The Financial Downsides of Our Marriage

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His and hers wallets. Nom nom nom.

The benefits of marriage / co-habitating are well-known: shared living costs, combined incomes, improved health in the long term, and so on. I love my partner and we got married about a year ago (for non-financial reasons 😛 ) But as an exercise, I decided to estimate how our finances have changed after marriage. It turns out that in our case, there are severe financial penalties to getting married. I had vaguely known about before, but it was kind of shocking to see the hard numbers as I wrote this post. Here we go.

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Weekend Link List

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A virtual reality demonstration I saw few weeks ago. The simulation (you can kinda see it in the top right) is of flying above a city. Cool, right?

I don’t know about you, but I get kinda sad on the weekend when bloggers don’t update, and I have less to read. I definitely look forward to Monday when there’s a burst of new posts! So here are some interesting articles I’ve collected, which will hopefully help tide you over the weekend, if you’re like me 🙂

Train to Busan movie (Netflix):  Korean movie + zombies? Sign me up! This was one of the best movies I’ve seen recently. It’s a strange balance of humor, action, and drama, that somehow works. Highly recommend. (Just don’t watch any Korean movies alone with your graduate advisor, though.)

Understanding incel (CBC News): In the news recently, there have been some bad, bad people doing terrible, terrible things, and one of the claimed motivations was this creepy “incel” subculture. I thought this clip was good, reasonable introduction to this topic. When I was in college, I found a copy of The Game, one of the classic manuals for pickup artists, in my dorm’s common room, and read it through. It’s definitely a twisted book, but I can kinda see how people with slight grievances could pick up this book looking for tips, and slowly get sucked into this community, forming more and more extreme opinions through a positive feedback loop.

Moderators of Reddit’s beauty community (Glamour): Although the Internet can be a scary place (see previous), it’s also a great enabler. While the big crowd-sourced websites are dominated by men (90% of Wikipedia editors and 70% of Reddit contributors are male), it’s nice to know that women (and some men) have found some safe corners of the Internet too, thanks in part to the huge efforts of these moderators.

Products that millennials are killing (Business Insider): What products are millennials not purchasing anymore? If you count millennials as born between 1977-2000, I’m basically firmly in the middle. I agree with the article on ditching napkins, fabric softener, department stores, and physical banks. But home improvement stores? Never! After Costco, Home Depot may be my favorite store 🙂

Laser hair removal (Extrapetite, The Financial Diet): I was recently telling my partner about the concept of a Brazilian wax, and he was quite horrified. Reading these articles made me think about the physical and monetary costs that women will go to to satisfy some standards of beauty of hygiene. Personally, it’s not something I’ve ever tried or am planning to try, but I tend towards the hippie side – my motto in the winter is: if you can’t see it, go hairy 😉

Combining Households (aka Adventures in Craigslist)

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Dueling sofas.

When my partner moved in, we basically had duplicate households. He had been in the US for about 7 years at that point, and I had been here for 11. So! We had duplicate everything: 2x tables, 2x chairs, 2x couches, 2x beds, 2x TVs, 2x cars, 2000x misc cables, and so on. My condo was a mess when the movers first dropped off his stuff! (He himself arrived about a week later.)

We had to figure out what to keep, and what to get rid of. Neither of us have super nice things – think IKEA and Target. But it was still fun because we got to pick and choose the best of our stuff, so it felt like a free upgrade. At some point, we probably do want to upgrade to nicer versions of some things: namely, cushion-y things like our couch and mattress, where I feel that higher prices really can correlate to better comfort. But for now, we’ll make do with IKEA 🙂

After we decided what to keep, we had to figure out how to get rid of everything else. I’d been a pretty regular Craigslist user in my past (student) life, so I figured I’d try Craigslist first, and donate the overflow to the Salvation Army. (Although donation might’ve been a better choice from the start, since we don’t really need the money, and it would’ve saved time. I guess old Craigslist habits die hard.) In any case, this was the first time that I’d tried Craigslist out here in a less populated area (rather than urban areas like NYC / NJ), and it was definitely way more challenging.Read More »

Review: Everlane tank bra

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Everlane tank bra in white.

Warning: backstory ahead. Skip ahead to the review if you like!

I’m a big fan of bralettes. Because of my body type, I don’t wear an underwire bra (in fact, my bra size is actually kinda hard to find in store). In my teen years, I used to think that I *had* to wear push-up bras to compensate. Every bra I ever tried on at Victoria’s Secret was ill-fitting, but I convinced myself in the bright lights of the dressing room that it worked and brought it home. Over the years, though, these bras got discarded because of discomfort, but I kept purchasing in my quest to find “right” fit.

Then a few years ago, with the bralette trend in full swing, I picked up a few lace bralettes from American Eagle and started wearing them under my clothes. It dawned on me that bralettes pretty much provide all the support my body needs. Goodbye fallen bra straps, hello deep and unrestricted breaths! Since then, I’ve majorly switched over to bralettes, and haven’t looked back. Actually, if it’s the middle of winter and I’m wearing a thick sweater with multiple layers, I sometimes skip the bralette entirely, even at work… don’t tell. It’s been pretty freeing.

So I consider myself a steady wearer of bralettes, wannabe hippie, and fair expert. When Everlane announced their new bralettes and bikini, I was down for trying. I’m a fan of some of their other items (namely, tees and shoes), so I was hopeful these would work out too. So now, after that long-winded backstory, here is my review!

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Clothing Budget: April 2018

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Don’t the Make P:rem and TLC packaging look similar (rightmost bottles)? And yes, that is a giant pikachu in the background 😀

I spent a whole lot in March, so for April and May I was trying to shop less. And I’m proud to say, I didn’t buy a single clothing item this month! Mostly because my time was filled up with deadlines and a week-long work trip (to Hawaii 🙂 ). Funny how being busy stops you from shopping, right?

Well then why, you might ask, did I write this post? As you can guess from the pic above, I diverted my attention from shopping for clothes to shopping for – sigh – beauty products. I don’t count beauty as part of my budget, although maybe I should. I also purchased some underwear (Everlane’s bralette and bikini), which I also didn’t count in my budget. Too many exceptions?Read More »

10×10 Challenge

I don’t keep a capsule closet, but I do enjoy reading about them. The OCD planner side of me loves the idea of assembling collections of clothes, puzzling over the different combinations, and making neat little lists 😛 So when Un-Fancy and Stylebee rolled out their spring 2018 challenge, I decided to cave in to the little planner voice in my head, and try out the challenge!

Unfortunately, reality is very different from what I had imagined. The challenge came at a particularly busy time at work, so when Friday (the first day of the challenge) hit, I had done zero planning, arghhh. I came up with a new scheme: I would pick out my favorite clothes naturally each day, trying to reuse as much as possible from the previous days. When I reached 10 items, I would stop picking new items, and instead remix those 10 items. This greedy approach would hopefully represent the “core” of my style.

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