All posts tagged: Cash

Your Weekend TueDo List: An Easter Egg Hunt, a Home Budgeting App and LUSH’s Carrot Soap

Yes, yes we know — we deliver every Tuesday. Well, sometimes we just can’t wait. To that end, here are a few cool things to check out this weekend. CHEAP The HomeBudget App. Manage your money with ease — and from your phone — with this easy-to-use expense tracker. Our favorite feature? You can photograph and organize your receipts in an instant, getting rid those squished up papers stuffed at the bottom of your wallet. (itunes.apple.com, $5) CHEAP LUSH’s Easter Soap Collection. Stock up on some adorable, limited-edition Easter-themed soaps from LUSH. We love their cute Bunch of Carrots, $13 each, trio of Golden Honey-Toffee Eggs, $9 each, and these colorful, Immaculate Eggception Bath Bombs, $13 each. (lushusa.com) FREE! Easter Egg Hunt. Grab your kids and head over to Sutton Place Park for an Easter egg hunt which will include candy (of course), arts and crafts, games and even a visit from the Easter Bunny. (Saturday, April 19th, Sutton Place and East 57th Street in Sutton Place Park, 10 a.m.–1p.m.)

The Embarrassing and Inventive Ways My Dad Saved Money

Dad, eyeing another deal. Dad was a Depression-era baby. My siblings and I always assumed this was the reason for his notoriously thrifty ways. But now that I’ve  considered it further, I’m beginning to believe that it was a result of both nurture AND nature. I think Dad was actually born cheap. While my family had natural financial ups and downs, Dad continued to live as if we were still in the Depression, no matter how flush with cash we might have been. My family ran a small chain of Hallmark stores. Which was ironic since Dad saw the one-time use of greeting cards a foreign and unnecessary concept (we don’t think he planned to resell them, but no one knows for sure.) Every card we received from Dad, since the opening of the stores in the mid 1970s to his death a few years ago, was signed in pencil. After the occasion, he would erase his sentiments, with the intent to reuse the card. My sister Julie calls him “The Original Repurposer.” Hallmark carried …

Here’s Everything Women Could Buy if They Got Paid the Same as Men

What would happen if the wage gap finally disappeared? We know women would be making more money, but how much more would they be bringing home? By now, you’ve probably heard depressing statistics like this one: For every dollar a man earns, a woman makes 77 cents. You might even be sick of hearing it. But here’s another way of thinking about it: If you add all those pennies up, the gender gap will cost the average American woman more than $400,000 over the course of her professional life. What could that buy? A lot, as it turns out. With that money, a woman could buy a house, put two kids through college, buy more than 21,000 gallons of gas and feed her family for almost seven years. Care about the gender wage gap now? Now that we know how much pay inequity costs women, let’s look at how it affects men. Thanks to the gender gap, life is 33% cheaper for a full-time, year-round male worker than it is for the average woman. In …

How I’ve Taught My Kids to Give, Save and Spend

The “Give Save, Spend” system is something many parents use — it’s a great technique for kids (and heck, anyone) to learn the value of money. We ran this piece over on the WhatsYourSystem.com site back in 2010. We thought we’d republish it and check back in with Valerie and her girls to see how things had changed four years later.  2010 Who: Valerie (the mom), Maya and Rachel Gardner Job: Singapore denizens, world travelers. My sister-in-law and nieces. The System: Valerie introduced the concept of “Give, Save, Spend” to her two daughters a few months ago. The idea is that each girl gets an allowance equal to her age (Maya is 8, Rachel is 3) and then they allocate the money in three envelopes – one to give to charity, one to put in “savings” and one to spend. “They can do any allocation they want,” says Valerie, “but at least one dollar has to go into each category per week. So, yes, Rachel then only has one discretionary dollar but it’s just to get her used …

