The Horror, The Horror (Of Bathing Suit Shopping)

I was acting like bathing suit shopping was no big deal. I was acting like it was something a person could do alone, on a whim, like buying a bagel for lunch.

The Luxury Bag vs. the Unemployed Reporter

Financially, things have not been going well for me since July 17, 2014, when I was laid off by the newspaper where I worked for eighteen months. That’s 10 months without full-time work, folks. Recently my unemployment ran out. In January my father died. I’ve had two sprained ankles for I don’t know how long. It’s kind of been a mess.

The Cost of Getting Your Eyes Checked (When Your Health Insurance Does Not Include Vision)

At that point I wanted to bang my forehead against the mirrored wall and ask “does everything cost some ridiculous amount of money these days?” Glasses should cost no more than $150. My health insurance program should give me at least some kind of discount on my eye exam and my new frames.

Cannes To Female Stars: Heel!

EVEN WOMEN IN THEIR FIFTIES attending a lesbian feminist movie based on a Patricia Highsmith novel are not allowed to wear shiny, fancy, ever-so-slightly more sensible shoes.

Disloyal Grocery Shopping

Whenever I visit my parents for an extended period time in their suburban neighborhood, we always decide to buy groceries for my stay, and my dad goes through the weekly grocery store circulars to determines which store is offering the best deals.

Our Beds, Ourselves

“You’re not financially whatever if you don’t have a bed frame.”

A Wedding, Two White Dresses, and Secret Spending

It started, like so many weddings do, with a white dress. Not the wedding dress, which would come later, but a little cotton sundress I found on a rainy San Francisco day. I was waiting for my fiancé to arrive from his nonprofit job so we could walk together to Williams Sonoma and start to register for kitchen utensils. I ducked into a high-end store to get out of the rain.

The Costly Objects of Our Affection

Several months ago an editor at a fancy magazine with a name that rhymes with “honey” contacted me about writing an essay. The essay was supposed to be about a something that I bought, and that I love. It was (as past columns proved) an argument for occasional extravagance, or at the very least acts of good and consciousness capitalism. The pay for the column was quite good, and the prompt seemed fine, so I set to work thinking about just what it was I loved the most out of all the things I owned. I looked around and saw my rocking chair.

The Cost of Things: Taking Care of LadyBusiness

I’m spending a small fortune on my personal appearance.

I Spent $400 On A Man’s Watch — And I Feel Great About It

Do not show me an oval with hash marks on it and tell me it’s a watch. A box on wheels is not a baby carriage.

The Cost Of Things: Looking Effortless

ELLE recommends a $226 caftan-inspired dress from Steven Alan. There are cheaper caftans, though, that don’t look like the clothing equivalent of porridge.

Beg, Borrow, Steal … Or Swap

Once I got a black, white, and yellow Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress at the swap.

It’s Engagement Season! Does Your Ring Come At A Heinous Cost?

Uninterested in narrative? More of a #STEM major? Get a diamond grown in a lab!

Blowing Smoke: How Much Should One Pay For Cigarettes

People who smoke — more precisely, those who despite government educational efforts, still smoke — are, on average, less able to afford $12 or $14 a pack.

How Do You Know When to Stop Spending?

How do you know when to stop spending? What prevents you from buying everything you want as soon as you see it?

Fran Lebowitz Tells You How To Do Money

Fran Lebowitz is right about many things. For instance, real estate should be cheaper and clothes probably should cost more, because they should not be made cheaply in sweatshops. And dry cleaning is both a mystery and a pain.

Success: It’s In The Bag

The Last Days of Target Canada

When Target, the popular American discount retailer, arrived in Canada, it was doomed from the start.

A Wardrobe Comprised of Other People’s Clothing

I kind of stole someone else’s jacket, and I’m not giving it back.