Category Archives: Money Management

Credit Card Management Tips for the Holidays

Please note that Femme Frugality does not endorse the use of credit cards when you’re not confident you will be able to pay off the bill in full every month. However, we’re also cognizant that in the real world, people will do it anyways.

If you’re going to make that decision, today’s post—contributed and brought to you by Abby Locker—gives you ways to limit the damage and optimize savings while you’re at it. Before you charge, be sure to read this post so you’re aware of the consequences.

Some good tips for managing your credit card spending during the madness of holiday shopping.

Tis the season for shopping, and if you’re like most consumers, by the end of the year you’re looking at hundreds, if not thousands of dollars’ worth of debt. While you may want to get the best gifts that money can buy for your friends and family members, you can’t let the holidays drive you further into debt.

This is especially true if you plan on using credit cards to purchase things this year. Below, you’ll find a few tips on how to manage your credit cards so that you don’t end up in the poor house by the time the new year rolls around.

Consider Interest Rate Promotions

When shopping with a credit card interest rates are what matter. This is essentially how much additional money you’ll have to pay for charging a product or service to your card. CreditSoup, a personal finance website, says that balance transfer cards are ideal for those who have cards with higher interest rates and can help you save money.

If you want to save on your holiday shopping, perhaps look for a credit card that has a low or zero interest rate offer. Not only could you transfer outstanding balances to one card, but you’d also have a few months to make purchases without having to pay interest on them.

Be sure to know what the 0% interest rate offer is for, though. Sometimes it applies only to new purchases, and sometimes it applies only to balance transfers within a certain timeframe.

Find Out About Rewards

Many credit cards today have rewards programs that run periodically or continuously as a means to draw in new cardholders. These rewards could be extra cash, a hotel stay, free airfare, and more. Find out about rewards offered by your existing credit card company and try to use them to your advantage.

Most rewards programs only require you to use your card – which you’ll be doing for your holiday shopping anyway. Some of the rewards could be given as gifts which could also help you save money on shopping. Give mom a free night stay in a nice hotel or use the cashback bonus to buy gifts for people you may have forgotten about until the last minute.

Check for Discounts and Promotions

During the holiday season, major brands and credit card companies will offer promotions and discounts to cardholders to get them interested in making a purchase. Such offers might include a percentage off of purchases made from a specified store within the required timeframe. Using the card in those stores could give you serious discounts which could free up some cash you can use to get someone else a gift.

Online Shopping Has its Perks

Online shopping is not only convenient for cardholders, but also one of the best methods for saving money on your holiday shopping list. Some major credit card companies like Discover and Mastercard, have online shopping portals or links that cardholders can click on and start shopping. By shopping from the portal and using their credit card, customers are able to double or even triple their savings as opposed to purchasing it in a store.

Credit cards are a common method of payment for holiday shoppers. It is a quick solution to affording everything you need for the holidays. Unless you want to start off the year in debt, it is imperative that you shop smart and take advantage of all the promotions, rewards, and offers available to you. In doing so you can save more money, and who knows, even get some things free.

The Unbanked Experience

Managing your money is seriously hard without a bank account. Loving these Fintech solutions.

A couple of weeks ago I went to this big annual conference for personal finance bloggers (or all independent financial media, as it has evolved into) called FinCon. I was incredibly honored and grateful to have the entire thing sponsored by CFSI after I wrote this piece for a contest they were having.

The Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) leads a network of financial service innovators working to build better products for consumers. They do a lot of research, seed new ideas and expand points of view through activities like FinX.

What is FinX?

FinX was the very first FinCon-related thing I did while in Dallas. (Don’t worry–the tourist’s-eye-view of Dallas is coming up in a couple weeks!)

It was also the event I was most excited to participate in during my time there.

Essentially, we got together in teams and tried to perform a bunch of life tasks on a two hour lunch break. The catch?

We had to do it as unbanked persons.

