How Money Moves Between Generations (Not The Way You Expect)

At 80, since she has run through her own cash, the mom thinks it's fair to spend her daughter's. Meanwhile the daughter keeps cycling through the five stages of grief: denial, resentment, anger, guilt, giving in.

Money Talks: An Advice Column for Women in the Workplace

Dear Money Talks, I work in a small department of a large university. I started there as a graduate assistant, and over three years I have worked my way up to a full-time staff member in a position I essentially created for myself. I really like the job and my coworkers, I get great benefits, and I am not eager to leave this workplace except for, of course, the salary.

A Father-Daughter Duo Answers Your Questions: Accepting Financial Assistance From Parents as an Adult

Yet as I near 30 and plan to move in with a partner who is similarly low-income to me, and we think about having a home, starting a family, etc, I become confused about where to draw the line of receiving help from my parents. Should we accept money for a home? A wedding ceremony? Our children's college funds? The idea of continuing to accept money makes me feel as though I'm in a relationship with my parents, rather than building a life with my partner.

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

A Father/Daughter Duo Answers Your Questions: What Career Path Should I Take?

Dear Meghan and her Dad, Hope you're both well. I'm a 26-year-old woman with an MA in art history. Before graduating in May of 2013 I had a job lined up, and it sounded like a dream job at the time. So for the last year I've been working as a researcher at the art museum in my home city, part-time, no benefits, doing what I care about despite its relative unimportance in the big picture. I had a second (retail) job for several months to make ends meet, and then two months in my boyfriend moved in and I quit the other job, because the two of us combined made enough money, and also because the retail job was exactly what you'd expect it to be like.

Career Advice for Those Considering the Artistic Life

All of which is to say, don’t quit your day job, or if you do, don’t join a 20-person brass band.

Saying “No I Can’t” Because of Money

It is so hard to say no! It is especially hard to say no to our friends, who we love, or who we like well enough but think for whatever reason that it is imperative that they love us. And it especially hard when the “no” is because of money. Or is it easier, money being an inarguable reality like the weather? “It’s raining / I’m broke.” No, it’s harder, because it is hard to acknowledge to our friends that we might be coming up short, that the thought of spending is making us hyperventilate, and that even though we love them maybe we don’t have or can’t afford to part with the $1,000+ their wedding will cost us.

WaPo advice columnist / demigod Carolyn Hax shows us the way:

Q. HOW TO DECLINE WEDDING INVITATIONS I’m getting many wedding invitations these days and unfortunately I just can’t afford to go to all of them. Some friends understand, but how do you explain that to the brides who just don’t seem to get it and keep pushing you on it?

A. CAROLYN HAX You don’t. You’re under no obligation to explain at all, though with a good friend you’ll want to say something, of course: “I would love to go but I can’t afford it.” Done. If pressed, you ask them please to respect you enough to accept that you’d go if you could. Beyond that, the couples’ behavior makes for a good sorting tool. Remember who was gracious and who was pushy, and then, as you continue to be called upon to invest more money and energy in your friends than you have to give, choose to give to the gracious ones.

A Father-Daughter Duo Answers Your Questions: Is This the Right Time to Leave My Job?

I've worked for eight years at a job that I've mostly loved. In the past three years I've learned an enormous amount from my supervisor, and have grown tremendously in the position. This supervisor is moving on to another position, and the people above will most likely replace her with someone who's vision I don't share. She's done an incredible job in the past three years of shielding me and her other employees from the powers that be, who don't seem to understand the realities of our work. For the first time in eight years I'm looking very seriously at new positions. I have interviews, but I don't have any offers yet. I'm pretty hopeful about one position in particular coming through. Here's the dilemma that I face: If I leave the job, I would be one of the four people in leadership positions to leave all at once. The thought of what that would do to the organization, and how it will be managed after we leave, is quite devastating to me. But is that enough to stay? To complicate matters a bit more, I'm a very new mom and I worry about how the stress of a new job will make parenting in the first year that much harder. Help!

How to Make Buying Things More Like Having Experiences

DON'T buy on impulse. DO wear a funny hat.

Is 75 Enough?

If you’d like mortality mansplained, this pedantic fellow in the Atlantic does an excellent job. (“Mortality: You’re Doing It Wrong.”) In the process of declaring that 75 is a perfect age to die, the author also declares himself against euthanasia / “death with dignity” movements for some reason and adds that he will have a memorial service before his death because wow is he a control freak. Yet, as the Dude would put it, the author is not wrong — at least not in his main point, that he won’t make any effort to extend his life past 75; he’s just kind of an asshole.

The good news is that we have made major strides in reducing mortality from strokes. Between 2000 and 2010, the number of deaths from stroke declined by more than 20 percent. The bad news is that many of the roughly 6.8 million Americans who have survived a stroke suffer from paralysis or an inability to speak. And many of the estimated 13 million more Americans who have survived a “silent” stroke suffer from more-subtle brain dysfunction such as aberrations in thought processes, mood regulation, and cognitive functioning. Worse, it is projected that over the next 15 years there will be a 50 percent increase in the number of Americans suffering from stroke-induced disabilities. Unfortunately, the same phenomenon is repeated with many other diseases.

So American immortals may live longer than their parents, but they are likely to be more incapacitated. Does that sound very desirable? Not to me.

He makes sound arguments for why trying to extend life past a certain point simply for the sake of it is silly and not cost-effective, especially when quality of life deteriorates and all we have to look forward to is that “second childishness, and mere oblivion” stage. (Which can be a serious financial and emotional burden on our children/care-givers.) I’m kind of convinced. But ask me again when I’ve reached his age: if I have also attained his level of success and feeling of supreme self-satisfaction, perhaps I too will be ready to Let It Go.

The Last (Profane but Awesome) Word on Weddings

Samantha at Bitches Gotta Eat decided to answer every wedding etiquette question you can imagine, and she does it with aplomb, if by “aplomb” you mean “caustic honesty, jokes, and lots of cuss words.” For example, if you are invited to someone’s destination wedding, do you still bring/send a present and, if so, a present that represents the same amount of money you would spend on the couple if you weren’t also shelling out for airfare, hotel, etc? Samantha’s answer:

if i were you i would: 1 buy a first class ticket, for sure; 2 invest in a good quality jersey dress because ironing in a hotel is the lamest, you should be drunk; 3 fuck every dude you make eye contact with over that cocktail you’re sipping out of a coconut, and 4 get those assholes a giftcard in the checkout line at the grocer. congratulations, guys! please enjoy your dinner at ruby tuesday!

My (deep down secret) thoughts exactly. She also answers the even pricklier question of Plus Ones.

should we put “and guest” on the invitations addressed to our single friends?

man, fuck you and fuck this. YOU CHEAP BASTARDS. of course you should. the only thing worse than being a smug single person at some asshole’s stupid wedding is being a smug single person at some asshole’s stupid wedding with no one awesome to talk shit about it to. as much as i don’t want to burden you with that extra $75 lukewarm chicken breast spent on some dude i found on craigslist, just think of it as an insurance policy that i won’t fuck your reception all the way up with my drunk crying and vomit-flavored hiccups.

Do yourself a favor and scroll through the full list. Can’t guarantee agreement; can guarantee catharsis.