Financial Hacks for the Retired

Many newly retired people fall into one of two groups. The first group hoards their money, spending as little of it as possible because they want to make sure the money lasts a long time. The second lives like they’re still getting a weekly paycheck and are shocked to discover that money runs out far more quickly than they had ever realized. The sweet spot is somewhere in the middle and getting there means knowing how to handle what income you might still receive as well as how to grow your money over time. Here are some of the easiest financial hacks for those of you who are retired and still figuring out how to manage your money.

Social Security

If you aren’t already receiving it, eventually you will be eligible for social security program benefits. Hopefully, you were able to meet with a retirement advisor before you left the workforce who was able to explain social security’s intricacies to you. If not, don’t worry! There are plenty of great guides and services out there for people who need to learn how to navigate the system accordingly. Take advantage of them!

Social security is great because it provides you with a steady income. The payments might not be as much as you made when you were working full time, but knowing that you have something coming in each month can help you breathe a little easier when you’re planning your budget. Make sure that you enroll! After all, you paid money into the system your entire working life! Time to reap some of the benefits!

Growing Your Money

The key to financial success, no matter which life stage you are currently in, is to use your current money to make more money. Investing often feels like a gamble to the uninitiated who assume every investment is as volatile as the stock market. The reality is far more complex. There are some good and steady investments out there. Real estate is usually a good investment because of how fast its value appreciates. The Motley Fool website has a great how-to for people who are new to investing that you should check out.

Note: It is rarely a good idea to invest independently, especially if math and economics aren’t your strong subjects. Working with a financial or investment advisor is always a better idea for the investing newbie.

Earning Money

Now that you’re retired the last thing you probably want to do is put yourself back to work full time, even if you’re working for yourself. Even so, having a few trusted avenues of income can help put your mind at ease if an unexpected expense pops up. Moreover, thanks to the internet and the explosion of the gig economy, earning a little extra pocket change here and there is easier than it has ever been.

Driving for companies like Lyft or as a delivery person for Amazon, Postmates, etc is a fantastic way to stay active and bring in some money on the side. Another path that many retired people take is learning how to monetize their hobbies and know how. Some tutor students via live stream. Others sell the crafts they make. You can earn enough through these methods to give yourself a cushion without putting any retirement income (or your status as a retired person) at risk.

Remember to go slowly. Take a few months to find your footing as a retired person. Your money situation is going to shift and fluctuate a lot during this initial transition. But if you are patient and work with the pros, you should come out ahead!

Guide to Being Financially Happy When You Reach Age 30!

Today’s post is a guest feature from Hannah Harvey! Please enjoy! 

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Still relying on the bank of mom and dad to get you by each month? Many young people are, but we encourage you to cut the reigns and be financially independent before you hit the big 3-0.

Relying on parents for money has been all too easy – they don’t want to see you go without, and so it can often be easy to win them round, getting them to give you a little extra cash each month. Perhaps you’re lucky enough for your parents to even pay your rent or cover some of your bills, but how long can this go on for? Your 20s is the decade to get yourself on your feet, but by the time you reach 30, you really don’t want to be knocking on mom and dad’s door anymore. So, this quick guide gives you some tips to being financially literate, financially settled, and ultimately financially happy by the time you’re 30.

Look at your salary

You don’t want to jump from job to job because this can look bad on your CV, but if you believe you don’t get paid enough for what you do, you might want to address this with your manager. Perhaps you could take on more responsibility at work. You could also commit to more overtime if you’re able to. If it really looks dead-end, why not look elsewhere, rather than get stuck in a pit?

Stop bad spending habits

Getting the latest gadget is, incredibly, a commonly cited reason for the younger generation taking out an online loan. It’s important to appreciate the differing perspectives on debt, specifically what makes it ‘good’ or ‘bad’. In short, I encourage you to stop creating debts on these ‘bad’ items, and invest in yourself instead. If you need to draw on a loan, do so wisely, we’re talking mortgages and student loans here for instance.

Partner up

If you want to make a big move and get on the property ladder, but can’t afford so on your own, maybe you want to partner up with some reliable friends and invest in a property together (look at this guide on how to make that work out!) Get some solid financial advice before making your move, and draw clear terms and conditions out with your pals.

