Allison Baggerly, founder of Inspired Budget, joins The 411k to share her money story. After an unexpected pregnancy, Allison and her husband decided it was time to get their finances in order. They learned how to budget and came up with a plan to become debt-free. Now, Allison helps women get their finances in order with classes and printables through Inspired Budget. She will help you make a budget that fits your lifestyle.
We really enjoyed this conversation with Kristina Tubera, founder of Femme Finance NYC, about the volatile world of cryptocurrencies and NFTs. Kristina teaches Katie and Katherine about blockchain and how these investments can open doors for the every day investor.
Aleksandra Medina and Katrin Kaurov join The 411k to talk about their startup, FRICH, and how they are making money social! These Gen-Z co-founders created an app so that friends can be accountability partners for one-another. Katie and Katherine ask them all about why being transparent and social about money is important to them as well as what it’s like to be young, female entreprenuers getting funded in the male dominated venture capital space.
Tanja Hester joins The 411k to discuss her new book Wallet Activism which teaches all of us how to be more intentional with our money. Wallet Activism, sometimes referred to as “vote with your dollars,” touches on all the different ways that we can align our money with our values – how to identify the Good Guys vs. the Bad Guys when it comes to spending. But also how we donate our money and even where we invest or bank it.
Miracle Olatunji is a public speaker, content creator, entrepreneur, and author of Purpose: How To Live and Lead With Impact. She is the founder of OpportuniMe, a mission-driven company which helps people and organizations to realize and reach their full potential. She is also building Her Wallet Media, an inclusive and shame-free coaching and financial education platform to help women build their net worth, network, and self-worth. Miracle joins The 411k to share her personal money story and inspire her Gen Z peers to find their purpose!
Not all money conversations are romantic. “How do you want to die?” is one of the most important and costly conversations Americans aren’t having. Don’t wait to ask the tough questions until the end! It can be hard to talk about death with a loved one but we need to be talking about how to prepare for death before it happens.
Where do we even start? Don’t just bring it up out of the blue. Make sure they know it’s coming so they can come to the table prepared. “When you have time, I’d like to seriously discuss our end-of-life options.”
Start with your feelings and why this is an important conversation. There is no right way to feel so they won’t feel defensive if you come at the conversation from the heart. “I worry about not being prepared in case of the unexpected and I want to ensure we respect your wishes.”
Ask questions and listen to learn! Don’t tell them their plan or offer solutions at the start. Be curious about their plan and then ask if you can create a plan together.
- What kind of end of life care do you want?
- Do you want a funeral?
- Do you have life insurance?
- Should we sell the house?
- Where is your will?
- What accounts do you have and where?
- Have you updated your beneficiaries?
These are incredibly tough questions but these are the questions we need to be thinking about for ourselves and asking our loved ones. These answers have big financial implications and the earlier you talk about it, the better you can prepare for a more sustainable grief process. Don’t let your grief process be compounded by debt and financial loss. The more we talk about difficult things, the more you can honor your loved one’s wishes and make unexpected circumstances easier to manage.
Check out our episode with Lisa Keefauver, in which she shared how she managed the unexpected loss of the love of her life and how we can make these conversations less taboo.
HENRY stands for High Earner, Not Rich Yet
HENRYs work hard to land that six-figure salary but they are consumed with consumer spending, education costs, and housing costs. Despite making between $250,000 to $500,000, they have not saved or invested enough to be considered rich. Of course, you should enjoy the salary that you earn! However, HENRYs are living well beyond your means.
The lifestyle creep is when you start spending more when you earn more. You upgrade your apartment, you buy your friends more rounds of drinks, you travel every weekend for fun, or buy a nicer wardrobe. It’s super fun to live in the moment and feel like Carrie Bradshaw in SATC. But you’re leaving yourself at risk! What if your car break down? What if you lose that job? What about retirement?
