On Life Hacks

@BornSecular I think the 'stop rabid, mindless consumption' thing is the key. That's part of broader cultural trends right now: meditation is trendy, mindfulness is trendy, and there's all that love for magical Japanese KonMari tidying, which at the core is about deliberately deciding what to keep and not having your possessions run roughshod over your home.

Posted on February 25, 2015 at 12:40 pm 1

On Life Hacks

@RiffRandell You're right: stalking is absolutely the correct word for what I do!

Posted on February 25, 2015 at 12:35 pm 0

On Life Hacks

I appreciate the things I own more when I turn buying things into an experience. Which means I try not to buy things on impulse but only after carefully considering things. Maybe obsessively considering things, but my fun-money budget is really very limited and I'd like to make the most of it. As an example, one time, there was this dress that I absolutely loved, but it was insanely out of my budget. So I figured out ways to make it something closer to a financial reality (still a splurge, but possible) by getting a 10% discount by signing up for the store's email list, saving and then converting credit card points into a gift card, AND waiting for the damn thing to go on sale. It was seriously a multi-month project (so I was getting the build up, planning, and anticipation that comes with experiences like travel, and in the end, I got this wearable thing rather than vacation photos, I guess.) But in the end, it got down to a price I didn't find obscene and it was something I knew I wanted. Three years later, I still love that dress, much more than the cheap things I bought on impulse off the sale rack at Uniqlo.

Posted on February 25, 2015 at 11:51 am 2

On Get Interest-free Banking With Digit, a Terrible New Way to Save

@TheDoctorsCompanion Capitol One 360 (the old ING Direct) also is 1% or so for its savings accounts. I got $11 last year. I'm rich!

Posted on February 23, 2015 at 3:43 pm 0

On When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies, The Office Picks Up The Slack

@radicaledward I don't know anything further about mentorship being recast as feminine, but one issue that for senior women mentoring younger women is that there are just fewer women in positions of power available to mentor younger colleagues, so it becomes a disproportionate burden. And the time spent mentoring-- while important and beneficial-- takes time away from work and also family. This is a major issue, for example, at universities which are trying to find senior faculty to fill various diversity committees and the like. For example, the sole female physicist might be asked to sit on several time-sucking committees that don't count much for tenure, promotion, or broader public recognition, and stand as this shining example to female students, while the ten male colleagues aren't expected to serve as paragons of their entire gender so get to spend more time in the lab. This particular problem should solve itself once there are more women in senior positions, right?

Posted on February 11, 2015 at 3:49 pm 0

On Shopping, Travel-Wise: Are You An Ester Or A Nicole?

@Lily OH MY GOD. That book is total, freaking AMAZEBALLS. I mean, I kind of laughed at some of it (the author was a very strange child) and it is very Japanese, but I want to go home right now and TIDY. Also, Nicole, I totally bow down to you and your spreadsheet. I'm taking a vacation in a couple of weeks and I've been doing something half-assed to prepare. You could totally be a consultant of some sort. I mean, if Marie Kondo can help people tidy, you could help people pack.

Posted on January 23, 2015 at 5:49 pm 0

On "Never Ask Something of Someone Who Isn't Happy:" Advice for Women Seeking Raises

Yes, yes, yes! One of my previous bosses was notoriously cranky in the afternoon-- he wouldn't eat lunch and then would get totally hangry-- so everyone in the office knew not to ask him anything when he was like that. I would bring him back a snack from the fancy snack place before asking for whatever I wanted. Of course, this was a known thing and became an office joke, so he generally knew that someone bringing a snack was going to be accompanied by a request for something. But the general idea of not asking grumpy people for things holds.

Posted on January 23, 2015 at 12:07 pm 0

On Are Business Cards Out of Style?

@rhinoceranita Another happy Moo customer! I didn't spring for the Luxe ones, and even the cheaper ones are great.

Posted on January 23, 2015 at 10:47 am 0

On Have a Terrible Time Traveling? Good! You're Supposed To

@swirrlygrrl Yes, on the one hand, some of the fees seem understandable (charging for baggage or meals), although those fees have led to everyone having a more unpleasant experience onboard due to the scram to board, additional fees to board early, and the resulting delays. And you can't pay extra those delays. The linked New Yorker article made the point very well that yes, maybe flying is more accessible to more people, but that the system has swung to an intolerable extreme. Things have been degraded so far that it actually isn't possible to buy your way out of the misery, not unless you can fly private. Also, the mergers, which are a related aspect of all this, certainly aren't making flying cheaper or more accessible. Smaller regional airports have lost service or now are served only by one airline, making prices far more expensive than they were a decade ago. Both American and United have recently significantly cut service to Cleveland, as one example. A ticket that used to cost me around $400 to fly from New York at the holidays was pricing over $800 this year, and those were for connecting flights at awful times, while in past years those were prices for direct flights at convenient times. So yeah, this maybe is one of those first world problems, etc. etc. But, as the linked article concluded, "The conditions of carriage may lack the importance of other, more pressing social issues. But when an airline like JetBlue is punished for merely trying to treat all of its passengers decently, something isn’t right." And to me, it seems completely indicative of broader and more unsettling trends: that public or commonly used services are degraded (see public schools, infrastructure, health care) and only the wealthy should expect anything decent. I don't want to live in a society like that.

Posted on December 31, 2014 at 2:32 pm 0

On Sharing Time: How Much Did You Spend on Presents This Year?

1. $500ish? I'm scared to tally things. 2. $150. This gift is worth it and I think it's perfect for the recipient. 3. $3, although I'm not actually sure who it's for... Hmmm. 4. No budget, hence my confusion as to the total. I'm flying blind here. 5. N/A 6. Credit card, but will be paid off in full when the bill comes. This is a new card, will help me meet the minimum spend requirement that will get me a free year of Amazon Prime. It's a no-fee card, so I think this is a good deal/appropriate use of credit cards, right? 7. God no. I have no idea what to spend. I certainly spent too much this year, but at the same time, feel like it's not enough.

Posted on December 19, 2014 at 1:24 pm 1