Team Grey’s Fortunes and Failures

Crystal, Jen and I were on Team Grey aka Team Brystalifer. We were tasked with completing as many of the following as possible:

  • Cash a payroll check.
  • Cash a personal check.
  • Buy a prepaid card and deposit money onto it.
  • Buy some art supplies for our “niece”‘s birthday.
  • Wire money to our “sister.”
  • Get a money order.

And I’m pretty sure there were about 10 other things on the list that we didn’t even end up having time to consider.

We started off super optimistic. The neighborhood we were assigned had a Walmart, a bank where the payroll check originated from, a cash checking business, and a pawn shop—which we would have utilized had we made it further down the list.

We should have had everything we needed.

The trouble started when we walked in the door. The line to cash a check at Walmart was insanely, insanely long.

We found out that we were in less of a neighborhood and more of a retail mecca. That pawn shop was not happening; it was across a 4+ lane highway.

We continued on our journey to cash our checks.

The check cashing place wouldn’t do it.

While the traditional bank did cash the personal check, they wouldn’t cash the payroll check. They said that it was too new and that we should come back in a few hours.

The teller had already stamped the check, but did cancel the endorsement.

We headed back to Walmart and stood in that massive line again. When we finally got to the front, the woman working said she couldn’t accept the check because it had been stamped–even after being made aware of the visible cancellation of the endorsement.

We were stuck. We didn’t have time to wait until the check was cashable, and without the payroll check, we were limited in the other tasks we could accomplish.

Crystal bought the prepaid card, but couldn’t load it. When she called to try to put ten bucks on it, they wanted all kinds of personal information. Including social security number. To load $10 onto a fee-laden card.

We did manage to get some bananas as grocery shopping was on our list of things to do. But other than that, we failed pretty hard.

 

Frustration with the System

Afterwards, we all came back to sit down and talk about our different experiences.

I was in no state to be talking. I was mentally drained. I think that was the biggest thing that hit me; I expected the experience to be unpleasant and difficult, but I did not expect to be so exhausted afterwards that I would have a hard time forming a coherent sentence.

If I had had my wits about me, here’s what I would have said:

I think education is great. Truly. Give people knowledge and they can act upon it. I think it’s especially useful when structured as coaching to help an individual get through a specific situation.

But I don’t think the problem here is educational initiatives. The problem is that the system is horrible, and disproportionately punishes those who have the least. You can educate people all day about how they’re going to get hit with fees because they’re low-income. You could inform about the importance of emergency funds and linked checking/savings to avoid overdraft fees.

But that doesn’t matter too much if there’s not a bank in your neighborhood.

It also doesn’t change the fact that you can spend two hours trying to cash a check only to get turned down.

It doesn’t change the fact that because you were unable to cash that check, you might be hit with fees for being late on bills you were planning on paying later that day.

And it doesn’t change the fact that while I was going back to a meeting room to discuss the experience with colleagues, in real life Brystalifer would be going back to work, unable to cash the check until tomorrow. Hopefully.

This is my personal opinion, and does not reflect the opinion of any other person or organization, but I think we have to change how we regulate financial services–not just alternative financial services. But all of them.

To be predatory upon those who have the least is a disgusting way to get rich. I’m aware financial institutions are not fond of regulation, and that current regulation is what holds back a bunch of FinTech innovations in our country.

Which is why I’m not necessarily arguing for MORE regulation, but rather a complete overhaul of the system to berid us of these reverse-Robinhood-esque practices and open up the way to 21st century innovations.

Twenty-First Century Innovations

My solution may be completely unrealistic. The folks at CFSI recommended instead turning to twenty-first century innovations for solutions.

I’ve told you before about my love for apps like ActiveHours, and there are many more on the market. Some help you get a view of your overall financial health. Some serve as an alternative to traditional bank accounts. Some target extremely specific financial situations.

Ultimately, we can’t control regulation unless we really start pressuring our representatives. And we’d need a clear end game in order to do so. That’s something I simply don’t have.

