Category Archives: Family Finance

How to Plan a Budget Trip for the Whole Family

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

Planning a trip for the whole family can be a bit of a daunting task that requires a lot of patience. It first starts with resorts booking. So, to make your trip budget-friendly, you can plan your family accommodations with Norwalk Inn. Imagine planning a family trip with adults, teens, children, and even babies. Nothing beats the pleasure of a light, relaxing vacation with your entire family.

One of the factors that greatly aggravates would-be-family-travelers is the variation between the ages of travelers. Many give up even before they start planning a family trip. But you don’t have to despair, we’ve sorted out options that will help you prepare a vacation you can enjoy and everyone is happy with.

Book your budget hotel

An excellent option for those wishing to travel with their families on a budget, budget hotels have become increasingly common. You can easily go somewhere within walking distance to all the attractions for three nights, so your time and financial resources are not that great. Renting a room in Norwalk Inn is an excellent option for those who want to organize a budget family trip.

All-Inclusive Resort

If your family members are active and independent, nothing better than Norwalk Inn to make the holidays fun for everyone. Options such as tennis, cycling, golf, dance classes, sightseeing, programming for children and adolescents separated by age. Diversified programming, food and drink all with ease, comfort and safety. What more could you want on a family vacation? 

This is all part of family travel packages when the option is a resort, plus all-inclusive food and drink at your leisure. You just need to decide what type of resort you would like. One on a beach with a lot of water sports, a mountain resort or even a ranch hotel. Everyone can live different experiences during the day and share their adventures at the dinner table.

Cruises

To plan a family trip knowing that members have different interests, cruising is a good alternative. What family members need to come to terms with is the destination, date and cruise line. Comfort and fun on the high seas.  Cruises are a great travel and entertainment option for the whole family. Once you are aboard the ship, family members can be as active or as relaxed as they wish, stay together or stand independently, just like at a resort.

Ideal for travel with grandparents with grandchildren, as it is much easier to find activities of interest or want to participate in the programming of the other. Since most costs are paid in advance, no one has to deal with the embarrassment of who is financing each meal.

Organize the family trip

Of course what defines the format of the family trip is how your family is structured, how you interact and how intimate you are. These tips were to show that family travel can be a lot of fun, as long as everyone’s taste is respected and the moments together are given priority. An international trip can be complicated to organize, especially a family trip with so many members.

How to Get Free Tickets to the Mamas Talk Money Summit

The past couple years I’ve been doing a lot more live events. I’ve organized round table discussions for female freelancers, spoken on ABLE accounts and gathered audiences of women together to talk books and money.

It’s not something I thought I’d be doing eight years ago when I started blogging anonymously, but it turns out it’s something I enjoy.

The only bummer about doing these live events is that when you’re in one city…you’re in one city. I can’t invite all of you to come. I mean, I could, but I’d have to be hungry for a lot of rejection.

The live event where everyone can come.

That’s why I’m super excited to let you know I’ll be speaking at the Mamas Talk Money Summit.

In my sessions, we’ll be covering finances when you’re raising a special needs kiddo, which includes things like ABLE accounts, but also includes things like Medicaid access, maximizing resources extended to your child in IEP meetings and more.

My topic is very niche. The idea is to speak to all moms, so there are five days packed full of content about being a mother and managing money; there’s something for everyone!

There are two best parts:

  1. The summit is happening entirely online, so EVERYONE CAN COME!*
  2. If you’re watching live, the summit is 100% free, so EVERYONE CAN COME!*

You can signup to register for free here.

Sessions I’m excited for.

There are five full days of speakers for this event. You can catch me on Friday at 2:15 p.

There are other speakers you won’t want to miss, either. Like a ton. Here are some of the one’s I’m most excited for myself:

10 Steps to Financial Wellness with Tiffany Aliche

Find Tiffany’s session on the full schedule.

The first time I saw Tiffany speak was at a conference in Charlotte. She blew me away. She was entertaining, confident, smart and into establishing environmental supports to help people make wise money decisions.

Crazy excited to attend her session on October 21 at 2:15p. She’ll be talking about her own financial journey and the lessons she learned along the way that helped her feel financially “whole.”

4 Indispensable (But Rarely Talked About) Moves for Your Money with Jen Hemphill

Find Jen’s session on the full schedule.

