Eating on Airplanes

Why is airplane food often so bad?

My Year in Money: A Gif Odyssey

For 22 years old, 2 years out of college, I feel like I'm in a pretty good place.

Opportunity Cost: The Olympics

Time is money, so they say. How much did the Olympics cost you, Julie?

Time spent watching the Olympics (prostrate on the couch with snacks, at bars, during friends' housewarming parties, etc.): 21 hours

Things I Have and Have Not Called My Landlord About

Heat stops working. In January. In Chicago. The landlord needs to be called, but I'm not going to be the one to do it. I'm angry at my roommates because I just found out that while I was away all fall on an internship, they didn't pay any of the utility bills, which are in my name, thus ruining my credit forever.

How Elementary School Kids (Plan To) Do Money

Talking to children about money.

The Hustle of a Singer-Songwriter: A Conversation with Matt Duke

I met Matt Duke at a concert venue in my college town, cornering him so I could take a picture for the student website I worked for. Several years later, he has three records and one EP under his belt from working with record labels, and is now self-financing his next record on a Kickstarter, which, full disclosure, I contributed to.

Reviews of Public Transportation

Recently I was in Sydney on business, which is just the most amazing and douchiest sentence I've ever written. But I was, and on my first night I had plans to get drinks with the friend of a friend. I left the event venue (where they held boxing at the Olympics! God, I love the Olympics) a responsible amount of early, with Google Maps' assurance that all I needed to do was take the monorail one stop. I was willing to pay the unreasonable price of $5 for this because it was worth that much to me not to be lost in a foreign country at night. Come to think of it, that's probably the business model for all overpriced transit aimed mainly at tourists.

Opportunity Cost: Season 2 of ‘The Voice’

Time is money, so they say. How much is the time I spent watching 'The Voice' worth?

Why Live in a Yurt? And How Much Does It Cost? A Conversation with Melissa Fletcher

What is a yurt and why are people living in them? Julie Beck interviews Yurts of Hawaii's Melissa Fletcher to find out.

Buddy and the Disappearing Social Media Job

It would’ve been a weird summer anyway. I’d graduated, but the lease on my college apartment wasn’t up until September, so I stuck around through the transition, biking to Panera in the morning, where I would take advantage of the air conditioning and reliable wireless connection, freelance web producing and refilling my small Dr. Pepper all day. At night, I drank beers on the porch while my roommates played guitar, attracting stray cats and strange neighbors who shared too much about their sex lives.

My freelance gig kept me pretty solidly in porch beers and popsicles, but when I saw the posting seeking a $15/hour social media intern for a local coffee shop chain, I figured it couldn’t hurt to apply. I could use the extra money to put toward a security deposit when I moved to the city in the fall, and our journalism professors constantly repeated that as young people who understood Twitter, we were automatically more attractive job candidates to older employers who viewed social media as Gandalf does the One Ring: aware of the power it could bring them, but too afraid to dare wield it. I have since found this to be only sort of true. I sent my resume to the proprietor, who preferred a diminutive nickname to his real one. We’ll call him Buddy.

Adventures in Budgeting

My first step in making a budget was to ignore my boyfriend when he suggested I use Mint.com. Although pretty much all my work/entertainment/happiness stems from the Internet, sometimes I like to play-act at being "off the grid." It's worth noting that I did the math for my paper budget on my computer's calculator.

How To Furnish an Apartment for $0

1. Get a roommate. Make sure your roommate comes with a loveseat, a kitchen table, a coffee table, and one chair that she found in a dumpster.