On Friday Open Thread: I Didn't Yet Know About These Moneysavers

@Snarke Fancy cheese counters will also cut you a smaller portion of fancy cheeses if all they have wrapped up are the giant ones. Which is handy if you like fancy cheese in, but moderate quantities.

Posted on February 27, 2015 at 11:15 pm 0

On The Cost of Things: Museums

Seattle peeps- the Seattle Library lets you "check out" museum passes for a pretty decent section of museums for free- there's some limit on how many/ how often, but it's a great deal!

Posted on February 18, 2015 at 8:56 pm 0

On What About the Millennials Who Aren't Homeowners?

@Tripleoxer The new york times made a rent vs. own calculator a while ago that really helps you visualize the factors that go into renting vs. owning and what makes either one the better financial choice: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/upshot/buy-rent-calculator

Posted on February 16, 2015 at 8:12 pm 1

On Talking to a Millennial Homeowner

@keaton I'd be interested in a state by state breakdown. I wouldn't be surprised if there were relatively high percentages of home ownership in more of the south and midwest, where housing prices are lower and culturally it's a little more common to be settled (and married) at a younger age- lower housing prices + earlier dual incomes seems like it could make a big difference.

Posted on February 6, 2015 at 10:52 pm 2

On City vs. Suburb

I don't care what you call it as long as I live within walking distance of a grocery store (and ideally a few restaurants, maybe a drug store). I like streetcar suburbs because they're still mostly houses with lawns, but laid out to be walkable. Dolores Hayden's Building Suburbia is a great place to start if you're interested in the development of the suburbs as a thing.

Posted on January 28, 2015 at 8:31 pm 0

On Shopping, Travel-Wise: Are You An Ester Or A Nicole?

@notnef I'm so bad about remembering to wear jewelry that one year I made a new years resolution to wear at least one piece every day. I actually stuck with it and it carried through for a while- but now I've moved enough times that my visual triggers aren't in the right place any more and I'm back to always forgetting.

Posted on January 24, 2015 at 3:11 pm 0

On Brown Bagging It

@Eeksquire I agree- garnishes make a huge difference! When you're microwaving, everything sort of winds up the same texture- bringing a small container of sour cream, or croutons or cheese or fresh herbs or what have you makes things seem new (and less boring!)

Posted on January 16, 2015 at 9:22 pm 0

On Survey: Does It Always Make Sense to Go for the Lowest Fare?

I occasionally get rather claustrophobic on flights, so I will pay a pretty decent chunk of money to be on a aisle seat, especially on long flights, as it helps a LOT to have an escape path. I definitely sometimes pay more for one flight over the other- 2hr vs 5 hr layover? Yeah, I'll pay 30 bucks. I like using Hipmunk and sorting by agony because it helps me remember that some things are worth paying to avoid (like two layovers vs. one...)

Posted on January 15, 2015 at 11:14 pm 0

On How To Make Your 30s Work For You, Money-Wise

@strangemagic Your keywords are fee-only, hourly, financial planner and client fiduciary. Client fiduciary is the important one- basically they have to make the best choice for your situation. The "free financial advisor" at your bank or whatever just has to make a "suitable" recommendation- which can be his bank's high-fee whatever vs. the ideal low-fee equivalent."Assets under management" is code for "rich people." Helaine Olen has better explanations of all of this stuff. There is a certification called "certified financial planner" that you can look for. I've used the Garret Planning Network to search for people before, with some success. They're specifically about fee-only planning and can help with weeding out options. If anyone is in Seattle, Stacy at 2020 financial planning was great to work with- she's not inexpensive, but she's hourly, straightforward, and good at the emotional side of money.

Posted on January 14, 2015 at 11:53 pm 0

On Open Thread: Share Your 2015 Budget

@Anon budget It shouldn't make a difference, but I've noticed that our grocery spending is always noticeable higher weeks where we make more trips to the store. In theory we're not eating more food those weeks- but in practice in adds up to $$$s. If I plan ahead and shop once a week, I'm much better at keeping the numbers under control. If you shop on the weekend you can even plan around grocery sales for what you're making that week, which adds up.

Posted on January 14, 2015 at 9:16 pm 0