Category Archives: Money Management

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.

Flow & Income Goal Chart Updates

A long, long time ago,

on a blog far, far away (seriously, it was two domains ago,)

I wrote about contentment and flow.

Honestly, it’s been a long time since I felt anything close to content. Not a long, long time. Just a long time.

Which is why recently, a sense of enjoyment in my regularly irregular routine — a not-stressed-out-feeling which I hear some other people have all the time — has been rocking my world.

I’m building a life that’s good for me. It’s not the most mathematically advantageous. I’m enjoying the work of improving my parenting skills. I recently got addicted to coffee, and some days I’m feeling way more bummed out than content.

But I’m liking that this feeling keeps cropping up. It makes me feel like I’m doing something right. Like I’m finally at a place in my life where I can build rather than repair.

Life is not a straight line. Nothing is static. My contentment, like my income, will ebb and flow. But it’s nice that the tide is finally coming in after a long while. Hopefully it’s not too fleeting.

Speaking of irregular income…

You may remember that last month I rocked my income goal for the first time ever. (Though I’m not even half a dozen months in.)

I’m sorry to report that I didn’t quite hit my goal this past month, doing a great disservice to H.E.R.

I sincerely apologize.

Partially colored in income goal progress chart reading "God is a woman I know H.E.R."

But, two things. First, not every month is going to be consistent when you’re freelancing. It was awesome to hit my goal last month and fun to try again in September, but I’m not going to beat myself up about not having it consistent yet.

The second thing is that last month was FinCon, which is one place where I pick up work, but is also so action-packed that it’s impossible to really get work behind the keyboard done while I’m there.

While I was at FinCon, I had a lot of great conversations, making both new friends and new business partners. It will pay off in time; September just looks a little funky because of it.

Nicki Minaj and Queen Bey are inspiring me this month:

Income goal chart partially colored in reading "Today I'm icy but I'm praying for some more snow."

I’m really hoping I can get there again. Given that it’s Day 2 and I’ve lined up more than 50%, I’m feeling like it’s not an unrealistic intention.

But we will see friends!

How have you been doing with your income goals?

Why Women Should Plan for Medicare Differently than Men

Please welcome Danielle Kunkle Roberts, Medicare expert and author, as she breaks down Medicare and retirement planning for women today!

Women instinctively know their needs in retirement will be different from men’s. Whether you pursued a career outside the home or focused on raising a family, life in retirement will be a huge adjustment—emotionally, physically, and especially financially.

That’s why it’s so important to start thinking now about your health coverage and expenses in retirement. You have time to do your research, make a plan, and put it in motion so you’re prepared to take care of yourself and your health care needs when you’re older.

Some science, biology, and statistics

Women live longer than men—about six to eight years longer, according to the World Health Organization. That may not seem like much, but if you’re living on investments and fixed income in retirement, 30 years of expenses on 25 years of savings can wreck your financial plan.

In addition, if you’re married and relying on your husband’s pension or annuity for part of your income, in most cases, that income stream “dies” along with your spouse.

It’s also true that your chances of developing serious or chronic health conditions, including many types of cancer, increase dramatically as you age. Since women are living longer than ever, their chances of needing costly health care are also increased.

Even if a serious illness isn’t on your radar right now, routine health screenings, preventive care, and wellness visits should be. Women spend more on health care throughout their lives than men do, and on average, they use significantly more health care in their senior years than men.

This is due in part to their longer life expectancy, but also because women tend to have more chronic health issues and take more prescription medications throughout their lives than men. Statistics compiled by the National Institutes of Health showed that men over 65 take an average of 2.4 prescription medications at any point in time, while women over 65 take an average of 3.75 prescription drugs. Of seniors on long-term concurrent medications, only 16% of men used four or more medications on a regular basis; that number jumps to nearly 40% for women.

Finally, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services showed that twice as many women as men need long-term care at the end of life.

Taken together, these numbers demonstrate that women need to plan for more years of health care than men, that their medical expenses will be higher than men’s in retirement, and their out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs will likely exceed those for men. Is it any wonder women need to plan ahead for Medicare?

