Culture

Millennials Apparently Good With Money

TIME reports that a new survey shows that Millennials are good with their money—recognizing that they need to save and become better with their money.

One of the financial virtues of this group appears to be a slow and steady approach to building a nest egg. Roughly a third favor a long-term tried-and-true strategy, Northwestern Mutual found. Another third would like to take that approach but feel like they are too far behind to play it safe.

Millennials’ cautiousness may be a double-edged sword. Just 14% in the survey say they are pursuing a high-growth investment strategy even though such a strategy would promise superior long-term returns. This may be a case of playing it too safe. Millennials have 40 years to ride out any bumps. If their money is socked away in savings bonds and other ultra-conservative investments it won’t grow fast enough for them to retire even over a long period of time. Now is when they should embrace prudent, low-cost, diversified risk through stock index funds and similar investments.

What makes the Millennial generation so thoughtful about money?

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The Torture of Giving Critical Feedback at Work

ands down, my worst work experience to date was trying to tell someone they have a bad attitude. This someone was my coworker, Ruth, and technically, I was her supervisor even though we were the same age. My boss directed me to give her this feedback during her annual review. Ruth was actually terrific at many parts of her job, but according to my boss she had a “negative attitude.” It was a combination of an unfriendly and unhelpful demeanor (that I think was accidental, e.g. that she frowned when her face was at rest), and a tendency to avoid taking on additional work (mostly pretty boring stuff that I wouldn’t have wanted either).

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Your Open Thread

From WSJ: You too can own a Warhol or a Renoir—if you’re okay with postage-size art and napkins:

Small items—overlooked gems, dashed-off scribbles, even scraps artists may have assumed were headed for the garbage—are increasingly being auctioned off to an eager and growing audience.

In the last year, a Florida couple successfully bid on their first work of art—a postage-stamp sized sketch by Pierre-Auguste Renoir—for $6,250. At another auction, a signed napkin Andy Warhol covered with squiggly lines fetched $1,395. For less than $4,000 each, collectors nabbed a Pablo Picasso ceramic bowl emblazoned with a bullfighter and letters Henri Matisse adorned with fanciful doodles.

Photo: Allegra

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Graham Crackers For Everyone!

Andrew Solomon writes for the New Yorker’s Currency blog about Honey Maid’s new ad campaign, and when following the ad money means that in some states, advertising is more progressive than public policy. I think Solomon puts it best here: “I’d prefer that people such as I get our rights because we command respect and evince dignity, but if we get them because there’s money in it, that’s fine.”

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A Case Against Telling Your Coworkers What You Earn

While I don’t dispute the notion that transparency can prevent people from being underpaid, the chaos that can be caused by people sharing their salaries suggests that there needs to be a better way to share that information.

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Starving on Campus

College students are known for being broke, heavily in debt, and surviving off of instant ramen, but there is also an invisible population of students who have “food insecurity”—not having enough to eat on daily basis. These students are often hidden because they feel ashamed about their circumstances.

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Banning Laptops, Making More Money

August First Bakery & Café in Vermont used to offer free Wi-Fi to customers when it opened its doors four years ago, but it has figured out a better way to make money: get rid of Wi-Fi and implement a “no screens” policy during lunch hours (smartphones are okay):

“We saw a lot of customers come in, look for a table, not be able to find one and leave,” [owner Jody] Whalen says. “It was money flowing out the door for us.”

That’s why Whalen decided there’d be no more screens. It was a gradual move. She started by shutting down the Wi-Fi two years ago. Then, the cafe banned screens during lunch.

“A lot of people were disappointed,” Whalen says. “But we actually saw our sales increase.”

What’s socially acceptable when it comes to using a laptop in public, anyway? Student Luna Colt says it’s about how much money you spend.

But according to Whalen, it’s less about how much a laptop user buys and more about how much space and time they take up.

We recently got a new office, and while I waited for it to be ready, I worked from home and tried working at a coffee shop a few times. The Wi-Fi cut in and out and I didn’t want to feel like I was wearing out my welcome, so instead, I spent the month working from my couch.

Photo: Anthony Mayfield

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Should Vs. Must

At Medium, artist and designer Elle Luna discusses the different choices we make at different points in our careers—the “shoulds” being what we ought to do and what people expect us to do, and the musts being “who we are, what we believe, and what we do when we are alone with our truest, most authentic self.”

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Detroit Would Rather You Not Take Pictures of Its Ruins

I called Philp to ask him what people like me, outsiders with no knowledge of the city and getting this constant barrage of ruin-porn and gentrification panics, should know about what it’s like to live there.

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Inside ‘The Scratching Pad,’ a Cat Shelter Run Out of One Man’s Apartment

If you’re a New Yorker with a beating heart, you probably remember the subway kittens that shut down the MTA last summer in the most adorable way possible. If you’re a cat lady like me (which oh praise is now a badge of honor, thanks New York Times), then you might already know Steven Liu, the guy behind the Scratching Pad, who took in the tiny bandits and fostered them through their eventual adoption. In July of last year, Steve found a duplex apartment in Bushwick, moved in with two roommates, and started taking in cats—current total eight.

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Some Costs Associated With My Roommate’s Boyfriend

I am in a good place right now: I have a job that can pay my bills, my student loans; I have health insurance; I can afford fancy cheeses when I want to play Russian roulette with my cholesterol. I have a kickass apartment with a washer and dryer, an L-shaped couch, and a working thermostat. It also has a roommate, and she is the best roommate I’ve ever had. She’s funny, she cleans, and she has a puppy. There is only one flaw: her boyfriend.

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Coworkers Who Steal Your Lunch

From The Salt: Etiquette Hell is a website that has documented more than 6,000 first-hand bad etiquette accounts, and the most frequent complaint is about “fridge theft.” Apparently, it is also a major issue at NPR!

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