Category Archives: Ways to Make Money

Abundance Mindset & Income Goal Charts

Long-time readers will remember that I have, at times, struggled with the scarcity mindset. Recently, I discovered that as much as I thought I had moved on from it, I hadn’t.

Since the divorce, I’ve been operating from a place of survival again. I had thrown a lot of money at trying to save things, and have had a hard time getting back to a place where I’m comfortable. I feel like I’m running on a treadmill. It doesn’t matter how fast I run or how many calories I burn; at the end of the day, I’m still in the same place.

One day while listening to Lizzo, I decided to do something ambitious. I decided to start setting monthly income goals that weren’t necessarily realistic. Realism is typically what I do.

But perhaps in this instance, realism was holding me back. What I realistically expect out of myself may be far less than what I am worth or capable of.

I calculated my dream income, divided it by twelve, and realized I wasn’t quite ready for my mindset to be that abundant.

I subtracted about $1k/mo. The goal was still crazy ambitious, but I figured if I hit it, I could raise it. I’m cognizant of the moon, but I’m also totally cool if I hit that number that’s $1k less, landing among the stars.

Am I hitting my income goals?

I busted out a pen and paper and drew my Lizzo-inspired income chart. Want to see how close I came to reaching my goal?

RIDICULOUSLY CLOSE!

I’m counting income as work I lined up and completed that month rather than the income I actually receive. I have far more control over the former, so it’s the metric I’m choosing to focus on.

Did making a chart really help?

Yes. It’s in a place I can see it everyday, and that did two things for me. First, it helped me remember how quickly small amounts really do add up to big sums. Each small block I colored in was its own victory, but zooming out and seeing my efforts inch me closer to my larger goal was really encouraging.

The other thing it did was really motivate me. So much so that I’m going to be using motivational lyrics of female artists moving forward to get me into action. For example, July’s chart inspired by Cardi B:

Scarcity vs Abundance Mindset

I could cut back my spending; I know how to live on next to nothing. And I’m going to take more drastic steps in that direction as I move through this process.

But for the first time, I’m embracing the idea that I can build my income to a point where I could actually meet some more of my goals rather than just continuing to slog through with the focus on extreme frugality.

I’m starting to have a little more faith that I can create my own future and truly believe it will come to pass rather than waiting for the floor to drop as I brace once again to pivot my goals to match my ever-changing surroundings.

This time around, I’m finding that establishing that confidence in myself at the income level is a step in the right direction. I’ve had more faith the money I need will be there when I need it, which can be a major concern when you’re a freelancer.

That makes me marginally less stressed so I tend to make (marginally) better financial decisions.

Those marginally better decisions start to make life marginally easier and easier still, reducing stress and upping good decision-making. Because you’ve asserted power in one area of your life, you feel like you can regain it in all the others.

This is all kind of heady. I mean, I’m only on month two of this little experiment.

But I’m curious: Have you ever struggled with abundance vs getting by vs realism? And if you created an income goal chart, which lyrics would you use to motivate yourself?

Work From Home As A Freelancer With These Online Freelancer Jobs

This post is brought to you and contributed by Sarah Morris.

Individual sitting at at desk in a coffee shop working on a laptop.

Having a job at a great company can be a fantastic experience. With a good-paying job, great people and the right environment, working outside of the home can actually be an enjoyable experience.

The problem with working in an office is that you may have to endure rush hour traffic to get to work. By the time you arrive, you’re already tired and stressed out. Then you get to do it all again for the commute home.

This is where working from the comfort of your home comes into play.

If you’re looking to work from home as a freelancer, here are a few online freelancer jobs you may consider from the get-go:

Writing

If you find satisfaction in writing on any specific topic, then you may want to consider writing as a freelance job from home. With a reliable internet connection and a laptop, you can start your own blog and use it as a portfolio to launch your new venture.

Writing can be a fantastic work-from-home opportunity. As long as you exert some effort and persistence, this online freelance job can bring in a family-supporting income. So get ready with your pitches and treat this as a significant money-making venture.

If you’re looking for other work opportunities aside from writing, you can check more online jobs here for further reference.

Virtual Assistant Work

Organizational skills are a must in virtual assistant work. If you possess these skills or have past experience in office administration, you can do a similar job in your own home.

Typically, the work of virtual assistants is to provide administrative support over the internet. Answering emails and Skype calls, taking minutes of the meeting and reports, and many more are some of the typical jobs of a virtual assistant.

