On Shopping, Travel-Wise: Are You An Ester Or A Nicole?

omg now i want to do this. but i shouldn't, because i'll tweak it forever and go down a black hole. i would totally add makeup to it, too. i always bring too much lipstick on vacation. also, i hated dresses as a child and now almost always wear dresses.

Posted on January 23, 2015 at 5:50 pm 0

On How "Women's Television" Does Money


Posted on January 16, 2015 at 4:55 pm 0

On Brown Bagging It

I prefer bringing lunch because I find it's much easier to get food that's delicious, affordable, and reasonably healthy when you cook for yourself. You can get just 2 of those 3 characteristics from the lunch places near my office. It often seems like the only healthy option at places that aren't sit-down restaurants is salad, and salad is the worst, especially in the winter. I almost always bring dinner leftovers, not sandwiches or frozen meals.

Posted on January 16, 2015 at 11:21 am 0

On Deciding to Buy Renters Insurance

@ronswansonluva Maybe not in one year. In the ten years I've lived in a city, I've seen many friends make renters insurance claims, either because of weather destroying their stuff or fires or (mostly) robberies. In ten years, maybe a third of my friends have had to make a claim or have been in a situation that would have benefited from renters insurance that probably exceeded the $800 paid over the course of those ten years. I don't know if the statistics bear it out, but it happens often enough that I don't feel safe without it. And I do have a lot more stuff than you, so it would cost a lot more to replace it.

Posted on January 14, 2015 at 2:57 pm 0

On Deciding to Buy Renters Insurance

@ronswansonluva Yeah, but if your neighbor lights the building on fire (this happened to me), you'd have to move somewhere and would need furniture for it. I don't know if you live in a furnished apartment or someone gave you the furniture, but if it's the latter, I wouldn't want to count on their repeated generosity. Or limit myself to moving into another furnished apartment. If you're using your roommates' furniture and you plan to move with them, at least they should have insurance. And you'd need a place to stay for several weeks while finding a new place to live. Also, you could be broken into, even on the fourth floor. But, if you really have that little stuff, and could adequately start your life from scratch from your emergency savings (it's not just about how much your stuff is currently worth!), you might not need it.

Posted on January 14, 2015 at 2:49 pm 0

On Deciding to Buy Renters Insurance

I would just make sure that it's replacement value, and then go for it if you think $5000 is enough! Also: you don't just have to worry about accidentally setting your own apartment on fire. We live in apartment buildings with other people! Next to apartment buildings full of other people! These people could be wildly irresponsible. That's how my apartment burned down--it started in a neighboring building and spread. Even if you are very responsible about fire safety, you definitely can't control the irresponsible behavior of the potentially terrible people you share walls with. Hence: insurance.

Posted on January 14, 2015 at 2:43 pm 1

On Open Thread: Share Your 2015 Budget

Nope, I still don't think I'm transparent enough to do this. But, I spent a lot of time last night setting up Mint and making a budget that I *think* will work, despite several aggressive saving/debt paying goals and my unwillingness to give up my life of moderate luxury.

Posted on January 13, 2015 at 5:08 pm 0

On Planning a 2015 Budget: Revised and Updated

@ronswansonluva I realize I can only speak from my experience with my insurer (USAA), but there are definitely insurers out there who don't require receipts for everything. Most people I know who filed claims didn't need receipts. It's something to ask about/research as you're shopping around for renter's insurance.

Posted on January 13, 2015 at 4:19 pm 0

On Planning a 2015 Budget: Revised and Updated

@ronswansonluva Nope, you don't have to save receipts (except for valuable items, like fine jewelry). I have very real experience with this as a person whose apartment burned down. I just had to fill out some internet forms estimating my losses. A dude came from my husband's insurance to judge whether things were a total loss and estimate their value. We both maxed out our policies, and we lived in a 1-bedroom with Ikea furniture. The costs aren't just furniture: think of how much it would cost to repurchase all your clothes, shoes, jewelry, kitchen items, cosmetics, electronics, art, etc. It adds up fast. Plus, my insurance paid for us to stay in a hotel for 2 weeks while we found a new place to live (on top of what they paid out for claims). And, why not do it? It's such a small cost, and it's a lot easier to have many thousands of dollars to restart your life than *not*. EVERYONE GET RENTERS INSURANCE. Signed, someone who lost nearly everything but wasn't made destitute by it.

Posted on January 13, 2015 at 3:34 pm 0

On Is "Dry January" Worth The Savings

I don't think I could get through a Chicago January without booze. But, I am trying to drink LESS after all the holiday indulgence. So far, I haven't had any weeknight or Sunday drinks since starting back at work--I try to use herbal tea to relax after work instead. I realize that's only a 4 day streak, but whatever.

Posted on January 8, 2015 at 11:15 am 0