On Darling I'm a 1 Thing Dressed As a Daydream

My 1 thing is to go through a box/pile of mail that has been accumulating on my file cabinet for, um, six weeks.

Posted on October 30, 2014 at 4:33 pm 0

On Lunch Spots and Budgets

@Mike Dang aw, Mike! I hope you didn't feel called out. Reading this felt like being granted permission not to feel guilty about buying lunch. There should be like "the cost of doing coffee for the office" comparing drip, pourover, French press, then spendy things like espresso makers and Keurig.

Posted on October 28, 2014 at 8:09 pm 0

On Paying for Theaters vs Waiting for Netflix

I saw both of those movies in the theater and really loved them. My husband and I do a fair amount of movie-watching as weekend entertainment, and we like the experience of going out to do it. Especially in LA, with ticketed seating, gorgeous sound systems, and comfy recliner chairs. It's funny, though, just yesterday we were signing up for our cloth diaper service and the person helping us mentioned the thing she misses most as a parent is going out to movies. I'm sure we will be transitioning to more streaming and on-demand options now that a babysitter will be involved.

Posted on October 28, 2014 at 3:42 pm 0

On Lunch Spots and Budgets

The place where I regularly get lunch is our workplace cafeteria. It's subsidized, so an entree-sized salad is about $6, a turkey sandwich is $5. I buy food there around once or twice a week (otherwise I bring leftovers), and my lunching-out spending is usually about $25-30 a month. My husband has lunch catered at his law firm three days a week and rotates among food trucks and fast-casual places downtown, where the per-lunch spending is closer to $10. So his monthly total is usually around $70-80. It all goes in Mint under the "restaurants" budget, but I do have a "lunch" tag.

Posted on October 28, 2014 at 3:36 pm 0

On Lunch Spots and Budgets

@francesfrances I know, right? and if I recall correctly, he does not make his own coffee, unless there's been a caffeine regime change under the gingers.

Posted on October 28, 2014 at 3:33 pm 0

On In Search of Lost Money and How it Just Got Easier

I received a notification of unclaimed property in California a couple of years back, and I tried to access it but did not have the necessary documentation. My sister also received one earlier this spring at our home address that got my dad all excited. My name is SO common that I went through the rigmarole but it turned out to be for a different person from my same small town with my exact name. (I also sometimes have the reverse problem: creditors trying to collect from me and I have to prove I'm not the person who owes them money.)

Posted on October 28, 2014 at 3:31 pm 0

On Monday Check-In

OOPS yesterday was crazy and I didn't check in. I estimated $260 for two people, spent $208, and almost all of it was on eating out. It was SO NICE to just hang out and do some stuff with my guy, though, and enjoy the relaxed time we have left before, y'know, major life-changing events. The breakdown: 39 burgers at Apple Pan Friday night 29 tickets to see Birdman 35 lunch Saturday 27 ramen Saturday in Little Tokyo after the One Beat international music residency/festival 29 brunch Sunday 5 parking for the LA Dance Project at the Theatre at the Ace Hotel 40 dinner Sunday 4 spackle (to repair some inadvertent holes we made hanging art...) It was glorious!

Posted on October 28, 2014 at 2:38 pm 0

On Friday Estimate

My husband is home from his five-week trial hooray! I'm just glad he beat the baby. We made breakfast and lunch at home, not sure what dinner will be tonight, potentially $25. But we're going to see the movie Birdman, $29. Tomorrow he's going to drawing class, $15, then we'll hang the art work in the baby's room and discuss day cares, names, install car seat base. Saturday night we have a music performance to go to. It's a living room concert by OneBeat fellows. One of my high school friends runs this organization inviting musicians from all over the world for a residency. Concert is free. It should be awesome, anyone in LA should come out! http://www.1beat.org/#events Estimate $50 for dinner over there. Sunday we'll go to the farmer's market, lunch out ($30), and maybe grab a day drink ($10). Then we're going to see the LA Dance Project at the United Theatre next to the Ace Hotel, tickets paid for. $100 for groceries, estimate total $260. Celebratory weekend!

Posted on October 24, 2014 at 7:40 pm 0

On Everything You Need to Know About Diapers, Part 2

@Meaghano @Ester Bloom we have the vague intention to TRY a cloth diapering service run by a friend-of-a-friend. then i stuck a gift certificate on the registry and my husband's mom gave us credit for, like, 4 months of it, so i thought, well, now we're committed. was having serious second thoughts from esther's posts, so i'm happy to know maybe there's more than one way it can go! going to a demo on monday.

Posted on October 24, 2014 at 3:46 pm 0

On Screwing Myself With The Credit Card I Swore I'd Pay Off Every Month

@Elsajeni @nell @MemphisBlues Ha, made this comment hastily, should have been more careful. What I mean to say is, yes, this is the way credit cards work, but the way credit cards work intentionally and systematically exploits customers in vulnerable positions, whether it is because they have highly variable cash flow, thin savings, or not enough time to deal with them. They're designed specifically to take advantage of (very natural, human) behavioral patterns we all have. There are plenty of behavioral finance studies out there that show exactly this. I am now pretty good at dealing with my credit cards and am lucky enough to pay them off every month, but when I was working a lower-paying freelance job that also took over 16 hours of my days and had me traveling internationally, I missed the payment deadline like four months in a row. (This was also back when cards were allowed to change the length of the billing cycle with inconsistent amounts of time between statement and payment due date.) A better way to structure credit card contracts, here, would be a late fee that rises incrementally the longer the time after the due date the payment is late, and charging interest only on the amount that is left unpaid after the payment goes through, rather than the whole amount for the whole month.

Posted on October 24, 2014 at 3:38 pm 0