On Take the Vacation

Maybe this is because I have always worked at non-profits doing underfunded work where we are all multitasking, but I have never maxed out my PTO because there is no backup for my role(s). Partly it's because there really may not be another person who is equipped to fill in for me, although that makes me sound more important than I am, and partly it's that everyone is so overwhelmed, I don't want to ask them to do my 12 jobs on top of theirs. This isn't to say I don't take vacation, but I wanted to be the lone comment admitting that I do not take advantage of this, even though I know I should, and want to do better.

Posted on January 16, 2015 at 3:06 pm 0

On How a Non-Profit Attorney Who Provides Legal Services to Low-Income NYC Residents Does Money

I really enjoyed this. I also work as a public interest lawyer, and took full advantage of all of the loan repayment programs I could find. Depending on your school, legal aid/defender employer, state bar, etc. they can range from simple to incredibly annoying and essay-intensive, but it was worth it to rid myself of all law school loans in 5 years. Now that I am in that 5-10 year range, I find the following two aspects of non-profit work to be the most problematic: 1. chronic underfunding means I have changed jobs a lot, always on my own terms to rewarding and meaningful new opportunities, but the trend seems to be towards short-term grant-funded projects rather than a stable pool of funding, and I feel like I'm always looking for the next job before the floor drops out from under me; 2. which leads to my next concern, which is that as I enter my 30s and think about things like buying a house and having a family, it's harder to deal with salaries that don't permit much saving (on the scale of a down payment), or long-term planning, or major costs like daycare.

Posted on January 8, 2015 at 11:39 am 0

On The Costs of Mental Illness, With & Without Insurance

@VelourFog Most of the time, if your employer offers health insurance that meets the standards of "minimum essential coverage" (basic benefits and 60% actuarial value), you do have to take it, even if an ACA plan would be cheaper. If your employer insurance premium is more than 8% of your income, you can choose to buy an ACA plan, but you are not eligible for any subsidies. Only if an individual policy from your employer is more than 9.5% of your income can you choose to buy an ACA plan with a subsidy. (If you have dependents and you pay more than 9.5% of your income for a family plan through your job, that is irrelevant, unless the individual policy that you do not want or need is more than 9.5%). So yeah it's super clear and easy for everyone to figure this out!!!

Posted on January 6, 2015 at 12:19 pm 1

On In Defense of Small Cheap Cities

@capitulatenow I moved from DC to Baltimore about a year and a half ago for work. I miss aspects of DC a lot. Free cultural stuff everywhere! I am a lawyer working in non-profit advocacy for low-income people, and just felt surrounded by smart, passionate people who cared about those issues. But public interest legal work is viciously competitive and underfunded everywhere, and people NEVER leave their jobs (because it's so hard to find new ones.) Living in a competitive and increasingly expensive city like DC exacerbated all of these issues. Not only could I have never bought a house there, I could never even have afforded my own apartment. I had a roommate in Trinidad for three years, but was feeling like I was part of a rapid gentrification process that was out of my control and was going to price me out in the next year or so. DC is attracting a lot of young, affluent people, and my friends who made more money than me loved to eat out at awesome new restaurants and go to shows - and I was spending a lot just to socialize. Moving to Baltimore was a leap of faith, because although my job actually pays more, it is a 2-year contract, and I am worried about job hunting here. My bf and another close college friend have since moved here, and I am meeting people slowly, but I miss living in the same city as so many friends - to an extent, that seems to be a part of the phase of life I'm in (30) - people are starting to have babies and can't afford to stay in DC/raise kids there anyway. Everyone move to Baltimore and hang out with me and also guarantee me a job this time next year thanks!

Posted on December 10, 2014 at 2:39 pm 1

On Who's Taking Care of Your Baby?

"Prioritizing work, for me, feels like a feminist act. Everything is conspiring against it, so I am the only defender of my work’s importance." Fist pump! I loved everything about this piece, which articulates so well the fears I have when I consider whether my future should include parenthood. As a woman and a person who has worked hard to attain a life that includes a career that is a huge part of my identity, I feel that it is so important to talk (write) aloud about how real families make these choices.

Posted on October 1, 2014 at 6:57 pm 0

On IMPORTANT: How to Reheat Leftover Pizza

Sorry, concept of "leftover" pizza does not compute. I eat all of the pizza on hand as quickly as possible and then order more.

Posted on September 24, 2014 at 6:21 pm 0

On How Do You Do Groceries?

@andnowlights Your single person non-list list is far better than mine was. So much frozen pizza and hummus.

Posted on September 22, 2014 at 9:01 pm 0

On How Do You Do Groceries?

This is very timely, as my boyfriend and I had a dumb fight on Saturday because I was trying to get him to make up a grocery list, he prefers not to use a list, I kept telling him to make a list, and he eventually told me that he "DIDN'T CARE!!!" and so I told him we weren't going grocery shopping at ALL! And went to Chipotle for dinner by myself. Productive! But - who shops without a list? I would just spend $100 on wine and crackers and cheese.

Posted on September 22, 2014 at 6:04 pm 2

On Friday Estimate

Last Friday night, I worked until 9pm and then ordered takeout Thai BUT THE RESTAURANT WAS CLOSED WHEN I GOT THERE. Tonight, whatever it takes to replicate that experience with a different ending ($30 for 2?). Tomorrow I need to make/get dessert + bottle of wine for a dinner party ($20). Sunday we are going to check out the Blue Angels and other festivities for the 1812 celebration. Traffic will be a nightmare, so we are walking - $0 for parking but $25 for coffee/water one way and late lunch early dinner on the way home. Misc. groceries at some point, so I will round up to $100.

Posted on September 12, 2014 at 9:46 am 0

On Paying for the Things You Never Fathomed You'd Pay For

@apples and oranges I just posted a comment about this a couple of days ago. We're phone twins. I *really* do not want to pay for data. There are times when it would legitimately help me to do my job better, and there is an assumption that people in my age/income bracket/profession have smartphones, which has been awkward or problematic occasionally. But not like $1200/year awkward, am I right? Holding out ... for now.

Posted on September 11, 2014 at 12:32 pm 0
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