Reading Jen’s book was so eye opening. I learned a lot about my own psychological baggage with money, and that knowledge helped me get conquer some hurdles I didn’t even know I was tripping over.

Needless to say, I’m pretty psyched for her session covering the emotions behind money. You can catch it on October 22 at 8:30a EST.

Surviving and Thriving When Tragedy Strikes with Michelle P. Cooper

Find Michelle’s session on the full schedule.

Michelle became a widow and single mother very suddenly. While money isn’t the most important thing in moments like these, having a grasp on how to manage that money well is imperative if you want to make it out of such upheaval financially healthy.

In my opinion, everyone should go to this session. You never know when tragedy will strike. You can prepare for it with Michelle on October 23 at 1:00p EST.

How to Create Positive Change at Work with Georgene Huang

Find Georgene’s session on the full schedule.

We talk a lot about gender inequality in the workplace here on Femme Frugality. It’s great to know that a problem exists, but how do you go about fixing it as a member of the oppressed group?

Gerogene Huang will be tackling that very topic on October 24 at 3:30p EST. I’m really excited to learn from this one. I know the methods I’ve used to successfully affect change without flipping over the entire apple cart, and I’m incredibly excited to pick up some new tools.

The Best Ways to Teach Young Girls About Money with Dina Shoman

Find Dina’s session on the full schedule.

Culturally, we still don’t talk to our daughters about investing as much as we do to our sons. Unsurprisingly, that results in girls and women feeling less confident in this area and compounds the coexisting investing gap.

On October 25 at 8:30a EST, Dina Shoman is coming to the Mamas Talk Money Summit to teach us how to change that. Dina is going to talk about how to help girls feel more confident across their finances, and I’m already getting ready to jot down notes.

Managing Your Finances with a Special Needs Child

Find my session on the full schedule!

With yours truly on October 25 at 2:15p EST!

Here are some of the things we’ll talk about:

  • Health insurance.
  • Applying for SSI to establish disability.
  • ABLE accounts.
  • Ensuring your child gets everything they’re entitled to at school.
  • Career and higher education resources available to your child starting around middle school.
  • And more!

And so much more!

Seriously, everyday is packed with great sessions. There are so many more great ones that I’m excited about that I just can’t cover them all in one post!

Make sure to check out the full schedule.

What if I can’t attend the Mamas Talk Money Summit live?

If you can’t catch a session live, it will be available for replay for 48 hours.

If that doesn’t work for you, or you want to be able to rewatch the content, you do have the option of purchasing an All Access Pass. Here’s what you get with this pass:

  • Lifetime access to all videos & their accompanying worksheets
  • One page summaries of each talk
  • Transcripts
  • MP3 downloads of sessions
  • 4 live group Q&A calls with Chelsea Brennan in the weeks following the event, just for All Access Pass holders

The pass normally costs $87, but if you purchase right now, you’ll get the early bird price of $67. That’s a 23% discount!

What do you say, friends? See you there?

*Obviously, not everyone has internet access, and they may not be available during the session time even if it is free. So I know not everyone can come. But those who are reading this blog post and prioritize the event probably can find a way to make it happen, or can catch the sessions via the All Access Pass.

Easy Peasy Low-Cost Life Insurance

Disclosure: This post was made in paid partnership with Bestow. Neither Bestow nor North American Company for Life and Health Insurance were involved in the preparation of the information in this article. The opinions and ideas expressed in the article are those of the author(s) and are not promoted or endorsed by Bestow or North American. You should always seek professional advice before making a financial decision.

Such an important step when you become a mom--getting term life insurance!

When I got my life insurance policy, I had a nurse come into my home. She took my weight, drew my blood and went over a long and complex form with me, assessing my physical and mental health.

It wasn’t a particularly convenient or fun experience.

But if you’re looking at purchasing a term life insurance policy today, you’ve got options. If you qualify, you could get a policy for as little as $5/month from Bestow. No medical tests. Easy questionnaire. And the entire process takes less than ten minutes.

I gave the platform a whirl myself, though I did not qualify for a policy. I have a couple preexisting conditions, so that’s not a huge surprise. These are low-cost policies, which will often mean they’re available to those who do not have many “negative” marks on their medical history.

There were seven sections of the application, reviewing basics like name and address all the way through lifestyle decisions, physical health, mental health and income information. From here, you’ll either be rejected or offered a final rate. Policies start at just $5/month, and are underwritten by North American Company for Life and Health Insurance®.

