On Fall Haul
@nell Thank you for pointing this out, you have a great point. This is an organization I try to keep up with: http://www.laborrights.org/. I believe in also taking an ethical stance as a consumer when you can, and I really do feel I make a difference (even waste wise) by not buying new clothing made overseas every season.
On Fall Haul
@guenna77 I would say in terms of the lesser of two evils, I would rather support an American made product made by a company that offers fair wages to immigrants than a literal sweatshop that oppresses women and children in a multitude of ways (most of which we probably don't know about, because companies like Gap and Old Navy work hard to cover them up). Also, none of American Apparel's models are "pre pubescent" - get your facts straight. Don't take everything you see in the media for face value. American Apparel might have it's issues but you would have to be insane to say that their problems are a bigger issue than the illegal behavior happening daily, for years, in Bangladeshi sweatshops to produce clothing for Old Navy and Gap.
On Fall Haul
It makes me sad to see all these comments about clothing being purchased from stores that manufacture everything in sweatshops overseas. Old Navy is one of the worst offenders, paying workers 20 cents an hour, firing pregnant women, and regularly subjecting their workers to 17 hour shifts. Gap, Banana Republic, Madewell, Target - none of these are much better. I know it's the reality of modern day shopping, but please stop and think about where your clothing comes from. Try (harder) to find clothing in thrift shops. Support companies like Everlane, American Apparel, or Steven Alan (GREAT sales). Buy less, but buy better.
This is my favorite kind of post! Love hearing about spending habits of ex-pats overseas. I hope to live outside of the US at some point so it's always nice to have a frame of reference. Phoebe, can I ask why you lived in India before? Was it for work or just for fun?
Consider yourself lucky. When I was 19, I went to visit my best friend who was studying in France. It was my first time out of the country. After a lovely 8 day trip, I headed to Charles de Gaulle Airport on the Metro and, due to my confusion with the way generally everything worked (really, it's a miracle I even took public transportation to the airport alone with no language skills) I arrived approximately 40 minutes before my flight was to depart - not the best thing, but it could have been worse. They wouldn't even let me check in because I had to be there an hour early for an international flight (something I wasn't aware of, and still don't always abide by). I had to PURCHASE AN ENTIRE NEW FLIGHT BACK TO THE USA. I called my father, hysterical, and he had to put it on a credit card. Felt like a scam. It's been 10 years and I still haven't been back to France.
Rachel Comey usually gets marked down 75% off or more at the end of every season. Never pay full price for her stuff. Also: INA, Century 21, Tokyo Joes, Tokio 7.
2 years out (graduated in 2012 from CUNY - Hunter) and I'm making mid-career salary ($75K). This is due entirely to the fact that I worked full time through college which helped me obtain the position I have today (digital producer). This position also has absolutely nothing to do with my degree (BA, Philosophy). Ah, life is weird.
I also made hummus for friends this past weekend for the first time! It actually turned out amazing. I think you definitely need to add salt next time - crucial. Or maybe it's because my Vitamix is pure magic. I used a 25 ounce can of chickpeas, took the skins off of them (pro tip: pour all chickpeas in a large bowl, cover the bowl with a plate, and shake vigorously for a minute. The skins will almost all come off on their own), added a few glugs of olive oil, a teaspoon or so of salt, a garlic clove, and a tablespoon of tahini. Whir in the Vitamix for about 3 minutes. Top with more olive oil and some paprika or whatever tasty spice you like. Dunzo.
My boyfriend and I Airbnb'd our apartment for certain weekends (and sometimes weeks) throughout 2012-2013. I think it was an incredible opportunity to have been able to make so much money doing that (and I really mean so. much. money), but I don't think I would have the energy for it anymore. We, too, were constantly hustling to clean the apartment in time for the next guest, running out and buying new towels when the last guest stole them, stained them, etc. We were lucky in that we had a place outside of the city to stay (about two hours away), so whenever we needed to save some money on any given month, we'd just take Airbnb guests and leave for a few days. Too often, though, we would Airbnb our place despite having a solid week of work in the city (we were freelancers at the time), or an early morning meeting downtown. We actually found ourselves paying to stay at a (hilarious, mirrored-ceiling) motel in New Jersey just so we would be close enough to get to our jobs the following morning. Was it worth it? Probably, especially those weekends where we'd make $800 just to leave. Would I do it again? No.
I am also in the process of saving my sweet spot amount of $10K before hopefully dipping out of New York (after 9 years!). I have until March 2015 when my lease is up and I'm already at $4K! Eek, this is kind of inspiring me to bump it up to $15K.. One thing that really resonated with me in one of these stories was the person who said they were so tempted to just use the entire amount they saved to pay off their student loan[s]. But instead, someone told them to enjoy it, so they took an epic trip to Iceland (or something). My loans are currently at $34K and it practically feels selfish to be saving money for myself.. Fucking loans.