BS
Bekah Stallworth
2 days ago

I’m Planning on Saving Over $230,000 in My Lifetime—By Not Having Kids

money
women
In my early twenties, I had a realization that would undoubtedly shape the rest of my life: I didn’t want children.
 
I had always admired the mothers I saw hauling their children’s strollers up and down subway stairs, but I’d simultaneously wondered, Is it worth it?

Is the price of motherhood—financially, physi...
In my early twenties, I had a realization that would undoubtedly shape the rest of my life: I didn’t want children.
 
I had always admired the mothers I saw hauling their children’s strollers up and down subway stairs, but I’d simultaneously wondered, Is it worth it?

Is the price of motherhood—financially, physically, emotionally—really eclipsed by the sheer joy it supposedly creates? I chalked my initial hesitancy up to my age and lack of maternal instincts.

But it wasn’t instincts I was missing—it was desire. I’m turning 30 this year, and my list of reasons why I don’t want to procreate has grown. At the top of that list is money.
 

Kids are really F-ing expensive.

A 2014 USDA report estimated that the national average cost of raising a child from birth to the age of 17 was $233,610, not including college (#America). That number more than doubles if you live in New York. And realistically, child-related expenses don’t disappear as soon as your teenager turns 18, either.
 
Those statistics are based on middle-class households with two incomes. Yet, the average millennial probably can’t imagine comfortably parting with over $7,000 of their yearly salaries. Between the price of education, activities, and basic necessities, it’s no surprise we’re waiting longer to have children, if at all.
 

Avoiding the motherhood penalty.

For the first time, women over the age of 30 are having more babies than women in their early twenties. The primary reasons for holding off: education and careers.
 
Not only do we fear that putting our professions on hold will risk growth opportunities, but because of the wage gap, we feel the burden of student loans more strongly than men. On average, it takes two additional years for women to pay off student debt.

There’s also the “motherhood penalty.” Research proves that women with children earn anywhere from nine to 20 percent less than childless women, even when the number of hours worked is equal.
 
In spite of legal boundaries, mothers are repeatedly overlooked for promotions and raises because of maternity leave. To make matters worse, paid parental leave isn’t mandated in the States, and childbirth here is more expensive than in any other country in the world. To top it all off, after the child is born, childcare is unsubsidized.

There’s a child-free butterfly effect.

Regardless of what the decision is rooted in, electing to live a childless life has instantaneous and residual ripple effects on your life.
 
For example, when my partner and I were house hunting last year, our realtor remarked that not having to be consciences of school districts made it easier to work within our budget. 
 
I also don’t feel tension in terms of my career trajectory. Mothers have to consider how a new job or career shift would impact their families. But if I decide to change career paths or go back to school, I won’t have to worry about how it could affect saving for my kid’s education.
 

Feeling free to be “selfish.”

Discretionary income is a major advantage of planning for a childless future. But I’m also looking forward to having more time and energy to spend on my soon-to-be husband. 
 
Without kids, we’ll have roughly $14,000 more a year at our disposal. With that money, we can take weekend trips and long vacations, make upgrades to our home and pay off our mortgage sooner, and can spare no expense for our dogs (*happy woof*). We can invest in our futures, and each other, more freely. 

There are downsides, of course. Since we won’t have children to look after us when we’re older, we’ll have to be especially diligent about planning for retirement and making sure we have life and long-term care insurance, but those are small prices to pay in the bigger scheme of things.
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Kari Lorz
19 days ago

How to Handle Finances in a Relationship

money
relationships
Money can be such a dirty word.

Get this: Money is the second leading cause of divorce in the US (behind infidelity). Many sites have articles, surveys, and polls that list out startling stats that are enough to make you cry (and steer clear of commitment like it’s your full-time job). Most cite high amounts of debt and lack of communication (th...
Money can be such a dirty word.

Get this: Money is the second leading cause of divorce in the US (behind infidelity). Many sites have articles, surveys, and polls that list out startling stats that are enough to make you cry (and steer clear of commitment like it’s your full-time job). Most cite high amounts of debt and lack of communication (this doesn’t surprise us!) about money as being the drivers behind the sinking ship. 

The American Psychology Association says 40-50 percent of marriages end in divorce (and there is some wiggle room due to permanent separation while remaining married). 