Web Design and Development

With the advent of modern technology these days, working as a web designer and developer from the comfort of your home can be a fulfilling freelance job for anyone who possesses creativity and a technical mind. Considering the growing number of companies that need websites, jobs involving web design and development can make you more money. Moreover, by becoming a freelancer, you have control over your time, and you can get any clients you want.

Marketing and Personal Relations Job

Another profitable freelance job that you can venture into is in the field of marketing and personal relations. With a phone and an internet connection, you can fulfill the necessary tasks from your home. With just a few marketing skills, you can earn more income by becoming a marketer, manager or even a social media coordinator.

Doing Online Surveys

This is an online freelance job opportunity from home that you can work on anytime. You may be wondering why answering surveys can be a source of income. The truth is, people’s opinions and recommendations are essential to companies, especially if they want to get to know their target audiences and generate more sales. Many companies out there have taken advanatge of this need and serve as reward sites to distribute surveys to their members.

You’re unlikely to get rich doing surveys. But it is a quick way to drum up some minimal cash.

Transcription Jobs

If you’re familiar with the technical language of the legal and medical field, then you could have a bright future as a transcriptionist. This kind of online freelance job can be a fantastic way of making money from home. All you have to do is to listen to the audio recordings and write down whatever the speaker in the audio is saying. Be sure you possess excellent listening and typing skills so you can do the job with ease.

Bear in mind that less technical work will result in much lower pay.

Selling Crafts Online

You can use your love for making handmade gifts and crafts to earn more money online. Whether it’s luggage tags or knitted pants, selling crafts can be a great income opportunity you can pursue from the comfort of your own home.

A home-based job doesn’t always have to involve sitting in front of your computer. Sometimes, it’s also about sitting in front of the table doing some creative stuff, taking pictures of your products and posting them on your website. Also, selling crafts on the Web means you have to cater to your clients’ online queries, take their orders and payments, and handle the shipping for them. With this kind of job, you can work on your own time and with your own supplies.

Online Tutoring

With today’s modern technology, teaching online can be a profitable freelance job opportunity. For example, there are plenty of companies out there that offer online English tutoring jobs for anyone who wants to be a freelancer. All you need to have is a stable internet connection, computer or laptop, and basic knowledge in English. Aside from English, you can also work as an online tutor for any other subject you like.

Conclusion

Sometimes looking for the best online freelance job from home isn’t easy. You may have to get familiar with the kinds of home-based jobs that are in demand on the market these days. If you know what your skills, strengths, and weaknesses are, then use this article to help you find the right freelance work.

Happy News from the Land of Femme Frugality

It’s time for a huge update, friends!

I’ve been working on some stuff behind the scenes lately that I’m super psyched about. And I can finally tell you about all most of it!

Vote for The Feminist Financial Handbook

The Plutus Awards nominations are open! You guys have been super kind to me over the past few years, nominating Femme Frugality for Best Women’s Finance Blog and the Intersectional Finances Series for Best PF Series.

I’d be beyond grateful if you could take a couple minutes to vote for The Feminist Financial Handbook for Best New Personal Finance Book for this years’ awards ceremony!

You can vote by using this pre-filled form!

Just fill out the two starred boxes at the top and submit–thank you so much!

Speaking at FinCon

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be speaking at FinCon in DC this year! I’ll be joining Paul Curley of the 529 Conference and Sarah Pennington of ABLEnow.

We’ll be speaking on ABLE accounts on the Quick Money Talks track, educating writers and financial professionals on these accounts that serve the disabled community. Be sure to join us there!

If you want to get a head start, check out these resources:

Check out all the stuff I had wrong when I was 20.

I recently had my first piece published over at Business Insider. It’s all about the things I wish I had known about money when I was twenty–a year which happened to have the Great Recession as its backdrop.

You should check it out–I want to hear if you made some of the mistakes I did or if I was just ridiculous.

I mean, let’s be real. It could be both.

Book Signing in Bar Harbor

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Bailey Zembower BorrowMSCP RYT (@shantisunshinewellness) on

If you are vacationing in Bar Harbor in July, or happen to be one of MDI’s local residents, please join me at a book signing for The Feminist Financial Handbook!

Where: Sherman’s of Bar Harbor
When: July 23rd, 2019
Time: 1p

There will be copies there available for you, and am looking forward to talking to some readers in person!

This event will be part of a larger project; I’m sitting on my hands so I won’t tell you the whole thing right now!

But it will be worth the wait, I believe. Be sure to follow along so you don’t miss anything!

Why Being a P.I.T.A is a Good Thing!