Save, save, save

Remember how important it is to save money. Even a little each month can mount up over time. You never know when you’ll need to draw on that money, and much better a savings fall-back than a loan with high interest rates. Consider your employer pension too. It can be easy to dismiss this when offered it, because retirement feels like ages away – but by paying in now, you invest in your future. It will cost you a little each month out of your pay packet, and your employer pays in too.

What else do you think should be in this guide? Anything else that might help with financial happiness before one hits the BIG 3-0??

About Hannah: Hannah Harvey is an Irish born technical financial blogger! Follow her on Twitter!

How To Talk About Money With Your Significant Other

Today’s post is a guest feature by Michael from SuperMillennial.com! Enjoy!

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We’ve all seen the shirts, memes, or images of “couples that run together stay together.” Or “couples that laugh together stay together.” Or my favorite “couples that train together stay together.” Well the new one should be “Couples that talk about money together stay together.”

According to a Edelman Financial Services survey “44 percent of surveyed couples believe money is the root cause of most divorces.While some people say “money isn’t everything,” I personally couldn’t disagree more. I’m not saying you need a million dollars to actually be happy but money factors into to nearly all areas of our lives. If you’re able to manage your money successfully you’ll be able to sleep better, worry less and enjoy your life with family and friend.

If you don’t talk with your partner about money it can put a real strain on the relationship. Usually in the beginning money isn’t really a huge conversation for a new relationship. But as time goes and you become more serious it’s inevitable to talk about money with your significant other. Usually this comes when you begin to start living together or planning for the future. Whenever it comes up schedule some time to have an open conversation about your personal finances. Make sure you’re prepared by grabbing your favorite beer, wine or cocktail and have “the talk” about your financial future.

Here’s the keys to success to having a money conversation with your partner:

  • Be Honest: This is the time to be 100% open and in Will Ferrell’s words “This is the trust tree.” You should have a good enough relationship with this person where you feel comfortable sharing these details. If not maybe re-evaluate or slow down the moving in/wedding until you’re both 100% ready. Make sure you have your laptop and any other statements to review with your significant other by identifying the following:
  • Income: How much does each person make per year? Is there future bonuses, commissions or raises? Have you made this amount for a while? Figure out what each person is earning as a starting point. Then determine if the person who makes more will be paying more towards mortgage, rent, utilities etc.
  • Debt: This can be a touchy subject and one people might lie or get embarrassed about. No one wants to admit how much they owe the government or a credit card company. Put the pride aside and be honest on how much you owe to each individual. List out all debts for both and find out which ones have the highest interest rates. Find ways to cut spending to pay those down, transfer to a 0% interest credit card, or refinance student loans for a lower interest rate.
  • Plan: Who will pay the bills? Will one person pay all of them and the other will send the money? Or will both people pay a few bills? It’s not a bad idea to have at least one bill in each person’s name so they can also have a “utility” to provide if you’re planning on moving or finding a new place to rent in the future. Usually renters require payment stubs and/or past bills during the screening process. Make a calendar of when each bill is due, notate who will pay it (or set up auto pay to keep it real simple) & leave it somewhere you’ll both remember.
  • Spending: Opposites may attract but when two people are opposites with their finances a lot of problems (or divorce) can happen. If you’re a diligent saver and your partner is a diligent spender? You could see how it’d be frustrating to see your savings are being spent by your partner every month. With apps like Mint or Personal Capital it’s never been easier to track how much you’re spending. These apps allow you to set budgets, see where you’re overspend and track by categories to determine what you’re spending your money on.
  • Goals: Everyone probably has a list of financial goals whether they write them down or not. If not then talk about your future and find out what it is you want to save for. Without a reason to save it’s almost inevitable that you’ll live paycheck to paycheck instead of saving towards something you really want. By having similar goals you’re more likely to cut back and save towards mutual goals. Common goals could include:
    • Being debt free
    • Having an emergency fund of 3-6 months expenses
    • Buying a new (used) car
    • Taking that vacation you always wanted together
    • Saving for a down payment on a house or rental property
    • Wedding (don’t waste too much on one day!)
    • Pet or Child (both come with expenses)

Once you have the initial conversation make sure to have some sort of follow up or check in. If not you’re more likely to have the conversation when there is a financial problem. Even if it’s five or ten minutes each Sunday it’s better than a future disagreement that could’ve been avoided if it wasn’t held in. Bottom line, relationships are hard enough. Don’t let money be the reason you fight. By constantly communicating and working towards shared financial goals you’ll be set up to continue your life without always worrying about money.

