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Workwear sales of note for 5.26.23:
- Nordstrom – The Half-Yearly Sale just started! See our thoughts here.
- Amazon – Memorial Day Sales! Lots of discounts on Amazon Essentials and more.
- Ann Taylor – Extra 30% off lots of sale styles (prices as marked).
- Anthropologie – Extra 40% off sale.
- Banana Republic Factory – 50%-70% off everything + extra 25% off purchase (ends 5/31).
- Boden – Sale, up to 50% off.
- Brooks Brothers – Extra 25% off sale; already up to 70% off (ends 5/31) – also mix & match sale with men’s shirts, 4 for $249.
- Cole Haan – Up to 50% off sale styles (ends 5/31).
- Eloquii – 400+ styles starting at $19; up to 50% off everything.
- Express – Summer kickoff sale, 30-50% off everything (plus $35+ steals) (ends 6/1).
- H&M – Up to 60% off online and in-store.
- J.Crew – Up to 50% off “dressed up” styles (lots of cute dresses!).
- J.Crew Factory – 50% off everything, no exclusions.
- J.McLaughlin – The Sale Event, extra 30% off.
- Loft – 40% off full-price styles
- M.M.LaFleur – Short but sweet sale (ends 6/1).
- Madewell – Get 30% off your purchase.
- Ministry of Supply – 25% off sitewide (ends 6/1).
- Sephora – Up to 50% off select beauty.
- Shopbop – Up to 50% off designer sale!
- Sue Sartor – Lots of cute dresses on sale!
- Talbots – Extra 40% off all markdowns (ends 6/1)!
- Theory – Up to 60% off + an extra 20% off.
- Universal Standard – 25% off sitewide (ends 6/1).
Other noteworthy sales:
- CB2.com – Up to 50% off everything!
- Joss & Main – Up to 60% off, plus an extra 20% off with code.
- Tuft & Needle – Save up to $775 on mattresses. (Reader favorite bed brand; Kat really likes hers!)
- West Elm – Memorialy Day Sale, up to 60% off.
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My husband has one good suit (which is all he really needs for his lifestyle). It’s a black Hugo Boss with a structured 2-button, 2-vent, notched-collar jacket. He wears it with a plain white, button-cuff Van Heusen shirt that is showing its age. It’s a very good-looking suit and I’d like to upgrade his shirt. Questions (please pardon my ignorance):
1) Would French cuffs (assuming I got him some cufflinks, obviously) be a good choice, or should I probably stick with buttons?
2) Is Brooks Brothers the place to go, or are there department-store brands that are comparable quality and possibly less expensive? If so, which brands would those be?
3) Obviously a white shirt is traditional and necessary, but would an ivory shirt be an acceptable alternative for some situations? He suits up maybe once every couple months–weddings, funerals, church events, and a very occasional work thing.
BB has very good men’s shirts. I’d stick to non-French cuffs unless you think he actually wants to wear cuff links. If you want to try it out, BB has very inexpensive silk knots that look nice. I wouldn’t do an ivory shirt because I think it can look a bit dingy if not done perfectly but light blue is another classic option.
For something less expensive, try Uniqlo or Zara. Both have nice men’s shirts and uniqlo will do them made to measure, which is great. I think readers here have also recommended Lands End but I am always left disappointed by Lands End so haven’t tried.
Disagree on BB having good shirts. They do look lovely, but they do not wear well at all.
Try Charles Tyrwhitt.
I hate off-white dress shirts for men. They just read faded/dirty to me. A crisp white ALWAYS looks good. A pale blue/white check is nice also.
Joseph A Banks has good no-iron men’s shirts. Agree that ivory shirts look dingy.
Super glad to hear that my DH isn’t the only guy that has one amazing black suit and that’s it. Wish he’d gone with grey though as it’s easier to style. I don’t love a white or ivory shirt with a black suit. I tend to prefer something with a pattern to add color/interest.
French cuffs vs button are both acceptable. I love the look of French cuffs and cuff links. But it’s not required.
My DH likes Charles Tyrwhitt. They’ll shorten the sleeves for him, which he needs. But they also have various cuts, which your husband may want to explore at any store. Athletic cut, slim cut etc. Van Heusen is decent department store brand too.
Rather than ivory, you should look at stripes. It’s not as formal as white, but is still appropriate in a business formal setting. Or a church. And goes fine with a tie.
Charles Tyrwitt for shits
(Sorry, couldn’t resist.)
The Nordstrom brand shirts are good quality. Classic white is always best for truly formal occasions such as funerals. For weddings and general church you could certainly look at other options – I like pale blue or stripes.
If you don’t want to surprise him and are okay helping him take his measurements (or having him go to a tailor to get them), I’d really recommend checking out Indochino. My ex-husband got all his suits and dress shirts from there and his clothing reads to everyone as waaaay more expensive than it is. He’d stock up on dress shirts whenever they had a sale and everything looked fantastic on him because it was literally made for him, his measurements, his choice of fabric/color/pattern, and he even got the cuffs tastefully monogrammed on a few. Best bang for the buck I’ve seen, plus they’ll remake if it doesn’t fit.
I’ll echo the others who’ve mentioned Charles Tyrwhitt. Don’t do white or ivory with a black suit. Light blue is a nice classic option.
We Bought a House!
Hive, we made an offer on a house last night and it was accepted! We are working with a real estate lawyer, but is there anything you wish you knew when moving forward with closing?
anon a mouse
Don’t sign anything you don’t understand.
Listen to your inspection results, but do research to figure out what’s a big deal and what’s not. (Or post here, we can offer advice worth exactly what you pay for it!)
If at any point your gut tells you to walk away, pay attention. You should be anxious and excited, but it’s a huge financial commitment.
+1 We had a great inspector who walked me through the entire property and explained things “for idiots.” The biggest part was everything that he didn’t feel was a deal breaker that the seller should fix, he let me know when *I* should be worried about it. Like, it’s an immediate fix, in the next 6 months, or in the next 6 years kind of thing.
Also, despite all the disclosures and things, I still found the number of fees we were responsible for to be surprising. Plus, tipping the title guy? Even though he just did his job? That was unexpected.
You’re supposed to tip the title guy? Where? How’d you find out?
….you were told to TIP the title guy?
Work in the industry, have never, ever heard of this…and now am dying to know if this is a thing
This was absolutely not a thing where I worked in RE.
The inspector is great for showing you things like where the water main is and where the various shut off valves are located in the house. They’ve walked through a million houses, so ask ’em all sorts of random questions.
I agree you should be prepared to walk away, but: in a seller’s market, don’t haggle too much over things found in the inspection if they’re not structural and/or they’re fixable for a few thousand, give or take. They’ll just find another buyer. I’ve been there.
+1 – I also recommend going to the inspection so you can hear what the inspector has to say and ask questions. It’s a lot easier to get a sense of the scope of any issue that way rather than reading and trying to interpret the report later.
You should always go to the inspection and follow the inspector around while he or she does their job. They will explain what they are looking for, give advice, answer questions, etc.
+1 we’re in a competitive market and our offer was written so that we had a home inspection and could walk away if there was something huge (i.e. massive hidden water damage, mold, etc…), but we wouldn’t ask the seller to fix anything.
I suppose it depends on the state/contract, but where I live if you ask for something as a response to the home inspection, the worst they can do is say no. It’s not going to cancel the deal.
I’m going to assume you’re in one of those locations where a real estate lawyer is required. Otherwise, be prepared for a lot of time sensitive stuff. Nailing down a mortgage is more bank requests (usually not as bad as during the qualification phase, but a lot of minor chase it down stuff), plan for time off to go to the inspections, plan for time to sign everything. And after, plan to spend some money – houses always need something fixed. You might get lucky and walk into a perfect one, but that’s pretty rare.
I’d also recommend, even if only you/your spouse use it, setting up a Dropbox or other shared drive for the gazillion papers you’ll need to submit. I was amazed at how often paperwork went missing either with the mortgage broker, the bank, the attorney or the real estate agent. Having those files uploaded and on hand made requests a 5-minute turnaround of “here’s the form you need” rather than needing to fax something again or comb through the piles of papers at home.
+1 to this. It was so frustrating having to comply with requests for paperwork I’d already submitted more than once, but having pdf copies already saved in a folder made responding easier, if not less irritating. Also make sure you are aware of dates that documents must be received. I was shocked that I was the one harassing my mortgage lender about how things were due the next day and why hadn’t they been completed yet? Missed deadlines can delay closings and you don’t want to be getting a call at 2:00 pm that they realized they suddenly realized didn’t have x doc and need it by end of business.
Closing on a house seemed to be unnecessarily stressful process, but almost everyone I know has some kind of story about ineptitude/delay/etc. Just try to stay on top of things yourself and don’t assume the lender/realtor/etc automatically has everything covered.
Definitely agree with staying on top of deadlines. I’d forgotten until I read this but we had the same experience – I was really surprised at how our broker let things go until the last minute. Even though it was very stressful, we did make all the deadlines but I’m sure it helped that I was organized and checking in almost constantly.
So. Much. Paperwork. How did people possibly do this before email? I swear, every day I was getting or sending new documents back and forth.
Same. Every other day it seems my loan officer needs something new.
Shop around for mortgages. Do not think the pre-approval lender is the one you have to go with. It’s a good business decision to do the research. The difference in credits varied wildly for us.
anon a mouse
You can also shop around for settlement services. A couple of phone calls to title companies could save you several hundred dollars. Your loan estimate will specify which services you can shop for.
Older, maybe wiser (or maybe not)
Include a clause that the house must be professionally cleaned after the sellers move out. I wish I had done this when I bought my own house.
And if you can, build in time for painting and minor repairs/renovations before you move your stuff in. I was in such a rush to finally move in after being in hotels for a couple of weeks that I skipped this step and have regretted it for nearly 20 years!
I wish I had hired my own inspector and structural engineer instead of leaving everything in my agent’s hands. They may have been fine, and not in cahoots with my agent to just get to closing, but looking back I’d prefer to avoid both actual and perceived conflicts, especially because my inspector did, in fact, miss several things.
Just found out I’m pregnant! I guess I’m technically 5 weeks along (but if I’m understanding this correctly, we actually conceived 3 weeks ago, not 5). I called to make a doctor’s appointment but they’re not going to call me back until the end of the week to schedule it, and it will be for between 8-13 weeks. The thought of having to wait for up to 2 more months before going to the doctor seems odd to me.
Is it normal that it doesn’t really feel real yet? I’m not even sure what the rate of miscarriage in an average pregnancy is, but I don’t think I’m going to really feel pregnant for another month at least. Two close friends both had miscarriages at like 8-10 weeks last year so in my mind it’s a very high chance it won’t pan out.
Anything I should be doing at this early stage other than not drinking?
8 weeks is a good time for a first visit for a non-issue pg. Obs, if anything concerning happens before, holler. They will work you in.
I’m high-risk (36 weeks), and my first appointment wasn’t till 8 weeks. Hard to hear the heartbeat before then, was what they told me.
Hang in there!
Congrats. Totally normal for it to not feel real. Miscarriages happen but not always. Might not feel real till you meet the baby in person!
Prenatals! With omega 3. Take them at night. Calcium too.
Why take them at night? I’m not OP, but I am about 5 wks pregnant too :) Congrats OP!
The prenatals can cause nausea (I think because of the iron?). If you take them at night, you’ll (hopefully) sleep through the nausea that is caused by the prenatals. Then you’ll just have the regular pregnancy nausea during the day ;)
I found that they make me less nauseous at night.
They can make you feel nauseous, so the thought is to take them and go to sleep rather than feel sick all morning.
Another reason to take them at night is that they theoretically spend more time with you, so you absorb more from them. (That was the reasoning 15-20 years ago, anyhow. Not sure what current science says, but it seems logical.)
I couldn’t stomach prenatals. Just took one a days. Was a better option than throwing up the vitamin after taking it.
On this note, are there any gummy prenatals you or anyone else would recommend?
Yes, 8 weeks is standard first visit.
The gummies don’t have iron in them, so they’re not usually recommended. I took the gummies because I had severe morning sickness and couldn’t get or keep down the regular prenatals at any time of day. But my doctor described the gummies as better than nothing/less than ideal. I’d recommend talking to your doctor or a NP before taking gummies.
Any ideas then for something that is easier to take than a huge prenatal? TTC soon and right now am taking flintstones which have the recommended folic acid amount for when you are gearing up but you’d have to double up for actual pregnancy. Would like some recommendations for something that is easier to swallow (literally)!
Have you tried taking the pill with a spoonfull of yogurt? Or a thick liquid like a smoothie? Also, can you split it in half and then take it these ways? Chase it with a big glass of water. Easier on the stomach if you have some food in it anyway.
I thought the Naturemaid Prenatals (tablets) were gross, but I have had much better luck with the CVS Health Prenatal Multi+DHA Softgels.
I did the gummies and then ate spinach dip every day. I had two healthy kids, but I’m still holding onto some spinach dip weight.
I cannot take large pills, period full stop, instant vomit.
My doctor prescribed a chewable that had everything in it. It wasn’t a gummy, it was a large chewable tablet. It didn’t taste awesome but it had all the necessary stuff in it and it didn’t make me puke so, it was good as far as I was concerned. If you have good insurance, maybe ask your doctor.
It is totally normal for it to not feel real yet – it takes awhile for it to really sink in, and you’re right that the rate of miscarriages early is significant. I had a similar shock when I called to schedule an appointment after taking a home test and they wouldn’t schedule me until I was at least 8 weeks along but that is apparently very normal as well. Note that the chance of a false positive from a home test is really, really, really small – so yes, if its positive you really are pregnant. (I was not totally convinced.)