What should I look for in an insurance company?

When you’re shopping for an insurance company, you want to be as sure as possible that the company will be able to pay out your benefits should you ever need to make a claim. You can do this by looking up its rating with an insurance rating agency. Scores operate similarly to the grades you received in high school; the closer to an A++, the better. Companies with lower ratings are less likely to be able to actually pay out the claims.

North American Company for Life and Health Insurance has an A+ rating from AM Best, and Bestow administers their policies online.

Why do you need life insurance?

There are many reasons you might need life insurance. You may want to provide for you family in the event of your death, aiming to leave them with enough money for the kids to attend college and to replace your income for several years as they adjust to lacking your income or work as a homemaker.

Of course, the primary thing you want to get them through is the mourning process. Giving them time to handle the emotional waves that come along with grief is perhaps one of the greatest gifts of all.

You may want to support a partner or parent in the event of your death, which is another reason to take out a life insurance policy.

Why don’t I have to submit any medical records?

Bestow pulls your data as you give it permission to do so as a part of the application process. It pulls your health data and prescriptions in this way. Then it goes through an algorithm which decides if you qualify for coverage.

What else should I know before I use Bestow as my life insurance provider?

If you get a 20-year term policy from Bestow, you must be age 21-45. The other policies offered are 2-year or 10-year term policies, and you must be between the ages of 21-55 in order to qualify.

You will not be approved if you have any of these disqualifiers:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Cancer—unless it’s basal or squamous cell skin cancer
  • Organ transplant
  • Diabetes before age 40—unless it was gestational diabetes
  • Alcohol and/or drug abuse
  • HIV
  • Undergoing dialysis

As long as none of the above apply to you and you fall within the age limits, you may qualify. Finding out is as easy as applying online, and shouldn’t take you more than ten minutes.

Have you purchased life insurance? What was your experience? Let us know in the comments!

Happy News from the Land of Femme Frugality

It’s time for a huge update, friends!

I’ve been working on some stuff behind the scenes lately that I’m super psyched about. And I can finally tell you about all most of it!

Vote for The Feminist Financial Handbook

The Plutus Awards nominations are open! You guys have been super kind to me over the past few years, nominating Femme Frugality for Best Women’s Finance Blog and the Intersectional Finances Series for Best PF Series.

I’d be beyond grateful if you could take a couple minutes to vote for The Feminist Financial Handbook for Best New Personal Finance Book for this years’ awards ceremony!

You can vote by using this pre-filled form!

Just fill out the two starred boxes at the top and submit–thank you so much!

Speaking at FinCon

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be speaking at FinCon in DC this year! I’ll be joining Paul Curley of the 529 Conference and Sarah Pennington of ABLEnow.

We’ll be speaking on ABLE accounts on the Quick Money Talks track, educating writers and financial professionals on these accounts that serve the disabled community. Be sure to join us there!

If you want to get a head start, check out these resources:

Check out all the stuff I had wrong when I was 20.

I recently had my first piece published over at Business Insider. It’s all about the things I wish I had known about money when I was twenty–a year which happened to have the Great Recession as its backdrop.

You should check it out–I want to hear if you made some of the mistakes I did or if I was just ridiculous.

I mean, let’s be real. It could be both.

Book Signing in Bar Harbor

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Bailey Zembower BorrowMSCP RYT (@shantisunshinewellness) on

If you are vacationing in Bar Harbor in July, or happen to be one of MDI’s local residents, please join me at a book signing for The Feminist Financial Handbook!

Where: Sherman’s of Bar Harbor
When: July 23rd, 2019
Time: 1p

There will be copies there available for you, and am looking forward to talking to some readers in person!

This event will be part of a larger project; I’m sitting on my hands so I won’t tell you the whole thing right now!

But it will be worth the wait, I believe. Be sure to follow along so you don’t miss anything!

How I Got Divorced with Kids for $800

Man and woman sitting at a table at an outdoor restaurant, unhappily having an intense discussion. White text reads "How I got divorced for $800 with kids! femmefrugality.com"

Okay, guys.

This is it.

This is the one where I confirm what you suspected last summer.

The marriage to the man I’ve been in a committed relationship with since before I started writing is over.

I’m divorced.

Don’t send me condolences! This is really a positive thing in my life. It’s a change that needed to happen for way too long. It’s a process I dragged out over the course of many years in the name of trying to save things.

