Category Archives: Uncategorized

O Woe

I haven’t been  in a good blogging mood lately.  Things are changing, shifting, and like any good introverted Type-A, I feel the need to process things alone and quietly (fuss about, worry, make new plan, repeat) before I venture out into the outside world and make my declarations.

So.  We’ve got a bit of a mess on our hands lately in the USA.  And while my partner-in-crime C has moved on to her merry new job and such, I find myself in the process she just finished: looking for employment.  I am currently employed, of course, but due to circumstances that would immediately reveal where I work should I explain them, my job security is completely non-existant.  Less than a year from now, I will not have a job here.

Currently, I’m in the last stage of interviewing for a position that, to be honest, I’m very “meh” about.  There are several good points to the position . . . and several bad.  Biggest item in its favor?  It is a job that is not going away.  Sigh.  I hate interviewing, I hate the exhausting process of thinking and rethinking if I want a position, and I hate the nerves that go along with all of it because deep down I still, at 27 years old with two Master’s degrees, don’t really believe that I’m grown-up enough to have a real job yet.

It is times like these that make me wish we were back in the good old feudalist Medieval age.  Once established in a profession, it was yours for life.  Should you muck things up royally, you could move and start over (with no one being the wiser, sans Internet and other pesky devices), but for the most part, once you hung your shingle, you were good to go.**  Nowadays, one has to “climb the ladder” or deal with companies changing (and job titles changing), actually prove stated credentials, and network within an inch of one’s life.  It’s all very exhausting. 

Maybe things will collapse so much that we go back to feudalism.  I’d make a very good Lady of the Manor.  Should that not pan out, I’m good at several other things that would provide an excellent livelihood: I make a mean loaf of bread (people do need to eat), I cook very well, and I’m really good at cleaning.  I’m also good at fussing over people.  My proclivities for food and anxiety make me especially qualified to be a Jewish or Italian matriarch, despite not being technically Jewish, Italian, or a mother.  I think I could definitely give it the old college try.  Need someone to feed you and fuss over you?  Just let me know where to send my application.

**Of course I’m drastically over-simplifying a very long and complicated part of history, but just go with it.

Cost of Living

I’ve always prided myself on being one of those die-hard Michigan residents who says I’ll stick it out through tough times – thick and thin.  I don’t care if tons of home are in foreclosure!  I don’t care if I am living paycheck to paycheck!  It will get better!  I will stay when others go!

But I got a job offer in another state a couple weeks ago.  Now some of the main reasons I’m taking the job?  It’s near my boyfriend and it’s a unique job opportunity.  But the fact that I can rent a bigger place for $200 less a month, the price of gas is about 30 cents cheaper per gallon, and groceries are more affordable certainly doesn’t hurt.  I’ve calculated an annual savings of $3000-4000 a year just in savings from rent and life expenses alone.

I want to come back to my home state as soon as possible.  But wow…being able to start saving for retirement is such a nice thought.  I don’t think I can pass up long term financial stability just because of my sense of state pride.  It doesn’t make much sense (cents).

When to spend or save

I found this interesting article on MSN Money this morning…it talks about what purchases you should splurge on or not….

Fashionably Green

In my recent attempts to increase my savings, I’ve inadvertently become a part of the reduce, reuse, recycle campaign. Of course, I think it’s becoming fashionable to be “green”, but when you’re doing it out of a need and not just a trend, well, then it’s truly a lifestyle…one that you can’t help but stick with.

So I’ve been signing up for different listservs and groups and well, I have a problem – I’m not a hippie.

I know! I know! How awful of me. How incredibly insensitive – I’m labeling, demonstrating pre-conceived notions. Blah blah blah. But let me explain…

I recently signed up for a well known online listserv that focuses on anti-consumerism and the three Rs. Soon, my email box was awash with irrelevant conversation about smoking pot and why the 60s were the very best. It was too difficult to sift through the dozens of emails from people trying to out-hippie each other to get to the really good, helpful emails, so I stopped my membership.

Where’s the middle ground?

For instance, I like the general concept behind EcoStiletto and what used to be the GreenGirlGuide and stores like Gaiam – but I am not that trendy or that wealthy. (I find if I really like their ideas, I can find a lower cost, but very similar product). On the other hand, I still like to shave my legs and appreciate a nice Ann Taylor suit (purchased from Salvation Army). So I feel like I’m teetering on an odd edge in the world of green. I have a feeling that amongst all these trends, those of us of modest income who want to be eco / budget conscience will get a voice that represents us. In the meantime, I guess K and I will keep leaning on one another in a quest for being ‘fashionably green’ in a way that is realistic and sustainable.

-C

Carnival Monday

Good morning!  And what a morning it is.  Personally, I stayed up too late last night watching DVDs of Buffy the Vampire Slayer  and so my creative energies this morning are only up to sharing the fruits of others.  Hence, I guide you to these great carnivals, both of which were kind enough to include our small efforts in the blogosphere:

First, the Carnival of Debt Reduction which included my post on how I need to have more self-control. This carnival is hosted at Destroy Debt which, holy cow, I’ve never come across before but it looks like a great resource. I’m particularly excited by the articles in this week’s carnival, as there are a lot of really creative and helpful ideas out there.

Secondly, my article on how much I paid for a People Magazine subscription was included in the massive Carnival of Personal Finance hosted at Greener Pastures. In this carnival as well, there are some awesome ideas. I can’t just pick a few favorites.

I’m honored that we were included in both blogs, and I hope you enjoy all the posts!

Managing Finances when more than one person is involved.

My colleague currently lives alone. I envy her this freedom, of having her place stay clean and organized until she herself messes it up. I don’t remember what that is like.

I love my husband, but he is not organized, nor is he able (apparently) to remember a simple organizational scheme–even when he himself created said scheme. After three years of living with him, I have more or less accepted this. Finances, however, are one area in which it is essential to be organized. In our situation, we both work, so there are two incomes streaming into our hot little hands every two weeks. Every couple does things differently–you have to find a good balance–but we find it works best for us in that we have combined checking and savings accounts. All the money goes in there, and most of it quickly leaves again so that we are fed and have a roof over our heads. We do each get a small amount each week for our personal savings accounts–his goes to Best Buy on a regular basis and mine goes to overpriced clothing stores.

Because I am better at organizing and remembering things, I take care of all the bill paying and organization of the money each week. It all goes into MS Money, where I track our spending and make sure we’re not squandering everything on too many trips to the Mexican restaurant in town (read: I make sure that grandma pays every few weeks). We don’t have a written budget; I just keep a general idea of what we have going out and what we have coming in, and how much wiggle room there is between the two.

I make the day-to-day decisions on money, but I do keep Spouse updated as to what our balances are, what goals I have. We discuss our finances and make big decisions together, because I don’t think it’s right to have one person completely in charge and the other completely in the dark. That said, for the most part he stays out of it and I continue on in my merry little Type-A way.

It works out best for us that way. I don’t plan on working forever, but I will still continue to manage finances after my income goes away–unless he starts exhibiting drastically different behaviors. Just yesterday, for example, I caught him *just* in time as he went to combine the cheap olive oil with the super-expensive, gourmet imported “not for cooking” olive oil, so we would have fewer bottles lying around. He had forgotten our two previous conversations about the difference between the two.

I ask you, would you let him manage your money?

~K

Hello world!

We’re just two librarians, working our way to financial independence.

We may have chosen the wrong profession to that end.  But with a little work, anything is possible.