Budgeting for Vacations, Other People’s Weddings, and Other Summer Stuff (Yay Summer!)

Mike: So Ester, it officially feels like summer! Maybe because it was 90 degrees the other day (but I still haven’t put in my air conditioner, perhaps to Josh Michtom’s delight). But I will! I did it in July last year.

Ester: We haven’t either! I always hold out ’til the last possible moment, til I feel like a wax person whose own skin is melting off my body. For environmental reasons.

Mike: I guess for me it’s part environmental reasons, but also because I don’t think it’s so terribly hot yet? I’m also not home very much, so that may be one reason. I’m at the office right now, and it’s usually on, but it’s quiet here today so I have turned off the a/c and opened the windows. It’s below 80! Who needs it? Okay, so, the thing I wanted to ask you is whether you have summer travel plans and if you planned for it financially in advance.

Ester: Last summer, as you may recall, my husband Ben, babygirl and I decamped for seven weeks — we stayed in Vilnius, Lithuania, in an AirB&B that thankfully did not burn down (the Lithuanian rain would have taken care of that right away anyway I guess), in a couple different places in England, and then in a family friend’s house in Spain. That was pretty amazing — and kind of ate up our travel budget for two years. So we don’t have anything planned for this summer, really, except to figure out how to have, entertain, and enjoy time with a kid in the heat without leaving NYC. How about you?

Mike: I have a savings account through Ally that is specifically for vacations. I just checked and there is $400 in it.

Thoughts on Class and Finance from the OC Series Pilot Script

We've been on the run / Driving in the sun / Looking out for number one

The Fan You’ll Want to Have When It’s Hot

When the heat and humidity set in this summer, I'm going to thank my lucky stars that I'm able to work in an air-conditioned office.

The Extra Paycheck Club

Summertime! And the living is easy -- especially if you are in the Extra Paycheck Club, and you might be whether you want to be or not. While two paychecks each month is still standard for many people, some employers pay bi-weekly. Instead of getting paid twice a month (24 paychecks/year), you get paid every other week (26 paychecks/year). It’s not exactly free money; you end up getting paid the same rate annually, just split over more paychecks.

I Don’t Feel Bad About My Air Conditioner Anymore

When it first started getting hot earlier this summer, I felt bad about using my air conditioner because I was worried what my electric bill was going to look like. Well folks, I don't feel bad anymore.

OMG Bathing Suit Shopping is the WORST

Either you are the kind of person who gets super excited to grab your sunglasses and tote and go bathing suit shopping, or you’re like the rest of us, groaning and rolling your eyes and wondering whether the suit you bought online half a decade ago and wore throughout your pregnancy will still somehow magically fit.

To make that silent, shuddering majority of us feel better about the upcoming necessities of beach-time, a plus-size retailer called Swimsuits for All — perhaps you remember them from last year’s “Oh dear, turns out we don’t have nearly enough inventory to meet demand” Fatkini scandal? — has put together a video history that celebrates the variety of bodies, each of which, it assures us, is “bikini-ready.” Yes, basically it’s one big fat advertorial, coming to us via Jezebel. It’s also kind of sweet, and heartening, and, when combined with a stiff drink, useful for preparing oneself to face the mirrors.

Do you have bathing suit shopping hacks that make this process more bearable? Is the answer to spend more, since you are destined to wear the stuffing out of whatever you buy regardless? What is the most you’d be willing to shell out to feel like you look good at the pool, remembering of course that true beauty comes from within?

Am I Too Cheap for AC?

I don’t have an air conditioner. Am I smug about it? A little. But that’s because it’s all I’ve got to hold on to when I’m lethargic, smelly and faintly dehydrated all summer.