Reader, I Eloped With Him

It was lunchtime. We finally said, “Eff it,” and went to Ruby Tuesday. I think his mom paid.

Teenage Dreams, Financial Independence and Abercrombie & Fitch

I was introduced to Abercrombie in 2001, during the second semester of my sophomore year. My new best friend Sarah had just moved from Colorado to our sleepy California beach town in Orange County. Having also moved just a year and a half prior, I felt a kindred connection with another outsider. We bonded instantly and, like other 15-year-old best friends, we spent all our time at each other’s houses, and in each other’s closets.

Emotional Reward Doesn’t Pay the Bills

“I just want to help people. I don’t care about the money.” Who needs a fat paycheck when the emotional reward of helping people is all you really want?

Parking Privilege

I wanted to add more freedom to my already perky lifestyle, and zeroed in on the one thing missing from my college fantasy bubble: My car.

My Years As A Kleptomaniac

1984. My breath catches in my throat as my fingers curl around the smooth porcelain bowl.

Figuring Out How to Help When Your Parents are Helpless

Normally, we don’t talk about work. Our conversations are limited mostly to mutual complaints and pointed inquiries as to whether or not any of my other sisters are in the room to talk on the phone as well. This visit, things were different.

The Cost Of Getting A Nursing License When You Have A Record

These are all of the steps I had to take to get my RN license from the California Board of Registered Nursing; the whole process took just under three months.

My Father-in-Law and My Wedding

Kevin slapped my back, and then gave me a long, tight hug. As he held me, I thought about how he had walked in one day to the reception venue that I had slowly been paying off during the year before our wedding. He had asked for the remaining amount and paid it off.

A Low-Rent ‘Little Mermaid’

I had finally relented to the suggestion a friend had made several months ago. The plan was to dress up as Ariel from The Little Mermaid and sing her hallmark songs down by the Cathedral, where the tourists passed by all day like lemmings.

Finding Out If Your Mom Plans To Pay For Your Wedding

It was time to have the talk — the one where I found out if my mom had any money set aside for our weddings and what implications that might have on planning a wedding in the future.

Hustling Over Budgeting

Being scrappy is my jam. I don’t call myself frugal because that to me entails sacrifice and I don’t adhere to the mantra of the miser, nor would I call myself a “shopaholic” because that entails frivolity and a lack of control.

When You Only Get A Haircut Once A Year

You show up twenty minutes early because you’re so excited and hang out on the wrong side of the glass looking half anxious, half eager, like a dog whose owners have tied her to a bike rack while they buy coffee.

Wet Hot American Soccer Camp

The first thing my boss ever said to me was, “You haven’t killed anyone have you?” This was at the soccer camp where I worked for two summers in college.

Closing Time At Amsterdam’s Betty Boop Coffee Shop And Internet Cafe

I was alone in the now ominously silent Betty Boop Coffee Shop and Internet Café with Helga the Viking to answer to, mobsters waiting in the wings, and no way to pay my tab.

It Felt Weird When He Paid

Daniel was older than I was—beyond the half-your-age-plus-seven rule. He had a home and career in Seattle. I was still hustling for jobs to establish savings.