On WWYD: Tipping on a Discounted Meal, Being Assertive

The scholarship program has already invested $1000 in you! I'm sure they would much rather hear from you and have you take the rest of their money and be in good standing with them than to have you disappear and never talk to them again. They want to give you their money, and I'm sure they want a good track record of helping people complete their degrees because of their funds. I received a lot of scholarships that I didn't ask for and treated them cavalierly like an idiot college kid. Now, seeing all the debt my peers now have, I wish I had written all those letters and been more grateful at the time. Don't be like me!

Posted on February 26, 2013 at 3:25 pm 1

On How to Win at Craigslist

I feel like we are kindred spirits. My technique: A) Compliment the seller's taste. I just LOVE that nightstand they bought new 4 years ago! BUT... B) It's out of my budget/price range. =*( *tiny violins playing* C) I was actually looking to spend more like [half of listing price] on a nightstand. Let me know if you're flexible! D) I can pick up any day, with cash, give references, call me, etc. I am ULTRA reliable! Go forth and conquer the used furniture of the world!

Posted on February 26, 2013 at 10:50 am 1

On Public Transit Is a Race and Class Issue

“While the average family spends around 19 percent of its budget getting around, very low-income families (defined as families who make less than half of an area’s median income) can see as much as 55 percent of their earnings eaten up by transportation costs, according to a report by the Center for Transit-Oriented Development.” Yes, that sounds much more shocking than saying that the transportation costs in a certain area are mostly fixed across all income levels.

Posted on February 21, 2013 at 10:47 am 1

On A Friendly Chat With a Rich Person (Household Income: $360,000)

@That_Rich_Person OOOOK, that makes much more sense. You have things figured out perfectly, carry on!

Posted on February 14, 2013 at 4:37 pm 0

On A Friendly Chat With a Rich Person (Household Income: $360,000)

@That_Rich_Person Well if the interest on your loans is free, then don't worry about paying it down faster than the minimum payment! But I would talk to your financial adviser about something a little more sexy than a MMF or a savings account. You can still keep a chunk in savings while making way more interest on higher risk/yield investments. If the banks can make 7% off your loans, you can make 7% investing your money somewhere.

Posted on February 14, 2013 at 4:11 pm 0

On A Friendly Chat With a Rich Person (Household Income: $360,000)

@stuffisthings If their loans are free, then why aren't they putting that $93k into a nice mutual fund or something? It's the $93k sitting in a bank at 0.5% or whatever that's boggling me, not the huge loans. Get that into some good funds and they could make your minimum payments with the interest they earn. Put that money to work, girl!

Posted on February 14, 2013 at 4:00 pm 0

On A Friendly Chat With a Rich Person (Household Income: $360,000)

$93k in savings while you have $80k in loans at 7%??? What's your reasoning behind this? How many months of expenses will $93k cover for you? I obviously don't have the whole story (though I have a lot of it, thank you for being so candid!!), but I would throw all that at the high-interest loan ASAP, keep the $13k left in savings, and take what you were putting toward the loan every month into a higher yield investment account.* *I'm not an investment adviser, but I was raised by one.

Posted on February 14, 2013 at 2:07 pm 2

On I Have an Idea, Said Someone, Let's Sue Our Students

@stuffisthings But isn't the fact that these loans are bankruptcy-proof the reason that these higher-risk student borrowers were able to borrow in the first place? And with a car or a home, there is a physical asset that can be repo'd to recoup costs during bankruptcy. For student debt, you can repo... the diploma? It would be so easy to declare bankruptcy as a new grad with no assets anyway that no one would ever pay for college, and therefore no one would ever give college loans. (...and therefore colleges would have to become cost competitive so that loans weren't necessary for the majority of students?)

Posted on February 6, 2013 at 11:55 am 1

On In Florida, The Idea of Different Tuition for Different Degrees

@Nick Especially since the difference in earning potential for STEM vs. humanities isn't doing it already. Seems unlikely that money would be a huge motivator for people inclined to pursue arts degrees in the first place.

Posted on October 26, 2012 at 1:56 pm 0

On It's Just 1 Thing, You Can Do Just 1 Thing

Made a haircut appointment and emailed the landlord about a clogged drain. BAM. The fact that these reminders are during business hours is essential.

Posted on October 25, 2012 at 3:08 pm 1