But as consumers, we can control the ways we manage our money. If you have a smart phone anyways, find a few trustworthy apps that can help out with your current money goals. It won’t fix everything, but FinTech can be a huge help when traditional financial services have left you to slip through the cracks or simply don’t fulfill all of your money management needs.

 

3 Ways to Get Money for Down Payment

Would not have thought of some of these! Great tips to get money for a down payment on a home. Savings and patience are key!

Guys, something amazing is happening.

Millennials are actually starting to enter the housing market.

I’m a millennial that has been trying to get in on housing market for a while. We’ve been saving. Then we looked. And we realized that we actually needed more money than we thought we did to get something we could live with. So we started saving again.

It worked out. Our kids’ educational costs are covered for a while, and hopefully we’ll have enough cash on hand to make the right purchase when we’re ready–which we’re hoping will be soon.

In the meantime, I’ve been thinking a lot about different ways to find money for a down payment and closing costs—without going to the Bank of Mom and Dad. Because let’s face it: for most of us, there is no such thing.

Cut Your Wedding Costs

The average cost of a wedding is $35,329. That number can more than double if you’re in one of our nation’s largest cities.

On both of my weddings, I spent about $32,000 less than that. One was big, and the other was decidedly small.

If you have the money to finance a $35,000 wedding, consider going the $3,000 route instead, pocketing the other $32,000 for a house. In most markets, that’s more than enough to get your foot in the door.

If you’re financing a $35,000 wedding, maybe don’t do that if you want to buy a home in the near future. It will increase your debt-to-income ratio, and make it harder to qualify for a loan on a home you’d be happy with.

I’m not saying you can’t have a beautiful day, though. Here are some wedding savings hacks that will help you pocket more cash so you and your hunny can get into your own home faster:

Pretend You’re Moving Tomorrow

When I started blogging six years ago, there was this amazing blogger named Lindy Mint who was paying off her debt by selling her old stuff. She and her husband were literally going through stacks of old DVDs and books, and finding other odds and ends around the house to sell for cash.

It worked. If memory serves, they paid off over $5,000 in debt in a very short period of time just by listing stuff on Amazon, eBay and Craigslist.

Six years later, there’s even more diversity in reselling platforms. If you want to buy a house anyway, you’re going to have to move. And moving more stuff than you have to stinks.

Pretend you’re packing up now, and start selling all that junk that you don’t need or use anymore. If you go at it like Lindy did, you may be surprised at yourself and find thousands of dollars in your bank account.

Slash Your Entertainment Budget

2017 is the best year for summer concerts in Pittsburgh that I’ve seen in at least a decade.

Initially, I was insanely tempted to go to all of them. But I ran the numbers, and that was going to get expensive quick. I put my disappointment on the shelf, and looked instead at all the amazing free things there are to do in my city. If I put the money I was going to be spending on concerts towards our down payment and closing costs, I’ll have a nice chunk of change towards our goal.

Entertainment for me doesn’t just include summer concerts, though. It also includes things like going to the movies, eating out and going out with friends. I’m a veteran to this frugal thing, so let me give you some alternatives that will help you save money while still having a great time living your life:

  • Movies: Find a drive-in in your area. They’re usually less expensive per person, host double features and some will even allow you to bring in your own food. If you want to get extra frugal, try to find a dollar theater in your region.
  • Eating Out: Cook at home. This will save you so much money. If you think you stink at cooking, make it into a challenge to see how good you can get at it. Pull up YouTube videos. Find amazing recipes on Pinterest. There’s never been a better era to learn a new skill for free.
  • Going Out With Friends: Stay in with friends. Have a game night. Play Mario Kart. Rotate as dinner hosts. If alcohol was going to be included in your outing, buy some at the liquor store (I’m so Pennsylvanian) instead of buying it at the bar. Bring it home and imbibe on a budget. Good friends are good company even when you’re just chilling in the basement.

You’ve Got This.

Saving for a huge goal that can be tens of thousands of dollars is intimidating. But you’ve got this. You’re capable. And when you put your mind to something, you’ll find creative ways to make it happen, even if you hit speed bumps along the way. When you’re ready to purchase a home, head to a financial institution who will have your back through the whole process.

