So You’ve Decided To Join The CSA

It’s that time of year again. I’m seeing flyers in coffee shops and boyfriends lugging bags of soil back from the hardware store and imagining people in urban areas everywhere shouting to each other at parties, “So, you guys doing the whole CSA thing this year?” Oh god.

Does Success in One Area Mean Failure In Another?

Shonda Rhimes’ Dartmouth commencement speech just hit Medium. It’s ostensibly posted by Ms. Rhimes herself, which — I mean, I really want to break this down for a minute, she could have picked anywhere to post her speech, anywhere from HuffPo to The Atlantic to Kindle Singles, and she picked Medium? (Does Shonda Rhimes really need a gatekeeper-free publishing platform to share her message?)

Anyway, the speech is great, and the pull quote about “dreamers vs. doers” works, but to me, the most interesting part of the speech was the section that began:

Whenever you see me somewhere succeeding in one area of my life, that almost certainly means that I am failing in another area of my life.

That is the truth, right there.

How To Negotiate Speaking Fees

Negotiating a fee for this kind of stuff can be awkward. After all, you feel so cool to be asked! And maybe you're promoting your work, or your ideas, or your #personalbrand. But they are not holding this conference out of the kindness of their hearts or to do YOU a favor! Unless they are, and it's a nonprofit or true "community" (i.e., free) event, in which case: different story.

A Few Ways S.F. Tech Can Work to Be Hated Marginally Less

Over on his blog today, Anil Dash offers a few timely “Stupid Simple Things SF Techies Could Do To Stop Being Hated.” He talks about how the New York tech community has escaped similar degrees of disdain and resentment because 1. Wall Street will always be worse, and 2. in New York, tech workers have a better “ethos of community involvement.”

His first suggestion is simple, but legitimate:

First, people in tech should use their voices to push the leaders of their companies and industry to do the right thing. It is just as easy for a CEO to ask the city to accommodate affordable housing as it is for them to demand tax rebates. And if a CEO believes their employees expect this kind of request, most tech company execs will do anything to keep their engineers happy. If Google is the symbol of entitlement in San Francisco right now, Larry Page could simply and consistently amplify the voice of those already working on housing solutions and make a huge impact.

A Father-Daughter Duo Answers Your Questions: Balancing a Relationship With Financial Differences

Here's the problem: my boyfriend has HUGE student loan debt. Like, staggeringly large. His salary is pretty low... which doesn't bother me except that he's barely making any inroads on paying off his debt, and doesn't really have a plan to do so. I don't mind being the bigger contributor to our rent, bills, etc., but I don't want to sink my life savings into paying off his debt, not least because of the, let's face it, entirely real possibility of future break-up or divorce. A girl's gotta be practical. Photo: Vinoth Chandar

How Much Should I Pay for a Star Chart? and Other Key Questions Answered

Rule No. 1: Don’t be afraid to haggle. These are psychics, fortune tellers and palm readers. Believe me, you won’t be the first person to haggle. Rule No. 2: Don’t do any of this “over the phone” or “online.” Did you learn nothing from Miss Cleo’s fall from grace?

A Father-Daughter Duo Answers Your Questions

Welcome to a new bi-monthly advice column, in which you all ask questions about money and life and get a deeply subjective but very heartfelt answer from both me and my dad, who prefers to be known only as "Meghan’s dad" because he is afraid of being sued (?).

The Guardian Takes on Family Finances

Yesterday, our pal Heidi Moore had a chat with Oliver Pursche about managing money and while raising a family and, you know, all the expenses that come with living in a house. The transcript of that chat can be found here, and next month, they will be tackling "investing in an uncertain world."

Do You Owe a Present to a Bride Who Owes You Money?

In today’s Carolyn Hax advice column at the Washington Post, someone wants to know whether they need to get a wedding gift for a deadbeat bride who happens to also be a relative. As in all good advice-column questions, you can feel the heat of the writer’s anger rising in waves off the screen:

Dear Carolyn:

Do I buy the bride-to-be a wedding gift, even though she owes me money she borrowed and never paid back? I’m not the only person to whom she owes money, by the way. It’s like we’re paying for her wedding because she’s kept the money and it rankles to have to fork out more cash to buy a gift. It complicates matters that she’s a family member. Is there a polite way to say your wedding gift is that you don’t have to pay me back?

J.

I love this question because the letter writer “J.” clearly believes the answer should be “No, Of Course You Shouldn’t Have To Get This Dumbquat A Present; How Dare She Get Married When She Owes You Money? She Should Be Glad You’re Even Going To Her Farce of a Ceremony.” J. is writing because J.–who I will assign the gender ze/zir for clarity’s sake–wants zir righteous indignation confirmed. I love righteous indignation. I love how enraged entitled people get when faced with other people’s entitlement. 

We Need a New Kind of Financial Advice

The vast majority of us, try as we might, are not going to be the Rich Dad, living off passive income while some hapless schlubs labor for our cigar-smoking benefit. We are going to be the schlubs. We need financial literature that recognizes this. We don’t need advice on how to be rich and idle. We need concrete tips for effectively treading water.

Things I Wish I’d Known Before Plunging Blindly Into My Role as a Manager

There are so many things I wish I’d known before plunging blindly down the management road. Here are some of the things I’ve learned on the job, challenges I’ve faced and how to approach them, and other random thoughts on managing a team that might hopefully be helpful to others facing similar situations

Defer Student Loans? Paying the Minimum on Credit Cards?

If I ultimately have to either stop paying my loans (which are in deferment while I'm a student) or go back to paying just the minimums on my cards, what's the better choice? The dollar amount I would save monthly is the same.