  • Why is Copenhagen on the list? Copenhagen has been under major infrastructure construction for the past several years, but in 2020, it will be back open for business! The Museum of Copenhagen also reopened a couple weeks ago after relocating.
  • Know before you go: Denmark is one of the happiest countries on Earth. But if you want to catch Copenhagen while the sun is shining, traveling in June is your safest bet.

Find current pet sitting jobs in Copenhagen.

Galway

  • Country: Ireland
  • Number of petsitting jobs available at time of writing: 1
  • Why is Galway on the list? Galway was named a European Capital of Culture for 2020. As a result, there are a ton of innovative and thought-provoking experiences to be had across all the arts on Ireland’s west coast this year.
  • Know before you go: If you’re into nearly any given music scene, July could be an ideal time to visit this year.

Find current pet sitting jobs in Galway.

Where would you look for a pet sitting job? Let us know in the comments!

Diary of a Wombat: #Pittsburgh Ticket #Giveaway

This post is in collaboration with the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

It’s that time again! Another great Children’s Theater show is coming to Pittsburgh.

And you know what that means.

Another ticket giveaway from the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust!

Diary of a Wombat

Diary of a Wombat is a story about an animal who trains the humans around her to take care of her needs. Written by Australian author Jackie French and illustrated by Bruce Watley, Diary of a Wombat follows the little marsupial as she figures out ways to manipulate humans into giving her the best eats and digs.

It’s a super cute book, and was so wildly popular that there’s at least one sequel!

Diary of a Wombat Comes to Pittsburgh

From March 22 to March 29, 2020, Diary of a Wombat will be touring the Pittsburgh region!

  • March 22, 2p Seneca Valley Intermediate High School
  • March 25, 7p Greensburg-Salem High School
  • March 26, 5:30p Marshall Middle
  • March 26, 7:30p Marshall Middle
  • March 27, 7p Hopewell High School
  • March 28, 11a Mellon Middle School
  • March 28, 2p Mellon Middle School
  • March 29, 2p Byham Theater

You can get tickets here.

Here’s a little info so you know what to expect:

Meet Mothball, the naughtiest wombat in Australia. Bored with her daily routine, Mothball goes in search of shelter and food, creating chaos in the lives of the humans around her.
Doormats, bins and washing lines are no match for this mischievous marsupial. Between a packed schedule of scratching, sleeping and eating Mothball discovers that with a bit of persistence, humans are quite easily trained! 

Based on the multi award-winning picture book, Diary of a Wombat by Australian Children’s Laureate, Jackie French and Bruce Whatley.

Content Information: This event is designated for younger audiences and is recommended for children and adults ages 3+. This show features: puppets, live music, acting, creative thinking, sustainability. This show will be performed without words in a darkened theater and includes live music.

Diary of a Wombat Ticket Giveaway!

Without further ado, let’s give away some tickets!

We’re giving away four (4) tickets to see Diary of a Wombat at one of the times and locations listed above. To enter, simply use the widget below.

This giveaway is open until 11:59p Eastern on March 9, 2020.

Keep in mind that you can come back and complete some of these entries once per day, so there are lots of opportunities to enter!

Best of luck to all!

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