In the comments, tell me how you and your partner talk about money! Are you both on the same page? Who’s the spender and who’s the saver?

About Michael: Michael L. is the creator of Super Millennial. He teaches people how to evaluate their financial situation, simplify money management & learn how to automate their investments to reach their financial goals. Subscribe for his personal finance “Keys To Success” PDF and blog updates HERE.

“We have everything to share, nothing to prove…”

-We have everything to share, nothing to prove...-

“We have everything to share, nothing to prove…”

This quote. That quote always speaks to me. I wish I knew where it came from, but I’ve heard it all over the place so many times so I can’t really say where it originated. It’s a favorite of mine. A lot of people who do yoga, meditation, dance, or theatre have heard it many times. It’s one of those quotes that we share before we perform or take a class. It’s one of those “safe” phrases or just a reminder that no matter what, we are sharing our gifts with the world and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.

  • It reminds us to be brave; performing or even speaking in front of others can still be difficult – even to the most seasoned veterans.
  • It reminds us to do our best – our personal best, for ourselves. And then share that with others who choose to see it.
  • It gives us permission to share our work an talents, but also to be ok with our process in the skills we’re sharing.
  • It gives us courage to embrace who we are and what we are presenting without worrying about pleasing everyone. Because, in the end, you just can’t please everyone. It’s just not possible.
  • It humbles us and gives us a chance to appreciate our talents and abilities. In the end, there will always be someone who is prettier, or more talented, or more whatever than we are. And that’s ok, because we don’t have to compare ourselves. We’re just taking this time together to share whatever play or song that we’ve been working on. Nothing else.

When you have everything to share and nothing to prove, you’ll realize that your standards are the only ones that matter – no one else’s do.

So, go out and have a great weekend!

On Patterns….Old & New

OnPatterns

This post was inspired by a couple of very random things:

  • One of my favorite musical theatre audition pieces: “Patterns” from BABY: THE MUSICAL by Maltby & Shire. This is a HUGE go-to song for me in my collection.This musical revolves around three couples and pregnancies and attempting to get pregnant. Even though that is not the stage of life that I am in, I still love the song and it highlights my vocal skills well.

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I know, this very random. However, I think it’s totally relevant. Go with me here because I just love a good text analysis that I can connect to my life.

Since leaving my full-time job to “decide what I want to do next,” I’ve been kind of aimlessly wandering. Sure, I’m still working on some freelance gigs and at a bar gig, but it all feels very “out of the norm” to me. It’s not routine. It’s not a pattern…yet. I was in the same daily pattern for so long before I quit my job and I still find that I’m struggling to adjust. I would almost say borderline depressed with the whole “what’s next?” factor. I think it was basically grief for closing a chapter of my life and not knowing (still don’t) what the next chapter is for me.

Patterns in my life that I trace ev’ry day
Patterns as i say the things I always say
Patterns in the ceiling as I lie awake
Why are patterns haunting ev’ry move I make?

Then, that Mastin Kipp quote showed up and jogged my brain today.

“Circumstances in your life that hold you back are simply patterns that no longer work.”

Doesn’t that explain the job I left? I felt that my old job was a circumstance (or a hindrance) that didn’t allow me any opportunities for growth – I’d climbed the top of the mountain already, per se. In this particular market that I live in, this was the TOP job that I could have in my field around here. Seriously, peaking from the ages of 25-29 was not quite what I had in mind. Cool and all, but definitely not where I wanted to hit the high point of my career. The environment became almost hostile, frequently catty, and extremely dismissive to women. However, I was in the routine (the pattern) of going to work each day and doing my job – no matter how I was really feeling. I just did it, because it was the routine. It was what I should do.

Patterns that begin as I walk through a door
Patterns in the curtains and the kitchen floor
Patterns in the day’s routines I must arrange
Patterns in the ways I try…but never change

Just look, as I’m thrown a curve again
I leap, then I lose my nerve again
In tears, running home I go
Secretly relieved
Safe with what I know, again

Those last two lines especially sting me – “Secretly relieved, safe with what I know, again.” I had been applying for different jobs for quite some time before I eventually just decided to leave my full-time job. I would always find little things wrong with each one I was applying for or offered, but I stayed for so long because I thought it was safe to stay. I stayed because I was relieved to not have to look for another job, regardless of how upsetting it was to go to work each day. I could count on the safety of the place, even if the workplace environment was no longer serving me in anyways.