Basically at this point, just take care of your body (rest, eat well, exercise) and start some prenatal vitamins if you haven’t already.
With my first, it didn’t feel real till my first doctors appointment when I heard the heartbeat. I think around 9 weeks. We told our parents before then and I was actually really nervous that we’d go to the appointment and the doctor would just be like ‘why did you think you were pregnant?’ So totally normal!
Prenatals and not drinking is good advice. I’d also cut back on any high mercury seafood. I would also try to see the doctor before 10 weeks because there are some tests that they may want to do around 12 weeks, or even a bit earlier depending on your age. Congrats!
Thanks all! I have been taking prenatal vitamins for the past couple months and will continue to do so…. and am trying to get more fruits and veggies in. Now I just need to try to not obsess so I can get some work done…. easier said than done!
Eat all your favorite foods and really savor and enjoy them. If you get morning sickness, it will start in about a week or two. Things you previously loved will quite possibly make you dry heave for the next couple of months.
good tip, thanks! I may have to eat ALL the Mexican food this week.
In addition to what others have said, I think this is a good time to read some pregnancy bo0ks. You might get hit with morning sickness and exhaustion in another couple of weeks, so I’d also do any nagging projects on my list and try to get as much exercise as possible. And don’t worry – I’m 20 weeks pregnant with my second and it still hardly feels real.
Congrats! I begged and got in at 6w, but it really wasn’t necessary. Always try to book the first appointment of the day so you don’t get stuck waiting if (when!!) the clinic falls behind. And, of course, abundant courtesy toward the front desk staff will be to your advantage.
My first visit was at 10 weeks. That’s pretty normal in an uncomplicated pregnancy. Just take prenatal vitamins and try to eat as well as you can until the nausea hits.
Lana Del Raygun
That’s pretty normal–my practice sees you a month after you miss your period. Take your prenatal vitamins and cut retinoids out of your skincare routine if applicable. If you want a good reference book, I like the one from the Mayo Clinic because it’s very scientific and also anti-fear-monger-y. (They have special boxes for things like “Can stress cause miscarriage? No, there is no scientific evidence for this at all, please don’t listen to your aunt.”)
As far as feeling “real,” that’s also pretty normal. I downloaded an app that tells me what the baby looks like and how big it is every week, and I read about the development to my husband on Saturday mornings and talk to the baby a lot (“I love you, sorry for complaining so much about feeling sick, good thing you don’t have ears anyway”), and that makes it feel more real to me.
Beware of this app. It tells a lot of advertisers that you are pregnant. If something did go wrong you won’t be happy to bet formula coupons ( for example ) in the mail in 8 months
I had the same experience with BabyCenter (I believe). I signed up early in my first pregnancy to see some content, then lo and behold, a package of formula ended up on my doorstep 8 months later! Too bad I miscarried at 8 weeks. That was a ticked-off email for the ages to both BabyCenter and the formula maker.
Lana Del Raygun
I’m so sorry for your loss! That’s really terrible. Thank you both for the warning!
And the app assumes the baby is born on your due date, which is stupid since very few babies are. I was very nonplussed when I was 41 weeks pregnant and kept getting emails that said “Your baby is one week old!” Um no guys, my baby is still inside. Obviously not as painful as a situation where you miscarry, but the end of pregnancy waiting game is awful especially if you’re overdue and I sure was annoyed.
Lana Del Raygun
Yeah, I’m probably going to delete it by then anyway.
Totally normal. There’s not much to do or see at 5 weeks.
8+ weeks is totally normal, but I’d resist pushing first visit past 10/11 weeks or so if you’re interested in early screening for genetic conditions. I believe the CVS testing can only be done until about 13 weeks or so. Many women opt for non-invasive blood test screens instead of something invasive like CVS, but if the blood screen test were to come back with something that suggests a possible issue, I’d want the option to get the CVS, so would need to have the blood test done early enough to allow results to come back and schedule CVS if necessary. Enjoy this time! And don’t hesitate to call doc’s office early if you have concerns.
thanks! I’m definitely going to try to get my appointment scheduled for between 8 and 10 weeks.
Back to School?
Some of the conversations on leaving law, for nursing or other subjects, have been interesting. How did you determine what to study the second time around? Asking this to everyone, not just those with law degrees.
Bonus question: If you were considering going back for something mildly different or spending more time to do something significantly different, what was the deciding factor? Time, money, risk, something else?
JD then BSN
I came into my transition having done a lot of work with a career coach paid for by my employer and having done a lot of cognitive behavioral therapy years before so I felt confident in my abilities to work this out on my own.
I first looked into legal-ish jobs by applying for in-house jobs and going through the workbook, “What can you do with a law degree?” by Larry Richard. After throwing that book at the wall because I didn’t want to do any of it, I started looking broader. I went through the book “The Pathfinder” by Nicholas Lore; and, yes, it does take 3-6 months. At month 3, I knew what I wanted but was only 2/3 through the book. I had run out of extensions at the library so I moved on.
Once I decided on nursing, I researched programs in my area and did a tour of my top choice. I used the tour to learn more about nursing and what to expect. Then I signed up to volunteer at a local hospital for 4 hours/week. Because I could easily work fewer hours without raising suspicion at my firm, I took a summer class at the community college and a night class for the fall semester. I quit law about a year after starting the “look outside of law” process.
For me, the deciding factor was my health. All the stress and misery of practicing law was affecting my physical health to the point where I was sick enough to be missing work. Plus, I was miserable and just didn’t enjoy it anymore. I decided to leave earlier than I had originally planned (I had planned on being a part-time student for 2 years) because once I started the transition, my legal work suffered and I wanted to leave with my reputation still intact.
Money is important and, luckily, I found Mr. Money Mustache when I paid off the bulk of my student loans. I wasn’t crazy frugal but I was managing to save 40% of my take-home. So my early retirement fund became my eff-you fund which became my school fund.
Back to School?
Wow. Thank you for the thoughtful response. Hadn’t heard of that book before.
Not quite your situation but I left a non-law field for computer programming. The fortunes of my previous career were closely tied to the health of American manufacturing, and, in my mid-30s, I felt that the 30-year outlook wasn’t great. For me, major factors were 1) that I had done some programming as a kid and enjoyed it and 2) that I have the right temperament for it. I don’t have a high need for interpersonal interaction so sitting in front of a computer screen for 8 hours doesn’t bother me. (Nursing, with the high amount of people-time, would have been very tough on me.) I did go back to school for two years, with the assistance and support of my amazing spouse. It would have been tougher if I were single.
Along the lines of the weekend thread – how much do you give to charity per year? Do you budget for it and if so… how? That might seem like a dumb question; I’m wondering how you balance friends/colleagues hitting you up to give vs. charities that you plan to give to. I gave something like $2k last year and probably like… $100 was to a charity that I chose ahead of time. The rest is to friends/colleagues hosting various fundraisers, or the latest natural disaster, or whatever charity a coworker’s FIL’s obituary asks for in lieu of flowers. For those who are better budgeters than I am, how do you manage this?
I give $1000 a year planned in advance and about $1000 a year as things come up. 1% of my gross income which feels much too low to me.
Same but one percent of combined gross base(me and husband). I’d like to increase to 1% of total comp for the years we get bonuses. Maybe it’s my middle class background but I feel like a $100 donation is a generous one. The largest donation I’ve made in one sitting is $200. Though I will donate $100 multiple times throughout the year so I end up donating $500 to a particular charity by year end.
We give 5% of our post-tax income, about $8k, to charities that we select. We have monthly contributions on autopay, so it’s worked into our standard budget. To me, the other stuff isn’t charitable giving, it’s gifts to the person asking. 99% of charities that my friends ask me to give to do not meet my standards for the allocation of our charitable giving (we primarily donate to organizations recommended by Givewell, and a few local organizations that I have personally vetted). I still give when solicited, in smaller amounts, but I’m doing it for my friend, not because I think the money is going to be particularly well used, so I don’t mentally count it as charity. For us, true charitable giving means that money is allocated because we believe that the donation will actually have an impact.
This is very similar to me.
Donations due to friends’ fundraising etc.. are in smaller amounts and not generally to charities that are my focus. I also look at those as Gifts, done to keep goodwill and be supportive. I have some donations that are autopay monthly (eg. local NPR station, food bank), some that I do on an impulse when a big event happens (eg. support Planned Parenthood now!) and the rest I do generally once during the year to a list of charities that are meaningful to me and I have vetted (eg. Doctor’s without borders).
We have a line item in our monthly budget for charitable giving. We have three chosen charities set up with automatic giving that get 80% of that amount. The other 20% is left open for things you mention – one-offs from people we know, or something like the Texas Diaper Bank after Hurricane Harvey last year.
Charity is a line item in our budget. Split between about 60% planned monthly giving on autopay from bank and 40% discretionary. Give a more minimal amount ($10/$20) when friends are asking but I don’t love the cause. Will attend fundraiser dinners depending on who’s asking/going/cause. Don’t usually count things we directly benefit from – like fundraiser dinner for my kid’s school where the project funded is something she’ll use over the next 5 years.
This year we contributed 4% of AGI to charity, which is pretty skinny for my comfort zone. Previously we’ve been closer to 7.5% of AGI. We give a per paycheck amount to United Way and monthly contributions to church. We also contribute a lump sum amount at year end to a very small charity run by a college friend that has a hyper-specific mission around a cause I care deeply about.
We budget for charity like anything else. We discuss who and how much when opportunities present themselves throughout the year and plan our lump sum contributions when we do end of year tax planing in December. For our recurring donations, we target increasing the contribution amount by 5% each year.
Anon for this
Frequent poster, but anon for this since I’m giving salary figures. I give 10% of my post-tax income – a total of about $20,000 annually. It breaks down as follows:
-$6,000 in gifts to my church (which is tiny and has a low-income congregation…I think I’m our largest single donor so I’m basically keeping the lights on single-handedly to a certain extent. Otherwise, I might shift some of this money elsewhere).
-$6,000 in gifts to a local art museum – combination of giving for acquisitions and supporting the access fund that pays for low-income kids to visit the museum. I’m on a board there.
-$1,000 to my law school
-$1,000 to my undergrad
-$1,000 to the nonprofit that supports our largest city park
-$1,000 to a nonprofit I work with that provides services to special-needs individual
-$1,000 to a local conservation nonprofit
The rest is small gifts throughout the year to friends’ fundraising efforts, office United Way campaign, etc.
Wow I love this breakdown!
Besides church and the special needs person, o don’t get any of this. Museums and parks?!? Are joy kidding me – the city can maintain them or not. And law schools and colleges charge tuition to run themselves and if they’re not giving away enough funds, oh well students can take loans like I did.
Never too many shoes...
Go soak your head. She does not have to justify herself to you. Or anyone else.
Anon for this
I received scholarships to attend law school and college, and I’m happy to help others do the same.
The museum I support is entirely private (we don’t have any publicly funded museums in my city), and I believe that ensuring it’s available to low-income kids is critical since I think they deserve access to art just as much as high-income kids. Our city park is an amazing public space for all people regardless of income, and it got that way because the community stepped up to support it at a level beyond what the city can do (for example, the foundation pays for additional public safety patrols and more frequent trash pickup, so the park is safe and clean).
I’m not willing to just accept what the government is able to do if I think it isn’t enough. I believe my city is better because people who saw problems stepped up to help fix them. The park used to be dirty and unsafe, and now it’s full of families from across the city playing soccer, having cook-outs, and swimming in the awesome public pool. When I go to the museum, I see kids who may never have been to a museum before marveling at the mummies and the crazy paintings. I’m happy to be part of making both of those things happen.
Some years ago there was a revival of the musical Pippin and it had a line that drew a big laugh but really rang true for me: “When the king cuts the royal purse, the arts are the first thing to go.”
I happen to believe in the arts and I also put my money where my mouth is in that regard. Look around — everything we know about ancient civilizations comes through their art. There is good research showing that arts education benefits children tremendously.
And yes, parks. Everybody needs safe outdoor space!
So yeah, go soak your head.
I work at a large city art museum that everyone would identify. The amount of money that a city gives can vary widely. City art museums in the ten largest cities in the US get anywhere from tens of millions of dollars to less than a half-million a year, and the amount of money rarely correlates to how large the city is, how wealthy the city is, or how good of an art museum it is. I don’t know of any art museums in the United States other than the Smithsonian Museums that get large portions of their budgets from governmental entities. Even the Smithsonian Museums rely on a large chunk of donations to keep functioning. My large city gives my Museum less than half of 1% of our eight-figure operating budget and the money decreases every year. Like Anon-for-this, many programs that donors fund are things that the city used to pay for (like school field trips) but have now cut because of budget constraints.
Less than 5%, although we don’t calculate it by salary at the time. We just give year-end to Medicins San Frontieres and then 1-2 other charities depending on what’s going on that year. We also give 1-3 times throughout the year for natural disasters and the like. The total is always $500 or less, but we’re watching our budget and I’m wary of blindly giving more to charities that are either secretly religious or extremely ineffectual (or where I don’t feel like more charity is the best mechanism for involvement).
Also curious – do people actually give 5-10% of large salaries? Like you give 7,500 on a 160K salary? That seems huge to me and no one I know in that income bracket gives that much since they’re all saving for houses or whatnot (HCOL area here). However, it seems like everyone on this site is giving a LOT of money.
