Tag Archives: my two cents

My Two Cents: I Resolve To Stop Renting!

Before the horns blew and the ball dropped, my friends went around the table sharing their resolutions for the New Year. More sex. Lose weight. Save money. Be a better person. Stop dating deadbeats.

One of those was mine. The other I shared with my boyfriend the next morning. “2011 is going to be a good year for us,” he kept repeating in that positive tone people mysteriously possess on January 1 of every year. “What do you want to accomplish?”

“I want to own something,” I told him. That simple. No word sounds sexier to me than equity. Keep reading »

My Two Cents: “Eat Pray Love” On A Budget

Not everyone is as lucky as Elizabeth Gilbert, of Eat Pray Love fame, to spend a year in exotic locales to recover from a bad breakup. As a 30-year-old New Yorker returning to singledom after a string of long-term relationships, I can only dream of consulting a Bali guru to show me the right path. With graduate school loans, rising rent, car payments and the need to hold on to my job in this shaky economy, the thought of getting away to reflect and restore seems out of reach and, in Gilbert’s case, very expensive. But it doesn’t have to be. Here, I put together nine affordable things a newly single gal could do to feel better and possibly find love again. Keep reading »

My Two Cents: I Used A Credit Consolidation Agency To Crush My Debt

When I was 27, I finally took my head out of the sand and did what I had been dreading for months. I added up the balances of my credit cards and discovered that they had skyrocketed to over $15,000! By looking at the statements separately, I had tricked myself into believing my debt was much less. I was blindly writing checks each month, just enough to pay the minimum required. Every time I opened the mailbox, I felt a little queasy. Keep reading »

My Two Cents: 5 Ways To Stay Fabulous On A Budget

I admit I’m pretty much a walking gender stereotype — I like shopping, getting pedicures, grabbing drinks with the girls after work, obsessing about my hair, and lusting over other women’s awesome boots. I also hate when models brag about how they can eat anything without gaining an ounce, and I have an unhealthy addiction to gossip sites, but that may be taking it a bit too far. The point is, I embrace my girlishness and I’m not about to give up any of the fun parts of being a chick just because the economy isn’t doing so well. So I’ve decided to embrace my inner recessionista, who, frankly, wasn’t all that hard to find (she also goes by the name “cheap”). Before thriftiness was a necessity, I picked up a few tips about living fabulously without spending a bundle. Keep reading »

My Two Cents: Don’t Squander Large Sums Of Money

I can’t say I’m the best at managing my finances. I’m a self-proclaimed shopping addict and I’m too lazy to negotiate a better interest rate on my student loans. But one piece of financial advice I’ve always heeded was to never squander a large sum of money. Even when I was a child I preferred to spend a chunk of change on something specific and big, instead of in pieces. So if my grandma gave me $5, I would buy a Barbie outfit, instead of a week’s worth of candy. I wanted to be able to point to something tangible or recall a memory and say: “That’s where my money went.” I’m proud to say that I still do this. Keep reading »

My Two Cents: 8 Tips That’ll Save Any Shopaholic

I, Simcha Whitehill, am a recovering shopaholic. It all started back in the day, when I was a suburban mall rat. My BFF in middle school lived a block from the indoor bonanza. (Coincidence? I think not!) By high school, I had to get an after-school job at a real estate office just to support my Contempo Casuals habit. And although I no longer crave pleated minis, knee socks, and Mary Janes, my taste for choice fashion has just grown up with me. However, despite what I thought back when I was a kid, I didn’t turn out to be a millionaire. But that doesn’t mean I don’t always try to look like a million bucks. I’ve just developed tactics to trick my inner shopaholic from charging me into Chapter 11. Here’s how I’ve managed to stay outta debt, but still kept my belly and my closet full. Keep reading »

My Two Cents: 7 Ways To Make Extra Money In Your Free Time

No matter how frugally you learn to live, there are still going to be some things you’ll want to splurge on, and that’s OK. I mean, this is a recession, after all, not a potato famine. You don’t have to give up all your luxuries or switch to low-cost everything; you just have to get savvier about making extra money for those treats you enjoy. But I’m not talking about getting a second job or really working that much harder; a true recessionista knows how to make extra cash for little luxuries while leaving plenty of free time to enjoy them, too. After the jump, seven ways to make more money without taking a second job … Keep reading »

My Two Cents: Weaning Myself Off ATMs

Do you ever feel like you spend an inordinate amount of time standing in front of an ATM? I used to feel the exact same way. I’d take out cash in small increments, spend it on Lord knows what, run out, and then go back for more without thinking. I won’t lie—there were nights, especially when alcohol was involved, where I’d sometimes go for cash twice. Then I’d look at my statement online, and notice that $40 plus $40 plus $80 plus $40 kind of adds up to a lot. Very quickly, my paycheck began dwindling much faster than it should have been. Then I had a random conversation with my parents where they were telling me about The Good Old Days, when once the bank closed, if you didn’t have money—too bad, you just had to figure it out. You didn’t have constant access to your money. And what I think is a brilliant idea was born. What if I went to the ATM once—only once—a week and pretended at all other times that cash was not a four-digit pin code away. Keep reading »

My Two Cents: I Used To Be A Financial Idiot

As soon as I was pushed out of the college womb into the harsh light of day, I discovered I had a really big problem: I was a complete financial idiot. How did I miss the memo on how to support myself as an adult? I was raised in a middle-class family where both of my parents worked. I never was denied anything I needed, yet I wasn’t spoiled. I worked as a teenager, but mostly used my money to buy clothes and CDs. I attended a prestigious private university in New York City on a partial scholarship, and worked during college to make up for the difference. I was always a good student who got good grades. My point: I assumed that I knew what I needed to know to be a reasonably financially successful adult. Keep reading »

My Two Cents: How I Saved Enough Money To Move Abroad

I am essentially living my dream—seven months ago, I packed up my life in New York and decided to move to Paris for a year. I get a lot of “How did you do it?” questions from people with similar aspirations, all of whom seem to think that moving abroad was a whimsical decision I made in a week. Not the case—planning such an endeavor took months, not just to sort out logistics, but also to save money. Lots of it.

Thinking about ex-pat life? Here are some tips to save and manage your money to make it possible, plus things to consider once you make the jump. Keep reading »

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