Category Archives: Family Finance

If you’re paying for health insurance anyways, make sure you’re getting the most for your money. Here are five surprising things your health insurance may cover.  Plans and coverage vary, but it’s worth investigating to find out.

6 Ways to Save on Life Insurance for Women

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

woman holding up her infant/toddler son against a pink background

Men have more life insurance policies than women, which doesn’t make a whole lot of logical sense.

Life insurance is essential for anyone who has dependents, and women tend to have more people who rely on them. Life insurance is a critical ingredient in our world where women are often providers for their families, and simultaneously provide a larger share of caretaking responsibilities. Not only will your income be lost after your death, but all the free labor you provide as a caretaker will have to be replaced.

Buying life insurance as a woman is cheaper and cost-saving when compared to men, because women tend to live longer. That means the life insurance company is less likely to have to pay out, and if they do, you’re likely to have paid more in premiums as you’ve lived longer to do so.

Life Insurance For Women: What Does It Mean?

Life insurance is a form of insurance that covers the loss of life. After you pass away, the insurance company will pay money to your beneficiaries. It works as a contract between you (the insured) and an insurance company (the insurer). The insured pays a certain amount of money known as a premium to the insurer in exchange for claims known as death benefits.

Types of Life Insurance

Fundamentally, there are two types of life insurance: term and permanent. Term insurance covers the insured for specific periods, usually five to thirty years. On the other hand, permanent insurance is whole or universal as it covers the insured’s entire life. Aside from being different by nature, both also carry different premiums.

Since term insurance only covers the insured’s loss of life for a limited number of years, the premiums are affordable. On the other hand, permanent insurance costs more in premiums.

Women’s life insurance generally has the same coverage as men’s. Your beneficiaries can use the death benefit for anything, including:

  • Funeral costs.
  • Bills and expenses of loved ones.
  • End-of-life debt settlement.
  • Education for your child.
  • Medical expenses.
  • Care for your dependents.

The cost of women’s life insurance varies from one insurer to another. So, it’s usually wise you consider the type of insurance — whether permanent or term — and the insurance company you’ll be dealing with. You’ll also want to consider your age, health, and lifestyle.

Why Do Women Need Life Insurance?

Dying means leaving several things behind. This could be a child whose education depends on you, or a loved one who’s been dependent on you over the years. Life for the people around you would be difficult without life insurance, especially if you’ve been the breadwinner. The best way to solve the financial mess of your absence is to get insured.

Whether you’re married, divorced, a single mother, or a stay-at-home mom, getting a life insurance policy would do you good. At the very least, the policy covers your burial costs, outstanding debts, and property administration. Other reasons you need life insurance include:

  • Long-term financial independence.
  • Coverage for critical illnesses.
  • Leaving a lasting legacy.
  • End-of-life saving for the future.
  • Potential tax benefits if you provide policies to your employees.
  • Whole life policies with cash benefits may make some of your death benefit available in retirement.

Investing in life insurance as a woman is a necessary form of financial protection. Beyond your dependents, life insurance can serve as a wealth buildup and backup for any post-retirement financial difficulties.

How Can Women Save On Life Insurance? 

Although life insurance is more affordable for women than men, affordability is subjective. Cost remains one of the key reasons women provide for not having a life insurance policy. If this is your situation, the following are ways you can wrangle a lower rate and save on your insurance policy:

Begin With Term

Term life insurance policies cover insurance risks and mitigate against loss until a specific date. They offer fixed death benefits at fixed premiums for a predetermined time, usually between five to thirty years. Since it’s partial and not whole, the premiums are generally lower than universal insurance. Buying term is one of the many ways to save money on your policy.

People take out term insurance policies with the perception that they may die within a given period. But when they don’t, the premiums paid to insurers turn out to be profit for them.

Compare Policies

Another way to save on insurance policies is to get quotes from many different insurers. There are several insurance companies, and you may get overwhelmed with the special offers and benefits. Your first instinct might be to stick with the first insurance brand that comes to you, but really you should shop around.

Comparison shopping allows you to see the ratings of each insurance company you’d be dealing with. Better ratings means the company is more reliable. Comparison shopping also provides you with the insight to choose the most cost-effective insurer and save on your policy.

Buy Your Policy Early

Factors such as age, health, and income inform the premium you’ll be paying under life insurance. Age is even more emphatic among these factors. The older you get, the more premiums you tend to pay. Therefore, it’s best to buy a life insurance policy early to secure lower premiums. The best period is between your 20s and 30s.

Being young when you get a policy also provides you with reasonable rates should you develop any health issues during the coverage. It’s a game of duration for insurance companies. The longer insurers expect you to live, the lower their chances of paying out. Thus, it’s best to get your plan early.

Pay Premiums Annually

Depending on the insurer you’re working with, you can pay premiums once or in installments. If in installments, you’re allowed to pay monthly, quarterly, or semi-annually. However, each installment payment comes with charges.

If you want to save on your insurance policy, you can pay your premiums annually to avoid charges. Your annual payments often are your actual payments without any punitive fees. If this proves challenging due to financial difficulties, make sure you understand what the monthly payments would be.

