Friday, December 8, 2017

Friday Link List

As you can see, I'm enjoying my recent tea-related purchases. The larger, cup-shaped infuser (exact) definitely works better than any other style I've tried before, and is also easier to clean. I'm very satisfied, but in hindsight, something with a sturdier lid-slash-drip tray, like the David's Tea Perfect Infuser that Cassie recommended, might be better, especially as prices are similar. Today's weekly link list is very money-centric. Here goes!

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1. // First up is a Racked article about Affirm, the company that offers financing on TheRealReal, among other places. I'm totally not the target audience for this product (seems equivalent to funding a purchase with a credit card and paying it off over several months, also something I'd never do - people at r/femalefashionadvice and r/personalfinance say their interest rates are similar), but it's fascinating to learn about. The article does a good job putting Affirm in the larger context of the credit card industry. It's a complicated thing, I don't know what to make of it!

2. // Most people outside of biglaw may not find this particularly charming, but I relate to Biglaw Investor's post about not sweating certain types of "minor" lifestyle inflation. If you're doing a good job "paying yourself first" by, say, maxing out your 401k and backdoor Roth IRA, as well as going above and beyond on student loan payments and/or additional savings, those grab and go lunches and Starbucks lattes may not be a problem. Or at least, that's what I tell myself. 

NYC-based office workers' tendency to rely on lunches out can seem extravagant, but I've done a lot of thinking and experimenting with making my own lunches. For now, eating out is the only way I can realistically do lunches. Biglaw Investor comes to the same conclusion for himself.

For context, I once analyzed how much a week of homemade kale caesar lunches costs (~$20.53/four servings, $5.13/serving). What isn't captured is how high-effort that was, to shred the greens (sounds silly, but took forever with the Trader Joe's curly kale) and chopping the tomatoes fresh each night. Luxe also did her own analysis of how much a month of lunches costs, using various combinations of cooking and eating out. Whatever the cost, one much also factor in the challenge of stretching produce from the weekend as far as Thursday, much less Friday. Baby spinach, my salad green of choice for most of my lunchtime salad orders, doesn't last that long.

3. // For a more broadly applicable discussion about bits of "lifestyle inflation" that some people find totally worth it, there's this thread on r/financialindependence. There's even someone who will defend a daily coffee shop latte habit, though theirs is significantly cheaper than it would be in NYC!

4. // Finally, and this was one downside of "old school" blogging, which tended to be much more personal (so people might sometimes complain about someone from offline on their blogs, thinking, foolishly, that it'd stay online), but this discussion on r/blogsnark about people's experiences with the intersection of online and offline drama really brought back memories! 

Back in high school, people often took offline drama onto their Xangas, and vice versa. Someone once went around behind my back accusing me of leaving an anonymous mean comment on theirs.  I've never done that anywhere, on any blog! Many of my previous blogs were anonymous-ish, though I'd share the URLs with some offline friends. I had one instance where, based on highly abnormal viewer stats for that post, something I wrote about a long-ago crush (didn't name names and was incredibly vague, I was a weird kid, but not a creepy stalker!) was discovered  and widely shared by someone. I took that post down right away because it weirded me out, and nothing more happened. Being a teenager is such a... terribly fun time, alas. I had a more foolish internet life than most. 

5. // One random thing - that J.Crew cocoon coat (or the shorter J.Crew Factory copy, or even the Ellen Tracy lookalike I have) is incredibly popular! I see at least five or six people wearing one each week. The most popular color by far is camel, all others are rare. I almost never see any in bright colors, like the red-orange one I have. If anyone is wondering, my Ellen Tracy coat is holding up well, with minimal pilling or other signs of wear. The material was always noticeably less nice than the J.Crew wool blend, but I've been happy with it as an affordable way to experiment with what still seems to me like a trendy shape that could become dated quickly. (In actual practice, the cocoon style is going strong with no signs of stopping.)

6. // Oh and some sale finds: Bloomingdales is having a sale on Longchamp that included the large totes in certain, mostly odd colors. Most of the sale colors aren't practical (including the pink I'm familiar with from my "Miaou" tote), but the peacock green large Le Pliage is nice. Some Wolford is on sale with a promo code, "FRIENDS", including some 50 denier tights, but not the variety I just bought. Also, this is a super weird specific thing, and it's not even a recommendation, because I don't think I can, in good conscience, actually recommend this, but this exact Joe Fresh (which I think is a Canadian fast fashion brand somewhere between an H&M, Gap or Old Navy, and Uniqlo) marled  shawl collar cardigan at Hautelook has been my "office sweater" of choice for years now. It's hardly the only moderately priced relaxed fit cardigan out there, nor is acrylic a material to write home about, but... I've gotten oddly attached to it over time. It runs large, which I personally think makes it feel cozy. 

Was I the only one who had some internet drama from back in the day intersect with their offline life? Are there any bits of "lifestyle inflation" that you embrace? Outside of buying my lunches at work and enjoying the occasional latte, my other big one is cabs to and from the airport when I travel, except in cities with an extremely convenient airport express train right to the city center with no transfers. (London, Rome, and Hong Kong, for instance - no such equivalent in NYC!)

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