On Life and Health at 75

@ThatJenn I also think it's irresponsible to stop getting flu shots because a) getting the flu is an entirely preventable and miserable way to die (it's more of an effort *to* invite bad health instead of letting nature take its course), but more importantly, b) it makes him a conduit to sharing the flu with those grandchildren he loves and with his community around him. Always get your immunizations, people.

Posted on September 24, 2014 at 9:27 am 3

On Why Can't Every Doctor Take Every Insurance?

@namemeansgazelle Isn't this where the government could step in and regulate insurance companies so they abide by some kind of framework/protocol in how they're run? If the ACA made it official that you're legally required to have medical insurance, can't they also do something to make it more navigable, for both doctors and patients? THE MIDDLEMAN IS THE PROBLEM.

Posted on September 23, 2014 at 7:36 pm 1

On Happy Monday. Are You Richer Than The Average Millennial?

@coastalelite I appreciate your honesty! My spouse and I are at -$35K, because we are at a stage where we are making investments but not reaping them yet. Replaced car/new loan? check. Grad student loan? check. Credit cards to keep us afloat in between jobs? check. We used to have a positive net worth but once we depleted our savings and started living paycheck to paycheck it's been to painful to think about that. Now I just know how much my total debt is and every now then I check my old 401K (which I keep planning to roll over once I can afford a few hundred bucks to hire a financial advisor to do it).

Posted on September 22, 2014 at 7:40 pm 0

On Living Paycheck to Paycheck in Boston on $80,000 a Year

I feel like we can't bank on anything being affordable/sustainable/in reach and that's the problem. It's a constant balancing act when you can't afford to make one change to fix things because that upsets everything else. It does seem like our society is structured on job first-- regardless of whether you want to live where that is-- and then you have to hope to piece together an affordable rent, in an area with a decent commute, hopefully with good schools or daycare options for your kids, etc. It leaves little room to execute your prerogatives, much less feel like you're getting ahead in any aspect.

Posted on September 22, 2014 at 7:00 pm 0

On Time Banking In Ithaca, New York

@anecdata This would be the kind of service I would want to use/give. Caregiving is a task I'm able to do myself, but sometimes I need a babysitter for a date night or a petsitter for a day trip and it becomes exhausting to have to pay for something fun plus the care of your dependents. This idea kind of harkens back to when people were neighborly and just did favors for each other out of a sense of community. It's nice to take a break from spending money to get anything done.

Posted on September 19, 2014 at 2:15 pm 0

On Wages For Housework!

@nell Absolutely!! Also consider that the government provides a free public school to serve every child in the nation (providing a double bonus of education AND childcare) and yet there is nothing in place for children younger than kindergarten. Not only is cost a major concern, but availability is a factor as well. Rural communities are really fucked over, as are special needs children. ANYWAY, yes, sometimes people are stay at home parents not by choice but by circumstance and it's ridiculous that our society/country hasn't addressed this gaping hole. I think once all parents are given equal support to stay in the workforce then equal pay will eventually catch up.

Posted on September 18, 2014 at 5:38 pm 0

On Wages For Housework!

I think there should definitely be tax credits for stay at home parents, specifically for those in lower tax brackets. It can also be really hard to move on from being a stay at home to the working world because you have to line up childcare with a new job and those aren't always available simultaneously. Until government subsides 0-5 yr childcare in some way, this is the least they could do!

Posted on September 18, 2014 at 1:39 pm 1

On The Cost of Missing Your Flight

Dude, this happened to me in New Orleans (my layover airport) when I was flying alone with my toddler. I was in my seat-- seatbelt buckled!-- and the flight attendant came on the PA saying there was engine trouble and we were allowed to deplane briefly if we would like to. Again, I am flying alone with a 2 year old, so yes I did deplane to get a terrible sandwich from the shop *right next to our gate*. I couldn't have been gone more than 15 minutes. For some stupid reason there wasn't a PA speaker in that food court area, so I did not hear them paging me (which I think irritated the gate attendant enough to not be sympathetic at all). I came back, the plane was still there at the gate, in fact it sat there another 5 minutes, but they had closed the door and wouldn't let me on. It was the last flight out that day. I had to take a taxi to a hotel (it was the day after Mardi Gras so it took a while to find a decent, affordable hotel nearby) and take another back the next day. All with a toddler and without the stroller I gate checked. I was so horribly upset. I called the airline when I returned home and was finally ready to even discuss it. They gave me a voucher for the cost of our tickets, but man I am still so bitter about it today! *deep breath* *end rant*

Posted on September 17, 2014 at 9:29 pm 0

On Tipping Housekeeping is Controversial? (No It Isn't)

I understand tipping servers, because their personal interaction with you directly affects your meal– the timeliness of service, their manners, etc. Same goes for hairdressers. I don’t understand tipping hotel housekeepers because it seems that they follow a list of tasks that should/could be accomplished by any one of them, Plus, you have no direct interaction with them. I understand tipping when the mess in the room is excessive and/or when you’re in a really fancy hotel with a lot of amenities where you’re probably tipping people left and right anyway. But the cheap Courtyard by Marriott(R) where I’m spending one night while on a road trip? Really? Does this also apply to motels like La Quinta Inn? Tips are meant to reward or incentivize good service, so since I expect a clean room upon arrival and leave the next day, what difference does it make? And furthermore, do all service workers warrant a tip simply because they're giving a service? Should I be tipping the person who bags my groceries? My dry cleaner? TL;DR I don’t think it makes sense to do it for cheap, short stays so hotels should pay their staff better wages.

Posted on September 17, 2014 at 3:32 pm 0

On A Decision to Settle

My problem with choosing whether it's a need or a want is when I'm buying something I need, but I'm buying an expensive version of it vs a cheap one. Case in point: I had to replace my set of dinner plates. -That's a need! -But I bought the more expensive ones (at Target, but still) instead of the cheapest ones. -It's an investment! -But it's from Target, so is it really? -So it's a small upgrade on a need, so what? -But do I need to spend this much money on it? Argh.

Posted on September 12, 2014 at 3:12 pm 0