Friday, October 30, 2009

Pre-Marital Financial Counseling

We have all heard the stats that about 50% of marriages ends in divorce. However this stat does give credence to the statement, "Hope for the best, but prepare for the worse." Maybe if more couples engaged in pre-marital counseling or better yet in pre-marital financial counseling that stat might not be so high.

There is a company in Boston, Lantern Financial, that does pre-marital financial counseling through a program they call Harmoney. The New York Times recently did a piece on the company and what they consider to be the four financial issues that should be discussed before getting married. There are of course other issues but I agree with the four.

1. Ancestry
Because so many of our money behaviors are learned, couples should share their earliest money memories. How did your parents deal with money, how does that impact how you deal with it, and how might that impact the relationship.

2. Credit
Full disclosure on the credit history. No real explanation needed, we all know how important our individual credit ratings are.

3. Control
Who will be the person responsible for paying the bills each month? How much will each person contribute to the household account? When you have been living on your own and managing the bills yourself, you may or may not want to give up that control. It's highly unlikely you and your mate make the same exact amount of money so how do you fairly divide the bills?

4. Affluence
What is your desired level of affluence? Basically how rich do you, as a couple, want to be one day? If she wants a big house and a large family and he wants a small house and no kids, you gotta find some happy medium and decide what that is before you say "I do."

So what's my solution to avoiding divorce and not becoming another bad statistic? Getting married later in life (I'm almost 30 and marriage is not on the current horizon) and I know I will seek pre-marital counseling of every form. Because I'm Type A and have to have a plan for everything ;)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Facebook News Feed vs Live Feed

Facebook implemented this seperation of what was the news feed in to something called a live feed and a news feed. I have been trying to figure out what is the difference. How does some people's stuff end up in my news feed as opposed to others. I honestly can't figure out the logic of it. So if anyone has any answers, information, links...SOMETHING...send them my way. Because I'm sure if I'm confused my students also have to be confused and will be asking me for an answer as soon as they realize they are

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I know people are all hyped about seeing "This Is It" or they were hyped about "Good Hair" but I'm actually more interested in seeing "Precious."

I am a movie snob. Meaning there aren't that many movies made today that are worth me paying full admission price for ($12.50 in NYC). And even if a movie is worth paying for, I'll still just wait for it to hit DVD.

I'm also not the type to see a movie on opening weekend. I'd rather avoid the crowds so I can get a good seat. If I do see something opening weekend I get to the theater really early or I catch a matinee.

The New York Times Magazine did an excellent piece on the movie Precious and it's just added to the already positive things I have heard about the film.

For movies based on books I like to read the book first, if possible. As of this blog entry I'm #44 of 156 people that have requested the book on it doesn't look like I'll get to read the book before I see the movie. But I still think I'm going to defy my own rules of movie viewing to check out Precious on November 6th.

Is anyone else interested in seeing this movie?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Winter Skincare

The first sign of winter is the colder temperatures. The second sign of winter is dry skin.

In the summer I don't have to mosturize my skin as much. My face tends to be oily and my body only needs moisture help when I am sunburned and I'm trying to prevent peeling. But in the winter I notice the dryness almost immediately after stepping out of the shower.

My plan of attack for this winter is to change my soap to either a Dove bar or Dove body wash or any body wash that provides additional moisture. In the summer I will use watery lotions or baby oil. But in the winter I use Lubriderm or lotions that have shea butter or cocoa butter. I'll use face washes for oily skin in the summer. I'll switch up to face washes for normal or combination skin in the winter. I'm also trying a new product, Neosporin Lip Health Overnight Renewal Therapy, to combat chapped lips. If I do wear makeup I start with a light moisturizer followed by a liquid foundation. I also put lip conditioner on about 10-15 minutes before putting on lip gloss or lipstick.

It's important to drink water in the summer to stay hydrated and keep cool. But it's also just as important to drink plenty of water in the winter to combat the dry heat keeping our homes warm. Drinking water also helps to keep fluids loose to avoid chest conjestion if you get a cold or virus.

I'm also adding something new to my regimen....hand sanitizer. I have hand sanitizer hanging on my purse, a bottle in the car and a bottle at work. H1N1 is no joke. I'm fortunate that I don't have any kids so that cuts my exposure BUT I live in NYC and I ride the subway everyday.

How do you changed your skin care regimen in the winter? Do you stick with the same products? Are there any products you use that you would recommend to someone else?

Monday, October 26, 2009

To Read or Not To Read - Decision

A few days ago I posted about if audio books count towards my goal of reading 30 books this year. Thanks to Everyone who offered their opinions on the issue. I have come to a decision. Audio books will count towards the goal of 30 books BUT certain criteria has to be met.

1. The audio books have to be the unabridged versions.

2. When listening to the books I can't be engaged in any tasks that require my undivided attention. So I can wash dishes, sort laundry, fold towels, make my bed, drive/ride in my car, etc. I can't sort through papers, pay bills, check email, procrastinate on Facebook.

The thinking behind my decision was that if the audio book is the unabridged version it would have taken me about the same amount of time to read the book as it will take listening to the book. There is nothing wrong with a little multitasking while listening to the audio books. Just like I listen to music while cleaning I can listen to an audio book.

I started my first one this weekend. I'm "reading" RED AND ME: My Coach, My Lifelong Friend By Bill Russell with Alan Steinberg. I listened to 2 of the 4 CDS so I'm about half way through the 187 page book.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

To Read or Not To Read

This year I have a personal goal of reading 30 books. It's mid-October and I have read 25 books so I am very happy that I am close to my goal.

Once a year, People magazine has a book sale for Time Inc employees. They sell the books they get to review and give the money to charity. So I picked up a few more books and audiobooks. But if I listen to a book rather than read a book, am I cheating on my goal?

It would still be time spent listening to the book versus reading it. The benefit of listening to the books versus reading them is that I can also do something else at the same time like fold laundry, sort through papers, wash dishes, clean my apartment, whatever.

For my last 5 books should I read actual books or throw a couple of the audiobooks I picked up today in to the mix?

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Living On Less Again

You may remember that in April I did a "living on less" challenge. To summarize, if you get paid biweekly you take 5% of your gross out of your first paycheck of the month and 10% of your gross out of your second paycheck and put the money in to savings.

I did it and I didn't think it was that hard. Not having that money didn't hurt/wasn't painful but I think the fact that I did the challenge in a month that I got 3 paychecks helped to ease the pain. So I have decided to do the challenge again. October is the month that I'm getting a 3rd paycheck so I thought it was a good idea to do it again.

Anyone want to join me? It's been a rough year but we are three quarters of the way through it. Let's remain financially fit.