Weekend Open Thread

Something on your mind? Chat about it here.

I always think of Leith as a juniors line, almost — I think just because it’s super affordable. But a woman I know was swearing up and down that their clothes fit her really well (and she’s older than I am), so I thought this was an interesting find if you’re on the hunt for a slinky but easy and affordable tank dress. It also comes in a long-sleeved version. They’ve styled it with heels, and I think it’d look great with flat boots and maybe a cozy sweater as well — but that’s me. It would also be a good date option. The pictured dress is $56 at Nordstrom and comes in 17 (!) colors; the long-sleeved one is $59. There’s a plus-size version as well, but it only offers two colors, pink and coral. Ruched Body-Con Tank Dress

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  1. 40 gifts for 40 years :

    Hi – putting together a gift for my sister’s 40th birthday and have come to love this idea. We will give her 40 gifts and I’m putting together a list. Can you help me think of some ideas?

    So far I have things like: bottle of wine, yeti-style wine tumbler, sephora face masks, scratch offs, nail polish, a few pictures drawn by her nieces/nephews, birthday crown, cookbook, one of those phone cord scrunchy things, coffee, coffee mug, bracelet, candle . . .

    I’ll also look at the Target Dollar Spot and at Marshall’s – but I’m trying to come up with a range of small/medium gifts with little to no junky/gag gifts. Any ideas?

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Fancy chocolate/gummies, Costco pack oh her favourite gum or mints, good hand cream, bottle of prosecco, nice makeup case…

    • Anonymous :

      This sounds so fun. I think you should wrap them and label them too, so she opens them in order. :) They could lead up to the best gift, or the most sentimental.

    • Consumables :

      I would focus on things that will get used/she doesn’t feel that she has to keep/can actually use:

      Cute magnetic ties for cables.
      Face masks.
      Small gift cards for coffee shops.

      • sorry but ugh :

        +1 to this!

        You know your sister, of course, but 40 (or even 20) individual THINGS to add more clutter to my life sounds stressful and not at all like something I would enjoy.

        • Yeah, I have to say that’s my reaction too, ugh just ugh, there is nothing on this list I’d want as a gift. I’d much rather get one nice thing I wouldn’t buy myself that’s a keepsake of some kind (a nice piece of jewelry can be procured for the cost of a list of junky things). For the 40 things part, what about a list of 40 things you love about your sister – combine a nice gift with some sentiment.

        • I agree. I don’t want 40 of anything unless it’s 1) consumable or 2) a household necessity I’m buying in bulk. Too much clutter in our lives already.

        • Oh god this, if someone gave me 40 gifts I would be so annoyed.

    • Anonymous :

      6 meter phone charger

      • Good one. You can never have too many. And they’re consumable because they always break eventually, even the braided ones.

    • Anonymous :

      Scarf, socks, The Body Shop/travel size perfumes/oils/soaps, wine stopper, a page a day calendar. Great idea!

    • Good quality hair ties (L. Erickson Grab & Go are great), jewelry or ring dish, cute measuring cups and spoons, nice pens and notepad, bath bombs/bubble bath, fancy hand soap or bar soap.

      • Yes, and a nice set of color-coordinated Schrunchies is always welcome, as the ones I have loose their color and tension after a few uses. Plus, even if they are washeable, they loose their color. The manageing partner got Margie to get me some red and black striped schrunchies b/c he likes the contrast with my hair color. Plus, men in my neigborhood recognize me by my schrunchies, so that is another good thing!

    • raspberry :

      -One of those nice Aquis hair turban towels (absolutely love mine)
      -Succulent plant in a cute little pot (could display at home or office)
      -High quality lip balm
      -Travel size fancy toiletries if she travels

    • In-House in Houston :

      Bath & Body works has these great things that you put in the shower and the water releases an amazing scent, to refresh or recharge or relax. They come in a box of 4 (I think) so you could get a box for you and just give her 1!!

      • Hanky panky, amazon gift card, a pair of FLEECE tights, a magazine subscription, a book you’ve loved.

    • Anonymous :

      Um nice chocolate bars, Kiel’s handcream, handsanitizer from bath and body works. Fresh tinted lip balm or Nivea tinted balm, gonto sephora and get some mini products like benefit hoola bronzer, bad gal mascara. Ulta would be a good place to go. Essential oils. Favorite perfume roller ball, Small amt Starbucks card, a small catch all dish for rings/bracelets, framed photos that are relevant, Kate spade stud earrings, Nordstrom rack would have cute stuff for this. Business card holder or change purse in leather.

    • For my fortieth, my family made me a banner with a list of 40 things they love about me. It was wonderful to receive, and I agree that 40 things really add up!

  2. Anonymous :

    The level of snottiness in this post calls for an extra dose of Flonase

    • Eh, I agree with her this time. My gripe is that you can see straight through the material. I love a great budget pick, but I wouldn’t pay $29 at Target for that, muchless $56 at Nordstrom.

      • I have this dress in a light oatmeal color. Its not see-through. I did find that it ran pretty small through the hips so I bought an XL and I’m now a 10-12 bottom and 8 on top.

    • Anonymous :

      IDK, I don’t see it.

      OTOH, I confused Flonase with Flomax once. OOPS!

    • Anonymous :


      And also, Flonase isn’t a decongestant or an expectorant (how you deal with an excessive amt of snot), it’s an antihistmine. For itchy eyes and running noses and excessive post-nasal drip.


      • Not that it matters, but it’s pretty obnoxious to correct people when you can’t even get it correct yourself.

        Flonase isn’t an antihistamine, it’s a corticosteroid, which reduces inflammation, which does indeed reduce mucus production.

  3. Boy I wish that plus size pick were longer. This is the kind of thing i love for the weekend with a long cardigan or a denim jacket, but that length is too, too short for me. I’m probably the model’s height and I think it would look way better on her if it were 3” + longer.

  4. Two related questions:
    1) Is a 5 hour layover in Dublin a long enough time to leave the airport? I’m guessing not, and I’m happy to kill time in the airport, but figured I’d check to see if anybody knows.
    2) What would you wear to the opening of your friend’s art installation at the Pompidou in February? This is a BFD for friend, so I’m willing to go all out even if that’s not what normal Parisians would do. I like the idea of this dress, but I doubt it would actually look good on. https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/j-crew-collection-velvet-wrap-dress/5068455

    • For 5 hours, I wouldn’t leave the airport. I’d want to budget an hour each for customs and security to re-enter the airport, and an hour’s travel time (to and then from the city center), leaving only 2 hours, which I don’t see as enough time to really enjoy myself. Exception would be if I knew someone in the city. Then I’d be willing to just go meet up with that person for a meal.

      I speak generally as a frequent traveler, not from specific experience with the Dublin airport.

      • Dublin is really close to Shannon airport. You don’t really have to budget an hour for transport. I’d get out of the airport and see a bit of the city. I would only do this if I had checked luggage though.

        • Anonymous :

          If it’s rush hour, it’ll take an hour to get from the center of Dublin to the Dublin airport.

        • Shannon is a different airport than Dublin.

          • Anonymous :

            Right?! I’ve never been to Ireland, nor do I know much about it but I know that Shannon is a different city (and not super close to Dublin).

        • Dublin is no where near Shannon airport… You could grab a bus onto town and do one thing, maybe Dublin Castle or the national art gallery? It might be a little stressful though…

    • Anonymous :

      I wouldn’t leave the airport with 5 hours. Dublin airport is not super close to the city.

