My one thing is to start writing thank you notes for wedding gifts. My original goal was to get them out before 1 month had passed. My new goal is two months. If I can write 10 tonight, I will consider that a success. Also - this post is A+ because it includes both a reference to Love Actually and a picture of Nick Miller frowning.
@nell Yes, this is something that I think people forget when they rant about the wedding industrial complex and how much weddings cost. Even if you skip the personalized napkins, the chiavari chairs, the photo booth and the chocolate fountain (although, I will never ever complain about the presence of a chocolate fountain anywhere), it will cost a lot of money to feed people a good dinner in a nice place. I got married in October and with a 65 person guest list, the wedding cost about 15K. If you had told me a year ago that my wedding would cost $15,000, I would have gasped in horror. But most of that money went to the venue (which was beautiful and included things like chairs, linens, and wait staff) and the food ($70 a person adds up...). We saved money where we could (did the sound equipment/music ourselves, crowd sourced photos, a friend did the flowers at cost), but in the end, a fancy dinner party for 65 people is never going to be cheap. And everyone had a great time, and nobody went into debt over it, so I am ok with it.
I broke my last lease 4 months early because I ended up buying a house. I let my landlord know as soon as we were under contract, and then kept in regular contact with him about move out dates (we went under contract on the new house 45 days before closing, we closed halfway through the month, paid for the full month, so basically he had two months notice) and kept our apartment in excellent shape so that he could show it potential renters. We live in an area with an extremely low vacancy rate, so he had no problem renting it. He was required by law to try to rent the place, we were required to keep paying rent until he did. So my advice would be to look into what the law in your jurisdiction requires of tenants and landlords when one party seeks to terminate the agreement early. Find out what your responsibilities are, and carry them out, but also find out what his responsibilities are, and make it clear that you expect him to follow through. There are a lot of resources online regarding landlord tenant law, as well as hotlines that you can call. I agree with the posters above who have suggested asking your landlord what he wants to happen, but if he wants you to pay another 6 months rent on an apartment that you aren't living in, especially one that can easily be rented to someone else, that's not reasonable. If he's not willing to be reasonable (i.e. make attempts to rent it to someone else, or allow you to sublet the apartment), find out what the law says. It sounds like your landlord may be new to this process, so he may not know what the correct way to resolve this situation is. But people break leases all the time for all sorts of legitimate reasons, and every jurisdiction has figured out a way to handle it. Find out DC law requires of you and him.
Is that a side eye emoticon? Because if it is, that is awesome.
My first year working as a public defender, my parents sent me $100 every month so that I would have enough money for food (I know, I am very lucky to have amazing parents who did not want me to starve). I did get a raise after that year, so things improved somewhat BUT I also had to dramatically adjust my attitude and expectations. I was spending too much on dresses and going out to dinner because I thought I deserved it. Like hey - I'm a lawyer, I'm in my late 20s, I should have enough money to wear the clothes I want to wear, and go out to eat when I feel like it. I had to learn that just because I felt like I should have it, didn't mean that I actually could have it. It sounds dumb now, but I wanted the life that I see depicted in movies and TV shows and commercials and magazines, and also the life that I saw other people living around me (people who, it turns out, are also struggling with credit card debt and budgeting). I had to stop looking at all of the societal cues about what sort of lifestyle I should have, and start looking at the reality of what kind of money I had in my bank account and how much the things I wanted cost. All I can say is that I wish I had figured it out earlier.
This is hilarious - the neighborhoods they recommend staying away from in Cleveland are Euclid, Lakewood, and Cleveland Heights. As a former Cleveland resident I can tell you that the most dangerous aspects of Cleveland Heights are the ridiculous speed traps and overzealous ticketing for parking infractions. In Lakewood I guess you might eat some dangerously delicious diner food. How did they come up with this list?
When I was in law school, one of my friends and I would somehow regularly end up watching infomercials at 3 am after an evening out. They were weirdly enthralling at the time, but hard to remember in the morning... Fortunately, we never actually ordered anything.
How not to buy a wedding dress: 1. Decide that you are going to lose 40 pounds before your wedding. 2. Realize that your wedding is 6 months away and you have not lost any weight. Order a $400 dress from BHLDN in a size 6 (you are a size 14) in the hopes of motivating yourself. 3. Realize your wedding is 3 weeks away and you have lost 5 pounds. 4. In desperation, go to David's Bridal. Try on two dresses, try not to cry. 5. Buy the least ugly dress you can find, on sale for $150. 6. Realize that you hate that dress, because it is a giant white gown, and you are not really a giant white gown kind of girl. Decide that you just have to get over it and be ok with your body the way it is and find a dress that makes you happy. 7. Find a cute little white dress from J. Crew for $250. 8. Get married, feel beautiful, but slightly ashamed that you bought THREE dresses for one wedding (but nobody knows except your husband, and he already knew you were nuts so it's ok). Basically, my point is, shopping for a wedding dress is a nightmare, and even for women who consider themselves to not be susceptible to wedding industrial complex nonsense, it can end up being a point in the wedding planning process where you end up focusing many of your anxieties. I guess what I learned is that I had to buy the right dress for who I am, not the person I wish I was. I wish that lesson had not cost me $800.
@Allison I actually feel the same way about the library fines - at least my disorganization results in a contribution to a good cause. But, ahem, sometimes I get myself in deep enough that my privileges are suspended, and then it's back to the bookstore for me. You know, until I get it together enough to remember to bring enough cash to the library to pay off my fines (this may take months).
I recently calculated that over the past year I have spent an average of $60 a month on books. At first I was horrified, but then I figured, well, if reading is my favorite thing of all the things, $60 is not bad. I also borrow books from friends in order to defray costs. I try to get books from the library, but I NEVER return them on time and end up having to pay ridiculous fines. Sometimes I think I should spend less money on books, but I love books and I particularly want to support new authors that I like by buying their books, so I sort of feel like it's my civic duty to support an industry I care about (although maybe that is just a huge lie that capitalism has taught me). Either way, since reading is my favorite pastime/hobby/after work activity and I'm bad at libraries, my spending habits are probably not going to change. At the very least I try to only buy books that I think I will read more than once, or that I know I can lend to multiple people who will also enjoy them.