On The Cost of Things: Museums

I'm late to the museum party, but I just had to chime in! I hope you know the Brooklyn Museum is, like the Met and the Museum of Natural History, pay-as-you-wish. They don't say it upfront and you'll have to wait in the longer lines, but you don't actually have to pay anything. "Hi, I'd like one adult ticket please" and hand them $3-$10 is usually my strategy. I believe but am not positive that you can pay an amount of your choosing with your card as well. This doesn't work for special exhibits at the Museum of Natural History.

Posted on February 20, 2015 at 12:25 pm 0

On The Cost of Insomnia

@LizJordan Yes, seconding this! Write down the stuff in your head! Also, if you're waking up anxious/worrying then this piece of advice is likely more specifically applicable for your insomnia. Favorite mindfulness/meditation apps: Michael Stone Meditation and Headspace. Also yes exercise is good but not right before bed, it can get you revved up. And I endorse the No Screens Before Bed (or when you wake up in the middle of the night) rule. An extreme measure would be No Screens in the bed/bedroom (I forget if you live in a 1br or studio). Make your bed/bedroom a peaceful oasis, so your work doesn't try and sneak into your bed and dreams. Either way, I would definitely NOT watch TV on your phone in bed! I also agree about the hot shower/bath before bed. Any ways in which you can create a calming, non-stimulating routine that work for you are good, whether its a bath, tea, cosy pjs, reading a (real! paper!) book in bed, journaling (on paper!), doing a meditation, restorative yoga etc. etc. You don't have to do all of them—choose ones that you genuinely find relaxing and look forward to.

Posted on October 14, 2014 at 12:38 pm 0

On Things I Would Do Around The House If There Were Wages For Housework

@clo yeah, I agree—throw out the lasagna pan! Not worth it!

Posted on October 6, 2014 at 1:41 pm 1

On Aspiring To Be An Effortlessly Cool Woman With $400 Shoes

1) Madewell—look like Rachel Comey, cost like $150. So expensive, but still cheaper. 2) Spending too much time seeking out sales so that ridiculously expensive shoes become just normal-expensive shoes. (Grenson boots I got for like $200 that are so comfy, so well made, water-resistant, and so stylishhhhhh I just can't even believe myself when I look in the mirror!)

Posted on September 16, 2014 at 12:43 pm 0

On A Father-Daughter Duo Answers Your Questions: Accepting Financial Assistance From Parents as an Adult

@highjump Wow, I don't think either of your responses were very considerate or appropriate to the tone on the Billfold, especially when @dilworth opened up about his personal qualms surrounding the issue. It seems like he (I think) and I are interested in having thoughtful discussions and not necessarily on board with the systemic conditions that make family support so helpful (when you can get it) and problematic (when you can't). Giving tax free gifts isn't evading taxes, which is illegal. Giving tax-free gifts is legal, as your citation shows. Maybe a better conversation would be about the pros and cons of our legal system's treatment of inheritances, not what this guy's grandmother chooses to do with her money.

Posted on September 2, 2014 at 2:17 pm 2

On A Father-Daughter Duo Answers Your Questions: Accepting Financial Assistance From Parents as an Adult

@madrassoup One possibility (which I know is how a lot of wealthy liberals see it) is that by providing high quality progressive educations for their children and perhaps some extra financial support, these families are hoping to raise "do-gooder" children like this author who are interested in making systemic changes. Maybe this isn't as cost-effective as donating tons of money to nonprofits, progressive politics, etc. but it certainly has the potential to kill two birds with one stone (happy provided-for child doing work that also serves the greater good).

Posted on September 2, 2014 at 12:36 pm 1

On A Father-Daughter Duo Answers Your Questions: Accepting Financial Assistance From Parents as an Adult

@PicNic This made me tear up too, and just because somebody is obviously in a more privileged position doesn't mean they can't have struggles. There isn't some struggle cutoff wherein people with a certain amount of privilege are never allowed to have any challenges or feelings of conflict. While obviously not a terrible problem to have, figuring out how to become independent and when to accept help from others, including your parents, is a struggle that all people go through in different ways, including people whose parents have both plenty of money and healthy relationships.