    • the yellow one is the sun :

      2) I love that dress and I think it seems perfect if you like the fit.

    • Anonymous :

      Probably not – if you’re going to the US at least, you’ll have to clear customs in Dublin, which takes a long time. I’m usually a fly by the seat of my pants kind of lady, but I think I got to the Dublin airport two hours early (unheard of for me) and by the time I got to the gate the flight had already started boarding.

    • Anonymous :

      1. That dress is what I call Scandinavian camo.

      2. Paris is dreary, damp, and cold in Feb. I think red is needed (or bottle green or burgundy). And sleeves!

    • You need to get to the Dublin airport 3 hours early! :

      As someone mentioned above, if you’re going from Dublin to the US, they make you go through US customs on the Dublin side. It’s super unusual and not something I’ve experienced in any other international airport.

      What this means is that you need to get to the airport 3 hours before your flight (and this is if you’re NOT checking bags). I say this as someone who has TSA precheck, global entry, and never gets to the airport earlier than I have to. I almost missed my flight the first time I flew out of Dublin because of all the time the odd customs set-up adds to the process.

    • Midwesterner :

      I was in the Dublin airport in August and we got there 2.5 hours early and there was no line at all at US preclearance. That said, everything I read online was a horror story about how long the lines are so you never know. (My flight was 3pm on a Wednesday.) There’s a nice spacious lounge after US preclearance (51st and Green) that I would definitely recommend paying for if you’re going to have to be there for any length of time. Decent food and drink options and a good amount of seating. The regular waiting area is cramped and kind of run down and I wouldn’t have wanted to spend hours there waiting.

    • Same same name name :

      I live in Dublin and travel quite often. You need about an hour each way in and out of the city at rush hour; on a good day it only takes 30 mins but by time you get from your gate to a taxi there’s 30mins gone. There is no rail system from the airport so it’s taxi or bus and the bus takes a long time. If you are travelling to the US you really do need the 3 hours. I have gotten through pre clearance very quickly but it has also taken me a long time and the flight is boarding. Baggage drop and security are relatively quick and efficient although Dub Airport is very busy in the morning.
      There’s lots to do in the airport and you could get your hair and make up done so you land in Paris ready to go; do some shopping; have some food or a drink. It’s an airport so not very exciting but it’s not worth leaving for 5 hours. By time you collect your bags and clear passport control you won’t have a five hour wait.
      Shannon Airport is approx three hour drive from Dublin Airport.

  5. Would you go to Sedona in January as a family trip (all adults, no kids)? We’d want to do some golf and light hiking, cook, relax, play games. I know it’s colder there than Phoenix, but we’re coming from a very cold weather state so anything is warmer than here. Will it be too cold? Thoughts on potential for worse weather?

    • January is definitely the coldest time for most of Arizona. For golf and hiking, I wouldn’t go to Sedona- there is a high likelihood of snow on the ground. And while it likely isn’t as cold in Sedona as where you are from, it also isn’t a town built for snow/cold weather so it will feel very cold.

      I would actually suggest Tucson for what you are looking for. There’s great hiking and golf, especially that time of year. Plus, excellent restaurants and resorts.

    • Delta Dawn :

      I have been there in January and thought it was beautiful. It did, however, snow while I was there. I was fine outside for short bursts of sightseeing, but I would have been too cold for golf and probably too chilly for hiking (although the activity might keep you warm if it’s sunny and clear out). I wore a wool peacoat and scarf the whole time. In sum, I think it’s lovely that time of year but not perfect for more than 20 minutes or so outside.

    • We did a Sedona trip last January and thought the weather was perfect for hiking (that’s what we spent most of our trip doing). I wore leggings, thick socks, a merino layer, and a wind/waterproof shell, and was very comfortable. However, we are from Chicago so are used to very different temps that time of year!

  6. Anonymous :

    Name something that you do that would be considered overly frugal or cheap at your income/net worth? Mine will be below.

    • Anonymous :

      Clean my own house. Biglaw attorney salary. In close to splurging on a service but the closest I’ve gotten is having one come in 1-2 times per year for a thorough clean and then I maintain. My parents think this is ridiculous behavior.

    • Anonymous :

      Have never gotten a haircut anywhere but Hair Cuttery or the like. I know everyone scoffs at those places with cheap haircuts yet even on my lawyer salary, $18 for a haircut to me seems like plenty and I don’t see myself dropping $50-100. Maybe I would for coloring or something complicated?

    • Not have a regular cleaning service. We make over 350k HHI in a LCOL European capital

      • Anonymous :

        Wow, I make $50k and have a cleaning service. It’s just such an essential to me and I’m willing to give up a lot of other things to have it.

      • Anonymous :

        I feel like I’m frugal for only having it only every 4 weeks. But it’s not really that I’m frugal, it’s that the whole straightening-so-the-cleaners-can-find/clean-the-surfaces thing doesn’t just happen in our house (2 kids, both spouses work FT).

      • I will never have a cleaner no matter how much I make. We have pets and after one pulled a Houdini several years ago, I am petrified at the thought of another escaping. I could never trust a stranger to enter my house without obsessing over whether s/he would be diligent enough with the doors and windows.

    • Couch surf. If I’m traveling somewhere that I have a friend I will stay in a hotel and visit with them as much as they want to see me, but I will not ask them to host me. I’m a grown woman and I can afford a hotel.

      • Oh wait, I see it was supposed to be something I do. I don’t couch surf. I have had friends do it to me at a similar income/age level and it just feels weird.

      • Anonymous :

        It’s about something frugal you DO. Not frugal things you avoid.

    • Anonymous :

      I get my hair cut at the mall for about $15 and I’ve never colored it. We have a $200k HHI in a very LCOL area and I could definitely afford fancier haircuts, but it just doesn’t seem worth it to me.

    • My net worth is in the multiple 7 figures.

      Just bought a new car…for $4900. It is over 20 years old.
      I think of it as “Millionaire Next Door” chic:)

      Most of my financial habits would likely be considered “overly frugal.” E.g walking to work, buying clothes at consignment, buying furniture on craigslist or used furniture stores, buying mattresses heavily discounted online, not owning the latest gadgets, no gym membership ($13/month streaming of workouts at home).

      I am a single woman, highly likely to face age discrimination in my profession and at high risk of destitution in my old age. To me these frugal/cheap habits are necessary. I am still afraid that a long-term disease could mean I am sleeping on the streets in my 70s.

      • Anonymous :

        You’re this worried with a MULTIPLE 7 figure NW? Even if you were age discriminated out at 49 and could land no other job in any field, isn’t that enough NW to retire for life with a 4% draw on assets? Esp if you move somewhere with a very LCOL? Look into the Financial Independence stuff out there – it will give you peace of mind.

        • Anonymous :

          Meant at 40.

        • No it is not. My mom has Alzheimer’s disease and her care will start to drain my assets to the tune of $10k per month soon. If I develop the disease later, a 4% draw on assets will not come close to covering my own care, and I will have no children to rely on even minimally for help.

          • I hope you’re exploring life insurance with living benefits now while you’re healthy. It’s a great safety net for chronic/critical illnesses and often tax advantaged (check with your CPA of course).

      • Anonymous :

        Spend some money ontherapy. Being frugal is great. Keep it up. But with a multiple seven figures net worth you should not be worried about becoming a destitute bag lady.