Is that money really going where you want? What do you want? Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? How are you going to get there? More salary comes with more opportunity to set yourself up for a stable and independent life down the road. Instead of treating yourself to costly dinners every night this week, start your emergency fund, pay down your debt, lower your bills, start saving for retirement. You can be rich now if you start being intentional with your money!
Check out our new episode with Jen Smith to learn more about the lifestyle creep!
A cost of living raise or adjustment makes up for inflation. When the cost of living goes up (see CPI) by a certain percentage, employee wages should increase by the same percentage. For example, if the cost of living increases by 2% this year, employee wages increase by 2%.
Consumer Price Index – this looks across the market at prices to measure inflation. You know your aunt that always talks about how she could go to the movies for $1? Or when grandma used to get groceries for nickels and dimes? That’s inflation! The prices on goods went up (inflated)!
Inflation is the general rise in prices over time. The combination of supply shortages and pent-up consumer demand has prices soaring right now. Overall, prices increased 5% in May 2021. We are seeing price increases in airfare, housing, restaurants, rental cars, women’s clothing, and nearly every other industry.
SO MY RAISE?
The end of the calendar year is when most companies host performance reviews and set budgets (and salaries) for the next year. The most recent CPI report showed that the U.S. inflation rate for 2021 reached 6.1% (highest in 30 years). With prices rising across the board, an increase in pay should be a given— otherwise, it’s effectively a pay cut!
With the tight labor market and high inflation, don’t forget to ask for a well deserved raise based on current rates. A 6% adjustment should be the base for your discussion and then talk performance bonus plus market rates!
A credit score (also known as FICO score) are numbers that represent the creditworthiness of a person, the likelihood that person will pay their debts. Lenders, such as banks and credit card companies, use credit scores to evaluate the risk of lending money to consumers.
Your credit score is made up of several factors that have a different weight on your score.
PAYMENT HISTORY is a large contributing factor to your credit score. Banks and credit card companies want to know that you can pay back your loans on time.
AMOUNT OWED (also known as credit utilization) refers to how much credit you are using at any given time compare you how much is available to you. If you have a credit limit of $10,000 and you’re spending close to that limit each period, you are going to look more risky, even if you are making payments on time.
CREDIT HISTORY meaning the length of time that you’ve had access to credit (number of years you’ve had a credit card or loan). This is one that you might have less control over but the key part is to keep your accounts open so you have years of proof that you are a responsible borrower.
CREDIT MIX (# of loans vs credit cards) and applying for NEW CREDIT are also contributing factors. A variety of credit is good but always applying for new credit accounts can look risky.
As you can see, there are a lot of contributing factors to consider. The general rules are (1) make your payments on time and (2) keep balances low.
BONUS: WTF is a Credit Limit?
Increasing your credit limit is an easy way to improve your credit score and all you have to do is request an increase! CNBC reported that Americans have an average of $22,751 in credit available to them across all their credit cards.
A credit limit is the amount of available credit you have or the amount of money you would have access to on your credit card. By itself, it doesn’t have much impact. But credit utilization, the ratio of amount owed against the amount available, can make a big difference.
Some credit issuers automatically increase your credit limit if you have made 6-12 months of on-time payments. If you do not receive an automatic increase, usually all you have to do is ask! You can usually request an increase in the banking apps or call the customer service line for the credit card. The bank will check if you have a healthy credit history and then let you know what you are eligible for. It’s as easy as that!
If you are not regularly making on-time payments or you know you are a big spender, increasing your credit limit might not be the best idea. Consider your whole financial picture before making big moves across all your credit cards.
When used in a healthy manner credit can be useful and rewarding. To learn more about credit scores, check out our episode with Gerri Detweiler available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and iHeart Radio.
AKA ‘a qualified tuition plan’ – A 529 plan is a tax-advantaged savings plan designed to encourage saving for future education costs. Usually a college fund!
