On The Cost of Dealbreakers While Making Travel Plans

Every time I've been in Italy it's been during August, and I just cannot sleep when it's that humid. I don't miss AC during the day, and I don't make it particularly cold, but I will kick around in misery all night if the sheets get all clammy and I'm sweaty and gross. It was worth it to me to pay more for it because not being able to sleep at night would truly ruin my enjoyment of everything I wanted to do during the day. Everyone who's saying "relax with a glass of chilled wine!" or "dip in the pool and sit in front of a fan!" is talking about short-term cool downs. Those don't really apply to keeping your core temp at a reasonable level for an 8 hour stretch. Look up average temp for the time you'll be there, and for your specific city--June is very different than August, and the south very different from the north. But if even one member of your party is a hot sleeper, be kind and give them the option.

Posted on May 20, 2015 at 6:11 pm 0

On Money Talks: An Advice Column for Women in the Workplace

I would just jump in here to discuss an aspect of this that no one else has, which is--how soon is too soon to leave? It may be different for academic jobs, but in my career, I jumped around a LOT for the first five years, often not through any fault of my own (business closed, got fired, quit, etc.) It has been a major block to getting hired for YEARS since then. Hiring managers think you're flaky, that you'll leave as soon as you get any kind of interest from anywhere else, that you're only motivated by money, etc. And asking how long someone stayed at their first job/in entry leve roles is actually a question that is totally okay to ask people you don't know well. A year is usually the minimum, but employers don't want people who just do the minimum. And also, having had some incredibly bad bosses and some pretty shitty work environments, if you like everything about your job except the salary, stay and excel as long as its not affecting your ability to pay your bills. Seriously. Good workplaces and good work is hard to find. I know it's frustrating to feel broke all the time, but if you hate the next job and end up wanting to jump quickly, you'll end up with the same resume flaw that's screwed me for years. The money will come as soon as you make the move; that's not a reason to make it sooner than is strategic.

Posted on October 3, 2014 at 10:20 pm 0

On WWYD: Porn Star BF Asks Porn Star GF to Quit Work Because Love

@ATF Yup. I have a dear friend who married someone everyone she knows thinks is deeply, deeply wrong for her. They had had an extremely acrimonious breakup where he said things to her and about her that if someone said those things regarding me, it's a toss-up whether or not I'd henceforth make a phone call if they were on fire, let alone get back together by getting engaged. She moved out of our city to be with him, and they threw a small engagement/going away party for their close friends, and as we left, her high school bff stopped dead in the middle of the sidewalk and goes "Well, I'll say it. This is a TERRIBLE idea. What can we do?" The fervid consensus, after a lot of discussion, was nothing. And at that moment, I decided to get 100% on board, because he was already so suspicious of our friend group that anything less would almost certainly result in being cut off. It was an extremely sad feeling watching her walk down the aisle--like watching a car wreck in slow motion. And it felt weird to sit there at the reception thinking "I'm not here for the wedding, I'm here for the divorce." But that's kind of the deal. I was there that day to ensure that I'm able to be there for her someday in the future. It won't be the most fun wedding you ever attend, but let that give you a sense of purpose, at least?

Posted on September 18, 2014 at 8:51 am 0

On I Want to Illustrate Your Daydreams About Money

I dream about winning the lottery (not the giant interstate jackpots, just like, a regular $8-$10 million would be plenty) and buying a beautiful apartment. I would take the lump sum, so realistically we are looking at like, $5-$8 million to play with. I would buy a place in the West Village--not a whole townhouse, but definitely a big enough space to entertain, and a second bedroom that I would rent to a friend at a reasonable price just for company and to pay the utilities for as long as I felt like it. And I would buy a nice two-bedroom place uptown for my parents so they would have somewhere really comfortable to stay when they were in town, and my brother could stay there too. And we would visit each other, and I don't even know if I would own a car, but I would definitely finally get ZipCar, and I could just zip up and down the West Side Highway in a lovely real estate fantasy. I would pay for these places in cash, and I would have plenty of time to find nice places with low maintenance fees, and I would not be crazy about buying all new fancy things to fill them. I would just have two very nice apartments, and a nice little million-dollar nest egg to generate enough interest to pay for them in a pinch. I would keep my job and everything; I don't think my life would change that much. I would just have a much nicer apartment that was really mine to house my slightly-nicer shoes. As Dorothy Parker once said, "I've never been a millionaire, but I bet I'd be a darling at it." The major flaw in this plan is that I do not buy lottery tickets because they are a fantastic waste of money.

Posted on September 14, 2014 at 10:35 pm 0

On Everything I Needed to Know About Money I Did Not Learn in Kindergarten

@Katni That is adorable. I was checking my bank balance on my phone the other day in front of my mom and she was like "Why do you have to do that? When's the last time you balanced your checkbook?" and this was clearly going to be a Big Discussion until I burst out laughing and was like "3rd grade, when you made me learn how, and the same goes for everyone under 30."

Posted on August 6, 2014 at 7:29 pm 0

On Everything I Needed to Know About Money I Did Not Learn in Kindergarten

@Katni My emergency fund is currently at $8000 and that's only because I am in a bad job situation and had to use some of it. We're Jewish, he's definitely not a Ramseyite, but I think it's fairly sound advice.

Posted on August 6, 2014 at 7:25 pm 0

On Everything I Needed to Know About Money I Did Not Learn in Kindergarten

@bgprincipessa Oh no definitely meaning credit card debt, unpaid bills, etc. A response to my first encounter with a credit card at age 18, when I kept letting a balance roll over month to month while still putting money away for savings.

Posted on August 6, 2014 at 7:23 pm 0

On Everything I Needed to Know About Money I Did Not Learn in Kindergarten

I have no idea what parenting book my parents got this from, but when we started getting an allowance (1st grade, and we got a dollar amount that matched our age, so $6) we were given four piggy banks. We labeled them long-term savings, short-term savings, spending, and charity. And we sat down with our parents to decide how what percent of our allowance we wanted to go into each piggy bank. We had a long talk about what someone might buy over the long term, what you might need to save for in the short term, how if you spend all your money you won't be able to do any of those things, and how everyone has to give something to charity. We talked about how the amount we gave could shift as different things we wanted or needed came up, and we were given our allowance in singles so we could physically divide it for ourselves. It worked pretty effectively. The methods and products are a little more sophisticated now, but that's still basically how I organize my personal finances, making sure something is allotted for every category. I think the best habit it taught us was that saving was an expectation, not an optional thing; I sometimes get stressed as an adult when I feel like I'm not able to save enough, but I think that's better than the stress that would come with getting old and discovering I'd not saved at all. As for less formal lessons: -Cars are not an investment. -No matter what Vogue says, clothing is not an investment. At the very best, it is a worthwhile purchase. -Leftovers are good and will be eaten. If you think you can't eat it again, put it in a sandwich. -If you have debt, you don't have savings. Pay your bills first.

Posted on August 6, 2014 at 4:00 pm 0

On Your Money, Your Morals: When Should You Boycott a Publication?

The London Review of Books started coming to my apartment for no reason and for no money, so I shall continue to read it, but I will say that having started reading it recently with no particular sense of what it was like, it is the WHITEST, MALEST thing ever. Like, it is really striking. I would feel obligated to boycott except that I don't pay for it.

Posted on February 24, 2014 at 10:00 pm 0

On A Shore Thing for Valentine's Day

Did someone forget to mark this "sponsored"? What is this shit?

Posted on February 14, 2014 at 11:08 am 2