Monday, February 4, 2019

Link List: Money Lessons and Other Things

Wearing my new to me Alexis Bittar bracelet. In this light, one can almost see why my recent interest in jade bangles led me to it, at least in terms of the color!

It's now been long enough since I graduated law school that I have a few friends who have left their first workplaces, sometimes in order to leave NYC and sometimes in order to do something that's not biglaw. I've found it exciting to see where my peers and former colleagues end up, though we're still so new to this profession that it's still impossible to predict what our careers will actually look like in the long term. I am always a bit sad, however, when any of my friends move out of the city. Of my closest law school friends, only a few are still here!

1. // I enjoyed this article about Kathy's novel, Family Trust (affiliate link). There's a very particular perspective presented in the novel, one that I'm very familiar with. It depicts a community that's very similar to the one I grew up in (some would call it the exact same one, but I'm not sure that's 100% correct, mine was a few zip codes away, among other things). A lot has changed in the Silicon Valley since I was a child. 

2. // I also enjoyed Carly the Prepster's post about her thought process when making a recent large designer handbag purchase, in this case, a Chanel bag. Among other things, it gives some insight into how she runs her successful social media-based business (for further context, she once indicated during an AMA two years ago that her blog brought in mid-six figures of revenue/year at the time). It also touches on larger themes I'm interested in, including about the money lessons one learns from one's parents (whether those lessons were intentionally taught or not, a theme I last discussed over at Sherry's). And well, as one can see from much of what I write here, I too enjoy writing at somewhat excessive length about my thought process for various purchases! 

I was a little surprised to see that many at r/blogsnark found that post annoying. I can see the reason for some of the criticisms. For instance, it really sounds like her parents were a perfectly reasonable level of frugal (through things like not ordering sodas or desserts at restaurants most of the time, driving older cars, paying off their mortgage, and prioritizing things like paying for college tuition for their children, etc.). While I'm definitely familiar with how a parent's sensible approach to money can still have unintended consequences, in which their child interprets from it certain unhelpful lessons (in my case, the focus on "sale section only" shopping I was raised with may have fed into some of my bad shopping habits later), I don't generally think it's fair to be too critical of one's parents for something like that, at least when it's clear that the odder, less useful lessons were accidentally conveyed.

Also, I agree with Luxe that, like Carly specifically mentioned, it's perfectly reasonable, and even rather smart, to save for a wedding before such an event is actually, er, concretely on the horizon. Weddings can be expensive, and the sometimes brief window between engagement and when people start putting down deposits for wedding-related expenses could mean that, if one has a certain type of wedding in mind, one can't exactly... wait until the engagement has happened to start saving, given the amount that might soon be needed. 

I do understand that it's not exactly "cute" for someone in an extremely strong and privileged financial position to fuss overly much about money-related anxieties. It could easily sound bad or terribly out of touch. That's why I try to be cautious about how I write about my own finances, to always keep in mind that I've been incredibly fortunate to have the economic opportunities I have. At the same time though, I do see the US as being a society where it's perfectly normal even for people in an excellent financial position to still be afraid about money and their future. A major medical emergency could decimate almost anyone's finances here, and that's legitimately terrifying, and reasonably so.

3. // And now for some other blog entries that I've been reading lately: I found Adina's detailed, thoughtful post about her local thrifting scene very interesting, as she's definitely an expert. I was entertained by Kitty and Piggy's post about how to write and cash checks, which, let's just say, may no longer be a skill that one learns naturally in the course of becoming a young adult these days. I don't think I had a checkbook until I was in law school, and that was only because student housing didn't accept rent payments any other way. And I admit that I had to do some research on Google before I really knew how to write my first check. Elaine's posts about her experiences with selling through TheRealReal (affiliate link) will be helpful if I ever decide to resell anything that way. 

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