Articles by

Stephanie Genkin

06/18/15 9:40am
We can't guarantee anyone will quit with you, so take these tips instead.

We can’t guarantee anyone will quit with you, so take these tips instead.

Hate your boss and dream of ditching your corporate job to freelance, consult or start your own business? You’re not alone. One in five millennials plans to quit their day job and take the plunge, according to a survey of Gen Yers. But it’s not as glamorous it sounds. If you think you’ll be spending your days drinking lattes in coffee bars hanging out with the cool freelance crowd, you might be in for a shock. Tossing aside the financial safety net of Corporate America can be truly rewarding, but it can also be seriously scary, like a first time aerialist perched on a pedestal hoping to catch the fly bar.

In your next act, you need to be prepared to deal with an unsteady paycheck even though you have mammoth monthly student loans to cover and ever-rising rent. Oh, and you will be losing tech support and use of the company’s color printer so you may have to spend some big bucks getting set up. More and more of us are becoming professional stuntmen, however, and surviving the high wire act of earning a solo income you can actually survive on in the circus that is Brooklyn can be done if you organize your finances so you don’t get hurt. Here are 5 things you need to know before you quit your 9-5. (more…)

11/14/14 10:04am
the worst kind of lay.

the worst kind of lay.

Welcome to layoff season! It’s the unhappiest time of the year between Columbus Day and Christmas when employers slash costs to make way for end of the year profits by decking the halls with pink slips. Sure, you might have seen that last Friday the official unemployment rate dropped to 5.8 percent. But don’t be fooled: Last month, employers also sent 50,000 people in all sorts of industries to the unemployment line.

Finding yourself suddenly without a paycheck can be terrifying — especially if you live paycheck-to-paycheck in an expensive place like Brooklyn, where rents have become ridiculous. You don’t have to be gripped with fear about becoming a statistic, however. There are things you could do right now to cushion the blow if the axe is coming for you. (more…)

09/05/14 9:11am
Now that's what I call a cash encounter.

Now that’s what I call a cash encounter.

With rents in Brooklyn ridiculously high, student loan debt killing your joie de vivre and dim prospects for a raise, promotion or even a job with benefits, I don’t blame you for not giving a toss about saving for some mythical day far off in the future when you no longer have to work for a living. Pretty much everyone has been writing about how young people today are either unprepared for retirement or are being told there’s a fat chance they might actually get to enjoy any retirement at all, meaning no shuffleboard in Florida or matinee movies are in your future. It’s easy to be cynical about  promise of “retirement.” But even for Gen Y, who consider “saving” on par with the likelihood of finding a  one-bedroom in Brooklyn  under $1,000, retirement should still be a goal and with a little planning it could be doable. So let’s reframe it. (more…)

06/11/14 8:00am
Your grandma doesn't send $5 on your bday any more.

Your grandma doesn’t send $5 on your bday any more.

Graduation season is drawing to a close and it’s probably safe to assume that yet another crop of newly minted grads were forced to listen to commencement speakers offering a panoply of rearview mirror lessons of life and career. I was not among the luminaries who addressed these cap and gown-clad millennials with pearls of wisdom about things they wished they had learned in their 20s. But I do have a list of some things you should already be on top of by time you turn 30. Make it a summer project to get a jump on these now.  (more…)

05/05/14 9:28am
Be honest: can you REALLY afford that train?

Be honest: can you REALLY afford that train?

Financial advice columns continue to hammer away at us to ditch our credit cards and start paying down debt. But how do you get started when you’re already stretched thin?  Your rent is too damn high and by the time you’ve paid for cable, cell, Seamless, yoga and going out on the weekend you are all tapped out.

Unless you are willing to give up some of those things you associate with the cost of living – and I’m talking about more than just fancy (read: overpriced) coffees — you’ll remain a  caged hamster spinning round and round on your financial wheel forever. How do you break the cycle and start paying off debt and saving  — even just a little bit —for the future?

That’s the subject of my upcoming class at Brooklyn Brainery on June 21 “Money Management 101:  Living Within Your Means” And Brokelyn readers get first crack at enrolling before everyone else! It starts with getting real about what your basic monthly needs cost. Here are some of my tips you can start today: (more…)