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On the brink of bankruptcy

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I apologize as this post is going to be long but I really need some advice.

So due to bad decisions (young and stupid), medical issues, and being a single income family while my husband was in nursing school, back in 2015, we wound up in lots of credit card debt. We put our house up for sale and moved in with family while my husband completed his degree. However, 0% interest terms on our credit cards were rapidly approaching and we hadn't closed on our house yet. Our plan was to pay everything off once we sold the house. It took 6 months to close on our house and the back interest took us beyond what we were able to pay back.

I looked into debt consolidation and whatnot and came across a company that would "invalidate" our unsecured debt. They told us to stop paying our creditors and let everything go to collections. So we did. They had us hook, line, and sinker. We were desperate and preyed upon is what it feels like. So longer story shortish, they didn't do what they said we would and we ended up being sued by different creditors and eventually settled and are making monthly payments.

We were making it and everything was OK. My husband has a great, stable job as a RN, BSN at our local hospital. He is planning on getting his FNP in the next few years. We weren't able to save, but we were making it work. I had shoulder surgery at the beginning of the year but I don't have insurance (unaffordable) so I've racked up medical debt. My grandparents cosigned on a house with us (our credit is tanked), but in the last 3 months, so many things went wrong with the house. We have to replace our refrigerator, HVAC unit, stove, and some other smaller things. I also work in the hospital in admissions. However, I'm on a PRN basis and before COVID-19 hit, was steadily working. But I've been laid off since March. We also have 2 little ones that I have to stay home for as we don't have any childcare available for several reasons that I won't dive into.

We've been able to get extensions on various bills and I've been able to claim unemployment. But everything comes due in July and I don't know how we're going to make it. I'm about to go into collections for my medical debt. We have 2 cars that we owe more on than what they're worth. We're just drowning. And I don't see any other option than filing either chapter 7 or 13.

I wanted to get some kind advice or suggestions. We can still make our car and house payment, along with utilities and such, so I'm hoping we don't lose those. Plus, since my grandparents are cosigners on our home, I don't want it to hurt them.

I just don't know what to do. Its making me cry everyday. Physically sick. Depressed. Emotionally drained.

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5 Tips for Building a Side Business

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You’ve probably noticed that people are embracing entrepreneurship like never before. Due to the widespread availability of technological business tools, there’s never been a better time to become your own boss. With an internet connection and a smart-phone or laptop, you can work from just about anywhere on the planet.

If you’ve been dreaming of quitting your day job to start a business, you might be wondering if taking such a big leap is worth it.

While there’s nothing wrong with holding down a W-2 job and getting a steady paycheck, having income from your own business comes with many upsides. But if you’ve been dreaming of quitting your day job to start a business, you might be wondering if taking such a big leap is worth it.

The good news is that there are incremental ways to become self-employed that are stable and reduce your risk, instead of plunging abruptly into a precarious financial position. In this chapter excerpt from Money-Smart Solopreneur: A Personal Finance System for Freelancers, Entrepreneurs, and Side-Hustlers, you’ll learn practical strategies for building a solo business while keeping the security of a regular job.

Tips for building a business on the side

Becoming your own boss may seem glamorous from the outside, but it can have stressful pitfalls, such as little pay, no insurance benefits, and unpredictable clients. However, you can avoid or minimize some of the downsides by maintaining a reliable day job while you grow your solo business.

Having the security of a job and the excitement of becoming a solopreneur gives you lots of upside with much less risk. A steady paycheck may give you the confidence you need to take business risks—such as buying more advertising, equipment, or software—that will make your venture more profitable.

Having the security of a job and the excitement of becoming a solopreneur gives you lots of upside with much less risk.

Aside from maintaining a reliable income stream, being both an employee and an entrepreneur can make you a better worker. In my experience, growing a side business also builds skills and experiences that make you more effective at your regular job. You may even find your side hustle revives an appreciation for your day job. There’s a lot to like about having a salary, benefits, and other perks, after all.

Whether you decide to be both an employee and your own boss for weeks or years, it will take some juggling to manage successfully. Here are five tips to face your career fears responsibly and prepare for the future by adding entrepreneurship to your resume on the side.

Define…

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Advice needed. I’m a cheapskate and I have a compulsive tendency to NOT SPEND any money at all.

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I am 22M, single, and just recently finished college. I don't have a job yet, but I do have a part-time online gig that pays decently (compared to our country's minimum wage). I don't have a credit card, only a bank savings account and a prepaid debit card. Our family's socio-economic status is a little below middle-class for our country's standard, but we don't have any crippling debts and we have a comfortable savings.

I have this urge to avoid spending money at all costs. I only now realized that during my 5 years in college, I have never spent anything outside of the most critical necessities. I'm too cheap to even treat myself to a nice restaurant or some material items. It's not even about spending on "luxury" items like a brand new phone, laptop etc. Sometimes, I feel the need to not spend even on necessities like shoes, clothes, etc.

I only have two pairs of sneakers, one is my daily beater which I bought for like $40 and have worn for virtually every single day of my entire college life. By the time I finished college, it's already all beat up, the soles have already cracked and water is already able to seep in. Up to this day, I'm still wearing it and I'm determined to keep on wearing it until it splits into two (to be fair, I'm a small guy, so there's not much wear and tear happening). The other pair of sneakers I have, is something I received from my bigger cousin because his feet has outgrown it. It is still a little too big for me, so I only really wear it when my main beater is unavailable.

Same goes with my backpack. Until now, I'm still using the same Jansport that I had from high school. It has accumulated some lacerations throughout the years, but I just stiched and patched them up. The zipper failed at some point, which I brought to a seamstress for repair. I'm pretty sure people might mistake me for a homeless guy because of how beaten up my wardrobe is, but I don't give a care.