 

 

*This post is in collaboration with PenFed Credit Union. The views expressed in the article are the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Pentagon Federal Credit Union. PenFed Credit Union is an Equal Housing Lender and is federally insured by the NCUA.*

 

 

Economic Abuse: Silent Epidemic of Abused Children

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In recognition, Femme Frugality is running a series on the topic every Monday. This series includes a mixture of factual pieces and personal stories.

The final post of the month is contributed by Kenisha Burke–a Communications Professor, Author and a Motivational Speaker. She has spent years motivating and inspiring audiences to tell their truth and empower themselves.

She is the author of Silence No More and the creator of the Silence No More Project which chronicles the effects of silence in her life and other sexual assault victims.

Please use the hashtag #DVAM2017 when sharing this article on social media.

Note: This post may contain triggers for survivors of abuse.

I didn't realize what a large economic toll being a victim of childhood abuse can take. Such an important story from an amazing survivor!

I grew up in a home where I never knew if the electricity would be on, the car would be repossessed or if there was enough food in the refrigerator. I was thirteen years old when my mother forged my age on a document so that I could get a job.

For most of my life I did not know this was unusual, but money is an issue for people from my community. A lack of education placed my family in a perpetual cycle of financial crisis where more was spent than earned, and there was never a nest egg to fall back on.

What’s Credit?

I will fully disclose that I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and that lead to some of my naivety as a child and a teen. I had to hide from people and keep secrets. As a result, I did not interact with people on the same level that other children did.

Entering the workforce at thirteen made me realize that my family needed money. Every time I got paid, I was asked to provide funds for a bill or food. When I was sixteen, I was working almost fulltime while attending high school.

I had no concept of credit or financial responsibility. I did not even know what it was. I watched my family bounce checks and accumulate bills–never thinking of the consequences.

My main concern in life was to do well in school so I could leave home and escape my abusive household.

Bad Credit

When I was a freshman in college I found out that I had bad credit.  This discovery changed the course of my life.

I remember walking through the quad and seeing all the credit card vendors soliciting. I stood in line with several of my friends to obtain my first credit card.

The exact same week a friend questioned me about not having a cell phone, which was something I had never even thought about. I did not have anyone to call and never really saw the need. My new friends were outraged that I did not have a phone and said that I needed one for safety purposes.

I thought about it for a while and a few weeks later, I went to the mall to obtain a cell phone.  It was while I was at the cellphone kiosk that I found out that I had bad credit. I was turned down for a cellphone account because of my credit. The same day when I arrived back to my dorm I received a rejection letter from the credit card company.

The Fall Out

I was upset and confused because I knew that I had never obtained anything with my credit before. The credit card denial came with the notification that I could obtain my credit report to find out why they turned me down for credit.

I contacted the credit agency and requested my credit report.  While I was waiting for the report to come, I started doing research on credit.

When the report arrived, I was already aware of the consequences of these denials. What I was not prepared for was the amount of debt that had been accumulated in my name. I was thirty thousand dollars in debt and some of the accounts had been opened in the last year.

I Can Fix This

I contacted the campus lawyer and brought him my credit report. Thinking the bills were created without my knowledge and I was not old enough to create these bills, I was confident I could fix this and be able to start my life without bad credit.

I was wrong.

The campus attorney told me that to remove the items from my report I would have to press charges against the person who created the accounts. That person was my mother. I knew it was my mother because she was the only person who had access to my social security number.

When I contacted my mother to ask about the information on my credit report, she acted as if it was no big deal. She admitted to using my credit and said she would take care of it, but I knew she wouldn’t.

I never had the heart to press charges against my mother. I had bad credit and I could either pay the bills or wait seven years for some of the bills to be removed from my credit report.

My Solution to Economic Abuse

I went through college ignoring the fact that I had bad credit. I paid for everything in cash and if I could not afford it I did not buy it. I was supporting myself financially with two jobs while in school. I was unable to go on spring break or take road trips with my friends.

