On When Down Payments Grow On Family Trees

We had planned on using a VA loan (no downpayment required), which fell through at last minute due to a paperwork snafu (thanks, Federal government.) We had to scramble to put together a 10% downpayment - $20,000 of our own savings, $15,000 from a 0% credit card offer, and unfortunately, $20,000 from my mother-in-law. We made an agreement to pay it back and were doing so promptly, often sending more each month than the agreed-upon $1,000. But then, after 2-3 months, she started calling us regularly whining about money (though she is quite comfortable), lamenting not being able to remodel her house, saying we then needed to pay more each month, etc. So we ended up putting our cash value life insurance policy on hold for a few months (8% interest) in order to pay her off as soon as possible. And then we had to pay off that loan, and THEN we had to pay the $8,000 VA Loan fee when the paperwork was sorted out. A financial nightmare, really, that ended up costing a lot more and being really annoying, as she really enjoyed being able to lord over us the fact that we owed her money. Lesson learned. We'll never ask her for anything again.

Posted on May 18, 2015 at 9:14 am 2

On The Yoghurt Factor

Noosa is the best! Worth the money (though we live in Colorado and typically pay $2 to $2.29). I never loved yogurt -- or yoghurt, rather, wtf is the difference? -- until Noosa. We cook and eat at home 90% of the time - I believe in buying good groceries and quality items that make us happy.

Posted on May 13, 2015 at 10:02 am 0

On Pulitzer Prize-winning Journalist Left Journalism Due to Low Pay

I too left journalism for PR. I was no Pulitzer winner, but I was the youngest reporter on the metro staff of a 100,000+ daily in the west. I could have accomplished a lot there -- but I bought a (modest) house and couldn't make the mortgage without having a roommate. I got tired of being broke. I miss connecting with people and telling their stories. I don't miss worrying what my utility bills will be and whether I can swing the payments that month.

Posted on April 22, 2015 at 11:49 am 2

On The Cost of Figuring Out a Guy Isn't Right

@BillfoldMonkey Hahaha. Totally. OR you get him an iPod for Christmas (when they were new) and he gives you a hunk of wood with holes drilled in the top and googly eyes pasted on the front and calls it a "pen holder." (Clearly, I made some stunningly poor choices in my dating years...)

Posted on December 8, 2014 at 5:58 pm 0

On The Cost of Figuring Out a Guy Isn't Right

Yeah...just wait until you spend $100 on backpacking gear for a boyfriend...so he can take his other girlfriend to Hawaii. It's a fun surprise!

Posted on December 8, 2014 at 10:12 am 3

On Rationalizing Adorable, Impractical Online Purchases

@Meaghano Don't Google! Just say no! No good can come from Googling anything related to babies. It will just make you feel conflicted, guilty, too overprotective, or not protective enough, too lax, too controlling...you know. If you google "Am I a bad parent because my kid's pajamas aren't flame retardant?" it will say yes. And if you google "Am I a bad parent because my kid's pajamas ARE flame retardant?" The answer -- because screw you, stupid Internet -- will also be yes.

Posted on November 3, 2014 at 10:24 am 0

On Rationalizing Adorable, Impractical Online Purchases

Recently I had a (much wealthier than me) mother of three tell me that I NEEDED OH SO NEEDED to purchase Hannah Anderssen (sp?) pajamas for my child (he's 5 months) because the Carters zip-up fuzzy ones he was wearing had flame retardant chemicals on them ohmygod! And I looked at these fancy organic jammies online and there's super expensive and don't even come with feet. So then you have to buy the super-expensive organic SOCKS too to match the damn pajamas. And then I decided...aren't flame-retardant chemicals on pajamas maybe a good thing? Maybe it will make a protective coating around him and save his life if our house starts on fire! At any rate - I told her some of the pajamas he owns from Carters were even purchased USED (!!!) so probably the previous wearer had washed away all the chemicals.

Posted on November 1, 2014 at 9:22 am 0

On How a Medical Resident Does Money

@Punk-assBookJockey We too thought about military service, as my husband was an Air Force reserve medic for 10 years, which paid for his undergrad. But after those 10 years, in which he was sent to 18 different countries and in war zones for three different wars, we decided against re-joining to have them wipe away his medical debt. I often wonder if that was the right call, because the lure of having that debt disappear is very strong. You may not make "real doctor money" for a while, but the tradeoff, being med debt free, is probably an incredible feeling!

Posted on September 3, 2014 at 10:08 am 0

On How a Medical Resident Does Money

Nice to see a post related to medical debt, as my husband and I struggle with how to manage his. He is two years out of residency, working as an ER physician in a very well-paid position in the West (which is tough to find) and I, as the one who manages our finances, still feel overwhelmed and burdened by the debt load and our incredibly high Federal Direct loan interest rate (6.375%, on about $360,000, because he attended a costly east coast medical school). I'm a minimalist, our needs are simple, and "lifestyle creep" is not really an issue. We would like to travel more, and we just had a child and they seem expensive no matter how conscientious you are, but we don't live any kind of luxurious lifestyle, and that's fine with me. We basically pay our bills and put the majority of our income toward retirement (because we started late and must catch up) and debt payoff. We'll pay off his educational debt in 12 years IF we're lucky. He loves his job and we love where we live, so we feel fortunate -- but I struggle with how to allocate money each month, no matter how much there is. I don't feel great building up a savings account when that great amount of debt is sitting there at a high interest rate.

Posted on September 3, 2014 at 10:03 am 0

On How a Medical Resident Does Money

@JNC Musings Factory , you were able to defer loans? My husband could only put them in forbearance, equaling $45,000 of capitalized interest during residency, as we were unable to pay on a resident salary (obviously). I've not heard of anyone being able to defer and avoid the interest.

Posted on September 3, 2014 at 9:55 am 0