On Wedding Costs from the Dude's Perspective

@deepomega and synchronia Yeah, more money does not necessarily equal "nicer." We spent about $6,000 on our wedding. And by "we", I mean our parents. My dad told his coworkers what I had set the budget at, and they did not believe such a thing was possible. But it was. Anyway, because of a confluence of stuff that I claim little to no credit for--timing, who was able to attend, and some luck with the weather--it was a truly awesome party. At each wedding we've been to since, we've had friends come up to us and say, "This is great, but your guys' wedding--that was amazing."

Posted on October 3, 2012 at 2:23 pm 1

On Can You Ever Assume That Someone Else Will Pay? (With Fingers Crossed )

@Pumpkin Wow. Just. Wow.

Posted on September 14, 2012 at 7:40 pm 0

On Are You Giving to Charities, Or Telemarketing Companies?

@highjump No joke! After a series of 10 hour days walking around in summer heat for uncertain pay, I was dubious, and then the cause we were working on changed and I was just done. For some people it does seem to be genuinely rewarding work, but I was not one of those people. Because it is hard work, I try to just be polite but very firm when I encounter canvassers, figuring that they'd prefer to be spending their time with someone who might be persuadable.

Posted on September 12, 2012 at 5:49 pm 0

On Are You Giving to Charities, Or Telemarketing Companies?

@highjump I put up with working for a PIRG for all of two weeks about eight years ago. At that time in Oregon, at least, they paid canvassers by some complex commission system, not by the hour. And that 30% number sticks in my mind as the bonus as well. Of course, it might be different state to state, or even now vs. then.

Posted on September 12, 2012 at 3:24 pm 0

On Welcome to College, Kids

@wearitcounts Ditto. Though I'm fairly certain my cover is pleather.

Posted on September 11, 2012 at 1:42 pm 1

On Let's Talk About Student Loans Some More

@deepomega That's good. It's the undergraduate programs that don't encourage--or "force" :-)--students to reach outside their area of study that are really worrisome, at least to me. Though, yeah, better communication skills among our science/engineering types would be extraordinarily helpful for both them and those of us who try to communicate with them. And, vice versa, a better understanding of STEM fields among outsiders is likewise something we desperately need.

Posted on September 6, 2012 at 3:16 pm 0

On Let's Talk About Student Loans Some More

@deepomega That's a fair point and a good article. Law schools have gotten a real bad reputation as an investment in the last several years as the employment market has dried up for lawyers. MBA programs have somehow escaped that, but spending lots of money on a crappy MBA program is just as dumb as spending lots of money on a bad law program. So (assuming you have experience in one of these areas), have you seen people with better rounded educations in graduate engineering programs?

Posted on September 6, 2012 at 2:57 pm 0

On Let's Talk About Student Loans Some More

@madrassoup Such, such good points. I went to a liberal arts college for my B.A., then earned an MBA for my graduate degree. The mix of MBA students in my cohort was like 60% former business majors, 40% majors in something else. I was on more than one occasion shocked by the gaps in knowledge of many students who went from a business undergrad degree to an MBA program. Sure, they knew the 4 p's of marketing, but most had no knowledge of basic psychology or sociology--as if trying to understand why people act how they do was irrelevant when you're trying to, e.g., sell things or manage people. None had even read Adam Smith--which I would have guessed would have made it into the curriculum somewhere--much less Karl Marx. It just made my head hurt, and my heart.

Posted on September 6, 2012 at 2:31 pm 1

On Marrying Up But Not Giving Up

@Maryaed Maybe it's because where I live there just aren't many rich partners--male or female--lying around, but I don't see a lot of that among the married couples I know. But moving beyond what I think or you think, what do some numbers say? There are interesting conundrums with the self employment question. The latest data that I know of (from a quick search of the Internets and the Bureau of Labor) shows that self-employed men outnumber self-employed women (5.7 million to 3.5 million, respectively), but women are more likely to have a smaller business with no other employees. So an "awful lot" of self-employed work is done by men, but it's potentially true that women begin self-employed work on a smaller scale because it doesn't need to be the family's primary income. The issue of underpayment is even trickier because that are so many confounding variables alongside sex, like educational attainment, race, and the overall income bracket of the household. The continuing demonstrable pay gap between men and women doing similar work, though, is clearly problematic. And maybe some married women are more willing to accept lower wages because they are supported by better paying spouses. But "marry rich and give in to being supported for the rest of your life" wasn't the point of this article. It was, "I was supported, and now I get to be the supporter." Because in the modern world, for a lot of young married couples, that's how it works. Sometimes you're the financial support; sometimes your partner is.

Posted on August 30, 2012 at 2:22 pm 1

On Marrying Up But Not Giving Up

@Maryaed For the first five years of our marriage, my husband had an interesting, creative job in which he worked like 50-55 hours a week and was paid terribly. He probably would have been able to get by on his own, but it would have been a close call. My job provided the health care and the majority of our retirement savings. And then, with my first big raise, I started making nearly twice what he did. I never resented him for doing what he loved, nor would I have accused him of not being able to "pull his weight." Our marriage--as marriages should--had more than one way to be a contributing member. He cooks, helps clean, and takes care of our house and garden. Expecting his sole, or even his primary, contribution to the marriage to be financial would have been remarkably sexist and narrow minded. In the last four years, I've had at least two other coworkers whose husbands took a significant pay cuts because of fallout from the recession. Each couple found ways to work around it by reevaluating their financial reality and their expectations of who was going to do what in the relationship. Life, it turns out, is financially risky--unless you're a rich kid of instagram, or something. Marriage can heighten some of those risks if you and your partner don't see eye-to-eye on financial matters. However, in the best cases, marriage helps smooth out some of those risks. Also, how did we jump to the "no retirement savings" conclusion? Even if that is the case here, the fact that one's career is writing (or any sort of self-employed work) will have far more to do with that than a person's marital status.

Posted on August 29, 2012 at 5:43 pm 2