Preparing for life with Medicare

Many people aren’t prepared for Medicare’s out-of-pocket costs. Everyone pays a monthly Part B premium, whether they stick with Original Medicare or choose a Medicare Advantage plan. There are deductibles for both Part A and Part B with Original Medicare, and a cost-sharing structure that puts the burden for 20% of your health expenses squarely on your shoulders.

To make matters worse, there is no annual cap on out-of-pocket health care costs with Original Medicare. If you are seriously or chronically ill and use a lot of health care, you could wind up with tens of thousands of dollars in cost-sharing expenses.

You can avoid most of these costs with a Medicare Supplement Plan, but you pay an extra premium each month for the additional coverage. In 2019, the average premium for the most comprehensive Medigap plan was about $185 a month. For women who choose Original Medicare, this coverage is almost a necessity.

There is a catch with Medigap plans, however: They don’t cover prescription drugs. Your Part D Prescription Drug Plan should do a good job paying most of the costs for generic and preferred drugs, but if you need brand-name or specialty drugs, you could spend hundreds each month on medications.

Many women prefer the familiarity and expanded coverage offered by Medicare Advantage plans. Medicare Advantage is offered by private companies; the plans are structured like group health plans you get through an employer. Medicare Advantage typically has additional benefits not offered with Original Medicare. For example, most plans cover routine vision, dental, and hearing care.

They may pay for prescription eyewear, contact lenses, and even over-the-counter medications and health aides. Some plans cover things such as home meal delivery for homebound individuals, non-medical transportation to and from the doctor or pharmacy, home health aides for custodial care, and even home safety equipment and devices.

Most plans use a copayment cost-sharing structure instead of a percentage-based coinsurance amount. Almost all Medicare Advantage plans include Part D prescription drug coverage, eliminating the need to purchase yet another plan. You may or may not have an additional monthly premium for your Medicare Advantage plan.

Perhaps best of all, Medicare Advantage plans have a maximum out-of-pocket limit each year. You can plan for your health expenses knowing they will never exceed a certain amount each year. On the downside, prescription drug costs don’t count toward the cap, so there’s still an element of uncertainty.

The point is, you have more than one option for Medicare coverage, and your premiums, cost-sharing, and benefits are different depending on which option you choose. You owe it to yourself to begin thinking about the type of coverage and benefits you’ll want in retirement—and begin planning for your health care costs.

Paying for health care in retirement

Most women know about IRAs and 401(k), but fewer are familiar with health savings accounts, or HSAs. HSAs are one of the most efficient vehicles for paying for medical expenses in retirement. Every year until you retire, you can contribute pre-tax dollars ($3,500 a year for individuals, $7,000 for families in 2019) into an investment account and the money grows tax-free.

Prior to retirement, you can use the money on qualified health expenses such as deductibles and costs not covered by your health insurance, including vision, dental, and even certain over-the-counter medications. You can’t use them, however, to pay your premiums. Money withdrawn from your HSA for qualified expenses isn’t subject to income tax.

Here’s where HSAs really pack a punch: Unused contributions roll over indefinitely. There’s no limit to how much money you can keep in your health savings account. And once you turn 65, you can use the tax-free money on anything, including your Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage, and Medigap premiums. Opening an HSA is one of the smartest things women can do to plan for Medicare expenses.

If you need help sorting out your Medicare options, exploring ways to pay for your care, or opening an HSA, talk to a financial advisor or Medicare broker. Arm yourself with information today so you can plan for Medicare tomorrow.

Income Chart Updates & Harvest Season

I have such great news! In my third month of doing my ambitious income goal charts, I actually met my pretty ambitious goal! I count the income I book and earn rather than the income I receive as I have far more control over the former.

This was a really good feeling, and one I’m hoping to achieve next month with my Kesha/H.E.R-inspired income goal chart. I created it in honor of the two songs I couldn’t stop listening to in August: RWSM and Lord is Coming. Once I get these goals met on a consistent basis, I’ll be upping them until I get to my calculated “enough” number.

Harvest Season

If you’re wondering what changed, ultimately meeting my goal this month came down to a few happy surprises I had planted earlier in the year.