I do think the high, regular amounts come a little later in life. Maybe 35+ after you’re a little more settled. At that point, I would say yes, people do give that much. Ours is about half a budget line item for our church each month and half spontaneous things and a lump sum we choose at the end of the year.
Agreed. I think it’s laudable, but this seems very far from the norm. Or at the very least, a blanket percentage seems to be like the kind of thing you can afford to do once you’re making enough money that you have that much extra to play with.
We do about 8% of net (salaries less taxes) not gross. Aim for 10% but with two kids in daycare, something always comes up that needs a few extra dollars.
Yes, people really do give that kind of money. Think of it this way …someone on a much lower salary is actually making a much bigger sacrifice when they give 5 to 10%, even though the dollar amount is smaller.
Agreed. I also think a lot of people are giving this much and aren’t going around bragging about it. Giving to charity is very personal for most people. On here where life is anonymous, folks are more likely to be honest about it. In real life, people don’t wear signs saying how much they give. You’re really not going to find out. When you’re first out of school and getting settled, it is not as easy and probably not at the front of your mind. But once you’ve paid taxes on a 160k+ salary and saved a little, it works its way into the budget.
Within the last few years my husband and I decided we weren’t where we wanted to be. So we decided to up our giving at that point and also decided to up our charity budget consistent with our yearly raises until we got to the percentage we wanted. That’s a pretty painless way to increase your giving over time.
This. We talk about the causes we support to a certain extent but I definitely don’t mention specific dollar amounts as that would feel awkward.
We do. We committed to that as a non-negotiable part of our budget when we got our first real jobs out of grad school. Google “The Life You Can Save” for an argument for the moral imperative of doing so. We have a mortgage and two kids and daycare, but we make it happen because it’s a priority for us. We make a bit more than your example, and give a bit more than 7.5k. At that income level, we have more than enough to meet our actual needs. Beyond that, what is money for, if not this?
Your family? Your kids? Helping your kids with a head start one day – down payments, starting a business etc? I see that as a worthier cause than some environmental group or NPR.
Um, redistribution? If you are rich, and invest only in your own family, you are perpetuating inequality.
Lead poisoning! The secret ingredient in giving your kids a good head start!! Those useless environmental groups. Heaven forbid our kids have clean water.
Oh wait wait I get it. MY kids are worthier than THOSE people’s kids.
I don’t know…. I think a lot of friends’ kids get a bit too much “help” these days from their parents. And think about what you are teaching them about your values, empathy towards others etc… which is so important in the current political climate.
Yeah TBH not worried about inequality. I’m not making 400k or 800k or Bill Gates money. At a regular white collar salary, I’m more concerned about setting my kids up in terms of school, down payments, additional investment capital, and then grandkids. Once that’s done, sure I’d focus on the world. But when you make 150k or 250k, that’s never going be done. I’d feel more apt to take on inequality if I had Warren Buffett money and knew my family was set.
I do post-tax, but aim for around 5% of post-tax on $190K gross. I don’t have any loans (and never had a significant amount) so I may be more able than others. I never had any help on a down payment and don’t feel any need to provide that for any future children. What I did do was grow up in a family that relied heavily on government social services.
You have a very skewed outlook. 150-250K is rich in our society. Believe it. You clearly have things you value that are understandable, but it is sad to me that you feel so little in ties to your community and elsewhere to want to give so little.
Did you grow up wealthy, or very poor?
The kids I know who were “set up” with college paid for, down payments, gifts for raising their kids often were more often living in a bubble, entitled/spoiled and more likely to propagate the me me me mindset.
Yeah TBH thx for admitting that you just don’t care about other people.
You do you–you have every right to be a selfish person in this society, but you can’t expect that you can continue to be a tool and make glib, snide, and ignorant comments toward people who aren’t as selfish as you are and not get called out for it. Not even going to bother addressing your simple-minded idea that you can’t “take on” inequality unless you had Warren Buffett money.
My kids are fine, ha, but thanks for the concern? They have food and shelter and clothes and toys and parents who adore them. They don’t need more than that. I’d much rather spend an extra $100 helping a kid who doesn’t have the basics. Bonus, hopefully not getting every My Little Pony figurine they ask for will help them grow up to be self-sufficient and help others as well.
If you are making 200k and feel that much anxiety about your kids’ economic future, I 100% sincerely suggest therapy to help develop a healthier relationship with money. That is enough money for a comfortable life, and then some, even in a HCOL city. If it doesn’t feel that way to you, there’s something else going on. No amount of money can purchase 100% security for your kids, and you should work on making peace with that rather than hoarding resources in a futile attempt to ward off all possible risks.
So concern for your own kids is less important than concern for random inner kids being defended by ACLU or making sure they get to go to plays and get an arts education? Ok – good for you. I’m not interested in spending money on populations that don’t help themselves.
Anon at 1:39: WTF? Populations that don’t help themselves? I can’t even begin to respond, but will start with the fact that the deck is stacked (FROM BIRTH) against anyone from a socio-economic background. Schools that are inadequate compared to suburban schools. Limited knowledge of how to apply to college and which factors are important for colleges. Frequently need to work to help support family needs rather than go to Model UN conferences. This week, the NY Times published an article about how low income GRADUATES of college fare poorly compared to their counterparts who came from privileged backgrounds. You should read it before you make ignorant comments on a website. Anonymously, of course.
Kat – can we get some mod here? “populations that don’t help themselves” is crossing a line into outright racism.
Please. It’s not outright racism. I’m a WOC who works very closely with the population in question. There is a lot of truth in the statement. Everyone (yes, everyone) needs to help themselves as much as society needs to help them. Some people do it and many people don’t.
So, you clearly have a lot of bitterness.
And clearly have a lot of understanding what Doctor’s without borders, International rescue committee, food banks, NPR etc… do.
Those kids suffering with tuberculosis in Haiti need to help themselves, those slackers! What… those refugees from Syria need to toughen up and just put up with a few more bombs or a few more years in (concentration….) camps. Those kids with no libraries in their schools, nevermind a decent math teacher, need to suck it up and just learn on the internet!
I’m with you. As a daughter of immigrants who came here with nothing, I owe it to my parents to have a successful family. The end. I help other immigrants with lodging and advice, but the money we earn is for my children and their children.
My generation is the first in my family – going back generations – to have anything, and I mean anything at all. I have many family members who grew up on welfare and who lived in trailers. Little by little, people made sacrifices, sent their kids to school and now my generation is paying back by taking care of our parents, and our kids. We didn’t get anything from anyone to pull us out of poverty. People working two jobs, doing backbreaking work and saving their pennies is what changed our fates. We certainly didn’t have some non-profit coming around offering to help out. If more people took care of their own instead of waiting for handouts, the country would be in a better place. I’m certainly not going to forego caring for my elderly parents and saving for my retirement and my childrens’ educations to give money to people living in multigenerational poverty (like my family did) who keep waiting for a handout to pull them up.
I make less than that example and give more and it’s still nowhere near what I really should be giving. I do also donate my time but that’s in short supply.
Teaching my kids that part of being a good person is working on behalf of others is a pretty big goal for me. I am also saving for their college, of course, but I’d be a failed parent if I raised kids who got a head start in life but did not care about other people.
I’ve struggled to find the right balance because I graduated with huge student loans at a very high interest rate (even though all my loans are govt). At first I felt a lot of guilt for spending ANY money on anything other than paying off the debt. Now I try to live by the rule, if I can afford it for myself then I can afford it (or at least something close to it) for others. So if I can afford $10/week on coffee then I can afford at least $5/week on coffee and $5/week to charity.
Had no idea people are giving 5-10k at 160k salaries. Even at 35 you’re not “settled” – it’s not like most have a paid off mortgage and 4 yrs of private college tuition saved for each child. I’m of a faith that requires giving so the few percent I give goes there with rare one offs usually less than $100 to hurricane relief etc. Defintely don’t contribute to things like planned parenthood or environmental causes or anything like that – bc I’m not made of money even being over 35 and over 150k.
Well, you learn something new every day.
There’s a lot of us.
Maybe there’s something to it.
You know that PP is one of the only sources of preventative care for many many women, right? I earn a third of what you do and they’re on my list of charitable causes. It’s not hard.
Anon for this
My post-tax salary is about $200K and I give $20K annually. When I still had student loans, I donated based on post-tax and post-loans salary, so less, but still a substantial amount.
Yeah, I give somewhere between $15-20k, which usually works out to just less than 10% of my take-home income (after taxes and retirement savings). My goal is to actually crack that 10% threshold this year!
We do. I see it as putting my money in line with my values. DH feels less strongly, so we end up giving 10% of my pre-tax income (so ~7% of joint pre-tax). Half goes to my church (also one of the larger donors at a young church so I know it makes a difference), the other half split between local food bank and an international basic needs charity. We give some on top of that for special causes. Everything is on automatic payment so there is no questioning whether we can afford it this month- it’s part of the budget.
I’m 29 and a second-year associate, and last year (my first year, when I was making 180) I gave $5k, which was 5% of my takehome. That much money fell into the “give till it hurts” category, and there were some wants that I had to put off until 2018. I’m fortunate enough to not have law school loans, and I feel a responsibility to contribute to giving others the opportunities that I had. I give ~$200/month total in recurring monthly donations to various groups (from $10/month to $50/month, depending) and then lump sums of $60-$300 at various points throughout the year. I give the most in June and December, because those are months with three pay periods and I try to spend all the money from the extra paycheck on charity (I budget my life based on 2 paychecks/month, one for rent and one for everything else).
I break my giving down into a few big categories: the free press (mostly my local public radio stations and NPR); civil rights (the ACLU, various legal aid groups, organizations that focus on women’s rights like Planned Parenthood, etc.); the environment; my alma maters (I direct my donations towards the libraries and the scholarship funds); and people in danger (UNHCR, post-Maria hurricane relief, Doctors Without Borders, etc.).
Some people do, it is more common for religious people. I think there is a certain grey area around giving to a church vs a charity – some churches do some charitable things, but sometimes you’re also just donating to the equivalent of a club/hobby. Or, sometimes you’re supporting stuff that is decidedly uncharitable, like trying to convert people.
I hear this. Our church is very mission and community oriented. I feel confident that the money we give is used for the bare minimum in the actual church and the rest goes to our local community (and some non-local) charitable mission work. That said, we still don’t put all of our eggs in one basket. We give about half to the church and half to other organizations. If our church wasn’t so active in the community, we might not give as much to it. But these priorities are part of why we chose our church.
If “mission work” = “converting impoverished people to your religion by pretending it’s a path out of poverty” – I’m disgusted by this and have no idea why people would donate any money to it, much less thousands of dollars.
We give around 10% of our household pre-tax income. Of our $65,000 total household salaries last year (low cost of living area), we gave >$6700. Since it is something we have done since Day 1, it’s just another budgeted expense for us. For someone who has never gave to suddenly give it at that rate, it would likely hurt a bit.
Yes, I gave $12k last year on a salary of $250k in a very HCOL city.
I’m also saving for a house and other things, but I don’t believe that giving back is something you do once you’ve met all your other goals. It’s an ongoing goal in and of itself and something that is as important to me as saving for a house, etc.
To add, I am not religious and I donate specifically to small non-profits with very little overhead where I care deeply about the cause and have some involvement with where the money is going.
We give very little, probably less than 1% of gross. My DH feels strongly about saving now and giving later and also has very low opinions of charities, so basically all of the giving is to stuff I support.
This. Agree with your DH.
At the beginning of our careers, we gave much less as we saved emergency funds, down payments, etc. But now that we’ve moved past that point, we’ve found a good balance of giving versus paying debt (mortgage and student loans) versus spending.
What does a “very low opinion of charities” mean?
This is how we feel too. We also have a lot of extended family related expenses, and no family safety net (we are the safety net).
What is the basis for your husband’s blanket low opinion of charities? As a big law attorney who has tried to solicit contributions for a variety of charitable organizations, I am perplexed by his approach, and would like to understand it.
Educate yourself; there’s plenty of information online. Most nonprofits mainly exist as a way to create jobs for the people working for the nonprofit. There’s very little that nonprofits do that creates real, systemic change in disadvantaged/suffering populations. For the nonprofits you donate to – ask them sometimes, beyond the occasional pretty story they trot out from one of the “clients” they say they helped – what are the *real numbers* of people who were *really helped* by their programs? If they held classes or created training programs – what were the *outcomes* of those programs, not just the *activities*? Is anyone better off because of what the nonprofit did with the millions of dollars they were given? Usually the answer is no. I know this because I used to work for a nonprofit. We told lots of pretty stories about the people we were helping. Very few were better off after participating in our “programs” than they were before. If you think your favorite nonprofit is making a difference – you are fooling yourself.
Something I’ve vaguely thought of – I’m big into investing so I always think, why not open a separate account, invest my capital, and give away the earnings. But then I think – who am I, Warren Buffett? I’d be giving a few thousand a year, 10k if I’m lucky, not hundreds of thousands.
We have a charitable gift fund at Fidelity. We are not wealthy.
Can you explain how it works? Just a regular investment account or something different?
Sure – we moved some stock/mutual funds from our brokerage account into the Charitable Fund we set up. We either did it online or called…. Then you can write off that “donation” to your fund on your taxes that year. And then the investments continue to grow tax free and you donate straight from that fund to your charity of choice.
We donated some stock to our fund that had grown a lot so we would have paid a lot of tax on the gains, but instead where able to donate all of that growth instead. I think I am explaining this correctly….
