Money Monday: the $1,000 Blog

9 days sick and counting. Working very hard. No time-off allowed. Congested, sneezing, sexy voice. Every work day, I’ve escaped the office only once, to stand in line at the San Francisco Soup Co. for my beloved Tomato Bisque. Tasty, hearty, soothing goodness! Forget coffee or caffeine, this is a true cup of happiness. The line is 30-people deep. I feel camaraderie. I am not alone, I’m not the only one sick.

Because of the NYE and New Year’s Day posts I missed my Money Monday series, but will capture it today.

Come February, this blog will be 8 years old. I’m extremely proud of the strong, devoted readership I’ve developed, but even more proud of the fact that I’ve continued writing for all time. Yey me! I’ve had many requests over the years to advertise on my site, but until now, I haven’t felt the desire. I don’t need the money and this was always my passion and craft anyway. I do it for fun and for myself, not for commercial purposes.

But lately I’ve been thinking, why not? I deserve the monetization my blog can court. And so, this is the year I’m finally going to make money on my blog! Holla! By February 1st just in time for the 8 year anniversary, the site will be completely redesigned. I’ve loved the current design of my blog, but think that it’s finally time for a change. It’s going to be clean because that’s the aesthetic I prefer, with a font that’s easier to read. You’re going to love it.

I am brimming with excitement for the new developments my blog will take, but know that you will always have little me writing, doling out my opinion, and sharing my experiences here with you. We are on an online journey together.

Yearbook Nostalgia

My camera went dysfunctional on me during our LA trip. The pictures from the BBQ turned out horrible so I’ll have to post pictures from Dean’s camera later on. I’ve spent the last few days reading camera reviews and wringing my hands over what I can afford.

During the BBQ, I was talking to my high school friend Joe who had mentioned his career kept track with what he did in high school yearbook. He took pictures and made decisions on the layouts. I was the business manager. Granted I am the worst person to seek advice on investments, it’s interesting that I got an MBA and work at a bank. And I’m good with managing money, but I think that has more to do with my parents being immigrants and molding me to their strict finances versus inherently knowing what to do. Then there’s Marc who was the yearbook editor and has found a career in brand management and design consulting. Fascinating, right?

There is a scene from my childhood that recently has been floating in and out of my thoughts. We took my sister who’s older to swimming class and I remember pouting and being upset because I had to sit there in the stands with my mom. Just staring. I don’t know whether it was my mom who talked to one of the instructors or whether the instructor pulled me out of the stands. But the instructor brought me up to the deep end of the pool and asked, “Are you going to be ok learning and being in the deep end?” I had never swam before, but nodded enthusiastically because I had no fear.

I want to be like that again.

Money Monday: Urban Outfitters

Back from two weeks in Italy and suffering serious jet lag. I woke up at 5am and wasn’t able to go back to sleep so I came into the office. What a productive little employee I am! Many more posts on the honeymoon later.

Did you miss me? I know my dad did. He asked me yesterday why I had stopped blogging. 1) I had spotty internet access. 2) I was on my honeymoon. 3) I got plain damn lazy. But I’m back. Shout out to my dad for reading my blog. Hi Dad!

It’s Money Monday post-Italy so today I’m going to relay a story from a dinner we had in Positano.

A family of three (dad, mom, and college-aged daughter) was sitting behind us having a serious discussion. Here’s what I overheard.

Daughter: I’m upset because you’re making me out to be a bad person. I’m not a bad person for wanting, for asking for these things. A new computer is not a big deal.

Mother: You just bought a couch.

Daughter: Mom, I use that. I use that every day. I needed that.

Mother: What about all the charges on your credit card from Urban Outfitters?

Daughter: Clothing is not a big deal. I’m going to get a job when I graduate. If there’s a shirt I want, I’m going to buy it. It’s not expensive. It’s Urban Outfitters!

Mother: (in hushed tones) Your spending is out of control. It has got to stop.

Daughter: No it’s not. Stop making me out to be a bad person.

Father: That’s it. From now on, we’re going to have to set boundaries on your spending.

I have several observations about this exchange. The daughter is not at fault. Yeah, her spending is out of control, but it seems like her parents had never done anything about it. The parents are enablers. Enablers are the guilty party.

The situation had clearly deteriorated so much that the mother felt she had to pull an intervention. Now? How many credit card statements later? What an idiot. And the dad talking about setting boundaries. Again I ask. Now? You’re going to set boundaries after your daughter has spent the better part of her childhood spending frivolously? Shame on her parents for not being more disciplined to begin with.

Also, someone needs to set this girl’s head straight. She said she was going to get a job after college. Has she read a single news article about the state of our economy? There are professionals with years of experience who are jobless. I may be wrong about her, though. If she’s an engineer or computer science major she probably will get a job right away. But then again, I don’t think those types shop at Urban Outfitters—if they shop at all.

Money Monday: Sex, Lies, and Balance Sheets

It’s Money Monday and today I want to talk about fiscal betrayal. It’s a known fact that men lie about their height, women lie about their weight, and people lie about their finances. We all do. I do! When a potential employer asks how much you make, are you really going to tell them exactly how much you make? Of course not. You’re going to round up, way up. You’re going to add in your bonus, calculate your vacation time, your work from home flexibility, then add in a couple tens of thousands of dollars for good measure.

Similarly, we sometimes present a different picture to the outside world than what’s represented by our bank accounts. A poll commissioned by ForbesWoman and the National Endowment for Financial Education determined that over 30% of spouses lie about money. I’m sure that figure applies to single people, too. Men are constantly inflating their salaries (probably based on future expectations), and no single woman in her right mind is going to offer up that she’s on the partner track, clearing over $200k a year.

But we also lie to ourselves. This is why I need professional help. I should’ve hired a financial planner in my twenties. I’m only owning up to it now that I need a professional to review my complete financial picture and give me some much-needed advice. I’ve honed in on a female advisor who specializes in family planning. I’ve also found the NYTimes tools to be the most useful. Here’s one on Managing Your Money Through the Ages.