Category Archives: Think

5 Powerful Habits of Ultra Successful People

This post is brought to you and contributed by Susan Ranford.

Definitely implementing these millionaire habits as I work on that money mindset!

There is a recent Harvard study that says that millionaires who made their own fortune (weren’t born or married into it) are happier than those who inherited their millions. The study went on to say that the happiest kind of millionaires are the ones that end up giving their fortunes away to charity.

As a struggling “thousandaire” trying to make it into the millionaire status, giving all your money away seems rather counterintuitive. Although that might be your viewpoint right now, things might very well change once you make that first million…ten million and so on. They say the first one is the hardest to make. Supposedly they just come pouring in once you have gotten over that first $1 million hurdle.

To help you get to that first million faster, here are some habits that will make you a millionaire.

Habits that Will Help Make You a Millionaire

Turns out, all millionaires have a few things in common. These include:

1. Passion and Dedication

You probably already know this; if you are not passionate about something, you won’t give it as much effort and time as you would to that which you love. Well, turns out millionaires have extreme levels of passion for the things that they do.

Of course, there are those who invest in things they think are wonderful business ideas and opportunities without necessarily being dedicated to and passionate about those things. What you need to remember is that these kinds of venture-capitalists are passionate about finding the right, undiscovered opportunities in which to stake their money.

2. Massive Dreams and Ambitions

No one ever made it big by just lying around without ambitions. Take Oprah for example: when she first tried getting into television, her producer told her she wouldn’t make it because she was too emotional.  But instead of giving up, she was determined and built a brand off of her feelings–those things that connect to humanity’s core. Now she’s Oprah.

Bottom-line, you need to have massive dreams and impossible ambitions if you want to get anywhere in this life.

3. Evolve and Improve

You have to be constantly working at improving yourself. We are talking about all facets of your life. Whether it be:

  • Your health (by far the most important)
  • Your intellect (comes in handy when dealing with tricky situations that could lose you money)
  • Your network (always look to surround yourself with the right people)
  • Your habits (get rid of the old, negative ones and adopt new positive ones)

It is through the little things that you build an empire. If you are determined to build wealth through investing, then you should be doing something to improve your investing skill set every single day. It is just that simple. You become an expert at what you repeatedly do with a purpose.

4. Daily Goal-Setting Increments

Mark Twain said, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.” The idea is to develop excellent habits but with daily increments. If you have been doing things that earn you $100 a day, then your goal and ambition should be to increase on those things and start doing that which will earn you $150 a day. Then go to $200 and so on.

The underlying habit will remain intact (you will always be setting daily goals). The only difference is that the goals set will increase in quality and output.

5. Embrace and Learn from Mistakes

Most people are afraid to fail at something and as a result, never really get to try anything worthwhile. This is something that most millionaires have in common; they aren’t afraid to take calculated risks. They accept the fact that sometimes things might not go the way they plan them to at all.

In many cases, the likelihood of failure is much higher than that of success. They do not let this knowledge paralyze them or make them timid about trying out new money-making ventures. Instead, they embrace the fact that no matter how well thought out a plan can be, there is still a very good chance that it will fail at some point. The idea is to not let that notion stop you from trying but to embrace that fact and learn from those failures so you can better your chances of succeeding in the future.

In the entrepreneurial world, no one goes from zero to hero in one fell swoop. These things take time and there is a process. You have to:

  • Equip yourself with the right skills.
  • Constantly improve on those skills.
  • Be extremely resilient.
  • Have the big picture in mind at all times.

Most of all, you have to know that lady luck tends to smile most often on those who are prepared to take advantage of the opportunities she presents. After all, they do say that fortune favors the brave.

Simply sitting back and hoping to win the lottery might work for some people, but it does not work for the vast majority of humanity. The odds are just too slim. The best thing to do is come up with a tangible and plausible plan on how you are going to make your money and then get to work immediately. It is never too late to start.


Applying for Health Insurance as Domestic Violence Survivor

Note: This post may contain triggers for those who have been in abusive relationships or been through sexual assault.

The month of October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. To highlight the issues that victims face physically, emotionally and economically, Femme Frugality will be discussing the issue every Friday. Except this Friday, I got the post up late. My apologies.

We will explore these issues through a mix of stories, conversations and factual articles. To help raise awareness, please use the hashtag #DVAM when sharing these articles.