I meet some of my favorite people in the most random and beautiful ways. In 2017, I was fortunate enough to meet Shanah Bell at a surprisingly emotional and wonderful dinner. I love talking to Shanah. In a world where I often feel like I’m walking a different path than everyone else around me–especially those my own age–her words make me want to celebrate this fact and all the rich experiences that come with it rather than allowing myself to feel isolated.

Today I want to share her words with you! Shanah recently released a great book called The Art of Being a PITA, which addresses the financials of living a nontraditional life. It’s super rad and you should pick a copy up today!

Without further ado, here’s Shanah to give you a little background on her own story.

Most people might consider being a P.I.T.A (pain in the ass!) a negative quality. In reality, that isn’t necessarily the case.

My mother gave me this nickname when I was growing up because I refused to do anything the traditional way. I am stubborn! And things haven’t really changed so much for me — I still fit into that category today! So, I suppose, if you want to call me a P.I.T.A for not always going with the flow, then so be it. I am a P.I.T.A.

But being one only means that I do things my own way, instead of how most people think I should do them. This primarily relates to how I have carved out my work-life and my career, going the non-traditional route and dumping the corporate 9-5 ideology. And actually, if anything, it has only aided me in being as successful as I am.

P.I.T.A Youth

When I was growing up, I was told that success equated to getting a good, corporate job, and that was the ONLY way to experience life-long stability.

This never felt right to me, though. I felt that there had to be a better way, because corporate jobs just don’t suit every personality. This is especially true of us P.I.T.A’s! We like to buck the system and think outside the box, which does not typically translate well into a corporate environment.

Even so, there were a few times that I tried to make it work. Oh, how I tried! I wanted to be considered stable and successful, and more than anything I wanted to make my family proud. But I never felt at home in a corporate job. I felt like those jobs sucked the life right out of me.

Why I Left Corporate Jobs Forever

Whenever I worked at a corporate job (and I’ve had a few!), I spent a decent portion of the day not doing anything productive because I had already completed my tasks. I really HATE being bored, sitting around and doing nothing, even if I am getting paid for it. I would much rather be busy, working my butt off the whole time than sitting around, twiddling my thumbs, trying to find things to do, or waiting for new opportunities to crop up.

To me, that is just ridiculous!

Then, after spending most of the day doing nothing, I would have to go sit in afternoon traffic for another hour, and once I was home it was time to decompress, which took at least another hour, if not all night.

For me, working a corporate job meant I was on someone else’s clock for close to 12 hours a day, yet only getting paid for 8. And the 8 hours I was getting paid, I wasn’t being nearly as productive as I could be on my own.

It became clear to me that leaving corporate jobs for good could not only free up my own personal time, but also potentially increase my income! I am much more productive overall when left to my own devices than I ever was when I was restricted by the constraints of a corporate job.

Tips to Being a Successful P.I.T.A

As a life-long P.I.T.A, I have learned quite a few tips, tricks, and lessons about success along the way. Some of these are:

  • Think outside of the box
  • Increase your problem-solving skills
  • Apply skills from previous jobs to new and unrelated fields
  • Never stop learning
  • Bust your ass at every job to prove that you can do anything
  • Keep lines of communication open with old co-workers, because you never know what future opportunities may lie there
  • Live your successful life — it’s different for everyone, so don’t let someone else determine what success looks like for you
  • Keep a budget and check it weekly
  • Don’t forget to save a little bit each week and put it into a high yield savings or retirement account

In Summary

Because I chose to live my life authentically, on my own terms, and in a way that I can be proud of, my income has the potential to be limitless. Every hour that I work is productive.

Therefore, I am able to work less hours and enjoy my life, while still continuing to learn and grow and increase my income. What a win-win! To me, this is the only way that I can live my life successfully. It took me a while to learn, but now there is no going back.

While being a P.I.T.A takes work, creativity, drive, and critical problem-solving skills, it is the only way that I get to live my life happily and successfully.

In what ways have you found being a P.I.T.A a good thing?

Of Unions, Benefits and Steamfitters

This post is in collaboration with Steamfitters Local 449.

Welder dressed in orange working on a huge, green pipe. Text reads, "Benefits of Unions: Pension, Healthcare, Truly Equal Pay, Opportunity for career and salary growth. Steamfitters449 on femmefrugality.com"

I’m a huge proponent of education. Sometimes that means college.

Sometimes that means trade school.

We need to remember that one is not superior to the other. In fact, if you’re measuring ROI over the course of your career, there’s a decent argument for trade school being the smarter decision.