Mad Men & Office Politics: Different Era, Same Drama

(All images courtesy AMC Networks) Like many of you, I harbor a very real Mad Men addiction. It’s not so dire that I need it in the morning before work (that would be very Mad Men, come to think of it), but it’s extreme enough that I often can’t get through the day without something triggering a knee-jerk Mad Men reflection, or a Mad Men-related Google search that leads me down a rabbit hole of mid-century minutia. I’m not proud to admit the number of times I’ve excitedly interjected the phrase, “That actually reminds of that one scene in Mad Men when…” into a conversation that, well, wasn’t about Mad Men at all. Even though the show is set in an office, Mad Men isn’t really a show about working, in much the same way that The Sopranos wasn’t really a show about the mob. It’s an evolutionary character study that just so happens to be set in a Madison Avenue ad agency. But strip away the intense psychological examination, and the show does realistically highlight the differences between …

Spending on Sunny Days: What My Mother’s Diagnosis Taught Me About Money

Growing up in Pittsburgh during the 1970s, I learned a few things: jobs can go away quickly, chronic unemployment can cause entire towns to wither, and the Steelers, unlike the industry they were named for, were invincible. During those years, steel mills closed one after another, but fortunately my family remained unaffected. My father worked for a nascent Allegheny Airlines, which became USAir, now US American Air (or whatever ultra-patriotic name they’ve now chosen to give it). Still, I remember the beginning of each school year when we’d go around the room and state our names, neighborhoods and other fun facts (like where your father worked). Sadly, the question was never where your mother worked; and for a couple of years, there weren’t many fathers working at all. Given that environment, I grew up with the understanding that money was a limited resource that should be saved, put away for retirement and rainy days. Like, Russell-Crowe-in-an-Ark rainy days.  My parents made it clear early on that my choices for college were to either get a …

What Happened When I Spent One Month Living on Cash

I have long preferred the simple swipe of plastic to handing over warm bills. (Doesn’t everyone?) Paying for things in cash is physically painful. As it should be. When others have asked, my excuse for avoiding cash transactions has been that using a card means it’s trackable, so I can better account for my spending when I leave a digital footprint. But have I actually tracked my spending? Nope. Sure, I like having the option. But if my money were a dog, it’s been off the leash for a while. So last month, I decided to try the cash challenge. I took out $500 at the start of the month for discretionary spending (meaning rent, insurance and other recurring expenses were excluded) and vowed to try not to spend a cent more. I was actually excited about it. At last! Getting real about money. I’ve been dodgy and defensive about my spending for a while. This was going to keep me honest. Mine was a very low-tech approach: I took the wad of cash and …

Four Money-Friendly Films and One Flat Broke Buster

In which we explore the filmic concerns of a given theme, and find new and novel ways of putting together yet another Internet-based list of movies. The wrinkle here, is our fifth pick will actually serve to prove as the counter argument, the best representation of the direct opposite of our theme. 1. Friends With Money (2006) Director: Nicole Holofcener Gist: Three longtime female friends (Frances McDormand, Joan Cusack and Catherine Keener), all of whom are married and quite wealthy, work to maintain their bonds while the fourth member of this tight-knit group (Jennifer Anniston), a cash-poor woman who used to be a teacher, quits her job and takes work as a maid. Currency: Income, earned or otherwise. The three wealthy women all get their funding from different sources: Franny (Cusack) is a stay-at-home mom sitting on a huge trust fund; Christine (Keener), is a successful TV writer; Jane (McDormand) is a fashion designer. Olivia struggles to make any kind of living whatsoever. Expenditure: Despite the trio’s wealth and success, their respective marriages are fraught with difficulties. Franny’s husband is an …

Margit’s Note: I Need a Dollar; A Dollar Is What I Need.

Happy Tax Day. I will gladly hand you my hard-earned cash. No, no, you keep it. Enjoy. Make me a smooth paved, pothole-free road and we’ll call it even. This week is all about the green stuff. Cash. Even if you are the kind of person who pays for your latte with a quick scan of the QR code, money is still money. While technology has drastically changed the medium, our relationship to money has certainly not. (And I still find myself occasionally calling ATMs – “Mac Machines” — I know my Philadelphia peeps feel me on that.) We wondered: what have we been we taught to think about money by our parents and how has that changed as we’ve gone off to college, moved into our work lives, paid taxes, created  joint bank accounts (or not), thought about retirement and investments (or not). We can never have too much of it, but we can certainly have too little. It is one of our most intimate companions: it’s that invisible friend we never introduce at …