Buuuttt....what if you are against cremation? (Ester I assume that since you are of the tribe you are probably against cremation?). I like the idea of being a tree but I am not down with cremation.
Late adding but adding mine because I think people should be more transparent about these things... I will be 30 in a few weeks. I need to preface this all by saying that my parents make a lot of money--they are both attorneys, I do not know their exact salaries, but I know they are 1%. They live very comfortably but not too extravagantly (other than travel--which they love to do and do pretty frequently now that my sister and I are out of the house) and have been nothing but generous (sometimes too generous) all my life. Anyways... My parents paid for everything college-wise for me and my sister. That might seem like a lot but it actually was not that crazy because A) We both went to a large in-state public school and B) Because we stayed in-state we both went to school FOR FREE. That is right--when we both graduated high school, Florida had a program called Bright Futures which enabled high-achieving students who met the parameters (GPA, SAT/ACT scores, and a volunteer service requirement) to go to any in-state public school to which they were accepted FOR FREE. Bright Futures was a pretty amazing program which enabled a lot of people who might not have been able to go to college (some of whom I met in my dorm and in classes--many of whom were the first in their family to go to university) to attend college. Bright Futures still exists but in a modified form. Anyways, I didn't mean to turn this into an ad for Bright Futures, but it is pretty sweet. That said, my parents had also opened a 529 college savings plan for both my sister and me when we were born, and because we both did Bright Futures and stayed in state we got all that money back. Most of that money paid for rent, food, gas, books, etc. My parents helped make up the minimal difference. I was really resistant to stay in state (I wanted to stretch my wings and fly blah blah), but my parents cut me a sweet deal. I knew I wanted to go to graduate school, and my parents said they would pay for graduate school and any study abroad I wanted to do if I spared them from paying for undergraduate. As such, I got four years of college for free, and I got to study abroad. My parents did help me with graduate school as well--I was fortunate to only have to pay for one semester of that (yay tuition remission for TAs!), and the stipend I got from TAing my other three semesters helped pay everything except for rent, which my parents paid. So, I went to school for 6 years, and I had only had to pay one semester of tuition--not too shabby. My parents also supported me when I did a summer internship in NYC, and helped me through various stretches of unemployment when I was looking for a full-time job post-graduate school. I am so glad I listened to them about staying in state for undergraduate and avoiding that debt (I should have listened to them more). Like several commenters above, my parents were always really adamant that I not work while I was in school--they wanted me to focus on my studies. I had summer jobs throughout high school and babysat periodically, but I never really worked full time until post-graduate school. They bought my sister and I both new cars (Honda Civics nothing fancy) when we got our licenses--but I think this was more so that they didn't have to shlep us to our copious after-school activities vs. spoiling their children (they went new because they wanted to make sure the cars were as safe as safe could be because, teenage girl new drivers). We never wanted for anything. Since getting my own job my parents have still been super, super generous. I support myself entirely though I still hang out on my family's cell phone plan (holla!). My parents can afford to be incredibly generous, but I still feel a little guilty about it. I especially feel guilty when comparing myself to my friends--many of whom received zero support from their parents. I just have to remind myself to be mindful and also grateful. My parents still get my sister and me (and now my husband) fairly extravagant gifts for the holidays and our birthdays. My mother loves to take me shopping when we are together. They paid for my whole wedding last year. When I protest their generosity (for instance, whenever my husband and I go on vacation with them they pay for EVERYTHING and I mean everything including airfare--only recently have they let us pay for a few meals) they say they worked really, really hard so that they could do things like take their kids on fancy vacations and throw their daughter a fancy wedding and enjoy time with their family in the way they want to do so. My husband still has trouble accepting this--his parents paid for his first round of school (he went back for a second degree recently and now has loans) and have also been very generous and supportive, but my parents are just on another astral plane basically--but he is getting better about it. I also owe my parents $2,000 which they loaned me earlier last year when I had a paycheck gap of about 5 weeks (ungh) between ending one job and starting another. I intend to pay that back by the end of this year. Even though my parents are both in their early 60s I don't think either plans to retire anytime soon--they don't mind working and they love the lifestyle their jobs enable them to afford. And, when they do retire, I don't think I'll have to worry about them. I am fairly certain they own their house in full (they've been living in it since I was three months old so, almost 30 years) and, since my mother is a tax and estate planning attorney, I am fairly certain she has everything set up for them to have a most comfortable retirement whenever they should decide to retire. All that said, I pinch myself on the regular for how generous my parents have been. I know that my family is more an exception to the rule than the norm. I am so lucky for their support and I hope that one day my husband and I can be as generous with any future offspring we might have (although at this point neither of us is a lawyer, nor are we expecting to make lawyer $$$ anytime soon, so who knows). I hope to one day be able to afford to send my parents on a super swank and wonderful vacation to thank them for being the greatest, but in the meantime I try to do what I can to treat them in a manner I can afford (usually gift certificates to nice restaurants or spas for the holidays). And, when I feel supersupersupersupersuper guilty, I just remind myself that I went to college basically free, so, uh, it could have been worse? Anyways, my parents are basically the best. Edit: Wow, this is long. Sorry guys. I just have a lot of mixed feelings of guilt and gratitude it seems, ha.