Posted on September 2, 2014 at 12:31 pm 0

On Our Attempt at a $20-a-Day Budget

@Sureok "And you don't even make enough money to pay for the child's care?" Many many women don't make enough money to pay for childcare. For many women continuing to work while paying for childcare is an investment in future earnings/career benefits, not a way to actually make enough money to justify paying for childcare. They can live on her husband's income without her working, so I'm not sure why this wasn't an okay choice in your book. Also, she never said she was interested in "pursuing a career has a playwright, actor, blogger, screenwriter, tutor, and babysitter." To go out on a very short limb, I am going to assume that babysitting and tutoring are jobs she does to make money; I'd imagine her career focus has more to do with the other creative pursuits. It doesn't seem at all unreasonable to take time off from the majority of her income-earning pursuits to care for her child (babysitting someone else's kid and then paying someone else to babysitting your own child would be a strange choice) and then use the rest of her time to focus on perhaps not-very-lucrative but important steps that will help her career trajectory in theater and film as her child gets older and goes to school, especially if her husband makes enough money to make this plan feasible.

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 2:52 pm 3

On The Young Professional's Closet

You can feel like yourself and moderately comfortable in work clothes (if/when you need to wear them)! It will never be as comfortable as sweats, of course, but you just have to refine your professional style, in the same way that you've had decades to develop your casual style. The best professional clothes DO require more money upfront, though, and I really think that it's impossible to be comfortable and look good/like yourself in cheap professional clothes (unlike casual clothes, where you can really just go budget and still look great). I think fabric is most important: silk, wool, cotton. No polyester!!!! It is scratchy and cheap-looking and makes you feel like you're pretending to look professional but aren't. I'm not busty so a button-down does work for me, but if you are, get one of those specially-made for bustier women shirts, or skip the button-down altogether and go for jersey and silk blouses. A quality wrap dress is EXCELLENT, people will compliment you on it all the time, it's so comfortable you won't take it off when you get home, and you'll look dressed up. Ankle-length skinny-ish pants, in black and maybe one other color (khaki, or bold), look great with flats and can be dressed up with heels. Cardigans. Cardigans with belts around the waist. In winter, low-heeled booties are a lifesaver. Lots of cute flats and slightly glammier sandals than you're used to. In sum, here's what I'd get if I had to build a work wardrobe from the bottom up. Obviously I prefer black as a base color but you could do whatever neutral you're comfortable in. All of this stuff would run you a pretty penny, but you wouldn't need all of it at once (multi-seasonal) and I've had most of these pieces for 4-5 years, still running strong. Black pants I feel GOOD in; probably cotton with some stretch Second pair of pants, maybe in brighter color or khaki; if you don't like/hate pants, do a second skirt Wool skirt for winter, probably in neutral color Summer-y skirt; bring in some color/pattern Wrap dress Shift dress; both these dresses should be multi-season +/- tights, sweaters Long-sleeved silk blouse; pattern ok (check out Everlane) Nice-looking white shirt of some kind; whatever feels comfortable and makes you look good 3-4 colorful or patterned short-sleeved or sleeveless blouses Tank/shell for underneath blazers/cardigans Black cardigan/blazer Colorful cardigan/blazer Neutral belt Colorful belt Black tights Moderately colorful tights; perhaps in wool for winter Black low-heeled (and comfortable) booties for winter Black flats/low-heeled shoes Colored flats/low-heeled shoes/clogs Dressy sandals for summer One pair of heels to keep under your desk if it's that kind of place Then bring accessories—scarves, statement necklaces/earrings, patterned tights—in from what you already have to both feel more like yourself and look more put-together!

Posted on July 19, 2014 at 12:42 pm 0

On The Cost of Being Exposed to HIV While Uninsured

Another side-note: I would absolutely take the same precautions as you did, but it's good to keep in mind, if in the throes of freaking-out, that the chances of contracting HIV, from a single P-in-V intercourse event without protection, with a partner who is not on antiretrovirals, are fewer than 1/100. (CDC citation: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/policies/law/risk.html) Of course, 1% risk is much higher than the much lower risk you had with protection and understandably frightening, but chances were extremely high that you would not have gotten HIV even if you never took any medication.

Posted on July 2, 2014 at 5:04 pm 0