On Symbolic Purchases


Posted on January 23, 2015 at 1:28 pm 0

On Ending Gift-Giving in My Family

I'm in the no-gifts-for-Christmas camp, but I still like giving and receiving gifts, and my sister and dad and close friends and I all just get each other things when we feel like it (while traveling, when the seasons change and you find that amazing fuzzy scarf, whatever). It never feels like I'm stressing over my list of who gets a gift and who doesn't, and no one keeps track of like, the total number of gifts or whatever. I highly recommend it! And you can skip over your cousin if she's not into it (maybe she just doesn't have room in her house for ceramics and feels guilty giving a gift away immediately?) and I'm sure she will be grateful to get out of the gift cycle, which is a gift in itself :)

Posted on December 30, 2014 at 4:04 pm 1

On How Writing This Column Helped Make Me Rethink My Grocery Spending

@may june july Yeah, you're right, I know about that feature but am a little lazy about categorizing expenses on mint. I should at least do it for a couple months to get a more realistic picture of where my money is going.

Posted on December 30, 2014 at 12:48 pm 0

On How Writing This Column Helped Make Me Rethink My Grocery Spending

I've been worried about my grocery spending lately, because I have my mint budget set at $250 per month and have been going way over (I just checked and my average over three years is $332/month). I *think* that this is in part because I buy a lot of non-food items (cleaning supplies, light bulbs, cat litter at Harris Teeter, medicinal/herbal/witchcraft/bath items from Whole Foods, gifts like flowers and wine from Trader Joe's). And I buy a lot of organic and local goods, which I absolutely believe in, to reduce hidden costs on the environment and agricultural worker - there should be another term besides "hidden" or "externalized", those are way too nice! But I still think I'm indulging too much, especially since my restaurant average is $189. Aja, at least this will hopefully make you feel better about your spending, and everyone else, I look forward to seeing your food budget confessions and getting any comments on mine :) (like, everyone else, is your food budget literally just for food, or should mine be able to accommodate household stuff without exploding??)

Posted on December 30, 2014 at 10:36 am 0

On How Writing This Column Helped Make Me Rethink My Grocery Spending

@julebsorry Yeah, I think it just looks like "a lot" in that it's a long list of items. But it's not at all "a lot" of food for one person to be consuming in a day, even a small person.

Posted on December 30, 2014 at 10:26 am 1

On On Creative Businesses That Sometimes Lose Money, or "The Pomplamoose Thing"

I'm so looking forward to this series! I'm a fairly established lawyer and emerging/newbie circus artist, and very much trying to figure out how to balance money and creative fulfillment (I'm also starting to put on shows and events, and want to help direct money to other artists, although it always feels like a bit of a turnip/blood situation). I really, really like this statement: "If you are doing creative work for someone else, that person should pay you. If you are taking a loss on a project you have chosen to create, well, that’s on you."

Posted on December 1, 2014 at 12:11 pm 0

On Adjusting Your Life to Your Partner's Career

Yeah. I've made a point to date only feminist, progressive men, and... their careers have still ended up dominating relationships. I don't think they even wanted it to be that way, but when it came down to it, it would have felt like an unreasonable sacrifice for them to set aside work for a relationship. I remember once when I was finishing law school and I had two friends who were engaged, and the guy was unemployed and patching together work and struggling because he had moved to the place where the woman had a job offer. My boyfriend and I were both job searching and negotiating where to live, and he said, "I don't want to be [name of unemployed male friend] in six months." Record scratch. Now those friends are married with a lovely little girl, and they moved this year so he could pursue a great job offer. And that boyfriend of mine is history - and it's a shame, because he's wonderful, and it sucks to give up on a wonderful person because they're too indoctrinated by gender roles, in a pretty subtle way, to let you form a life together.

Posted on November 24, 2014 at 4:45 pm 0

On If You Buy Your Wife a Mansion

Agreed on the misery that would befall my hypothetical husband if he "bought me" (us, in reality, right? or are they actually writing their wife's name and only hers on the deed? why are they even talking about it as if it's a gift, if not?) But if, like a total stranger, or even a friend wanted to buy me a house for funsies, I wouldn't complain, because that's probably the only way I'll ever own a house :/

Posted on November 21, 2014 at 2:40 pm 1

On Here Is Your Open Thread

@cryptolect Yeah, we have basically opposite schedules, so if it happens again I'll just politely talk to her about moving the heavier spanking sessions to daylight hours. Luckily, I got over my passive aggressiveness many years ago :) Reading some of these stories now is making me feel better! At least the loud sex-haver is super clean.

Posted on November 14, 2014 at 5:28 pm 0

On Here Is Your Open Thread

Last night I woke up at 2 am to very loud sex from my roommate, who apparently is taking up S&M with her new boyfriend... with her bedroom door open. I'm living with roommates for the first time in like four years (being more financially responsible!) and it's mostly fine but at moments like that, ugh. But probably my worst roommate experience was when I was living with my boyfriend and two other girls in a 2 BR apt (tiny, damp, cold hovel, no common space) and one of them had an emotional breakdown, refused to allow my cat in the apartment anymore, and informed me that she "was having a really hard time and just felt like she needed to be in control of the house." I'm sure it was much harder to be her during that time, but being her roommate also really sucked.

Posted on November 14, 2014 at 4:05 pm 0