On "Freelance Money Isn't Like Other Money"

You just need a couple years of tax records showing that you have a history of earning at least a stable enough amount annually to support yourself. How much that is depends on how much house you want. We did this with my fulltime income and my husband's freelance income when we bought our place.

Posted on October 13, 2014 at 8:31 pm 0

On The Cost of Things: Shake Shack Around the World

Moscow surprises me. File under "things I could look up, but am too lazy to at the moment" - I wonder how significantly the ruble has changed in the last few years. My usual Starbucks order (sugar free vanilla latte and a scone) was about $13 in Moscow three years ago.

Posted on October 3, 2014 at 9:24 pm 1

On Money Talks: An Advice Column for Women in the Workplace

@fennel Yup. My (giant tech) company forces you to do this - they don't give raises or bonuses unless company-wide attrition is above something like 12%, so this is literally the only way to get a raise. HR even has a name for it - "the dive and save". My boss is aware that I'm interviewing for exactly this reason. But you do have to be ready to actually take the other offer, even if you're totally confident that your current manager would want to keep you and supports the raise to do it.

Posted on October 3, 2014 at 4:46 pm 0

On Ditch the "To Do" List & Other Productivity Tips

I do this - I have a basic GTD system set up in Asana, which my team at work uses as well, so I've basically got three spaces in there, for work, for personal stuff, and for home stuff that I share with my husband. The last thing I do before shutting down for the night is write out my day plan for the next day. I plug my meetings in first, top priority thinky things first thing in the morning next, and then the rest of my tasks. I couldn't do it a week ahead because too much changes on my meetings from day to day, but 24 hours ahead things are usually set. He is right about it making you confront how long things take - for me it wasn't so much work tasks, but really thinking through the fact that an hour at the gym is really closer to 2.5 - some time to get dressed and get out the door, time to drive there, time to work out, and time to get home. So now I always add conservative drive times around my appointments on my calendar. I'm a lot more reliable now. And also, when I get surprise gaps in my schedule because I finished something early, I get to go screw around for a few minutes on the internet before starting the next thing at a defined time.

Posted on September 24, 2014 at 3:23 pm 0

On Life and Health at 75

I definitely agree with this interpretation - one of my grandmothers had a "no extraordinary measures" clause in her legal paperwork when we had to place her in an assisted living facility that specialized in Alzheimers. My aunt ignored the order and took her someplace else for care for a blood clotting issue that popped up when she was 76. It took her another 9 years of torture and over a million dollars in expenses for her to die naturally. We should have let her go as she wanted. I also have an aunt who lived to 103. She broke a hip in her 80s, opted to get it fixed, and lived independently for another 20 years. I'm glad she made that choice too - she was still very engaged in the world and not ready to let go yet. I'm writing out my updated advanced directive this week. I'm having major surgery (bilateral DIEP flap breast reconstruction) that is going to take close to 20 hours and carries some big risks. I'm OK if damage is done and there is some sort of physical disability, but if I suffer any kind of traumatic brain damage from anesthesia or something, I do not want to be kept plugged in for another 30 years.

Posted on September 24, 2014 at 3:14 pm 0

On How Do You Do Groceries?

@Erica Never too old for cereal. It's fast, it's cheap. I try to be more protein heavy and make a giant batch of a casserole thing with quinoa, sausage, bell peppers, onions, and cheese. Quinoa is the one food my husband absolutely will not eat under any circumstances so I always know that it will be waiting for me in the fridge right where I left it.

Posted on September 23, 2014 at 8:52 pm 0

On Our Money Daydreams: Faith and a Truly Unlimited Bus Pass

@EA_Mann This happened to me, with our home phone. It was supposed to be about $30 a month, and we only have a landline because of DSL. I actually didn't notice and assumed it was all one bill. Two years later they noticed. It was a painful experience.

Posted on September 21, 2014 at 6:49 pm 1

On Chatting About Work Trips and Expense Guilt

Take a freaking cab dude. Help the economy. :) I take cabs where there's a major time issue, or I've got my luggage with me. My coworkers and I are in the habit of ordering two drinks with dinner if we feel like it and expensing it, there tends to be a lot more booze if somebody higher up is buying, and it's a company rule that the highest ranking person at the table takes care of the bill if it's being expensed. When I did a ton of international travel for work I would buy my books ahead (Kindle) and some snacks (Trader Joe's) but buy a magazine, a bottle of water, and something else snacky at the airport on the company dime. The only expense I ever had questioned was a hotel car (nicer and more convenient than a cab) ride from Rabat to Casablanca in Morocco, and I think it was only like $30 US, including tip. They didn't care about the cost, they just couldn't read the receipt which was in Arabic. I think I ended up eating the cost. Still worth it though.

Posted on September 12, 2014 at 9:54 pm 0

On Thirtysomethings Just As Delusional as Twentysomethings

@NoName That sounds great! I'm out of town next week and the first week in October, but otherwise I'm around and up for anything.

Posted on September 12, 2014 at 1:08 pm 0

On Thirtysomethings Just As Delusional as Twentysomethings

42 years old. I gave up entirely (and wasn't particularly depressed about it) on the idea of a long term relationship after being single for the better part of a decade at 35. I figured I'd still date and hook up occasionally and was fine with it. And then I hooked up with a guy at a conference and a year later he moved across the country to live with me and now we own a house together and have been married just over a year. But you don't get everything you want. I had cancer (I'm in remission now), lost my ovaries and pretty much any possibility of kids. Most places will not let you adopt or foster after a certain age, and/or for at least five years after a cancer diagnosis. I'm tired now. Adopting at 47? I don't think so. And I've got a great career and a very good paycheck but only 70k in my 401k right now. Expenses of the cancer year ate away a significant chunk of what was there. I'm saving aggressively now to build it back up, but I've lost so much time. On the plus side my husband is only 33 so he can support me in my dotage. I've definitely had more flashes of adulthood this year than ever before - being that sick and coming that close to death (within hours at two different times, and I would have died if my husband hadn't forced me into the car to go to the hospital both times) - but most of the time I still don't feel like an adult. I never eat enough vegetables. I always run out of underwear before the laundry gets done. Sometimes I forget to scoop the cat box for a couple of days. We have three bathrooms and a CostCo membership and still manage to run completely out of toiletpaper at least twice a year. I was thrilled to my very toes to discover a dispensary in Berkeley that delivers perfectly legal pot to my front door. I'm not sure what my definition of grown up is, but it isn't any of those things.

Posted on September 9, 2014 at 10:53 pm 4