It sounds like a donor advised fund would be perfect for you. It allows you to deduct the amount you invest and then direct earnings (or principal) towards charitable donations. Most of the big mutual fund companies have this program, but it looks like Fidelity’s might have the most reasonable minimum investment.
I don’t budget for it because, as you said, those occasions come where I need to donate to somoene’s cause for whatever reason throughout the year.
My impulse giving indulgence is Donors Choose. When i get really about politics/national priorities/ Betsy Devos etc, I browse Donors Choose and find a couple of classroom projects I’d like to fund. I usually look for something I can either completely fund myself or get over the finish line. And yes, I choose to receive thank you letters from the students. I also give in honor of some of my friends as gifts, so that they can receive the thank you notes and status updates.
I find these regular, affordable donations tend to get me out of my funks.
Yes, sort of like another poster’s husband, we don’t give a lot to established charities. We’re saving and paying daycare. But we spend a large amount each year on local community, through a couple regular projects (we do adopt-a-family for multiple families each Christmas, for example) and through Donors Choose. We live in a diverse area with many low-income families so the teachers are forever in need of assistance. It’s not truly self-less because we love those thank you letters from the students. But self-funding flexible seating for a classroom, or helping a teacher send home books with each kid over the summer, those are highs that we don’t get elsewhere.
Sorry to jump on this, but I am looking to up my charitable giving and looking for suggestions. I already donate monthly to Planned Parenthood, Doctors without Borders, and a local food bank. I aim to keep $100 a month for friends / disasters / anything else that comes up (e.g., once a year to my college) so looking for 2 more to add to my monthly recurring list. In general, I care about global healthcare, women’s issues, and human / civil rights. Suggestions?
She Decides hits all of your criteria. https://www.shedecides.com/the-story
It was set up by the government of the Netherlands after Trump reinstated the Global Gag rule which prohibits funding to international NGOs which provide information about abortion or access to safe abortions.
Per the World Health Organization – complications in pregnancy and childbirth is a leading cause of death among adolescent girls in developing countries. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs348/en/
Partners in Health
International Rescue Committee
Southern Poverty law center
Polio eradication! We are thisclose to eradicating polio from the planet and every dollar you give will be tripled due to a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation! https://www.endpolio.org/donate
Thanks for the advice—I’ll look into She Decides.
I like the International Rescue Commitee for Refugees.
Thanks for the advice—I’ll look into She Decides.
I like the International Rescue Commitee for their work with refugees and others in dire circumstances globally.
In addition to the big name orgs, we feel strongly about supporting local activist voices in our community who are on the front lines of civil rights work. I think the bang for the buck from that kind of giving is tremendous, because it can lead to real policy change, and it also helps empower communities in ways that have implications beyond any one issue. I’d ask around locally and see if you can find out who’s doing the grunt work of organizing where you live, and see if you can support them.
I’d strongly encourage you to look into supporting your local abortion fund. https://abortionfunds.org/need-abortion/ When there are highly-publicized threats to women’s health, people automatically think of Planned Parenthood, and they’re wonderful and necessary, but not many people are aware of abortion funds, who are much smaller but are directly working in your local community to help your neighbors in need afford their abortions. Women who want an abortion but are unable to get one are 4 times more likely to be living below the poverty line a year later, and are twice as likely to experience domestic violence, so a grant from an abortion fund can make an enormous difference in whether a woman is able to improve her circumstances. Abortion funds also do a lot of grassroots organizing and participate with broader civil rights causes because these issues are all interconnected. Half of my charitable giving, and most of my volunteer time, is with my local abortion fund and I’m deeply passionate about our work. If you look at the linked list and there’s not one in your community, I’d recommend donating to the National Network, which supports the individual funds’ infrastructures and makes grants of its own, or picking a fund in a state with a hostile reproductive rights climate, such as the Lilith Fund (Texas), the Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund, or the Hoosier Abortion Fund.
Very Anon 4 This
Thank you so much for this. I recently had an abortion for an unplanned pregnancy after a birth control failure. My partner and I can afford it, but I can’t imagine the stress of not being able to. It’s stressful enough!
Anon for this
I am also of a faith that requires giving, and I really try to make that a spiritual practice. I have a hard-and-fast rule of 10% gross that is taken out before my paycheck even hits my bank account. Even if it can be hard to make ends meet, I know so many people in the world have even less than I do, and most of that difference is purely by circumstantial lottery. I feel that I should share some of what I have been blessed with (sorry if that comes off as too preach-y, but just trying to explain my rationale).
We have line items in the budget for the big recurring gifts (local arts organization, sponsoring a student in Cambodia, Rotary polio eradication campaign, a couple of other things I’m not thinking of off the top of my head), and we also put away $250/month for “miscellaneous” so we can buy tickets to fundraisers or contribute to disaster relief or whatever as it comes up.
Total giving last year was about 10% of net income.
We give 10% of our gross HHI. We don’t really use a budget for anything – we basically try to live frugally and below our means. We don’t hit an exact number but we know our incomes levels and we basically write big checks to the same few places at the end of the year if our donations to church, schools, friends’ marathons, etc. haven’t gotten us to that level.
We give around $500/year. I don’t feel that we can afford more than that until we are both maxing retirement and my law school loans are paid off, both of which will happen in about 18 months. Then we will probably ramp it up to $1,000/year. After our daughter graduates from college and we are closer to retirement, we will consider furthering increasing our giving if it makes financial sense.
We made the very poor financial decision to have me go to law school in my late 20s (on scholarship, but tuition nearly doubled and the scholarship did not and we had to pay for day care). I also grew up financially disadvantaged and am not willing to put myself in that position again by not having adequate savings. I won’t be comfortable just giving away tons of money until we are well positioned to provide for ourselves and weather any unplanned circumstances. It will be a long time before we get there. The expectation of tithing is ridiculous when we are already being asked to pay taxes, save close to 20% of our income for retirement (not yet possible for us), build an emergency fund, pay off my worthless education, and pay a gazillion dollars for our daughter to go to college. If I had any extra money, I’d replace the 13-year-old car with 250K miles on it that my husband is driving, or replace the failed windows in our crummy little old house, or increase my retirement contributions, before I just gave it away.
I feel like that thing where schools raise tuition but don’t increase the scholarship is such an awful bait-and-switch and so many students don’t know about that when they’re making their decisions about law school.
Very late to the party, but my family gives over 10% of our gross income, which means that we give around $70,000 per year. We give to our church (very social justice oriented), two different organizations that deal with the problem of homelessness, legal aid organization, local school, and other smaller gifts as they arise. We give regardless of whether we have other debts (i.e., student loans) or other items in our budget (i.e., childcare). We gave over 10% of our gross income when we made significantly less.
Interesting discussion regarding our kids vs. charity. My 18 year old son has all of his needs met for now: college paid for, a car, and a new computer. My brother is permanently disabled so we give AT LEAST 5% of our income to help support him. He lives on disability in a group home for mentally ill people. It is a dump. We are able to give him extra money every week plus pay for dental care, clothing and entertainment. How do you compare charity within your own family as opposed to giving to other groups? We tend to give to organizations that we support such as the ACLU.
Family first because you are helping directly. Donations always get diluted with overhead. Giving to a disabled family member means you are removing the cost of their support from taxpayers. This is ultimately worth a lot more. By the time everything gets factored in (all the program allocations and bureaucracy markups), each disabled person on welfare costs local and federal governments $100K+ per year. If you can provide the same quality of living for 40K instead of donating it to charity, you are helping everyone.
+100. We paid for my brother’s private rehab which was a $30k savings for taxpayers. We help support my elderly grandmother so she doesn’t have to rely on public support beyond the Social Security and Medicare she paid into.
Has anyone been to the Reiss outlet store in Woodbury Common? Can you tell me anything about it? Is it one of the tiny ones with 3 things (like DVF), or a big one with a good selection, (like Theory)?
I just went in December…good amount of space in the store for clothes, decent selection, but it definitely wasn’t a huge store. Still worth a visit bc I thought the deals were quite good!
I’m 34 and wanted to improve my anti-aging skincare regimen, so after previous threads on here, I ordered a hyaluronic acid that a few posters recommended. My skin is somewhat oily, and I have never needed to use a moisturizer on my face, ever. After using the hyaluronic acid on my face, neck and décolletage twice a day for a week, I feel like my pores look bigger and now when I wake up, my skin is dry and needs a moisturizer for the first time in my life. Has anyone else had that experience? Should I switch to a vitamin C serum? Or something else completely? Thanks for the help!
Hyaluronic acid always makes my face swell. Kind of like an allergic reaction. When you say your pores look larger, I’m thinking they are inflamed from a bad reaction you are getting from this. Just my take.
hyaluronic acid makes your skin hold water, which can plump your skin but won’t help anti-aging. If your skin is oily you may tolerate a retinol well. Retinol is drying, and is really the only thing that will actually help reduce wrinkles and other signs of age. You should start with a low dose and use it 2x/wk to every other day until your skin acclimates. With the hyaluronic acid I bet it upset your skin’s normal moisture balance.
I bought the Ordinary’s HA and it was awful – completely dried out my skin (and I have oily skin as well). I’m not sure what caused it (I have another product with HA in it, and it’s fine on my skin), but I just stopped using it. I had better luck with the Ordinary’s Azelaic Acid and their Lactic Acid 5%.
Axelaic acid is for discoloration, rosacea, and acne…not anti-aging. I really don’t trust The Ordinary yet. Yeah, it is cheap, but what the hell is in it really? Neostrata/Exuviance or Avene sell good products with Retinol and they are all dermatologist recommended.
Are you using a moisturizer on top of the HA? My understanding is that HA is a humectant. It absorbs moisture. So if you put moisturizer on top, it pulls it into your skin. Otherwise it dehydrates your skin. Also, it’s likely a serum, so use a small amount and pat it around your face, versus applying it like a lotion. There’s a reddit forum on Asian beauty routines that is pretty helpful…
This. HA absorbs/pulls moisture. If you use an HA serum or gel and don’t put anything on top of it, it will pull moisture OUT of your skin.
I don’t think I always give off the right body language. Examples: bosses and boyfriends have told me I don’t look like I’m paying attention when I really am, and people often have a hard time knowing how I’m feeling. I am often mistaken for being much younger, and I think it’s more about looking unsure/awkward as opposed to having a youthful glow (sadly).
I want to be better at giving the right signals to make me seem like a confident, attentive person, but am not sure how to go about it. I’m going to try to more deliberately study what other people do. Any better suggestions?
And men can never tell when I’m interested in them! That’s a big one that is frustrating.
Eye contact. I think this is a big one for showing interest,besides all the more usual flirty things.
When someone is talking to you, I think it’s good to signal that you are actively listening — if you’re seated, try to lean in vs. leaning back in your chair — you don’t want to get in their space, but position your body so that it’s clear you’re engaged. Nodding, smiling and making eye contact are all good (obviously don’t smile if the subject doesn’t call for it). Don’t play with your hair, fidget, scratch (other than as necessary), glance at your watch, or out the window. You don’t want to stare at someone, but eye contact is important.
Sit up straight? That makes a big difference for me. An old boss also recommended sitting a little bit on the edge of your seat for meeting and interviews to look more engaged.
Are you making sustained eye contact? It sounds like maybe not.
I *think* I do, but I probably am not as much as I think.
Do you “go inside your head” when you’re thinking things through or processing? If so, your face may be going blank and vacant. I used to work with a young woman like that — she rarely spoke in meetings, and looked like she wasn’t present at all. I wanted to shake her and say, “Be here with us!!! Participate!!”
What she could have done: actively listening. Look at the person talking. Smile, nod, or make a facial expression when appropriate. Take notes. Add a comment. In short, work at getting your thoughts into your facial expression and into your voice.
YES. I totally go inside my head. Thanks for this.
If you’re going into your head, make a conscious effort to jostle yourself out of it. Your thoughts may be so busy that you may not realize that to everyone around you it looks like you’re staying blankly out the window. Come back into the room, ground yourself in your body, notice the people around you, and engage with them. It will take some practice for you to notice when you’re “gone,” but you’ll be able to catch when you’re doing it.
I had a body language comment that must be stuck in mod. Am I the only one with this pet peeve? And what does it even mean, if anything?
Pet peeve, when people turn sideways while you’re talking to them. I know sometimes that can convey boredom, but here’s an example. Over the weekend I ran into a colleague at a charity event. He came up to me and started talking face to face, telling me a story about his previous evening. He then leaned againt the bar, so now he’s sideways to me, and kept telling me the story for 5 min. I hate when this happens. Am I supposed to likewise turn so we are once again face to face? Are you that tired that you can’t stand up straight and face me for 5 min? Its hard to hear sideways and just bothers me.
Not to make you paranoid, but sometimes I talk to people turned sideways because they have bad breath. I am very sensitive to the smell of bad breath, and sometimes I just can’t take it head on. So, side by side, I can still listen, without feeling like I want to gag.
Probably not your case, though. Kind of sounds like the guy just wanted to lean against something – maybe he had a hard ballet class or something.
Agree with all of these.
I always sit forward in my chair, back straight. I usually have a pad of paper and a pen…. NOT my laptop…. to take notes. Good eye contact, nodding occasionally, tilt of the head showing I’m listening…. occasionally look down and jot something down.
I am so effective at this that sometimes when I go to conferences/meetings, speakers (often women, who appear a little nervous….) find my face and start talking TO ME, because I appear that attentive. More than once a speaker has come up to me after a talk and thanked me for my attention. I also try to ask a question, that makes it clear I am listening carefully.