Back to the quote by Mastin Kipp, “…Change the pattern, change your life.” I’m in the middle of changing a pattern of my life. A change from the certainty to something a little less certain. I don’t know where this change is taking me, but I feel things shifting in a positive way. I would never have the chance to see what else is out in the world if I had remained in that job. I would be stuck in a place that offered menial wages for unnecessarily hard work, stuck in a job that wasn’t challenging to me anymore, and just stuck being genuinely unhappy and stifled.

So, readers, my message is this: start changing the patterns in your life. If it’s not working, find a pattern that does.

  • If that pattern is coming home after work and eating 3 bags of Cheetos on your couch, change the pattern and take a walk after work instead.
  • If that pattern is working at a job that makes you so unhappy that you can’t stand it, change your spending pattern and save up enough money to cover some major bills to quit – that’s what I did.
  • If that pattern is burning yourself out as a parent all day and all night, change that pattern and ask for help once in a while. It’s ok to ask for help and you’ll be a better parent when you get a moment for yourself.
  • If that pattern is overspending, change that pattern to something that better serves you in the long run (saving, investing, cutting expenses overall, etc.).

I’m changing the patterns in my life, but I haven’t quite found myself in any new ones yet. If I get another full-time job, I’ll probably fall into a new pattern. If I choose to move somewhere else, I’ll probably fall into a new pattern. That time will come, I’m sure. For now, I’m trying to enjoy the random spontaneity I have. I know it won’t last forever, so I should enjoy it while I can. I’ll get back into a pattern soon enough.

Tell me in the comments: What patterns are serving you right now? What about patterns that aren’t – how are you working on those?

Coffee & Chit-Chat!

Hello People!

It’s been a journey here in the Broke Twenty-Something land this month! I’m thankful to have been busy with some things, but I’m ready to catch back up with you all! The month of July (and now into August) has been made possible by giant vats of coffee. I may need an intervention.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you just how proud I am of the special gigs I’ve taken on this summer. Directing a full-on kids show without minimal outside help has been exhausting, but rewarding. I may never work at this particular theatre again, but the kids have brightened my days and giving my days some structure.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you about all of these promo gigs I’ve been working. My agent always sends out “Hey! We need promo girls for events” emails and luckily (or unluckily), I’ve been free. It’s hard to say no to $20+/hour gigs. Totally thankful they’ve been around to pay the bills this month since I left my job. I’ve also been booking gigs on Fiver, not to mention the random gigs that have come my way from Craigslist! Also, that means you should Hire Me for something! 🙂

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you how much I’ve enjoyed spending some extra time with my nephew before he goes back to school. If I would have had a full-time job this summer, all of that hang out time would not have been possible. I’m thankful that I’m just down the road and can spend time with him. He also discovered how to video chat – trust me, I’ve seen more feet, toes, and silly faces than I ever knew I needed. He’s a keeper.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that it’s been ONE WHOLE YEAR since my sinus surgery! I know, I can’t believe it either! I’ve been 10x healthier ever since and I’m loving that I can breathe!

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that getting new health insurance was A SNAP since leaving my FT job. I qualified for a great state plan that has no co-pays. I couldn’t even believe it! I’m just thankful that I have minimal health needs right now. It’s a blessing.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I love owning my time again. Not going into my FT job anymore has made quite a difference in my life. I know I’ll have to go back to working some place soon (unless I keep picking up more freelance gigs), but this break prevented some serious burnout. I know that my situation would not be ideal for everyone, but I’m grateful that I could do it.

More soon, I’ve been taking some online courses and preparing some product & book reviews that I hope to share with you all soon!

Happy Friday!

My Ten Reasons to Rent Instead of Buy

My Ten Reasons to Rent Instead of Buy

Here in my neck of the Midwest, it’s super common for recent college graduates to buy homes. Almost immediately upon taking a full-time job, I’ve seen numerous of my friends, colleagues and Facebook acquaintances buying homes around my city. Single people or couples, it doesn’t seem to stop anyone from buying around here. However, in some locations in my city it is way too expensive for the average twenty-something to own a home, which is upsetting because these are some of the most safe locations in the city I live in.

