9 Best Tips To Survive the Rest of COVID Winter with Kids

9 Best Tips To Survive the Rest of COVID Winter with Kids

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I don’t know about you, but not only are COVID times growing interminable, but winter during COVID is feeling like a never-ending polar vortex.  But, we will all get through it, and even if it will still be COVID times, at least it will be spring soon.  Until then, here are my best tips to surviving the rest of COVID winter. 1. Return to the Outdoors In October, it snowed where we live. My kids were elated - we even overnighted new sleds since the old ones had broken and there weren’t yet any in local stores. Now when it snows, my children barely lift an eyebrow. I had bought us all ski goggles, so we could still get outside even when temperatures dropped below zero. That was optimistic. Instead, we have become…
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Women’s Money Manifesto

Women’s Money Manifesto

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Are you ready to reshape your financial future? Did you come to Women’s Money looking for some practical tips on managing your money, learning how to invest, negotiating for a sabbatical, or even building a business? Women’s Money is a community of strong, action-oriented women who are inspired to create change for themselves and positively impact the world around them. We believe in: Letting go of the past.Living in the present.Investing in the future. We do this by: Shaking it off and starting with a clean slate.Knowing that through challenge, we can change.Finding joy and making more brilliant moments.Showing up and doing what we say we will. We invest in ourselves. We use structure to create freedom. We don’t improve just for ourselves. We also strive to improve the lives of others. …
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What Do You Need Right Now?

What Do You Need Right Now?

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What kind of preparation do you do for important moments in your life? Maybe you spent hundreds of hours, logging thousands of miles, preparing for a marathon. Maybe you prepared responses to exhaustive lists of interview questions to prepare for a job interview. Maybe you spent months agonizing over a guest list and table centerpieces and tens of thousands of dollars preparing for a wedding. Maybe you went to classes, read countless books, and packed and repacked your hospital bag to prepare for childbirth. Maybe you are saving for an entire lifetime to be ready for retirement. But what about today? This exact moment? How much time did you spend preparing for right now? Why Preparation is Important One thing I have learned during this time of COVID is the…
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8 Key Metrics to Assess Your Financial Well-Being

8 Key Metrics to Assess Your Financial Well-Being

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Last week I wrote about seven frameworks to analyze your entire life and overall well-being. But what if you’re not interested in your overall well-being and just want personal finance specific frameworks?   You're in luck. We have some metrics you can use to assess your financial well-being. Metrics to Assess Your Financial Health Below are the best ways to think about your personal finances. You can analyze, track, and assess your financial health and wellness with these metrics. Run the numbers, and see how you are doing. 1. Income and Expenses The simplest framework for understanding your monthly and yearly finances is to understand your income and your expenses. To put together this list, simply put your income in one spreadsheet (or column of a spreadsheet) and your expenses for that…
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Virtual Volunteering: 13 Ways to Volunteer Online

Virtual Volunteering: 13 Ways to Volunteer Online

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During Giving November, we’ve been focused on ways to be grateful and give back by giving away your money, your stuff, and even your time.   Organizations need volunteers now more than ever. But, due to COVID-19, many people either aren’t able or willing to volunteer. Furthermore, some organizations can’t accept traditional volunteers.  So how can you make a difference without donating money or volunteering in person? The answer is virtual volunteering. How to Volunteer Online There are many organizations with online volunteer opportunities. But how can you find opportunities? Here are 13 ways you can volunteer online. Call or Email Local Organizations Many nonprofits are still trying to figure out how to move traditional volunteering opportunities to remote volunteer work. Some organizations were able to pivot quickly during COVID-19. Others…
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5 Unexpected Benefits of Giving Away Stuff

5 Unexpected Benefits of Giving Away Stuff

Giving, Take Action
During Giving November, we aren’t just focused on giving away money. The month is also about giving away our time, our skills, and our stuff.  Whether it’s gently used or toys, clothes, books, or even furniture, here are five unexpected benefits of donating things to charity.  1. You Will Feel Lighter Before we were all glued to Marie Kondo’s Netflix Special, “Tidying Up," Gretchen Rubin was writing about the benefits of having an empty shelf.   When you give away your things, you feel lighter and less weighed down.  2. You Gain a Sense of Control Similar to the weight that is metaphorically lifted when you give away your things, decluttering provides a sense of control. Even doing just one small thing on your checklist will empower you to take…
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Set Up Automatic Monthly Donations to Charity

Set Up Automatic Monthly Donations to Charity

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At the end of the year do you pull out your checkbook and start writing checks to numerous charities? That's what I used to do. Every year just before Thanksgiving the appeals start rolling in - to my inbox, mailbox, and even (in non-COVID years) directly by knocks at my door. (Which always makes me feel especially bad because in November in Minnesota it's not exactly warm.) With all of these organizations asking for money my spouse and I sit down with a list of nonprofits we care about and make donations to each one. While this giving certainly gets me in the holiday spirit, and the gratitude makes me feel a lot happier, it's not the best thing to do for the charity or my wallet. This week I…
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Why and How to Set Up a Donor-Advised Fund

Why and How to Set Up a Donor-Advised Fund

Goals / Taking Action, Take Action
One of the most practical tips I learned in law school was from a Wills & Trusts class. No, it wasn’t about how to plan for your death. It was about how to plan for your life, specifically when it comes to donating money. The term I heard in that class, that I had never heard about before, was “donor-advised fund.”   We learned that this was similar to a charitable trust, but with some unique differences.  I don’t know about you, but to me, setting up a charitable trust or anything similar sounded like something only rich people would or should do. However, it turns out you don’t have to be one of the ultra-rich to have a donor advised fund. You can and should set one up. Why Should…
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How and Why to Check Your Dependent Care FSA Today for COVID-19 Breaks

How and Why to Check Your Dependent Care FSA Today for COVID-19 Breaks

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For most employees, it’s open enrollment season right now. And, for many of us, it’s hard to imagine what we need to sign up for in 2021. If you’re like me, everything we thought we needed for 2020 turned out to be a bit different than we planned. A year ago, I signed up for all of my company’s benefits. These benefits included a health care plan with HSA (we have two young kids and always hit our deductible), a vision plan (because two of us wear glasses), a dental plan (yep, we all have teeth!), and the trusty Dependent Care FSA. What is a Dependent Care FSA? For those who aren’t familiar with it, a Dependent Care FSA allows you to set aside pre-tax dollars (up to $5,000 in…
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Preparing for Unexpected Financial Challenges

Preparing for Unexpected Financial Challenges

Budgeting, Goals / Taking Action, Money in Your 20s/30s/40s/50s/Retirement, Take Action
I think most of us agree that saving money is important, but are we putting our money where our proverbial mouths are? According to a 2015 survey, 35% of American’s had no savings, and 34% had less than $1,000. This means that 69% of Americans are financial fragile. When life starts throwing curve-balls at them, these individuals and families likely will not have the necessary funds to meet the challenge(s). It also begs the question: “Is just one savings fund enough to meet all my life’s financial challenges?” The answer is not really. If all you have is one savings fund, it is still worth taking pride in. Saving money can be very difficult and any progress you’ve deserves celebration. But don’t stop with one. There are three basic types…
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