When I was a kid I wanted to be a singer (which is hilarious because I am borderline tone-deaf). Then I wanted to be a CIA operative. Instead, I became a world language teacher, then a project manager, went back to school to study software engineering, and now am a developer. So, yeah - STEM for the win.
@goodtimesnoodlesalad Former teacher here; my advice to pretty much anyone who will listen is not to work in education or academia because life is too short for that kind of misery :) *half-joking but also half serious*
@Kthompson Yeah - I found the phrasing of these examples a bit more aggressive than what I would use, but I think they are represent a good approach overall. I have and will continue to refuse to disclose my salary in applying to new jobs, but I do so VERY politely and just hold my ground. It hasn't seemed to turn off any of the companies (I receive further interviews - even when the HR recruiter seems annoyed by my refusal to answer).
On In Which I Answer a Question About Marriage and Finances That 'Call Your Girlfriend' Asked Us in October
I've never understood the splitting fancy dates pressure, because every long-term relationship I've been in we take turns planning trips or dinners in an unscheduled way, and the person asking pays. So for example, I make a lot more than my fiance whom I live with (he is a grad student on a fixed living stipend). I might take him out for sushi or to a nicer restaurant one night. Later that week, he might take us out for $5 burritos at the killer Mexican restaurant down the street. We enjoy both of these! Just because I can afford more expensive meals doesn't mean I have stopped liking casual places. We do nice things based on what we can reasonably afford, and it feels equal. Same with clothing or gifts - anything that goes beyond our basic living expenses. Since we do live together, we have a baseline budget for rent, food, and utilities that we contribute to equally. Anything beyond that (including fancy groceries, booze, home updates, etc.), we treat each other to because we love one another and when you buy or have nice things you want to share them with the person that you love. I could take fancier vacations if I went by myself, but they wouldn't be any fun without him. I guess this is a lot like splitting it proportionally, except that the fact that all non-necessary expenses are considered "extra" means there isn't any sort of "obligation" to remain the higher income earner. I don't think it's something people would necessarily articulate in that way, but I've seen plenty of friends who felt stuck in miserable jobs because they earned more and didn't feel able to switch to something less lucrative since their partner was dependent on them making more to afford their house/car/general lifestyle. Even if the lower income partner is supportive, it can very easily start to feel like a responsibility.
1. $800.00 (including the planned amount for a few aunts which I haven't actually bought items for yet). 2. $550.00. My boyfriend and I bought each other custom engagement rings and officially proposed to one another, thus the high - for me, a childless grad school student in her twenties - cost. 3. $14.00; it was a colorful wire basket for a family friend. 4. I always budget per gift, so I do it sort of backwards but with the overall total in mind. Then I pick things out for each person that I think they will like, not going over the individual budget. My budget for the engagement ring was actually $1000.00, but it turns out it's pretty damn hard to spend that much on a men's ring (which is great!). 5. Yes 6. Yes. I've already paid it off. I like credit cards - my Discover It card gives 5% back on department store and online purchases right now which applies to pretty much all the gifts. 7. Yes. I'm excited to give people their gifts and don't feel like I strained the budget too badly.
@Emily Anderer@facebook Commenting to second the "call financial aid to bargain/cry" advice. I also did this, and it always lead to a significant increase in annual scholarships at a state school. The first time I did it I received a 5k 4/year scholarship they hadn't given me in the first round. A couple of years later when I did it, they doubled another scholarship.
I swear, every time I read a piece and think "what an interesting character study" I get to the author and it's by Charlotte Shane. Also, Kai sounds a lot like a student I taught at an international school (also the son of a Chinese billionaire). We often tried to pinpoint whether he had a mental illness, because the narcissism, lying, laziness, and sort of laughing contempt for others *seemed* like it could be pathological.
My college major was globally focused, and when I first started interviewing for international jobs that required a lot of travel, whether or not I had children was asked in a sort of hinting way in a lot of the phone interviews (e.g. "The schools are pretty good around here, I don't know if that would interest you.." and a minute or two later "We haven't had many women in this role, because the travel can be hard if you have a family...") Most of it was phrased as statements rather than direct questions, and I answered without volunteering any info - "I don't have any concern about the travel; it's part of what interests me in this role". I couldn't prove that they were trying to ask if I had kids, but it definitely seemed like it.
I started babysitting when I was in 4th grade! Mostly for neighborhood families with toddlers, and often while one of the parents was at home and working. But I'd frequently take the kiddos down to the local park or to the local ice cream place down the street by myself. This was a little over 15 years ago...Stories like this make me concerned about having children today, bc I think the "adult supervision AT ALL TIMES" is bullshit and actually kind of harmful.
I just bought a vivofit and I love it. I'm super competitive, and their app offers virtual competitions against users with similar profiles week-by-week. I'm really good at the "not today because..." excuses for not working out, between work and grad school. This gets me to do something, and encourages me to look for small changes.