Welcome to my weekly life update where I share about my pregnancy & give you a peek into our life this past week. If you want to follow a lot more behind-the-scenes and real-time updates every week, be sure to follow my stories and posts on Instagram.
14 weeks — and officially into the second trimester!! (This isn’t the best pregnancy photo, but this is the only one I got this week so it will have to do. Jesse took it so I could post the amazing $10.95 deal on these shirts — the deal ends tonight!)
The baby seemed to have a big growth spurt over the past 6 days. And we’ve officially hit the no more flat stomach in the morning stage.
(Also, I cannot BELIEVE how much my stomach pops by the end of the day most days!! It’s like I grow by 5 inches! Okay, I haven’t actually measured, but that’s sure what it feels like!)
I actually had a lot more energy than I’ve had in *weeks* the past few days!! And I’ve actually been craving salads and healthy food again.
It feels SO good to be back to much more normal eating again. I was really, really sick to my stomach two mornings this past week, but it went away after a few hours and I am so grateful.
Cheese, sour cream, whipped, yogurt, milk, ice cream… notice a theme here? It’s a good thing I don’t have any dairy allergies!!
WEIGHT GAIN: 6 pounds
We have another doctor’s appointment in a few days, which I’m excited about. (I think pregnancy is probably one of the few times when you look forward to going to the doctor!)
Our youth group hosted a Fall Festival for our church kids and the community. Each youth group small group chose a theme and dressed up, planned a game, and decorated our room for that theme. Can you guess what theme our group chose??
Around 200 kids came to the event and we were busy all night helping the kids play our game and passing out candy. It was such a fun night!
These girls are just amazing and I’m so honored to get to be one of their small group leaders!
One of the best parts of youth group is getting to co-lead our group with one of my best friends!
If you need a laugh, go read this.
Silas had his last baseball games of the fall season this past week. I loved how his coach spoke words of life over each boy at the end of the last game. Silas has been so blessed to have so many great coaches over the past few years who are so committed to pouring into young boys’ lives.
Almost all of my girls from my youth group small group were performing in Seussical Jr. so of course I had to go cheer them on!
Kaitlynn came with me to the show and we had so much fun together. I am always looking for opportunities to have one-on-one time with each of the kids.
Reading right now: Come Matter Here
Watching right now: Figure skating!
Listening to right now: I’ve been listening to Josh Groban and some Christmas music the past few days.
Loving right now: The cooler fall temperatures — which means we can actually legitimately wear sweaters and boots!
In Case You Missed It…
How to Make Money Creating Printables — Looking for a way to add some extra income? You don’t want to miss this post!
I Earned 117 Swagbucks Today — Need a little motivation to earn more Swagbucks and free gift cards? Here you go!
Why I Stopped Drinking Coffee — A really honest post with details on how and why I stopped drinking coffee. [...]
The Robinhood effect popped up again, as Schwab slashed its stock commissions to zero and forced TD America, E-trade, Interactive Brokers, Ally Invest, and Fidelity to follow suit over the next few days. Schwab called this the zero commission brokerage war, on CNN. This war is just the beginning of a broader trend that will […]
The post What has triggered the explosion of payments for order flow? Not Fidelity appeared first on Daily Fintech. [...]
On July 18, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) published Regulatory Notice 19-24 (Notice), which encourages member firms to continue notifying their Regulatory Coordinators about their digital assets activities. The Notice extends the requested notification period originally set forth in Regulatory Notice 18-20 from July 31, 2019 to July 31, 2020. (For additional information regarding the amendment, please refer to the July 13, 2018 edition of Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest.) Member firms are encouraged to promptly notify their Regulatory Coordinators if its associated persons or affiliates currently engage in, or intend to engage in, any activities related to digital assets. Covered activities include, but are not limited to, purchases, sales and executions of digital assets transactions and the acceptance of cryptocurrencies from customers. FINRA is not requesting this information from firms that have already submitted a continuing membership application addressing their digital asset-related activities or have otherwise provided the covered information, unless a change has occurred.
The Notice is available here. [...]
Lazy days in the hammock, bucket list trips to Europe, leisurely drives in your sports car.
Wait, you’ve spent more time jettisoning ideas than planning jet-setting excursions?
Despite your best savings efforts — and unexpected expenses — those idyllic retirement plans may have run into the stark reality that you didn’t end up with the nest egg you had planned on. In fact, you’re headed toward your golden years with credit card debt. Employee Benefit Research Institute.
In 1992, 53.8% of families with the head of household ages 55 or older had debt. By 2016, that number had climbed to 68%.
Unfortunately, it’s a nationwide trend, as families just reaching retirement or those recently retired are more likely to have debt — and higher levels of it — than past generations, according to a study by the
Without your former income, you may be starting to worry about making the growing credit card payments on a fixed income, particularly when the average Social Security monthly benefit is $1,461.
Putting a dent — permanently — in credit card debt when you’re retired is possible, and we have seven ways to help pay off your debt so you can enjoy that hammock.
8 Ways to Help Pay Down Credit Card Debt in Retirement
Retirement offers unique opportunities and challenges when you’re paying off debt.
You may have new sources of income, like Social Security or a pension, and new expenses, like increased healthcare costs or fun stuff like travel.