I didn't know domestic violence qualified you for a special enrollment period! So glad so many states have expanded Medicaid Expansion for exactly this reason.

There’s a lot of financial rebuilding to do after you’ve escaped an abusive relationship. Just some of the things you may have to worry about are:

  • Repairing your credit report.
  • Finding employment.
  • Building savings.
  • Paying for any necessary occupational education.
  • Applying for benefits which may help you get reestablished.

All of these things are important, and necessity may dictate that you handle them all immediately.

However, you’re also going to be dealing with some other pretty serious stuff after you leave. First, you’ll need to work with a professional to make sure you are safe.

But even after you have that basic need covered, you’ll likely be battling the after effects of psychological, emotional and/or verbal abuse, which can escalate as far as PTSD and can prevent you from doing seemingly simple things like paying the bills, filling out the welfare application or holding down a job even if you’re extremely well-qualified for your position.

For this reason, it’s important to make sure you have mental healthcare services. Healthcare itself can be cost-prohibitive, though, so today we’re going to look at some ways you can get your hands on health insurance as a first step to getting your financial life back on track.

Getting Health Insurance after Escaping Domestic Violence

In the States, you are required to carry health insurance. If you don’t, you’ll have to pay a tax penalty–though that penalty is eliminated starting in the 2019 tax year.

But you don’t want to dodge a tax penalty. You actually want healthcare services. Usually, you can only apply for health insurance through the marketplace during open enrollment, which is November 1 through December 15 this year.

However, when you leave a domestic violence situation you qualify for an exemption, and can apply for coverage right away even if it’s the day after open enrollment closed.

You may have lost your health insurance when you left your abuser. You may not have had it in the first place, or you may have had to leave the employer who provided you with your insurance thanks to the abuse.

If you’re low-income or living at 138% of the Federal Poverty Line, you will qualify for free Medicaid coverage free of premiums or deductibles in most states which have adopted Medicaid Expansion. A handful of these states have wonky Medicaid Expansion laws which may prevent you from qualifying for Medicaid thanks to adjusted income limitations or may require you to pay small premiums or deductibles.

Some states have not expanded Medicaid at all, though, so you may not qualify for this free or close-to-free coverage even if you are living below the poverty line. Instead, you’ll have to pay for an ACA Marketplace plan which will be subsidized based on your income level. States that have not adopted Medicaid Expansion are:

  • Texas
  • Oklahoma
  • Kansas
  • Wyoming
  • South Dakota
  • Wisconsin
  • Missouri
  • Tennessee
  • Alabama
  • Georgia
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Florida

Virginia’s Medicaid Expansion will kick in on January 1, 2019, and Maine was supposed to have expanded by now, but the governor has been illegally blocking implementation.

What if I don’t qualify?

If you don’t qualify for Medicaid, you should still apply for it through the marketplace anyways. This will allow you to purchase a marketplace plan.

If you really, truly feel like you can’t afford your health insurance off the marketplace–even with subsidies–there are a couple of other options.

First, you could forgo health insurance and seek mental health care elsewhere. Your local domestic violence shelter is a good place to seek out these services. You may not be able to get a bed as many of these shelters are frequently full, but many times they can connect you with mental health care.

I don’t like the idea of you forgoing health insurance. Even though the tax penalty is going away, it’s still a risky gamble to go without it. You may find yourself needing healthcare outside of mental health services, and if you’re caught without health insurance, that could mean financial ruin via medical debt.

Another option is to go through a Healthcare Sharing Ministry. You pay a smaller monthly fee, and then the group will use the pooled fees to cover your medical expenses when needed. There are a few problems with this method:

  • These groups are religious, and I’ve only seen them among Christians. So you’ll either have to be a believer or feel okay lying about your faith or lack thereof. Not a problem for many in this country, but it is an obstacle for some.
  • Many of these groups do not want you to have a preexisting condition. If you do, you may not qualify for membership. As a survivor, your mental health care needs are likely to be considered a preexisting condition. (Hooray if you find a group who lets you in, though!)
  • You are not guaranteed coverage. Some groups are really great about covering everything, but not all health care situations will be covered depending on the group’s bylaws. You still might run into the same problem as filing claims with an insurance company, except these ministries are not as highly regulated.

Access to Care

Getting access to quality health insurance in the United States is still a difficult task, though it has gotten easier in the years since the ACA passed. The good news is that because you are a domestic violence survivor, you will actually have an easier time getting a policy thanks to the open enrollment exemption. That doesn’t guarantee you’ll be able to get coverage, but it does mean  you should have a slightly easier time than the general population as a whole.

