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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Did We Just Walk into a Child Labor Shop?

Did We Just Walk into a Child Labor Shop?
We were at the end of a too-long tour of Cairo, starting with the Giza Pyramids, then driving out of town to Memphis to see the original capital of Egypt, then off to Sakkara to see the very first pyramids on earth, that are somehow still standing after nearly five thousand years.

We were heading home when our guide mentioned we could go to a rug-making school, where children learn how to weave, a worthwhile skill in a place so stricken by poverty. And we could look at their handy-work and maybe buy a little something if we wanted.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Budget Porn: Our 2015 Spending

In the halcyon days of 2012, when this blog was bright eyed, and idealistic, we wrote net worth and budget posts every month. They were my favorite, as the posts basically wrote themselves. I just cut and pasted an image out of my budget spreadsheet, talked about the categories we did well in and where we did poorly, and poof, all of a sudden I had eight hundred words on truly personal finance: my personal finances. Eventually, when people we knew in real life started reading the blog, we took all those posts down, along with any others that crossed the line into the gauche. It felt weird that some friends and family knew our exact net worth or how much we spent on groceries and medical care.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

I Miss My Tax Refund

This past Sunday, I finally did our taxes. I normally look forward to this the way young children pine for Christmas, or Ben Wyatt's almost-accounting colleagues look forward to playing Ledgerman in Cones of Dunshire. I assumed the fact that I liked taxes was just my inner-nerd making itself known, or maybe more evidence that I should have majored in Accounting instead of English. But this year I found myself kind of hating the task. Because this spring, for the first time ever, I owe Uncle Sam money instead of getting a refund.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

When I Dip, You Dip, We Dip

So it's already February, which means we're enjoying the best weather we'll see in 2016 in Arizona. The windows are open all day and night, we can walk around in bare feet and t-shirts and rolled up jeans, and summer is a distant fear on the horizon.

But on the investing front, the start of the year hasn't been nearly as enjoyable. The S&P500 is down nearly double digit percentage points in just the past six weeks, and the bull run that we've been on since the depths of the financial crisis has, at least, stalled. If you're invested in American markets, you've probably lost a good bit of money in the past month and a half.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Money Won

It's the week of Christmas, and instead of deciding on thoughtful gifts for my friends and loved ones or contemplating on the birth of the world's savior, I am agonizing about which runningback to start in the flex position. Yes, it is another fantasy football post and, yes, technically this is still a personal finance blog, but just barely. As long as I somehow connect these ideas to money in the next five minutes, I think I still get to attend FinCon next year.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Upside of Spending

So we are in Paris, as I type up this blog post on my phone like a putz. It is foggy and raining and to a soft punk Arizonan, pretty cold, too. I shouldn't complain about any of this, either the typing on a tiny computer that fits in my pocket, the weather, or the supposed danger of going to Paris or Brussels. How can you be sad in a place that is so beautiful and where all the food is cooked in butter? I am ridiculously lucky and I intend to roll around in my good fortune, slathering it all over, enjoying as much as I can of it.

Monday, November 2, 2015

As I Accelerate Towards the Earth

As I Accelerate Towards the Earth
"What are you thinking right now?" asked the man with the ponytail and the GoPro on his head, and the parachute on his back.

"I'm thinking, 'Why is my seatbelt unbuckled, and why is the airplane door open, and why I am not strapped to the guy with the parachute yet?'"

He gave me the double thumbs up, obviously not listening.