        • Senior Attorney :

          I don’t know. DH and I are in the (low) multiple seven figures and I worry. We’re closing in on retirement and I worry that there’s literally not enough money in the world to feel secure with the rising cost of healthcare.

          • YES it is healthcare and long term care that terrifies me.

          • Anonymous :

            But you’ll have Medicare? Assuming you’re US citizens. I know it isn’t perfect but it covers a lot.

          • +1 I’m early 50s in the multiple 7s, but I have kids to put through college, then who knows what their support will look like after college depending on the economy, I don’t know whether I might be laid off before full retirement age, I don’t know whether my husband and I might face health challenges in our old age… there’s a lot I don’t know. And I’m a post baby boomer so who knows what will be left of social security by the time the boomers all get through it.

            Multiple 7s sounds like a lot when you’re far away from retirement, and not so much when you’re closer to it.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Yep. And add to my situation two parents in their 90s who are looking more and more like they are going to outlive their money…

          • Aunt Jamesina :

            This is so bizarre to me. What do you think the rest of us 99% do when we face the same issues? When they run out of money, it’s time for Medicare.

          • Aunt Jamesina: 1) You mean Medicaid and 2) Many things are covered by neither Medicare or Medicaid.

          • Anonymous :

            Yes. Medicare doesnt cover any long term care – home health aides or nursing homes – so It is very easy to blow through $200,000 a year plus for 24 hour care in current dollars

          • Anonymous :

            MediCARE does not cover long-term care but MediCAID does. You have to spend down your assets but for 99.99 percent of us that is going to be the option, vs saving millions of dollars in anticipation of needing long-term care. My parents have assets but not long-term care insurance (by the time they wanted to apply, they couldn’t find anyone who would underwrite their policy). If push comes to shove, we are going to do the Medicaid spend-down and that’s how we will pay for their care. Anyone who has a problem with this – perhaps you should vote in some people who will regulate the health and long-term care industries. Or better yet, vote in Medicare for All.

        • Anonymous :

          Multiple seven figures is the point at which it starts looking worth it to be frugal and save. I’ve seen people spend every last cent on healthcare after denying themselves so, so much for the sake of security over the course of their lives (people who never traveled at all, who treated eating out like an annual holiday, who never bought anything new for their homes in decades). And then they lived years after the money was gone. At that point, I’d be weighing what it would have meant to me to have done a few things in my younger years and run out of money a little sooner, given that I didn’t save enough anyway.

          • Rainbow Hair :

            Right? I am nowhere close to seven figures but I still feel pretty rich in that I can live safely and comfortably and basically do all the things I want (except my dream of buying LJs for all my friends… one day…) but. but. if I saved everything, lived in the most affordable place we could rent, never had any adventures, it would get me, what, another month of the not-covered-by-insurance cancer drugs i might end up needing? This isn’t entirely talking out of my butt, even. Someone I’m very close to makes $$$ and has been extremely responsible with money forever, and if he had to pay for his medication out of pocket, everything would be gone in a year or so. So why not order an appetizer, or get your nails done, or whatever?

          • Anonymous :


            After seeing friends and friends’ parents go through cancer treatment and skilled nursing care and understanding the expense involved – for most of us, there’s no way we could ever save enough money to cover our care. That’s where Medicaid kicks in and that’s where most of my friends and their parents have ended up. Skilled secure-unit nursing care cost one of my friends $12,000 a month. For the three months his mom was in the unit. The dirty secret about nursing care is the vast majority of people don’t last long in the skilled nursing units. People get staph infections or pneumonia or bowel obstructions, because once you need skilled nursing your body is in a debilitated state, and recovering while living in what is basically a hospital ward is a challenge for even very healthy people. Thinking you need to save enough money to be in skilled nursing for a decade or more – I know it can and does happen, but thus far no one we have known who has gone into skilled nursing care has lasted longer than 6 months.

            In any case – believe me when I say that no matter how much money you can save, it will not protect you from the worst that can happen. I know it’s a comforting thought, that if you do this and this and this other thing just right, you will be protected. As my therapist told me, that’s a weird bargain to make with the universe. And also not one the universe is bound to uphold. Saving money is great, but tomorrow you could get hit by a bus, and die and the money will do nothing except enrich your heirs. You could save $10 million and still outlive your money. There are people out there with nothing who are still being cared for by their relatives. I know many people on this board seem to think that life is a checklist where if you check all the boxes, your life will work out exactly the way you want it to. Unfortunately, none of us are owed that.

            Let me also just say that if I get early-onset Alzheimer’s (or even dementia that sets in at a normal age) I plan to commit suicide. Ditto if I get ALS or severe Parkinson’s. I do not want to stay alive and burden my loved ones with my care past the point when I can no longer remember them or can no longer move even my finger to communicate. I firmly believe that at a certain point, life stops being worth living. Death is not the worst thing that can happen to someone.

          • Wow, Anonymous @4:38PM. I didn’t know where this “none of us are owed that” was coming from (Who said anything about being owed? And why shouldn’t skilled nursing care be a safer environment for healing?) until I got to the part about disability being worse than death. Please find a way to communicate your priorities for yourself without implying that the disabled are selfishly choosing to burden their friends and loved ones by continuing to stay alive. Some of us are living our entire lives with disabilities that require care (i.e. burden others), and not everyone who can’t even move a finger to communicate sees things the way you do. I myself feel pretty strongly about the ethics of torturing the dying with medical interventions that will only extend life a few miserable weeks, etc., but disability is really different from being on death’s door.

    • I rinse and reuse plastic baggies – and our HHI is close to 500k. It might not really count since it’s not due to frugality, really, I stopped buying them in an effort to use less plastic – but sometimes they really are the best storage option so I treat the ones I have like they’re precious! Apparently spending a couple of dollars and using the bags sparingly is not an option.

      • I do this, too. And last night I repurposed a family-sized plastic ice cream bucket into a storage container. I always feel like my grandma when I do this stuff, but hey — it saves money and is better for the environment!

        I also bring my lunch to work at least 4 days/week. The cost of buying lunch adds up!

        • Anonymous :

          Gallon sized ice cream buckets are the best. And the solution to lots of problems. I think I have about 10 of them stashed in various parts of the house (for cleaning, organizing, or food storage – and clearly marked to prevent cross contamination issues)

      • I do this, too. Not if it had meat in it, but especially if it was dry, like crackers, bread or the like. I try to limit my use of single-use plastic.

        • But you can just use soap and water if it had meat in it.

        • Anonymous :

          In the same vein, I reuse plastic bread bags to pack a lunch sandwich and the large bag of toilet paper rolls fits as garbage can liner.

    • Hold onto cars for more than 5 years. I know lots of people in my income bracket who lease new cars every 3.

      • Anonymous :

        Wow — I am driving a paid-off 8 year old Honda. I think that leasing cars is just throwing away $ (much less getting a new one ever 3 years).

      • frugal commute :

        My car is 17 years old. I rarely drive to work — I walk or take the bus.

      • Same. In biglaw and still drive my 15 year old; hail-damaged-out car because if it gets me from point A to point B that is what’s important.

        I’d rather spend my money on (many, relatively inexpensive) shoes, (moderate) luxury hotels, and anything convenience related. That’s just me!

      • I took two of my closest friends out for drinks to celebrate my car turning 21. It was a bit silly, but we’d all road tripped with her* in college, so there were a lot of great memories to rehash.