Now you may not be married right now, but your future may include formal vows (let’s leave out the “obey” part, please and thank you). So let’s put on our practice pants and get to work now on being a team player when it comes to money!

Here are four tips for how to handle finances in a relationship when it comes to both earning and spending money.

Ask for help.

Now for some of you, this may not be so simple, but no one ever got anywhere when they went 100 percent solo (except maybe a good hike). Everyone needs someone to bounce ideas off of, a different perspective, or just a “good game” butt slap. Hey, you appreciate someone’s help when they see something that you don’t, right? (Hint: your fly is down.)

So when you’re stumped on your budget (make one in five easy steps) or need to think of a plan to raise extra funds to fix your car’s grinding noises, ask your partner for help. Ask and be prepared to listen. Then say thank you.

Think about it, when someone asks you for sincere help, you feel pretty good about yourself and your relationship. This simple tactic can be used for so many things, and definitely something you should become comfortable with.

Share your goals.

Some days it feels like just putting on pants and leaving your apartment is a good goal. But with you partner, share your goals of what you want your future to look like. 
You want to own your own home? Share it! Do you want to own a 1970 Ford Mustang with a Boss 302? Hey, maybe your significant other has an uncle that works at a car shop that works explicitly on old ‘70s muscle cars. BUT you wouldn’t know that unless you share, right?

Now, your goals may not have anything to do with saving money, but I’m pretty sure you will need money to reach some of them. Maybe you find out that you both want to go on a vacation to Bora Bora? Say hello to a joint travel vacation savings account. I highly recommend a high interest online savings account with 1.9% APY. That’s 20x higher than the national average.

Sharing your goals still means that you need to be smart with your money. So go ahead print out that picture of that bungalow over the water, bust out your crayons and make a money thermometer (you know, like the fundraiser type thing from grade school). You can also go the digital route if you’re not into arts and crafts. 

 Post your goal on your fridge and get to saving.

Talk about it.

So from the other tips you may have noticed a trend… TALKING about money. If you didn’t get that hint, go back and reread it. I’ll wait. You back? Cool. Let’s continue.

When you don’t talk about something in plain sight, then it gets somewhat awkward. Only when you start communicating and doing it often do things get easier.

Traditionally (aka our parent’s generation), talking about money wasn’t a polite topic of conversation. Maybe you grew up in a household where money was a sore spot?

We are not ostriches. We can’t stick our head in the ground and ignore money issues… because they don’t ever go away without action. If you’re having anxiety about it, and that’s completely normal, try some of these ways to alleviate it before diving into conversation.

Yes, it may be weird in the beginning, but it will get easier, just as everything does with practice.

Do a money challenge.

These can be a lot of fun if done correctly. It is fun to have a goal, potentially a goal that maybe you think you can’t achieve. But then it gets turned into a game…and guess who shows up with a full tummy of Wheaties? YOU!

Here are a few:
  1.  Do a No Spend Month
  2.  Cash only envelope challenge
  3.  Eat just what is in your pantry
  4.  Save all the $5 bills that you get
  5.  Cut 50 percent of your subscriptions (you won’t notice, trust me)
  6.  Try the 52 Week Savings Challenge

Keep it lighthearted. No one likes a sore loser (or a lousy winner). In fact, you don’t even need to have a winner, set it up as a team challenge! You are just starting to learn how to handle finances in a relationship (it’s a marathon, not a sprint).

Whatever you decide to do to help you and your honey get better at this thing called money management, know that nothing is set in stone. If one thing doesn’t work after some decent effort and time, then try something different. Just keep trying. 

If you need 1:1 help for your finances, apply to come work with Whitney Hansen for financial coaching


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Beverly Bird
about 1 month ago

How My Emergency Fund Saved My A$$

money
emergency fund
I was living the dream, freelancing for a living and making a living. Writing all night, sleeping until noon, and checking my bank balance once a week or as compensation for all my labors spilled in.  

Saving was something for people who expected bad things to happen to them. Not me. I was on top of the world…until the company I wa...
I was living the dream, freelancing for a living and making a living. Writing all night, sleeping until noon, and checking my bank balance once a week or as compensation for all my labors spilled in.  