Take Care Of Yourself 

Life insurance is intrinsically linked to age and health. Your lifestyle decisions inform your health and your insurance rates. So one of the easiest ways to keep your insurance costs low and save is to improve your wellbeing by doing things like quitting smoking.

Your overall health and wellbeing are how insurers base their premiums and claims. This means if you have a rough lifestyle, you may be grouped into a different rate class with high premiums. But if you maintain your health through a positive lifestyle, you may find yourself in a favorable rate class with fewer policy costs.

Look Into Your Buying Decisions

Budgeting is crucial regardless of your status — single, married, or divorced. Moreover, your budgeting skills should reflect your buying decisions and not the other way round. Insurance salespeople do everything to persuade you to buy more than you need. They make several assumptions about the whole life insurance concept and associate it with your life. While that’s their work to do, it’s your responsibility to remain focused on your budget.

How much insurance you need is up to you. You should make the assessment and decisions about how much coverage you need. Whether you need insurance for your child, loved ones, burial costs, or to cover outstanding debts, you shouldn’t leave the process to your insurer.

Life Insurance for women is essential

Life insurance for women is one of the most affordable, flexible, and essential insurance policies. It’s also one of the many policies you can save on. You can get premiums at reduced rates by being objective with the policy you want and the insurance company you’ll be dealing with. Most importantly, you can be intentional with yourself by taking care of your health and comparison shopping.

 

Let’s talk trusts, boundaries and scams.

It’s been a minute since I updated you all on Mom Autism Money!

First of all, thank you to each one of you who has tuned in and listened. Each download really does make a difference, and we hope that it’s making a difference in your life, too.

Let’s take a minute to get you all caught up on the latest episodes.

How EVERYONE can protect themselves from financial scams.

white block with green and pink decorative dots. Picture of a man with text reading "Mom Autism Money Episode 4 Pattern Recognition for Financial Scams with Bob Sullivan"The first episode I want to show to you guys is this great feature with technology journalist Bob Sullivan. We had a mom ask how she could better protect her kid from financial scams, and as it turns out, the tips are the same whether you’re Autistic or not. In this regard, we’re all in the same boat.

Bob has been reporting on financial scams for nearly three decades. His tips for pattern recognition are so important — give it a listen!

Teaching Boundaries.

Green square with pink and green decorative dots. Picture of person. Text reads "Mom Autism Money Episode 3 Teaching Boundary-Setting Skills to Autistic Children with Morenike Giwa Onaiwu"If you do have an Autistic child, you may want to listen to this episode first. We sit down with Morénike Giwa Onaiwu to discuss boundary-setting skills for Autistic children. Morénike is an educator, professor, advocate and an Autistic person themselves, so they provide great insights into the best ways to teach these important skills in conjunction with your child’s neurology.

We also review some great financial literacy resources with Morénike — give it a listen here.

Special Needs Trusts.

Pink box with green decorative dots. Picture of a woman and a man. Text reads "Mom Autism Money Episode 2 Special Needs Trusts with Brenton Harrison & Jillian Zacks" Special Needs Trusts are complicated. They’re an important tool to protect your child’s inheritance from disqualifying them from SSI, Medicaid, and any other number of life-sustaining social programs. But you have to do them right, otherwise they could be subject to Medicaid clawbacks, which allow the government to take your child’s own legacy and force them to repay them for medical care they received in their lifetime.

We were so lucky to have two experts join us to break down this complicated topics: financial planner Brenton Harrison and attorney Jillian Zacks. They even delved into ways parents with kids on the spectrum may want to plan their retirement differently, and ways you can still leave money for your child even if you’re not pulling in a huge income.

We learned so much, and are going to try to have the two of them back in the future to learn even more on this important topic! Listen here.

On deck.

We come out with new episodes of Mom Autism Money every Tuesday, and we’re excited for the one that will be released tomorrow!

Be sure to tune in as we talk to Autism mom Shanté Nicole, credit expert and owner of Financial Common Cents, as she teaches us about credit myths and misconceptions, and how to get your score up!

6 Budgeting Considerations for Families

This post is in collaboration with ValuedVoice.
family sitting at a restaurant cheersing.

According to the most recent data, the USDA estimates it costs $233,610 to raise a child.

To help you save some cash and make your dollars go as far as possible, it’s always a good idea to incorporate some smart budgeting into your daily life. In this guide, you’ll find several ways to stick to a family-friendly budget without feeling like you’re depriving yourself of a good life.

List your monthly expenses.

It’s easy to lose track of your spending habits.

But if you’re serious about cutting back on unnecessary expenditures, it’s essential to know how much money you’re wasting every month.

By writing down all the bills and expenses that are tacked onto your credit card statement each month, you’ll be able to easily see your most frequent expenditures. Once you’re aware of them, it’s much easier to cut back on those extra expenses without feeling like you’re sacrificing essential needs.

Using a budgeting app like Simplifi by Quicken can be fantastic for doing this quickly and conveniently.

Maintain a separate savings account.

It’s always a good idea to have an emergency fund. Because bad things happen on the regular.

Could you afford a higher-than-expected medical bill?

What would you do if your car’s transmission irrevocably died?