So here are eight post-employment strategies that can help you pay down debt.
1. Make a Budget
Tackling credit card payment as you approach retirement starts by re-examining your budget.
Making changes to your lifestyle and using your free time to save money is a good place to start, according to Joseph Valenti, senior policy advisor with the AARP Public Policy Institute, in Washington, D.C.
“One thing we know from studies of retirement is that people have fewer set costs typically compared to when they were working,” he said. “If they have more time, maybe they will be preparing more meals at home.”
If you need help creating your budget, check out our step-by-step guide to budgeting or learn the basics in our Budgeting 101 Academy course.
Once you know where you stand financially, you can start looking for ways to cut the credit card balance.
2. Negotiate With Credit Card Companies
The best way to know where you stand is to look at the numbers — in this case, the interest rate on your cards. It’s easier to pay down a debt if you’re accumulating less interest on top of the original amount (learn more about compound interest in our Credit Cards 101 Academy course).
Asking your credit card company for a new rate is one option, particularly if you’re ready to commit to living credit card-free going forward, Valenti said.
“In some cases, even if you close that card, they will let you pay it down for little or no interest over a period of time,” Valenti said. “That’s assuming you don’t need the card again.”
When you call the credit card company, the first person you talk to may not be able to help you, even if they think they can. Ask to speak with a manager who handles settlement arrangements.
Check out this post for more tips on negotiating credit card debt.
And if you’re too overwhelmed to deal with the creditors themselves, consider reaching out to a credit counselor, who can help you organize your accounts and may negotiate a lower interest rate for you.
3. Transfer Your Balance to a New Card
Loyalty isn’t necessarily rewarding. If you’ve had the same card for years, transferring your balance to a new card could give you a lower interest rate than you current provider can offer. Reap the most benefits by paying down as much debt as you can during the promotional period.
When you’re considering which card to go with, compare this information for all offers:
Fees (typically at least $5 to $10 or 3% to 5% of the balance)
Interest (look for 0%)
Duration of the promotional APR (usually 12 to 18 months)
Credit score requirements (generally good or excellent)
Credit limits (make sure it’s more than your current balance)
Here’s what else to consider before transferring a balance.
4. Cut (Former) Work-Related Expenses
Still hanging on to that gym membership, even though you only signed up because it was close to your office?
By reviewing your monthly, periodic and annual budgets, you may discover work-related expenses that have become so habitual you’ve forgotten about them, according to Valenti, who gave transportation, clothing and cell phone expenses as examples.
Cancel subscriptions to professional associations and other automatic billings associated with work (an ink cartridge subscription, for instance) to avoid unwanted surprises at the end of the month. If you have trouble keeping up with recurring payments, try using a subscription tracking tool.
And if you still enjoy hitting the gym, cut costs by asking about senior discounts — AARP has many for its members.
5. Set Up Self-Imposed Limits
Before retirement, those little expenses that broke your budget one month may have been easier to cushion with your regular paycheck. And remembering them all may have been a little easier a few years ago.
To help you track the expenses and avoid unwanted surprises at the end of the month, Valenti suggested setting up alerts from your bank or credit card provider.
“It’s one thing to find out instantly through a text that you’ve reached a limit — even if it’s a self-imposed limit — as opposed to a statement that’s going to shock you at the end of a cycle,” Valenti said.
6. Ask for Professional (Financial) Help
If you’re overwhelmed by managing your day-to-day finances or fear forgetting to pay bills and sinking further in debt, consider hiring a daily money manager.
In addition to tracking bills, daily money managers can help you with balancing your checkbook, collecting tax documents, dealing with medical bills and even avoiding scams.
Your bank must protect two months’ worth of Social Security benefits from a credit card collector’s garnishment. If your account has more than that, the bank can garnish or freeze the extra money.
Depending on where you live, a daily money manager may charge $75 to $150 an hour. However, the American Association of Daily Money Managers provides a list of state agencies that provide services to low-income and disabled seniors.
7. Make Extra Money on Your Empty Nest
Now that the kids have moved out (hopefully), you’re stuck with that big, empty house.
One option for making money is to sell it and downsize to a smaller place, then use the profits to pay off credit card debt. But moving still requires an outlay of cash and can add additional stress as you’re adjusting to retired life.
If you’re seeking something a little less drastic, think about new ways to use your house — and its contents — to earn some cash today, advises Moira Somers, a wealth psychologist based in Winnipeg, Canada, and the author of “Advice That Sticks: How to Give Financial Advice That People Will Follow.”
“Look at the resources you have and say, ‘Could this turn into money somehow?’” she said. “One of the cool things about this period in our life is that there are sometimes ways we can make extra money that wouldn’t have been possible even 10 years ago — the whole AirBnb thing, for example.”
If you’re looking to make some money on your extra bedrooms, check out our post about how to become an Airbnb host.
And don’t forget about all those buried treasures in the attic. (Did you know that Urban Outfitters sells five-packs of random VHS tapes for $40? Yeah. That’s a thing.)
One of the cool things about this period in our life is that there are sometimes ways we can make extra money that wouldn’t have been possible even 10 years ago.
Somers notes ta [...]