@stuffisthings Yeah, I am really looking forward to the day when we finally accept that health care is not, cannot, and never will be a functioning market, and respond accordingly. I have never met anyone who made a rational, finance-based decision about which facility to visit in a health care emergency, aside from the obvious choice of under treating the emergency.
@chic noir I strongly suspect it was the Medicaid part. Medicaid tends to treat single parents differently than married ones and the amount of income and assets you can have and still qualify is very, very small. My uncle's girlfriend has remained his girlfriend for ten years and two kids because otherwise, getting and keeping Medicaid and WIC would have been all but impossible if they'd had to count his income and assets. Not that he has much, and they still struggle, but having Medicaid and WIC for the kids was absolutely necessary.
*stands up, applauds furiously*
@ThatJenn I'm so sorry to hear about your father-in-law. I lost a friend very recently and this was difficult to read as well.
"Working in human rights" is the new "using summer as a verb". Yyyyyyyup. Also, unpaid internships in general, argh bluck gag. Every time someone in my org talks about bringing on unpaid interns to lighten the load I get stabby. That's not how it should work.
@olivia Yeah, that's really what rubbed me wrong about this. It seems punitive, kinda? I am getting married this year and we are planning on combining finances with each of us getting a pin money allowance for frivolities. That works for us. I can see how separate finances could be preferable and healthy for other people...but this isn't it. I wouldn't want my partner to have a substantially different quality of life from me, and I wouldn't want them to suffer unnecessarily for their debt or income. I don't think I would want to get married unless I was comfortable fully sharing financial risks and rewards. I don't see how this is an emotionally healthy arrangement for the LW or her partner. And it doesn't sound like they are living a life they can collectively afford - what if he lost his job?
It's discouraged where I work, but they're not the best about security and have accidentally distributed everyone's salary information before. Some of the things I discovered then were appalling and extremely enlightening. Things like that make me appreciate public pay grades more, because at least then theoretically there is a written justification for how people are paid what they are (leaving aside the effectiveness of implementation). Also, it's public information. It's difficult to say that there is a fair and efficient labor market when the prices for labor, whether salary or full value of compensation, are kept secret.
@ThatJenn DO IT. When I was an intern on the Hill, there was another intern in one of my state delegation's offices who maintained a weekly spreadsheet of all the events on the Hill, who was hosting, whether there was food, and who you had to be to get in. I'm not saying I pretended to be an alumnus of various schools to get dinner for most of my senior year, but I'm not NOT saying that either. Wish we'd thought of Google calendar then.
@kbn22 I was in the same boat, and when we had to cut down dramatically (we now spend about $240/month on groceries for two people), we had to really seriously change how we eat and think about eating. We're also low-carb, which means we can't do cheap bulking of meals with rice or pasta. The major points for us were: - Make things from scratch. Get a rotating stock of recipes that have similar ingredients (so that you're not buying one-off bottles of fish sauce or certain spices or whatever), especially cheap ingredients. Almost all of our meat dishes are made from chicken or ground beef because I can get those for $2/lb or less. Meal plan with those and only buy enough for your planned meals, so that you don't buy more than you need - but make sure to plan enough meals, or you'll lose that money you saved by ordering out when you run out of food. I cook in big batches and dish the food out into individual portion sizes in the fridge, so that we pace ourselves correctly and don't run out before the end of the paycheck. - Don't snack, unless you're good about making things from scratch from cheap ingredients. Things like chips, snack bars, etc are super expensive. - Coupons aren't really worth the effort, IMO. It's almost always still cheaper to just get the store brand of everything, and only use coupons for things where a store brand doesn't exist (like Oxi-Clean, in my case). It's easier to buy large packages of store brand things that don't go bad quickly, like toilet paper or giant jugs of white vinegar. - Spices are your friend. We eat basically the same stuff all the time and we fight off feelings of deprivation by using the time-honored tradition of seasoning things heavily, and mixing up how we flavor stuff periodically. If I have a chicken, I can make a roast chicken with it several different ways, or I can marinate the pieces and grill them, or I can stick it in the slow cooker and shred it and make about six different styles of chicken salad/barbecue, depending on how I season it. And because I know what spices are used in those things, I make sure to get them in bulk, and I space out the purchasing of seasonings over time so that I'm not buying $40 of spices on a single paycheck. YMMV on all of that, but it is totally possible! It just depends on how much brainspace you want to spend on food. The balance of time to money may not be worth it for you, especially if you are busy people.
@notpollyanna Slips! Slips are your friends here. Also dresses. I wear dresses a lot in the summer because I own like two pairs of pants total. I wear knockoff discount Spanx under them (although you can sub in your bicycle short/anti-chub-rub item of choice), and a slip between that and my dress if the skirt isn't lined. Whenever I see a skin-color slip at Target that is non-heinous, I buy two at a shot. And you can wear slips multiple times between washes, so you don't need THAT many. Seriously, all I do in the warm months is stalk the dress racks at Goodwill, load up on $8 sheaths and sundresses, and slap on a cardigan and some flats to go with. I will still, if it is cold or I am too lazy to shave or I am feeling tired or whatever, default to the unit of pants + knit + cardigan, but cheap Goodwill and Ross dresses have made me way more fashionable without having to try much. It's nice, because if you have a couple of basic cardigan colors (white, black, beige, navy? I don't know), you only have to choose one article of clothing in the morning. And actually, this year I got turned on to sweater dresses, so basically all winter I lived in a cheap sweater dress from Target, leggings, boots, and sometimes another sweater on top of that. Because it was warm. And despite the fact that I wore it at least once a week, every week, I got compliments. People make no sense. Anyway, SLIPS! Get thee to the hosiery aisle!