@jfruh As a former nanny, yes! There IS a big difference. There's also a strong preference from parents to err on the side of "babysitter" for the sake of appearances with the other parents. I worked as a full-time nanny in the Bay Area, but my employer referred to me as "the babysitter," and was so concerned about the terminology that she made discussing it a central part of my interview. I think she didn't want the other moms at school to know she had full-time childcare, since she was a stay-at-home mom. It was a weird, weird job. I can, however, confirm that these rates are very, very standard here.
@polka dots vs stripes Useful information, thank you! I just ate two squares of the super-dark chocolate my coworkers don't like and now my notes have chocolate smears all over them, so I'm definitely blaming it on the season. Yum.
@polka dots vs stripes @Lauren How was the insertion, if that's not too personal? I have thought about going IUD (I can't use birth control with estrogen in it), but my sister got one and said the insertion was pretty excruciating and now I'm chicken.
For splitting joint expenses (everything from dinners out that are not official "dates," to groceries, to rent and household expenses) my boyfriend and I use Splitwise and just even it out at the end of the month. It's designed for roommates and I'm sure is great in that situation too, but we use it all the time and it's awesome. It tracks everything and then we have a set "settling up" day at the end of the month after rent gets paid. For us, it was better than a joint account at this point, since we live together but aren't quite ready to merge finances that fully. We never have to worry that someone's not getting a fair deal, and also never worry about whose turn it is to pay for something. Whoever comes out having paid more at the end of the month will get paid back.
I know a young woman in exactly this situation: she has a painful, chronic, genetic disease (for which she requires regular treatment she can't afford on her own) that makes it very difficult for her to get health insurance. Right now, she qualifies for Medicare, but she really doesn't make enough money to live on. If she gets another job and makes more money (and can therefore pay her rent comfortably and relax a little), she will no longer qualify for Medicare. Short of her landing a job with really great health benefits (which is hard because she misses work regularly to deal with her health situation), she's kind of screwed. The system is broken in such a way that she doesn't have a viable option to get out of poverty, no matter how hard she's willing to work.
My personal favorite way to get bumped up to the customer service intensive care department is to calmly, reasonably inform the representative that I have on the line that I understand my problem isn't their personal fault, but I am very frustrated and annoyed, and could they please transfer me to someone it's more reasonable for me to yell at. Once I did this about a million times in one week (similar router problems), and finally cried hysterical tears at the upper-level dude and ended up with high speed internet for less than $10/month for two whole years. It was awesome.
Padmapper! Way easier to navigate than Craigslist, and it has all their listings as well as listings from other sites shown on a map, plus super-useful filtering/search tools. At least in San Francisco, it is by far the best way to find an apartment.
I went to the local "fun" public summer school program, which was at the high school (exciting!) and included classes in things like cooking and improv comedy and what I can only guess was home-movie-making? It was awesome.
This is not related to savings, but I feel compelled to pass along this advice. When your brakes die and you're on the freeway? That is what your emergency (or parking brake) is for! It will not be pretty, but if you must stop and your regular brakes are dead, applying the parking or e-brake slowly will stop or at least significantly slow the car. This lesson brought to you by the time my grandmother let me borrow her car and her brakes did not come along for the ride.
@Babs Bunny This happened to me at a Large Tech Company where I was interviewing to be, essentially, customer service. THE CUSTOMERS DO NOT CARE IF I CAN FIGURE OUT HOW MANY DIMPLES A GOLF BALL HAS WITHOUT USING PAPER OR A PEN. Aaaaand apparently I'm still mad about that.