FCP035 – How to Overcome Poverty

Welcome back to the Financial Conversation Podcast!

Tonight we are discussing a somewhat sensitive topic – how to overcome poverty.

Our guest, Femme Frugality, joins us in talking about what it’s like to live below the poverty level, what it’s like to seek government assistance, the challenges of being on said assistance, and how to work toward overcoming poverty.

Learning how to overcome poverty can be difficult, especially when the government doesn't make it easy, and it can be hard to face the fact you need help. We discuss the hardships and what you can do to overcome poverty here.

In this episode we discuss:

  • 2:00 – Femme’s backstory, living at the poverty level, and her experience with overcoming poor
  • 5:10 – Remembering where we came from and how we got to where we are today
  • 14:10 – Welfare requirements
  • 26:10 – Government subsidization of minimum wage workers with tax credits
  • 37:20 – How education can help you with overcoming poor
  • 53:20 – Femme’s plans for the future

Related links to check out:

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3 Hidden Costs of Pet Ownership

This week on the podcast, we discussed how you can save money on your furry friends.

We talked about lots of tips for saving on things like food, supplies, and more. But what we didn’t talk about are some of the things that people often forget about when they decide to get a pet.

Unfortunately, the cost of adopting or buying a pet is usually one of the cheapest things about owning a pet, but it’s the only thing that most people consider before taking a pet home. People often forget about all the other expenses of owning a pet.

The cost of owning a pet doesn’t just include the basics. There are actually some hidden and unexpected costs of pet ownership too.

Here are 3 hidden costs of pet ownership that we’ve each encountered.

We all love our pets, but there are a few hidden costs of pet ownership that you should be aware of before you adopt. Here are three we've encountered!

Emergency Vet Care

I’ve had to make emergency trips to the vet’s office more than once since owning pets. It seems that my dogs and cat never get sick or injured during regular office hours. Instead, they wait until right after the office closes for the day or until the weekend to need vet care. Larger cities may have vets that stay open late, or even clinics that are open on the weekends, but in my area these types of situations warrant extra charges from the  vet.

It’s nice to know that I can call my vet anytime I need to, but it is significantly more expensive to see a vet after hours and on the weekends.

-Kayla

Special-Needs Toys / Changing the Environment

After our episode was recorded, I actually adopted a dog (this had been my plan for years, though!). What I wasn’t specifically planning for was adopting a “special-needs” dog…but I unexpectedly found an adorable blind pit-mix at the SPCA.

While he has adapted to the house very quickly, we wanted to make sure his quality of life didn’t suffer. He’s able to see shadows and does much better in daylight, so we ordered LED runners for the hallway, a remote and separate battery to power them, and nightlights, so he can navigate around easily at nighttime.

We had been planning on ordering a few new pieces to better organize the house as well, which freed up some space in the living room, bedroom, and back laundry room (where the back door to the yard is). He has less of a chance of bumping into something now, and we’ve “baby-proofed” as many sharp corners as we can.

On the docket is ordering a banana or something similar that says “I’m Blind” on it, so that when we take him for walks, people know to approach with caution so they don’t startle him.

Last, but not least, we also wanted to focus on toys that made noise so he’s able to track them down by listening to them.

As Kayla said, emergency vet care is even more important in my case, as my dog might get too excited and end up bumping into something, or worse, eat something he mistakes for food or a toy!

-Erin

Property Damage

Everyone wants to think their pet will be a perfect angel. My cat is sweet, but she does get into mischief around the house every now and then. We live in an apartment and I figured there would be a pet deposit we’d have to pay in order to have a cat. I understand that this fee is to help cover any damage the animal may make to the property on accident.

We haven’t had our cat for long and while I’m sure our deposit is a nice safety cushion, it’s actually pretty low and doesn’t cover a lot of our personal belongings. Luckily, my cat hasn’t caused too much considerable damage in our home but I’m starting to notice little things like the way she climbs up the patio screen door and the blinds along with how she tore a hole in the box spring for my bed in order to make it into her own little hiding spot.

My furniture is pretty old, but if my cat happened to scratch up one of my couches, it could be costly to replace it with new furniture. Luckily, these are expenses you can prepare for by setting up a pet emergency fund even if you don’t know exactly what you’ll use it for in the future. You can also pet-proof your home to protect your belongings.

-Chonce

 

Have you experienced any of these unexpected expenses as a pet owner? Are there any expenses you’d like to avoid?

FCP034 – How to Save Money on Pets

Welcome back to the Financial Conversation Podcast!

Chonce recently announced on Facebook that she and her family adopted a new cat, Emma, and we thought the cost of pets would make for a great topic of discussion on the podcast.

Chonce's cat
Chonce’s cat

Furry friends can be expensive, and since all three of us have pets or have had pets in the past, we’ve learned many ways to save money on pets. We share our best tips in this episode.

The cost of pets is more than most people realize. Before you consider adopting a dog or a cat, learn how much you can expect to spend and how to save.

In this episode we discuss:

  • 1:00 – Chonce’s Cat Adoption Story
  • 2:10 – Pet Expenses
  • 6:50 – Cats vs. Dogs
  • 10:45 – Pet Costs for Apartment Living
  • 20:35 – Saving on Pet Food
  • 27:00 – Litter and Waste Management
  • 30:20 – Pet Toys and Spoiling Your Pet

Related links to check out:

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3 Unexpected Outcomes of Freelancing

In this week’s episode, we talked about the downsides that self-employment has when contrasted with working a traditional job.