        Yes, my car is a “her”.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t think it’s overly frugal, just reasonable, but I will never understand buying name brands when generics do the job for less.

      BigLaw Equity Partner

    • AnotherAnon :

      I pay cash for my vehicles.

    • Anonymous :

      Buy hand-me-down cars from my parents that are 10+ years old. Basically my parents drive their car until they decide they want a new one (usually 10-15 years), and then they sell it to me for BluebookValue. I get cheap , older cars but I know they’re well-maintained because my parents are a bit OCD about that.

    • HHI around $500k pretax.
      – No cleaning service
      – Generic medication such as ibuprofen, etc
      – Wash and reuse plastic baggies and other plastic containers (like takeout containers) rather than buying more/Rubbermaid etc.
      – Bought a house that we could comfortably support on just one of our salaries, rather than buying the most house we could afford
      – Always check for coupons and meal-plan based on the grocery store’s promotions that week
      – Actually, never pay full price for anything if we can help it

      Now, on the other hand, we spend probably $15k per year on travel… but that “fun money” is only available because we keep “non-fun” purchases in check.

      • Anonymous :

        It’s great that you buy generic Tylenol and use coupons, but your ability to take $15k vacations is a result of your incomes and the fact that you bought less house than you can afford, and maybe lack of other huge expenses like student loans and childcare. All the couponing in the world isn’t going to begin to offset (sometimes tens) of thousands of dollars a month in mortgages, loans and childcare and it annoys me when people act like saving on tiny things is the key to living large.

        • I think we’re in agreement here? I totally agree on large fixed expenses being key to budgeting but the question was how you are frugal… and I mention the “less house” as part of ways we are frugal and therefore free up money to use for fun beyond the additional savings. The mortgage is indeed our biggest savings as it is about $2500-$3000 less per month than we were approved for. So, not trying to pretend that couponing alone saves us $15k a year, but it’s also not nothing…probably $1-2k worth of that vacation fund.

          (And yes, we had about $200k in student loans – thankfully killed those a few years back. Definitely weren’t taking 3 vacations when our incomes were lower and $2k/month was going to Citi!)

        • BabyAssociate :


        • + 1 to this, especially when people are talking about those living in poverty. Not buying a latte isn’t going to get anybody out of the cycle of intergenerational poverty.

        • Yes, the OP isn’t advising someone with a HHI of $18K to cut out the lattes, but buying a smaller house, cutting out frivolous expenses, and watching the budget DOES result in wealth creation over time. The key to building wealth is to spend way less than you earn and that includes spending less on lattes, dinners out, cleaning services, and other non-essentials for middle and high-income households.

        • Anonymous :

          Actually, I disagree. Saving $2 on painkillers doesn’t add up, but the habits and lifestyle do.

          Our HHI was $420k when we bought our house. We were approved for something like $2M+. You should have seen our realtors face when she saw that paperwork because we told her we didn’t want to spend more than $700k (we live in a HCOL) and we were driving around in my 10 year old Nissan Sentra. We spent $675k.

          We meal plan, coupon (mildly- like, do a quick check before making a purchase), buy in bulk (were a family of 5 so this makes good sense), meal plan, generally the kids use hand me down sporting equipment, drive cars for 10+ years, do not buy coffee or lunches out (as a habit), I have 3 girls so we do a LOT of hand-me-downs, we get cheap haircuts, DH did a lot of the work on our house with our oldest as “family bonding time” (how many 13 year old girls do you know that know their way around a wood shop and can tile floors?!), do our own auto repair (10 and 13 year old have coveralls….), and generally live a different lifestyle than our neighbors and coworkers.

          But we are 40/41, have a NW of over $4M, a HHI of 300k (about average since 2010, the $400k+ year was a peak) and I only work part time. We take nice family vacations over the summer. For a while DH was unemployed and it didn’t impact us at all. We will be able to send our kids to wherever they want for college, but we are not fully paying for it. We want them to take out some loans so they can be smart about their choices. We may help them out down the line, or not.

          For us it’s less about the money and more about teaching our kids good habits and also that just because mom and dad make a lot of money doesn’t mean someone else is going to scrub your toilet. Our kids clean their bathroom (yes, 3 girls share, the horror) and have started to unclog their drain- I think this was a parenting highlight for DH. I refuse to let my kids become my friend in college who made it 19 years and dint know how to cook pasta or clean a bathroom or iron a shirt.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t see the point in paying for someone to paint my house when I can do it perfectly well on my own.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 – And I like painting. It’s really satisfying. I’ve also done it enough to feel good/confident about doing it.

        • pugsnbourbon :

          I don’t mind painting. It’s the taping that I hate!

          • Anonymous :

            I don’t bother with taping anymore. Years of practice + an expensive brush make it unnecessary. You might be surprised at what you can do! Plus, if you live in an older house where things aren’t perfectly straight, taping only serves to highlight that.

          • Many moons ago I was engaged to a housepainter. He taught me all his tricks. I never tape. :)

          • pugsnbourbon :

            Sadly I’m such a klutz that tape is absolutely necessary.

    • I get second hand clothes from labels like Ann Taylor and Banana from ThredUp and Plato’s Closet/similar places, or super discounted clothing on final sale. I always buy pieces that look a lot more expensive than they actually are, so people think I invest heavily in my clothing.

      Biglaw associate who gets tons of compliments on clothes.

    • HHI over $500k. My husband and I share a cheap used car.

    • I drive a 16 year old car. My parents bought it for me when I graduated from high school. I’ve had it my entire semi-adult and adult life, I love it more than any other material possession. I will drive it until it dies (which seems like it may be soon), and I will mourn its death more than I should.

      I dress my kid in consignment clothes and hand-me-downs as much as possible. Now that he’s 3, it’s harder to find gently used clothes, but I was spending about $50 every 6 months for his entire wardrobe (except for shoes) for his first 2 years. I am also a fan of used toys, books, and baby gear.

    • Anonymous :

      Single w/ 6-figure income

      I buy the dented cans in the clearance aisle at the grocery store. I also mow my own lawn, clean my own house, and drive a 9 y.o. low-end car. I still don’t have a bunch of money without a purpose, though.

    • Anonymous :

      We get a lot of stuff from the trash, including rugs for my baby son’s room, toys, etc. There is some high quality trash in fancy NYC neighborhoods though. My husband also changes our own oil and fixes our car (on the street in Brooklyn), and we certainly don’t hire cleaning people, although I would like to!

      • You aren’t worried about bedbugs, getting NYC trash?

        I’m asking because I got bedbugs by picking up some high end NYC trash.

    • Anon4this :

      HHI of 850k
      – drive a no frills, 8 year old car
      – do my own grocery shopping
      – cook most of our meals from scratch
      – bought a house that we could afford on 150k HHI

    • DINK HHI soon to be $205K in HCOL area. I get my hair cut 1-2 times a year at Supercuts, never get mani/pedis unless I’m a bridesmaid, and we bought our one car in cash (or to be more specific, on our credit card for massive points and then paid it off in cash). I very rarely shop for clothes (still wearing a few things from high school) and also avoid paying full price for anything if at all possible.

