On Let’s Throw Some Money at Our Problems: March 2014 Check-in

I love this thread - it's my absolute favorite - and this is my first time participating. I just converted what were jars of money in my room (I'm not even kidding) into SmartyPig savings accounts, so the savings looks more extensive than it will be next month. Thank you guys so much for the inspiration, can't wait for next month! Emergency Fund (goal is $10,000) 3/1 - $9,257.78 3/31 - 7,313.34 I had to take money out to pay for my recent trip to Asia and to contribute to my IRA for the tax break, but it was worth it. Working on building this back up (goal is eventually $15,000 but I've never passed the $10,000 mark) 2015 vacation fund 3/1 - $55.00 3/31 - 105.12 House down payment (so I can buy a place in about 40 years' time) 3/1 - $25.00 3/31 - 191.15 Birthday present to myself 3/1 - $65.00 3/31 - 103.15 Christmas presents 3/1 - $75.00 3/31 - 104.14 Amex balance 3/31 - $310.14 (due in May sometime) I'm working on not having a balance on my credit card that is more than what's in my checking account. Failing at that so far, but I don't pay interest on my balance, and this is the lowest it's been in about 5 years, so that's good.

Posted on April 1, 2014 at 5:38 pm 0

On John and Patricia and the Woman in a Hoodie

What you're doing right now - listening - is one of the most important parts of taking action - to listen first to who you're working with. It takes a lot of courage to do that. I think if you keep doing it, you'll eventually figure out what else you (as one person) can do. And that might involve lots of other people who are working on this problem, and maybe The Billfold, too. But you're doing the right thing first.

Posted on November 6, 2013 at 4:56 pm 0

On My Boss Tried to Get Me to Join in on Her Beauty Pyramid Scheme (It Kind of Worked)

And I'm really sorry she keeps pressuring you. That is no good at all, and it's very unfair that you have to be the one to have a difficult and uncomfortable conversation just because she's being inappropriate and unprofessional.

Posted on October 16, 2013 at 2:49 pm 0

On My Boss Tried to Get Me to Join in on Her Beauty Pyramid Scheme (It Kind of Worked)

Can you speak to her first and just explain that you're not interested in any of their products? Then if it doesn't stop, consider telling her supervisor. It's unprofessional for a supervisor to pressure their employee into buying something they are selling, and for her to do it repeatedly isn't okay. That said, it's helpful for you to tell her in a straightforward way that thank you, but you aren't interested, and if it continues after that, you can say something to her superior.

Posted on October 16, 2013 at 1:29 pm 0

On What It Cost Me When My Boyfriend Died

Hi Sarah. Thank you for sharing your story - that takes so much courage. I can understand the pain - I lost a significant other to suicide over two years ago and am still working on every day, and I've never had the courage to write about it like you have. It sounds like you are doing really healthy things – therapy, classes, activities, and already starting to slow down the uncharacteristic spending, which is a great accomplishment. It's also okay to rely on friends to get you through this time – they’ll be there for you, regardless of whether you can buy rounds or dinner. All that said, money is important and necessary, but it's not as important as life and living. Celebrate surviving each day without Chris and appreciate every moment you feel better, even if there are many where you still feel terrible. One day you'll finish the day and realize that you had more good hours than bad ones. When that happens, you celebrate some more, and then you also forgive yourself for feeling happy even though he's gone. Please keep us posted on how you are. There are a lot of people rooting for you, friends and strangers alike.

Posted on May 22, 2013 at 2:38 pm 3

On Companies, Disliked

Sprint and British Airways. Any company that requires you to re-sign contracts multiple times or costs you money out of your own pocket due to their idiocy and lousy websites (I'm not even talking compensation for errors, but just normal service) is the worst. Sprint is the WORST.

Posted on January 15, 2013 at 10:09 pm 0

On Let's Not Lose All Our Teeth

Aww, Mike, please go to the dentist! I hadn't been in over a year, either, for your same reason, and I just went, and even though I didn't have cavities, nothing hurt, and I floss every day, she told me I have gum disease and might have to have surgery. I had to go back three times for deep cleaning and again in another month. It's cheaper if you just go now, and the news will only get worse if you wait.

Posted on August 30, 2012 at 10:15 am 0

On Monday Check-In: Let's Talk About Heirloom Tomatoes

Friday - my boyfriend and I took his parents and brother out to a nice dinner. I hadn't seen them in a while, and it was a fun meal. He and I split the bill - $79 each Saturday - helped a friend move, so she bought all my meals! I had an iced coffee before I started - $3 - but she gave me $3 more than what she owed me for lunch, so total: $0 Sunday - Bought the week's groceries - $72. Had steamed crabs with friends - $25. Total: $176

Posted on August 6, 2012 at 9:49 am 0

On 'No Ticket!'

Mike, I know what you mean! I rode the subway in Vienna with an expired subway pass (from the day before), and I was totally scared the entire time. I figured I'd just plead ignorance, since I was in a foreign country. Then one time I actually didn't know I was supposed to validate it (I think I was in Italy) and I almost got kicked off the train. The stress is not worth it; I have resolved to just pay it like a law-abiding, non-cheap citizen.

Posted on June 26, 2012 at 11:17 am 0

On Reader Mail: Starting and Sticking to a Budget

Yay, these comments and suggestions are great. One thing I do - I give myself a cash allowance for the week for lunch if I eat out, happy hour drinks, little incidentals, and buying whatever. One thing I do with this - if I think about buying something but decide not to - say a coffee - I take that $3-4 and put it into this jar I have. The jar is full of change and random bills I just throw in there when someone treats me to a drink or I don't purchase something, or I win $2 on a lottery scratch off, whatever's left at the end of the week, loose change, etc. I emptied my jar last week (after three months) of shoving bills in it, and not even counting the coins, it had $125! I'm super excited about this, since it's money I didn't notice much before, and now I can put it toward either something fun I'm saving for (a trip to see a friend), or expensive random purchases I always forget to save for, like wedding or Christmas gifts. I also have random places (both physical and online) I have money - my jar cash is all in one place in my room, and my cash-back rewards for my credit card are sitting there online, waiting to be redeemed. I find a lot of pleasure in making plans to spend that money on something awesome.

Posted on June 25, 2012 at 3:15 pm 0