Near or Far: Do the Benefits of Living Closer to Work Outweigh the Cons?

benefits of living closer to work - image from streeteasy campaignThere’s an amusing Streeteasy ad campaign in a lot of NYC subway stations right now, with Venn(ish) diagrams like this one, and I thought it might make for an interesting discussion here. Why did you choose to live where you do? What do you think the benefits of living closer to work are — vs. farther away? Do you prefer to have some separation between work and home? In general, what was the most important factor for you in choosing where to live — living closer to work, being in a good school district, having an amazing apartment, or something else? We’ve talked before about how where you choose to live can be one of the most important money decisions you make, as well as how to decorate your home and even when to buy a home, but we haven’t really talked about the pro and cons of living closer to work or farther from work.

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How Do YOU Deal With Overwhelm?

Here’s a question for you guys: how do YOU deal with overwhelm? Whether it’s that end of the day feeling of “gaaaah I have so much more to do,” that “looming doom” feeling that always preceded finals or other big career events, or other forms of overwhelm, what do you do to calm yourself and move forward? How do you deal — particularly if you don’t have time to join a kickboxing class or otherwise get serious physical activity?

I am a work in progress on this front, as well, but here are some of my tips for how to deal with overwhelm — I’d love to hear yours!

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The Best Commuting Shoes in 2018: Stylish, Comfortable, AND Practical?

best commuting shoes for women 2018Reader D wrote in, asking us to update our older post on the best commuting shoes — so let’s discuss, particularly since the weather is finally getting warmer! Here’s her question:

Can you please update the ‘The Best Commuting Shoes‘ post? I left my Born Crown Collection nadine’s at a hotel by accident a few months ago and I’m so devastated!! They are no longer available and I loved them so much. Please share updates…….I’m searching for a replacement and need help! Thank you!!!!!

Interesting. (The shoe she mentions is sold out, but you can see it here if you’re curious. This option looks pretty similar, FWIW…) A few notes on what I think makes for the best commuting shoes in 2018 (particularly so you don’t look like the sad model in the stock photo at top)…:

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How to Go Gray… Intentionally

how to go gray intentionallyLadies, have you ever considered going gray intentionally? I’ve known a lot of darker-haired women who went blonde when their grays started to bother them, but recently I noticed one of my Facebook friends consciously deciding to go gray, despite only being around age 40. I totally understand it, don’t get me wrong — gray hairs can be a pain if you want to cover them up. (Right now I’m not doing anything with my gray hair, which I’ve had since I was 26 — I used to pluck them but then I read that this was a Very Bad Idea, and noticed that yes, tiny new growth (wispies) of gray hair ARE a lot more noticeable than long gray hairs, so… now I do nothing. I think they bug me less since I started getting keratin treatments, though.) Back to my friend, though — I’ve been amazed by what a process it’s been over the months to intentionally go gray! First she added gray highlights so her grays looked intentional — then finally it all got dyed a dark gray (with a brief stop in “blue hair” territory) — I’m assuming she’ll end up with a silvery gray.

Stock photo image: Deposit Photos / photography 33

(Just to be totally clear — one of my favorite bosses had beautiful salt and pepper hair that looked fabulous on her — so I’m not saying gray hair is unprofessional or you have to choose to have colored or gray hair — I’m just saying it was an interesting move by my FB friend.)

How about you, ladies — have you considered helping yourself go gray, either by dying your hair gray or blonde? If your gray hairs bug you, when did you start to really get bugged by the hair, and what (if anything) do you do about your gray hairs? If you’ve gone gray intentionally, do you have any tips for women who want to make as smooth a transition as possible — what are your best tips on how to go gray intentionally? Do you think gray hair has more gravitas than other colors of hair?

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Tales from the Wallet: How Do You Store Your Bills, Receipts, and More?

how to store billsHere’s today’s topic, ladies: What are your best tips on how to store bills and otherwise organize your paperwork? How do you deal with the mix of paperwork, electronic documents, emailed receipts, and more? I describe my own record keeping system below, but I thought it’d be fun to see what other people do… 

I was 15 or so the first time I remember my parents talking about how to store bills, receipts, and other kinds of paperwork. By that point I already had savings accounts, and my mother also opened some early credit cards for me at various stores (thank you, Mom!) to start building my credit report. But it was probably when I got my first job that we actually sat down and started to talk about how to store bills, as well as other record keeping tips. Back then, my parents gave me a big subdivided redweld and suggested that each entity that I got bills and statements from should get its own little pocket. So my bank statements went in one pocket, my lifeguarding check receipts went in another pocket, and then my Gap card statements (or wherever) went in a third pocket. It was all very, very organized. Oh, and every time I made a deposit at my bank (or a withdrawal) I was supposed to enter it in the little checkbook register.

These days, I’ve backslid pretty far from that initial system for record keeping — but it works for me and my family. Here’s how I store my bills (both electronic and paper):

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Dressing Better Than Your Boss: Designer Bag Edition

Reader A has a great question about dressing better than her boss — specifically, she wonders, must she carry a lower-end bag than what her boss carries, or would a work-appropriate designer bag be OK? Here’s her question:

I know the blog has discussed before if it’s appropriate for younger folks to have designer items in the office. Mine is similar… basically, do I have to stick to brands below what my boss has? It’s an ad agency. I’m in management, she’s VP. She makes double what I do. She carries a Kate Spade tote and lower-end Coach purse and acts ashamed of spending so much if anyone compliments her bags. Does that make it inappropriate or unwise for me to carry similar?

This reminds me of one of our earliest posts that kind of went viral: the intern who wanted to carry a Birkin bag. I still agree with my advice back then that if you carry a bag that starts at $8000 (and according to Bonkers Closets they go up to $300K) that it’s sending the wrong signal at the office, particularly if the main reason you’re carrying it is as a status symbol. (We’ve also discussed when “must” you carry a designer bag to work — and how to deal when your offensive client uses your designer bag to “joke” that he’s paying you too much. Ah yes, and how to deal when your boss tells you dress too well.)

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