I did a little assessment of how much more living in the States costs me than living in NZ would (higher tax, higher cost of living relative to expected wages, higher healthcare costs...) and now I realise I should be adding super, also! (The NZ scheme is not nearly as good as Australia's, but it's not bad if you choose to participate). In short, living in the US is a very poor financial decision on my part, and apparently I should be considering Australia if I were to make my life decisions based only on finances (I don't, though, obviously). Go Aussie!
And they're safer! It amazes me that banks think it's cheaper to pay out all that money every time a card is used fraudulently than start using chip and pin. Actually, I'm sure they've crunched the numbers. Can that really be cheaper? Signed, Someone who couldn't use her credit card in France, NOT because it's not chip and pin, but because some scummy person in New York had cloned it and maxed it out all over town (so, kind of because it's not chip and pin, I guess).
This is so different an experience from mine growing up in New Zealand as to be almost completely unrecognisable. This may be the biggest amount of culture shock I've ever had, mitigated only by the fact that I, too, have watched too many episodes of Laguna Beach.
I loved Orphans! Cried for almost the entire second half (that was kind of embarrassing, actually). Did Jon Hamm also have to drink his wine out of a stupid plastic sippy cup?
That's going straight to the pool room! (For anyone who doesn't get that, The Castle is a must watch...)
@This is my new user name there is not! Sorry. The good news is, if you just don't register most people will give you money anyway. I was shocked and blown away by how many people gave us cash or a check (in a good way, it was so generous of them!) People aren't stupid. Also, don't discount the random. I now own the most beautiful mirror and an amazing book that were wedding gifts! Also also, I love how horrified all the Billfold commenters are by the article and the sentiment - what a lovely, well-mannered group of people. :)
@loren smith Yes! Why have I lived 29 years without owning a white peplum top, but now I'm convinced that if I don't get one immediately I will have literally nothing to wear all summer? What's wrong with me?
After an extravagant holiday over Christmas, I told my husband I was only going to buy new clothes if they were replacing old clothes...i.e. if my jeans got a hole in them, I was allowed new jeans. I put this in place for the first three months of the year, which is nearly up. It's REALLY hard. And I didn't count shoes. Or accessories. You have my respect!
Buskers yes, panhandlers no, because I'm scared/judgemental/selfish/smart/cynical/untrusting (take your pick, I've been all of those before).
Yay, a London piece! You're so right about crappy areas not meaning cheaper rent. I'm to this day forever grateful to the coworker who suggested I look in Putney when I was searching for my first flat. South of the river, yes, but close to the District line (admittedly, the District line is possibly the most unreliable in all of London).