Also, mirroring. Good listeners unconsciously “mirror” the body language of the people they’re talking to — lean forward at the same time, etc. You can google it.
Also, in googling “mirroring” I came across a Toastmasters site. I feel like that might be something to look into to just enhance your communication in general!
So I’m a young (29) and even younger looking (I get mistaken for a college student when I’m not at work) WOC, and I’m barely over 5 feet tall and am generally a tiny person. I frequently feel like everyone I work with thinks I’m a child. There’s no actual evidence to support this- I’m well respected, I’ve done well, etc etc. It’s totally in my head. I think I feel this way because I subconsciously associate success/authority/power with being tall, white, and male, and that makes me feel like the child because I’m none of those things. This is totally in my head and I’m working on reframing. Has anyone else experienced something similar or have any advice?
I’m 5’1” but white and 42. Totally get where you’re coming from. I have same issues about height. I just try to be conscious of it and work through it.
I used to have this problem, especially when I taught high school and other teachers and security guards (somehow always men!) thought it was appropriate to constantly tell me I looked like a student.
One thing my dad said that has stuck with me, is when I feel out of place to think about how it’s a testament to my skills that I’ve gotten where I am despite XYZ thing I’m stressing about makes me not fit in. So, unlike other people who have more traditional physical markers of power, you’re well respected and have made your accomplishments without those extra “legs up” (ha, literally!). So you should feel MORE successful and powerful.
I worked a file where I was the youngest person by 15-20 years. I started wearing a suit jacket or blazer everyday. Helped me get into a more powerful headspace. DH used to joke that it was like I was putting my superhero cape on because he could see the boost it gave me.
Also made me understand why Mr. Rogers switched to his cozy cardigan when he come home. Never got that as a kid.
Yes, I have done this for years and it helps a lot.
Also, I have a favorite Shakespearean quote: “Though she be but little, she be fierce!” It helps me get my game on when I need to.
I’m a little taller (and also older and white) but still under 5’4″ and I’ve struggled with this as well. The most effective things for me have been 1. getting everyone sitting down, and being sure to adjust my chair so I’m at least as “tall” as the men I work with; 2. remote meetings – everyone is the same height in a Hangout!
Linda from HR
I struggle with it too. Older people tell me it’s a blessing and I should appreciate my youthful looks, but it’s hard to do so when so many people talk down to me, it’s like they’re expecting everything I say to be wrong so they’re constantly poised and ready to correct me, educate me, or offer a “better” way of doing something.
Be professional at work. Leave the private life at home.
Don’t fixate on any comments people make. Quickly change the subject back to work.
Do well. Kick butt.
Totally agree. My male supervisor is maybe 5″ tall but commands so much respect because of his experience and knowledge. Other men still make fun of his height but he’s developed a swagger, which I think works for his height. A taller person would look ridiculous walking the way he does. So, swagger, and take up lots of room wherever you go.
I’m also short and petite and female and young and young looking (although not WOC). To project authority, I dress more formally than my coworkers, who have a casual-leaning business casual dress code. I also wear taller heels most cays for a bit of extra height (although I like heels, so this isn’t a sacrifice for me). I always stand up from my chair if the person speaking to me is standing. And then I try not to let other things get to me.
In addition to everything you listed, I’m also soft-spoken and a parent (and a wee bit younger than you)
Liked another poster said, I tell myself that I must be pretty good if despite ALL of the above, I get paid market :D
I understand. I am also very young looking. Plus in my role/position, I am the youngest by 7 years: all other peers are older (and looks older). Even if I dress more formally than them and I am very professional at work, I still looks young (may be because I am a little bit more fashionable/stylish, I don’t know). I tried to project authority and I work hard (I am focus and engage). Still, my youthful looks has played against me at work: 3 years ago I was set aside for a promotion – the hiring manager told me that I was still young and had plenty of time to get other opportunities : when I bluntly ask the hiring manager how old she thought I was, she said 27-28. When I told her I was 35 you should have seen her face and she apologized saying she had no idea. I complained to HR about this but there is not much they could do. Now that I am 38 and a mom of 2 years old twin that are still waking up at night, I looks a little bit older (and tired!). I was recently promoted and I am still the youngest in this position (compared to the others). At 38, I am more confident and I have learned you have to focus on you.
I’m almost five feet, rarely wear heels (foot issues) and have moved a few times to new jurisdictions, so i’m used to being underestimated–someone asked me if I was articling the last time I showed up in provincial court.
When opposing counsel have been particularly condescending in an “oh little girl you don’t know what you’re doing” sort of way, I like to show up to court extra girly and kick ass. Oh, sorry, you didn’t think i’d run this trial? Watch this.
Move with confidence, know your stuff, stand your ground. Don’t let anyone intimidate you. And soon, you won’t have to worry because they will know you know what you’re doing.
This. I am commonly mistaken for 15 years younger than I am, and people think I’m a sweet cheerleader type.
I am not.
I’m fine that they learn this lesson in the courtroom.
Has anyone ordered anything from Baukjen? I have a $100 store credit from Isabella Oliver back when I needed maternity clothes. I don’t plan on having any more kids, but IO said that I could use the credit at Baukjen, their non-maternity line. Anyone have recommendations on anything they love from that store?
Nightgowns vs PJs vs....
Out of sheer curiosity, does anyone wear nightgowns to bed? I’m not talking super tight, body hugging ones but the more relaxed , almost Victorian cotton ones….think Eileen West or Alexander Della Rossa….
I might be the only Gen X’er to wear them in this day and age!
I totally do. So there are at least 2 of us.
I used to, liked them, but haven’t bought any since they wore out several years ago. I would have to seek them out, vs. flannel pants that are always in the bargain bin somewhere.
I don’t because I run very cold at night. So I wear yoga pants, t-shirt, socks, and three blankets on top. :)
I have a flannel one (button front style) and couple knit ones with camisole style straps, but mostly it’s just shorts/tank top. The nighgowns just tend to bunch up on me or get tangle-ly with my legs.
I have all sorts of nigthgowns and pjs. It depends on the weather and my mood.
I have two but they’re knee-length. One is long-sleeved from Burts Bees (when they sell family xmas pjs), the other is short-sleeved baggy from Walmart that I could also wear while pregnant.
I wear modal knee length ones. My mom used to make me wear those Lanz of Salzburg flannel ones growing up and I will never forget how badly they itched, so nope to those for me.
The Lanz of Salzburg for kids is polyester and flame resistant, which is why they’re so itchy. Cotton flannel made for adults won’t be as itchy (and might feel downright silky depending on quality). Kids’s flame resistant sleepwear seems inherently uncomfortable and I usually slept my kids in cotton long johns that were not meant for sleepwear…
Maybe a ridiculous question, but why are kids’ pajamas usually flame resistant? Did a lot of children catch on fire in their sleep at some point in time?
I will wear a chemise type nightgown to bed, which usually results in some s3xytime, but i tend to pop some modal/cotton knit pj pants under it for lounging around. And a hoodie over.
I do and I totally look like an extra on littlehoyse in the prairie and I’m ok with it. Need to let all my nooks and crannies breathe)
I rescued some authentic vintage/antique (30s, 40s?) cotton gowns from my late grandmother’s house. They’re shapeless, but beautiful neckline and sleeve embroidery and such light, comfy fabric! Love!
Where can I donate men’s business clothings? In NYC if that matters.
don’t remember the name of the org offhand, but if you poke around the dress for success nyc website, they have a referral to their men’s clothing counterpart.
Catholic Charities or a charity that helps ex-prisoners or recovering addicts. Charities get far fewer clothes for men than for women – at least in my town. Again, although not a catholic, I find that Catholic Charities seem to know their clientele (diverse) rather than a thrift store which sells the things they receive. That said, some specialized items that I took to the Salvation Army mission, as opposed to their Thrift Store, were enthusiastically welcomed.
Thank you both
I just moved and now have a 30-minute walking commute to work. What do you recommend wearing on a walking commute? My office is business casual/slightly formal but not full suits. Also, any recommendations for commuting backpacks that can fit a 13″ laptop, lunch bag, and a couple of file folders? Thanks!
Great for pants. Anything you want for skirts/dresses.
for backpacks, Matt and Nat! professional and cute; don’t look like you’re a bike messenger or trying to summit a mountain somewhere.
I wear sneakers and leave shoes at work.
Ooh these look nice, thanks!
I usually wear Aerosoles flats or booties for my walk and change shoes when I get to the office and I carry a black Everlane backpack.
I have a black Tumi Voyager backpack that I bought a couple years ago and use every day. It’s definitely pricey, but has held up beautifully and has pockets and room for everything I need.
As far as shoes, I’ve just been wearing my Bean boots this winter (I’m in New England), but am looking for a comfy slip-on to wear come spring. I really liked those cognac Keds someone posted here a while ago so I might try those out.
Danskos. Ugly but comfortable and wear well.
I recently transitioned to a steady job where I consistently leave at 5:30. With my new-found spare time, I’d like to volunteer once a week. Looking for something regular on a weekday, ie every Tuesday night. Any recommendations? I’m in the DC area, fwiw, but would love to hear any ideas based on your experiences.
There’s a women’s homeless shelter on N Street that has a lot of volunteer opportunities. Of if you’re a lawyer, there are several walk-in legal advice clinics throughout the city. I can’t recall who sponsors them – maybe look into the DC Women’s Bar Assoc?
I volunteer at a gubernatorial candidate’s office in my city two nights a week (6 to 8ish). Being in DC I get if you don’t want to volunteer for politics but.. that’s what I’m into right now.
I’m also a Big for Big Brothers Big Sisters. For me, that’s more of a weekend thing but you could totally make it work on weekday evenings, too.
Can someone help me understand belts? I keep reading about how belts are great for accentuating a small waist (which i have) but every time I try one on it just looks wrong. Do certain figures look better in belts, or does this have to do with short waisted v. long waisted?
I’ve heard this too and just… don’t like belts. A well tailored garment that nips in at the waist is FAR more flattering on my hourglass/pear figure than trying to belt something.
I’m short waisted and busty, have a defined waist, but cant do belts because my entire torso looks like a big rectangle of b**bs. The only way I can make it work is if I’m wearing something that makes my torso visually longer, like a solid color high necked blouse or turtleneck.
I’m short waisted and rarely do belts.
1. I don’t normally wear my pants at my waist, so that’s a no go, especially since I usually wear my shirts untucked. Sometimes I still wear a belt to hold up my pants, but it’s hidden under the shirt.
2. I have, on occasion, worn a belt over a dress for waist definition – but it always creeps on me, so I feel like I’m always fiddling with it to keep in the right place.
I love belts with dresses. I have a long torso and typically wear it an inch or two above my belly button (where my waist is smallest). I only wear a belt with pants if my shirt is tucked in or I’m trying to keep the pants from gaping in the back.
It is a gross and persistent falsehood that belts accentuate small waists. The truth is that belts accentuate the waists of long-waisted women, whether their waists are actually significantly smaller than their hips and bosom or not.
I am short-waisted, with a 14″ difference between my waist and hips, and I just this year figured out that a thin belt just below empire waist height is slimming and attractive on me. I’d play around with it with different weight tops/dresses/sweaters until you find something you like.
My waist is bigger now (thanks kids!) but when I was pre-babies I had a tiny waist and big hips/big butt. I always liked a top or dress with waist shaping, like princess seaming, but never liked how a belt at the waist looked on me. It seemed to emphasize how much my hips zoomed out from my waist and in my eye made them look bigger. I found that more subtle shaping was my friend.
I think it’s certain figures and also current styles. Putting a belt around your middle makes it easy to look like you’re 10 years behind the style, not because the concept is inherently bad, but because certain ways of doing it are dated.
I have these problems but mostly with leather belts I have tried. But a soft fabric belt that matches dress, pants or skirt works well. I also had a sort of silver chain belt with a pink buckle that I loved. For me belts need to be soft and sort of floppy, not stiff leather.
When does glossier go on sale? Are there sales besides black friday?
I think Black Friday is their only sale. If it’s your first purchase, though, there are plenty of discount codes online.
I love everything about this dress. Gorgeous!
I like the dress too but I LOVE those shoes. I’d last ten minutes in them, but I love them.
Do banks check balances before putting through ACH transfers? I just found out that the receiving company screwed up the amount of a requested transfer that hasn’t fully gone through yet (they reversed 2 numbers, so what was 16K is now 61K…pretty bad difference). I’m trying to get in contact with the right person to fix it, and I have no doubt they’ll fix it and compensate me if there are any fines, but trying to figure out how bad of an issue I’m going to have to deal with.
Nope. They do not check.
I have finally convinced my husband that we are house poor. For a long time, he was in denial — we bought a large, house fairly inexpensively in our LCOL area about four years ago, and it is very much like the home in which he grew up (house style, quiet suburban street, etc.). Fast forward and we have three kids (only had two at the time) and help one of our aging parents with expenses…and the upkeep on the house is just too much in terms of both time and money. We really, really need to downsize — not so much for right now (we can make it work month-to-month), but because we want to save more and have more experiences with our kids vs. spending money on a big home where we don’t even use all of the rooms.
The problem is that the real estate market in our usually sleepy area is ON FIRE — so while I’d put our place up on the market in a second to move to a smaller, less expensive home, there isn’t anywhere for us to go! I’m wondering if any of you have found yourselves in this position and have advice on (a) downsizing as you get into the teen years (our kids range in age from 3 to 8) and (b) how to navigate a seller’s market. It’s great news for us in terms of the sale of our own home, but I’m worried about getting into a new place.