Unlike a lot of people my age, I have zero interest in owning property. Believe it or not, the majority of my family have been lifelong renters! That’s a pretty rare statement in this day & age. That choice seems to have trickled down into my life, but I’m glad because I’ve enjoyed renting most of the time. It’s been a great choice for me since I’ve been renting for the most part since I turned 18.

With no further ado, ten of my reasons to rent instead of buy!

  • Lower Home (& Auto) Insurance: My renters and auto insurance are connected (and I’m sure my homeowner’s could be merged with my auto) so I have lower premiums due to a multi-line discount. That said, my renter’s insurance is $10/month and it covers floods. If I owned my home, depending on size and other factors, I’d be looking at a much larger monthly bill.
  • Low maintenance: If I have a problem, I call the management office and they send someone to fix it for me. The washer or dryer died? I call the office and someone else fixes it! The air conditioner goes out? I call the office and they send technicians. The best part is that the cost doesn’t fall on me. As a homeowner, I would be the one to pay for and handle all repairs. I also don’t worry about maintaining a yard, but I live in a very urban area, so I wouldn’t have to anyways.
  • Low utility cost: In my current rental, my utility costs are very low – usually less than $100/month. I pay for electric, basic internet, and that’s all. My landlord covers all other necessary utilities. If I owned property, I would be responsible for other utility costs.
  • Property Values: In the area in which I live and rent, most homes sell for $300-400K. Obviously, the property value is very high here. If I owned property here, my mortgage payment would be over TRIPLE my rent. If I didn’t rent, I could not live here as my income wouldn’t be able to support it.
  • Location: At my current rental location, I am within walking distance of my current job in one of the best food & nightlife areas of my city.  The crime rate is also extremely low here, making it one of the safest locations in the city. I’m also less than a mile to two different grocery stores. Location is an extremely important factor for me. Renting here gives me safety, but also convenience.
  • My Personal Debt-to-Income Ratio: This is something that’s relative to each person, but it is extremely relevant to me. When your yearly income is barely over what you owe in student loans, that doesn’t look good to mortgage lenders. I just don’t see the reason to add any mortgage debt on to the debt load that I already have.
  • Length of Time I Plan to Stay: I like mobility. I tend to stay in places for about 3 years before I move elsewhere. Since I enjoy being in places short-term, buying seems counterintuitive.
  • Minimalism: I don’t buy “stuff.” Therefore, I don’t have a lot of “stuff.” If I were to buy a home, I’d inevitably have more space to put stuff. If I bought a home, I’d have to buy the stuff to fill it – appliances, lawn equipment, a bigger bed, a better couch, etc. No thanks, my minimalist self will pass.
  • Need for Paint & Decor: If you look at number eight, you’ll see that minimalism is important to me. I have no need, want, or desire to paint and nail things to all of the walls just to make it “my own.” I’d much rather spend my money on a few staple pieces that can be used and repurposed in various ways, rather than worrying about painting accent walls to match one piece of furniture or decor.
  • A Home is NOT an Investment: Let’s say it again, a home is NOT an investment. Think about it, you plop down a large chunk of change to buy a home, but it’s future value is unpredictable depending on the market. Think about all of the extra fees, taxes, and maintenance costs that you incur over time. Then, when you want to sell it, you have to wait for a buyer to actually buy it. After that, you might be lucky to break even or profit on the sale, but don’t forget closing costs that will come out of your pocket as well. Too many “ifs” for me. I would rather put my money in an investment account that I can see the value of at anytime.

For me, the pros of renting FAR outweigh the pros and possibilities of ever buying a home.

Tell me in the comments: What are your reasons for renting instead of buying? Or, buying instead of renting?

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*Part of Financially Savvy Saturdays on brokeGIRLrich, A Disease Called Debt and One More Broke Twenty-Something*

Try LivRelief to Ease Aches & Pains!

TryLivReliefto EaseAches &Pains!

NOTE: This post is sponsored by LivRelief.

I’ve always been one of those lucky people that always seems to get bumps & bruises and sprains. You name it, I’ve probably done it! Lately, my biggest aches & pains are stemming from my left calf, ankle, and foot. I’m on my feet A LOT during the day – walking, jumping, kicking, dancing – I’m an active lady! Whenever I’m feeling those flare up lately, I’ve been reaching for LivRelief’s Ultra Strength Pain Relief Cream.

Why LivRelief?

