Author: Birgit

How do you build good credit as a recent immigrant in the USA? (German edition)

Question: I have received my green card. Do you have any advice for “building good credit” in the American sense? I have no US bank account, no debt, but also no clue about the best way to start Thank you! BoA Konto aufmachen. Dann Credit card beantragen (habe das in Person gemacht), deposit zahlen (bekommst DU ein Jahr später zurück). Annual fee zahlen. Im 2. Jahr anrufen und dann heben die diese Gebühre auf, dann ist die Kreditkarte kostenlos. Brav pünktlich jeden Monat mindestens den Mindestbetrag zahlen damit es keinen negativen credit rating gibt. Nutze Deinen Kredit aber nie mehr als 30% von dem was Dir zur Verfügung steht. (Kredit: $1000, dann nutze nicht mehr als $300.) Ziel: 2-3 Kreditkarten haben, sie alle nur minimal nutzen und immer brav pünktlich abzahlen. nach dem ersten Jahr mal deinen credit rating nachschlagen. Wenn er gut ist dann für die zweite Kreditkarte beantragen, mit sign-up-bonus. 

Where can we travel to in 2021?

Yesterday I had a medium anxiety attack feeling caged in by the current health situation that we are facing around the world or rather I felt my freedom of movement restricted by the COST of getting the mandatory health tests that are required to travel. In the UK those costs are astronomical and I can’t help myself but have to say: the cost seems unethical to me. Isn’t someone making a juicy profit? I don’t believe that infection tests really cost £100-£150 each, by the time one takes all the mandatory tests upon arrival and then again upon return the costs can easily rise beyond £400. I suspect that the real cost of producing, administering and evaluating these tests is far below this price. Well. I grumble. But I found something that is making me feel less stressed. I am not sure that it solves my stress response towards the cost of testing but it helps knowing which countries are more accessible to me when I decide to take a break. The link below takes …

Why I decided to teach English for $7 per hour

Clue: it wasn’t for the money. Please subscribe to my blog and let me know if you would like me to tell you about my English language teaching project. And why I would work for less than 1/2 the minimum hourly wage for unskilled labour in San Francisco.

Part time Dog sitter in the San Francisco since 2014

Just an extremely short note from me today. I just realised that I haven’t written anything since returning to San Francisco a month ago. I’ll share my first impressions of 2021 in San Francisco and of our new apartment soon but for now just a little promotional post. : We got 50% of our longterm petsitting clients through Rover. You can communicate with your sitters ahead of time, check references and arrange a meet-and-greet. I think the greater risk is when people hire dog walkers like they order pizza. Price is also an additional point that may determine the quality of service. I tagged Rover because as a sitter I have had predominately positive experiences. For home & pet owners I recommend that you are discerning and ideally not in too much of a rush to hire so that you can meet sitters / walkers in person and consider your options. Have a list of questions ready to ask and a good list of instructions for your pet’s needs. < this is a referral …

I started teaching English online

It’s not exactly a career move but I have always wanted to get a TEFL qualification and dip my toes in tutoring / teaching English online. It’s NOT a particularly rational bucket list item as the pay is not even nearly a living wage; unless of course you really specialise and throw your WHOLE heart and a lot of time into it. I on the other hand am only dedicating a corner of a heart chamber for now. In my first week being registered on italki I already have 14 lesson bookings! I might maybe add German to my offerings at some point but for now I am just irrationally spending my time getting paid some peanuts to meet people around the world and cheerlead their English language learning efforts. Something tells me that I am a nerd. Luckily I love nerds. For the slow pokes in the back: I am a longterm fan girl of this teaching platform, I am also taking language lessons not just offering them there. If you are potentially …

I have tried these English teaching platforms. – as a tutor and as a student

I’ll share my experiences applying as a tutor to teach English online with several companies. Italki, Preply, Verbling, LivXP, Wyzant, Craigslist. Let me know which additional platforms you would like me to explore and review for you. I work for you for free.

Travelling from the UK to the USA in May 2021, during travel restrictions / partial lockdown

How I traveled out of the UK and moved back to America while many travel restrictions are in place. I put the checklist at the top and then wrote about my experience. Planning my journey from the UK to USA felt really stressful. The travel guidelines sounded firm and daunting and I didn’t want to become one of the people who are made an example of and who had to pay steep fines for travelling during these Covid travel restriction times.  The checklist that I used, IN SHORT: Prepare Travel Permission documents (you need to have a permissible reason to travel from the UK) and print them out. (Job offer for me. Other people will have other permissible reasons. Check the UK government website here.) PCR test – called a centre near me and confirmed that they offer fit-to-fly certificate. Turnaround time is 4 hours. Confirm Flight Book Train ticket Book hotel Check everything over. Did you forget an essential step? Print ALL confirmations & put all confirmations onto your phone. Have everything double. Be …