On When Do You Pay Your Bills

What about the interest? Do you have a savings account that pays you decent interest? If so, paying your money to your landlord right away could mean losing dividends each month.

Posted on November 16, 2012 at 4:08 pm 2

On Not Everyone is Fond of the Rolling Jubilee

I donated to the Rolling Jubilee the minute I heard about it. I didn't think of it as a way to "fix the system," but as an innovative and impactful contribution to a couple of indebted individuals. My understanding was that RJ would be buying medical and student debt, though I wasn't sure that they were securitized like consumer debt. The Jacobin article seems to affirm they aren't. I guess in the end, I consider donating to RJ as equivalent to Reddit's charity pizza. Ordering a pizza for a hungry stranger isn't solving global poverty, but it is alleviating a real stress for a real individual.

Posted on November 14, 2012 at 1:30 pm 0

On Death by a Thousand Small Purchases?

Maybe try a "Buy Nothing Week." For me it's like a budget cleanse. Removing the opportunity to spend any money helps me see habits I've developed that lead to spending I don't feel good about. From there I can build new routines that lead to spending I do feel good about.

Posted on October 3, 2012 at 1:50 pm 1

On Economic Data on the Go

Feeling extra proud of my checking account's .236% APY.

Posted on August 29, 2012 at 3:01 pm 0

On Marrying Up But Not Giving Up

So good! Being both in a committed relationship and an Independent Woman Pt. 1 is so much more complicated than Bey made it out to be! Have to admit, as a honey makin' money I still feel hella baller when I buy my man pretty gifts. Great piece Taylor!

Posted on August 28, 2012 at 5:04 pm 0

On My Company Doesn't Offer a Retirement Savings Plan

@Mike Dang According to Planet Money reports, the average SS benefit is $13,000 annually.

Posted on August 28, 2012 at 4:30 pm 0

On My Company Doesn't Offer a Retirement Savings Plan

When it comes to retirement planning, I like to start at the end. At what age do you want to be able to retire? And how much money do you want to have annually post retirement? Then it's all time value of money calculations. But, here is the thing. An IRA (or a 401k for that matter) is merely an investment vehicle. The returns you get from it depend on how and in what you invest. While you're guaranteed (for now)to not pay taxes on your IRA principal or earnings when you withdraw, you aren't guaranteed earnings. In fact, if you're like me, and you sock away your IRA maximum in a very safe CD, you're probably losing money. The rate of inflation is greater than the interest rate your principal is earning. That's why it is important to not only crunch the numbers to figure out how much to save for retirement, but to adopt the onus to figure out how to invest your savings to meet your retirement goals.

Posted on August 28, 2012 at 4:23 pm 0

On Two Economists Discuss a Minimum Wage Increase

One thing we can all agree on: having a Taco Bell and a Pizza Hut under the same roof helps no one.

Posted on August 24, 2012 at 1:47 pm 0

On In Conversation With My Friend, a Prostitute

Take those air-quotes away from writer, Caroline. This is beautifully written.

Posted on August 16, 2012 at 3:21 pm 1

On Reader Mail: What We Sock Away

I know this isn't the real question, but I just went through the apartment search process in San Francisco. For the place we really wanted, we simply offered a sizeable cash key-fee. All the qualifiers- references, credit score, savings account size, haircut style- and all of the competition just fell by the wayside and it was ours the next day. It felt kind of gross, but falls into the vague free-markets defense. In terms of what we save, we live on my partner's income and save mine. We make less than J.M. In terms of how much of our savings is liquid, about 10% of our combined annual income in a money market account. But, you know, we're really into saving.

Posted on August 14, 2012 at 4:54 pm 0