The 529 plan can be set up by a parent and designate a child as the beneficiary of the account. And fun fact – you don’t have to wait until a child is born to start saving money for their education! You can start a 529 plan with yourself as the beneficiary and then add your child as a beneficiary when they are born. There are annual limits on how much you can put in a plan for someone else without paying a gift tax but for the most part, you can contribute what you want.
It is important to note that 529 plans are considered in financial aid packages. This means that your child could receive less financial aid for having money in a 529 plan. Not all savings vehicles are like this. For example, financial aid does not look at ROTH IRAs and you can withdraw this money to pay for education penalty free.
In addition, you will have to pay taxes on the money if it is withdrawn for a purpose other than the intended purpose.
Interested in learning about other ways to pay for school? Check out our episode with Nikki Wells on different ways to fund college education.
“On Women’s Equality Day, as we recognize the accomplishments that so many women fought so hard to achieve, we rededicate ourselves to tackling the challenges that remain and expanding opportunity for women and girls everywhere.” – Barack Obama
Women’s Equality Day is celebrated every year on August 26 in the United States to mark the American women’s continued efforts to achieve equality. The U.S. Congress officially acknowledged Women’s Equality Day in 1971. It is also celebrated in memory of the ratification of the nineteenth amendment of the US constitution, which guaranteed the American women their right to vote.
Although we appreciate how far women have come, it’s important to remember how far we still have to go.
The U.S. system is financially unwell. The APA’s 2017 Stress in America survey reports that 62% of Americans are stressed about money. A Federal Reserve Board survey reported almost half of Americans (44%) can’t cover a $400 emergency without borrowing money or selling something. 34% of Americans say they have $0 in savings (up from 28% in 2015) and 69% of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings. The Economic Policy Institute reports that half of all Americans have nothing put away for retirement. The average household with student loan debt has accumulated $46,597 in student loans. The average household with credit card debt has $15,654 in credit card debt.
Spoiler alert! It’s worse for women. According to the American Community Survey (ACS), the average woman in the United States makes 82 cents for every dollar a man makes. The gap widens for black women (62 cents), American Indian or Alaska Native (57 cents) and Hispanic women (54 cents). USA Today reported that globally, women may not receive equal pay for another 257 years. The gender pay gap leaves women in the U.S. less prepared to weather a financial blow than men.
Cue a global pandemic (plus the market uncertainty and low job security it brings) and we’ve got ourselves a perfect storm.
Beyond the gender pay gap, across all classes and races, women are getting hit the hardest by the economic impact of COVID-19. According to Bloomberg, the industries almost entirely shut down by the virus are disproportionately staffed by women. Women hold 53% of restaurant, hotel and accommodation jobs which are seeing layoffs and reduced hours due to social distancing directives. Even more, moms working remotely are taking on the majority of unpaid labor at home while balancing their virtual workday.
Still not angry? In addition to earning less than their male counterparts for the same job, and being more at risk during market and life disrupting moments, like scary viruses, women also pay more for…wait for it…basic household items. That’s right. The “pink tax” is the extra cost on many products marketed directly to women, like clothing or hygiene products. $1-2 per item over a lifetime adds up to thousands of dollars extra each.damn.year.
What Can You Do?
Many of these issues are systemic, outside of our direct sphere of influence, and are expected to take decades to solve. But don’t despair. Now that we got you good and angry, let’s channel that energy into things we can control, starting today.
Be Intentional: Without a system of financial education in place, we need to seek out the answers on our own. Take a course, listen to a podcast, and find the financial resources you need to make values-based decisions with your money. Since women are paid less, our money needs to be working harder to keep pace with our male counterparts.
Don’t be shy…talk money: Start talking about it…because not talking about it is costing us big time! Challenge the taboo, open the lines of communication with friends and family and lift the veil of secrecy. Transparency around salaries helps women negotiate for equal pay and achieve their goals.
Paycheck Check-In: Research average salaries for your industry, location, and experience level to see if you’re earning what you should. If you’re making below what you should consider requesting a pay increase.