    • Similar to this topic, I enjoyed this site’s posts on “leveling up” for clothes, shoes, etc. just to see all the pretty clothes, but I’m opposed to actually doing it. I’m able to stay pretty frugal because I DON’T increase my standard of living when my household income increases.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Drive a car that’s over 20 years old. It’s the car I’ve had since I was 16, it’s paid for, it runs, and I love it.
      Also clean my own house, though I’m pushing DH that we should get a maid. He doesn’t want to until student loans are fully paid, but really I’m willing to buy my time on that one.

    • My clothes are basically 50% consignment/50% Target.

      • Even work clothes?? I’m all about Target for anything casual but I can’t imagine wearing suits from there as a Big Law attorney. Do they even sell suits? Ann Taylor makes sense, but Target!?

        • Anonymama :

          I’d guess the nice suits are consignment, everything else is target? I have gotten some fairly nice looking blazers from target though.

    • Huh. I can’t relate to any of this. My net worth is also multiple 7 figures, HHI 500k+ in a high cost of living area, and I don’t scrimp on anything like cutting out coffee or housecleaning. My approach is more moderated overall – we live in a nice house but it’s not as expensive as what we could afford, it it’s nice and well decorated and comfortable, we eat out regularly but not at Michelin star places regularly, we lease cars but modest ones, etc. I just don’t see a bottom line impact to the scrimp but I do with an overall “nice but not super high end” lifestyle.

      • Anonymous :

        I’m with you, albeit with a much lower salary. We have a mortgage that we could afford on one salary, so we have a lot of extra cash flow when we’re both working, but beyond that we don’t really try to be frugal. Neither of us is much into “stuff” and we drive old cars, but we travel a ton, outsource cleaning and yard work (and would outsource more but it’s hard to get household help in our city), eat out as much as we want and don’t worry at all about buying lunches out, $5 coffees etc. I’ve honestly never had a budget – I just buy what I want, within reason (and of course I have a sense of how much we earn and how much we need to save).

    • We have HHI of about $350k in San Francisco so it’s actually not that much…but we drive old cars and live in a modest house that is paid off. No cleaning service and we do a lot of camping, hiking vacations.

      • If you live in SF with a paid off house at that income, it’s a ton of money. I hope you don’t complain about feeling poor to your friends.

        • SF resident here :

          Not the original commenter, but unless you live here you cannot understand that yes, 350k/HHI does make you poor here, even without a mortgage. Everything is 2-3 times as much as it costs anywhere else. A dinner out for two at a nothing special place? $150 (and that’s just with one drink a person), preschool? 30k a year, want to park your car at your office? $400/month, renting, want 2 bedrooms? $5000/month for a place worse than you probably lived in college; don’t like your house or neighborhood and want to move? Better have access to 2M in cash to be the winning bid. Trust me, many of us who make that and more complain about feeling poor here.

          • Anonymous :

            Completely disagree that everything costs more in CA. I lived in SF until last year, then moved to Chicago. Housing was orders of magnitude more in SF, even comparing downtown to downtown and of course Chicago has very nice, affordable suburbs that SF doesn’t have. But groceries and restaurants were similar or even cheaper in SF, my SF friends and I pay pretty much the same for nannies and daycare (I actually pay more for a nanny than an SF friend) and the general costs of day to day life are just not that different if you exclude housing.

            If she wants to move elsewhere she could sell her multi-million dollar house (a house in SF is definitely worth that much, even a dump) and buy anywhere in the Bay Area. The argument that a paid off house isn’t enough because housing costs are insane doesn’t make any sense – if housing costs more, her house is worth more and she can sell it for more (even if she bought years ago for much less). A paid off house in one of the hottest housing markets in the country is a phenomenal asset and this poster is definitely wealthy, even by SF standard.

            I agree that $350k in SF doesn’t make you that wealthy if you don’t own a home outright. But she has a $350k salary and whatever normal savings someone at that income would have, PLUS $2M+ net worth from the home alone and possibly more like $4-6M.

          • Gee, i wonder how the servers at your $150 restaurant manage to live. Or the janitor at the preschool.

            (Btw “only one drink a person”? Don’t drink. Easy peasy way to save money and no sacrifice whatsoever.)

          • You need to get out of your ultra-privileged bubble. I live in SF. There are oodles of excellent restaurants where a meal for two is $50 or less. I mean yeah you’re going to have to spend more than $20 unless you want fast casual, but this “$150 for dinner” stuff is absolute nonsense. I pretty much only spend that when I’m going to an obviously fancy, Michelin-star place. There are plenty of valid criticisms of SF, but this city does not want for excellent, affordable dining.

          • Laurenb, yes, the service industry has a huge problem in the Bay Area as it’s downright unaffordable for so many people. And sorry, but cutting out a drink doesn’t magically make SF affordable – good for you if you don’t want a glass of wine with your dinner, but lots of people do. You can debate the expense here, but I also wonder why the above poster moved to a Chicago instead of the Bay Area burbs – I’d bet it’s cost of living.

          • I’m the poster who moved to Chicago – it was for DH’s job and to be closer to family, but obviously the cost of living in Chicago is much lower. But it’s entirely due to housing. You said “everything is 2-3 times as much [in SF] as it costs anywhere else” and that’s what I took issue with. Basically nothing is cheaper in Chicago except housing. Housing is obviously a big thing and affects your life a lot more than whether movie tickets are $10 or $20, but your post was not accurate about daily costs in SF vs other US cities. I had plenty of $25/person meals (even with a glass of wine) when I lived in SF.

          • I’d also add that $350k is objectively wealthy, even in SF, and if you don’t think so you need to examine your own privilege. As LaurenB points out, people survive there on household incomes of $50k or less. I’m not saying that affordability isn’t a huge problem and many people in the service industry are probably struggling, but if they can get by, someone on $350k is certainly well-off. We had a household income of $180k when we lived there and I felt very wealthy. We were not homeowners and buying a $2M+ house was not attainable for us in the near future, but we lived in a clean, beautiful apartment, employed a wonderful nanny, traveled a lot and ate out when we wanted to. We also put lots of money in savings, which puts us far ahead of the average American as far as retirement goes. You can be wealthy without owning a home.

        • I left the original response to this comment and I do live in the Bay Area. I have never paid $150 for dinner for two. You’re not poor or hurting in any way if that is a regular expense for you. Housing is the biggest factor in our extremely high COL, so if you’re at a high income and you have a paid off house that is probably worth at least $1 million, you are indeed very well off.

    • Anonymous :

      HHI $200k. We have tons of frugal habits – I don’t buy bath soap – I bring home the soap from hotels. They always have two bars, I bring the extra home. same with coffee pods.

      I don’t buy retail clothes unless they are from a discount store like tjmaxx. I use consignment or thrift stores for most work clothes.

      I use my per diem food allowance at grocery stores. and buy a bar of chocolate, or other snacks to supplement my pantry.

      I bought a 25 year old pickup from a friend for hobbies, fun. I use it to haul my own trash because it is significantly cheaper than weekly trash service.

      I garden and grown my own produce. I make my own tomato sauce.

      I use the library for free books, audio books, magazines, and newspapers.

      I use an antenna instead of cable tv.

      Despite all of this – we don’t go out to eat or take fancy vacations. All our extra money is used for health care expenses. My husbands heart medication costs $1,300 every three months. I haven’t put extra towards student loans due to medical expenses. We also help our elderly, low income parents. However, 2019 is my year to start hacking away at them. I padded my HSA his year to save up for 2019.