  1. The ingredients are over 90% natural! That even includes the active ingredient – capsaicin. Capsaicin is found in hot peppers and it’s well known for it’s antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-inflammatory properties. Let’s not forget that LivRelief is paraben-free, petroleum-free, and gluten-free! My absolute favorite part is that it is fragrance-free so there is no lingering menthol scent that you sometimes get from other brands.
  2. This product uses Delivra, a new transdermal delivery system! That system allows all of the active ingredients a chance to attack pain right at it’s source – not just using menthol and chemical smells to distract you from the pain you’re feeling.
  3. This LivRelief cream was created by molecular pharmacologist for his wife! She was suffering from intense pain after a surgery and then LivRelief helped her to find relief! I love knowing the origin of products that I am using!

You can purchase LivRelief for yourself at Amazon.com – you don’t even have to leave home to buy it!

If you’re looking for an all-natural pain relief product, I would highly recommend LivRelief! It’s light scent makes it convenient to use at any time and with my hectic daily schedule, I can highly appreciate that!

FOR MY READERS: Buy LivRelief now and receive $2 off your purchase when you use promo code ONU56TLN during checkout on Amazon.com.

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DISCLAIMER: Though I was compensated for this post, all opinions are my own.

On Quitting a Job Without a Backup Plan!

NoBackup

 

Not that I recommend this, but sometimes it happens. Such is my life at this moment.

Summer always feels like a season for new or majorly changing things in my life. School ends for the summer, moving home or to some new place, and reconnecting with old friends all seem to be some of my most fond summer memories. Summer of 2016 is proving to be a major season change in my life – I actively chose to abandon my full-time job without a solid fall back plan in place. At the beginning of June, I turned in my three weeks notice and I’ve reached the point where I’m choosing to actively be unemployed full-time. I’m still working my bar gigs and random other side gigs, but I’ve dropped my stable income because I value my time, skills, and sanity. I first dropped this bomb in my post titled What Financial Health Means to Me.

WARNING: Long post ahead!

I was working in a full-time hourly job at a large (the largest in its particular field) non-profit organization, but I had been considering an escape for months. I think the first time I mentioned it on here was during the winter – so this has been something that was a long time coming. I’d been applying and interviewing at various places for quite some time, but nothing was really equal enough to take the leap. Finally, I chose to give it up for various reasons: increasing demands (giving us managerial level work) without increasing compensation, not allowing me and my teammates to use the accrued benefits we’d earned, expecting us to “work” in off times, and so on and so on. Needless to say, the time had come to wrap up my time there and take a wild leap into the unknown.

So, here I am, NOT employed full-time anymore. Don’t worry, I don’t look like the guy in the graphic above. However, this is not something I entered into lightly. This reflects something I pondered and planned for almost six months. I know that the specifics of my situation will not work for every one, but here are a few things to consider when leaving the secure 9-5 job and how to fill your time once you’ve broken out of the shackles.

  • Save up cash! Don’t just quit your job if you don’t have any other income and no savings. I told myself I needed at least two months or rent and two months of car payments if I was even going to consider taking the leap without another job lined up. I HIT THAT NUMBER plus a little extra, so I was less stressed about taking a hike. I also work in a bar and do freelance work, so I’m able to pay all of my other bills. I also cashed out A LOT (really, A LOT) of unused PTO time, so I had even more buffer to my budget. Be ready to cut discretionary spending because you won’t have income available.
  • Health Needs! Prescriptions can cost A LOT of money, but if you’re lucky, some prescriptions can be given out in larger amounts (like 2, 3, or 6 month supplies). That’s what I did; I take one specific medication that I was able to request a 6 month supply of, so hopefully I will have enough insurance in 6 months to renew the prescription without breaking the bank. Do you have FSA funds? I did and had to use them quickly! I was able to buy another year’s worth of contacts and stock up on other items that I might need over the next few months. Look at what Health Care Marketplace options you will be eligible for when you take a dip in income. Fortunately, I’m pretty healthy so I’m not looking for very detailed plans. Luckily, I qualify for a few very cheap  (less than $30/month) plans so I’m not worried about covering a few months on my own.
  • Student Loans! As soon as I put in my notice, I submitted an Income Based Repayment application that was based on my bar gig. That change in income was enough for me to make my payments $0 for the time being.
  • Make plans for your open days! Seriously, don’t just sit around and putter once you leave your job. It’s all too easy to sit on your butt and feel bad about not working. Don’t do it! Remember that this moment will pass and you won’t always be unemployed. Apply to jobs, take a class, declutter, make lunch/coffee dates, update your social media and networking profiles – don’t sit and wait for opportunities. Keep busy and keep improving yourself.
  • Spend time with friends and loved ones! When will you have as much time to spend with them again? Take advantage of the free time when you can.
  • Read a book! Personal development or for fun, take in some literature. It’s good for you.
  • Take time to pause! Really, I mean it – stop to pause. I was in a job that was high energy 24/7 and I loved it. I worked 6-7 days most weeks, but the work was rewarding. I cried and grieved upon leaving, but I knew that I was making the right choice. Take the time to appreciate the hard work that you did and the relationships and friendships that you built. Take the time to refresh and figure out the next step.
  • Remember this is only a speed bump! I’ve applied to many jobs and interviewed for a few as well, so I’m confident I will replace my income soon enough. I’ve been hustling at my freelance and bar gigs as well, so even if I don’t head back into full-time employment immediately, I’ll still be ok.