To most people, working from home is synonymous with lounging around, watching TV, and doing whatever you want, whenever you want. But the reality for most freelancers is far different.

Since we covered what we sometimes miss from working a regular day job, we also wanted to take a moment to cover things that come with freelancing that you might not have anticipated.

Being self-employed means facing many challenges – challenges you never would have thought about during your day dreams of working for yourself.

Here are three things you wouldn’t expect from freelancing, but that you should prepare for.

Being self-employed comes with many challenges, and there are a few unexpected outcomes of freelancing we've experienced. Prepare yourself by reading this!

You Might Get a Full-Time Job Offer

How about we start off with a bang? One thing I certainly didn’t anticipate when I went the freelancing route was getting a full-time job offer…but I did. Twice.

Technically, my first offer came in the form of an unpaid gig working at a start-up. Unfortunately, it didn’t go very far, but this was an opportunity I didn’t anticipate. At all.

The second offer I did take – two of my clients offered me full-time hours in between the two of them.

I know a few other freelancers who have been contacted by clients or companies they’ve worked with to come on board full-time as well, so these aren’t isolated incidents in the least.

When you think about it, it makes sense. Depending on the field you work in, your clients may become long-term clients. I’ve been working with some of mine for close to two years now.

If you’re lucky, you’ll grow with them…and as their businesses grows, so do the opportunities they can extend to you. It’s up to you to decide which path you want to go down.

– Erin

Working Extremely Hard for ‘Vacation Hours’

It’s no secret that when you work for yourself, you don’t paid for the time you take off for vacation or other activities. Yes, freelancing allows you to be location independent and take as many days off or vacations as you can afford. However, if you don’t work, you don’t eat in a sense because you won’t make any money. Therefore, you can’t take as many off days as you’d like because working for yourself is still work even though it’s flexible.

I experienced this first hand since I’m currently juggling working full time with freelancing. When I scheduled time off at my traditional job for my honeymoon, I felt a little pressure to make sure I had all my work done but it wasn’t nearly as much pressure as I felt in terms of working ahead with my freelancing business.

Even though I was going to be on vacation for a week, I still had deadlines to meet, invoices to send, and clients to communicate with. Unlike with my day job, there was no one else around to answer emails for me or maintain the workflow. I didn’t want to work during my honeymoon either so I did my best to work ahead.

During the weeks leading up to my wedding I spent most nights cramming in extra work and when I did all I could with the time I had, I still had to ask one client if I could skip my article for their site for one week since I wouldn’t have time to do it. I had never skipped an article before so she was fine with it, but I was slightly bummed that I would receive less income from that client for the following month as a result.

No one wants to work when on a true vacation or even check emails for that matter. I set up an email autoresponder and even reach out to some of my clients directly to let them know I’ll be away from my computer for a few days and I usually tackle my inbox when I return. You can also hire a VA to manage your email while you’re away if you get a ton of messages each day.

If you’re going to work for yourself but don’t imagine yourself working every single day, I’d recommend getting at least 1-2 weeks ahead with your tasks. This way if you need to take a sick day or vacation, it’s not detrimental to your schedule, income, or workflow.

-Chonce

Taxes, Taxes, Taxes

One of the things I like best about running my own business is that I can make as much money as I want to – truly! If I want to earn more money I can seek additional work with my current clients, or try to find new clients or brands to partner with. I also have complete control over how much I charge for my services. I can raise my rates with current clients whenever I want. Plus I can also ask for more money whenever I get a new client.

The only downside to earning more money is having to pay self-employment taxes on it.

I’ve always saved a large portion of my freelance income to help cover taxes. But last year I ended up in a higher tax bracket than my accountant and I were expecting. This resulted in me having to fork over a large chunk of money to cover my 2015 taxes in April of this year. Then I turned around the next week and paid my quarterly taxes for 2016. It was a painful week to write two large checks for self-employment taxes.

I just try to remember that the positives of self-employment still outweigh this negative. Plus if you are paying more in taxes, it’s because you made more money.

-Kayla

Have you ever thought about freelancing? If you are a freelancer, have you experienced any unexpected outcomes?

FCP033 – The Grass Isn’t Always Greener When You Run Your Own Business

Welcome back to the Financial Conversation Podcast!

In this episode, we are talking about the pros and cons of working for a traditional employer vs. running your own business. We’ve found that sometimes the grass isn’t always greener when you’re self-employed.

Quitting your job to run your own business may sound like a dream, but there are some downsides and factors to consider before you make the leap to self employment.

Being self-employed might sound like a dream, but it's a lot harder than it looks. Here are the pros and cons to consider before making the leap.

In this episode we discuss:

  • 1:50 – Benefits Packages
  • 6:20 – Paid Time Off
  • 12:20 – Setting Boundaries
  • 17:00 – Flexible Work Hours
  • 24:45 – Chonce’s Work Experiences
  • 34:15 – Insurance, Taxes, and Other Expenses
  • 41:45 – Benefits of Running Your Own Business

Related links to check out:

Like It? Subscribe!

We would love it if you subscribed via iTunes, Stitcher, or SoundCloud, or if you left us a review! While we love getting together and chatting each episode, it’s great to know people are listening. =)

We want to hear from you! Do you have suggestions or questions? Comment below, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.