I was eventually able to get a cellphone in my senior year of college, when cell phone companies allowed people with blemished credit to get accounts.

After graduation, I found a car lot that would sell to consumers with poor credit and obtained a loan. I made sure to pay that loan on time, and within a few years I obtained a secured credit card.

I started to create positive credit in my name and payed for a credit monitoring service so I would know if any new accounts were opened in my name.  My mother tried to use my credit again, but I was notified by the monitoring company as soon as the attempt was being made. As a result, no more fraudulent accounts were ever established.

Where I am Today as a Survivor

I have done the hard work of repairing my credit on my own. It was not an easy journey. I am hypervigilant now about my credit and bills, but that is just a result of my past experiences. What I have found out is that I am not alone–there are a lot of children who have bad credit.

It is called identity theft, but it is the one that seems to be the least prosecuted and the easiest for parents to do. Until something is done to prevent the abuse of a child’s social security number this will remain a problem in America. Financial literacy is not taught in many schools, and most children will not know until they are adults that they have bad credit.

 

 

Related Domestic Abuse Content

To learn more about domestic violence or abuse, or to find more ways to get help, check out other articles in this series:

Domestic abuse can take many forms, including child abuse and economica abuse. This is Dr. Burke's story of overcoming identity theft as a survivor.

Economic Abuse: Silent Epidemic of Abused Children

Survivors of childhood abuse encounter unique challenges, even in the realm of economic abuse. Read Dr. Kenisha Burke's story of overcoming identity theft.

The Silver Lining Behind My Debt

There is a lot of stigma around debt. There is a lot of stigma around domestic abuse. But debt is a useful tool that can help you become a survivor.

8 Signs You May Be in an Abusive Relationship

Many abuse victims don't realize their relationship is unhealthy until it is too late. Here are red flags to watch for from a domestic violence survivor.

LGBTQ+ Intimate Partner Violence

Unique Economic Obstacles for LGBTQ+ IPV Survivors

While intimate partner violence happens at a comparable rate in the LGBTQ+ community, survivors face additional financial barriers.

long term effects of ptsd

The Long-Term Financial Effects of PTSD

PTSD affects combat veterans and survivors of domestic abuse alike. Learn what it can do to your finances, and what you can do about it.

Getting Help: LGBTQ+ Domestic Violence Survivors

Domestic violence does happen in the LGBTQ+ community. Here's how to get help if you need it, and how society can better help survivors.

You could be the victim of financial abuse even if you're the primary breadwinner.

Financial Abuse: My Partner Nearly Drained Me Dry

Financial abuse doesn't just happen when a partner tries to limit your income; it can also happen when they try to take over the money you're bringing in.

8 Ways to Help Loved Ones in Abusive Relationships

Having a friend or family member who is in an abusive relationship is hard. This article gives you tips to help from a domestic violence survivor.

Feeling trapped in a relationship because of money

What is Financial Abuse?

Financial abuse is something many go through, but not all recognize it even as it's happening. Read on to learn how to identify this type of abuse.

Here's where you can find money to leave an abusive relationship.

I Have No Money: Leaving an Abusive Relationship

Leaving an abusive relationship is difficult, complex and nuanced. One major hurdle is finances. Lessen that problem with these resources and grants.

The Silver Lining Behind My Debt

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In recognition, Femme Frugality is running a series on the topic every Monday. This series includes a mixture of factual pieces and personal stories.

Today’s post is contributed by Michelle Bobrow–the Chief of Cha-Ching at The Holistic Wallet where she teaches the creatively-inclined how to manage their money with ease.

As a self-proclaimed recovering personal finance addict, Michelle focuses on money psychology to integrate healthy and balanced financial habits into our lives. Through strategic planning and mindful coaching, Michelle turns numbers into a work of art as she designs holistic budgets and sustainable systems for you to pay off your past, save for your future, and enjoy the present.

You can follow Michelle on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

Please use the hashtag #DVAM2017 when sharing this article on social media.