Always Negotiate: Unless you’re told otherwise, there’s often more money behind a job offer. Research average salaries, prepare your value-add pitch and practice making the ask. 55% of women say they have never asked for a raise. You could miss out of $600,000 to $1.5 million over a lifetime by never negotiating your salary.
And then negotiate some more: Consider negotiating non-salary items like vacation days, professional development funds, flex work arrangements (hello, four-day workweek!), or your job title. Some of these things can benefit you greatly in the future.
Erin Chase, founder of the blog 5 Dollar Dinners, is on a mission to help busy, overwhelmed home chefs learn to spend less money on groceries. Erin joins The 411k to talk food budgets and how to save money on groceries, so that you can do more with the rest of your budget.
You can find more information about Erin and her money saving resources at 5DollarDinners.com.
Britny Lawhorn joins The 411k to teach us how to make informed decisions throughout the home-buying process. Buying a home is often the biggest financial decision that a person makes and so it’s important to understand as much as you can about the factors that impact that purchase. In this episode, we are talking specifically about what a first-time buyer should know about mortgages.
Melody Wright understands that a financial plan isn’t one size fits all! In this live episode with Ithaca College’s Women in Finance and POC in Finance groups, she talks about her new book, Start Here, a personal finance guide to move past living paycheck to paycheck. When faced with $212K of debt that didn’t include their mortgage, Melody used the analytical skills learned from her time in science to develop a framework that helped her family pay off over $100,000 in debt in less than three years. Now she’s living her version of a Rich Life! Through bold conversations, coaching, and the creation of strategic money management systems, she has helped thousands of people stop being Aimlessly Broke and transform their mindset, behaviors, and practices related to money.
Kim Pentico has been working with and on behalf of survivors of sexual and domestic violence since 1990. She first spent over seven years working for a local domestic violence program in Kansas and another seven years at the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence. She has also worked for the S.T.O.P. Technical Assistance Project in Washington, D.C. Kim is currently the Director of the Economic Justice Program for the Nation Network to End Domestic Violence, working to further assist survivors in moving from short-term safety to long-term security.
In this episode, we talk about domestic violence, and specifically financial abuse, which is a difficult topic, however, it affects millions of men and women of every race, religion, culture, and status. Parts of this conversation may be triggering for people, so please be aware of this before listening to this episode. We hope that having more conversations like this can inspire change and help anyone impacted by domestic violence.
If you have questions about what is available in your community, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline, at 800-799-7233. You have a state domestic violence coalition and you can Google your state plus “domestic violence coalition” to find out what is available to you.
Sarah Li-Cain is a finance writer and host of Beyond The Dollar, where she and her guests have deep and honest conversations about how money affects your well-being. In this episode, Sarah joins The 411k to talk about practical tips and mindset strategies so that those trying to change their financial life can forgive their mistakes and start to trust themselves with money.
We are so grateful to have Leisa Peterson join us to talk about scarcity and abundance. No matter how much money we end up earning, saving or investing, deep inside we can still hold on to a sense of lack and deficiency about who we think we are. Leisa Peterson shares some insight into her 7 Step Prosperity Ladder to help us develop an abundance mindset. Check out this episode as well as her book, The Mindful Millionaire, to learn more!
Charlotte Cowles writes My Two Cents, a weekly column about money, for New York Magazine’s The Cut. She joins us to talk about her transition from a stable job with benefits and a salary to working for herself as a freelance writer. Tune in to learn more about how she is offering comfort and advice to those who write to her during the pandemic and it’s constant instability.
Catie is a single graphic designer hustling to retire early by 35. She runs Millennial Money Honey where she shares her adventure to financial independence inspiring others to start their own journey. Catie joins us to talk about FIRE – Financial Independence, Retire Early. She’s sharing tips and tricks that she is using to save money for a work-optional future.