Pay Dirt is Slate’s money advice column. Have a question? Send it to Athena and Elizabeth here. (It’s anonymous!)
Dear pay crap,
My office has set up a small chess tournament. Although not directly part of the competition, many of those involved have placed bets on their individual scheduled matches. Some offers have already been made to me myself, but I have not initiated any. I have no objection to gambling, at least in theory, but in this particular case there is a problem.
I am an international FIDE master. If you don’t play chess, consider my chess game to be on par with a good minor league player of your choice: not good enough to compete in a high-profile professional setting, but still orders of magnitude better than a casual player. Quite simply, taking a bet from my coworkers just means taking their money. I’ve tried mentioning this a couple of times and each time it’s been dismissed because I’m just trying to intimidate and undermine confidence. Is it okay to agree to a money bet when you know with absolute certainty that you will win?
—I don’t want “GM” to stand for “Gauche Master”
Before you go swimming in money, first check if this tournament is breaking the law. Placing bets is considered to be gambling and illegal in the workplace in most states. If it’s illegal but you don’t want to act like a party-goer, stick with your no-go stance. If anyone should report this, you want to be as far away as possible.
If you are clear about this, taking people’s money is perfectly fine. Like Liam Neeson in Taken, you warned her that you were a very special skillsso there is a joke on it. If you feel very guilty, you can always use the money one day for an office reward like lunch or donuts. Get it, tiger.
Dear pay crap,
Stay home mom here. My partner is a very hard worker and deserves a good wage. He made it clear to me that once the kids showed up, I shouldn’t work. (We live abroad so it’s difficult to find a job in a place where I don’t speak the language I don’t speak) My boys are 4 and 7 years old now. However, I don’t have an overview of our finances. I have a credit card with a limit, but I get very little cash. How do I turn this area into a partnership rather than a one-way street if I don’t make any money myself?
Having a share in your family’s finances is important, so kudos for seeking advice on how to address the problem. Should your partner be absent for an extended period of time – or, God forbid, something should happen to them – you should be able to cover any financial situation they may face. This includes knowing your cash flow, having access to bank accounts, and keeping track of any bills that need to be paid. In addition to knowing about these financial matters, you should always have your name on any checking accounts that your family uses regularly, as well have their own individual account.
Find a time to speak to your partner about sharing this information. One way could be to ask him for one Money date with you one night after the boys were put to bed. Open a bottle of wine, get comfortable, tell him you are grateful for his hard work, and tell him you want more insight into family budgeting and expenses. You may not be contributing financially right now, but you are contributing to the budget and have invested significant sweat capital to make sure things went smoothly.
If your partner chooses not to discuss family finances with you, see if you can find out why he hesitates or refuses. It may take a different approach, a series of conversations, or even a discussion with a couples therapist, but having access to this information is important to your relationship.
Money advice from Athena and Elizabeth delivered weekly.
Dear pay crap,
I am self-employed, chronically ill, disabled and stressed. I am insured with the ACA and I am not afraid of becoming homeless (a fear in the past). But I’m 30 years old and I live in a one-room apartment in a low-cost city where I grew up. I may be sick seven to ten weeks a year, but not all at once. When I am sick, I am often hospitalized. Sometimes I can work anyway, sometimes not. Despite having insurance and making good money, my savings are wiped out almost every year by medical bills, co-payments for medication, and transportation costs.
I am so frustrated. I really want to buy a house. I want to know that I will never be evicted. Apart from that, I want to live in a bigger or more interesting place with better public transport – more expensive elsewhere. Am i missing something? How do I save enough for a down payment or moving costs? I will never find conventional employment due to my chronic absences, no matter how hard I work or how useful my skills are in the 80 percent of the time I am essentially fine. Nevertheless, in my self-employment as a copywriter, I ran into a wall and tried to turn to writing, which makes better money. I am honestly not very good at a lot of business things; I only started my own business as a last resort. I make too much money to qualify for welfare, which is a good thing overall. But are there options that I don’t see?
—Frustrated small business owner
Your feelings are entirely valid. They’re often a medical emergency because you’ve wiped out your finances so you’re in a constant state of stress. This creates a bad cycle as stress can make you sick, and then you’ll be back at the hospital where you started. I myself have several chronic illnesses that I struggle with on a daily basis. It is exhausting, especially when you want more for yourself than your body allows.
There are two different types of income: active and passive income. Active income is a source of income that you regularly look for and work for, e.g. B. Your career as a copywriter. I would check that for your situation Sources of passive income, a source of income that doesn’t require a lot of effort. Some Ideas may take a little more effort at first but will wear off over time. Try to tuck away any income you get from these sources to help build your reserves – be it for a down payment, a move, or a deeper emergency fund.
I also want to make sure that you are considered Small business owner. You can qualify for a ton of tax breaks and potentially be able to move the needle financially if you use it. Don’t be afraid to turn things over to a professional accountant to help you further.
Dear pay crap,
How much can a paid financial advisor cost for basic advice? My partner and I are recently married and we want to speak to someone about retirement, diversifying investing beyond stocks, and saving for kids. I’ve looked for advisors on Feeonlynetwork.com and they seem really targeted towards rich people looking for in-depth investment advice. We actually have quite a bit of money, but our needs are pretty simple.
I Read online that rich people pay much more for the same financial advisor services, and that typical fees could end up around $ 2,500. I definitely don’t want to pay that much! Also, I have an irrational fear of a consultant looking after rich people who want to spend so much money that they get annoyed that we are looking for something simple and cheap. How do I find someone who wants to work with normal people?
—I’ll give you money, just not that much
Better give me your money
I was stunned when I learned the truth about the finances I share with my husband
My late husband left money for his parents in place of our son
My parents cast my brother out after he got out. Do I have to share my inheritance with him?
My husband has been financially abusive for years. Now the tide is turning.
Rich people pay because of the Type of consultant they choose. When you have a significant portfolio of assets to manage, you are ready to pay to have an expert invest their time managing your money for you. All financial advisors should want the best for you, but those who work on a commission basis tend to be more aggressive with their strategies. They can make commissions from regular administration – usually about 1 percent of your total portfolio, or $ 2,500 for a $ 250,000 account – or make money on financial products they sell to you.
Fee-based financial advisors are keen to assist you with this the best of their skills and have a lower risk of conflict of interest. It also makes sense to use one when you don’t need extensive help. These planners bill for their services in a number of ways and depend on location, experience, and other factors, but in general you can expect payment $ 150 to $ 400 an hour. Much like finding a doctor who takes your concerns seriously, choosing a financial advisor can be a shitty business. So I recommend asking for names of planners who like them on your own network. I would also suggest that Garrett Planning Network, a one-stop shop for finding a paid financial advisor. You can sort the ones listed by certification, area of expertise, and location so you’re sure to find the one that best suits you and your family’s needs.
More advice from Slate
My 5 year old daughter is taking dance lessons from a teacher she loves, Miss Emma. Her Christmas concert was that week and Emma asked all parents to pay $ 50 for the concert costume. I just picked up the costume and it still has a $ 25 price tag attached. Emma is a very nice teacher and my daughter would love to continue teaching with her, but I’m a little annoyed. Should i tell her something?