Oh, tax season. Doing my taxes stresses me the hell out: I do so much freelance writing that I have one million forms. And trust me, if you screw up your taxes — even unintentionally — the IRS will hunt you down like a dog. I always say this year will be different, this year I’ll do it all by myself on TurboTax. Instead, I just hyperventilate for weeks.
Anyone else with me on this?
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This piece was republished with permission from Role/Reboot.
This week I read a wonderful article about our generation’s search for meaning by fellow Role/Reboot contributor Kerry Cohen. It spoke to me so deeply that I went out of my way to read the article that had inspired Cohen: Elizabeth Wurtzel’s recent meandering confessional. It made me so angry my hair nearly caught fire.
I had been primed by Cohen to be compassionate and thoughtful about what Wurtzel was saying. So I took off my judgmental hat as I read about her life. I tried to see the world through the eyes of someone who has lived a life so foreign from my own I could barely wrap my brain around it. When she wrote that she was proud to have never kissed anyone for any reason other than desire or written anything that she did not feel like writing, I questioned my own ideas about kissing and writing rather than immediately assuming hers were perhaps a bit shallow. I decided that she could have done far worse things with her life, like becoming a parent who is a narcissistic dilettante. Keep reading »
“You know, equality is a myth, and for some reason, everyone accepts the fact that women don’t make as much money as men do. I don’t understand that. Why do we have to take a backseat? I truly believe that women should be financially independent from their men. And let’s face it, money gives men the power to run the show. It gives men the power to define value. They define what’s sexy. And men define what’s feminine. It’s ridiculous.”
– Beyonce has some pretty feminist-minded things to say in her upcoming HBO documentary, which GQ got a sneak preview of while reporting on the singer for their “Hottest Woman of the Century” cover story. Interesting that the men’s magazine chose to use this quote giving the accolade they were bestowing upon her, but I digress. My favorite quote from the actual GQ interview has Beyonce articulates her self-confidence thusly: ”I now know that, yes, I am powerful. I’m more powerful than my mind can even digest and understand.” I am putting that on a Post-It and sticking it to my bathroom mirror immediately. [GQ]
Frisky readers, I need your help putting my mom’s fears to rest. Today, she sent me a link to an article on AlterNet about a recent New York Times trend story that claims single folks are now asking the people they date for their credit scores on first dates. “I find this very disturbing,” my mom wrote. She wasn’t specific about what she found so disturbing, but knowing my mom the way I do, I suspect that while she’s bothered by the utter invasive shallowness of such a question, especially at such an early point in the “relationship,” she’s also grossed out by the way the credit industry is attempting to infiltrate every possible crevice of our lives.
My first instinct was to call bullshit on this trend, simply because I know how trend stories are made in the New York Times lab. Writer’s friend’s sister hears random weird story over brunch in Brooklyn + press release for new-ish website/book/study related to the topic landing in writer’s inbox in same two week period = IT’S A TREND! See previous NY Times’ trend stories on dresses, man buns, Big Buck Hunter and bangs for proof that NY Times trend stories are either about things that are not trends at all or were trends, like, a year and a half ago. Keep reading »
As a man, when I think about marriage I ask myself: When can I afford it? I understand that the formula for eligible bachelors weighs income and wealth very heavily. Recently, an article on The Atlantic entitled “All the Single Ladies” reinforced this notion, with its many implications that men who are not doing well financially are unworthy of marriage.
“All the Single Ladies” makes clear the idea that because women can now earn as much as men, the relative financial impact of a man’s income in a marriage is much smaller than it was 20 or more years ago. In addition, we all face the reality that many of us who have high earnings (men and women) have a lot of debt with it, and therefore much less cash for weddings, honeymoons, engagement rings, and even residential homes.
So when can a man afford marriage? I have come up with two scenarios that can help answer this question. In my view, there are two financial strategies for marriage, and both of them can work for just about anyone. Read more…
The Beatles had it right when they crooned “Money can’t buy me love.” For sure. It’s impossible to put a price tag on the important things in relationships. BUT … if opening his wallet to buy you a drink throws your date into an existential crisis, there’s a problem.
Now that I’m and “adult” and living on my own, I’m forced to come to grips with what it takes to be financially responsible for myself. Meaning, I prioritize my car payment and rent over the many cute new outfits that I would like to buy. And to be honest, I’m finding that it isn’t such a difficult concept to grasp. So what is it, then, with the guys I end up dating? Every man I’ve been out with lately has a dysfunctional relationship with his wallet: cheapskates, millionaires, and the down-and-out and broke. It’s getting to be annoying. Keep reading »
Australian mining tycoon Gina Rinehart is really concerned about your welfare. That’s why Rinehart — who is considered the richest woman in the world, with an inherited fortune of $30.1 billion — helpfully offered her unsolicited advice on how to be stupid-rich, just like her. She says that the poors are just having too much fun and they need to buckle down and get serious if they want to stop being so disgustingly not rich.
“If you’re jealous of those with more money, don’t just sit there and complain,” she tsk-tsked. “Do something to make more money yourself — spend less time drinking or smoking and socializing, and more time working.” Ah! So that’s what I’ve been doing wrong — it’s my smoking and drinking problem that’s getting in the way of s-u-c-c-e-s-s. Keep reading »
One of the things I’ve learned, over my many years of roadtripping in and across Texas, is that hell is being stuck going 50 miles per hour behind a recreational vehicle. But recently, I’ve come to wonder if heaven might be being behind the wheel of one.
I don’t generally dream about buying big-ticket things like cars and houses. I’m a freelance writer, after all. At this point, saving even a few hundred dollars a year is a struggle — though that got significantly less stressful once I moved in with, and later married, my husband. Splitting rent and groceries and bills has taken significant pressure off my wheezing bank account — even more so than living with roommates.
So maybe that’s why I started letting myself fantasize about taking long trips to Marfa in a giant vehicle with a wildcat or a wolf emblazoned on the back. When I proposed this to Patrick, he was, as we say here in Texas, “raring to go.” Some couples dream of outfitting a nursery. Patrick and I dream of converting an engine to biodiesel and training the cats to ride shotgun. Keep reading »
Yesterday, I finally did something that I had been meaning to do for awhile: I walked into a Crunch Gym and canceled my membership. Which I had been paying for, for a year. And have never used once. Like, hadn’t even picked up my membership card. Pathetic.
When I think about how much money I completely wasted, I want to punch myself. Alas, it’s not the first time I’ve practically flushed my hard-earned cash down the toilet. I have made some truly stupid spending decisions over the years, and in an effort to never be so frivolously lazy again, I am going to share them with you. Feel free to make me feel better by the ways in which you have completely wasted money in the comments! Keep reading »