Saving was something for people who expected bad things to happen to them. Not me. I was on top of the world…until the company I was giving most of my time to shuddered and drew its last breath. I had $16 in my bank account the day I got the news. My rent was due in 13 days, and I didn’t have even hint of work on the horizon. 

I survived, but it wasn’t pretty. And I learned my lesson. Life doesn’t give you a warning before it decides to kick you where it hurts, so you better have your pads on, always. 

It’s not just about losing your job. 

When you think “financial crisis,” job loss is probably the first thing to come to mind, but I had a steady, secure stream of income the second time I hit the wall. I got slammed with an unexpected bill in the neighborhood of $2,300…which, coincidentally, was close to the balance in my checking account.

Since I’d lost my job two years later, I had a stash of cash set aside that time around. But I had to figure that out the hard way.

Think about it: Could you cover the cost of your car breaking down or a trip to the emergency room with your current savings? If not, you need an emergency fund.

What if you’re already broke? 

If every blessed dime of your paycheck already has a place to go before you earn it, tucking 20 percent aside to pay for an emergency can be a real stretch. So start with five percent, or even two. But start, because—trust me on this one—you won’t like counting Ramen noodles. 

Dump your spare change into a jar every night, or maybe even the one-dollar bills you have in your purse. Cart the money off to the bank at the end of the week. If that feels too out of the Stone Age, consider one of the many saving apps out there—Acorns invests your spare change for you automatically. (Psst! Coming soon, Nav.it will stash that cash for you too.)

If all else fails, free up some money from other areas of spending. Dedicate yourself to cooking one night a week instead of going out or ordering in. Skip the Starbucks. In my case, I toughed it out until Friday if I ran out of wine in the middle of the week rather than purchase another bottle right away. Also, side gigs to raise some cash are not to be overlooked. 

How much do you need? 

Lofty experts suggest that you have six to eight months’ living expenses set aside. More reasonable sources suggest three to six months, but a 2018 survey by Bankrate indicated that only 29 percent of adults have that much set aside in savings. About 25 percent of millennials said they had no savings at all (eek!). Let’s face it, even a month’s savings can be better than nothing at all. 

Where’s the safest place for your stash?

When it comes to an emergency fund, you might want to avoid the convenience of saving at your regular bank. It’s too easy to dip into the money if you’re reminded it’s there every time you go online. And don’t apply for a debit card for the account. 

At the same time, you want that money accessible so you can grab it if (and when) disaster strikes. Look for a high-yield savings account at another financial institution—the interest will help beef up your accumulated balance. 

Speaking of interest, you might want to shy away from certificates of deposit (CDs). The fixed interest rate is clutch, but you’ll lose at least a portion of your interest if emergency strikes and you have to take the money before the prescribed period of time has passed. 
DD
Danielle Desir
about 1 month ago

Things To Do Every Time You Get Paid

money
budgeting
Having money in the bank is always a great feeling. Perhaps that’s why every other Friday is my favorite day of the month (I get paid biweekly). I’ve found that the easiest way for me to manage my money--and not risk it disappearing without doing what I need it to do--is to break up my bills and saving goals by pay period.

I created a money routine that works fo...
Having money in the bank is always a great feeling. Perhaps that’s why every other Friday is my favorite day of the month (I get paid biweekly). I’ve found that the easiest way for me to manage my money--and not risk it disappearing without doing what I need it to do--is to break up my bills and saving goals by pay period.

I created a money routine that works for me, but this isn’t any old money routine. This payday money routine helps me maintain productive money habits as soon I get paid.

What is a payday money routine? 
While I encourage you to have regular money check-ins every month, I’ve found that I manage my money better when I create short sprints. Since I get paid every two weeks, I consider each paycheck a two-week sprint. The day I get paid (or a few days before), I figure out where my money is going for the next two weeks, and decide how much I use to pay bills, save, invest or pay off debt.

If you get paid weekly, consider managing your money in weekly sprints. If monthly, plan for the entire month. Make a plan that works specifically for you.  
Yes, you could say that you're living paycheck-to-paycheck, but I don’t see it as a bad thing. I live paycheck-to-paycheck because I assign tasks to every paycheck. That means that every dollar I earn has a job: spend, save, invest or pay off debt. And I always plan to have zero dollars left over at the end of a two-week sprint.

