Bah Humbug: A Little Scrooge in Me

December is a lot of things for a lot of people. For me? Well, it’s mostly a race to finish A Christmas Carol before winter break begins. The Dickens classic is part of the curriculum so I’m up to my eyeballs in ghosts, chains, and mince pies.

While the iconic antihero Ebenezer Scrooge is typically held up as the opposite of kindness and consideration, I’m finding I can’t totally write him off this year. No, it’s not that I’m turning into a sourpuss myself. It’s simply that there are a few lines that pre-reformation Scrooge spouts off that really resonated with me this Christmas season. Continue reading “Bah Humbug: A Little Scrooge in Me”

Bah Humbug: A Little Scrooge in Me

What Black Friday Critics Miss

missOne Facebook friend shopped for eight hours on Black Friday. Another took three friends and filled one shopping cart a piece. I looked at photo after photo as they flooded social media. There were a lot–and I mean A LOT–of shopping hashtags and not a single #OptOutside. The Black Friday critics on Twitter weren’t shy to call this out. And now I’d like to do the same. Continue reading “What Black Friday Critics Miss”

What Black Friday Critics Miss

In Defense of Kylie Jenner

JennerThere. I said it. Now before you think that I’m trying to usher in the apocalypse, hear me out. I’m not about to argue that the world needs another Kardashian. To be honest, I’m not even totally sure that she really is one. Instead, I’d like to defend the interview Ms. Jenner did for Wealthsimple last week, not her as a celebrity or as a person. Because 1.) much to my students’ perennial dismay, I don’t keep up with the Kardashians, and 2.) I don’t actually know her.

Last week, Wealthsimple did a profile on her as a part of their “Money Diaries” series, where they do a Q & A write-up with famous (they say “interesting”) people about how money intersects with their daily lives. And they picked the world’s most famous 19-year-old*. In it, she talks about inexpensive makeup, expensive cars, and possibly living outside of the limelight one day. After the post went live, there was some virtual eye rolling, and one Tweeter even questioned his enrollment in Wealthsimple. To both, I say absurd.

*Actually, I’m making this up. There are probably more famous 19-year-olds. Is Bieber still 19? What about Taylor Swift? Am I 97 yet? Continue reading “In Defense of Kylie Jenner”

In Defense of Kylie Jenner

The Latte Factor Lived in My Closet

LatteHere’s the thing: I don’t drink coffee. I can count on one hand the number of sips I’ve tried. It’s so repulsive to me, I cannot swig it down in a Frappuccino that is 87% sugar, 11% heavy whipping cream, and 2% coffee. I won’t even eat tiramisu, failure of an Italian American that I am. But the latte factor is real. In fact, it’s my biggest money mistake. Continue reading “The Latte Factor Lived in My Closet”

The Latte Factor Lived in My Closet

Every Cent Counts

Every Cent CountsPennies matter more than you know. In the world of personal finance, we often focus on ourselves — our saving, our spending, our investing. It makes perfect sense. It’s what puts the personal in personal finance. Still, how we spend our money has far-reaching consequences that are easy to overlook during a time of year where limited time deals and flash sales fan the flames of consumerism. Continue reading “Every Cent Counts”

Every Cent Counts

How I Fell into Six Figures of Debt Without Noticing

How I Fell into Six Figures of Debt (1)This blog post is dedicated to that four-letter word that will make any finance blogger blush, twitch, foam at the mouth even: Debt. We have it. We have lots of it. To be precise, Mr. P and I have six figures worth of debt, and the first digit wasn’t even a 1 until this past month. The scariest part of all of this debt is that I didn’t even realize it was debt until about a month ago.

For the past three years, we have been homeowners, and it took me over two years to realize that my mortgage was, in fact, debt. On a subconscious level, I knew it was debt in the sense that I knew I was obligated to fork over a monthly payment. I also knew it was a significant amount of debt when I joked at the closing that we were now the proud owner of a window and a doorknob since we had (only) purchased 20% of a home. But it was not until a month ago that I actually uttered the phrase, “We are buried in six-figures worth of debt.” Prior to that, I had always just called it a mortgage. Continue reading “How I Fell into Six Figures of Debt Without Noticing”

How I Fell into Six Figures of Debt Without Noticing

Don’t Be Clueless about Clutter: 20 Signs You Have Too Much Stuff

20 Signs You Have Too Much Stuff (1)I’m a big fan of giving credit where credit is due: Cher Horowitz, this is on you. Growing up, my mission in life was to score a computer–complete with dial-up, of course–that would scan my closet and sound an alarm should I mis-match any of my plaid pieces from Contempo Casual. And while I never scored that computer, I’d like to think my closet did hers proud.

The only problem? I’m no longer proud of this closet any of my closets. In fact, my linen closet just about broke me. I am no longer comfortable operating under the hedonistic haze that is consumer culture. Instead, I’d like to be more purposeful with my spending. And I’d also like to have a place to put my sheets.

The sad thing is, I wasn’t alone in my clueless quest for stuff. Consumerism is so deeply entrenched in our culture that we don’t even recognize it anymore. Don’t believe me? See if you recognize anyone you know in the list below.  Continue reading “Don’t Be Clueless about Clutter: 20 Signs You Have Too Much Stuff”

Don’t Be Clueless about Clutter: 20 Signs You Have Too Much Stuff