You may want to call around to different therapists who will accept your insurance at the same time as you are applying for it. In many parts of the country, mental health is understaffed. It’s not unheard of to end up on a wait list. The sooner you can get on that list, the better.


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:

The Feminist Financial Handbook: Get it Today

This is truly a unique personal finance book. I feel like she's writing just for me. Definitely learned a lot!

Today is the day, guys! The Feminist Financial Handbook  officially launched this morning, and I’m so excited.

Writing this book took a lot of hours. I knew it would be a big effort before I took it on, but I never could have anticipated how rewarding the process would be.

The Women Who Shared Their Stories

First, I got to sit down and interview a bunch of amazing women who helped this book come to life with their lived experience and expertise. Check them out:

financial adventure

Story from Joyce

Praise for The Feminist Financial Handbook

As a part of the publishing process, I had to get some reviews on the work once the manuscript was together. Honestly, there’s a reason I started this blog anonymously, and as I sent the manuscript out, I was wishing I could have published it anonymously, too.

It’s not that I wasn’t proud of the work. I just wish the work could stand on its own. I always feel so weird marketing myself.

But I held my breath and sent it out, anyways. I was overwhelmed by the positive feedback. If you’re wondering if this book is for you, check out these reviews to get a better idea:

“You can always find books geared toward helping women to improve their financial lives. Some are condescending mansplanations of finance, couched as an important help to us little ladies and our emotional lady-brains. Some offer pink-jacketed rah-rah enthusiasm claiming to help the modern woman have it all! Some are deep dives into the real financial difficulties and challenges facing specific groups of women. But none of them look at finance from an intersectional feminist perspective―until now.

In every chapter, Brynne offers both actionable steps and hope for individual women who want to make their lives and their finances better. She offers suggestions for how to fight the unfair system while also working within the system. That means everyone who reads this book will put it down knowing ways to work for both a better world as a whole and a better life as an individual.”

-Emily Guy Birken, bestselling author of End Financial Stress Now

It’s so different–money is a piece, but there are so many other important topics being discussed that aren’t normally talked about.”

-Candice, owner of Young Yet Wise

“The Feminist Financial Handbook is a unicorn among finance books – one that endeavors to recontextualize sensible financial basics within an acknowledgment of the myriad forms of oppression within our society. I wholeheartedly applaud Brynne Conroy in her efforts to transform both the role of the finance information world as it exists and the inequalities of the world. Brava!”

– Becca Anderson, author of The Book of Awesome Women

“Great job describing the challenges faced by marginalized folks in our society. I learned quite a bit, which isn’t common for your more ‘typical’ money book.”

“In The Feminist Financial Handbook, Brynne Conroy provides women with a comprehensive guide to living a wealthier life that contains actionable advice while not sugarcoating real issues that impact women such as the gender pay gap and the impact of divorce. This book is a valuable read.”

-David Carlson author of Hustle Away Debt-

“One of the leading voices in personal finance, Brynne Conroy perfectly sums up what it means to be a woman in the 21st century. Money affects every part of our lives ― from the way we dress to how we can support ourselves and our families ― and Conroy does a perfect job of highlighting how the pay gap, discrimination, and the motherhood penalty affect women’s money differently. This is the perfect book for the modern woman looking to understand her finances on a societal level (and how to fight back.)”

-Tori Dunlap, Editor at Tomorrow Ideas

“Too often, we forget that women have very unique financial needs. The Feminist Financial Handbook remedies this problem nicely by tackling issues modern women face when planning for a secure financial future. If you’re a woman struggling with the reality of money in the patriarchy, this book can help you break free and live your best financial life.”

Miranda Marquit, money expert, financial journalist, and political activist-

“Conroy has done her research and given a platform to the rich and diverse experiences of womanhood and our relationship to money. This truly is the feminist financial handbook for the new wave of intersectional feminism.”

-Erin Lowry, author of Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping By and Get Your Financial Life Together

“Conroy goes beyond blanket, modern-day notions of #girlboss to not only explore, but redefine what financial well-being means to different people. Meticulously researched and forward thinking, contemporary feminism, which includes ableism and non-traditional populations, The Feminist Financial Handbook not only serves as a practical guide, but as a platform of empowerment to the oppressed and underserved. ”

-Jackie Lam, owner of Hey Freelancer

womens personal finance women at work

Story from a Her Money Matters listener

In the past week, this book has been featured on HuffPost LIFE, in a Her Money Matters podcast interview, and as a top pick for finance books for beginners.

