On Living In Fear Of My Bank Account

Oh man - this stressed me out! Thank you for sharing. It makes me think of something I've thought before, how privilege can be intertwined with money habits. Here it seems maybe more about anxiety vs. being neurotypical, but I've thought of it in the past more in terms of typical financial advantages. If checking your bank account or CC statement isn't a terrifying thing, then it becomes a lot easier to develop healthy and proactive financial strategies when you're starting out. I didn't start out my adult life with huge debt, so it was more like a game of playing adult, even though I had to scrimp and save. I would also suggest Mint. Maybe start by only checking it on days your paycheck has cleared; watching those numbers go up can be so fun.

Posted on December 21, 2014 at 10:52 pm 0

On How Much I Earn, In Royalties, For The Piece of Choral Music I Published in 2002

@HelloTheFuture But all around the country there are radio stations, often multiple stations per region!, playing solely holiday music like between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Especially in the South. They've gotta be looking for new pieces. Months of non-stop Jingle Bell Rock are hard. If you write one that is nondenominational but hits vaguely Christian warm fuzzies and it's good enough, you could have a few months of tidy little royalty checks. I guess this is more for a song you write/perform than a choral piece, but as someone who's totally ignorant, I'm very enthusiastic about the idea.

Posted on November 11, 2014 at 3:12 pm 0

On On My Own: Figuring Out How to Pay for College After My Parents Cut Me Off

Looks like undergrad unsubsidized rates are currently at 4.66% (@MrDean got unlucky!), so I'd echo the "federal over private." You're not likely to get a much lower fixed rate (though you could variable but that's a trap!!) in a private loan, and private will make your life much much worse if everything doesn't go 100% according to plan after school. Like others have said, you don't have to pay the interest on the loan during school. It accrues, but doesn't capitalize until after you graduate, meaning you don't pay interest on your interest until after graduation (6 months after, I believe). That will be built into your repayment plan, but if you're able to pay it off (or some of it) before it capitalizes, you'll save a lot of money. But you can save when you can if you start making more money; it doesn't have to be now. Here is some info and a series of calculators about what you would pay on different plans with different incomes and such.

Posted on October 24, 2014 at 3:15 pm 0

On How Going Cash-Only Helped Me Curb My Spending

@samburger @Aequorea Victoria Ditto. Cash that is in my wallet has basically already been "spent" in my mind (maybe because it's no longer tracked) so I'm way more likely to think "hey I have money in my wallet why don't I got get a $4 coffee drink!!" @pinches I eventually added a budget for cash withdrawals. Even though it still counts as "Uncategorized" at least I'm somewhat tracking it. And I know due to my spending habits that it's all sub-$10 purchases, mainly coffee and food, so if I see I withdrew way more than my budget I know I need to change my habits.

Posted on October 22, 2014 at 5:44 pm 0

On 'Can We Talk Finances?' 'Not Tonight Dear I Have a Headache'

@xtinamartinson You can use a 529 for a sibling/relative in the same generation, so you could just double down on the one! It's harder to use it on non-education expenses, and the differences between private and in-state or scholarships make estimating costs so difficult. I am years away from having children, but my plan is to be super generous with a 529 in the older child's name with the assumption that some to a lot of it will roll over (and I will have other, less restrictive means of topping it off). Of course, the issue is more having the ca$h but somehow one account seems less stressful (and you get more years of interest!).

Posted on October 21, 2014 at 2:23 pm 0

On WWYD: Should I Be Upset Because a New Hire is Getting Paid the Same Salary as Me?

this makes me furious. four years and seniority?! you have every reason to be irate. you should absolutely take it higher and/or think about leaving, but for your sake (you can't do this because it would be too toxic) I'm going to hope that this guy fails (in some ways that do not ruin his career or the company but give him valuable experience and show him being a charming guy isn't all he needs) as a huge fat FU AND I TOLD YOU SO to the management.

Posted on August 14, 2014 at 4:58 pm 0

On Friday Estimate

@peacheater I like the level app (on my iPhone) - you can enter your income, bills, and saving goals, and then it calculates how much you have left to spend that month. The main screen has three circles, the biggest telling you how much you can spend that day and the other two tracking week and month. Autoupdates as you spend. Easiest/maybe only works if you hook up your bank accounts. (I just have my checking and credit cards hooked up.) I like it because it does the "big pool of money" thing well. I also use mint for budgeting/looking back, but this keeps tracking pretty easy.

Posted on August 8, 2014 at 4:04 pm 0

On Here Is Your Open Thread

I know this question may be almost meaningless given different life situations and costs of living and such but: how much do you spend a month, besides rent/mortgage and debt but including other bills? or include them if you want, but i'm just curious what the cost of day-to-day living is (including all the conveniences of cellphones and internet and the car you drive) In my head I want to keep it to $1200/mo, but it's more like $1450/mo. That seems like a lot though! (My rent adds another $875.) I have no debt, little in bills, live in a very expensive city, am pre-tax saving aggressively.

Posted on July 25, 2014 at 3:33 pm 0

On Friday Estimate

@EmilyAnomaly oh wow sausage hamburgers?! this reminded me I need to add in world cup expenses, too

Posted on July 11, 2014 at 4:39 pm 0

On Friday Estimate

this week was at least 9 days long, right? tonight - yoga (part of my gym membership) and NOTHING ELSE. I don't care if I don't have the best meal options - I'll scrounge. Harrumph. Probably working while I watch tv. $0 saturday - probably groceries ($45) and something to bring for a ramadan iftar ($10). day spent cleeeaaaannniiiinnggg, night spent at aforementioned iftar and then maybe dancing = $55 sunday - cleaning/working and then a casual friends eating and tv watching gathering. hopefully the ingredients for that will be covered in the grocery shopping but I'll say $10 just in case. ETA world cup watching toll of drinks/snacks ($15) = $25 total: $80 I'd be ok with that, though i'd like it to be less

Posted on July 11, 2014 at 4:39 pm 0