    • Permanently stayed in our starter home, buy used then drive cars into the ground, buy most of my work clothes on thred up, no cable, keep phones and computers until they die, dress my kid mostly in hand me downs, pack my lunch most days, bring coffee from home, rarely go on fancy vacations, though that one will change once my kid is a bit older and more fun to travel with.

      The biggest one is staying the the starter home. It’s not big and fancy like my friends’ houses, but I love working on it and making it nicer each year. We will hopefully have it paid off in the next 3-5 years depending on how aggressive we get at the end and if we have random surprise large repairs of anything like that.

      HHI of ~200k in a LCOL area. Mid 30s, NW close to 1M.

  7. fall home scents and perfumes! :

    It’s officially fall here in Chicago, and for some reason this makes me want to embrace scent, probably since we’ll be inside more. So here are two fun questions to kick off the weekend:

    1. What are you using to give your home a nice scent? Candles, diffusers, something else?

    2. What’s your fall perfume of choice?

    My answers:

    1. I’ve been on a Voluspa Baltic Amber kick for yours, but I want to try something new. Any recommendations?

    2. I used Juliette Has a Gun Anyway and Not a Perfume all summer. I love them, but they don’t strike me as very fallish. Eager to see what everyone else posts because I want to get something new for fall!

    • Worry about yourself :

      I’m a Bath and Body Works addict, and when I moved to my new apartment I was thrilled that there were places I could plug in some Wallflowers from the store. Our entryway smells like spiced cider, our bathroom smells like vanilla and birch! I also have some candles from BBW I really like, and just having one of them out makes the living room smell nice.

      But I also understand that a lot of people associate Bath and Body Works with middle school . . .

      • Delta Dawn :

        +1 for BBW, especially their seasonal candles. Leaves is my absolute favorite candle of all time ever. I love getting a new one every fall.

        Outside of Leaves from BBW, my favorite candles are Capri Blue. I always default to Volcano, which I have in multiple rooms at home, but I have branched into a couple others that are also lovely (Aloha Orchid). They make the house smell like Anthropologie.

        My fall perfume is Coco Mademoiselle. It makes me think of football games and cozy scarves.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t wear perfume, but I think that Maison Margiela has nice choices in their Replica line. Maybe try Jazz Club or By the Fireplace.

    • I love Not a Perfume! In the winter, I wear a lot of Jo Malone fragrances in different combinations – they are made to be layered. My favorites are Wood Sage and Sea Salt, Pomegranate Noir, and Lime Basil and Mandarin.

    • I am usually anti-scent but for some reason love the smell of the Aveda salon. Does anyone know if their candles, etc. work to recreate that?

    • Senior Attorney :

      Trader Joe’s has a cinnamon-scented broom that I love. Stick it in the corner and it looks kind of rustic-chic and smells divine!

    • Homewise, year round I use candles and diffusers – and during autumn/winter I add potpourri which I always thought was a little old for me but I’ve found some really nice ones this year one of which I’ve placed in a vase in the hallway table. Favourite candle at the moment is Woodwick Hot Toddy.

      Perfume wise – today I picked up Jo Malone Velvet Rose and Oud for this season!

    • Scented products are a big contributor to air pollution, please don’t.

      • Oh please. Back that up with data, please. I would like you to provide proof that the velvet rose candle causes air pollution in any statistically significant way.

    • I’m into the Trader Joe’s honeycrisp apple candle right now.

  8. Anonymous :

    How do you recommend styling a wine-colored leather moto-style jacket?

    • Anonymous :

      neutral stripe shirt (black/white?), grey jeans, grey/cognac booties

      or – over black top/black skinny jeans

      or – over chambray button down and grey/black/olive slim pants/skinny jeans

      or – over a black or grey sweater dress

      i think i need one!

    • Delta Dawn :

      – Drapey white tee, skinny dark jeans, cuffed over booties

      – black tee, black jeans, black booties

      – big grey knit scarf, dark top, dark jeans

      – over a black dress

      – leopard accents, either a leopard scarf or leopard flats

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Over a patterned dress! (this is my favorite! add boots and tights and a big scarf if it’s cold! if it’s just starting to get cold, though, you can rock the bare legs and booties and then the LJ as your only warm layer!)

      Dark jeans and basically any shirt and booties!

      Too-short dress/long shirt (does anyone call these tunics still?) in navy or camel or white or whatever, black leggings, black or brown boots, big knitted toque. This is like, the lowkey-cool-mom-who-lives-in-a-city look in my mind. Like” just popping into the cool coffee shop by the subway station to get breakfast with my confusingly handsome bedheaded husband and our unfairly well behaved toddler, dooteedoo, look at my LJ…” (for this look you put your hands in the pocket of the jacket.)

      Over a black cocktail dress because you’re the coolest. <3

  9. What do people wear for commuter shoes in major cities? Starting a new job next week, and my commute is going from a long car commute to metro + nearly a mile walk (I’m in DC). I don’t like the idea of wearing sneakers and having to change, even though I know a lot of people just do that… are there any business casual flats or short pumps amazing enough to walk a couple of miles in every day?

    • Anonymous :

      I wear rothys

      • Midwesterner :

        Rothys are amazing. They hold up incredibly well to lots of wear. Throw them in the washing machine and they look brand new. Highly recommend for a comfortable flat option that is work appropriate.

    • cole haan zerogrande sneakers

    • I do Dansko’s.

    • Anonymous :

      No. Leave your work shoes at work and change.

    • Baconpancakes :

      I wore my flats for a few months to commute a mile in DC. They looked sad and tattered after a while, so I couldn’t wear them to work in, and had to change my shoes anyway.

      I’d suggest some sportier ballet flats, like Skechers or Puma makes. You can get them in all black or navy. They’re not fashionable, but they’re not noticeable, either. Depending on your outfit/style, a keds-style sneaker can look purposeful and chic with some business clothes.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m not walking that far but I wear birkenstock sandals in the summer & change to flats at work, and my normal flat ankle boots in cooler weather (no change needed). If weather is bad I wear plastic birk knock offs, snow boots, or sneakers, depending on the temperature, as I have yet to invest in rain boots.

      • Anonymous :

        This is my approach in DC too, with a little less than a mile walk. I do have rain boots though :)

    • Not only will it be better for your feet to have separate commuting shoes, your work shoes will last way longer.

    • Anonymous :

      Buy a pair of support comfy flats and change at office. Walking is hard on nice shoes.

    • I recently bought these for my commute: https://www.zappos.com/p/dr-scholls-imagine-greige-greige-snake-print/product/9045857/color/749257 I don’t wear them for the full day at work (I’m a heels gal), but they are nice enough where if I ride the elevator with someone important or wear them a little bit at work in the morning before I change it’s fine. They are comfy although I did have to “break them in” for a week or so to get that way.

  10. I’d love to hear about experiences from people who have attended and/or spoken at South by Southwest (SXSW)! I’m going in 2019… also, if anyone else will be there, I’d be down to meet in person!

    • Book early! :

      I’ve run this conference for my company for 3 years. Make sure you book accommodations early, as in, last week. It is worth it to find a place where you can walk to downtown. Plan to be out until at least 11pm every single night (I assume you’re going to Interactive?). There are parties/music/networking/whatever until all hours of the night, and you should attend at least a few of them.

