On How to Get Your Security Deposit Back: Clean Your Filthy Apartment

I NEVER bother to clean anymore. Took me awhile to figure it out, but over the years (I've moved a lot for grad and post-grad studies) I finally noticed that it never made a difference. They're gonna charge you no matter what. It was especially bad when I lived in Southern California where I would get charged for a full 8 hour day (!) of cleaning after leaving the place in pristine condition. That plus routine carpet cleaning meant that the security deposit was gone; I'd worked my butt off for nothing. Documenting is great, but only if you're prepared to go to small claims court to get that deposit back. And if, as is often the case, you are leaving the city and/or the state that is not really a practical option. So I'm a huge proponent of NOT CLEANING. Ha ha, my husband is a property manager so he hates when I say things like this but will admit that it is true.

Posted on August 28, 2013 at 5:09 pm 0

On Change Bowl

Check with your bank first - they will probably do it for free! Unless you live in California, the only state of the many in which I've lived where every bank has a surcharge. Instead I took the (free) coin wrappers they gave me, dumped everything out on the bank's table and proceeded to sort all of the coins myself over the course of an hour and in the most passive-aggressive manner possible. When I moved to Oregon and asked my new bank if there was a charge for that service, they looked at me like I was crazy. Of course not! suck it CA.

Posted on July 30, 2013 at 1:47 pm 1

On How Much is Your Phone Bill Each Month?

$37/mo for a bare-bones dumb phone plan from Verizon w/ grandfathered University of Illinois faculty/staff discount. My partner has an iphone that his work pays for, so when I get a hankering to instagram photos of what I made for dinner I can. It blows me away how much people pay for their phones. And then they complain that they don't have any money.

Posted on June 11, 2013 at 11:58 am 0

On I Am Fastidiously Frugal And Exorbitantly Flagrant (Because: Balance) (And: Parents)

Okay, next time you are in Ashland look for me. I'm the person with the basket of expensive CSA cheese in one hand and a bag of empty soda cans in the other (from work, I fish them out of the recycle bin at work for the bottle refund - hey, that's free money!).

Posted on May 28, 2013 at 1:42 pm 0

On I Am Fastidiously Frugal And Exorbitantly Flagrant (Because: Balance) (And: Parents)

Oh wow, in every way we are the same. Right down to the baking soda shampoo and vinegar rinse. Is it because of Oregon? Can we get together sometime? Maybe do some thrifting then stop at an organic microbrewery for drinks?

Posted on May 24, 2013 at 2:34 pm 0

On The Cost of Applying to Med School (5 Digits)

@Curiosity23 You can also defer as an intern, and a resident, and even as a fellow if your salary is less than a certain percentage of your minimum monthly loan payment (which it will be, trust me). Technically, this is not deferring but 'forbearance due to financial hardship'. I did this for 6 years. Interest continued to accrue, but at least I didn't starve.

Posted on March 14, 2013 at 11:45 am 0

On The Cost of Applying to Med School (5 Digits)

Plus $500 or more for licensing and professional dues, each year, FOREVER.

Posted on March 14, 2013 at 11:38 am 0

On Sallie Mae: Helping You Pay Less, So You Owe Them More

I don't qualify for the ten-year loan forgiveness so I've been trying to pay mine off as fast as possible. I felt I could afford more each month than my IBR plan required, but when I called the loan company to raise my monthly debit they tried to ARGUE ME OUT OF IT. Then kept screwing it up so that something seemingly so easy ended up taking several months to organize. And then had to be completely redone when I consolidated my loans less than a year later. You really have to be your own advocate.

Posted on March 13, 2013 at 11:59 am 1

On Financial Archaeology

I love this article! I've been using Microsoft Money since 2004. It's like a journal. A journal I've actually kept up with. I guess I'm not the only one who reads old entries for the memories.

Posted on March 13, 2013 at 11:46 am 0

On Women Do Have It All

@Lily Rowan Yeah, at a cool 35 my stress levels have plummeted to near-zero. I think because at this age I'm finally settled into my career (no longer in school - hooray!), a (relatively) stable relationship and have NO KIDS. That last bit is major, major. Also I spend a lot less time giving a shit about things I used to think were very important. Burn out? Cynicism? A little bit of both? Whatev, I feel awesome.

Posted on March 7, 2013 at 11:58 am 1