It’s not the easiest option by any means, but I have friends who did a 6 month apartment rental with their two kids in the time between when they sold their house and bought their new one. It was trying, at best, but they have so far managed not to kill each other. Not ideal, but an option!
No advice, but please think about how much money you would actually be saving if you downsize. You have three kids, so I am assuming that you would likely want at least four bedrooms for when the kids get older. You’ll have the costs associated with selling your place and buying the new one. The new home could come with all sorts of problems.
I also wonder how you are both projecting your salaries to change over the next decade, as well as what other expenses you anticipate having or not having (e.g., will you need to provide more help to the aging parent?).
Good advice — we have done the math, and could refinance to a 15-year mortgage in the price range we’re considering and still save $500/month not counting the lessened costs for smaller yard, fewer rooms to heat/cool, etc. We would obviously choose our new home carefully but of course there’s always an element of risk.
Only his salary is really going to change significantly over the next decade, and while it will go up I don’t want to always be waiting for more money. Like right now, his bonuses (always 4-figure, not five) are basically spent on house projects the moment they arrive. And not “nice to do” house projects, but upkeep-type things like a roof repair. Our home is in decent shape but was built in the late 80’s so things are aging.
I would not suggest taking on a 15-year mortgage unless the interest rate were much, much lower than for a 30-year. You can always make payments on a 30-year mortgage as if it were a 15-year, but if anything happened (job loss, big medical expenses, etc) it would be nice to be able to make smaller 30-year payments f you needed to.
In addition to the other comments, I’d consider how much you’ve already put into the house and where that puts you on a house budget timeline. We have a 1926 bungalow that has needed to be totally replumbed, the roof replaced, hot water heater and furnace replaced, ceilings replastered and painted, etc. We are finally getting to the point where we can do some “nice to have” projects in between the must do projects. If you aren’t going to buy a new build, then anything in your area might have all the same issues because of being a similar age. Unless you buy a house where all that work has already been done, you might be starting over, even with a smaller footprint.
To clarify, your available housing stock might have all the same 1980’s issues (not my 1926 issues.)
Oh, those 1926 issues! (Fellow bungalow-owner)
You can’t buy a fantasy. If you need to downsize that might be a townhouse. It might be another town.
I would love a townhouse but they are uncommon in our (sprawling suburban) area. And our entire metro real estate market is hot — we actually live in the least inexpensive town for at least a 60-mile radius, and because our jobs and families are here we are not able to move over an hour away (for more expensive housing!).
It sounds as if there’s really no inventory in your current location in your desired price range. That’s a problem with no solution.
The advantage is that you have kids already, so you know what kind of space you need vs want. I would focus on making sure there’s a second “family room” that you will actually use, even if that means you give up a dining room or office or whatever. As my kids get older, there’s so much value in having two spaces for the family to congregate, especially because we regularly have family or friends over (usually once or twice as week we’ve got someone joining us for dinner, even if it’s just a friend of one of the kids).
And pay attention to storage – moving to a smaller place shouldn’t mean that now you have to live with mess. You know how your family cleans up best, so make sure that system works in your new house (If you rotate clothes, make sure there’s an attic or basement. If you keep all clothes in the room, make sure the closet is adequate or you can fit a dresser in there with the bed.)
Other than that, I agree that the McMansions are just too much house. We’re hunting and it’s so hard to find that middle house between 1200-3000 sq ft that doesn’t have some giant dining room that we’ll never use, or a weird L-shape bedroom that isn’t a master. Congrats on getting DH to agree and looking for something more realistic.
This is an interesting thread. My husband and I are currently house hunting in a very hot sellers market. We have a toddler and 1 on the way and have been having a constant debate about how much space is enough and how much is too much. He is into FI and trying to get there in the next 15 years so its important to him not to spend what he views as too much money on a house. I’m all for that but also trying to be reasonable about how much space we actually need. Aside from the extra family space, is there anything else you’ve found to be necessary in a house as the kids get older? (2 full baths, etc., yard, etc)
I’m also interested in hearing about 15 yr mortgages v. 30. DH really wants to do 15 but I’m nervous about that an would much prefer to just commit to doing higher payments. We are good at budgeting and sticking to it so I don’t think we will spend the extra money unless its a real emergency or something we really feel we need and want.
Anonymous at 2:20, not sure if you’re still reading but — we have a 3,600 sqft house and it’s too big, even with three kids. We have five (FIVE) separate living rooms and a total of seven couches between them, and it’s just a ton to keep up. Even when my kids are older (and we’ll only ever have two in high school at the same time), I refuse to believe that I will be able to easily maintain this much space. They also have their own bedrooms to retreat to.
I have thought long and hard about this and we would ideally have 2,500 – 2,900 sqft. Two living spaces (rec room and family room — but nothing formal), great storage/closets/cabinets, and a super-functional mudroom/drop zone. Two full bathrooms a must. Other than that, I can be flexible.
I advise to talk to a realtor and get some comps on the types of homes you are looking at for downsizing. Your area may be on fire your YOUR current home style, but may not be on fire for a smaller home, so it is worth it to check out.
Definitely talk to a realtor, but that seems unlikely. We’re trying to find my mother in law a small (2/3 bedroom place) in our area, which is a hot real estate market. Everything smaller and cheaper is getting gobbled up even more quickly than the larger places. In a hot market, smaller places tend to go fast. And prices inflate. OP, do you really want to move to a smaller house that may cost nearly as much as your current place?
Great question! See above — we are looking to buy a home valued at about $100K less than our current place, so could take out a 15-year mortgage for a little less than we pay each month and enjoy a lower COL (less yard to maintain, even silly stuff like a shorter driveway to resurface).
Sometimes I think about this in my city, but it’s also a hot market so we’d actually end up spending more money for less house, if I want to stay in a similar area of town. I’ve just accepted that clearly this can’t happen right now.
Help me shop for a dress! I am really excited to be graduating this May with my MBA after having worked FT and going to school at night for several years. I love MM LaFleur’s Taylor but don’t want to spend more than about $150.. would be willing to go a bit higher if I love it. Looking for something more than a regular day-to-day sheath– something that would be appropriate for nice dinners, etc., so I can re-wear. Somewhere between party dress and gorgeous business dress. Size 6, cusp petite size. Thanks!
Honestly, if you love the MMLF taylor ( as do I! ), I would save a little bit each week and just get that. It is only $100 more than your price point, and you admit you are willing to go a little bit higher if you love it.
You only graduate from Biz school once. And the Taylor is a great dress that fits your desires perfectly.
Thank you! I think I need to just give myself permission. Now to pick a color! It is such a gorgeous dress. :)
Is anyone else depressed at the state of women’s consent in this country? Stormy Daniels said she did not want to sleep with Trump, that she was not attracted to him, but that she “consented” because she felt like she “deserved it” for “getting herself into a bad situation.” I have heard about this happening SO. MUCH. and I can’t help feeling hopeless for all the women it’s happened to and all the young girls learning how to navigate dating.
Yes, as the mother of a girl, this makes me so sad. I have definitely been in situations where a dude made me feel like I owed him something physical because of something I said or did, and, in my less assertive youth, I believed him. We have to do better.
I feel hopeful that we are discussing this now. I think it used to be assumed that that was the only way things could be, now that we are naming it and identifying it we can work to change it. Cat Person and the Aziz Ansari situation brought up these same issues. Things will only get better for young girls who are coming up now.
I don’t think it’s an issue of consent.
We’ve reduced every roadblock to s*xual interaction to consent. Culturally, we do not accept that s*x is inherently emotional, and we sure don’t believe that there is a moral component to consensual interactions. The end result is that the only way s*x is “wrong” is if someone didn’t consent to it, so when s*x feels “wrong,” we shoehorn it under a lack of consent.
Consent is one emotionally laden and murky mess – culturally, we have yet to figure out if consent is a lack of a “no,” an enthusiastic “yes,” whether it should be given for every stage, or how to factor in a woman’s discomfort with saying no. This is especially problematic when two people who haven’t learned to communicate with each other get physical.
I feel bad for girls because the social pressure to be physical is unreal, and (outside of very religious communities) don’t really have a socially acceptable reason to say no.
What moral component is there besides consent? Or possibly betrayal of someone’s monogamous partner? I think this is very slippery ground.
Honesty is a moral component of consensual interactions and lack of it can remove consent. If a man tells a woman he’s using a condom or that he recently tested HIV negative and he actually didn’t, that’s a big problem.
I’m the Anon at 10:59 am.
There’s the emotional component, which can include how you treat the person after. Will you ensure that she gets home safely? Make sure she’s comfortable as she sleeps over and treat her kindly in the morning?
There’s a physical component. Some percentage of women (about 1/4th to 1/5th) enjoy PIV as much as men do. The vast majority of women need more stimulation, other types of stimulation, etc., in order to climax. Many women can’t climax. And I think it’s completely fine for a woman to determine that it’s still a good experience even if she doesn’t climax, but I don’t think that a man can make that determination for her. I do think men should ask themselves if it’s okay to have this interaction with her if he enjoys it a LOT more than she does, and if it’s not okay, what he’s going to do to even things out.
There’s the fact that regardless of how good the contraception is, there’s a risk of pregnancy. He’s not the one who then either gives birth or has surgery. Maybe I’m weird, but I think it’s a pretty basic thing before s*x for the partners to work out what they would do if birth control fails.
It’s easier for women to get diseases from men than to give diseases to them, based on basic physiology. STIs also can cause us to be infertile, but (IIRC) don’t have the same level of risks for men. How sure are both parties that they are free from STIs? If they have an STI, are they obligated to disclose it to a s*xual partner before intercourse or things that could transmit the STI? (I say yes.) To what extent are people allowed to make decisions about their partners’ health by subjecting them to unknown risks?
Too many women are survivors of s*xual assault. To what extent does a new partner have an obligation to tread carefully to ensure that he’s not doing otherwise harmless things that remind her of the assault?
That’s not even a comprehensive list.
Yeah I think you’re weird. I don’t need to work out with a casual partner what I will do if I get pregnant. That’s my risk and my choice.
You shouldn’t insult others when you are a crappy person, FYI.
We don’t get to tell men to not make decisions for us (ex., removing the c*ndom during s*x, not disclosing STDs, etc.) while making decisions for them. If a man wouldn’t sleep with you if he knew that you wouldn’t even tell him if you got pregnant… that’s HIS choice. If it means you don’t get s*x that night, that’s not his problem.
Why is it so hard for people to treat their s*x partners like human beings?
It’s easy to say when you are a lawyer or other high earner. Otherwise, you will be the one begging for subsidized child care, health care, college tuition and everything else. Then it is your choice but everyone else’s burden, including the fatherless child’s. While you spend the rest of your life hopping from bed to bed trying to find a roof to put over you and your child’s head. #stupidity
You’re so cray. He can ask if he cares! I’ll tell him honestly. If he doesn’t I do what I want. Why is it so easy to be a self righteous judgmental prude?
You seem to imply there is something immoral about having consensual s3x just for fun. You can get right out of here with that attitude.
I didn’t get that read at all.
Not OP, but I can decide *for me* that s*x outside of marriage is immoral. That I don’t want to have s*x outside of marriage or a committed relationship. And that I don’t need to be okay with random hookups *for me*. Or that I think s*x, while fun and awesome, is an incredibly intimate expression that is best shared with someone with whom I have a strong emotional connection.
I think there is such an emphasis on not judging *other* people for having a more open attitude that choosing something different for yourself (and having that be an okay choice) gets lost. I want to be able to say “that’s not how I want to approach s*x” without someone telling me that I’m wrong to not want to have s*x just for fun.
FWIW, I didn’t read that implications in the OP’s comment, so you might want to think about why you are so sensitive to it.
I am the person who wrote the original comment about the limits of consent, and this is exactly what I was thinking.
Thank you for expressing it better than I could.
Lana Del Raygun
I didn’t get that at all—just that we’ve lost the idea that there are ways to be a huge jerk about s*x without violating someone’s consent. It’s like we think everything is either non-consensual or totally fine, when in reality s*x can be consensual and still be pressured-short-of-coerced or “just” rude, unkind, cruel, etc. There are zillions of different kinds and shades of treating other people badly in how we speak to them, for instance, and I don’t see why s*x should be any different.
Is everyone teaching their daughters out of having guys pay for things? (Dinner, drinks, whatever). Money is important no matter what, especially to young men, and they often, maybe even unconsciously, expect that if they spent money on a date they should get something in return. I think women are very well aware of this exchange but often do not feel powerful to prevent it from taking place to begin with. I have been taught to always pay for myself and this has helped me immensely to make good decisions at the end of a night.
You don't need a reason
Going off your comment, I’d love to shift the paradigm from “she didn’t have a good reason to say no” to “she didn’t have a good reason to say yes.”
Opposite. I think hearing about these situations opens up the conversation. Avoiding rape and assault is critical, but there’s also bad s$x for so many other reasons.
Never too many shoes...
That is why I hated Cat Person so much. That sex was bad. She chose to have sex with him to make herself feel good even though she did not really desire him and was downright awful about his physical self and then she hated herself afterwards.
Wasn’t that the point? You weren’t supposed to like her.
Oh look, it’s another person who thinks the FICTIONAL SHORT STORY was a real-life essay.
