The single person’s guide to a Costco membership

Is it worth paying for a Costco membership? That’s a question I’ve heard asked a lot in the personal finance sphere, and it’s one I mulled over for quite a while myself.

I grew up watching my mother shop and cook for five people (um yes, my parents are Costco members), and I’ll be the first to admit that it took me a very long time to figure out how to grocery shop and cook for one after I graduated from dorm life to apartment life. As part of that transition, I suspected I was going to have to say goodbye to Costco for the foreseeable future, plus there wasn’t one close enough to me to justify going anyway. Continue reading “The single person’s guide to a Costco membership”

On not saving money by moving

I forget every year that it’s going to happen, but because of timing, summer becomes a not-great period of the year for me. The three or so months before it’s time to renew my lease always turn into a sustained period of low-grade anxiety about Moving and other such Life Decisions. This is probably more of a big deal than it needs to be, since it seems like in the process of scouring Craigslist to decide where I should live for the next year, I should probably figure out things like what I want to do with my life, or at least what I wouldn’t hate doing from 9-5 five days a week. Continue reading “On not saving money by moving”

How traffic jams are related to hedonic adaptation

Whew, I’m back from essentially two straight weeks of vacation (oops) and catching up on Real Life, Responsibilities, my workout routine, joyfully returning to a veggie-centric/non-fast food diet, etc. Clearly there’s a lesson to be had here about the need to start queuing up posts for weeks like this where I can’t seem to find time to write, but ahem. I’m back!

Once upon a time way back about 2.5 weeks ago, my sister and I were driving from DC to the beach for our extended family’s annual beach week. We were talking about life in general, and given that I’m a PF blogger/junkie and it’s near and dear to my heart, we were of course talking about money in that general life conversation. Continue reading “How traffic jams are related to hedonic adaptation”

A $500 lesson in adulting and the importance of savings

Now that the blinding rage has died down, I think I’m calm enough to write this.

I don’t drive my car every day or even every week. I don’t check on it every day. Maybe I should, and maybe I will in the future even though I don’t want this to make me obsessive about my car. It’s 11 years old with almost 150,000 miles for goodness’ sake, and I don’t want to waste my life energy worrying about it. But disaster struck a few days ago. Continue reading “A $500 lesson in adulting and the importance of savings”

It’s annual salary increase time so let’s talk money

So I got my annual salary increase letter today. This is the first time I’ve gotten one at my current place of employment and I stared at the envelope with a mix of nervousness, fear, and excitement for a few minutes before opening it (yes, okay, I’ll admit I indulged about 10 seconds’ worth of wild fantasies about what if it’s something huge like a 10% raise?!?). The verdict? A three percent increase. Okay, cool, that’s nice. I’ll take whatever increases I can get! And then I started wondering what the usual annual percentage increase is for cost-of-living adjustment. Is it 3%? Usually a bit less? I believe my increase at my previous place of employment was 2.5% (maybe less? Whatever, I was making $17.25 so whatever it was bumped me all the way up to something like $17.80), but that was there. What was I supposed to make of the 3% raise here? Continue reading “It’s annual salary increase time so let’s talk money”

How to save money on car insurance

No, it’s not to spend 15 minutes on the phone with Geico, although maybe that would save you money! Although fun fact: my parents have been with their car insurance company for ages. A few years ago just for fun my dad decided to call Geico to see if they could save him anything and the guy who answered was like “uh your rates are amazing. No, we can’t beat that.” So maybe calling won’t save you money after all! Anyway, my parents gifted me my mom’s old car about a year ago and I’m now on my third car insurance policy. I’ve learned a bit along the way about how to save money in that department and I thought I’d share, even if this information may be pretty straightforward and obvious to people. Continue reading “How to save money on car insurance”

April 2017: my first spending report

So. I’d planned to write a few posts ahead of time and schedule them to publish later or at the very least to do an “I’m on vacation and therefore on hiatus for a bit!” post before I left for Boston/the Azores, but man that totally did not happen. I’m going to blame that on the fact that we were supposed to fly out of Boston for the Azores the evening of Monday, May 1 and get back at 5:00pm on Sunday, May 7 so we could drive all evening/into the morning so I could get back to work on Monday the 8th. But then there was a strike, either involving Portuguese security staff or the cabin crews (unclear which tbh) for May 1-2 that affected our flight. Continue reading “April 2017: my first spending report”