Category Archives: Family Finance

Shopping for Life Insurance the Right Way

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

Life insurance can be confusing. It’s something you only do a couple of times. Because of this, it’s important to know how to do it correctly. Here’s everything you need to know about shopping for life insurance the right way. This not only makes the process easier, but it also helps to cut back on costs.

Work with an independent insurance agent.

There are two types of insurance agents: Those that work for a specific company and those who work independently. As you might be able to imagine, one that works for a specific company will be selling you a product with their company because they want you to choose their company. This is true whether or not the policy is the best choice for your needs.

An independent agent works individually and will give you a lot more options. As long as they’re operating ethically and not based on who offers the highest commission, they aren’t going to persuade you into choosing a specific company. They will help you find what’s best. This will save you money and you will get the best policy too.

Buy life insurance as soon as possible.

Now, life insurance is a big decision, so it shouldn’t be taken lightly. At the same time, you don’t want to wait too long. Life insurance costs increase as you age. Plus, your overall health status has an impact on the cost of your life insurance. As you age, you are more likely to develop a health issue. To save money, it’s a good idea to get life insurance as you can. Ideally, this would be when you’re young and before you develop any health issues.

Get term life insurance.

For the majority of people, term life insurance is the best option. It lasts for a specific term, such as 15 or 20 years. Many people choose to get a term for the amount of time they have kids relying on their income. Once your kids move out, you no longer need life insurance. You could also get a policy for the duration of your mortgage.

Whole life insurance ends up costing more and provides coverage beyond when you actually need it. The term makes a lot more sense for most people.

Take the medical exam.

When you are shopping for life insurance, you will find that most of the options require a medical exam. This shows the insurance company whether it’s risky to insure you. Depending on your health status, your quote may go up or down. You will also see a no exam option. This might sound convenient, but it actually costs you more money.

The insurance company has to guess how big of a risk it is to insure you. Because of this, rates are higher with no exam life insurance. If you have a health issue that would prevent you from getting insurance anyway, then it makes sense to go with no exam life insurance. But many people will benefit from going through with the exam and get a quote.

Life insurance is important for everyone with dependents.

Getting life insurance is an important part of protecting yourself and your family. There are many different life insurance options out there, so it’s a good idea to follow these guidelines. You will get the insurance you need and you will save money too.

Comparable Worth and Early Childhood Education

a bunch of toys lined up with a color scheme of green, orange blue and white.

Last Spring, I attended an event called Statement. The first day, a bunch of us money writers listened to panel after interesting panel, each taking on a different aspect of working within our field as women.

One of the panels in particular delved into economic inequality. The idea of comparable worth was brought up. It’s an argument that was made in the 80s that essentially says we should compensate those working in female-dominated fields the same as those working in male-dominated fields.

I was stunned. I’m too young to remember that argument in real time, and had been sheltered from it until Statement.

That doesn’t mean it’s not an argument I hadn’t considered before, though. So many excuses for the gender wage gap hinge on the fact that women tend to enter lower-paying fields than men. While we this is true, there are two contingencies we must consider alongside this argument:

  1. Even when we norm out for these differences in career choices, women still face a discriminatory pay gap.
  2. Why the hell do we pay those working in female-dominated fields less in the first place?

Historical Cultural Norms and the Gender Pay Gap

number one amazon new release womens money

I actually unknowingly made an argument for comparable worth in The Feminist Financial Handbook, which was published the October before I attended Statement. From Chapter VII: The Elephant in the Womb. Full sourcing available in the book:

It is true that women tend to go into less lucrative fields. Jobs in fields like education and domestic work pay far less than opportunities available in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM.) It is also true that we have a cultural tendency to encourage our daughters towards these lower-paying fields, failing to nurture and praise talents that could one day be used in the higher-paying fields. We tend to do the opposite with our sons.

I am not going to sit here and tell you that you shouldn’t encourage your daughter towards STEM professions. If that is where their interests and talents lie, or it’s not and they simply want to get money out of their career rather than passion, I personally think it’s a good idea. I would say the same for our sons.

However, I also think we need to look at this issue on a deeper level. Why do fields like education and domestic work pay less? I’d argue that it’s less about the importance of the work and more about inherited cultural norms we don’t even think to question.

Teachers, for example, are in high demand in many parts of the United States. The profession requires a quality education, and skills beyond content knowledge. You have to actually be able to apply the concepts you learned about in school to your work and interactions with human beings. Those human beings will grow up to be taxpayers and hopefully innovators, pushing our societies to what we hope will be higher planes of moral and material comfort. We all want our children to have a better life than we did, and a huge part of making that happen is getting a good education from skilled teachers.

Yet, this profession notoriously pays low wages. Over the past year, there have been multiple teacher strikes across the country, often in some of the lowest-paid regions.

Another example is domestic work. In America, more than 90% of workers in this labor-intensive field are female, and immigrant populations are disproportionately represented. Keeping in mind that many workers in this industry have employers who illegally pay under the table—presumably at lower-than-legal wages–and therefore do not have their wages reported to the government, the average weekly wage of domestic workers in private households in the fourth quarter of 2017 was $398.72. Adding insult to injury, female domestic workers are often subjected to physical, sexual, emotional and/or verbal abuse within the households where they work .