I think about this a lot. The strawman argument we got in college was “and feminists think all heteros3xual s3x is r@pe (because women’s lower social standing strips them of the power to meaningfully consent).” I think that takes it a bit (a lot) too far, but I think there’s really something to like… how much does a ‘yes’ count when a ‘no’ isn’t (socially? emotionally? culturally?) available?
I think about Monica Lewinsky and how in the past 5 years or so she says she’s reevaluated what it meant to willingly do it, but still acknowledge that BC was grossly abusing his power.
I see people on this board struggle with this too, telling stories about how they ‘had an affair’ with a much older married boss or whatever, and battling to reconcile their feelings of guilt and shame with that nagging sense that the boss really did something *wrong* even though the poster did say ‘yes.’
I was in hs/college when the ML affair came into the news, and it was always clear to me that BC abused his power and took advantage of a young, naive person. It has been very confusing and depressing to me that HRC has stayed with BC and defended her decision while telling women like me that she is “for” us and change for women when she is clearly not. It seems no one really is.
Maybe think more?
I don’t want to demand that anyone leave a marriage (and I’m not sure how together they’ve always been over the years anyway), but I agree that Hillary was an incredibly depressing women’s candidate to vote for, and it bothers me that concerns about Bill Clinton have become so taboo and partisan.
I’m firmly in the camp that bosses/managers shouldn’t have s*x with subordinates.
I think it’s gross that you do to not believe her.
I think it’s gross that you do not believe her.*
Vancouver in June
Reposting from late in the weekend thread.
Suggestions for 5 days in Vancouver? Traveling with husband and our adult children (mid 20s). We like good food, and enjoy some museums, history, and outdoors, but need a good balance between those categories to keep everyone engaged. We are planning to rent a car and are willing to drive a bit out of the city to see things.
I think you can enjoy 5 days in Vancouver without a car, but it’s so beautiful so I also understand the appeal of wanting to go somewhere! I believe Whistler is about an hour and a half away so you could go there. For the city I recommend Granville Island and Biking around Stanley Park. Watching the sunset on the beach. Catsiliano (sp?) suspension bridge is really popular and not far. Also June is an awesome time to go :)
+1 to Whistler. It’s an easy drive on the Sea to Sky highway, which has beautiful parts. And I just adored Whistler in the summer season. We rented bikes, hiked, and ate/drank well. Also recommend the canopy tours or zipline tours. It was lovely.
I would do at least an overnight to Victoria. Take the car ferry, have tea at the Empress, visit the Buschart Gardens, stay up island and enjoy the Pacific. Sooke Harbour House is lovely if that is in the budget.
In Vancouver, spend a morning walking Chinatown; we enjoyed the walking tour that is on the City’s website very much, especially the Sun Yat-Sen Garden. Also, we ate all the dim sum.
Eat the omakase at Tojo, especially the famous tuna. Worth it!
The Aquarium and Stanley Park are very nice.
Aquarium was fun, but I was a little blown away by the cost.
I was intrigued by some of the posts on horseback riding over the weekend. I rode for 2 years in middle/high school and really liked it, but the barn was far away and I kind of dropped off once other activities started demanding my time in high school. I’ve always wanted to ride again, but I figured as an adult, my options would be limited to occasional pleasure riding. However, the posts from this weekend made it sound like you can actually compete as an adult (I guess I’m just ignorant, but I thought that was more of a kid/teen thing unless you are a pro). How does that work exactly? Do you need to own your own horse? How do you find a show barn compared to others?
Gail the Goldfish
You can. It’s generally the same set up as shows you might have been familiar with when you were a kid, just you have adults in a class instead of kids. You don’t need to own your own horse–a lot of barns have school horses they will take to shows for their riders. As with most things, it’s something you can spend a little or a lot of money on depending on if you own your own horse, if you’re just doing schooling shows vs. rated shows, how fancy of clothes you want to buy, etc. As for finding a barn, I would ask on NextDoor or similar community site if anyone has any recommendations, or see if you can find a Facebook group for riders in your area. Just ask what types of shows they do, if they require you to take X number of lessons per month if you’re showing (for me this is the hardest part of riding as an adult–a lot of barns in my area want you to be able to commit to the same lesson time each week and with my job, I just can’t). I don’t show any more, so others may have better ideas on specific questions to ask. I actually found my current barn through a Craigslist posting for lessons. Don’t be afraid to try out lessons at different barns until you find one that works–I think I tried 4 or 5 places until I settled on my current barn.
This is going to be somewhat location dependent, but there are definitely places will take adult beginners. You want to look for a barn that specifies on its website that is provides lessons and lesson horses. So for example, places that offer lessons will generally have more rudimentary explanations of lesson “levels” or packages of lessons for novice or beginner riders. In contrast, a show barn will not offer such a thing. Instead, their website will discuss a show schedule, training versus boarding packages, etc.
Additionally, you’ll probably want to try and find a place that does have an active adult lesson program. You should be able to get a feel for that from the website or just by calling. Riding with the kiddos is not always that fun.
You can totally compete as an adult – the amateur divisions are very competitive!
If you want, email me at crossedpaws10 at the mail of G and maybe I can help further. Depending on your location, I might have some specific recommendations as well.
My trainer has a few adult beginners that ride the school horses, and if they want, those people can take the school horses to shows. I know that a couple of them take their lessons together, so they’re not in a lesson with three 6 year olds or whatever. I found my trainer through a friend a long time ago, but I know she advertises in the local paper, so maybe check there. NextDoor is a great idea as well. There are a lot of people that compete in the AA (adult amateur) divisions – they’re super fun.
Ugh! I had a long reply and closed my browser window.
As others have said, it’s very location dependent. My area is mostly show barns, with a couple of lesson barns in the area that are mostly kids (and don’t give me the warm and fuzzies for various reasons). At the show barns you have to either own or lease your own horse.
In addition to the methods of locating a barn already mentioned. I would check out The Chronicle of the Horse Forums (www dot chronofhorse dot com \ forums). You can register, and then post a request for lesson barns in your area under the discipline that you are interested in. While there can be some snarking, generally, it’s a good source of information about barns in the area and what type of student they take on.
I’d also Google to see if there is a tack store in your area. Head there and talk to any of the staff there. Let them know what you are interested in and I bet they can give you somewhere to start!
Mary Ann Singleton
Ha, I was just going to post the same recommendation to post on the Chron forums and I too was going to warn about the snark. What is it with that forum?
Thanks everyone!! This is great.
Purse Brand Suggestions?
My husband wants to upgrade my wallet/purse combo for Mother’s Day, but he’s (rightfully) hesitant to pick out something for me. I’m not sure what brands to look at. Right now, I have a basic Coach one. Any brand suggestions?
What’s the budget?
Piggy-backing off of the pregnancy post above, anyone willing to share their experiences with Reiter Hill, GW, and/or Georgetown OB’s in DC? I am using Reiter Hill right now (at 5 weeks), but am getting frustrated already. No one will even tell me when I can book an appointment until I get blood test results, but they also won’t tell me when I will get those results back. I’m a planner, so this is killing me haha!
I hated Reiter Hill. So, so much. Check out Bloom OB/GYN. Karen Blackburn is my favorite. She’s on the younger end of DC OBs, and she “gets it.” During my first appointment, we talked a lot about work and the impact on my “gardening” drive (like me, her husband’s an associate in BigLaw in DC). Fair warning: Bloom charges a $100/year “administrative fee.” I’ve found that it’s worth it overall. Great service, appointments can be made online, and the office feels like a spa instead of a hospital.
I had a bad gyn (not ob) experience at RHJN and have heard the same from other women. I stopped going there even annually, I wouldn’t want to go there if it was the frequency with which you’ll need to be at the doc.
I had a really bad experience with Reiter Hill. I see Washington Women’s Wellness Center now and have been really happy with my care there.
I use Capital Women’s Care (for gyno, not OB) and while my doctor was AMAZING and all my phone interactions with them have been great, they dropped the ball on a follow up appointment which was annoying… but overall I would definitely recommend.
Thanks for all the recommendations, everyone! I will check these options out– they’re all new to me, so I really appreciate the info.
I also had a horrible experience with Reiter Hill including a fairly traumatic misdiagnosis with no apology. I get it, misdiagnoses happen. But the doctor quickly jumped to a conclusion and then became impatient and frustrated when asked clarifying questions.
Help me shop for a graduation dress! MBA graduation in May after several years of working FT/school PT. I love MM LaFleur’s Taylor dress, but it is a little too pricey. I’d prefer to spend up to $150-200 for something that can be re-worn to nice dinners and/or other special events. Somewhere between celebratory party dress and gorgeous business dress. I have many sheaths and am looking for something a little special! Size 6, cusp petite.
Help me shop for a graduation dress! MBA graduation in May after several years of working FT/school PT. I love MM LaFleur’s Taylor dress, but it is a little too pricey. I’d prefer to spend up to $150-200 for something that can be re-worn to nice dinners and/or other special events. Somewhere between celebratory party dress and gorgeous business dress. I have many sheaths and am looking for something a little special! Size 6, cusp petite.
Black Halo may be a good brand for you to check out
Yes! Black Halo is great for this.
For those of you who visit Hawaii regularly –
It has been a few years since I’ve been, and I’m getting my warm weather clothes together. We are going to Kauai and staying in a condo near Poipu beach.
I don’t need to bring anything dressy, do I? For instance, in terms of shoes I am planning not to bring Mary Jane sneakers for walking/wearing on plane, flip flops for the pool/beach, and a pair of Birkenstock Mayaris for everything else. Does that sound about right?
Trying to keep it to carry-on with room for a souvenir or two. I know I need to at least buy a pool/beach coverup while there.
Please ignore *not in second paragraph. I’m planning to bring the shoes listed.
Sounds fine. I brought flip flops, a pair of slightly nicer sandals, and sneakers last time I was there. Unless you plan to do any major hiking, you’ll be fine.
Unless you plan to do hiking or working out, I would skip the sneakers and just stick with the flip flops and Birkenstocks. Bring one slightly nicer sundress for anything “dressy.”
+1. A sundress and the Birks will be fine.
What you listed sounds fine. I brought sneakers for hiking/horseback riding, a nice-ish pair of sandals for going out to dinner, and flip flops, and I didn’t feel like I was missing anything.
Is this normal?
Went to a medical practice that takes pictures of patient driver licenses and insurance cards. I won’t be returning and sent a nice email asking that the pictures be deleted. Some practices take them to prevent fraud, but that’s no longer an issue because the bills have been paid. They haven’t bothered to respond. Should I ask in-person? Would you be concerned?
Is this normal?
Also, I should mention that this isn’t the sole reason I won’t be returning. I may not need this type of appointment again and wasn’t impressed by the staff.
why would you be concerned about this?
I’ve changed doctors a lot in the last few years (moving, married, divorced, new job) and that’s the norm that I’ve seen.
Yes, this is normal. Almost all of my doctors do it (affiliated with large teaching hospital in large city). They already have all your medical records for at least 7 years even if you transfer doctors which IMO is way more personal…?
This is normal now. If you will be returning to the clinic in the future, they want your stuff on record so they don’t have to ask for it again. Also, it helps prevent someone from coming in and claiming to be you.
I assist my father with his medical care, and he goes to 3 major hospitals and several clinics. All of them scan your driver’s license and insurance card every year.
There have been multiple scandals of people stealing identities and using someone else’s identity to get medical care. They started scanning IDs not long after that in our city.
I think your request is unusual, and could actually trigger a concern in their system. You can understand why someone who committed fraud might want the pictures to be deleted.
This is completely normal. You are being weird. Get over it.
All of my doctors offices scan this stuff into their system. I own a house so my address is available publicly, I’m not sure what other information on my drivers license I should be worried about. A picture of my face is freely accessible online through LinkedIn. What are your concerns?
It’s normal that they either take a photo or a photocopy. Not sure what your issue is.
all the doctors practices i go to do this currently in sf.
the yellow one is the sun
Scanning IDs is very commonplace. And if it’s considered part of your medical record, you don’t actually have a right to have it deleted – it’s the property of the physician and there are retention obligations and standards based on law and medical board guidance. They may do it as a courtesy but I doubt it.
Healthcare finance here. Many hospitals and medical practices keep a copy of your ID or take your photo for your medical record as a way of complying with the red flags rule. Medical identity theft is a real issue, where someone with no coverage will get medical care under another person’s identity and coverage. Beyond the financial risk, this type of fraud poses real health risks because the imposter’s medical record is co-mingled with the victim’s medical record. For example, someone posing as you says they have no allergies, but you’re allergic to latex.
If the picture is stored in the practice’s medical record, they may not be able to delete it, because they are legally obligated to store the record for 10 years (or more).
For medical identity fraud, do you find it is more often a stolen ID or that the person with health insurance is “in” on it letting a friend or family member pretend to be that person to access health care?
I’m also curious whether this is sometimes a clerical error. I’ve received bills for other patients who have the same name (and so has my sister; we have a common last name). We’ve both had to sort out so many other scheduling, insurance, and medical record errors over the years that it never even occurred to me that identity errors might be fraud.
Gail the Goldfish
I did not know medical identity fraud was a thing. How depressing is it that people need to steal identities to get access to health coverage?
Everyone does this now. A couple haven’t taken a pic of my ID, but a pic of me…either at the front desk or while sitting on the exam table.
Caspar Mattress Assembly
After researching the best mattresses for DH’s back problems, we’re looking at buying a Caspar, which I know other folks on here have. But we’re in an area where they will ship, but not come do “assembly”. Can anyone tell me how much of an issue this is likely to be? What assembly is there on a mattress? TIA.
