On Good Enough Homes & Destinations: What You Get For $240,000

For a second there I thought I read Cambridge, MA and my heart skipped a beat.

Posted on August 29, 2014 at 7:59 am 0

On The "Give Everyone a Goalie" Kind of Sex Ed

@polka dots vs stripes I have almost exactly the same issues with this - thanks for articulating it so well. Still, overall, it probably is a net positive.

Posted on August 21, 2014 at 6:29 pm 0

On Friday Estimate

@Stina Oooh that sucks! I recently visited my husband's mother in Belarus (he's from there) and there was a chance that the hot water would get cut off for maintenance for two weeks! Luckily it turned out the notice applied to a different set of apartments than hers, but we went a week or so expecting the hot water to get turned off any day. It sure made me appreciate it more!

Posted on August 8, 2014 at 11:07 am 0

On Friday Estimate

@Stina Thanks! Am excited! @BillfoldMonkey I have been considering YNAB, but my husband is against the idea of paying for budgeting software. I also wonder if it would be overkill. Correct me if I'm wrong, I get the sense that it asks you to budget within different categories? For me, that doesn't seem to work because if I'm super careful about bringing lunch, I randomly go and buy a dress one evening, or something like that. I feel I do best if I have a pool of fungible "fun money" that I can choose how to allocate each day.

Posted on August 8, 2014 at 10:54 am 1

On Friday Estimate

For the first time ever, I can join you all in this exercise as I've started budgeting my spending so thaT I can figure out exactly where all my money is going. We've been using Mint but somehow the reactive nature of it (you only see where your money went after you spend it) doesn't help me. I realized that if, barring rent and a few other recurring expenses, my husband and I spent only $50 a day between us, we'd have a hefty chunk left at the end of the month out of our take-home pay (we already save a fair bit, and have 401Ks, but we want to take the saving to the next level). So I just created a simple Excel worksheet and have been tracking how much I spend each day, trying to stay within $50. Anything that carries over, I can use to justify large purchases. We barely spent anything this week, so I feel fine about the spendy weekend we're going to have. The numbers below are for both my husband and me. On Saturday I'm going to have a long overdue haircut ($90) and then we'll probably go hiking (let's say $10 just in case). On Sunday we're going to sign up for sailing for a month ($100 each = $200) and go for our first sailing lessons at Community Boating. Then in the evening we're having a friend over for dinner and board games, but the fridge is well-stocked so I'll just have to cook, not spend anything. So all told ~$300. Worth it for such a fun weekend! And I don't feel guilty because I know that if I don't spend anything on Monday, I'll be back on track with our $50 a day budget.

Posted on August 8, 2014 at 9:29 am 0

On Happy To Help, Annoyed I Have To

Yeah I reject this framing of the question as big government vs. small. That plays into the hands of those people who would like to cut social services, while continuing to fund expensive wars and massive defense spending.

Posted on August 6, 2014 at 12:54 pm 2

On The Cost of Getting a Green Card

And the reason is cost more is basically the expert lawyer (since applying for a green card is more complicated than applying for a green card via marriage), but I think she was totally worth it - she really knew what she was doing.

Posted on July 31, 2014 at 2:19 pm 0

On The Cost of Getting a Green Card

I think getting a green card for my husband and I cost ~$10,000 including an immigration lawyer, application fees etc. We applied using a self-sponsorship category (essentially my husband "proved" that he was an asset to the country because of his research experience), which required a lot of letters from important people in his field and summaries of his work. The lawyer actually was an expert in this sort of thing - taking the technical details of scientists' work and figuring out how to write letters that would convince the USCIS. It was a pretty complicated process, even though things went relatively smoothly for us - 7 months and $10,000 from student F1 status to Permanent Residents.

Posted on July 31, 2014 at 2:17 pm 0

On Wealthy People Agitated by Real Estate Trend

@NoName Yeah, some of this just has to be satirical: "Chris, who had the dirty baseball cap of a former farmer, had moved with his wife into a ranch home they owned in the less expensive village of Springs so they could rent out their cottage in East Hampton village for the season, a first for them." "the dirty baseball cap of a former farmer" - seriously?

Posted on July 2, 2014 at 9:30 am 1

On Help, I'm Hooked on Battery-Operated Toothbrushes

So why not just buy an electric toothbrush that you can plug in to charge, rather than one that you need to throw away entirely or have to replace the batteries on?

Posted on June 27, 2014 at 2:22 pm 0