@ThatJenn My dude has also discussed getting a part-time job in the spring and summer, which would ease things a bit, for sure (for instance, he might be able to contribute towards utilities or his phone bill or something temporarily, until he transfers to the university in the fall). I mean, he does technically have enough savings that he could give me money now, but we've talked about it and agreed it makes more sense for him to hang on to his savings so he won't have to take out student loans at all. It will mean breathing more easily after he's done with school (probably December 2015, maybe a little later) and has a job.
Yay, Logan! That's so awesome! I'm rejoining. I stopped for a while, I guess because my financial landscape suddenly changed. I honestly haven't been doing that great. Part is the change to supporting another person, part was that I paid for a wedding in September ("only" about $4-5k, but still a big expense in a one-income household), part is that we've been traveling a lot, and part is that I got Invisalign and paid that off over the last few months (about $2700 in all, mostly financed on a credit card). CareCredit for Invisalign, just for posterity: High balance in July, at 0% APR until Jan 2014: $2437 Current balance: $0! Just finished paying that off. Main card: 7/30 balance: $54 12/4 balance at 8.99% APR: $1137 (just bought plane tickets home... sigh) Joint card: Didn't exist in July yet 12/4 balance at 8.99% APR: $208 Citi card, which I totally left at the bar last night and need to go get later, ugh: 7/30 balance: $0 12/4 balance at 0% APR until Feb 2015: $2,500 Car loan: 7/30 balance: $17,150.50 12/4 balance: $15,483.66 (I’ve paid down $6,507.88 plus interest since June 2012, and am on track to pay it off October 2017, a little earlier than the December 2017 date originally planned.) Savings goal: 7/30 balance: $2,607.59 12/4 balance: $3,512.33 and adding $350/pay period. If I can keep from touching it until next September I still might hit my $10k in savings by age 30 goal, but I'm not especially optimistic given my credit card balances. This was easier when my husband was paying me rent and I deposited it into savings each month. :)
I did essentially this while "blogging" for a former employer and actually kind of liked it! I would do it again.
I totally have used 23andme. I understand the privacy concerns, but that ship has sailed for me already, and I've found the whole thing very interesting (probably because I didn't get any really bad news). I did learn that I supposedly have a 50% chance of age-related macular degeneration, which is not at all surprising to me given family history, and it's led me to strive for a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids since that might (might!) protect against AMD. So, for me the information was totally worth the worry cost, etc., but I definitely get why others might not be into it. I did get a note from the company recently about their dealings with the FDA that made it sound like they were in contact about a deal, so it seems kinda shady that supposedly they aren't? But again, they already have my data, so it's not like I can do much about that. (I could probably remove my consent in some way, but it's not that important to me.)
@Marissa Yup. My mom is really excited to start dogsitting and being a part-time real estate agent (she got licensed last year), having just gone down to 3/4 time at her job of 25ish years as a software engineer. I suspect she'll taper to 1/2 time at the regular job and then retire within the next 3 years. She's 53, and I know she is really excited about having the freedom to combine a part-time income stream with her pretty good retirement benefits. This is what I hope to do, too. Maybe not exactly, but I'd like to make it so that sometime in our 50s, my husband and I can both go down to working part time at something we enjoy. I think we could probably keep our income coming in for a longer time on a part-time basis and overall do better both health-wise and financially with that kind of plan. You know... if it's feasible, anyway. Dude's gotta get through school first, heh.
@honey cowl It wasn't pretty for me, either. I'm glad I don't work there anymore. They had a few extreme-but-good ideas, like the daily activity reports in which we accounted for our days in 5-15 minute increments and set goals for the next day (kinda overkill but actually a useful tool), but a few of their policies were just morale busters and cultivated an us-vs-them attitude where people fought to get away with whatever they could instead of really wanting to work.
@cmcm One of my jobs a few years ago was incredibly strict about this. If you wandered onto a non-work-related website you'd get an IM in seconds asking you to stay focused, and if you were caught looking at your phone, similar. Same with taking your phone with you on a bathroom break and taking a while, unless you were clocked out (which would also raise questions).
@lemur_niemer Our friends in Minneapolis mostly make it sounds like paradise, and we're totally planning a visit to see if we might want to live there. (But we probably won't. We live in Florida now and I don't miss snow even a little.)
@WhyHelloThere "Some days I don’t understand why all my New-York-based friends and family don’t up and move here, and some days I desperately want to live in a city with good Chinese food and public transit that runs on Sundays. It’s all about tradeoffs, I guess." You have accurately summed up how I feel about the southern college town where I live. I've been here seven years as of this week and I guess I'm staying?
@clo Yeah, the fact that the stipend amount usually has nothing at all to do with the cost of living in the surrounding area has always struck me as ridiculous. $17k is a decidedly tight but doable level where I live (you could keep your rent for a 1-bedroom apartment close to campus at or under a third of your income, which is a totally reasonable living situation for someone not trying to support a family), but ludicrously low many other places. And my first grad school even had a thing you had to sign saying you wouldn't work elsewhere if you were going to accept the stipend! True, their stipends were a little higher in a similarly-priced area to where I currently live, but not THAT much higher (my RA paid $22k there and $20k here).