We got a different brand – but same concept of bed in a box. The only really help you need is lifting the mattress out of the box and getting it in the right spot. Once the mattress is open, it will unfurl and inflate. Search for unboxing videos and you can see it for yourself. We got a king, that was heavy, but very doable with two people. If DH’s back problems means he can’t lift, you may need some help.
There was no assembly on our Caspar mattress. We just took it out of the box.
They probably mean put the mattress on the bed. It shouldn’t be an issue for an able-bodied person.
Does it include haul-away service on the old mattress. As a side note, how have other people handled this? Do you pay a third party to come get the old one? We’ve got a king sized bed so this isn’t something we can dispose of easily on our own.
Our regular trash service took our queen. We called to check and they said it was included with our service and to just put it out. Some municipalities require mattresses to be bagged, but ours didn’t.
In DC you can call the city for a special trash pick-up (I think you have to wrap the mattress in plastic first? There’s a website with details). There may be similar services in other cities.
Today I got stood up for an interview – when I got there they had no idea I was scheduled to come in (my initial contact works in another office). They tried to track down my initial contact and I waited in the lobby for a half hour, after which I said that I was missing work and left my email address to reschedule. This has been a lousy job search, and the whole experience made me feel so worn down and small.
No advice, but I’m sorry this happened.
Oh my gosh I’m so sorry. That sounds awful.
That sucks. I’m guessing it doesn’t feel like it right now, but they’re not worth your time. You are better than this, and you’ll find a place that values you and that *is* worth your time.
Anon in NYC
Yes. I’m sorry. I know you’re exhausted and disappointed, but this company is 1000% not worth working for. Imagine how disorganized and terrible it must be to be an employee there.
That sucks. It happened to me once too, and the recruiter was so rude about it. He acted like I was nuts for thinking I would have a second interview, which he had scheduled for me.
Once I showed up for an interview and even though the person I was supposed to meet knew about it and was in the building, she said she was too busy to meet with me and sent me home.
This happened to me also…at a place I’d interviewed at and been offered a job before. Except they said they forgot about the interview. They also said they would call me back but never did. I think they forgot which one I was when they called me to come to the office and then when they saw me they knew I wasn’t the one they wanted.
Oh, ugh. So sorry that happened! I hope you can treat yourself to something, anything, some time today to lift your spirits!
Here’s my most embarrassing interview story. I accepted a calendar invitation from the interviewer’s assistant and showed up at that time. (I had given a range of times, like “I’m available anytime between 9 and 12 on Friday,” and she had sent the appointment for, say, 10.) But the interviewer’s calendar had the appointment for an hour later–no idea how it happened, but the assistant showed me her computer screen, and it was indeed for an hour later. I said, “No problem, I’ll come back in an hour.”
I went outside and couldn’t find my keys. It was 95 degrees outside with 100% humidity, and I was in an office park in a suburban area, so no coffee shop around the corner to hang out in. Basically, I couldn’t just hang out outside for an hour and pretend everything was OK. I went back in and asked the receptionist if I had left my keys inside. No luck. They called security, who broke me into my car (complete with loud car alarms).
The interviewer was very nice, but at that point, I’m sure it was pointless. Anyways, it was clear from the interview that the department was a mess. Since then, almost two years ago, there have been budget cuts and layoffs and lots of turn-over, including the person I interviewed with and the organization’s CEO. I’m still embarrassed about the interview, but I’m sure it worked out for the best.
I’m moving from a business formal workplace (suits or at least a dress + jacket every day) to a business casual workplace (jeans every Friday, much more casual on regular workdays).
I’m thinking of spending $1k or so to modify my wardrobe to be more in line with the business casual environment. What should I focus on? Should I wait until I actually start and then start adding, or should I add a few basics now (maybe $300 worth?) and go from there?
I advise to wait until you work there. You can add some pants on the more casual end, but honestly when I transitioned from a more casual workplace, I found that most women just turned their suits into separates with cardigans or non-coordinated blazer and pants or dress with cardigan. You really don’t have to spend money to fit into a business casual environment unless you just want to.
What do you already have? I’d spread it out, if you can.
You can wear your suit pieces separately, but you might need to invest in a pair of work pants, nice jeans, or a few nicer tops that aren’t shells or cardigans, to do that. You should be fine around $150-$200 assuming you don’t need much and don’t buy super high quality. That should get you through the first month as you see how your immediate team and supervisors dress. Once you’ve met or seen a few higher-level women, I’d do a google search for “business casual capsule” and pick one that looked like the executive women in your company and also work with your colors/style preferences, and start with that. You should be fine with $500-$700 here. Then you can add more pieces as you see them or as you need them, depending on if you need more/ less casual or professional or need more/ less warmth, etc. That can be your final $100-$300.
I don’t think there are any executive women – so that probably means I have even more leeway. It’s a startup with a few women at my level, but the exec team is all male (so far).
Going anon for this as it will totally out me, but I could use some resources/guidance…
FIL passed away very suddenly last week. He was young, under 60, lives with MIL 2.5 hr plane ride from us. I’m very pregnant and cannot fly. DH flew down, but comes home tonight. SIL lives abroad but returned home and will stay there until baby is born in < 4 weeks.
MIL does not work, has never paid a bill, has essentially zero financial literacy. SIL is working to inventory current financial situation – life insurance policy, social security benefits if any, debts outstanding (house is debt free but prob in FIL’s name), etc. SIL is detail oriented but she is young and a perpetual student (PhD candidate) and no real-world financial experience.
What resources exist to help her work through some of this stuff? Things as basic as what happens to debts (medical and otherwise) in the event of death? Does MIL get any surviving-spouse social security benefits? Those kinds of things. I highly doubt there are significant assets given what we know of their finances, but how do we help set MIL up for the future, etc?
I am meaningfully financially literate and very much part of the conversation – they want my help – but it’s hard to do both from a distance and because I’m an in-law (I’m assuming that might be a challenge anyway when talking to creditors, etc). I’ve never dealt with the finances of the deceased before so I’m google-searching my way though a lot of it. Making progress, but slow progress. Any insights would be most helpful. TIA.
Lana Del Raygun
Can you hire an estate lawyer? That would be my first though. I’m sorry about your loss and all this on top of it!
Anon in NYC
Yes – did FIL have a will? Who is their attorney? Does he have an executor of his estate / trustee?
I’m so sorry for your loss!
We think there’s a will and here is definitely a life insurance policy. MIL doesn’t even know for certain. He had a cancer scare 18 months ago (he beat it; unrelated to recent illness) and started to get some of this in order, though the extent of the organization is unknown.
DH, SIL and I (MIL for that matter) don’t even know how much cash is in the bank. His dad was horrible at money – openly admitted it, with 2 BKs in the last 25 years. I’m really afraid to engage an estate attorney and incur costs when we have no sense of how much money is even available to pay bills and buy groceries. They were not destitute, but always, always strapped for cash. I think I’m arriving at the reality, just by typing all of this, that the cost, whatever it is, is likely very worth it.
Where do you think the will is?
Well, you kind of need to hire an attorney to settle the estate, particularly as no one seems to understand very much in this regard. It’s part of the process.
Just start gathering all the paperwork. All banks, all retirement accounts, all investment accounts, social security, all possible pensions with prior employers, all insurance etc.. Get many > 20 copies of the death certificate.
From the sound of things MIL will have a house/?social security and or pensions/life insurance at a minimum so there is $$ for a lawyer.
This will be a very hard process for MIL. It is so so so so awful when one parent is kept ignorant about finances and death happens. Likely your husband/sibs will need to facilitate all of this. Start making a checklist, and there are great articles/checklists online how to step through this process.
I am not a lawyer and have no qualifications, but I helped my mother settle an estate of a deceased elderly relative with no lawyer. We pretty much just contacted each organization ourselves and had her social and death certificate handy when dealing with the organizations. It was certainly tedious and required a lot of sorting through papers to figure out what all was there, but everything worked out in the end just fine doing it this way. I honestly don’t remember what resources I used, but I did find a few helpful checklists online. Online banking was also helpful to set up. We used it to go over her past transactions to see if we could see anything relating to bills/accounts/etc to make sure we had them all covered. This relative did get social security as a widow.
I settled the estate for my cousin and because of her illness, I didn’t have any information when she passed away. I followed “the money”. Got her bank statements and tracked everything. It took a lot of time and effort, but its doable. I had a copy of her will and with that (which named me as the executor) and a copy of her death certificate, I was able to get most organizations to speak to me. I would start with finding the will and getting copies of his bank statements for the last year or so. That should get you started.
Yes, hire an estate lawyer.
A trust and estates lawyer.
My condolences. So much of this is going to vary by state, as well as your FIL’s work history and your MIL’s age. I’d recommend working with an elder law or estate planning attorney: https://www.naela.org/ has a search function. Social Security has a lot of good info on their website (but you have to know what you’re looking for) – https://www.ssa.gov/planners/survivors/ifyou.html should answer some of your questions about Social Security benefits.
Sorry for your family’s loss.
When my FIL died a few months ago, the funeral home (part of a big national chain) gave MIL a free binder with all the information that one would need to close accounts, find out about insurance and debts and assets and how to DIY and/or hire an attorney. It was a really good overview of all the tasks that need to be completed. You might check with the funeral home to see if you can get your own copy.
Some financial planners do low cost or pro bono work for people in your MILs situation. You have to be VERY careful that you get someone reputable though. It should be someone who normally works on a fee structure and not commission basis. I handled a divorce case for a woman who literally didn’t know how to write out a check. I started with finance professors at the local college and they put me in touch with an alumni that does this kind of pro bono work. He taught her the stuff we all learned as young adults – how to open a bank account, how to transfer the comcast bill to your new address. I even had to teach her how to search for apartments. She didn’t know how to use the computer and I helped her by printing online apartment ads for her. It was time consuming and sad and frustrating and I can’t imagine trying to teach a close family member like that. This is probably something you want to outsource for getting her up to speed on life skills. She will be less afraid of asking a “stupid” question too.
Renovate vs. sell
In a similar vein to the discussion above on downsizing a house, how did you know (or did you) whether your house was your forever home or whether you would likely be better off moving and upgrading (or downsizing) in the future? Or any insight on whether it is better to renovate to make the house suit changing needs or when it is better to sell and find a different house that is more suitable? Or similarly, if you bought a “starter home” how long did you stay in it before changing houses or did you end up staying long term and renovating?
This may seem like a strange and overly abstract theoretical discussion topic, but here’s some flavor: My fiance and I are currently considering some renovations (kitchen, bathroom, etc.) and are trying to determine how extensively to renovate. If we think we will move in the next 5 years that would likely be a different price point and undertaking in the renovations we undertake versus if this house will be more a forever home or at least suit us for a much longer term ( I know we cannot predict definitively that we will stay because life changes, etc.). We love our location, neighborhood, amenities, etc. but there are elements of the house we don’t love (e.g. the kitchen layout, lack of a bathtub, quality and style of some of the things like flooring and cabinets). Are we better off making modest upgrades (where we could recoup most of the cost upon resale) and looking to sell in a couple years? Or are we better off planning to stay long term and undertaking the renovations that make the house more like our dream home? Obviously this is ultimately going to be a very personal decision, but I’m interested in hearing what others did or are doing and or what things you considered in making those types of decisions.
Are there many other affordable options in the right location that would get you exactly what you want? If you love the neighborhood and location and have a house that you can renovate to get what you want it seems to follow that it would be best to do that, but it would depend on your market.
This is a very personal decision, but one thing that may help is to ask a reputable realtor in your area which renovations are worthwhile in your market and which aren’t. Knowing that can help you decide.
the yellow one is the sun
+1 to this. Realtors can absolutely help you with comps and advise on what makes sense for your market and even your neighborhood. We talked to a couple of friends who are realtors and learned it just wouldn’t make sense to put the money into renovating to the degree we’d need to truly have our “forever home” so we will do minor things when we’re ready to sell, recoup the cost and upgrade.
To me moving is such a pain in the rear and have done so 4 times in the last 5 years, so unless I have to move to a new city/state, I am staying put.
I’m never going to love everything about a house and bought in an area of town that I’m generally happy with. So, tl;dr, I’m on team stayput.
Question about skincare-
I usually cleanse with cold cream, hydrate with R+F soothe step 2, and use elta MD sunscreen as needed/ use B.B. cream. My skin looks good and does not get dry and flaky.
Last week I was out and about in 30 degree windy weather and my face did get a bit dry. I was staying near a department store so i went looking for some sort of thicker moisturizer, and ended up with a sample of Amore Pacific sleeping recovery mask.
I used it for two nights and I thought it wasn’t for me because each time I used it I woke up with one of those little white pimples (easy to scrape off leaving a minimal red spot behind)
But this week I notice my skin looks better than usual.
I wonder if any of you experience that with super hydrating products. Are the tiny little zits worth it for increased hydration, or should I keep looking?
For what it’s worth, this product is affordable (for me) at $60, but some of the other products in the line are shockingly expensive.
Passover- sending a note
All- what’s the proper etiquette/ wording around sending a note to a client who observes Passover? If we are sending our clients Easter notes, Passover should be a no brainer!
Not sure, but it seems really atypical to me that an Easter note would go out to clients either.
This. I haven’t heard of Easter notes before.
Something like: “Wishing you a joyous/happy and wonderful/peaceful/meaningful Passover”
Signed, a Jew who appreciates that you’re putting in this kind of thought :)