On The Billfold Book Club Discusses Helaine Olen's 'Pound Foolish'

@HelloTheFuture I blame the combination of reading the Billfold and a concurrent raise for the fact that savings suddenly started to work for me. Our household income is about the same because my dude quit his job right as I got that raise, but our habits are different and consistent cheerleading here (and having a concrete plan for how to deal with the raise to avoid lifestyle creep) really helps.

Posted on July 24, 2014 at 8:24 am 0

On Trust Fund Babies: They're Just Like Us?

@ThatJenn (My response comment sounds potentially kind of snippy when I read it back in my head and I assure you I don't mean it that way at all; just musing. Curse you, text, and your lack of human tone!)

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 2:29 pm 0

On Trust Fund Babies: They're Just Like Us?

@Ester Bloom It's more about a lot of little throwaway comments than about the usage in this particular post. I realized that I felt insanely uncomfortable saying the words "trust" to refer to the ~$25k sitting in an account in my name that my parents control in a way I didn't a year ago when commenting here, and that seemed... weird, that the word trust itself would have become so loaded vs. the actual money. I'm far from the only person who has five figures of inheritance who comments here, so that in itself wouldn't keep me from mentioning it; one of the things I love about this site is that there are people from many different economic situations speaking openly about money and there is extremely little weirdness or hostility expressed about it. Agreed that people will feel resentment about life being unfair and that being natural. That comes in many flavors. My money from family is luck; my money in my savings account from my job is also luck; they are inextricably related because of the privileges I had growing up due to my family being financially secure. I feel unlucky sometimes in other ways, and I don't begrudge anyone the feeling.

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 2:28 pm 0

On Concerning Eschewing Ivies and Raising Working-Class Heroes

@andnowlights I made a related comment on Ester's post from yesterday just now. I'm totally all for examining privilege and criticizing problematic behaviors/attitudes/self-perpetuation among the privileged, but it's sort of an unfortunate choice of shorthand, especially when used too often.

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 1:58 pm 0

On Trust Fund Babies: They're Just Like Us?

P.S. Most especially - I'm not interested in derailing the 100% valid points about problematic behavior made in this and today's article that reference trust fund kids. There's a reason I waited until today and posted this on the older article. Those attitudes and behaviors are toxic and sad and that's a valid point in itself. Just making a comment on the use of that particular shorthand; it doesn't necessarily mean what it's being used to mean in these two cases.

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 1:52 pm 0

On Trust Fund Babies: They're Just Like Us?

Man, lotsa blanket negativity towards trust funds yesterday and today. I know it's being used as a shorthand for "independently wealthy" and a certain collection of behaviors/attitudes towards money, but it's kinda odd given that it's really just a legal term for a way of handling and storing money, not really all that different from, say, a college-savings plan (you likely have some real economic privilege if you have one; the bigger it is, the more privileged you almost certainly are economically - and maybe some extra privilege for the trust because it costs more to set up, too). There are absolutely non-millionaires who make good use of trusts in their estate planning, whose lifestyles and economic means aren't any different from your typical middle- or upper-middle-class suburbanites, which I would guess describes the families of a whole lot of people who visit this site, even if we mostly don't have that much money ourselves. Privilege? Absolutely. Insane privilege of the 1% that makes the kind of behavior being described inevitable? Not necessarily. Yeah, yeah, #NotAllTrustFundKids, I know; despite my best attempts I am sure I am butchering this comment somehow. But this is just a weird tone for the Billfold that has been creeping in, and it makes me feel far less comfortable writing honestly about money here as an occasional contributor and frequent commenter, which seems kind of counter to the spirit of the site.

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 1:49 pm 1

On Only Suckers Don't Buy Generic

I have a bizarre allergy to a common additive in medications (titanium dioxide, yay), so I'm often stuck with either the brand-name or ONE specific generic. Name-brand Allegra D is the only full-strength (as in, not a children's liquid formula) regular allergy medicine I can take that I've found; and for acute allergies I can either take the name-brand dye-free Benadryl gel capsules at $10 for just a few gel capsules or the Great Value (Walmart) knock-off tablets at $4 for 100 tablets. It's so weird and hit-or-miss, and when they switch manufacturers or discover that TiO2 has become a cheaper filler for them now, it's an adventure trying to find something new I can maybe take. tl;dr I spend a lot of time thinking about brands vs generics and am disappointed I don't always get to make the choice based on rational economic reasons

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 1:53 pm 0

On Only Suckers Don't Buy Generic

@eeyore Publix has great ketchup AND great graham crackers (and great generic nearly-everything, honestly), but is regionally limited. Can't speak for their tampons, if they have them. It seems to me that instead of just having a generic store brand for everything, they only do store brands of things if they know they can do them well, like their Oreo knockoffs that are WAY better than the "real" thing. If they can't do it well, they don't bother. I grew up with a grocery store that had terrible generics (Giant, at least in the 80s/90s) and so didn't bother to try anything store-brand other than medications until just a few years ago. I'm a total convert now to the Publix way, though. Oh and I'm addicted to Great Value's Crystal Lite knockoff drink mix, but don't tell anyone.

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 1:48 pm 0

On On the Purchase of New Pillows

@Stina Success story: I bought those zip-up moisture barriers for my pillows the last time I got new pillows, and they (a) don't get discolored, (b) are easy to wash and (c) seem to have made a difference in our allergies. I love science & technology!

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 1:11 pm 0

On On the Purchase of New Pillows

@Stina My mattress was fabulous for 7.5 years, started to sag a tiny bit a couple months ago, and suddenly has deep indentations where we sleep since last month. It's definitely time and my back has been actively reminding me since I noticed (probably just me noticing it more, but the timing is quite inconvenient as I don't think we'll have a chance to shop for a few weeks. Oh, well - it'll just make it feel all the better when it's time).

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 12:11 pm 0