Blog

Is Capital One Cheating You Too? The Secret You Must Know About Your High-Interest Account

Is Capital One Cheating You Too? The Secret You Must Know About Your High-Interest Account

banking
Are you a Capital One savings account customer? If so, you could be losing thousands of dollars a year and should check your accounts immediately. Here’s how to find out if you're impacted and what to do about it. Background As diligent as I am with my money, I recently discovered I was losing thousands of dollars a year in interest. I thought I had a high-interest bank account with Capital One, but it turns out, my interest rate was only 0.30%. Why was it so low? Because apparently several years ago Capital One essentially archived certain legacy accounts – the “360 Savings Accounts”– and instead created a competing product that actually earns high interest. (These new accounts are called a deceptively similar name - the “360 Performance Savings Account”…
Read More
How to Exchange Old British Pounds From the U.S.

How to Exchange Old British Pounds From the U.S.

banking
My grandmother-in-law passed away several years ago. Among her things were some very old British Pounds. The pounds were from the 1970’s and 1980’s - so old enough to be difficult to cash, but not so old as to be valuable as antiques.  We hung onto them for several years because we didn’t know how to exchange old British Pounds from the US.  But eventually we figured it out and have quite the story to tell. First Options for Exchanging British Pounds Try Your Bank Your bank may allow you to deposit British Pounds at a branch. I visited our local Wells Fargo and they had a book of currency that showed pictures of what the teller was allowed to exchange. Unfortunately, because of the age of our British Pounds,…
Read More
How Do You Calculate Estimated Taxes When You Quit Your Job

How Do You Calculate Estimated Taxes When You Quit Your Job

Uncategorized
When you quit your job, the last thing you are probably thinking about is your tax bill. But, as they say, there are two things certain in life: death and taxes. And given the changes that quitting your job can bring, it's best to be prepared when tax time comes. So, how do you calculate estimated taxes when you quit your job? Follow these simple steps: How To Calculate Estimated Taxes When You Quit Your Job Get a copy of your last pay stub. If while working at your company you logged into a software to get your paystub, you might not have access anymore once you’ve left the company. You should get a copy of your final paystub by mail or email (or both) within 2 weeks of your…
Read More
Sabbatical Update: 6 Weeks In

Sabbatical Update: 6 Weeks In

Travel
I’m now six weeks into my sabbatical. The first month I was on sabbatical I spent 100% of the time on vacation. (Well, vacation aside from the point when I hit rock bottom.)  We traveled to Italy for a month as a family as part of my plan to take a sabbatical abroad. We traveled slowly, staying in just 4 places, and doing day trips while enjoying the slower pace of Italian and vacation life. Sabbatical In Italy Highlights  Favorites included the beautiful town of Lucca, and shopping in the many food markets, enjoying the mini beaches on the Cinque Terre, the main beaches and their mini beach clubs in several cities. (If you’re ever on the Amalfi Coast make sure you visit Mary’s Beach in Nerano  and enjoy a…
Read More
How to Redeem Citi Premier Card ThankYou Points for Cash or Statement Credit

How to Redeem Citi Premier Card ThankYou Points for Cash or Statement Credit

Credit
To my regular readers, this post is a little off topic today; but I feel it’s an important Public Service Announcement.   Background of Citi Rewards Card I’m a huge proponent of mindful use of credit cards to earn and maximize credit card rewards. As part of my sabbatical and having more time and space in my life, I recently did a credit card review and inventory.   I signed up for the Citi Premier card as they were offering 80,000 bonus points if you spent $4,000 within 4 months of signing up. Given that our health insurance premium is over $800/month, I knew we would easily meet this.  Even with a $95 annual fee, that’s still $700 bonus dollars (tax free!) I downloaded and activated the Citi Mobile App. I found…
Read More
How to Get Health Insurance If You Quit Your Job

How to Get Health Insurance If You Quit Your Job

Sabbatical Sundays
Are you thinking about quitting your job but worry you can’t quit because you’d lose health insurance? Or maybe you’ve just quit your job and are now panicked because you got a COBRA statement and it’s insanely expensive? The good news is I’ve been there and done that and am here to tell you all about it. The better news is you can get health insurance coverage too.  If you quit your job for any reason you have at least two and maybe three options for health insurance coverage.  I’ll lay them out here along with additional details I have from personal experience. (For more on my personal experience, here are 9 Lessons I Learned from Quitting My Job to Take a Sabbatical. And if you are really unsure if…
Read More
What Does Freedom Mean to You?

What Does Freedom Mean to You?

Sabbatical Sundays
Women’s Money is about helping you to fund your freedom.  What does this mean? It means affording the life you want.  But what exactly does freedom mean to you? Every person has her own definition.   For you, is freedom being free from something? Or being free to do something?  Are you looking for freedom from a job? From a boss? From a salary?  Maybe you’re looking to move.  Maybe you’re looking to be free from a person. Or you want the freedom to choose when and how you work? Do you want the freedom to buy whatever you want? Fly first class around the world at the drop of a hat?  Or does freedom look like spend an afternoon hiking in a local park, with no constraints on your time?…
Read More
Sabbatical Update: Rock Bottom on the Amalfi Coast

Sabbatical Update: Rock Bottom on the Amalfi Coast

Sabbatical Sundays
Picture this: 3 weeks into my sabbatical we arrived on the Amalfi Coast. White stony pebble beaches, waves crashing, and endless turquoise water. Limoncello and olive tree groves at every turn. And despite this supposed beauty and peace, I hit a new low. A message popped in from a recruiter. For a position at one of the largest make-up manufacturers in the world. I got really excited and decided I should apply. I had the skills. The position was remote. The salary was incredible. I started picturing myself interviewing and getting the job.  I checked the company’s stock price, it had been a rough year but an incredible five years. The type of position they reached out to me for showed they are a sophisticated and complex organization. I awoke…
Read More
Surprise!  The Big Reveal

Surprise! The Big Reveal

Uncategorized
I’m ready to let you in on a secret. Remember Sam’s Sabbatical Sunday series? Starting a little over a year ago, “Samantha” wrote weekly articles for Women’s Money.  She wrote about why to take a sabbatical, how she saved $100,000, signs of burnout, and how to get health insurance while on sabbatical. You can find the whole series here.  Well, the truth is “Sam” was not Samantha - but me - Elizabeth. For various reasons, a pseudonym was the best choice for me writing those posts at that time. But now, I’m ready to be out. (Not out as gay, I was that many years ago!) But out as someone who left her corporate career behind to take some much needed time to refresh. When much of your identity is wrapped…
Read More
Should You Take Money Out of a 529 Account While the Market is Down?

Should You Take Money Out of a 529 Account While the Market is Down?

Uncategorized
When the market is down, it’s worth reviewing everything in your portfolio. Even your child’s 529 plan. Are you comfortable with your allocation of funds? How does your risk tolerance feel given the bear market? Is tax loss harvesting worth it for you?  But I have another more unique strategy to consider: taking money out of your kid’s 529 plan. That’s right. I’m suggesting selling off the college savings fund for your precious child. And not just at any time, but when the market is down! Hear me out. Perhaps you’ve been investing diligently in your son or daughter’s 529 account for the past few years.  Let’s assume you already have invested $30,000 in the account. But due to market timing and the downturn, you now have just $33,000 in…
Read More