@Michelle Consumer Reports actually ranks IKEA's memory foam mattresses higher than any others, although they are not really "cheap" (just "cheaper than Tempurpedic, which is insanely expensive").
@aetataureate I get your point. My husband and I were in a very financially difficult situation for about a year and a half (2010/2011) and did the puritan thing out of necessity (moved out of the city, cancelled smartphones, no cable, no going out, etc.) and I just remember the overwhelming feeling that if I had some money fall into my lap, I would spend it all on stuff that I wanted IMMEDIATELY. I feel like that kind of "debt starvation" leads to binging, if you will. At least for me. I'd rather do things I enjoy and accept that I will be debt-free in three years, with the extra money spent on interest that entails, instead of 6 months.
@aetataureate Thank you! And I am dead serious when I say I embarked on all these good things because of The Billfold. But too many "get-out-of-debt" stories are more like the one above which ultimately just make me feel like I'm not doing ENOUGH because I only pay the minimum on my student loans (and for real, I am not paying more. This is a yoke I have accepted for 25 years) and I have a smartphone and cable.
You know, I don't want to hear the story about how someone reined in out-of-control spending (although, that is great for them) or how they paid off an outrageous debt load while making an upper-middle-class income but living like a college student (although, that is great for them). I want to hear about how someone paid off their debt and still lived a relatively normal life that allowed for enough spending to not feel like they are working off a debt in a mine or something. And maybe it took them 36 months or 48 months or 8 years but they did it and they're proud of themselves, because that's literally all I aspire to. For the past year I've maintained a $2,000 emergency fund and since January I have--for the first time in my adult life--had a month's worth of expenses in the bank so I'm not living paycheck-to-paycheck. I paid off one credit card and will pay off a second by October. And I'm not going to feel like I'm not doing enough, because I am doing the best I can.
I've always worked in the non-profit industry, so I honestly don't understand the differences (if there are any) between 401ks and 403bs, which is what I've always had. So, assuming it is even possible to get this kind of loan out of a 403b, is this a less-terrible idea if your 403b is fully vested (meaning you take it with you when you leave your job)?
I have not been posting in the comments (although I am meagerly participating by trying to pay off my $7k-ish credit card debt by paying down the smallest balances first), but I wanted to brag that I used half of my "please don't quit" bonus to knock $1000 off my highest-interest credit card and raised my credit score five points!
I'll see your "kept DVDs for over a year" (done that at least twice) and raise you a "reported multiple DVDs and/or DVD sleeves missing and then found them, months later" (usually when packing to move). We are probably canceling cable (at least until the NBA playoffs/Breaking Bad comes back) soon, and I've debated going back on the DVD plan basically solely to watch Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, which is available at exactly one Redbox in Boston, apparently, and zero streaming services. I will probably just hoof it out to the Stop and Shop in Jamaica Plain (which I did not know existed) and go the Amazon Instant route. This is ultimately as affordable as Redbox given my inability to watch and return a DVD within 24 hours.
This is really great and sad. ALSO, another notch in the "amazing perfect accompanying pictures" column.
OK, so I have never understood why individual income tax increases were somehow tied to small businesses, and thankfully I read this article: "Because the profits of many companies are taxed as the owners’ individual income, the group facing increases also includes 3 percent of all small businesses." NY Times, I do not appreciate your conflation of "many" and "3%" there. Also, I really doubt a lot of people start small businesses to make tons of money (because hey apparently only 3% of them do!). ALSO the people who would fire/not hire employees or cut their benefits or salaries because they made 6% less in profits due to taxes are scumbags and should pay more taxes.
@e YES THIS. My hair is not quite curly enough to not need a little product encouragement, but I should have mentioned my amazing hairdresser textures the fuck out of my hair and spends most her time cutting out weight. I finally make enough money to get my hair trimmed up on a regular basis, but before that she called me her little muppet due to the massive mop I walked in with every six months (it grows out, not down).