Opening the Spending Floodgates

Opening the Spending Floodgates: Resisting Temptation

Greetings from (excruciatingly cold) Chicago! For those of you who don’t know, I’m out on tour with How the Grinch Stole Christmas The Musical. Following a brief engagement in Birmingham, Alabama last week, we are now in Chicago playing through the end of November before flying back to New York and performing at Madison Square [...]


What Creates Value?

Love Letters Broadway

In personal finance (and in life in general) there’s a great deal of discussion around “value”. More than the lowest price or even best product, we seek to secure the best possible value. The thing about value though is that it’s incredibly subjective- something that has high value to one person may have little or [...]


Inside the Artists Wallet

For regular Broke and Beautiful Life readers, there are two things you’ve probably come to know about me. Number one, I chose to pursue the most cliché “broke” profession of all time- acting. And two, I unabashedly write about anything and everything, regardless of how taboo. For my latest project, I am excited to announce [...]


Tracking Financial Progress with Credit

Credit Karma mobile credit monitoring

If you were anything like me growing up, you were all about the numbers, grades, and rankings. I remember going to Ukrainian school bright and early each Saturday morning and comparing grade averages from “American school” with my fellow besties as we devoured everything bagels from the deli down the street- yeah, we were super [...]


How To Make Gift Cards Personal

How to Make Gift Cards Personal

One of the first lessons I learned about gifting from my mom was that gift cards are impersonal cop-outs. Just as any impressionable child who revered the words of her mother, I took that to guideline to heart and became D.I.Y. crafting queen. I would plan out each and every holiday months in advance, giving [...]


The Power of “Only If It’s Free”

The Power of If It’s Free

When I found out that the financial bloggers conference, FinCon, would be in New Orleans this year I thought to myself, “well that would be nice… if I could go for free”. When it comes to events, trips, meetings, parties and other discretionary spending, I pretty much live by that mantra, committing if and when [...]


Five Real Investing Fears

The following is a guest post from rockstar financial planner and writer Leah Manderson of Please join me in welcoming her to the blog today! Shortly after leaving my full-time job to pursue my own business full-time, I dutifully commenced the task of rolling over my 401(k) to an IRA.  I was feeling pretty self-congratulatory [...]


10 Reasons to Hate New York City Living

10 Reasons to Hate New York City Living

As much as I love New York City living and concede that the trade offs are worthwhile for privilege of residing in this one of a kind town (at least for now)- there are more than a few things that make my blood boil. 1. Housing. It’s stupid expensive to buy any semblance of normalcy- being [...]


The Value of an Arts Major

The Value of an Arts Major

Any list of “worst college majors for your career” or “useless undergraduate degrees” is practically guaranteed to include the arts in one form or another. These reports often site exorbitantly high unemployment rates and alarmingly low median income levels among graduates. As a proud holder of one of these notoriously “worthless” degrees, I’m quite familiar [...]


Actor Student Loans

Freddy Arsenault is a Broadway actor with six figures of student loan debt, thanks to the MFA acting program at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Among actors, Arsenault is one of the “lucky ones”. According to Actors Equity Association, the professional theatre actors union, fewer than 15 percent of due paying members are able [...]


Relative Materialism: Redefining “Need”

Relative Materialism: Redefining Needs

Pauline at Reach Financial Independence has pledged 10% of her blogging income to support children’s education in her village in Guatemala. She recently used that money to finance scholarships for the two best students at the local middle school so that they could go to a top boarding school for high school over the course of [...]


How Fast Can You Churn a Credit Card?

How Fast Can You Churn A Credit Card?

For those of you unfamiliar with the phrase “credit card churning”, it’s the process whereby you maximize rewards and sign up bonuses from credit cards to score freebies like flights, hotel stays, and other bonuses. After my first successful churn to fly to Europe for $25 in April, I decided to employ the same strategy [...]