On Tax Season
@ChristinaMichelle Husband has confirmed that they can be accessed online--they are his loans, not mine, but I like to have all my bases covered. And...glad to know it is just checking a box, haha. For whatever reason I have conflated it in my head to be a big thing.
On Tax Season
@fletchasketch ...Those are all things that I had already assumed so I feel better now, I was just hoping that there wasn't something I was missing! Mama Dilettantista is a tax attorney so I figured she wouldn't steer me wrong, heh.
On Tax Season
@Aunt Scar Soooo I have a Roth IRA and I never really understood how that made things super different in filing? I haven't been able to put much money in it in the past several years, however. Am I breaking laws that i didn't know existed? Evidently things are more complicated than I had originally thought!
On Tax Season
@garli I think it gets good mileage and has low-ish emissions but it isn't a fancy Prius or anything like that.
On Tax Season
I HAVE QUESTIONS. 1) This is our first year filing jointly as a MARRIED COUPLE how hard is that to do and is there anything I should be on the lookout for? 2) Related to MARRIED COUPLE joint-filing...this is also the first year ever either of us has had student loans. What are these magical forms we need to handle them, when should they be arriving in the mail, and what are the steps we need to take? Otherwise I think things will be straight forward. I have W-2s. He has W-2s. We bought a car this year but I don't think(?) that that will do anything for us. Either way we are mildly nervous because this is the first time we do not have a basic tax return where we just punch in some numbers from a W-2 and call it a day. Any advice would be most welcome!
@bgprincipessa I would consider it more of a dramedy--more like "Parenthood." None of the heaviness of like, "The Wire" or "Breaking Bad," but definitely not a sitcom.
I follow the Mike Dang method and bring my lunch nearly every day but allow myself to go out to lunch once a week. This frequently isn't planned (unfortunately), usually it is my coworkers saying LET'S GO TO LUNCH and me going "okay I really like you guys let's do it!" I don't really have a method unfortunately. Some weeks I cook a big batch of something and the husband and I get 3-4 meals each out of it. Some weeks it is peanut butter sandwiches or avocado toast every day (I am lucky that my office has a toaster! Toasters are the best!) The best weeks it is dinner leftovers, either stuff we cook at home or stuff from a restaurant. Mostly I bring my lunch because I am lazy--it is easier to just walk to the fridge and get what I have brought then hike to a restaurant and spend some money on food that is likely maybe mediocre and also possibly bad for me. I do agree with the following however: 1) Step away from your desk if you can--I do this most days, except when I am very very busy. My coworkers and I tend to eat as a group because, like I said above, we all like each other. When it is nice we eat outside, when it is not nice we eat in the conference room. 2) Real plates and utensils rock. I am lucky that my office keeps a stash so I can just use what it in the kitchen. We also have a dishwasher which is amazing. 3) Bon Appetit has this very long article on how to make the best lunches--some of the tips might be a bit frou frou, but some of the suggestions are very good. They recommend keeping a salt and pepper shaker in your desk--I do this now and it has changed everything. They also have a list of pantry-style snacks that you can keep in your desk without worrying about them going bad. I really like this article overall and recommend giving it a read and picking what works for you: http://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/cooking-tips/article/lunch-al-deskohttp://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/cooking-tips/article/lunch-al-desko