To save up for these and other emergencies, try keeping all of your savings in a savings account that’s completely separate from your other funds. Keeping your money in different accounts will encourage you to spend less since you won’t be able to access it as easily.

Swap out brand name for generic.

This is probably one of the easiest ways to save money on groceries and household goods.

Generic products are often made by the same manufacturers who produce your favorite name-brand items. Swapping out generic products for the big brands is a simple way to save money on groceries.

Sometimes get can even get twice as much for less money!

Avoid those late fees.

Paying your bills on time not only reduces the chance of incurring late fees but can also help you to save money on interest payments.

By paying all of your monthly expenses before they’re due, you’ll avoid having to pay extra fees or accruing debt that’s almost impossible to pay off. By paying your bills on time, you could end up saving yourself hundreds — if not thousands — of dollars each year.

Cut unnecessary expenses.

By cutting back on unnecessary expenses, you can save yourself a small fortune.

There are expenses we may rack up without even thinking about the impact it has on our budget.

Perhaps you regularly eat out at restaurants every week. You need food, but could you convince yourself to cook your own meals at home instead?

Consider your housing expenses.

One of the biggest contributors to that huge $233,610 number is housing costs.

Now, if you’re moving house and paying higher rent to ensure your child has safe housing, that’s one thing. It’s an expense that’s totally worth the spend.

But if you find yourself upgrading your space just to have more space, ask yourself if you really need it. American households have shrunk in space while expanding their square footage over the past several decades, but you don’t necessarily have to buy into that trend.

Saving takes discipline, but it’s worth it.

Saving money as a parent isn’t an easy task, but it’s definitely something that’s worth striving towards. If you can implement even a few of the strategies outlined above, you’ll find that your financial situation starts to improve more quickly than you ever thought possible.

It’s launch day!

Picture of a man (Paul Curley) speaking at a conference podium. Text reads: "The very basis of ABLE accounts was to allow people to have assets and actually control them. This is a population where historically they weren't allowed to have any type of access or training on this topic. I think it's to be celebrated, to actually let them have more than $2,000 and then manage their own money. That was the inner brilliance of it. -Paul Curley, CFA on the Mom Autism Money Podcast, Episode One MomAutismMoney.com"

Today’s the day!

The very first episode of Mom Autism Money launched today! In it, we sit down with Paul Curley, CFA to discuss ABLE Accounts. We cover things like:

  • Using an ABLE account to shelter your savings from asset tests.
  • Tax benefits to opening an ABLE account.
  • The ABLE to Work Act.
  • 529 rollovers.
  • Addition of debit cards, which make account access easier.
  • How to support the ABLE Age Adjustment Act at the federal level.
  • How to support the removal of Medicaid clawback provisions at the state level.

Here’s where you can currently listen to Episode One:

Make sure to subscribe to the podcast on your platform of choice!

In the coming weeks, we’ll be covering Special Needs Trusts, teaching boundaries to Autistic children and pattern recognition strategies for financial scams.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

10 Years & An Announcement

birthday cake with star sprinkles sitting in a library with a sparkler candle

In June, I got an email from Google.

They were wishing me a happy birthday.

My first thought?

WHOA. Google got dumb. It’s not my birthday.

Then I realized that while it wasn’t my birthday, it was Femme Frugality’s birthday. A few months ago, this little blog turned 10 years old.

The Past Year-ish.

It’s been quite the ten years. I almost feel like claiming 10 years is cheating as I didn’t post here at all over the summer.

Part of that was because my life responsibilities have ballooned so much since the pandemic hit. I’ve still been working, but to my chagrin I haven’t been able to put in as many hours as I did before.

But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been working on any endeavors. In fact, there’s one project I’m almost ready to launch.

An exciting one.

The next big thing I’ve been working on behind the scenes.

The Next Big Thing.

This Spring, my colleague Joyce and I spoke at an event together. As we were preparing, we caught up with each other on pandemic life.

What was working for us.

What wasn’t.

And what madness the world had fallen into.

During those discussions, we came to a realization: We had financial experiences we needed to share with others. Because of our jobs, we also know people who are sources of immense financial knowledge.

With our experiences and access, Joyce and I decided we needed to start a podcast. And so we shall.

Mom. Autism. Money.

Silohette art of a group of women. Beneath reads 'Mom Autism Money: Growing Wealth and Family'

As I write, we’re editing Season 1 of Mom. Autism. Money. On the new podcast, Joyce and I sit down with experts in the fields of finance, education, law, autistic self-advocacy, parenting and more.

We’re delving into topics like:

And all the other things that make managing your finances different as the parent of an Autistic child.

How to Support

Whether you’ve been here for 10 years or 10 seconds, I greatly appreciate you. Your support over the years is what has made my career possible, and I never take that for granted.

If you’d like to support this next big effort moving forward, here are some ways you can help:

If you subscribe to the Femme Frugality email list, you’ll also receive updates — at least about the initial launch!

We’re planning to bring the podcast to all the listening platforms in about a month. Stay tuned for the latest details.

Thank you for the past 10 years!

If they’ve taught me anything, it’s that you never know what the next 10 may bring.