Note: This post may contain triggers for survivors of abuse.

This woman is crazy strong to live through the abuse. Just goes to show debt isn't always evil.

Personal finance is so important to me because the factor of money is often what keeps us from pursuing truly autonomous and authentic lives. Personally, I’m no stranger to choosing financial stability over jumping into the unknown of my self-sufficiency.

But it was an abusive relationship that pushed me to make the leap. Running from my ex meant running into debt. Although this is frowned upon in personal finance circles, I can guarantee it was a safer option than staying in such a toxic relationship.

While I can certainly empathize how staying in an abusive relationship can seem like the only option at times – financial and otherwise – leaving such a relationship can be a positive move, even if you can’t immediately see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Today I write to you as a survivor of debt and domestic abuse and I would like to take this opportunity to share my story in the event that speaking my truth can help someone else.

Taking on Debt to Escape an Abusive Relationship

Earlier this year, I called off my engagement and moved 1,500 miles across the country to escape months of narcissistic abuse that had a devastating impact on my psychological health. I never understood quite how resilient the human spirit is until I summoned the courage to get out.

I’m still working on forgiving myself for letting that relationship go on for as long as it did, but leaving it was the greatest act of self-love and self-care I have ever committed. However, it didn’t have quite as positive of an impact on my financial health. (Well, not yet. It will pay off in the end because financial abuse is no joke either but that’s a story for another time.)

I am writing to you now with $5,566 of credit card debt and $2,813 of medical debt that I am scheduled to pay off in 18 months costing $479 in interest. With the interest-free credit options available to me, I assure you I’m getting off easy.

I’m sure there are plenty of ways I could have started this new chapter of my life more frugally – six separate households offered to take me in indefinitely and I lost count of all the hand-me-down furniture offers – but I accepted as many favors as I could stomach while also rebuilding my sense of independence and self-sufficiency.

Debt Bought My Freedom

Debt isn’t quite synonymous with freedom, but for me it most definitely is.

The debt I carry now is directly related to that traumatic period of my life. It is the cost of leaving and the cost of surviving. It is symbolic of being both a victim and a survivor. And because of that, I am proud of my debt.

See, in the months before I left, I thought I had to fake being happy until one of us died. Because there was no other way out. My life would be intolerable if I stood up to her and walked away.

Writing that seems petty now that I’m on the surviving side but I was so traumatized by my ex’s erratic behavior – the fear of the financial mess it would create, of the violent retaliation and public defamation, and of losing everything I had worked so hard for over the past several years – that I just didn’t think I was capable of watching it all come crashing down.

I Became My Own Hero

The break-up was just as messy and painful as I anticipated it would be but I got through it because I knew I had to prove to myself that I could be my own hero. And as someone who coaches women on economic empowerment, it would be hypocritical of me for financial matters to stand in the way of a healthy and safe life.

Let me be clear: If you don’t like where you are, you can leave. Your safety is more important than the price tag, the stigmas, and the messiness. I’ll never say that it is easy, but it is attainable. And we all deserve to be safe and to be treated with kindness.

NOTE: Before you make any moves, be sure to set a safety plan in place for your specific situation as leaving can be the most dangerous time—even if your partner hasn’t gotten physical to date. You can get help making this plan by calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

I am writing this now with a HUGE bittersweet grin on my face because I have been the happiest and healthiest I have ever been in my entire life these past few months. I am very, very, very grateful I am here right now to experience this.

I don’t remember when it clicked, but now I see my debt as a trophy of survival. I make a $500 payment every month as my big middle finger to the stigmas of debt, domestic abuse, and psychological trauma.

Your Net Worth Does Not Define You

There are times when I feel like a fraud in my industry because I am simultaneously ashamed and proud of my debt. This industry still does a good job at debt-shaming which is ridiculous because our entire economy is built upon debt – businesses have it, banks have it, the government has it – but I digress.

I try to speak to myself as I would speak to anyone else who would come to me with a similar situation. And I said “Your story is not over yet. Your debt will not define you. This struggle will not be as permanent as death.”

