On Banning Laptops, Making More Money

Years ago I worked at a business magazine, and one of our recurring topics was home offices vs coffee shops vs traditional offices. The coffee shop goes we interviewed generally all agreed: if you're working there, please buy something at least once an hour to "rent" the space.

Posted on April 11, 2014 at 12:12 pm 0

On "Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?": Estate Planning for Millenials

Since my mom died last fall, my dad has been doing estate planning. It is some of the least favorite conversations I've ever had, like, super stressful and I just DON'T WANT TO THINK ABOUT IT, but honestly, it's super important and I'm glad he is. On another note - less financial, but worth considering. What do you want for medical interventions/end of life care? My dad's got a really strict DNR/pull-the-plug policy, which again, NOT FUN to consider, but I'm very glad I know what he wants, and I'm glad that he's named a medical proxy (my older sister) who also knows in case he's incapacitated and decisions have to be made on his behalf.

Posted on April 11, 2014 at 10:03 am 0

On Piggy Banks vs. Savings Accounts for Kids

When I was about 8, my mom walked me down to the tiny bank in our tiny town and opened an account for me. I don't remember putting much in but I suppose the occasional birthday/chanukah check must have gone into it -- I only closed it out a few years ago (when mom pointedly reminded me it existed because my address there hadn't been updated, so statements were still going to my folks' house). It had about $800 in it, which was awesome and unexpected. I thiiiiink I must have deposited all of my paychecks from the one summer I was a camp counselor in high school into it and then just... forgotten. Every job I had after that went into the checking/savings account I opened when I turned 18 and was getting ready to leave for college.

Posted on April 4, 2014 at 10:16 am 0

On Let’s Throw Some Money at Our Problems: March 2014 Check-in

I am paying off my student loans. They've got a 2.1% interest rate and a minimum payment each month of $120 - I pay $200. Last month: $8,305 Currently: $8,119.11

Posted on March 31, 2014 at 5:13 pm 0

On Simplifying Student Loan Payments

Literally 10 minutes ago I just upped my auto-pay for my student loan by $100. (I just got a COL raise and am putting a lot of my new "extra" money into this, since I'm pretty good at avoiding lifestyle creep. I'd love to get this sucker paid off within a couple of years.) So... yep, I do auto-pay for my student loans, and at significantly more than my minimum requirement. But I'm also (knock on wood, gulp) steadily employed with a pretty nice salary, so I'm never all that worried about not having the money in my account to cover the auto-debit. I do this with as many bills as possible, since I used to get dinged for late payments because I'd just forget (or would lose my checkbook). The only things that aren't done automatically are my rent (because my landlord is waaaay behind the times and unable to) and my credit card, because I don't carry a balance on it most months anyway and I usually pay it all off if possible. (I don't use it much.) So when a credit card statement comes in, I pay it online, but it doesn't happen automatically. But utilities, cable, phone, and student loans all happen on their own so I don't have to worry about them.

Posted on March 24, 2014 at 3:19 pm 0

On Who Had the Richest Parents? Comparing Current Income to How You Grew Up

I make more than either of my parents did while they were working, but I also work and live in Manhattan, while they lived waaay upstate in a tiny town. My monthly rent is higher than their mortgage and I doubt I'd be earning this much if I worked anywhere else - I'm not sure how much that adjustment would even things out. (Then again, they were also raising and saving for two kids, and I only support myself.)

Posted on March 20, 2014 at 10:12 am 0

On When Movies Are Funded By Fans

I think Rob Thomas did an excellent job of giving fans (read: me) what they (I) wanted - the movie's plot isn't as sharp as it might be, the it goes out of its way to provide cute cameos and awesome moments for every beloved character. When I kickstarered, all I wanted was for Veronica to be smart and snarky and make out with Logan. The movie gave me that, so I consider it a good investment. I don't think the movie is *great* by most other measures. The plot is mostly fine, but there are a lot of extraneous pieces that either relate to those obligatory-for-the-fans cameos, or that seem to be set up for some kind of greater franchise revival. (There are books coming out, I'm not sure if there are any other plans, but fingers crossed...) If the movie was meant to stand alone, I think both of those aspects would have been removed. It would have streamlined things and possibly made for a better *movie*, but not necessarily a better *experience* for the people who funded it. So, I am happy.

Posted on March 19, 2014 at 1:27 pm 0

On Let’s Throw Some Money at Our Problems: February 2014 Check-In

Arrg, I forgot to check in last month and it's a pain to look up where things were previously, sooo... I am paying down my student loans, I pay $200 every month (my minimum is $120) and I'm currently sitting at $8,305.

Posted on March 1, 2014 at 7:33 pm 0

On Shopping at Actual Stores Still Beats Shopping Online

I haven't done online booze, but I do FreshDirect for food all winter. It's not as good for produce (though it's not bad), but meh, it's winter, the produce around is not that great, anyway. It's just always so dark and cold when I get out of work that I can't bring myself to shlepp to the grocery store, so until it warms up I get groceries delivered. :shrug:

Posted on February 28, 2014 at 10:08 am 0

On Silicon Valley Ladies Are Doing It For Themselves

@garli I dooooo ~ "I'm worried that I'm dumber than I was, not dumber than *you*."

Posted on February 26, 2014 at 4:13 pm 1