Now it’s your turn.

Of course, I’m so thrilled to hear my peers enjoyed the read. But now it’s your turn.

This book has a chance (though hardly a guarantee) of becoming an Amazon Bestseller. If you’re thinking about buying it, I’d urge you to do so today. It gives the book a better chance of reaching that elite status.

If you’re into it, leave a review on Amazon as that’s one of the biggest factors in getting this important information out to a wider audience. I know there’s stuff in this book that can help other people, so I’d like to get it in front of as many of them as possible.

If you read it and there’s anything you’d like to discuss with me, please leave a comment here on the blog or shoot me an email! I wrote this booking hoping it would spark discussion. As long as your thoughts are made known respectfully, I’m excited to start having those discussions. Thank you to all who made this tome possible.

Get the book here.

number one amazon new release womens money



The Intersection of Islamophobia and Domestic Violence

Note: This post may contain triggers for those who have been in abusive relationships or been through sexual assault.

The month of October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. To highlight the issues that victims face physically, emotionally and economically, Femme Frugality will be discussing the issue every Friday. We will do this through a mix of stories, conversations and factual articles. To help raise awareness, please use the hashtag #DVAM when sharing these articles.

Wow. I never thought about how outside prejudice might affect a woman's ability to report domestic violence. This is such an important read.

Domestic abuse is an epidemic-level problem in our society. The complexities of the dangers you find yourself in when you are being abused make it hard to leave. To report. To recover.

These problems are compounded, however, when you’re a member of a marginalized group. Today, we’ll look at some excerpts from The Feminist Financial Handbook.

In this section of the book, I was honored and humbled that Nour Naas–a survivor and advocate–shared her story and perspective as a Muslim woman who has lost her mother to domestic violence. Here are just some of her perspectives on how Islamophobia compounds the problem of reporting–both within a community and to authorities–and the economic effects of abuse.

“After my mother passed away, I didn’t want to talk about it,” says Naas. “The Muslim community is already targeted in so many ways through stereotyping and policies. I didn’t want to add to it. There are really obvious ones like invading all these Muslim countries and occupying their lands, speaking about people from or in those countries as primitive, saying things like, ‘We’re there to save them,’ and giving people this concept that these people are different from us, living in a backwards culture. But there are also stereotypes about Muslim men and women that make it hard to talk about. Men are supposedly violent and patriarchal; women submissive and in need of saving. You don’t want to reinforce any of that.”

Naas notes that Islamophobia is at times also in evidence at the institutional level, creating a mistrust of law enforcement that affects victims’ decision to report. In the Muslim community, mosques have been surveilled by law enforcement. Racial profiling is widespread. The police haven’t been on your side so far—why would they help now?

“Not having finances to leave your abuser is the number one reason women don’t leave,” says Naas. “They would have nothing to survive on. It’s a source of a lot of people’s depression when they’re in that situation. When you don’t have resources to leave, it just makes people feel hopeless.”

“You’re not in a state of mind to do anything because of those psychological scars,” Naas explains [about returning to work after escaping abuse]. “There’s a stigma attached to what a victim goes through. It can impact a person’s work performance or their ability to bring in an income at all. Women who are in these situations will sometimes resort to drugs or drinking, etc., to cope with the pain. That ends up being where all their money goes.”

Today, Naas is a political science major at UC Berkeley. About a year ago, she took her first training to be a domestic violence advocate and has been serving as a volunteer in her communities ever since. She has a special place in her heart for marginalized women— especially Muslim women. She is launching a new effort to create safe spaces for these survivors to share their stories and get help.

“Talking about domestic violence and making people aware can help get rid of the stigmas we have around it,” she explains. “That way, if this is happening, you know you just need to tell someone that it’s happening. We need a community of people who will help— who know it’s not okay either. That attitude is not really there in the Muslim community or in most of the country, for that matter.”

To learn more about Nour, visit her website. From there, you’ll be able to find her social media channels. You can also get more of the context of her comments and some potential financial recovery solutions in the book.

If you purchase, please leave a review on Amazon! It will help us get Nour’s important story and perspective out to more people.