CASE STUDY!!!!

Career Training Without the Student Loans via Steamfitters Local 449

Steamfitters Local 449 is a union here in the Pittsburgh region representing those who make, install and service piping systems. This includes occupations such as welders and your HVAC-R service person.

How do you learn these skills?

Through free career training.

Steamfitters Local 449 works with the United Association and the Mechanical Contractors Association to provide this free education at its training center in Harmony, PA.

After that union members pay a marginal amount into the apprenticeship fund for each hour they work, which continues the cycle of free education.

This frees you to use the money you’re bringing in while you’re training to do things like live in safe housing, afford groceries and plan for your financial future–things that are much harder to do if you’re spending your younger working years burdened by student loans.

Getting Paid to Learn

The first step in the training process will be uncompensated. But if you can make it through that initial training, the rewards are worth it.

The initial training for those interested in building trades is an 18-week course that runs in the daytime teaching you how to weld. If you’re more interested in the HVAC-R side of things, your initial training will only be 8 weeks.

If you complete this step successfully, you’ll be taken on as an apprentice. Apprentices currently start at $18.25/hour plus health benefits. If you make it through that first, probationary year, you’ll be eligible for a pay bump of  10% and gain access to Steamfitters’ retirement vehicles.

Keep doing well and you’ll continue to earn those 10% pay bumps each year throughout your five-year apprenticeship.

Live a Middle-Class Life

When you’ve completed your apprenticeship, you’ll start earning journeyman’s pay. That’s currently $41/hour or $82,000/year if you work fifty 40-hour work weeks. Nick Kappas, Director of Marketing at Steamfitters Local 449, notes that after you add in benefits like health insurance and access to retirement vehicles, the effective hourly pay jumps to about $65/hour.

Either way, that’s enough to live a solidly middle-class lifestyle in the Pittsburgh region. And you won’t have to worry about your first ten years of pay going to service student loan debt.

If you’d like to make even more money, journeyman status isn’t the end of the line. Steamfitters Local 449 offers further training, enabling you to become a working foreman, general foreman, area foreman, superintendent, diagnostician, estimator, scheduler and more.

Each of these positions include a pay bump up from the journeyman status, allow you to bring in an even higher income.

How the heck does a pension work?

A major benefit to union positions is access to a pension. Pensions are defined benefit plans, which means you’ll easily be able to figure out how much money you’ll be pulling in once you’re retired.

For example, Kappas says that a journeyman currently working 40 hours a week for 50 weeks a year will pull in $160/month in retirement for each service year they complete.

If you decided to stay at the journeyman position over a 35-year career, you’d be collecting $5,600/month–or $67,200/year–in retirement.

If you extend your career five more  years remaining at journeyman status, your retirement benefits would jump up to $76,800/year.

Closing the Pay Gap

Want to know who doesn’t face a gender pay gap?

Union members.

When everyone’s salary is public knowledge, it’s kind of hard to screw people over based on their gender.

Not only does joining a union eliminate your chance of facing a gender pay gap, but women are considered valuable assets at Steamfitters Local 449. Our cultural conditioning finally finds a place where it’s an asset as Kappas notes a phenomenon that Sam Paxson has previously put forth as a reason for hiring and retaining women:

“When we’re looking at trouble shooting, women tend to be a very valuable asset to us. They’re more patient and creative in finding solutions.”

He also says that these are assets that serve these union members at all levels, including welding and higher-paying administrative positions.

We as women also tend to be more concerned about long-term financial security, so we see the value that union benefits such as healthcare and defined benefit plans provide to us and our families–whether we’re working on a job site or doing the equally important work of managing the home front.

Learn More Live

If you’re curious and want to learn more about this career path, you’re in luck! Steamfitters Local 449 is holding its annual Expo up at its training center in Harmony.

It looks a long way from the city mileage wise, but as someone who has made every possible Pittsburgh commute over my adult life, I promise you that 279/79 is way easy to deal with as it has the least congestion, an HOV lane and is a legitimate highway where you can drive fast.

Yes, I’m looking at you, 51. You’re the reason I will never again willingly commute to the South Hills.

The Expo will be happening on May 23, 2019 from 12p to 8p, and will allow you to explore the field, ask questions of union reps and those currently working in the job position you’d eventually like to secure, and even learn through three continuing education courses.

If you, your child or your partner are interested in a career path that won’t end in dramatic debt you can never shake off, I’d highly encourage you to check it out. There is more than one way to secure upward economic mobility.