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

I'm a Nicole! I write out a list of bottoms, tops, dresses, jackets/sweaters and shoes and then mix and match them to get outfits as needed per day of my trip. I also make myself pack, unpack, reassess, decide what shit I don't really need and then pack again every time I travel. I still end up with stuff I don't use/wear but it helps. I am also a big fan of packing a "color story" - i.e. pick a neutral (black, white, tan, brown, gray), pick 1-2 colors, and pack accordingly. That way you can pack less shoes (like black flats, black heels and black boots) because everything goes together. Basically I think about this way too much but I've done some long trips where I've lived out of a suitcase for 6+ weeks so it works for me.

Posted on January 23, 2015 at 6:57 pm 0

On Friday Estimate

@kentuckienne Just bought a new car on Monday. Here's what worked for me - (1) get a truecar.com quote and then talk dealerships down on the price of the car before you even walk in the door. they legally cannot change the price other than tacking on dealer added crapola and tax, title and doc fees, but it gives you a good base. I got $200 above invoice on a Honda Fit this way. (2) walk in with financing already secured. I got auto loan quotes ahead of time from Chase and USAA and the dealership was able to beat their rates but mostly because I walked in saying I had secured x dollars at y apr for z months. (3) EAT AND PACK A SNACK. My husband and I had shared banana between the two of us all day by the time we were signing papers at 2pm and I kinda let me husband talk me into a warranty that I didn't want and that was way over priced but at least we can cancel that and get our money back, which we are doing this weekend. I had to have a car ASAP and was tired of going on weekends, and they only had one car on the lot in my model, so I didn't fight them on $1100 in "dealer add ons" like rust and leather proofing... I considered it a tax to drive my car off the lot that day and no longer deal with it. but if you can, fight them on everything they try to tack on that is not tax/titled/doc fees.

Posted on January 23, 2015 at 10:15 am 0

On How Living at Home at 31 Taught Me Nothing and Everything About Saving

@Christy Yeah my parents gladly paid for my sister to have her own apartment during her lean times but she also lives in a very low cost of living area. My parents were of the "anything but with us" ilk.

Posted on January 20, 2015 at 4:26 pm 0

On One Is The Loneliest Number But Also An Okay Number Maybe

@mmmmdonuts This is exactly how I feel with my first at almost 4 months now. There is so much time and money and care that these little things need and I don't know how I'm ever going to find enough for two unless somebody (baby #1 or baby #2) gets neglected for awhile!

Posted on January 16, 2015 at 1:41 pm 0

On Brown Bagging It

@guenna77 Yes, thank you. Things I like - powering through work, not having distractions in the middle of my day, getting to leave at 4pm every day to spend more time with my kid because I bring my lunch everyday and eat it while working. One size doth not fit all. I get super distracted and have a hard time getting back into work mode if I take a large break in the middle of the day, and it means having to leave later. I just like my break at the end of the day when shit is DONE. I do make a point to eat dinner at a table with real cutlery almost every night so I see some points there, but c'mon.

Posted on January 16, 2015 at 1:35 pm 0

On Open Thread: Share Your 2015 Budget

@JNC Musings Factory ok this thread is getting buggy or I'm too tired but my reply to someone else overwrote my original post so I'll write again because I'm apparently a masochist couple living in Chicago with a kid post tax, post deductions (healthcare, 401k, etc.) combined take home pay = $7758 - Rent $1800 - Daycare full time, 5 days $1820 (includes food/formula, diapers and wipes thank god) - Student loans $250 (just my small one, big scary ones are in forbearance, thanks medical residency/fellowship!) - Cable, internet & streaming services $220 - Utilities $200 - Cell phone bill $85 - Car payment, insurance, gas, parking and public transit (we're in the process of buying a second car and my office is in the process of finding a new location where I might not be able to use public transit everyday so that's why I'm lumping this together because I have no fucking clue where it's going to settle) $600 - House cleaning service $300 - Groceries $600 - Dining out/takeout $400 - Personal care & household purchases (aka Target & Walgreens) $350 - Fun money $600 - Everything else goes into savings or is used for float (gifts, donations, unexpected bills and purchases, etc.) - I basically do my own YNAB in Google Sheets

Posted on January 13, 2015 at 9:29 pm 0

On Open Thread: Share Your 2015 Budget

@Bikinigirlwithmachinegun for full time in the city, yup. we actually got a "deal" - the other place that had a spot was $2200/month and we had to bring in formula, food (when he starts solids) and diapers and wipes - so it's like we're MAKING money *pours self more cheap wine* we had a nanny briefly and she would have been $2400 month + 22.5% in household employer taxes (unemployment, medicare & social security)

Posted on January 13, 2015 at 9:19 pm 0

On Open Thread: Share Your 2015 Budget

@menspraetrepidans if it makes you feel better my "home (not) alone (cuz I'm married with a kid) alcohol" just comes out of my grocery budget instead of a "crap" budget because I consider it vital AND then I always have booze around if company drops by which just makes me a good hostess, right?

Posted on January 13, 2015 at 9:18 pm 0

On Open Thread: Share Your 2015 Budget

@menspraetrepidans If it makes you feel better my "home (not) alone (cuz I'm married with a kid) alcohol" just comes out of my grocery budget because I consider it vital/for my mental survival?

Posted on January 13, 2015 at 9:07 pm 0

On 5 Ways the Wedding Industry Is Plotting to Destroy Us

Former event planner here - as much as possible DO NOT tell your vendors that what you need is for a wedding. I.E. just tell a florist you need centerpieces for a private event and you'll get them for much cheaper than if you come in asking for floral needs for a wedding. Granted if you start ordering matching bouquets it becomes pretty obvious, but they also try to upsell you a little less for a private event vs. a wedding. Another tip - when your guests talk about your wedding years from now they will never remember things like the place cards or whether or not you had a custom $300 wedding cake topper. Spend on what people remember - a nice/convenient venue, good food, plentiful booze, danceable music and a dress you feel great in - and skimp on everything else - florals, rentals, paper products, favors, etc.

Posted on January 5, 2015 at 12:36 pm 1