Friday, November 11, 2011

Link Festival

First, I know I'm American, and this is from Blackadder, a British comedy, but I think it's appropo for today. (And yes, House fans, that's Hugh Laurie, and yes, that's why I always picture Dr. House as suddenly doing a monologue on how he's a bit of a thickie.)

 I'm going to be in my friend's wedding today--so it's long gown and sparkly cruel shoes for me tonight.  I'm very, very happy for my friend, who's a riot to hang out with.  I took my last vactation trip with her (in 2006)--we went to Mexico.  She's a dance instructor and has won numerous awards for ballroom and Latin dancing so of course we had to go to a salsa club in Playa del Carmen.  She impressed everyone there.  She had just started to really get to know the man who would later become her boyfriend, then her fiancee, and soon her husband. 

So, since I won't be around today, I'm linking to people whose past posts you may have missed.

Last month, Donna Freedman blogged about the Web Economy [BS] Generator.  Although I am a shameless policy dork, I am kind of in love with that site.  Thank you, Donna!

Over at MSN Money, Andrea wonders if she could survive on minimum wage and realizes that she probably couldn't (if she had to pay rent or a mortgage).  She doesn't have cable or a lot of luxuries.  She thinks she'd have to give up her car insurance if she was in that situation--but in my state, if you own a car, car insurance is mandatory, so you could increase the deductible and/or drop collision and comprehensive insurance.  I know I couldn't make it--and I bought my place back in 1999, when housing prices were much lower than they are even today (though that may not be the case soon, sigh).  Frankly, I remember struggling when I made $19,000 a year after graduating from college--most of my take home pay went towards my share of the rent ($400 for me), my car (either constant repairs for the rust bucket I owned, or the payment for the newer car I later purchased), food, utilities, and gas.  (I didn't have cable either.)  At even today's minimum wage, I would have had to move back in with my parents, and that would not have turned out well (rents in this area have gone up significantly since then).  I can't get judgy towards people who aren't making that much and who are struggling with debt. 

Twenty-minute duck? Laurie, I am so coming to your house for dinner.

Judy has her plans all set for Black Friday.  (Good lord, woman, you are organized!) Me, I either hang out in my jammy pants or I work.  I'm working this year.  Very few people will be in the office so I'll be (hopefully) able to get some stuff done. 

This is a really pricey impulse purchase.  While I can be quite the impulse buyer myself, I don't think I could get into that much debt on impulse.  I'd have the longest-running anxiety attack in history if I did that--it would last the length of the car loan.  More along that theme, Wise Bread points out that a new car can even eat into your retirement savings, so leave the impulse purchases to the odd pack of gum or Pez. (Come on.  Pez is awesome.)

Len Penzo pointed out that whirlpool tubs are for suckers.  The closest I can get to having a whirlpool tub is blowing bubbles in my bath through a straw.  And even if I had the money--or the space (small bathroom, and a small condo make this an unlikely purchase for me), I wouldn't get one for the reasons he outlines.  Though I am a fan of leisurely baths.  When I lived in Japan, I loved the bathtubs there.  The one in my home was heated (you wash before bathing, and you cover the tub after using it so other family members can bathe).  I was also a regular at the public bath house and went to hot springs when I travelled around Japan on vacation.  (If I was a multi-billionaire, I'd buy a place in Arima, which has lovely hot springs, and I would host my friends in Japan and overseas to come and hang out for mega spa days.  This is highly unlikely to happen, however.)

World of Okonomy made a salad from heaven.  Salads can be decadent--I have learned to love them.  One thing I love about Steve's blog is that he doesn't just talk about food, he talks about his whole day up to the time he makes the meal he features. 

Miss Piggy Bank has posted several interesting things since this one, but go give her three cheers for paying off her credit card.  I know there are advantages to using those things if you are financially responsible and have very good impulse control, but let's face it, most of us humans lack those things!

While you're at it, give I Am The Working Poor some atta-girls for reaching debt-free status, and some encouragement in the face of the troubling news about her workplace

The Frugal Graduate made some gorgeous wrapping paper--makes me want to forgo the stuff in the stores and try this.  (She's posted lots since then, but you really want to check this out.)

Boston Gal posted about a financial planner who fell on hard times.  I have thoughts, many of them, but I'll save them for a separate post.

Have a great weekend, everybody!


  1. I'm working about 50-60 hours a week on minimum wage here in the UK. I just graduated uni and moved back in with my parents to repay some student debts and hopefully build some savings for my PhD. Even with the long hours I get it's still a terrible wage!

  2. Bryallen, I really admire your drive and creativity--you do have some wonderful and creative ways to save money and still give and have fun. WRT living with your parents--that's a growing club, these days. Honestly, had I not worked overseas in the nineties, I would not have been able to save enough to afford to buy a place unless I moved in with my folks--and prices have gone up since then.

    What would you like to do your Ph.D. work?