I’m working hard to remember these things as I enjoy this downtime from working every single day. I’ve got a night directing gig that is keeping some structure to my days, but the peace and quiet has been extremely refreshing. I don’t quite know what I’ll be doing with all this downtime, but I’m hoping that I’ll learn something new about myself and what I’m really looking forward to in a new job. Maybe I’ll win the lottery? Maybe I’ll decide to move in with my boyfriend (he’s been trying)? Now that I’m not tied to a full-time job, I’m considering a lot of ‘what if’ situations. I could go many directions and I know that ultimately I will have to make some choices. Today is not that day. Today, I’m enjoying a day off and a free comedy event tonight. I’ll worry when I need to.

That said, you should Hire Me for something! 😉

In the comments, share your best career or job hunting tips!

*Part of Financially Savvy Saturdays on brokeGIRLrich, Disease Called Debt and Money Can Buy Me Happiness*

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#FinHealthMatters – What Financial Health Means to Me…

What Financial Health Means to Me

To this “Broke Twenty-Something,” financial health means flexibility.

For me, this June has been an absolute epic month. I’ve been bouncing a few freelance projects, directing a kids show, and LEAVING MY FULL-TIME JOB. Feel free to gasp. I’ve gasped and cried many times about it all. I made the choice at the beginning of the month to leave my job and pursue some other options. Talk about stressful and hectic! While I do not yet feel prepared to be a full-time freelancer, I would not have been able to take a leap of faith out of my full-time job unless I was in a good state of financial health.

According to the Center for Financial Services Innovation, “households that say they have a planned savings habit are four times more likely to be financially healthy than those that do not save or do not have a planned savings habit.” In my experience, that quote is proving itself to be true every day. I’m so thankful that I got into a savings habit early. Every two weeks on paydays, I’ve had a set amount automatically debited from my bank account and that has continued to build up over time. Because of that, I was able to walk out of my full-time job (almost) without stress so that I could find a better opportunity. That healthy savings habit put me in a place to be flexible and open to finding a job that better suits me. If that financial habit was not in place, I would be stuck toiling away at a job that didn’t value me for an undetermined amount of time just to make ends meet.

Aside from having savings as an indicator for financial health, I also think it is important to consider having more than one stream of income. Even with your physical health, you know diet AND exercise are crucial to maintain overall health. With financial health, I believe savings AND income are essential to financial health. If you don’t have income, it can be hard to save any money and when you don’t have an income, you’ll be thrilled that you saved some money to fall back on. Right now, I’m fortunate to have both – some savings to pay my bills from, but some freelance income to push me through until I find another full-time opportunity.

At this moment, I don’t think I can go without a full-time job for more than just a couple of months, but I’m grateful to be in a good state of financial health for the moment. The flexibility to make a choice because of my financial health has made all the difference to my mental and emotional health too. I can take solace in knowing my basic needs will be met, but I can also take a little time to rest and reset my future goals. I wake up in a better mood everyday because I’m secure enough to not go into a job that was giving me such grief and anger issues to deal with everyday.

Like I mentioned above, being financially healthy means flexibility. Flexibility to make a choice – to choose how to spend my time, to choose something that gives me joy, to choose whatever I want for this short amount of time.

Tell me in the comments: What does financial health mean to you?

**Written as an entry for the #FinHealthMatters Blog Contest!**