Today, New York University costs around $43,000 annually for tuition alone. When I attended over 10 years ago, it was closer to $30,000 annually. If either of those two numbers make you feel short of breath, join me on the floor.
I was able to attend such an expensive school through a couple of scholarships, my parents’ generosity, and student loans. Hella student loans. These days, student loans dominate my entire life. I wish I were joking about that. While I sometimes feel regretful about making such big financial choices when I was young, dumb and 17, I try to remind myself of all the opportunities that I’ve had in life because of those choices. Maybe if I had gone to UCONN, the state school in my home state, I would have gotten a full ride or paid off any loans by now — but I also can’t say how my career would have gone.
But I certainly do wish I had gone through college behaving differently towards money. Here’s a couple of things I wish I’d known so I didn’t have to learn myself the hard way:
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Okay we get it! Taylor Swift is like, the nicest person ever. After enjoying an $800 meal with her tour crew (which she obviously paid for) in Philly, the pop songstress left a hefty $500 tip. Taylor, don’t you know that’s like, 60 percent? But I guess if you have boatloads of money it doesn’t really matter. The restaurant manager, Ron Trombino, sounded a little nervy when talking about the whole thing‚ like Swifty’s PR team would take out a hit on him if he didn’t fill the “nice” adjective quota when describing the experience:
“Taylor was very, very nice.”
“It was a very nice experience, very easy.”
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I’m not really interested in the aspect of blogging where you go around writing snotty comments about your competitors. We’re all in this together and FEMINISM RAH RAH. But last night I read an unnecessarily nasty post on Jezebel tearing “Modern Family” actress Sofia Vergara a new one for the eighth deadliest sin, being a rich person who likes to buy expensive crap. The post is titled, “Is Sofia Vergara The Worst Human Being Alive?” and goes downhill from there. Keep reading »
Let’s talk about tipping. I am a terrible tipper. It’s not that I don’t tip — I so tip, and a lot. I probably actually tip way too much, because paying people for performing services for me makes me deeply uncomfortable. This is probably because I’m not really an adult or something, but I just feel so guilty that the shampoo girl is doing something for me that I do in the shower every day (okay, every other day) myself. Same goes for maid service at a hotel; I can make my own damn bed, so it seems incredibly ridiculous for somebody else to have to do it for me.
And then there’s beauty services. Some stuff — like, say, manicures and pedicures — don’t typically cost that much, so tipping a percentage doesn’t really seem right after somebody’s spent an intimate hour scraping the calluses off your feet. I will even tip at least 20 percent on so-so restaurant service, because I reason that sometimes people are just having a bad day. But again, I’m a neurotic person who basically feels guilty about everything. (By the way, I’m so sorry you have to read this.)
Which is why I felt like it was high time to figure out what the industry standards for these things are anyway. So, after the jump, what “experts” say you should tip, along with my (admittedly crazy) tipping recommendations. And don’t forget to share your tipping rules and regulations in the comments!
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Had Patrick and I enjoyed the luxury of a gigantor wedding budget, there are some things that we did not get to have at our wedding but which we would have liked to have had. For me: a photo booth, more chairs, a custom dress. For Patrick: a second photographer, a videographer, a soft serve ice cream machine, a llama.
Yes, like a real, live, breathing and huffing llama. But only at the reception — obviously it’d be a distraction to bring in a domesticated South American camelid for the ceremony.
“It speaks to things for people to do, many more things to make it fun for people,” Patrick explained, intent on convincing Hitched readers that he’s not secretly a third-grader. “Like a photo booth.”
But a llama rental probably would have doubled our $5,000 budget. So no llamas for us. And as it turns out, we managed to power through it and get married without one. Keep reading »
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…