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Most everyone faces debt at some point in their lives. For most people, slowly paying off their debts is effective and they do not experience any true financial problems. Unfortunately, debt can sometimes unexpectedly get out of control. The loss of a job, a reduction in income, or a serious illness can all have a negative impact on debt. There are many options for successfully overcoming debt. Those who are finding themselves in over their heads may find it beneficial to file bankruptcy.

What Is Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a legal process that allows individuals to overcome their debt while being fair to creditors. There are two main types of bankruptcy for individuals and couples. The two types are either liquidation or reorganization. Both of these can be effective in helping a person overcome their mounting debts for a fresh start. Those who are dealing with debt may need to Ask a bankruptcy lawyer question.

Types of Bankruptcy

There are two main types of bankruptcy most individuals will be able to pursue. Having a sound understanding of both types helps individuals to make the right decision for their financial needs.

Chapter 7 is a liquidation bankruptcy and is the fastest option. With this type, individuals must have some of their non-exempt assets liquidated so their debts can be paid off. In most cases, this bankruptcy is settled in around six months.

There is also an option for reorganization with Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This type of bankruptcy is beneficial for homeowners who are in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure. The debts are set up in a repayment schedule that is approved by the court.

Is Bankruptcy Right for You?

When dealing with debt, you may feel like it is impossible to get out. Debt can sometimes mount without warning and lead to serious ramifications. The following are some factors to consider so you will know whether or not to seek bankruptcy.

  • Are you finding yourself using credit cards to attempt to pay off the debt that is owed?
  • Is your savings account quickly dwindling because of debt?
  • Do you have mostly unsecured debts such as credit cards and hospital bills?
  • Are you fully educated on the available bankruptcy options?
  • Are you prepared for changes in credit score and difficulty seeking credit approval?
  • Are you in a position to make positive changes to spending habits and budgeting?

If you are able to answer yes to the above questions, bankruptcy may be a viable option for helping overcome debt. It is important you realize bankruptcy will not erase all debts, including student loans. It is essential you become fully educated on the topic of bankruptcy options so you will be able to make the most pragmatic decision.

Steps to Take

Taking the right steps in seeking bankruptcy is vital for the outcome. Although not required, many individuals feel more confident in getting help from a bankruptcy lawyer. A lawyer can ensure all of the paperwork is filled out and filed correctly so there are fewer delays and less chance of being denied.

Gathering all of your debts and asset information will help the lawyer to determine the best bankruptcy option. Allowing a lawyer to guide you in the decision process will ensure the right choice is made.

Conclusion

While bankruptcy seems to hold a social stigma, there is no shame in seeking this legal method of overcoming debt. Being prepared for the process is crucial for getting the best outcome.

The post Is Declaring Yourself Bankrupt the Best Option for You? appeared first on brokeGIRLrich.

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Broke Girl Rich by Mel @ Brokegirlrich - 2w ago

How I Travel Hacked Eastern Europe | brokeGIRLrich

I love reading credit card reward stories.

Saving hundreds of dollars traveling is super easy if you have good credit and you pay off your credit cards every month.

If those things don’t apply to you, travel reward card hacking is not for you – though it could be someday.

I’ve done a few trips over the years with some significant savings thanks to credit card rewards. The first was a long weekend trip to FinCon in New Orleans in 2014. I saved on my flight and hotel thanks to some careful spending. My most recent was saving on my flight to New Orleans in 2019 with my best friend by using an older rewards card and buying some points, so my $620 flight turned into a $63 flight.

I went to Iceland last summer with not much notice and still managed to travel rewards my flight.

And my coup de grace so far, how I went to Hawaii for $2,000. It involved some crazier travel reward hacking ideas, like opening bank accounts to churn money. The end result was worth it, but the headache when it came time to close those things was pretty intense. The PNC account was a piece of cake and I do totally recommend using that hack to churn $2,000 quickly, as long as you have enough saved up to also pay off that $2,000.

Santander Bank was easy enough to close the account with.

Do not use First Niagara/Keystone bank to churn any money. That was a major headache from beginning to end.

For my Hawaii churning, I opened 4 different travel cards with a variety of minimum spends and racked up $1239.84 in rewards in 3 months with a total of $6100.00 in spending over that time. $4000 of that spending went into new savings accounts I opened and three of those cards let me redeem the reward against the balance of the card, so I reached the spend on three of the cards with Hawaii purchases.

I had about 3 months notice to pull all that off.

~*~*~*~

This trip to Eastern Europe was a little different. I only had about a month’s notice, so the odds of making a big dent in the cost were slim. That being said, it never hurts to do what you can do, right?

Since we went the AirBnB route, I started out by going to Raise.com and buying discounted gift cards for AirBnB. That saved us $20 with that move. It took about 10 minutes.

I opened a Wells Fargo Propel card to redeem that $300 credit after spending $3,000.

Overall the trip came in at a little over $2,100 for 12 days in Prague, Vienna, and Budapest, which included all the lodging, flights, trains, food, city passes, a trip to the opera, and a day tour. It sure didn’t hurt that Prague and Budapest often show up on those lists of extremely cheap places to travel (Vienna sure doesn’t).

All of that also includes a last minute hotel change when we got bed bugs in Budapest and a Supermarket sweep-stype shopping trip at H&M to get pajamas and enough clothes for 2 days so we could not touch our bed bugged luggage.

While these hacks weren’t my most impressive, they do sort of encompass my general feelings about travel – save what you can, when you can.

Even if credit card hacking freaks you out, you can totally still buy discounted gift cards on Raise. They have them for AirBnB, tons of hotel chains, even airlines. They also have them for Groupon and Living Social, if you’re looking at tours there.

Another trick is to put a lot of the trip on a card that will let you redeem your rewards as a statement credit. If you can’t hit the spends with your regular spending in advance, the odds of you being able to save $100-200 with the reward from the trip itself is pretty good and only requires 5 minutes of effort to apply for a new card and another 10-15 minutes to cancel the card within a year before any fees are due.

As I learned from previous experiments, with a short time frame, it’s very difficult to maximize your travel hacking, but in the 6-9 month time frame, you can make some significant choices to up your savings.

Have you ever been to Prague, Budapest, or Hungary? What were your favorite money saving tips?

The post How I Travel Hacked Eastern Europe appeared first on brokeGIRLrich.

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Healing an injury can take a lot of time. Sometimes it just takes as long as it takes, and there’s nothing you can do to speed it up. If you try to rush it and go back to your day to day activities too quickly, you could end up causing more serious, permanent damage. That being said, there are a few things you could try to make sure you are healing as quickly as possible. You shouldn’t rush, but the following suggestions should help:

  1. Listen To Your Doctor

You’ve probably paid the doctor a visit since you injured yourself. Make sure you listen to their advice! If you’re unsure of what you’re supposed to do, then speak to another doctor. They might tell you to rest, or give you certain activities to do that could help you. If you don’t feel good about the advice you’ve been given, always get a second opinion. Not all doctors will tell you the same thing, and if you get a feeling you shouldn’t/should be doing something, you should always double check, even if for your own peace of mind.

author

  1. Take Your Mind Off It

One of the worst things you can do is sit around thinking about your injury. Do things to take your mind of it! Maybe you could find ways to make money at home. You could make YouTube videos, take surveys, even start a side hustle. Do that thing you keep putting off. Most of all, don’t stress. Try to use this as your time to slow down and do the things you just haven’t had the time to do.

  1. Get The Help You need

You might need a team behind you to help you heal. That’s normal, and you should always get the help you need. Physio might be important, depending on your injury. Make sure you go to your appointments and ensure you do what you’re told when you’re at home, too. You might even want someone to take the stress away if you’re making a claim, like a personal injury attorney. Make sure you do your research and get the best help if you’re concerned about healing.

  1. Watch What You’re Putting Into Your Body

The things you put into your body can help you to heal faster or slower. If you eat a load of junk food and generally don’t take care of yourself, for instance, you’ll likely feel rubbish and heal slower. Make sure you try to nourish your body to support healing as much as you can.

  1. Don’t Fall Into Bad Habits

Bad habits like smoking and drinking should be avoided at all costs if you’re hoping to heal faster. If you sit around in the house feeling sorry for yourself, it’s easy to fall into these habits. This is why finding something that excites you to distract you is crucial!

  1. Don’t Get Into A Negative Mindset

Many people have healed themselves faster with a positive, can-do attitude. Not to get all woo-woo, but negative emotions have been linked with weakened immune systems and other issues. A positive mindset can only be a good thing!

The post 6 Things You Can Do To Heal An Injury Faster appeared first on brokeGIRLrich.

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Broke Girl Rich by Mel @ Brokegirlrich - 2w ago

How I Got So Good at Failing | brokeGIRLrich

I had a crazy conversation with a friend lately about a major reach job I kind of wanted and he just pishawed me and essentially said of course I’m going to get it because I’m me.

I looked at him as though he’d lost his mind and changed the course of the conversation, but I’ve been thinking of it on and off since then.

  • I am kind of a badass. I have 6 degrees and am currently working on a 7th.
  • I have survived 16 years as a stage manager.
  • I am financially solvent.
  • I travel like it’s my job (sometimes it actually is).
  • I have truly excellent and supportive family and friends.
  • I have a weird little side project that is successful enough.

If you want me to 30 second elevator pitch you on my life, I can kill it.

This is largely because who 30 second elevator exposes all their failures? When do we do highlighted bulled points of things we’ve been rejected from and stuff we suck at?

  • I have an email folder called Jobs I’ve Already Applied For with 82 emails in it from companies I really wanted to work for, interviewed with, and then did not get hired.
  • I’ve interviewed 3 times for the company that builds the show for my old cruise line and never got hired.
  • I’ve applied to PhD programs (multiple ones) three different years, and never got in.
  • My blog took 2 years of work before it made any money.
  • I spent a year working as a production manager in a venue where I felt like an idiot every single day and I’m still 99% sure my boss thought I was the most incompetent human he’d ever met.
  • I’ve tried to figure out affiliate marketing like a dozen times with no real success, even after taking some affiliate marketing courses.
  • I cannot use CAD for the life of me.
  • I have seriously applied to Cirque du Soleil no less than 75 times over the last 10 years.

And these are just some of my professional life failures.

And here’s the road to some of my successes: Mills Entertainment 

Submitted an application to Stage Manage for them. I had submitted easily a dozen over the years. Bam. Got an interview. Why? There was literally no logic to it other than I applied at the right time that time.

I worked for them for 2 years with a really good working relationship and mentioned once that I had applied a ton of times over the years and never even gotten an interview.

Turns out pretty much no one reads those resumes you send in cold over there. You need to send it in like the day the ad goes live on a job site.

Cruise Ships

Turns out the exact opposite is true here. I sent in a cold application pretty much the day before they fired someone.

Literally dumb luck got me that job.

Ringling Brothers

I am pretty sure I only got that interview because my ex-boyfriend was already working on the unit. I feel confident based on how the year went that I was a good choice and I was darn good at the job, but I never would’ve gotten my foot in the door without knowing someone there.

Oh, and fun story, for about a year and a half before that, I’d been applying for all sorts of jobs to try to get off the cruise line, and none of them ever panned out – so there’s a few more fails for you..

Big Apple Circus 

Of all my jobs, this is one of my few success stories where I psychotically fought for a job and got it. But I did it by breaking every rule you’re supposed to follow and writing a flat out insane cover letter. If my boss hadn’t had exactly the kind of personality he had, I never would’ve gotten that job from that application.

The thing about a lot of my successes, other than that dumb luck cruise ship, seems to have been tenacity. And even with the cruise ships, I applied to every line I’d ever heard of. I spent hours each morning for a week, Googling cruise line names and then applying through their websites.

The main reason I even still think I’ve got a shot at Cirque someday is my sheer, endless persistence.

An interesting thing about failure though is that you start to get kind of immune to a lot of it (though there are some big ones that’ll gut you no matter what). If you’re hustling hard enough and moving fast enough, most of the rejection doesn’t stick, because you’ve got too much on your plate to worry about it. You’ve got the next job to apply for, the next certification to take classes for, the next hobby to work on.

So, if there’s one job skill I could encourage you to brush up on, it’s failing. It makes you tough as hell, which is always useful, and eventually, you wind up not failing at a few things.

The post How I Got So Good at Failing appeared first on brokeGIRLrich.

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Broke Girl Rich by Mel @ Brokegirlrich - 3w ago

Is the Vienna Pass Card Worth It? | brokeGIRLrich

Next in our series of city cards I’ve actually used, let’s check out the Vienna Pass card.

Things I love about city cards:

  • Makes narrowing down what to do easier.
  • Helps you budget your attraction spending in advance.
  • Lets you pay off a lot of your attraction spending before even going on vacation.
  • They often have travel cards (subways, busses, etc.) built in or the option to add them.

Things I don’t always love about city cards:

  • Sometimes they’re more of a discount card than an admission card.
  • Sometimes they have lousy attractions (I’m looking at you, Amsterdam Card).
  • Sometimes you can get the same discounts for free with a few coupons or a stop at the local Travel Center.
  • They can feel limiting.

At the end of the day, I always at least check out the card. I’m a little lazy, so some guidance on where to go and what to do never hurts.

Some cities, like London, have phenomenal cards. Like – if you want to dawn till dusk it and hit all the major tourist spots, the London card is the way to save some money.

Some cities have less robust cards.

I also like that if the weather is crappy or you need to pivot in your plans, you can just check out what other things you can still do for free (or discounted) with your card and just keep moving, rather than having to go back to the research drawing board or spend a ton of money on a sudden new plan.

In our recent Eastern European trip, my cousin and I went to Prague (check out that card review here), Budapest, and Vienna. Vienna wound up being the most expensive stop on our trip due to it actually being a larger, metropolitan city and the use of the Euro there.

Not to say Budapest or Prague aren’t large and metropolitan, but they’re not quite as large or metropolitan. They both felt like we were in Eastern Europe. Vienna honestly felt more like a very clean and polite New York City or London.

The Vienna Pass comes with a Travelcard option. It is not valid from the airport to the city center, but you can otherwise use it throughout town. Vienna’s public transport also operates on an honor system, so no one will really be double checking that you’re actually buying tickets, but as a person who tries to have some honor sometimes, I was happy we had the pass.

The public transport is really easy to use and easy to navigate. The feminist in me also loved that the stickers asking people to give up their seats were in both genders, including men holding small children.

These made me smile.

The Vienna Pass covers a lot of the biggest tourist attractions in Vienna including the Schonbrunn Palace, Hofburg Palace, and Danube Tower.

We both really liked the Imperial Carriage Museum – totally worth checking out.

Here’s a breakdown of what we saw over three days from the pass:

  • Spanish Riding School Morning Exercises – €15,00
  • Vienna Giant Ferris Wheel – €12,00
  • Apple Strudel Show – €6,50
  • Otto Wagner Pavilion (Karlsplatz) – €5,00
  • Schlumberger Cellars – €11,00
  • Schonbrunn Palace Grand Tour – €20,00
  • Danube Park Miniature Railway – €4,00
  • Hofburg Imperial Palace – €15,00
  • House of Music – €13,00
  • Imperial Carriage Museum – €9,50
  • Mozarthaus Vienna – €11,00
  • Danube Tower – €14,50
  • Vienna 72 Hour Travel Card – €17,10

Total Cost: €153,60

3 Day Vienna Card – €125,00

Savings = €28,60

We also chose to do a few things that weren’t on the card, so you could theoretically opt to do more activities on the card and save even more.

All I wanted to do was ride a weird little train and then I got to ride a weird little train.

Some additional things we did that we highly recommend though include:

Going to the opera. I mean, if you hate opera, you probably won’t like this opera any more than others, but if you like opera at all or are curious, the Vienna State Opera is really one of the best in the world.

If you’re unsure about how much you want to commit, you can try to get standing room only tickets – which kind of suck, cause you’re going to stand for like three hours, but only cost 3 to 4 Euros and they go on sale 80 minutes before a performance starts at the box office. You probably want to show up about 2 hours before the performance though to actually get tickets.

And, if you find you hate the opera, you can always leave during one of the intermissions and you’ve only spent 3 to 4 Euros.

Sacher Torte. This cake originates from Vienna and they serve it at the Sacher Hotel right behind the opera and it is ridiculously decadent. To be fair, there are lots of strangely decadent cake and bakery shops all over Vienna.

Viator day tour to Seagrotte. I love me some Viator tour, though this was probably the least impressive I’ve been on. The tour guide was really good and it was nice to get out of the city and see a few other areas. We went to a monastery, an underground river in a cave (Seagrotte), and Mayerling, a convent that used to be a country home to some of the Viennese royalty.

Overall, I’d say the Vienna Pass can definitely save you some money and will help you hit all the major tourist spots in the city.

Have you ever been to Vienna? What was your favorite thing to see there?

The post Is the Vienna Pass Card Worth It? appeared first on brokeGIRLrich.

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Broke Girl Rich by Mel @ Brokegirlrich - 3w ago

Financial Yo-Yoing | brokeGIRLrich

Here’s an interesting trend I’ve noticed.

People who go hard for a while with their financials and then have an “eff this, life’s too short, I’m doing what I want moment.”

But they fully embrace the eff this. They’re like, “I got this, yo.” They know they can make more money. They know how to budget. They know what their expenses are. They know what they need to get by.

They know money isn’t everything, but it can buy you a lot of freedom. Or it can buy you a little freedom and then you can just go make some more.

They see that no spend weeks and budgeting and watering down your soap and buying from thrift stores and living in smaller homes and saving large chunks of your income and prioritizing how you want to spend and figuring out side hustles are a big investment worth making – for a little while.

That if you dive in 100% and learn how to do these things and buckle down and do unpleasant things while you have the strength and mental fortitude to do them, when you don’t want to do them anymore, you’re actually quite ahead.

A story I’ve been full out lurking on over the last few weeks is over at The 76K Project. I’ve been following her bad luck with a new job that she was super psyched about. I read about how it was all a giant, steaming pile of lies. I was horrified over how badly her job was ruining her life and completely wrecking her mental state.

And I about screamed in victory for her when I saw her tweet that she just flat out walked away from that toxic environment without even two weeks notice and was all about living life for a bit.

How did we become such a society where coming up for air makes us feel guilty?

I 100% understand.

I was recently a guest speaker at a college and the professor of the class and I got on a tangent about work hours and life in the arts when one of the students asked me about how I handle work/life balance and I pointedly said I don’t.

I was shocked when he started going on about the passion of doing what you love and how people in the arts strive under stressful environment and get a high off the adrenaline rush, blah, blah, blah.

I pretty much was like, “our work environment is pretty much toxic and totally unacceptable and you’re not weak if you feel this way about it. It’s wildly unhealthy and we have ridiculously high burnout rates and we really need to start standing up for ourselves and stop letting producers and the people with money short change us and push for insane schedules in the name of passion.”

But I was horrified to hear it still be romanticized to these poor, unsuspecting kids. There should be no excuses for this nonsense.

I know this isn’t contained to just the arts by a long shot. I think as Millennials we’ve really pushed too hard on the 24/7 productivity thing and it’s biting us all in the ass.

Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.

But what does that rant have to do with financial yo-yoing?

I’m starting to see this fairly great trend among the financially literate where we go really hard for a while.

But then we come back to rest for a bit.

We use the literacy we’ve built, and the money we’ve stashed, and the debt-free freedom to reconnect with our lives. This doesn’t even necessarily mean we put the brakes on fully.

Over at The 76K Project, she’s even planning to look for some contract work, some stuff to make some money to pay the bills and stretch their funds, but it’s not at 100%. Her career is just not the focus right now.

And that’s ok.

Because you can always yo-yo back again, once you’re actually recuperated from the burnout. Which is a very real thing.

The post Financial Yo-Yoing appeared first on brokeGIRLrich.

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Broke Girl Rich by Mel @ Brokegirlrich - 3w ago

Profile

I am thirty four years old and I’m a freelance stage manager and blogger – and part-time vagabond. I live at my parent’s house right now and lately I travel a lot. I very lucky and don’t have to pay any rent. My only monthly bill is my health insurance.

Saving & Spending

I didn’t do a whole lot of work this month. I was the Production Manager/Stage Manager for Big Apple Circus’s little side project, Circus in the Round, at a theater in Long Island. I’d been working on the Production Management aspect on and off for about a month and then spent 4 days in Long Island actually doing the show.

I spent a lot of the first half of the month traveling. I went down to Nashville to spend a few days with an old cruise ship friend. I always delusionally think Nashville is like just around the corner from New Jersey, but the 14 hour drive reminded me I was wrong again.

I talked him into going to the Grand Ole Opry with me, but that was really my only expense on the trip, since he fed and housed me otherwise. I also managed to make a pit stop on the way there to see some Cherry Blossoms in DC and on the way back to see my circus BFF.

If you’d told me 10 years ago that I’d get this guy to go to the Grand Ole Opry with me one day, I would’ve laughed my behind off. Further proof we never know what the future holds.

I went to New Orleans for a long weekend with my oldest best friend – she lives in Vegas so it was a city we could meet in the middle. We had a really good time catching up together and eating delicious food and drinking horrendous drinks. We went to a psychic there who was like, I see you going to a desert – so hopefully Egypt will be in one of my updates soon – though she was hilariously wrong about everything else in my life, so…. maybe not.

Financially, I was reimbursed for my mom’s funeral this month plus a few hundred dollars when we closed her checking account. Everything else about her estate is still in limbo, but my brother and I are her beneficiaries on everything, so at some point there will also be some more cash from all that. Not exactly the cheeriest way for my net worth to increase.

Anyway, I had tapped my down payment fund for that money in December, so $9,000 of it went back into that. I still need to add $1,000 to get it back to where it was in December.

I contributed to my IRA and HSA. I started some paperwork to go work for a friend at a nearby theater as a stagehand starting next month, hopefully.

My current plan is to just pick up little gigs and work as a stagehand through the summer, prioritizing family and friend events. I keep seeing little stage management gigs I want to apply for but they all rehearse through Memorial Day weekend and I’m committed to actually going on the family camping trip for the entire weekend for the first time since I was in like junior high.

In June I have a ship friend’s wedding. In July or August, I’m probably going to London and either some additional European country or maybe a European cruise if I can get a good Friends & Family rate from old coworkers with my high school best friends. Then, if all that spending racks up enough for a free flight, which it might, I’m going to go to Australia and stay with a good friend from college for a week or so.

Then I guess it needs to go back to more of a real life. An old professor of mine is retiring in May and his job was always kind of my dream job. I have plans to meet with one of the other professors from there and talk about the possibility of taking on some of his courses.

Of course, this led me to do some stupid house searching on the off chance that I actually got the job and I found two houses that are total death traps that I am fascinated by and would like to go look at – but also I don’t want to get too excited about a future I probably won’t have, so I also don’t want to go look at them, but, just for now, check them out:

I call it the questionable cinder block dream – completely with weirdly cheery yellow bathroom.

I mean, what even is that thing? It’s like a dilapidated old trailer with a strange cinder block addition. AND IT’S ONLY $30,000.

However, I am far more fascinated by this one:

Future Bayou/swamp home.

Which includes some sort of swampy lake, a scary old boat, and I have visions of it refinished in a New Orleans style with gas lamp posts welcoming people to my little den in a swamp. Like… I really want to go look at this thing.

Ugh, but. Letting go of that because it probably won’t work out, I’m also thinking about what the heck I want to do next. If the college job doesn’t pan out, I think I’m going to apply for Cirque again and any other bigger tours, while I finish my accounting courses. I’m going to just keep doing the little freelance things until I hear back though.

Anyway, for the moment, April led to ciphoning off some more money in the unemployment account I set up before I left Big Apple in December. I’m still doing ok with a little over $4,000 in there, but I definitely feel that “ugh” feeling in the pit of my stomach whenever I transfer money out of there.

I also barely made anything all month. I’m owed a tiny amount of money from a day as a photographer’s Production Assistant, and a decent chunk of change from Big Apple for the show we just did – and who knows when that’ll appear. I’ve seen how they treat their 1099 contractors in the past.

And, of course, there were taxes, which I put off way longer than usual. I’m pretty excited that by next year, I will have a few tax classes under my belt and hopefully it will all make more sense to me then. Because this year made me want to crawl under a rock almost as much as my year at Ringling did, as I sorted out my returns across six different states, including New York, which is like the worst state on earth to have to figure out your taxes for.

Enough rambling about what my month was like. Here are the number breakdowns:

  • Food – $419.30
  • Car  – $340.78
  • Healthcare – $140.63
  • brokeGIRLrich – $23.95
  • Accordion – $139.50
  • New Orleans – $454.42
  • Fun – $63.23
  • Gifts – $63.81
  • Candles – $31.15
  • Toiletries – $13.62
  • Postage – $3.27
  • Clothes – $134.13
  • Bed Bugs – $15.94
  • Exercise – $125.82
  • Mom Expenses – $434.00
  • Stage Management – $160.48
  • Taxes – $910.00

Total Spending in April: $3,474.03

Hustling

My income this month was fairly strange. It was primarily income tax returns and brokeGIRLrich, with a portion of inheritance and a tiny bit of User Testing. And just let me tell you, it was just super weird to delete stage managing as a line item here.

  • Taxes – $2118.00
  • Dividends – $32.00
  • brokeGIRLrich – $892.77
  • User Testing – $40.00
  • Inheritance – $9930.00

Income This Month: $13,012.77

Net Worth: April 2019

Oh, hey, and just a reminder that if you came out a little ahead this month, That Frugal Pharmacist could still use a few bucks as they figure out life with their sick kid. You can read the whole story and donate via this link. Or if you’re doing some Amazon shopping, you can do it via their link at the bottom of their website and at no cost to you, they’ll get some kickback from Amazon.

Most Popular Post of the Month: 40+ Stores That Sell ModCloth for Less

My Favorite Post to Write This Month: The Broadway Stage Management Symposium: Worth the Splurge

Goals

  • Start eating better. I still wonder if this is this quantitative? And it still doesn’t matter this month. I failed anyway. 
  • Work out more. Well…. I bought a bike. And I rode it once, so… progress? I also started using Sweatcointo track my outdoor walking and possibly earn myself an iPhone in 3-5 years.
  • Better stress management. I am doing well with this. I mean…. not working for a month is pretty awesome, stress—wise.
  • Keep taking accounting classes. Nailing it. 
  • Do two things to build up my stage management skills. I went to an APA sponsored pyrotechnics course, so one skill project done.
  • Take music lessons while I’m home for a few months. Fail.
  • Spend more time with family and friends. Success! 
  • Be more supportive of family and friends when I can’t be there in person. Yes, maybe?
  • Go out on a date. I went out on two. Totally nailed it. The goal, that is, not the guys. They were not particularly nail-able.
  • Make an effort to not withhold kind words and encouragement. Check.
  • Max out my Roth IRA. On track. 
  • Max out my HSA. On track. 
  • Set aside $5,000 for my house downpayment account. No progress here. 
  • Set aside $2,000 for my new car account. No progress here. 
  • Invest $2,000. No progress here. 
  • Read more. Fail.
  • Learn to make macaroons. No further progress. 
  • Visit two roadside attractions. Wild Bill’s Prop Shop in Connecticut, the Mars Cheese Castle, the National Bobblehead Museum, the Lake Geneva Ice Castle.

The post Accountability: April 2019 appeared first on brokeGIRLrich.

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If you have to be out of work for a long time because of an injury or long-term illness, it can be a particularly worrying circumstance which you would probably rather not to have to worry about. Of course, there is plenty that you can do to try and make the most of it, and it is worth bearing that in mind should you want to try and get out of the other side in the best state possible. As it happens, there are many things you can focus on if you are keen to try and make the most of a long-term illness, and in this article we are going to discuss just a few of the major concerns here. As long as you are considering the following, you should find it much easier to make the most of that time, in many ways which will prove important to you.

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Getting What You Deserve

First of all, you will want to think about doing whatever is necessary to get what you truly deserve. This is important from a financial standpoint as much as anything else, and it is something which you will absolutely want to think about early on to ensure that you are making the most of this time. Being off work for a long time will obviously be something of a financial struggle, and you should think about what you can get from your employer in order to make sure that you can make it as easy as possible. There will probably be sick pay that they have to pay by law, and you should ensure you are getting that. If the problem started at work, you should also think about contacting The Champion Firm, P.C to see if you are entitled to any compensation. All of this helps.

Taking Care Of Yourself

As well as that financial side of things, it’s also just as important that you are making a point of taking care of yourself, so that you can be sure to recover as soon as possible. The sooner you do recover, the sooner you can obviously get back to work, and that is something that is going to make things much easier in general for you. So you should do whatever is necessary to take proper care of yourself, and make sure that you are not making it worse by failing to promote your own self-care. You will find this is essential and that it makes a huge difference overall, so make sure to pay attention to this.

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Using That Time

Finally, be sure to use the free time you have to the best of your abilities in whatever way you can think to do so. If you can do that, you will find that you are much more likely to retain your happiness, and to return to work in a much happier and more positive state as well. If there is any hobby that you have always wanted to take up, perhaps now might be the time to do just that. Whatever it is, it’s a good idea to keep yourself entertained in some way or another.

The post Making The Most Of Long-Term Illness appeared first on brokeGIRLrich.

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In what situations would you need to consolidate your debt and what is it?

If you are struggling with debt repayments, it might be time to consider entering into some sort of debt consolidation plan. Debt consolidation can lower your monthly repayments, giving you room to breathe again financially and sometimes it can help you get out of debt quicker. Ultimately, if you are paying out more than you can afford to on debt repayment, it might be time to consider entering into a consolidation agreement.

There are two types of debt consolidation. The first involves taking out a loan to pay off your debts and put them all into one place, usually whilst making use of a lower interest rate. They are usually able to pay the loan off quicker too by putting all of their debt into one place, which reduces the interest payments even more. The second method usually requires the help of a debt management company and requires those paying off debt to enter into a debt management plan. They make one payment to the debt management company and this is split fairly between their creditors on their behalf. They can usually negotiate lower repayments on your behalf. Is debt consolidation a good idea in the long run though?

Further resources and reading

It might be a good idea to investigate what debt consolidation is before you make your decision. One of the best resources to find out information on debt consolidation is Money Expert Debt Management. They can give you the advice and tools that you need to start moving forward with your life once again.

When is it a good idea?

It is always a good idea to look for a debt management plan if you are struggling to pay your bills. Consolidating your debt can give you the space that you might need to get back on track and can protect your financial record so that you can still be accepted for financial commitments in the future. It should be noted, however, that debt consolidation loans do often appear negatively on your record, it just doesn’t look as bad as missed payments. It could also be a good idea if you are just not very good at managing your financial obligations. If you, for instance, regularly forget to make payments having your debt in one place makes sense. At least, when you manage your debt this way you only have one payment to think about each month.

When is it a bad idea?

It isn’t a good idea to enter into a debt consolidation agreement if you are not ready to change your outlook on spending. You need to be able to accept that debt consolidation should be a turning point, that from now on, you need to work at handling your finances better. Sometimes debt consolidation can be seen as an easy fix and this just encourages people to keep spending and make the problem even worse in the long run. Entering into debt consolidation needs to be part of a conscious decision about your lifestyle. Read our post on the dangers of debt desperation to see if this can help.

The post Is Consolidating Your Debt Ever a Good Idea? appeared first on brokeGIRLrich.

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London is the second most popular destination in the world for international tourists. It’s an amazing city no matter how you look at it and everyone can have a great time there. However, the abundance of entertainment, attractions, great food, and versatile accommodations comes at a rather steep price. The average daily cost of a stay in London is $187, which means this place definitely isn’t budget-friendly. However, if you are clever about your planning and choose your entertainment wisely, you’ll have a chance to cut your costs by quite a bit.

How to Cut the Costs of a Trip to London: 3 Ideas Guaranteed to Work 1.    Eat smart

The most important thing to do if you want to cut food costs when traveling to London is to limit your eating out. There’s no way around it, even the cheaper restaurants in the city are way too expensive if you choose to get three daily meals there.

When you do eat out, you should go for small restaurants and pubs located away from major tourist attractions. Note that servers in the UK get a living wage, therefore, in the majority of cases, there is no need to tip.

The cheapest way to eat in London is to buy your food from supermarkets. You can find plenty of breakfast options there and get rather cheap meal deals for lunch. A good but affordable dinner can come from a food market. London street food is extremely diverse and rather cheap (by London standards) so you’ll have plenty of options.

2.    Don’t pay for entertainment at all

One of the best things about traveling to London is that it’s full of free entertainment options. Therefore, you might cut this particular expense to the minimum. Many of the top museums in the city are free and you can always find a free tour in London.

During the summer, you can catch some free shows in the parks. Even if they aren’t free, tickets should be very cheap. It’s the same for many festivals, so schedule your trip for the time that will allow you to catch a few. Note that you should book places well in advance if this option exists.

Sadly, drinks and bar snacks in London are costly. Therefore, a budget traveler might not be able to enjoy a wild night out. There are pub crawl tours with included drinks that can help you work around this problem.

3.    Get an Oyster card

London public transport is the most expensive in the world. Therefore, visitor Oyster card will be every traveler’s best friend for the duration of your stay.  It won’t make going around London cheap, but it’s the best you can get.

The city is too big to navigate it on foot, so keep the availability and cost of public transport in mind when you are choosing your accommodations. Note that despite their higher cost, it’s more cost-efficient for tourists to stay in Central London hotels or hostels. This way you won’t have to travel too far from home to attractions and you’ll save more money in the long run due to lower transport costs.

Sadly, you also should skip the iconic black taxis. They might be one of the London symbols, but they are unreasonably expensive. In case public transport is unavailable for some reason, you should use Uber.

Final tip, book your train tickets from and to the airport about a week before your arrival. This will allow you to get the best deal. If you arrive at Heathrow, check if it’s possible to get to your destination in the city proper using the Undergrown. This is the cheapest option.

The post Is Traveling to London Too Expensive for You? 3 Ideas on How to Cut the Costs appeared first on brokeGIRLrich.

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