On The Year We Saved $10K: I Try to Live Below the Salt

@LFR I'm a big saver, around 30% of my gross income. I've had goals like paying down debt, saving for a car, building an emergency fund, and buying a house (the current goal), and part of my savings has always gone to retirement savings. But even if I didn't have a specific goal, I'd still set aside around 30% because I value the discipline of living on less than I earn. The accumulation of cash is nice and keeps me from being worried about emergencies, but that cushion of lets me know that I could go to a different, lower-paying job, or be out of work for health reasons, or whatever - that's really powerful to me.

Posted on August 21, 2014 at 2:20 pm 0

On Saving Money Vs. Earning Money

@garli Mostly I was worried that I would piss my landlord off (it was definitely a violation of the lease). It was a lot of work to get ready for guests, but I think that a lot of that would have been streamlined through experience. I'm hoping to try it again once I have my own place. @ollyolly I've been on the customer end for Uber, and I loooove it.

Posted on August 20, 2014 at 1:22 pm 0

On Saving Money Vs. Earning Money

@OllyOlly That's a good point. I tried renting out to AirBnB earlier this year and made about $200 before ultimately deciding the gig wasn't for me. But there are lots of good opportunities for people who need more income.

Posted on August 20, 2014 at 12:15 pm 0

On Saving Money Vs. Earning Money

There are lots of side hustles that can supplement income - babysit, house-sit, pet-sit, tutor, market research (a personal favorite!), mystery shopping. There's also the idea of turning a hobby into an income stream - I teach fitness classes a couple days a week and earn about $250 extra each month. A friend who is crafty is selling a few items of Etsy and looking into being a vendor at craft sales. Also, don't forget the power of interest/dividends as income. I know, I know that interest rates aren't high. And yeah, you have to save the money first. But it's income, so it is value added rather than taken away through depreciation.

Posted on August 20, 2014 at 10:53 am 0

On Living Our Best Thirty-something Lives

I hadn't accomplished my goals before I turned 30, but I was really ok with it. Actually, I kind of liked turning 30. I felt confident, for the first time, that I had the tools to handle my life. At first. Then I had a huge existential crisis that is only now being resolved some 2 years later. So, yeah, for me turning thirty wasn't so bad, but being in my thirties has been another thing entirely.

Posted on August 12, 2014 at 5:08 pm 0

On Let’s Throw Some Money at Our Problems: July 2014 Check-in

Goal: 20% down payment on a house. June 2014: 1,400-ish July 2014: 2,448 July was an expensive month, but I definitely saw the advantage of savings. I had to put new tires on my car, so I used my short-term cash fund (5% of my gross pay) to pay for the tires. Then I had an unexpected trip, so I tapped my fund from my side gig to pay for that (the side gig pays for splurges - planned trips come from the 5%, but unplanned trips are splurges!). It was nice to be able to handle these unexpected expenses without changing my budget, tapping the emergency fund, or lowering my savings rate for the month - in previous years, I would have done one or all of those things to get through a tight spot. I really don't understand how people ever afford to make a down payment on a house. In fact, I was getting downright discouraged about how much it would take to make a 20% down payment on the houses that I had seen. But a friend told me about a neighborhood that she thought I'd like. I checked the prices, and a down payment there or in nearby neighborhoods would be totally affordable! Phew. I'd keep savings regardless, but now it feels like I'm saving with some real purpose.

Posted on July 31, 2014 at 3:59 pm 0

On How David Shapiro, Creator of Pitchfork Reviews Reviews, Does Money

@Christy The traditional professions are law, clergy, and medicine - they are the "learned" (with 2 syllables!) professions. Reliance on that old definition is not uncommon. I don't think he was slighting someone in other fields.

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 3:30 pm 0

On Only Suckers Don't Buy Generic

@eeyore Definitely for the Tampax - store brands are awful, awful, awful.

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 1:04 pm 0

On Only Suckers Don't Buy Generic

National brands: Clorox, toilet paper (whichever of the national brands is on sale), and Duke's mayo. Everything else is store brand and probably comes from Aldi.

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 12:45 pm 0

On What Aren't We Spending Money On?

I identify and agree with most of these - no cable, never owned a new car, still haven't bought a house or married. But the investing is not true of me at all. I have been investing in my 401K since I got my first job, and even before that, I had a small inheritance invested (by my father). I think it was my father who gave me such an appreciation for what the stock market could do if used wisely. I now continue to invest with an IRA and a taxable investment account. And seriously, it's the best - I received ~$500 in dividends last month on my Vanguard account alone!

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 12:19 pm 0