Love it! Even if Lush themselves are now a huge chain store, I love that they still know how to stick it to the man!
I think the best ways for teens to learn (well okay, maybe not learn, but at least be wholly inspired) about financial literacy, is to see the vapid, shallow celebrities they fall over to adore embracing it too. What if, instead of instagramming a picture of their latest $5000 hair extensions, or their $750000 Lamborghini (I don't even know how to spell that), celebrities instead instagrammed a picture of, oh, I don't know, their kicksss financial advisor. Or the interest they earned on their bank statement. Or something! You won't see Kim Kardashoan doing that, ever, and that is a big deal for gullible teenagers.
I'm also interested in how the author kept their living expenses so incredibly low while saving for a down payment. How much was rent? How much was health insurance? Student loans? Utility bills? Internet bills? Cell phone bill? Car payments, if any? Grocery expenses? I live in Portland and have done for eight years. Even eight years ago, the notion of only spending $500 a month on all these things is unequivocally farcical. Rent alone would eat up two thirds of that, possibly? I'm not bring mean or grouchy. I just find these figures a little... I don't know... Whimsical!
I would have liked to have read more in this article about the nitty-gritty of how saving for the down-payment was accomplished. Each partner was required to put down $17.5 K. When the relationship ended, the author, aged 21 or so, was able to pull *yet* another $17.5 K out of her savings to buy her partner out. How on earth do you save almost $35 K by the age of 21? What job does the author have? At what age did she start saving? Assuming she started working at age 18, that would involve saving a whopping $11K per year. That's such a lot of money!
Probationary periods are more common here in the US than you might imagine, too. Two separate software companies in the past hired me, but because I did not have a computer science degree, despite eight years of working in software, they hired me as in intern for three months (first job) and six months (second job), before hiring me as an actual employee. I was not eligible for benefits, bonuses etc still all while working as an intern. I found it depressing, but it was either that, or let the jobs go to someone else. Companies hold all the power in these situations.
@Adam Re: the running, I run slowly (tho more through necessity as I'm a beginner runner!) so I don't get too sweaty. I bike to work one day per week, which enables me the carrying capacity to bring a week's change of clothes, toiletries, stuff for lunch to put in the fridge, etc. in my panniers. It's really worked out for me. As long as I have wipes, deodorant, hair products at work already, I'm good to go. I started running to help with depression, so the minor inconvienience of having to figure out how to cart around a stick of Teen Spirit is rather overshadowed byhe amazing benefits for my mental health. I hear the same reasons people don't bike again and again and again, and they are completely valid. Safety fears, terrible in attentive drivers, no facilities at work to freshen up, etc. but I thinkhis is why it is so important to keep demanding these things. DEMAND safer roads to get yourself around your city. DEMAND shower facilities at work - it's been proven again and again that fitter, healthier employees are more productive employees who take less sick days off. DEMAND laws preventing drivers from distracted driving habits that kill others - texting while driving etc.. It's so important!
BBC Radio 4's The Food Programme had an excellent episode recently all about the slow cooker revolution. You can listen to it online, even in the Us! http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03c2jwm
I'm very curious to hear more about the author's decision re: the bike. I attempted to calculate transportation costs for myself for various modes of transport - it's tricky. But the bottom line is - biking us one of the best ways in the universe to cut the costs in your life *bigtime* if you are trying to get serious about saving. If I drove, annual costs for a car ownership for me would be around $5000 or so. That takes into account monthly car payments, monthly insurance payments, monthly gas costs, monthly parking payments, and yearly expected maintenance. I did *not* factor in unexpected car ownership cash drains, like parking tickets, insurance deductibles in the event of an incident, or catastrophic costs like the engine failing and needing replacing for example (add couple extra grand). I also didn't factor in what I like to call the intangibles - the health costs both to my body, and to my wallet, from being a lazy-ass who drives almost everywhere and has a whole host of chronic sedentary/ obseity-related costs - diabetes, cancer etc etc etc. As I said, I don't own a car, but these were my estimated calculations. Driving would come out to $13.69 per day, and significantly more if I added unexpected or intangible costs. If I took the bus, I can get an annual pass here in Portland for $1100, which compared to the costs of driving, is a steal!! The downside us a bit more standing around, but then that's generally the trade off for getting rich - spending your time, rather than spending your money. The bus would come out to $3.01 per day. I bike a lot, and my annual bike costs average around $250 per year. This includes an annual $200 overhaul, where the bike shop takes your whole bike apart, cleans and replaces everything that is worn out etc, and hands you back a bike that is almost brand new. It also includes buying batteries for my bike lights, and the odd replacement bike tube if I get a rare flat. Biking comes out to 68 cents a day. Recently, I have started running to work 5k each way. Annual costs I would estimate at $150 per year - $120 for new running shoes, the rest for other running paraphernalia. I can't run further distances really as it would take too long, so biking is better value for me overall in the value-for-money stakes - it costs little, often is faster than the bus, and is sometimes faster than driving - during rush-hour, it always is. Running comes out to 41 cents a day. I am always very curious the reasons people profer for their transportation choices. Are they safety-related, or weather-related, or laziness-related, economic-related, or....? It absolutely fascinates me, the way we all choose to get to work, and our reasons why or why not. And of course, the effects on our wallets!
I hate to sound like I'm chiding, but since when is it ever the seller's responsibility to ever go out of their way to meet you in order to sell an item? If you wanted to buy jeans from forever 21, you wouldn't call up the store and ask if they could drive ten miles to meet you at the Barnes and noble to sell them to you. Why is it any different with craigslist? This is probably my biggest pet peeve of cl - people asking if you can lug the huge-ass item you're selling to some far away location, only for them to not even show up (what is it with cl and people not showing up???!) if I get an email from a potential cl buyer, asking me to bring the 50lb keyboard I'm selling halfway across town to their local Starbucks for them to view, their email gets lobbed straight in the trash!
My partner works as a nanny on the west coast. I think tipping yr nanny obscenely large amounts for Xmas is definitely at east coast thing! On the west coast from what she's told me, her best gift was a $200 rei gift certificate, and at the worst end, nothing, with an ugly hand knitted scarf somewhere in the middle. She is a great nanny, but I just don't think the Pacific Northwest is the lucrative place to nanny in. She has told me about a nanny she knows on the east coast who got a $3000 tip, holy moly! That's a fifth of her entire salary!!