The laptop that we bought way back in 2011 is still my main daily driver up until now. It's replacement battery has long gone to shit and barely holds 30 minutes of charge, but it still does all the workload that I throw at it.

It's not only in real life that I have this compulsive need to avoid spending, even in free to play video games, I tend to hoard the in-game currency. I don't like seeing my gold numbers drop below an imaginary threshold that I have in mind.

During the past 6 months, the only thing that I have bought outside of necessities is a $20 headphone. Before I graduated college, family and some friends asked me what I want as a gift, I just told them "cash or anything would do".

I realize that I might have a problem and I need advice.

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Should You Have Life Insurance If You Don’t Have Children?

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The following is a sponsored partnership with Aflac. All opinions are 100% my own.

Lately, I have received many emails from readers about life insurance.

One of the most common questions I hear is, “Should I consider a life insurance policy before I have children?”

No matter your age, the necessity of life insurance can be a hard topic to consider. However, while the subject might be difficult to reflect on, it is also an insurance option that can benefit your loved ones significantly, regardless of whether you have started a family.

Whenever I am asked the above question, my answer is always the same. Regardless of your family situation, life insurance is still a product to consider.

However, I understand the hesitation — you might think there is no reason to take out a life insurance policy if you don’t have children. September is Life Insurance Awareness Month, so it is the perfect time to talk about Aflac life insurance and why you may want it!

 

What is life insurance?

Before we begin, you may be wondering what exactly life insurance is.

Life insurance is a policy that pays money to a beneficiary you designate in the event of death. Naturally, if you are the sole or primary wage earner in your family, then there are a lot of people who rely on you financially, meaning life insurance may be a necessity.

The cash benefits can be used to help pay for funeral costs, personal expenses, payment of debt and so on.

The primary reason to get life insurance is to help your loved ones or anyone who depends on you in the event of a sudden loss of income after a death.

This way, they still have help paying the bills and grieve without having to worry about their immediate source of money.

 

When do you need life insurance?

Life insurance is not only for individuals who are the primary income earners of their household. Even if you are young, single and have no children, life insurance can still help support your loved ones. For example, a life insurance policy can support your family if you have co-signed loans with your parents (such as student loans), taken out a loan to start a small business or if you are financially responsible for another family member.

If you have co-signers on your debt, you should consider getting life insurance.

If something were to happen to you, you don’t want your co-signer (your parents, partner, siblings, friend, etc.) to be responsible for paying off your personal debt unexpectedly.

I can’t help but think of an article I read about a young adult who did not have life insurance. They passed away suddenly, leaving behind their student loan debt to their parents who co-signed the loan. They were suddenly responsible for monthly student loan payments of around $2,000 and had to entirely restructure their finances as a result.

If you have a partner, it is also important to consider the benefits of life insurance. If you have credit card debt, student loans, or if your partner relies on your income for rent or mortgage payment, a life insurance plan can help relieve those you care about from unnecessary financial burden.

Perhaps most importantly to note, life insurance is often cheaper while one is younger. By enrolling in a life insurance policy before you have children, you can typically secure a policy with lower premiums than when you are older.

If you plan on getting life insurance anyway, enroll early to ensure a more affordable rate.

 

Where do I find life insurance?

One popular life insurance company to look into is Aflac.

Aflac is a Fortune 500 company that provides supplemental insurance, including life insurance, to more than 50 million people through its subsidiaries in Japan and the U.S., where it is a leading supplemental insurer, by paying cash fast to help with the expenses health insurance doesn’t cover.

For consumers who place a premium on corporate ethics, Aflac is also a socially responsible company. For 25 years, Aflac has contributed over $146 million to help children facing cancer and their families, including establishing the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center in Atlanta.* If this interests you, then you can go to ESG.Aflac.com to explore how Aflac is dedicated to being a good and decent company.

If you are interested in learning more about insurance options that are available to you, I recommend heading to Aflac’s life insurance calculator, which allows you to identify how much coverage you need. You can see a screenshot of some of the questions below. It only took me about two minutes to answer the questions, and it offered a holistic overview of my personal benefit options.

Once you’ve answered the questions, it is easy to request a life insurance quote.

According to a 2019 Insurance Barometer Study by LIMRA, a worldwide research, consulting and professional development trade association, consumers think that life insurance is more costly than what it actually is. The study asked people to guess how much a $250,000 term life insurance policy costs for a healthy 30-year-old.

More than 50% estimated that it would be over $500 per year.

However, that’s very far from the truth.

The average cost of a life insurance plan is actually only around $160 a year, or $13 a month.

If you are interested in opting into a life insurance plan, $13 a month may make it an easy choice.

There are a lot of reasons why you may want to apply for life insurance, but remember that it makes sense to take one out early and save money in the long term.

I’d love to hear from you. Do you have life insurance? Why or why not?

 

*Aflac company statistic, 2020.

This is a brief product overview only. Coverage may not be available in all states. Benefits/premium rates may vary based on plan selected. Optional riders may be available at an additional cost. The policy/rider has limitations and exclusions that may affect benefits payable. Refer to the specified policy/rider form(s) for complete details, benefits, limitations, and exclusions. For availability and costs, please contact your local Aflac agent

Coverage is underwritten by Aflac | WWHQ | 1932 Wynnton Road | Columbus, GA 31999 | In New York, coverage is underwritten by Aflac New York | 22 Corporate Woods Blvd, Suite 2 | Albany, NY 12211

Z200625 Exp. 9/21

The post Should You Have Life Insurance If You Don’t Have Children? appeared first on Making Sense Of Cents.



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