One of the things I’ve employed for YEARS now is what I call “fashion math.” I use a simple equation to figure out if a purchase is “worth it” to me. (Pictured: COACH Saffiano Leather Phone Wallet, $98 at Nordstrom.) So let’s take this recent purchase — a cashmere sweater at Brooks Brothers marked down from $398 to $89 (pictured below). The circumstances: it’s hot outside, I am hugely pregnant, and if all goes as planned, I’ll be breastfeeding through the fall and winter. This sweater will probably only be worn a few times in the immediate future, so was it a good purchase?
We’ve talked about how to keep track of many accounts — but I don’t think we’ve ever talked about which money management method Corporette readers prefer, once married or partnered. There are a number of different methods that I’ve heard about through the years, and I’m curious to hear from you guys (particularly those of you who are the breadwinners): what is your family’s method for sharing money? (Pictured: Cole Haan Parker Exotic Tech Snap Wallet, on sale at 6pm for $59 (was $128).) There was a great series in Slate a few years ago (now available as a Kindle book) that defined these main types:
- Common Potters – people who combine all of their money
- Sometime Sharers – people who have both separate and joint accounts (usually with an automatic percentage going into the joint account)
- Independent Operators – people who have completely separate accounts
How should you invest $10K? Readers were talking about this on our money roadmap post, and I thought it might be helpful to talk about more. Maybe you’ve recently gotten a bonus or small inheritance… maybe you’ve just been saving for a while and are now saying, OK, let’s invest this sucker. So what are the options? (Pictured: I’m kind of obsessed with this metallic teal wallet from Marc by Marc Jacobs (there’s a phone wristlet too!) The wallet was $208 but is now marked to $104 at Nordstrom.) I’m not a personal finance expert, of course, but here’s what I’d do (assuming you already have a fully-funded emergency fund and no credit card debt. If you still have student loan debt, you may want to look at your interest rates and pay off all or part of a loan that has a particularly high interest rate.) Beyond that, though: [Read more…]
We’ve talked about a ton of different money issues here, but it occurred to me that it might be helpful to do a simple “roadmap” post — a listing of what to do, in what order, with links to the appropriate posts. So here’s my list of what to do with your money — if I were advising a friend, this is what I’d say. Readers, what would your roadmap look like? Would it be any different? (Pictured: Halogen Cassie Patent Leather Phone Wallet, originally $48 but currently $32.16.)
1. Figure out what your money situation is. Do you know how much you have in each account, where it is, and how much interest it’s earning? Do you know what your debts are, and how much interest you’re paying? I like Mint.com to keep track of multiple accounts (and I particularly like that it will email multiple email addresses with weekly updates — great if you’re married or otherwise in a joint banking relationship). [Read more…]
How much do you keep in your emergency fund? WHERE do you keep it? How often do you re-evaluate it? We haven’t talked about emergency funds in a few years, so I thought we should revisit. (Pictured: Tory Burch Priscilla Wallet, was $250, now $175 (also available in fuchsia, as well as in a zippered pouch on sale for $66).)
The basics remain the same: the suggestion I always see is to keep three to nine months of living expenses (mortgage, rent, loans, food, basic living needs), easily accessible in case you’re laid off, fired, quit, or are otherwise unable to work — or if you have some other huge unexpected expense, like if your car breaks down or you get in an accident and have bills to pay.
Kat, I’m wondering if you would consider a post about certain types of insurance such as life insurance, disability insurance, and umbrella policies? I’m wondering how people decide on buying additional insurance beyond what may be included in work benefits?