Relationships

Arranged Marriage: Probably Not the Answer We’re Looking For Here

WNYC’s Arun Venugopal takes to the streets for his Micropolis series and talks to New Yorkers about “the struggle to find that special someone” and whether or not there is an answer to be found in arranged marriage. Per one 28-year-old Brooklynite Venugopal found smoking outside of a bar in the West Village, “Helllll no.”

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The Do-it-all Spouse

Koa Beck at The Atlantic writes about spouses who support their partner’s career, or the “do-it-all spouse,” who was embodied by Vera Nabokov, the wife of Russian author Vladimir Nabokov:

Vera not only performed all the duties expected of a wife of her era—that is, being a free live-in cook, babysitter, laundress, and maid (albeit, she considered herself a “terrible housewife”)—but also acted as her husband’s round-the-clock editor, assistant, and secretary. In addition to teaching his classes on occasion (in which Nabokov openly referred to her as “my assistant”), Vera also famously saved Lolita, the work that would define her husband’s career, several times from incineration, according to Stacey Schiff ‘s Pulitzer Prize-winning 2000 biography, Vera (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov). With Vera by his side, Nabokov published 18 novels between 1926 and 1974 (both in Russian and English).

And it hasn’t been just wives supporting their husbands careers (which I suspect to be the case in a heteronormative society)—Virginia Woolf and Edna St. Vincent Millay had husbands who “assumed a Vera-esque role”:

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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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How Do Couples Use Joint Accounts?

The problem is how to use the joint account. Just bills? Groceries? Do groceries include beer from the liquor store?

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When One Person Earns More Than the Other in a Relationship

Things are not even in most respects, and I get that.

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Dating Using Discounts

Meaghan: Mike! I just read an excellent article on the Date Report that cites you as a couponing expert. Or um, quotes you about your couponing-while-dating philosophy.

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How Do You Split the Cost of a Group Trip?

How do you split the cost of group trips?

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Talking About Money And Splitting the Cost of Child-Rearing After a Divorce

Spring is in the air, and as Alfred, Lord Tennyson famously said, it’s the time when a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love. Truly, this is an optimistic moment: buds are bursting through frost, fans of lousy baseball teams feel improvident hope, and in all matters romantic, we cannot help but think of the good things yet to come—the spark of new attraction, the idyllic domesticity of a shared apartment, the stomach-flutteringly massive notion of getting married. So let me bring you down to earth: There’s a good chance you’re going to get divorced, by which time you may have kids, and on top of all the other heartbreaks, you may embark on a lifetime of difficult conversations about money. Let’s talk about this.

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Navigating The Time-Honored Gray Area of “Date Or Business Meeting?”

Maureen O’Connor tackles “The Colleague Zone” for NY Mag’s The Cut. You know, that thing where someone suggests you meet for drinks after work and you don’t quite know why and halfway through you aren’t sure whether it’s a date or a business meeting or something in between. OR SO I HEAR.

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Are the Suburbs Worth It?

I cannot pretend to do a useful comparison of the relative costs of city renting and suburban home ownership. There are too many variables and too many personal preferences to offer any insight. (In my own highly idiosyncratic experience, renting has proved a better deal, but your mileage may vary.) But what about the schools? They are better, sure, but how much better? How much more should a monthly mortgage payment be than monthly rent to live in a neighborhood with less crime? And is something else lost when we sacrifice a communitarian investment in a place for individual advantage, and in the transaction raise our children with less exposure to economic and ethnic diversity?

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The Haves and the Have-nots

I was raised in a family where talking about money was not taboo. My father did a good job of raising two girls on a variety of incomes—money, was tight, and because of this, I was always aware of what we did and didn’t have.

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Figuring Out Finances After a Divorce

The L.A. Times tells the story of a 40-year-old woman named Adina Jones who put her career on hiatus in 2006 to be a stay-at-home mom, and who is now figuring out how to re-enter the workforce after divorcing her husband. She is currently working at Starbucks for $10 an hour part-time while earning a teaching credential.

Student loans form the bulk of Jones’ roughly $95,000 debt, which also includes $6,000 in credit card bills, amassed primarily during the year she and her husband were separated before their October 2013 divorce.

On the plus side, Jones is keeping expenses down by moving into her mother’s Orange County home with her three girls, ages 12, 10 and 6.

Field [a financial planner] said Jones has to reduce her monthly expenditures an additional 25% to 30% “until she can get a better-paying job.” One reason for the strict budget approach is that Jones needs to pay down a car loan more quickly than the contract requires in order to reduce the size of a $9,000 balloon payment she faces.

Jones has begun to build her negligible savings, with an eye toward establishing an emergency fund to cover three months’ worth of expenses. And she has been able to make small contributions to Starbucks’ matching 401(k) retirement plan.

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