On Helaine Olen Explains "Expenditure Cascades" As They Relate to Birthday Parties

I'd also suggest that, for those of us who had kids mid-career, we also have more disposable income, versus parents 30 years ago who had kids at younger,less financially secure points of life, and that shows in a variety of ways. But that doesn't detract from the author's point. Also: my mom used to bake money into the cake - cake and quartets, all kinds of awesome! To my knowledge, no one ever choked...

Posted on January 24, 2015 at 3:53 pm 0

On Are Business Cards Out of Style?

I had business cards at my first few jobs (late 1990s/early 2000s) - had a sweet case for them too, back in the day. But haven't had them for the last 6 years at least. Which is unfortunate at times, given I have a long, difficult to spell last name and work with some external partners. But, then I'd have to remember to carry them.

Posted on January 22, 2015 at 10:37 am 0

On Parents Send Invoice After 5-Year-Old Misses Their Child's Birthday Party

@Elsajeni Well, as as (step)parent, it can be kind of hard when you kid knows their kid, but you don't know the parent and they didnt include any info on how to contact them other than through the kid at school, or showing up at the place where the party is supposed to be on the day of. FYI: this is not an abstract scenario in my world.

Posted on January 20, 2015 at 5:22 pm 0

On Open Thread: Parental Assistance

My parents lent me about $15,000 during my grad degree, then told me afterwards when I started trying to pay it back that it was a gift, that they'd given more to each of my siblings, none of whom had gone to university. But, I'm spending that money on them in various ways, since a decade later I am well-established. So, I buy my parents big splurge presents whenever I think of something that I think would be awesome. This year, I hired a geneologist to do a family history for my dad, who always talks about wanting a family history. And, when my mom retires next year, she's getting a rail trip through the mountains, which she's talked about wanting to do for a long time. I feel like this is better for all of us than me trying to force cash that they dont need on them, or me feeling guilty for taking their money when I dont need it.

Posted on January 20, 2015 at 5:22 pm 4

On First They Came For The Girl Scouts

I was a Brownie and a Guide, so involved until I was into a double digit age, and largely quit because we moved to a small town that didnt have guiding. I liked the outdoor activities and being encouraged to try new things in a non-competitive environment - the very basic sewing skills I have are completely a result of guiding. I kind of wish I'd stayed longer, because the outdoor aspects got pretty cool as you advanced - multi-day hiking trips, etc. Also, since I am Canadian, when I began we only sold one type of cookie - aka Girl Guide cookies. It was a huge deal when thin mints were introduced, a nd some people still haven't recovered. I sometimes consider going down to States during cookie season just to see the wonders that are the diverse American Girl Guide cookie selection.

Posted on January 16, 2015 at 8:55 am 0

On Was It Worth It? The Craigslist Coffee Table

You have a lovely coffee table and super shiny hair! I envy both. Also: I love second hand furniture bought online. I have two amazing cherry wood, three-corner end tables bought from elderly people downsizing; a set of art deco waterfall dressers and a blanket box; and an AMAZING art deco dining set bought from a second-hand store that is in a church chapel.

Posted on January 8, 2015 at 4:11 pm 0

On What Is It Worth To Us To Live Alone

@Beaks Oh man, random noises! I have gotten really wimpy after living with other people for a decade, and if I am alone in my house for a night, I get stupidly anxious once I am in bed, but before I fall asleep. Also: I've never heard of a stigma to living alone, at least not when one is young.

Posted on January 6, 2015 at 12:08 pm 0

On Have a Terrible Time Traveling? Good! You're Supposed To

I am of several minds. I hate the fee model, especially for things like checked bags which generally make everyone's lives more miserable, including the airline staff. And having what were once givens become fee-based feel insulting. Plus, the lack of transparency on the final costs once you add in fees drives me nuts. That said: people are choosing their experience based on price sensitivity. I am highly price sensitive; I am also a short, straight-sized female who can read and sleep anywhere and doesn't think airlines make good food (even when I've flown business class and gotten warm nuts and the fancier meals), who tries to fly carry on everywhere I go (and packs accordingly) and is usually the very last person to board the plane. I am happy to use a no-frill service, or to be less comfortable to for a few hours, to get me to my destination at a price that allows me to maximize my travel opportunities, and it drives me a bit nuts when people complain (or treat the airline staff badly) over things they 1) should have been aware of in advance, and 2) could pay to escape if they wanted. Flying is not a right, and it's almost continuously dropped in real dollars over time because of innovation - in technology, yes, and in airlines shoving more seats into the plane. Which doesn't mean I enjoy being treated like an annoyance by the airline, but it's better than taking the Greyhound bus to Mexico from Canada, or not seeing the world, or paying more money. So let's all deal, or at least channel our outrage into something productive!

Posted on December 31, 2014 at 11:11 am 0

On Job of the Day: Silicon Valley Home Stager

From what I've seen when realtors stage here in Ottawa, it's all about vases with sticks "to draw the eyes upward". My partner and I made it a drinking game when we were looking at places, and his realtor used them when selling his place. But she only had one, so she moved them from room to room during the photos.

Posted on September 15, 2014 at 5:15 pm 0

On Saving Money Vs. Earning Money

That's one thing I always liked about the (Canadian) tv show "Till Debt Do Us Part" - frequently, the host Gail Vaz-Oxlade's prescription for fixing the financial situation of the couple involved earning more money, as well as cutting expenses. Sometimes that was ask for a raise, or pick up extra hours at the job one currently had, but sometimes it was finding different or more work. I recall her admonishing a woman who had failed to find work (she'd applied to a few retail jobs, all of a very specific type) for her lack of imagination, that she could be putting up flyers about house sitting, dog walking, babysitting, home cleaning, shoveling snow, delivering newspapers, something, while she waited for the job she wanted.

Posted on August 20, 2014 at 12:35 pm 0