Move extra funds into savings.
The night before I get paid, I check my bank account balance. If I didn’t spend everything in my budget, I move any extra funds into my savings account. This goes back to the concept of zero-based budgeting. Zero-based budgeting is when you have $0 left over in your budget when you subtract your expenses from your income. 

Pay as many bills as possible.
Since I get paid twice a month, I split my two paychecks. One paycheck covers bills and saving goals from the 1st to the 15th of the month. The second paycheck covers expenses from the 16th to the end of the month. 

The day I get paid, I pay as many bills that I can for the next two weeks. I do this because the day you get paid, you have an influx of cash but that’s not necessarily all yours to spend because a lot of the money is already earmarked. 

I like to pay my bills the day I get paid because my bank account more accurately reflects my account balance the next day. Now that all of my bills are out of the way for the next two weeks, I can clearly see how much money remains.

Doing this gives me a much clearer picture of what’s going on in my finances and as a result, I can make more informed financial decisions, which ultimately prevents overspending. It also helps me avoid overdraft fees, interest fees, and late fees. 

Create a to-do list.
When you’re digging into your finances and making payments, you may realize that you have to follow-up on certain things. This may mean disputing a charge, transferring funds from one account to another, or opening a new bank account.

During my payday money routine, I always have a pen and paper handy so I can write down next steps. I might even take it a step further by creating a calendar invite just to make sure that I don’t miss any important dates.

Learn more about how to create money routines in Danielle Desir’s Back to Budgeting Basics course. She teaches you step-by-step how to create and maintain a budget, save money every money and crush your financial goals.
DD
Danielle Desir
about 2 months ago

Your Save For Vacation App

traveling
money
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the trip planning process, first things first, take a deep breath and let it sink in that you’re actually going on a trip.

Perhaps this is a trip to one of your favorite places in the world (Iceland is mine) or maybe you’re going to a new
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the trip planning process, first things first, take a deep breath and let it sink in that you’re actually going on a trip.

Perhaps this is a trip to one of your favorite places in the world (Iceland is mine) or maybe you’re going to a new country where you don’t speak the language. Either way, you’re planning a trip and that’s exciting!

While there may be a lot of prep work involved before you go, I will help you break down one of the hardest components: getting the funds to go on the trip. There are many tips and tricks to make saving for vacation simple and consistent.

And you can take advantage of a digital tool at your disposal. Think of Nav.it as your ultimate save for vacation app.

Different funds for different accounts
When it comes to budgeting in general, I recommend separating your money into multiple bank accounts. If you want to travel the world, one bank account that I highly recommend having is a "travel fund". A travel fund is simply a bank account where you save money for travel.

Why have a travel fund?
Having a bank account dedicated to travel ensures that you’re actively working toward your travel savings goals. It prevents overspending and undersaving, and at a glance, you know exactly how much you have saved up for a trip.

Your travel fund can be a checking account, a savings account or money market. Give this special bank account a nickname like “Weekend Getaway with Bae”.

Tool tip: Want to see all of your money in one place? Using Nav.it, you can connect your savings, checking and credit card accounts so you can see all transactions and saved up funds in one place and get an overview of your overall spending. 

Using this save for vacation app will help you decide how much you might be able to contribute to your “Weekend Getaway with Bae” fund (and if skipping a couple latte runs might help you reach your travel goals sooner!).

Why save for travel consistently?
After you open a bank account devoted solely to travel, it makes it easy to save for your next adventure each paycheck.

Determine an amount you can afford to save per pay period and automatically save that same amount each time you get paid via direct deposit.

Tool tip: Once again, if you’re using the save for vacation app to track your spending to decide how much you can put toward your travel fund, you can take advantage of the reminder setting in the Nav.it app.

If there is a category on your overall monthly spending that you want to reduce (lattes, brunches, impulse shopping buys), you can change the budget line total for the month, and then set up alerts to ping you when you’ve spent 50 or 90 percent of that line item.

Let the app do the work for you!

How I plan for my trips
When I first started traveling, I saved $25 each paycheck. Now I save upwards of $200 per month. Whatever amount you decide to save, remember to save consistently. Consistency is key to developing good financial habits.

Saving consistently also means that you’ll have money available to hop on a good flight deal or go on a spontaneous trip without having to worry about your finances. Woohoo! Sounds nice, right?

