I am only just now realizing how spoiled I was to have the American Girl dolls. I had multiple dolls (and the babies) and tons of the accessories. I had no idea they were so incredibly expensive. I have only good memories. Mom and I would read all the books together, and I loved the dolls and the accessories, and they were well made, quality toys that lasted forever. (Also, the boxes they came in made excellent Christmas boxes. We still have a few circulating!) And my mother was a single mom working as a teacher--we were NOT rich at all. Totally second all the retroactive guilt. (Same with Playmobil. i had sooooo much Playmobil. And it was so much more awesome than Lego. In fact I just got some Playmobil for Christmas last year. Awesome at every age.)
@amyfrances Totally agree about the micromanaging. I don't know the intern's whole story, and yes on the surface she seems kind of whiny. But I get micromanaged in a BIG way and it is really stressful. (I work in medical publishing. One example of micromanaging I constantly face is how I layout tables. "Oh, you made that column that wide? I would have made it a little narrower and this one a little wider. Why don't you redo it?" Very nerve-wracking.)
Hey now, those Waltons actually earned their millions you know! By, uh, being born into the Walton family. Or marrying into it. If that's not pulling yourself up by your bootstraps, then I don't know what is!
"It was so much easier to kick people out of their homes when you could literally grab their shirt collar and throw them on the lawn. Ah, those were the days…"
Another good way to get credit when you keep getting turned down by credit card companies is to buy a small, affordable piece of furniture at a place like Schewel's or Grand and finance it. I did this twice and then was able to get a credit card, then build credit and get a better card with rewards. I bought a $100 end table and later a $80 mirror and financed each for three months, even though I could easily have paid them off in one go. That way, I established a little bit of credit (but without busting my wallet on something insanely expensive), enough to get me a crappy card, and then using that crappy card for two years, I got a much, much better card. Credit Sesame and Credit Karma are also good resources for learning about building and maintaing good credit.
When I was in school I used to wake right before my alarm, but not anymore. Now it jars me awake every time, and I hit snooze repeatedly (yes I know I'm not supposed to do that). I usually go to bed around the same time each night, but I do sleep in on the weekends. Waking gradually and naturally on Saturday is always a pleasure, but ugh, five days a week, it's a battle to get up. I guess my body would be better regulated if I woke up early on the weekends as well. But you'll never take that Saturday-sleep-in away from me.
I would love to do this for the money, but seriously just reading about it makes me want to pass out. (What is it with me? I'm covered in tattoos, I work at a medical journal and stare at intraop photos of brains and spines all day, but if you talk about hitting ME with that syringe, I can't handle it. Last time I lost my shit was when the doc shot me with novacaine for my wisdom tooth removal.The numbing? Yeah, that made me faint. The twenty minutes whipping my head around wrenching the tooth out of my skull? Not a problem.)
This is a very helpful post, really wonderful advice with two great points: Don't just "set and forget" your 401(k) and diversify away from your company. Think Enron. Those poor shmucks at the ground level were advised to put a majority or all of their retirement in Enron stock because, hey, it can't lose. Now where are they? That might be an extreme example, but diversifying away from your company is always brilliant advice. Great post!
@EA_Mann You're right about keeping investing despite the Recession. Longterm is the only way to win--that's why it's so crucial to start early. If you only have 10 years, you're hit or miss. But start 40 years out, you're guaranteed to win. I read in a personal finance book that if you had invested $1 in the stock market back in 1925, today it would be worth more than $3,000, despite the Depression, stagflation in the 70s, the Great Recession, and a bevy of other dips and twists in the market. (The point of the example was to show that if you had instead put that $1 in gold you would have...$83.)
I love meditating. I've been doing it for about a year, and it has helped me tremendously. Recently I bought a CD of guided meditation by Jack Kornfield, and the first time I listened to it, I laughed. "Training your mind is like training a puppy. Sit. Stay. And then the puppy goes away. Bring the puppy back." I mean, it does sound like a lot of New Age-y, feel good gobbledy gook, but my god, it works! Centering! Breathing! It has done wonders for anger issues, bad spending habits, and my general mental and physical health. (My god, I sleep so well these days.) There are tons of free meditation guides and resources, plus vids on posture and technique. You shouldn't have to pay for anything because so much of it is a free resource.