      SXSW happens on social media, and the app is a life saver. Download allllll the socials onto your phone, and plan to have them up and running during conference hours, particularly Twitter. People will be live-tweeting the sessions, and many sessions have their own hashtag, so you can get into virtual conversations with other attendees in real-time. I actually ended up setting up impromptu coffee/drinks with people on Twitter during sessions and we met up afterward to continue the conversation. If you are repping your company and wearing a shirt with a logo, you can literally post which session room you’re in and people will come find you for swag/conversation/whatever.

      Bring at least one additional charger, and wear clothes to sit on the floor to babysit your phone. They usually have charging stations, and some of them are locked boxes so you can let your phone charge, but between trying to connect to the WiFi, live tweeting, taking pictures, etc., your phone battery will ALWAYS be low. If you have an external battery/charger, BRING IT.

      It takes longer to walk everywhere than you think it will. When you’re planning sessions, try to stay in the same place (ie: stick to ACC or one of the hotels). I falsely thought I could go between ACC and the various hotels in the 10-15 minutes between sessions, so I ended up missing some sessions because I didn’t plan enough travel time. Popular sessions WILL fill up, there WILL be an epic line an hour in advance, and people WILL hang out in the waitlist line. Plan to arrive to your sessions at least 15 minutes early, but 30 minutes is better. Extra points for lines that are near plugs, so that you can charge your phone while you wait :)

      Walk the expo floor, there’s usually new and interesting technology being demoed. You can also get a sense for the trends based on the dominant tech on the floor. One year, everything was an app. The next year, everything was 3D-printing. Another year, a bunch of the sessions focused on virtual reality/second-screen experience. It’s a handy hack to see what might be coming down the road in the industry.

      Wear comfortable shoes and a backpack with two straps. Depending on where you stay, you’ll leave your room at 9am and you won’t return until midnight. Bring snacks, bring water, bring layers. This is not the place for your cute heels or “sitting at your desk” shoes… even in supportive tennis shoes, my feet were feeling ROUGH a few days in. Drink more water… ALWAYS drink more water.

      The amount of free food and free alcohol is awesome, if you’re willing to wait in line. You can definitely enjoy some of Austin’s tasty restaurants, but you can generally get filling free food throughout the event. Same thing with alcohol, there’s usually happy hours and/or bars at the various parties.

      I don’t know if I’m going again this year, but if so, I’ll put a shout-out on here so we can meet up. Have a great time, you’ll learn a ton!

      • Anonymous :

        Not OP but I’m exhausted just reading this! I’ve repped my company at plenty of conferences but this sounds like a regular conference on speed.

  11. Big Projects :

    How do you manage them when there are no requirements for deadlines, just a statement that a huge project is due in 10+ months?

    • Standing Meetings :

      Standing meetings with the team/supervisor. Even if it’s not expected or you only ask a few questions. I have to have a third-party involved to keep on schedule (and even then it’s difficult).

    • Worker Bee's Boss :

      Break it down into steps and set internal deadlines.

      I’m working on a project now that one of my younger team members is setting up with the Agile sprint methodology. I’m not that familiar with it, but it seems to be working so I’m letting him run with it.

      • Yes, this is it. I had to write a dissertation and wrote a chapter a month and even though I had comments coming back on earlier chapters, I did not fix the old chapters until I was done with the deadline for the next chapter because that’s how you fall behind. I finished it on time but it required two all nighters in the end, and that was painful.

    • Anonymous :

      create multiple deadlines for interim steps and have regular meetings with anyone involved.

    • Anonymous :

      Yeah, you need to break it down and think about it in small increments. Depending on the size of the project, 10 months sounds like no time at all. Of course I am coming from litigation where it feels like 10 months isn’t enough time to schedule a single deposition. Haha!

      My SO is dealing with a similar situation. The challenge is to look at it like a project manager. Sit down with your team, boss, or just your self, and brain storm the different stages of the project. Think about where/when you need to do have completed different parts. Set your own deadlines and small goals. Your first goal is to have a deadline for a timeline for the project with some big mile stones. It can be fuzzy as all get out, but it’ll get the ball rolling. Just don’t procrastinate and have that deadline be 9 months from now.

  12. AnotherAnon :

    I’m going to a baby shower tomorrow and I bought a cute wrap dress but now it’s going to be in the 60s this weekend (which I’m super happy about, don’t get me wrong). The dress is pink floral and short sleeved. Can I still wear it to the shower with booties or should I pick something else? If something else…what? I basically have work clothes (all black/frumpy) and workout clothes so I’m kind of at a loss. Help!

    • Add a long sweater to the dress and booties and you’re good. I think booties look off with sort sleeves

    • Yup, just add booties and a leather jacket!

    • Delta Dawn :

      Wear it! Do you have a chunky knit open cardigan? Old navy has a wine colored one right now that might look nice over the pink (depending on the exact color). Or an oatmeal colored one, or a hunter green, depending on your floral. Also like the leather jacket suggestion!

  13. Workout Ts :

    I started working out in the spring and have acquired a bunch of tanks with political messages and empowering people/sayings. They make me happy… in the midst of preparing to do a thing that, in that moment, is something I don’t want to do lol Now it’s getting too cold for tanks so I’m in search of tshirts or long sleeve tshirts!

    Does anyone have knowledge of a place or website with these sorts of things that aren’t super expensive… I’ve been able to find many tanks for under $10 but so far, the tshirt places seem to always sell for $17-40, which my budget can’t manage!


  14. Sweetest Day :

    It’s on 10/20 this year (it’s always the 3rd Sat of October)

    This is my favorite holiday and while there are a few guys in my universe that I’m getting to know, no one is solid enough for this to be a thing… and my friends are all in relationships so for them, this is more of a romantic holiday than one to acknowledge all people who make your life better, which is how I grew up with it (and why I love this holiday).

    Is anyone else here celebrating the day? Anyone want to celebrate it with me? (For those not aware of this holiday, it’s a holiday that started in Cleveland in 1921 by a chocolate maker who gave candy to orphans, the elderly, and the poor, and it grew to become a day to acknowledge people who have less and who deserve to be acknowledged. I know some think it’s a Hallmark holiday but for folks from NE Ohio and the places where they’ve moved, some see this is as a part of their own memories and traditions)

    • I’ve never heard of this holiday, to be honest.

    • I have never heard of it.

    • Anonymous :

      That’s…not a thing here (MN), AFAIK.

    • Anonymous :

      Never heard of it!! And I buy candy all the time (for mother’s day, valentine’s day, etc) so I get a lot of emails from See’s and places like that.

    • BabyAssociate :

      I’ve never heard of it, but it does sound like a Hallmark holiday I would not be inclined to celebrate

    • Huh? Never heard of this.

    • Anonymous :

      I haven’t heard of it and it sounds forced. I think it’s ok to do something nice for others if you feel like it, though.

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve never heard of it. Is it a day to acknowledge the poor, or an early Valentine’s Day?

    • Anonymous :

      I also have not heard of this holiday, and now i’m curious – how do you celebrate this holiday? (I know I could google, but I’d like to know a real person’s traditions).

      • I grew up with this holiday too! :

        We always gave/received small gifts or sweets from friends, parents, principals in schools brought treats for staff for the teacher’s lounge, girl scout troops often brought flowers to nursing homes, there was often a toy drive for children’s hospital patients, etc.

        When there were gift or sweets shared between romantic partner, cards were often written about as a thank you for the things you do in general or naming specifics (thank you for always taking out the heavy garbage I can’t lift, thank you for always buying the cards and gifts for my side of the family so they think I always remember their favorites, etc.).

