Category Archives: Money

My Two Cents: Home Decorating On A Budget

home decorating photo

As we flip through glossy decorating magazines and click away at online shopping sites, we begin to cry. Why are these apartments so beautiful, and why aren’t ours just as perfect? Well, dry your tears, channel your inner interior designer, and listen up. Your wallet might be empty, but that doesn’t mean your living room has to be. You can decorate cheaply without it looking cheap! Find 10 creative ideas for inexpensive home decorating, after the jump. Keep reading »

Money 101: 10 Financial Etiquette Questions Answered!

Around the same time I started raking in the big bucks (courtesy of the Tooth Fairy), my father started enforcing the rule that the topic of money was off-limits in polite conversation. There was no, “Hey, how much was your incisor worth?” in my house. And the one time I asked my dad the amount of the bill at a restaurant, he handed it to me since he assumed I was offering to pay. I never asked again. Keep reading »

I’m Shopping For A Car — Help!

Recently, I’ve been in the market for a car, and shopping for one has ranked right up there with the time I had a root canal, my last pap smear, and that night I spent projectile vomiting. Because I’m doing it alone, other than with the help of a car-savvy guy who lives in another state, I get to experience firsthand how truly lame it is to be a woman looking for a car by herself.

Dear Car Salesmen: Why do you insist upon treating women like idiots? Keep reading »

Dear Wendy: “I’m Afraid To Date Because I’m $190,000 In Debt”

I’m a 31-year-old, single guy in Chicago. I’m at a point in my life where I’d like to find a great woman and think about settling down and perhaps start a family in the not too distant future. Unfortunately, I have a terrible secret that is making it difficult for me to get close to women: I have $190,000 in student loan debt (no, I am not a doctor). Aside from that scary number, I am financially responsible and have a promising career with a high income trajectory ahead of me. How I arrived at that $190,000 is moot, but what isn’t is the psychological handicap I’ve developed. I am ashamed and embarrassed to be burdened by such student debt, and I can’t help but feel most women would be scared off by it. As a result, I’ve basically stopped dating or even trying to meet that special someone. I can’t bear the prospect of getting close to someone only to scare her off because of my debt. I feel like a leper. But, am I over-reacting? If so, what advice would you give about broaching the topic with a potential girlfriend (timing, method, etc)? — Debt Leper

Keep reading »

Money 101: How To Negotiate Anything

One of my favorite coats is a gorgeous knee-length number that coordinates with almost anything. The best thing about this coat is that I paid the criminal price of $10 for it. I found it on a clearance rack. It was the only coat of its kind and happened to be in my size; our relationship was obviously meant to be. It lacked a price tag, however, and I was scared this meant it would be expensive. When I asked the cost, the manager pulled a jacket of lesser quality from the same rack and said she’d give me my coat for the same insanely low price. Delighted, I showed her where the coat was missing a button, thinking she would have a suggestion for replacing it. Instead she shrugged and offered to knock off an additional 10 percent. I couldn’t hand over my debit card fast enough, and when I got home? The missing button was tucked in the pocket.

As adorable as the coat is, the amazing bargain makes me love it more. While my steal was more the result of a tired manager than my intense negotiating skills, it definitely whet my appetite for wheeling a good deal. Knowing how to ask for one can be intimidating, though. Jim Camp, negotiation skills trainer and coach, and author of Start with No, offered this advice for the negotiating novice. Keep reading »

Cash & Coupling: How To Establish A Wedding Budget

If you have been engaged for more than five minutes, you’ve probably purchased every current bridal magazine and dog-eared the pages with ideas you swear someone thought up just for you. Before you look at pictures of another celebrity wedding and set your sights on a dress only Beyonce could afford, you need to have a serious talk with your fiancé. This, my friend, is the “How the hell are we going to pay for this?” talk. Maybe you’re assuming your parents are going to foot the entire bill. If they are, lucky you! But chances are, both sets of parents have some assumptions of their own, and you need to know who’s expecting to pay – or not pay – for what. For advice on how to determine this combined wedding budget, The Frisky talked to Aimee Manis, author of 52 Things Brides On A Budget Should Know. Keep reading »

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