And, yes, it’s something that messed with my head, kept me up crying many nights and was a horrible thing to go through.

But I did get through it. I just didn’t feel like sharing that part of my life in real-time. Now I’m in a place where being divorced feels like a relief and permission to start a new chapter of my life.

I have no idea what’s going to happen in the next chapter. I have very few concrete personal goals, though I have been making forward progress as I figure out what I want out of life.

It’s scary sometimes.

But it’s also exhilarating.

How I Got Divorced for $800 with Children

Before I get into the numbers, I want to disclose a couple of things. The first is that my ex agreed to every last thing I wanted. And I only wanted things for the children.

We’re not squabbling over financials. We didn’t own any joint property and neither of us owns any real estate.

Those things in and of themselves made this process dramatically cheaper than it could have been.

The Lawyer

If we had simply been filing a no-contest divorce, I may have taken a stab at filing the paperwork myself.

But we weren’t. There were kids involved. And it was really important to me that the paperwork surrounding that issue was rock solid legally.

So I hired a lawyer.

I began shopping by calling around to different lawyers in the county. None would give me an initial consultation for free, and many of them wanted retainers around $3,000 at the conclusion of that initial meeting.

That was not going to fly with me. I’m not a fan of paying professionals before they’ve worked to establish a professional relationship with me. Sit down with me. See if you can help me. And if you can, THEN I’ll pay you money.

I kept looking and found this lawyer who runs their business completely via USPS. You mail in the divorce paperwork and any additional information for an agreement along with payment, and they file the divorce for you.

In Pennsylvania, you can file for divorce in any county. Which can save you big bucks. So even though this lawyer was local, the filing fees were not. They were lower than what you’d pay in Allegheny County.

You have to mail back and forth a few times, but because we had not been living under the same roof for more than a year (there is no such thing as legal separation in Pennsylvania), the entire process took one month and four days.

I was holding my breath the entire time with Mx. Lawyer-I-found-on-the-internet. I really hoped I wasn’t getting scammed. I had done my research on them, but still. I was consciously taking on risk to save thousands of dollars.

Luckily for me, the lawyer was legit. I’m officially divorced. If anyone in PA is interested in using the same lawyer, get in touch and I’ll be happy to send over the information. Just keep in mind that you and your spouse must agree 100% on everything as they only file no-contest divorces.

Altogether, the costs came out to about $800, including a legal agreement about all things children.

The Costs of Staying Together

But of course, that wasn’t the only cost we incurred. Ironically enough, most of my expenses came not from the divorce, but from trying to save things.

I really don’t want to get into all the details. But I do want to say that if you, too, are trying to save a marriage or any type of relationship, set rational money boundaries at the very beginning of your attempt at heroism.

For example:

  • If this living arrangement is costing us more than $X,XXX/month, I’m not going to delay finding another living situation.
  • If we cannot communicate about anything nonetheless money, how am I going to conduct my own finances independently and perhaps sometimes in spite of the desire to “help” the other person?
  • At what point can we not afford to protect our kids from the bad news anymore?
  • This whole process is going to suck. How am I going to cope economically if I hit or trigger a period of less-than-awesome mental health?

Those are examples. I definitely lived through some of those, but others I’ve watched friends and family go through before. Some of them assume a large amount of privilege and autonomy on the part of each spouse–especially when the spouse is female.

I found these costs to be the most expensive part of the divorce, though it is important to remember I lucked out with the no-contest divorce and crazy affordable lawyer.

Emotional Labor

Both of us did emotional labor through this entire process. I think each one of us would argue that the other hasn’t done a successful job in their pursuit.

That’s been the hardest part of this whole process. I have faith in myself that I can fix my money. But getting through this entire thing emotionally has been a nightmare.

It would have been hard if nothing else bad was happening in our lives. But, of course, there were other bad things.

It would have been hard if I had a mindless desk job where all I had to do was show up for 8 hours everyday and close the Facebook tab when the boss made their rounds. But, of course, I don’t.

It would have been hard if we didn’t have children together. But we do and for that I am eternally grateful, despite the deepened wounds that come with the fact at this particular juncture in time.

Yes, trying to stay together cost me money.

No, I didn’t have to pay very much in legal fees.

But at the end of the day, I am reminded once again that in life, money is hardly the thing that matters most.