The Cost of Things

How Money Complicates Sex

Even if we can’t make abortion a real alternative for everyone, regardless of their financial circumstances, we can attack the root of the problem: the cost of reliable contraceptives.


The Cost of Becoming a U.S. Permanent Resident, Part II

In our household accounting spreadsheet, P and I almost forgot to make two separate categories for wedding and immigration expenses; right now they kind of seem like the same thing. The city hall wedding, while a pretty fun engagement with the municipal apparatus—was the first step towards staying in America above board. And like the I-693 described in my last post, the marriage certificate is just one of the many parts of the permanent residency application.


A List of Costs Associated With Buying Our Home

In December, my husband and I bought our first house. Our house cost $500,000 on paper, and in real life we spent exactly $91,068.31—money that used to be in our bank accounts, but is now somewhere else. A lot of our money went to the bank, and a bunch of other people and places got some money too. Here’s where it all went:

Inspection: $450 Before we put an offer on our house, we paid an inspector to come over and tell us everything that was wrong with the house. He said it needed a new roof, a new boiler and more attic insulation. We said, “Thank you! Here is a credit card!”

Deposit, with the offer: $15,000 Our real estate agent suggested we provide a deposit of $15,000 with our offer to make us seem as serious as possible.

We made the decision to buy the house quickly and didn’t have thousands of dollars in accessible bank accounts (free online banking is the best, except when you need a certified check for thousands of dollars and you need it right now). My dad offered to go to his real bank and get a certified check for us.

My husband met my dad at his office to pick up the check. My dad gave him a tour of the office and a bottle of apple juice from the office fridge.

We paid my dad back three days later.


The Cost of Throwing Money at the Problem of Getting Sick

In early December 2014 I went to the doctor for a twinge. Fifty-six days, two surgeries, and countless tests later I’ve been diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. I could recount for you all the copay and medication costs, but let’s talk about all the things I bought that insurance doesn’t come close to covering.


Tallying Up The Cost of an All-Expenses Paid Trip

All-expenses paid. That’s a magical adjective, isn’t it? I think it’s my new favorite—although four-star, first-class, and state-of-the-art are all battling it out for second place.


The Cost of Becoming a U.S. Permanent Resident, Part I

I just got legally wed at New York City Hall (actually the Office of the City Clerk) and am in the process of applying for family-based permanent residency. That is, a spousal green card. I’ve been in the U.S. in student status (not a visa! Canadians don’t need visas!) since 2008, and since I’m graduating in May, now is the time to make some moves.


The Cost of Things: Eloping in England

Flowers: We forgot to buy any, but the coffee shop we stopped in before the ceremony had little jars of yellow roses on the tables. We asked if we could take one, just for an hour or so, and brought them back after they’d done their part.


A Honeymoon Remembered in Receipts

A story in receipts.


One Is the Loneliest Number, So Find a Cell Phone Family Plan

About a week after I graduated from college, I broke the news to my father: I was leaving the family plan. He had been paying my cell phone bill for the previous five years, after giving me my first phone at 17. Before cell phones were standard for teenagers, my father would make me empty my pockets before I went out with friends to show him I had a few quarters for a pay phone—just in case. But as soon as my first boyfriend started hanging around our house, he handed down his old phone without me even asking. Daddy’s little girl was expected to check in on the regular.