The key takeaway here, automate saving for travel.

Budget for your trip
Next, create a budget for your vacation. Put together a list of places you want to visit and use blogs to figure out how much it will cost you to get there, eat, and do fun activities.

Pro Tip: Budget Your Trip is a helpful resource for determining travel costs around the world. Add all of your travel costs together to set your vacation budget.

Tool tip: The save for vacation app has yet another feature to help you reach your happiness (aka travel) goals! On the Goals tab, set up your trip budget goal (the magic number you figured out above), and it will show you how much you need to save per day (or week, or month) to achieve these goals. 

Once you have a trip budget, start looking for flight deals! You’ve conquered a major milestone, Nav.igator!

On The Thought Card, Danielle Desir empowers readers to make informed financial decisions and embrace their innerfinancially savvy traveler. She also has a fun podcast! Check out The Thought Card podcast here!
EP
Erin Papworth
2 months ago

Leveling Up Personal Finances for Women

#women
money
I coach women about the wealth mindset. This coaching on personal finances for women has brought me a number of realizations, but the one that stands out most: women rock at managing money, they just don’t know it yet. 

That why I love the phrase financial feminist. It’s all about women having confidence. Saying to the world, I am a woman and I am worthy. I ...
I coach women about the wealth mindset. This coaching on personal finances for women has brought me a number of realizations, but the one that stands out most: women rock at managing money, they just don’t know it yet. 

That why I love the phrase financial feminist. It’s all about women having confidence. Saying to the world, I am a woman and I am worthy. I am a woman and I deserve access to wealth and financial equality. I am a woman, and I am essential to a healthy economy. I am a woman, and I deserved to be paid. 

When I coach women about money management, a common thread of self-doubt emerges. In general, women are not great braggers. In fact, self-promoting statements are often started with, ‘I’m not bragging, I’m just saying…’ (and this is not a strong way to begin a conversation about salary negotiations with your boss!). 

So here are what I’d call the levels of personal finances for women (and really anyone in general, but these are my clientele) so that you can successfully say, I’m nav.ing my money, I’m a #financialfeminist, and I am not afraid to say it it (hello, mindset shift).

Level 1: Live within your means
In coaching sessions, I’ve had women start our conversations by telling me they don’t know anything about money but then they proceed to list how they hit all of the big money management boxes: 
  • They don’t spend more than they make (they save). 
  • They are very conscious spenders (they look for deals and try to shop local). 
  • They pay off their credit cards in full each month to avoid accrued interest payments. 
  • They avoid debt (and are trying to pay off their school loans as fast as possible). 
As a financial coach – that’s what I call rocking it. And if you’re not quite there yet, it’s pretty simple to set up a budget with the Nav.it app that identifies your lifestyle goals along with some realistic financial goals.

Level 2: Investing–making your money work for you. 
But, in order to invest our money wisely, we need the confidence to take the investment risks that are right for our situation and to understand how our investments will work for us. That comes with some reading, potentially a few discussions with your boss babe friends (bonus if they’re financial advisors) and maybe even using one of these apps.

Level 3: Confidence is queen.
Like I said, when I coach on personal finances for women, it appears there is a lack of confidence because we’re always comparing ourselves to men. Time. To. Stop. That.

In fact, Asian women statistically have higher self-esteem because their benchmark of success is other woman. When you see another woman succeed it makes you believe your success is achievable. That’s why women supporting women, women championing other women, women celebrating other women’s wins, only benefits us all (#shinetheory). 
 
It’s our time, ladies. We are making more money these days than ever before. We are becoming more educated than our male counterparts. In terms of overall investment loss, we tend to be better investors because we take less risk and stay in when the going gets tough. We are traditionally more collaborative than competitive. We want our spending to reflect our ideals. 
 
All this to say: we don’t have (and shouldn’t) to do it the way the boys do. 
They haven’t been thinking about us as they’ve built their empires, so let’s pave our own way! We can compete equally in the financial world and we can do it on our own terms. We can manage our own money and grow our own wealth. Financial Feminists believe women’s access to money and wealth is not only essential to move our society forward, but that when women have full participation in the labor market and wealth management, our society becomes more innovative, more creative and more equitable. Here’s to the future! 
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