Investing Time in Future Work

I’m a contractor, which means my work and pay is inherently variable. I’ve learned over the years to never take for granted the times of feast, as there’s always a famine coming around the corner. Often when you least expect it.

Earlier in the year, when work was steady and almost something close to predictable, I started feeling uncomfortable. I knew this feeling of routine wasn’t permanent, so I started keeping an eye out for new opportunities. In one case, I even reached out to a friend who was kind enough to set me up with someone they knew was hiring.

Because I started those conversations in the Spring, I’ve been able to phase in new clients at an unrushed pace, smoothing out a lot of the bumps in the road I would have hit otherwise.

I’m so glad I started planting then. My life has been a lot less hectic because of it.

Unpaid Work

Another frustrating thing about freelancing is that sometimes you end up being at the short end of the stick as far as on-time payments go. This does not apply to my long-term clients; if it did they wouldn’t be my long-term clients.

Earlier in 2019, before I started creating my income goal charts, I did a couple projects with organizations I was expecting to pay on time. They expected them to pay on time. There was some sort of glitch and that didn’t happen, in one case. I don’t know what happened in the others.

I did eventually get paid, but it took a while. Since I wasn’t sure when these payments would be coming in, I didn’t count them as expected/earned income when I was making my charts. When they did come in, they were a happy surprise that boosted me over the edge.

Moving Forward with Income Goals

I’d like to hit this number every month! I’d like to get it consistent enough that I can up my income goals even higher. I’m glad I’ve had a chance to harvest the opportunities of early 2019, and I’m also looking forward to new opportunities as I head off to FinCon.

Ticks, Income Goal Updates & Awards

I have so many posts bouncing around in my head ready to write for you guys. There’s so much I want to tell you, so many ideas I want to bounce off of you and so many new things I’m learning about that I can’t wait to share.

But I’ve been a little off kilter lately.

Lyme Disease

I was recently diagnosed with Lyme disease. So I’ve been incredibly tired, among other symptoms. All those symptoms have kept me from getting things done the way I wanted to after I got home from some recent travels, which I swear I will tell you about soon.

I don’t think it’s anything to worry about long-term. They caught it super early and I’ve been religious about taking the meds. I should know in a couple weeks just based on the way I feel, but I will of course pursue lab testing, too, to ensure it’s gone.

Income Chart Update

Last month I showed you my new income charts with ambitious goals. If you remember, in June I did quite well, falling just short of my pie-in-the-sky goal.

My goal for July was a bit more ambitious–mostly because I accidentally drew too many boxes. Here’s how I did:

Womp, womp.

So I didn’t quite reach it. Which I realize looks *real* great when displayed within those now-ironically confident Cardi B lyrics.

But I didn’t do horribly. It’s still higher than my monthly average was before. Just not as crazy great as June. This is freelancing. Ups and downs are natural.

For August, I counted the boxes right and am injecting some Beyonce into my motivational progress chart:

Note: Not actually seeking any type of revenge for anything. ATM.

Awards

This weekend I received some great news. Thanks to all of you who voted, The Feminist Financial Handbook has been nominated as a Plutus finalist for Best New Personal Finance Book. I cannot tell you how immensely grateful I am–THANK YOU!

I was honored to see that the Intersectional Finances series was once against nominated as a finalist for Best Series: Blog, Podcast or Video. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the series, you should know it is not written by me. Instead, it is written entirely by a group of phenomenal contributors. Go check it out and then check out more of these writers’ work.

If you’d like to contribute to the award-nominated series, get in touch. Submissions are open and rolling!

I also received another piece of news I wasn’t expecting: I was nominated for the Biggest Impact Award, which is a new Plutus category this year. Completely humbled to be up there with a group of such great women! And yes–all the nominees are women!

To check out all the phenomenal nominees across all categories, visit the Plutus Awards Finalists page!

Don’t-Miss Live Events

Don’t forget to check out the live events I’ve got coming around the corner. I’ll be in Boise, DC and anywhere you can get online. Let me know if you’d like me to come to a city near you!