Debt is not the end of the story.

Debt is not defeat. Debt can be resilience.

I can tell you this with certainty because I have debt and it feels like both a horribly traumatic mistake and a modern financial tool that has saved my life.

There is always something else on the other side of that debt or depleted savings. It does not appear out of nothing. Maybe it’s something tangible that you own like a couch or an education. Maybe it’s just a story, a lesson, or a personal growth experience.

That is not to say that my debt in the past wasn’t shameful, that a big number of negative dollars didn’t feel like it would follow me for as long as I lived, that I didn’t consider I was worth more dead than alive once I had life insurance.

Debt can feel like a heavy burden to drag along. Debt can represent a mistake, a bad call, a distressing period of your life. It can be another big thing you have to worry about when you’re already worrying about so much.

Whether it’s medical debt for a false alarm or a life-saving surgery, whether it’s a destructive shopping habit or daily life essentials on your credit cards, whether it’s a mortgage-sized amount of student loans for a degree you never used or one that led you to your dream job…

Whether that debt is your escape route out of a relationship that is destroying your mind, body, and soul…

Know this: You did what you had to do with the means and mindset available to you at the time. You are here now. And you are breathing.

Debt is Not Permanent

If your debt does not represent a personal triumph, if your debt is the trauma itself, I promise you it is not permanent. I promise you will have other wins. I can easily name 50 things I am grateful for now that I am still here to write this article.

I still cannot find the words to express how liberated I feel these days that I still have a voice. I am still afraid to use it at times, especially being a public figure on the internet, knowing my livelihood can be destroyed in a very public way and I will have no power to stop it.

But I have faced this beast before and I will let my body decide when my time is up before my mind does. I hope you continue to stand up to your beasts, too – debt or otherwise.

 

 

 

Related Domestic Abuse Content

To learn more about domestic violence or abuse, or to find more ways to get help, check out other articles in this series:

Domestic abuse can take many forms, including child abuse and economica abuse. This is Dr. Burke's story of overcoming identity theft as a survivor.

Economic Abuse: Silent Epidemic of Abused Children

Survivors of childhood abuse encounter unique challenges, even in the realm of economic abuse. Read Dr. Kenisha Burke's story of overcoming identity theft.

The Silver Lining Behind My Debt

There is a lot of stigma around debt. There is a lot of stigma around domestic abuse. But debt is a useful tool that can help you become a survivor.

8 Signs You May Be in an Abusive Relationship

Many abuse victims don't realize their relationship is unhealthy until it is too late. Here are red flags to watch for from a domestic violence survivor.

LGBTQ+ Intimate Partner Violence

Unique Economic Obstacles for LGBTQ+ IPV Survivors

While intimate partner violence happens at a comparable rate in the LGBTQ+ community, survivors face additional financial barriers.

long term effects of ptsd

The Long-Term Financial Effects of PTSD

PTSD affects combat veterans and survivors of domestic abuse alike. Learn what it can do to your finances, and what you can do about it.

Getting Help: LGBTQ+ Domestic Violence Survivors

Domestic violence does happen in the LGBTQ+ community. Here's how to get help if you need it, and how society can better help survivors.

You could be the victim of financial abuse even if you're the primary breadwinner.

Financial Abuse: My Partner Nearly Drained Me Dry

Financial abuse doesn't just happen when a partner tries to limit your income; it can also happen when they try to take over the money you're bringing in.

8 Ways to Help Loved Ones in Abusive Relationships

Having a friend or family member who is in an abusive relationship is hard. This article gives you tips to help from a domestic violence survivor.

Feeling trapped in a relationship because of money

What is Financial Abuse?

Financial abuse is something many go through, but not all recognize it even as it's happening. Read on to learn how to identify this type of abuse.

Here's where you can find money to leave an abusive relationship.

I Have No Money: Leaving an Abusive Relationship

Leaving an abusive relationship is difficult, complex and nuanced. One major hurdle is finances. Lessen that problem with these resources and grants.