Compare this to a field involving manual labor where men typically work: construction. Here, the average American weekly pay in that fourth quarter of 2017 was $977.99/week. That comes out to about $24.45/hour if you assume a 40-hour work week, and you may have benefits and protections as an employee, especially if you’re in a union. I don’t want to paint too rosy of a picture—this field has its problems, too. In particular, opioid addiction tends to be high, but that is another issue for another day.

The average domestic worker gets paid less than half that of the average construction worker, and neither job is great for your body long-term. One field is dominated by women, and the other by men.

When we look back on our liberation as women, we have to think about the work we used to do for free. Domestic labor and raising children was the work of women—and our society and cultural norms dictated that we did it all for free. Education was one of the first fields where women were able to find some equal footing, but again, the compensation in this field tends to be low. Men, on the other hand, had their value assessed by their ability to bring in an income and provide for their family.

So which is more true: women gravitate towards fields that pay less, or we as a society value the fields that women are traditionally encouraged towards at a lower dollar amount?

It’s probably a little bit of both. But when we recognize that the field has been devalued because of the gender that’s dominated it rather than the actual value of the work, we can take steps towards fixing the system rather than placing the blame squarely on the shoulders of young women as they choose their career paths.

Comparable Worth in the Real World

The gender pay gap doesn’t just affect womxn. It affects our entire society. I loved this thread by Piggy from Bitches Get Riches explaining how this plays out when it comes to child care decisions, and the fact that those actually doing the hard, on-the-ground work are often compensated pitifully despite the mind-boggling costs.

The Twitter Thread on the Pay Gap and Comparable Worth

Comparable Worth in the Early Childhood Education

So the wage gap is a problem, forcing parents to make hard decisions about child care vs career before baby even arrives.

But because of rising rent across the country and the fact that when you’re taking care of infants and young children, you need a seriously low adult-to-child ratio to do things legally and safely, the money parents are paying rarely trickles down into the pockets of the people actually taking care of their kids in the form of larger salaries. Childcare workers still routinely make less than $10/hour, with the average right above the double-digit mark.

What if we cut daycare and early childhood education centers tax breaks and offered them lucrative incentives to move into our neighborhoods and communities like we do for oil and gas companies? Or automakers?

Is it because historically, women have taken care of children for free? So paying them anything at all is a generosity in our collective, societal eyes? While male-dominated fields like oil, gas and the world of vehicle production tend to either pay well or offer fantastic long-term benefits to W-2 employees? While the companies at large receive not just subsidies, but incentives, from both state and local governments?

Like Piggy, I don’t have any concrete, actionable answers, but I do think these are questions we should be asking. Because we sure as hell need the solutions. We’re not going to find them by telling moms their only choice is to stay home and sacrifice their economic independence.

Money Questions to Ask Before Baby Comes

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

Every parent can attest that babies are expensive, but their cute smiles and big hugs make the money struggle all worth it. Whether you are a single-parent household or you have a partner, there are some questions you need to ask before welcoming a baby into the world. 

1. Who will take care of the baby? 

Childcare is very costly, especially in the US. According to experts, the cost surpasses that of housing, college tuition, and transportation annually.

In some homes, it is not uncommon to see a partner offering to stay at home and look after the kids as the other one works. This comes with its disadvantages, though, since the stay at home partner will miss out on an income reducing the money coming into the home.

They will also lose other benefits that employment brings, such as retirement accounts, healthcare, and the mental and social stimulation of a workplace. 

2. What insurance policies will we need? 

Talk to your employer about possible insurance options. A short-term disability policy would come in handy in case you are unable to continue working for some time. You could also look into writing a will and getting a life insurance policy for you as a parent. There are different types of life insurance policies, which can be valuable to your family in the future. Research about them on Money Monarch before you decide which one to buy.

3. What changes should we expect in our lifestyle? 

One thing that is a guarantee is that your lifestyle will change when you have a baby. Some of the changes you can plan for so they don’t throw you off the life plans you have. You can decide to move away from the city and raise your baby in a more child-friendly neighborhood, but if you prefer the upbeat lifestyle the city provides, then it is up to you. You might want to evaluate the kind of car you drive and if it will be suitable for a child. If not, consider looking into a bigger family car. 

4. How will you finance your child’s education? 

We all agree that it is every parent hopes to give their child the best education they can afford. But not everyone can manage to save for college. It is in your child’s benefit to decide in advance how his schooling will be taken care of. If you want to save due to the compound interest it will acquire, then it is best to start early so you can have enough to cover their college fees. 

It will come even handier for schools that are known to be expensive. It might mean having to channel a chunk of your savings to the education fund. Experts warn against diverting money involved for retirement to other avenues, including saving for education. If you are not sure of what course of action to take, it would be wise to engage a financial advisor to point you in the right direction. 

Before getting a baby to ensure your finances are in order or there are systems in place to safeguard both you and your children’s future. 

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.