The Arrival of All That Holiday Spending

Last night, I finally decided to buy my tickets to Los Angeles to visit my family for Christmas, and it was at that moment when I clicked the purchase button that the numbers began to add up.

86 Percent of My Income Is Already Spoken For

Since we’re estimating my pre-tax income at $60,000, that leaves me with about $8,400 in discretionary income for the entire year, or $700 per month.

The Cost of Living in the Most Affordable City In America

Forbes named Birmingham, Alabama, the most affordable city in America in their list for 2015, and as a freshly-minted Birminghamite, I’d have to agree.

More Girl Scout Councils Raising Cookie Prices to $5 a Box

We do the math on those nostalgically delicious $5 Girl Scout Cookies.

The Cost of Beauty at 40

Money I spend to maintain my over-40 looks—even while realizing that I’m in pursuit of unrealistic standards of beauty.

DIYing a Second Language

A little more than five years ago, my half-Italian husband and I decided that in five years we’d move to Italy. Our reasoning was approximately: Because it’s there. Never mind that I spoke no Italian whatsoever unless it related to restaurants, musical terminology, or the libretto of an opera. I had five years. How hard could it be?

Are Homemade Children’s Halloween Costumes Worth It?

One of the principal problems with children is that if you do something nice for them a couple times, they get used to it and expect it EVERY TIME. My kids expect homemade Halloween costumes. They take pride in their homemade Halloween costumes.

The Cost of Taking Up Roller Derby

I wanted to start playing roller derby for a long time before I actually did it. Like so many before me, I saw Whip It! when it came out in 2009 and immediately came up with my derby name (Penny Pain, in case you’re wondering).

What I’d Spend My Money On If I Quit Smoking Cigarettes

On days when I think about quitting, there are a lot of things I know that money could buy.

In Pursuit of the ‘Glow’

The health and beauty industry has my money and my heart.