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:


Economic Effects of Sexual Assault: A Case Study via Dr. Ford

Note: This post may contain triggers for those who have been in abusive relationships or been through sexual assault.

The month of October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. To highlight the issues that victims face physically, emotionally and economically, Femme Frugality will be discussing the issue every Friday. We will do this through a mix of stories, conversations and factual articles. To help raise awareness, please use the hashtag #DVAM when sharing these articles.

Wow. I never dived this deep on the economics of being a sexual assualt or domestic violence survivor before. Sad but important food for thought.

My experience watching the Ford v Kavanaugh hearing was intense. Much more intense than I expected it to be. I was not prepared for the outcome of those hearings. The vote. The pure dismissal of a clearly viable claim simply because it hadn’t come at a convenient time for the majority party.

The message to survivors that, “Even if we believe you, we kind of don’t care.”

I was so overwhelmed I had trouble staying awake most of the weekend. My brain was trying to reconcile the American values I was brought up with–which have admittedly always been patriarchal, but still had some semblance of striving towards a higher morality–versus what was unfolding before my eyes.

Today I want to take a look not at Kavanuagh’s obvious lack of fitness for the highest court in the land, but rather at the economic effects of sexual abuse that were revealed in Dr. Ford’s testimony.

I’m making this decision because his unfitness stands bare for all with eyes to see and therefore does not require my additional comments. But the financial implications for Ford may need to be highlighted for those who were not looking for them.

I’m just someone who watched this hearing. I do not know Dr. Ford or all of her life circumstances, so I’m going to do my best to be careful about the assumptions I make of her personal situation. But there were some specific issues she brought to light in her testimony that extend to many survivors. We need to talk about these more at a societal level.

This clip is from Dr. Ford’s opening testimony:

Accommodating PTSD

At 8:40 in the above video, Dr. Ford starts recounting how she told her husband about the specific details of her assault. They had been fighting because during a remodel, she wanted a second front door–another way out. The claustrophobia she experiences is a direct result of feeling trapped in that room as she was assaulted. Helpless.

During the questioning phase of the hearing, she explained this, along with the fact that she has experienced other PTSD-like symptoms throughout her life–especially in the first few months after the attack. That made it harder to focus on school like she wanted to for a time.

The economic implications here are that she had to spend more money remodeling her home to accommodate her psychological scars. Dr. Ford is obviously very accomplished in terms of her education and career, but for other women (and veterans of all genders–the most highly studied group affected by this disorder), PTSD symptoms can prevent them from keeping gainful employment. We also know it can negatively affect investment behavior.

Bothering You at Work

At 15:30, Dr. Ford relays how she was harassed at work after her identity came out. Her students, colleagues and superiors were brought into this circus.

First of all, this is why it’s important that survivors have complete say over when and in what forum their story is shared. Dr. Ford could have lost her job over this, and she should have been allowed to protect her work and reputation as she saw fit.

Secondly, Dr. Ford’s experience is a bit unique in that the workplace harassment did not come directly from her abuser. For many other women, it does. One aspect of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is stalking. Employers don’t like having stalkers hanging around the premises, so often these situations result in a forced resignation.

When you look at abusive situations that involve other tactics which don’t necessarily include stalking, 21%-60% of abuse victims lose their jobs due to complications directly resulting from their abuse.

Those and more terrible stats here.

Moving House

The second door was no longer enough to help Dr. Ford feel safe after her name was made public. She received death threats, had her personal information leaked on the internet, and her extended family had the same happen to them as she shares at 17:00.

The Fords literally have to move house because of this. Other survivors have to do this as well on the regular, but they often do not have the access to the same level of security as Dr. Ford. Sometimes it becomes necessary to make sure those who would hurt you can’t find you–whether they be the assailant themselves or hateful individuals who want to hold up the patriarchy and punish women for speaking out. It’s an expense that has monetary and emotional consequences.

Legal Costs

I have no idea how the costs of legal representation are being handled for Dr. Ford, but I’m so happy she has two lawyers by her side.

The cost of legal representation is often a stretch for victims, and a prohibitive one at that. Even if they do want to come forward.

Assault is not okay in my America.

Believe women. Listen to women. And respect women when they are brave enough to come forward.

No. You know what?

Just respect women always.

P.S. Respect =/= Rushing to get an accused sexual assailant on the Supreme Court because your party is about to lose power in the midterm elections.


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: