Women's Personal Finance Blog. I started Girls Just Wanna Have Funds in 2003 as a way for women to begin the conversation about money. Empowering women to break financial ceilings one stiletto at a time
It doesn’t matter where you are on your financial journey — at the starting line or closer to the finish line — the fact remains that there are principles to live by, which will ultimately determine whether your experience is rewarding or regrettable.
To help you go in the right direction, here are five financial rules that every woman — regardless of age or circumstance — should know:
Realize that if you don’t take control of your finances, then it will take control of you.
There is no middle ground when it comes to finances: either you get in the driver’s seat and grab the wheel, or you take a seat in the back and pray. Don’t be a passenger! You won’t like where you end up.
Refuse to be intimidated.
The financial landscape is utterly male-dominated. Even the concept of a credit score is skewed towards men, because plenty of women who are far, far more intelligent than men when it comes to managing money don’t have a significant credit history — which means they can’t get bank loans or qualify for other funding. Ideally, a day will come when the landscape is level. But until then, do yourself and all other women who come after you a big financial favor: refuse to be intimidated. Ask questions, demand answers, learn about investing in real estate and the stock market, and stand up for your financial rights and future.
Face your money issues fearlessly.
Yes, you have money issues and challenges — just like pretty much everyone else. If you go into denial or procrastination mode, then you’ll be setting yourself up for a great deal of pain down the road. The only way forward here is to rip off the Band-Aid and face your money issues fearlessly. If you do, then you’ll quickly discover that the big, scary money monster quickly goes from being your tormentor, and becomes your best friend. You’ll be amazed and inspired by how empowered you are, and that will help you do what’s necessary to boost your financial health.
Don’t rely on your partner or spouse for your retirement.
If you and your soul mate end up making it into your golden years together, then more power to you. But it’s a mistake to assume this, because there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll need to head out on your own (sorry, I’m not trying being gloomy and anti-romantic here, just pragmatic and realistic). Work with a financial professional to build your own retirement plan, and keep updating it as you go through different stages of life so that the financial rug won’t be pulled out from you when you’re ready to spend less time working, and more time living.
See financial incompatibility for what it is.
You may believe that you’ve found the perfect partner in every respect except one: they are financially incompatible with you. When they want to save, you want to spend. When you want to spend, they want to save. And any meaningful discussion about money quickly turns into a fight.
The lesson here is as clear and unmistakable as a 50-foot LED message sign on the side of the highway or in a baseball stadium: STOP! Financial incompatibility does not resolve itself over time. It only gets worse.
Nothing is guaranteed in this life. Around any corner, some accident can occur.
While accidents differ in their severity, it’s always a good idea to be prepared. Insurance is one way to future-proof yourself against the worst and to make sure you aren’t taking a financial hit out of the blue.
Consider the below to be the primary type of insurance policies you may need.
If you own your home, then this is a legal requirement. Even if you don’t own a property, there are other types of home insurance that you should know about.
Home insurance offers unexpected benefits including that it can cover you against an injury that someone else suffers while on your property.
Depending on the coverage you pay for, you may be able to claim the following:
Damage to your home
Loss of property due to theft
Damage due to fire
The expense of temporary housing due to repairs leaving your home uninhabitable
These are some of the standard options, but there are others that generally cost extra. You can also claim any damage that might occur to your personal belongings. For example, with the right coverage, if you spill water on your laptop and it stops working, you would be able to claim that through your insurance.
One thing that doesn’t always come as standard is natural disaster insurance. However, if this is something that you are concerned about, then speak to your insurance company to see if it can be added.
InsuranceJournal.com reported, of 2017’s 330 natural disasters, insurance losses were over $134 billion showing the importance of being covered.
Some companies will offer a level of life insurance as part of their care package for employees, but outside of that, there are a couple of options.
Term life is the most common. This covers you for a selected period. This is the more cost-effective option. Whole life, as you might expect, covers an individual for a lifetime. This type of insurance often comes with money guarantees and is continuous as long as you keep making payments.
There are some things to remember with life insurance. If you have suffered from a life-threatening illness, then it can be harder to find coverage. Still, some providers tailor policies for such individuals. Some will require a medical exam, while others can include other family members.
Travel insurance coverage can be taken out to insure individual trips. There is also accident insurance that can protect you in the event of baggage loss, injuries, and even accidental death. Your health or life insurance is unlikely to cover you when abroad, and medical bills can be expensive.
To save money on your travel insurance, you could choose only to get travel medical insurance. However, most of the time, this will not cover you in the event of delays, cancellations, or anything other than health-related claims.
Annual travel insurance protects you all year round. If you travel often, then this might be the most relevant type of travel insurance for you.
If you are embarking on a holiday that involves extreme sports, such as snowboarding, skiing, or surfing, then you may wish to check if you need to an extra layer of insurance as you may not be covered in the event of an accident.
Depending on what health plan you choose, you can expect to pay a percentage of any medical costs. The percentage gets lower the higher the level of coverage.
Here are the four levels of coverage. The individual pays the remainder of the medical costs:
Bronze – Covers 60% of medical costs
Silver – 70%
Gold – 80%
Platinum – 90%
Below are the five most common types of medical insurance plans
Health maintenance organizations – You don’t get as much freedom to choose your care provider should you need it with this type of policy.
Preferred provider organizations – You’ll have more freedom to choose a provider, but this can cost more money.
Exclusive provider organizations – You can choose the care provider, as long as it is within the insurance company’s network.
High deductible health plans – Often combined with a health-related savings account. The money you pay with is free from taxes.
Point of service plans – Expect a limited choice of provider, but at a lower premium.
Most states require auto insurance before you get behind the wheel. There are a few types to remember.
Liability coverage – covers other people and their property in the event of an accident that you caused.
Collision coverage – coverage for any road accident, whether it’s your fault or not.
Comprehensive coverage – this helps to cover damage caused by a third party, fire or theft. Sometimes even natural disasters are included as part of the coverage.
Personal injury protection – this is a requirement in some states that can cover your medical expenses that are the result of a road accident.
As with many types of insurance, a deductible will often be required. The lower the deductible, the higher the overall price of your insurance is likely to be.
Of course, everyone hopes that none of these are ever needed, but it is always best to protect yourself against the unexpected.
A Unit Linked Insurance Plan (ULIP) allows investors to receive not just insurance but also investment in the same plan. These plans can be convenient, flexible, and easy to understand. ULIPs also provide tax benefits, and of course, potential return on investment. But before selecting a ULIP, there are some things you need to understand.
Level of risk
ULIPs are versatile considering you can decide how much you’d like to risk. But not every risk level is going to be appealing for every prospective investor. While opting for a ULIP that has a higher risk means you may receive a potentially higher reward, this also means your investment may not go as planned.
There are three main types of ULIPs:
Equity-based: Riskiest but the highest reward if it goes right
Debt-based: Much less risky than equity-based ULIPs but have a smaller return on investment
Hybrid/Balanced: Most flexible ULIP as there is the power to choose where to invest; equity and debt funds offered
In fact, even the safest investments have some risk attached to it, according to Finra. That said, for those who don’t like the idea of risk on any level, your best bet is to avoid investing altogether, thus, a ULIP.
Cost of a ULIP
What some don’t realize is that a ULIP can have several different charges including, but not excluded to, allocating charges, a policy administration fee, a fund management fee, and so on. Traditional life insurance plans don’t have these.
For those who would rather pay annual premiums for life insurance without the many charges of a ULIP, term insurance may be more relevant, straight-forward, and easier for you to understand how much you will be paying year-after-year.
Additionally, if you don’t want to be locked in with a ULIP for a period of five years, a term insurance plan will be more convenient because your policy will end after the year is over if you do not pay the next annual premium.
Return on investment
Coming back to what was discussed in the first section, there are different types of ULIPs: equity-based, debt-based, or hybrid-balanced ULIPs. Not only are there different risks but different levels of returns on investment. The riskier the ULIP, the potentially greater return on investment you may be able to receive.
Of course, if you opt for a traditional life insurance plan, you’re not going to get getting the benefit of a return on your investment – because there isn’t any investment taking place. That said, if you wish to gain equity through investment via a ULIP, you’re going to need to accept that there’s a risk attached to any potential gains.
Again, if one isn’t up for risk, then they should be involved in any level of investment and would be better benefitted from a non-linked life insurance plan without investment attached.
Some of the most crucial aspects of ensuring a ULIP is right for you, besides knowing what you’re getting into, is understanding its level of risk, how much it costs, and the return on investment you may be able to receive. Take the time to conduct proper research to educate yourself on a ULIP and what it consists of.
About AEGON Life
AEGON Life Insurance Company Limited launched its pan-India operations in July 2008 with a vision to be the most recommended new age life insurance Company. AEGON is one of the world’s leading financial services organizations (providing life insurance, pension plans, and asset management) and Bennett, Coleman & Company (India’s leading media conglomerate) have come together to launch AEGON Life Insurance. This joint venture adopts a local approach with the power of global expertise to facilitate a direct to customer approach, leveraging digital platforms to bring transparent solutions to customers and to prioritize their needs.
With stagnant wages, scarce job postings, and decreasing job security, more people are opting to work from home. If you have a skill that you can leverage, money loans should be the last resort to access funds. Do you want to start earning money from home without leaving your kids? Here are some of the best ways to do so:
De-clutter and Sell Unwanted Stuff
Before you start monetizing your skills, you should start by organizing your home. Selling unwanted things is the best way to de-clutter your home and make some money. Before you start working from home, you should ensure that your home is organized.
Get rid of old kids’ toys, out-of-fashion clothes, non-sentimental keepsakes, and big-ticket items such as an old car. You can either sell your unwanted items on sites such as eBay or hold a garage sale. This will give you some extra cash to pay your bills.
The internet has made it much easier for writers to earn a living from the comfort of their own homes. If you have a passion for writing, you should pursue it. The better your writing skills are, the higher your rates will be.
As a freelance writer, you can choose from a number of markets, including online, print, and magazines. You can also set up your own site and start blogging about your life; the market for new articles is always growing. If you are considering a freelance writing career, you should look at this checklist:
Job boards – if you are a beginner, you need to look at online job boards. You can bid on projects from sites such as Elance. The jobs will start rolling in once you do the first few jobs properly.
Samples – you should write a few article samples and use them to market your skills. Consider the market that you want to approach then write a few samples.
Commitment and persistence – when looking for freelance writing jobs, you will need to be persistent. You should always do your best to produce solid and error-free articles to please your clients.
Tools – to be a successful freelance writer, you need to have a computer and fast internet connection. You also need to have Microsoft Word on your computer because most clients will ask you to submit a Word document. You might also need a Skype account to talk to your clients.
Sell Your Sewing Handiwork
If you are good at sewing, you can do alterations and design custom clothes from your house. You can also make custom bedding, upholstery cushions, and bags.
Here are the things that you should consider before starting a career in sewing:
Advertising – you need to let people know about your new sewing business. You can start by informing your family and friends about your new business and telling them to spread the word. You can also place fliers in local fabric stores.
Equipment – you need to invest in a high-quality sewing machine. The other tools that you require depend on your specialty: if you want to make curtains, you need a serger.
Skills – you should ensure that your skills are above average before you pursue a sewing career. If your skills are below par, you should take the time to improve them before you start earning money as a tailor. If you want people to trust you with their wedding dresses, you should have the utmost skill.
If you want to try any of the above jobs, you should create a smart schedule that will allow you to focus on your work and take care of your kids.
More and more people are becoming interested in investing in Bitcoin. So much so, in fact, that it is now possible to open a digital IRA, which allows you to invest in cryptocurrencies as well as other assets and build your retirement plan. However, it seems that not a day goes by without some “expert” claiming that Bitcoin is either the next best thing in the world, or nothing but a fad that will soon fizzle out. That doesn’t give many people confidence when it comes to making investments. So what do you need to know before investing in Bitcoin?
Is Investing in Bitcoin a Good Idea?
Earlier this year, Bitcoin finally crossed the $10,000 threshold. The speed at which it achieved this is tremendous, since it was worth just $1,000 less than one year ago. However, this doesn’t necessarily talk about the strength of Bitcoin. Rather, it shows that the currency is incredibly volatile. And with anything volatile, there is the potential to make a huge profit, but an equally large potential to lose it all.
The Concept of Scarcity
All economies work on the concept of supply and demand. Simply put, when there is lots of supply, demand starts to drop. But when supply starts to decrease, demand goes up rapidly. And this is where Bitcoin comes in. There is a finite amount of Bitcoin available and everybody knows exactly how much there is and how much is still remaining. Never will there be more than 21 million Bitcoin. That means that it is physically impossible for everybody in the world to ever own at least one Bitcoin at the same time. In other words, there is a scarcity, which means demand goes up.
Now, on the other hand, that doesn’t explain why Bitcoin is suddenly so popular. It was first developed in 2009 and that finite figure of 21 million was set in stone then. What is making Bitcoin so popular now is more down to fear of instability than anything else. Consider, for instance, Venezuela. Inflation in that country may reach 25000%, meaning their currency is all but worthless. Bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies, aren’t controlled by governments or central banks. They are controlled by regular individuals because they are decentralized. Add to this the scarcity, and it means that a 4000% inflation or deflation is simply impossible.
So should you invest in Bitcoin? From an economic perspective, now is the time to strike. The iron is hot and the value of cryptocurrencies continues to rise. How long that will continue, if at all, is anybody’s guess. But there are always countries with economic instability and one of the key principles of cryptocurrencies is that they should be available to the globe. Hence, it is likely that there will always be an investor somewhere who is willing to buy Bitcoin, keeping the value up.
Should you dedicate 100% of your portfolio to cryptos? Absolutely not! But then you shouldn’t dedicate 100% of your portfolio to any one thing.
Merging two styles of money management styles won’t happen just because two people love each other. It’s about money. It has to be worked on as the years go by as every day there are a dozen of small decisions. There will be times for significant decisions such as savings and investments, tax planning, insurance and other matters.
Divvying up the responsibility for the decisions that make up the countless small money matters isn’t easy for a one-income family. In a two-income family it’s harder. And if that two-income family is also a second marriage, there can be particular money management problems including child support, alimony or budgeting for visits by children from that previous marriage.
Dividing the Dollars
Even though there are only two types of accounts — single and joint — there are many possibilities when it comes to merging them. All of the prospective solutions branch off from three basic models which have been developed.
Equal Share Couples
These couples put an equal amount of their salaries into joint checking and savings. The remainder is either saved or spent as each sees best.
Advantages: Each spouse places money in both daily and long-term expenses and each has money that is theirs to spend as they want.
Problems: Problems come up when one spouse earns substantially more than the other.
Proportional Share Couples
Here, each contributes percentage of their income to cover household expenses and joint savings. They have the remainder to do with as they please.
Problems: A significant difference in the amount of income which each spouse brings home could cause resentment as the person with the more substantial income may have more money for discretionary expenses.
Couples that combine all of their income to use for both household and personal expenses and the cash is held in a joint account.
Advantages: Each spouse’s work is valued equally regardless of how much income they earned.
Problems: The spouse with the lower income may not feel they have as much to say about how the joint income is spent.
Plan for a windfall
Discuss what you would do with any bonanza. Spend it? Save it? Explore the options before the money comes in.
Put the cards on the table — early — about any debt either brings to the marriage. Reach a mutual agreement on how the debt will be paid.
Be sure that there is agreement about buying gifts — and not just for family, but think about friends and co-workers.
Some people see donating to charity as important and others view it as foolhardy. Make sure you talk early about how to handle charitable giving.
Accept the Differences
Part of the reason that you love your spouse is that they are a little different than you. Often, the difference extends to finances. Find a way to limit the damage from these differences and learn to live with a new partner.
When Frank Sinatra sang about Love Being Lovelier the Second Time Around, “Old Blue Eyes,” may not have been thinking about the money involved. While second marriages can be rich and fulfilling, they also have some landmines. These hidden explosives can be navigated successfully with a little forethought, some planning and a lot of discussion.
Money doesn’t grow on trees, and when it gets tight, it can be more uncomfortable than wearing shoes two sizes too small. The truth is however that in most cases, when most people are squeezed on funds, a few simple changes to financial habits can go a long way. Here are a few things that you should consider if your cash flow is becoming more of a drip.
Create A Budget… No Really, An ACTUAL Budget!
When some people hear that it’s time to create a budget, they think, “I’m already on a budget, how does writing it down help?” In fact, DebtConsolidation’s guide shows that more than 60% of consumers don’t bother to create a budget. Well, the reality is that making a solid budget is more than just writing a few numbers on a piece of paper or creating a spreadsheet. It’s about understanding your finances and creating a plan to make your personal financial situation a bit more comfortable.
It all starts with getting an understanding of how much money you bring home after taxes are taken out, or your net income. Then, tie in how much money you spend on necessities. These include your bills, food, medical expenses, child care, and anything else you simply could not live without. From there, what’s left is your excess funds. These funds can be divided to pay off debts faster, relieving you of some of your monthly expenses, give yourself a fun budget, and more. However, the key is making sure that when you set your goals through your budget, you set goals that you can stick to. Here’s a great guide that walks you through the steps to making a budget.
Consider A Side Hustle
We all know that get rich quick schemes aren’t going to work. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t inject at least a little bit more money into your budget. Consider putting together what we in the personal finance blogosphere call a side hustle. Are you good decorating? What about writing stories? Do you have any other talents that you may be able to exploit? Do a bit of research and see if you can turn your passions into part-time dollars! You might be surprised at just how much room a side hustle can put back into your budget.
Play The Wait And See Game
Many times, purchases made on impulse can lead to even more of a squeeze. Therefore, it’s a good idea to give yourself a cooling off period before you buy anything that’s not an absolute necessity and costs more than $50. This is considered by many to be the wait and see approach. However, that item you just can’t live without right now may lead to buyer’s remorse tomorrow. So, before you put a squeeze on your pocket, give yourself time to consider whether or not the item is something that you really want and are willing to pay for!
Stop Using Credit Cards
Credit cards are imposters! They claim to be there to help you, but by offering points for purchases, they do anything but. The truth of the matter is that credit card debt is one of the most expensive types of debt on the planet. While it’s a good idea to have a credit card for emergencies, it’s not a good idea to use them on a daily basis unless you have serious control over what you are spending and the willingness to pay the amounts you spend back before they start to accrue interest.
When funds start to get squeezed, it’s never a comfortable feeling. However, by following the tips above, you likely have the ability to breath a little life back into your bank account. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to get started.
The cost of general liability insurance may seem high, but consider the much higher costs of not having it. According to a recent report, 34% of small businesses have reported facing a lawsuit in the past, and nearly two-thirds of these companies say that their businesses were adversely affected by it. Even small and frivolous lawsuits could end up costing you big money.
But, while every business should consider general liability insurance as mandatory, that does not mean that there are not ways of managing the cost of it and making it more affordable. Here are 3 ways to do it:
Get Lots of Quotes
People often make the mistake of thinking that all insurance is the same and that everyone offers the same exact coverages for the same exact prices. But this is not the case. You will be surprised (or even shocked) by the range of prices.
Though make sure that — when you are comparing quotes — that you are comparing comparable quotes. Compare deductibles, policy limits and both inclusions and exclusions. Also, take into account the rating of the insurance company.
While comparing quotes, you may also want to consider adjusting your coverage limits and deductibles. By lowering your policy limits and/or raising your deductibles, you can save lots of money. Just remember that you could end up paying more out of your own pocket later on if you one day have to make a claim.
Bundle Your Policy
As a business owner, you probably need more insurance than just general liability insurance, such as property insurance. Just like when you bundle services from your cable provider — such as TV, phone and Internet — to get better prices on them, if you bundle your insurance policies into what is called a business owner’s policy (BOP), you can save lots of money.
You may also be able to get a discount on your insurance policy if can pay your entire premium in full. There may be other discounts, too. It does not cost a thing to ask.
Manage Your Risks
Some people see the price of an insurance premium as being an arbitrary number that some guy in a suit pulled out of his hat. But the truth is that the price of an insurance premium is the most unarbitrary number there is. It is nothing but cold hard math. The more risk that is involved in operating your business, the higher your insurance premium will be. But, by lowering these risks, you can sometimes reduce your costs. For example, implementing safety standards at your business could reduce your premiums, or doing anything else you can do to reduce the probability of a claim.
Check with your insurance company or agent to find out if there is any changes you can make to your business that will reduce the price of the premiums. Not only can you reduce your insurance cost, but you can also improve the efficiency of your business at the same time.
In conclusion, just because getting general liability insurance is necessary for your business, does not mean that you necessarily have to pay a lot for it. Follow the guidelines listed here and you will save lots of money.
Most of us, if given the opportunity, would love to sit down with younger versions of ourselves to dispense some sage advice.
We would probably have warnings to avoid certain people, not to get that tattoo, and maybe even a few financial tips as well.
While we can’t change the past, we can definitely fix the mistakes we made in the past – except for that tattoo. Here are some ways to go about correcting those financial mistakes that can follow you for years.
1. Start Saving Now
You have probably heard that saving money early is important. With compound interest, savings can grow faster for every year they are invested.
As the old saying goes, “The best time to plant a tree was yesterday. The second best time is today.”
You can’t go back in time to start saving for retirement but you can begin that process now and set yourself up for a better future.
2. Tackle High Interest Debt
If your younger self is like the younger self of many other people then you are probably still paying off the debt racked up in those blunder years.
Taking on your debt can feel like a daunting task but there is a very simple formula for managing debt. Focus your efforts on high interest debt while still maintaining payments on your other loans. This means credit card debt and payday loans should be at the top of your list for quick repayment.
Student loans can also add up as the interest rates rise after graduation. In some cases, refinancing high interest loans into more manageable loans is a good solution. The lower payments could allow you to dedicate more of your budget to paying down other debts or boosting your savings.
3. Build an Emergency Fund
When you were young you were invincible. Planning for an emergency wasn’t something you had on your radar.
Car repairs, health care bills, and home maintenance costs can come when you least expect them and put a major financial strain on your bank account. In many cases, people simply opt to put the amount on their credit card.
How much of an emergency fund you need will depend a lot on your personal situation. A $1000 emergency fund is generally the minimum amount you would want to consider. If you have a lot of monthly expenses like a mortgage and car payment then you may want to consider setting aside more for your emergency fund.
Your Future Self Will Thank You
No one said consolidating debt or building emergency funds would be sexy. However, you have the opportunity to fix the mistakes of your past self and set up a solid foundation for your future self.
When you’re retired and enjoying life to its fullest, you will think back to this article and thank your younger self for making such good financial decisions.
An average Netflix user streams for at least one and a half hours a day. Since it is a service you pay for on a monthly basis, you have to ensure that you are getting the most value from your Netflix account. The question is, how do you do that?
Get the right subscription package
One of the most important things is to make sure that you have subscribed to a package that matches your needs. The tier you select depends on the number of people who want to use it. If you happen to live alone, you will only need to stream using one device. Therefore, the basic package can work well. On the other hand, if you have a large family, you can go for the premium package. Keep in mind that the packages are built around how many people stream at the same time. You can go for the standard package and ensure that two family members are streaming at the same time.
Share an account
A great way of reducing the Netflix costs is by paying it with someone else. Consider splitting the account with a friend or family member. The advantage is that you still get to enjoy full services. If you get a standard account, you can watch Netflix the same time. You end up spending less and enjoying fully.
Beating the Netflix ban
What most people do not know is that Netflix offers channels depending on your region. The regions with the most channels are in the USA. To ensure that you enjoy all the Netflix services, you have to know how to beat the Netflix VPN ban. Make sure you get the best VPNs, and you will be able to utilize Netflix fully.
Keep up with latest releases
Content on Netflix keeps on changing; therefore it is challenging to keep up. You might find yourself renting a movie that was aired on Netflix. To avoid such a scenario, get a source that will be sending you all the latest updates on your email. By doing that, you will relieve yourself the stress of hunting for updates each time you want to watch an awesome movie.
Cancel periods of inactivity
If you are not a regular user of Netflix or feel like you are not getting value for your money, you can always cancel your subscription temporarily. You can access your account and select cancel. You did not sign any contract, so there is no penalty. The good thing is that you can always reactivate your account until the billing cycle ends. You can rejoin later without any activation fees.
If you are planning to set up a Netflix account, you need to know all the tricks mentioned in this article when it comes to maximizing their services. Everybody loves getting value for their money when they pay for a service. Follow the tips, and you will love what Netflix has to offer.