On What Would You Do With a $20,000 Windfall?

I came into $25K unexpectedly a couple of years ago, and it went: $10K towards kitchen/bath renovation fund (still not renovated); $10K into retirement savings; $5K towards a week at a LUXURY SPA, which was awesome and in all honesty a great experience. Highly recommended. Now, I think it would be $10K towards college for my sister's kids, and $10K towards the mortgage. But that might be because I already took a vacation this year.

Posted on October 10, 2013 at 3:32 pm 0

On Why Do Stores Need Your Zip Code?

When stores ask me for my ZIP code, I usually say, "No, thank you," which disconcerts them, but they move on.

Posted on June 25, 2013 at 7:10 pm 0

On Recruiting Via LinkedIn

I also have a tech-type job, and get approached a LOT, usually for jobs too junior for me, or jobs that the recruiter doesn't realize I'm a bad fit for because they don't understand the industry enough.

Posted on May 15, 2013 at 4:18 pm 0

On So Cool to Live in a Post-Race World

@keynesiancutie Yes! She could also use a middle name if that's more mainstream (or change her middle name, if that would upset her folks less) and be L. Marie Smith. I have several male coworkers past and present who go by their middle names.

Posted on May 15, 2013 at 4:16 pm 0

On What Percentage of Your Pay Do You Spend on Rent?

I pay about 50% post-tax for my mortgage/maintenance, but that's after socking away 10% pre-tax for my retirement fund. When I finally deal with the refinancing, that number will drop. I honestly don't mind paying that much, because I don't live at all extravagantly and I work in a moderately well-paid field, so the 50% that's left is plenty to live on even with a rainy-day fund. It bothered me more when I wasn't getting at least some of that "back" as equity, though.

Posted on May 14, 2013 at 11:29 am 0

On Preemies and Health Care Costs

I worked at a startup that had killer healthcare benefits, because one of the cofounders was the parent of a preemie and understood viscerally how important good benefits are. Led to better retention rates in the staff too.

Posted on May 13, 2013 at 12:04 pm 0

On Can You Wear a Cocktail Dress to Work?

I have worked two very informal jobs that had staff-led "Fancy Fridays."

Posted on May 8, 2013 at 11:48 pm 0

On WWYD: A Job on the Side

I worried too much about this in the past, and ended up missing out on opportunities I regret. In my current job, I have to jump through some paperwork hoops to do outside work, but I am really glad to have both the outlet and the extra cash.

Posted on May 2, 2013 at 11:00 am 0

On WWYD: A Job on the Side

@It's too early Depending on where you are and what you do, that non-compete may not be a big issue. I worried about a really stringent one at my last job, to the point where I spoke to an employment attorney before I signed the thing, and he told me that unless I got a job doing exactly what I had been doing for a competitor, I was fine. (And, PS, someone at my company did do just that, and we didn't sue, because it was a hassle that would have created bad blood in a small industry.)

Posted on May 2, 2013 at 10:59 am 0

On Defer Student Loans? Paying the Minimum on Credit Cards?

If the interest on your student loans is also being deferred, this decision seems simple to me. Defer those loans. If you are in a long-term grad program (Ph.D. or M.D.) there's also some chance that inflation will return, making the loan less costly, but it's been a long time since inflation was a factor. Even if the interest is not being deferred, I would also pay down the credit card first for the reasons @sony_b listed above.

Posted on April 30, 2013 at 11:02 pm 2