        I know it began in Cleveland so most in that area grew up with it, but it’s expanded as Clevelanders have moved elsewhere!

    • Anonymous :

      Never heard of it.

      • I have heard of it because in high school I had a boyfriend who worked in a card shop and he got me a card for it and inside wrote that it was a Hallmark conspiracy but he loved me yadda yadda…. So it is “real” but I am not sure the poster is (sorry if I’m wrong OP).

        • Not sure what about my post indicated to you that I’m not “real” or real but my student loan debt, years of posting comments here, and being able to see my reflection in the mirror indicate that I am real, a regular here, and not a vampire! :)

    • raspberry :

      Sounds bizarre, but sweet I guess? If someone gave me a “sweetest day” gift I would be utterly perplexed. Large midwest city, never seen or heard of anyone celebrating it.

    • Coach Laura :

      It’s on my wall calendar – interesting because I’ve never heard of it before. Sounds like a nice thing to celebrate as long as it doesn’t get commercial like Valentine’s Day.

  15. Anonymous :

    I’m in my third year in Big Law and overall it hasn’t been that bad. At the risk of jinxing myself, can some of the veterans on here explain how/why people get pushed out long before even partnership becomes a question? I didn’t realize that was so common until I started reading comments here. I’m married without children, so is it that once you have children your priorities change and the firm resents your newfound inflexibility? Asking because I’m a worrier I guess and perhaps because this is the only job I’ve ever had and so I don’t know any better.

    • As a third year you are still pretty junior and insulated. Here are the reasons that come to mind:
      -The hours expectations informally increase, business development expectations increase, clients start calling you at all hours on your cell phone. People burn out and start to push back on the 24/7 nature of the job and the firm sours on them.
      – The work gets harder and more sophisticated and less about slogging through the hours. Some people can slog through hours but struggle with the higher level tasks.
      -Soft skills become increasingly important and a lot of people don’t have those.
      -Business case for partnership and staying generally become more important. Your billable rate goes up and it is harder to staff you on matters, you get less busy, firm pushes you out. (Think about your cases – there might be three juniors but only 1 mid level or senior associate).

      • Anonymous :

        This is a good explanation and these are all factors. It’s definitely not just (or even mostly) about having kids and wanting to lean out.

        I’d also that sometimes partners throw senior/midlevel associates under the bus when the client gets upset about something that went wrong. A junior associate simply can’t be thrown under the bus because everyone knows they have to be supervised closely, so if you tell the client “sorry, the second year effed up” you’ll just look like a terrible manager you can’t train or control your subordinates. But you can tell a client that a 5th+ year effed up (even if it’s not their mistake). That happened to me as a 6th year. I wasn’t fired, but things definitely changed for me at the firm after that, my reviews got more critical etc and I left voluntarily within a year (to in-house, not a different firm).

      • I agree with this. Junior associates are easier to sub out, as well. If one of my junior associates is on vacation, I’ll just take over. If I’m on vacation, I still have to review everything.

        Also, Biglaw is very flexible and totally inflexible at the same time, which runs up hard against parenting, especially if your spouse also works. It is no good being able to leave at 6pm every day and getting back online at 8pm if there’s a deal trying to sign and there’s an all-hands call at 6:30pm (and your spouse is out of town and your kids need to be fed). It totally depends on your practice area and how much support you have (both from your coworkers and your personal life), but it can be very difficult to manage.

        Having said all that, it’s can be doable, but it can be a grind.

    • Also, the magic wears off. By mid level you have a very good grasp of what the job is and a less steep learning curve, so it’s easy to realize that making partner basically means doing the exact same thing for the next 30 years of your life. It’s also not necessarily pushed out; it’s that you’re reputed to be most marketable between 3-6th years so if you stick around until 8 or more it can be hard to leave.

  16. Leaving BigLaw!!!!!!!! :

    You guys, I just accepted a job offer at a small firm after suffering through BigLaw for years on end. I am waiting for conflicts to clear, so I can’t tell anyone irl yet except my husband a new non-firm friends. So excited!!

  17. So my BFF and her husband took me out for dinner for my bday this week and I just want to say to any other married ladies out there how much this meant to me– I’m pretty ok being single but my ex was really fantastic about birthdays and so it’s hard not having that anymore, but having someone recognize it (that I didn’t have to plan or suggest) was really wonderful.

  18. I hadn’t heard about this option for work clothes from Rent the Runway, but am now interested in trying it out:
    Have any readers already tried it? It seems like it could be a good fit for the Corpor*tte demographic.

  19. LA layover :

    I’d like tips on what to do on a short layover in LA please. I’ll be arriving on a 14 1/2 hour flight from Australia and then flying out again on a 10 1/2 hour flight to London. In order not to go completely insane from so much travelling I’d really like to get out of the airport if at all possible whilst in transit. I will have a few hours between the flights. I do know that it will take some time going through immigration so will make a decision on whether or not it’s feasible to leave the airport once I arrive, but I’d love to have some ideas as what to do for an hour or two and recommendations for lunch before returning to the airport.

    My husband and I will then have a longer layover in LA (following an internal US flight) before returning to Australia, with time to go somewhere for lunch and for the afternoon and then dinner before a late flight out.

    • You don’t have time to leave the airport. This just isn’t realistic.

      • Anonymous :

        Agreed. You could maaaaybe do something right near the airport, but there’s basically nothing near the airport. LAX has some decent restaurants (I like the Eater guide: https://la.eater.com/2017/5/23/15647702/best-lax-airport-restaurants-los-angeles) and you’re much better off having a nice, relaxed meal at the airport vs going out to get something and being rushed and nervous about missing your flight. TSA and customs at LAX are notoriously slow. It will not be a quick process getting in and out.

    • Not enough time to leave the airport PLUS traffic in LA is insane, so you won’t have much time to get anywhere.

    • How much time do you have between flights?

      • Wildflower :

        7 hours in one direction and about 10 or 11 hours in the other. It seems too long to hang around in the airport. Thanks for the thoughts!

        • Sorry for the super late reply, but with 7 hours I definitely think you could go to Manhattan Beach and walk around or hang out there for a bit. It is about 10-15 minutes from LAX. There are tons of cute shops and restaurants on Manhattan Beach Blvd right by the beach. There is also a nice walking path in front of the homes that are on the beach. It is 2 miles from the Manhattan Beach pier to the Hermosa Beach pier.

  20. Wildflower :

    I’d like tips on what to do on a short layover in LA please. I’ll be arriving on a 14 1/2 hour flight from Australia and then flying out again on a 10 1/2 hour flight to London. In order not to go completely insane from so much travelling I’d really like to get out of the airport if at all possible whilst in transit. I will have a few hours between the flights. I do know that it will take some time going through immigration so will make a decision on whether or not it’s feasible to leave the airport once I arrive, but I’d love to have some ideas as what to do for an hour or two and recommendations for lunch before returning to the airport.

    My husband and I will then have a longer layover in LA (following an internal US flight) before returning to Australia, with time to go somewhere for lunch and for the afternoon and then dinner before a late flight out.

    • Not sure how much time it takes you to get out of the airport or come back in, but I love the Getty Center or the beach at places to visit. If you go to the beach, Back on the Beach is my favorite little cafe and it is right on the beach so you can sit outside under a patio umbrella with your shoes off and feet in the sand.

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