Co-Dependent or Budget Savvy: Family Cell Phone Plans, Shared Passwords, Help with the Rent, and Definitions of Adulting

adulting and family cell phone plansWe were talking recently in the Corporette Slack channel about people we knew who were still on the family cell phone plan as an adult — and considering we’ve seen so many news stories about different levels of this kind of co-dependence, from sharing passwords with family members to getting help with your rent, we thought it would be fun to have a bigger discussion about it here at Corporette. Thank you to Rebecca Berfanger for writing this for us — I can’t wait to hear everyone’s thoughts on this topic! – Kat.

Readers, have you ever thought about whether you are independent–or co-dependent–when it comes to your expenses? Is part of your view of “adulting” to be 100% totally financially independent — or do you think it’s budget savvy to share passwords and family cell phone plans? Where is the line in your mind? If you’ve discussed this intimately with friends or partners, do you think you’re normal or on one end of the continuum? Do your parents or other friends or family members still financially support you in some way (mortgage, bills, transportation, housing) or do you always pay your own way? If you’re in a relationship, do you share a bank account? Are there some things you don’t mind sharing, like a family cell phone plan or passwords for your favorite source of entertainment?

In the first episode of Girls, Lena Dunham’s Hannah Horvath asks her parents for money so she can continue to live in her Brooklyn apartment. Sure, New York is very expensive, but it’s a good place for a writer to live so she can network and land a decent job in her field. Fair enough. Yet even though she seems to have a decent job, it is an unpaid internship with no guarantee of advancement. Depending on your personal situation, that conversation was relatable, cringe-inducing, or possibly both.

Here are few questions to consider:

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Tips for Women on How to Buy a Car

how to buy a car as a womanWhat has been your experience buying a car as a woman — and what shared wisdom can you impart to other women just setting out to buy a car? If you went to the dealership with a male significant other or friend, did the salesperson mostly speak with him while ignoring you? Did you feel like the salesperson was being condescending? Did the salesperson assume you didn’t know anything about cars (whether or not that’s true)? And if it is the the case (no judgment from this non–car expert!), did you feel like you were taken advantage of as a customer? Or, did you feel you weren’t treated differently as a woman, and everything went great?

With the 2018 car models now available in showrooms — and because the next two months are an excellent time to buy a car — we thought it’d be a great time to discuss how to buy a car. We haven’t had a lot of posts about car-buying (there have been many good discussions in threadjacks), although we’ve previously talked about the issue of whether to buy a fancy car to impress clients and, on our blog for working moms, we’ve talked about how to choose the best family car for you (Swagger Wagon, anyone?).

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Financial Tips for Women Lawyers Just Starting in BigLaw (Or Other Very High Paying Gigs)

Financial advice for women lawyers (and others new to high paying gigs like BigLaw!)Here’s an odd post that I don’t think we’ve ever done: financial advice for women lawyers starting in BigLaw or other big corporate gigs with lots of money. Starting salaries for lawyers can be as high as $180,000 these days, so it can definitely be a great first salary! It’s a good idea to be prepared for the ways that working in BigLaw will affect your finances. Here’s some of our top financial advice for women lawyers:

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How to Protect Your Credit After the Equifax Data Breach

How to Protect Your Credit After the Equifax BreachMillions of people (unfortunately, not an exaggeration) are wondering what many Corporette® readers are also wondering: how to protect their credit after the Equifax data breach. On September 7, Equifax revealed that hackers may have exposed Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, birth dates, addresses, driver’s license numbers, website security questions/answers, etc., for up to 143 million people — a “breath-taking amount of highly sensitive data [handed] over to criminals,” as Ars Technica put it. (With all the upsetting news stories recently, someone thought we needed even more things to worry about!) We’ve seen some contradictory information online — and the sheer amount of advice out there is overwhelming — so we thought we’d round up some expert advice in a post. Ladies, what steps have you taken to protect your credit after the breach? Have you used any services or had any success in freezing your credit? If you’ve written to government officials about changing the laws, share your script!

Here are the latest recommendations for how to protect your credit:

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How to Make Sure You Get Your Money Back on Returned Online Purchases

how to make sure you get your money back on returned online purchasesMy own system needs a little work, so today I’m asking a question for advice as much as discussion: how do you make sure you’re getting your money back on returned online purchases? Have you found any good apps or systems?

If you’re like me, odds are you do a lot of online shopping these days, and part of the appeal is easy returns by mail. But keeping track of whether I’ve actually gotten the refund or credit is becoming more and more difficult. For example, sometimes when I’m returning items bought online  I have absolutely no idea how much I’m going to be getting back — for example, I remember returning stuff to Banana Republic/Gap/Old Navy once where I had purchased the items using their “super cash” and possibly had gotten an additional “buy $X and get 40% off” tiered deal — so I had no idea how returning some items from the order would affect the equation.  Other times, the store tells you clearly how much to expect back when you print out your return slips — but then returns trickle in on your credit card in smaller amounts, at different times.

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Tales from the Wallet: How to Pick the Best Rewards Card For You

How do you typically use credit cards — and what are your tips on how to pick the best rewards card for you? We’ve discussed some great rewards credit cards (Kat is still using her Amazon Visa!), but we thought we’d have a broader discussion today about readers’ credit card habits — the good and the bad. Which do you think are the best credit card rewards — and what are your tips on how to pick the best rewards card for you? (Pictured: bright red Kate Spade wallet – highly rated and only $88 at Nordstrom.)

This post contains affiliate links and Corporette® may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support!

I’m always using my credit cards, because like a lot of people, I barely ever carry cash. (It bugs me when I’m at a bakery or other business that doesn’t take credit cards, even though I get it.) I like how the fraud protection is better with credit cards than with debit cards, too; my cards have been compromised a couple of times and I’ve never been liable for anything. And the rewards don’t hurt: My Citibank Simplicity card lets me earn cash back, and my TJX card (Marshalls, TJMaxx, and Sierra Trading Post) earns me gift certificates at those stores. My husband and I also have a UPromise card from Barclaycard that generates money for our son’s 529 plan. (His grandparents have one too that also contributes to his account.)

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