Monday, August 30, 2010

What is it About 20 Somethings?

Ugh. So I was reading this article in the New York Times Magazine last week, and I just had to tell you it kind of infuriated me. Please read it and let me know what you think.

It boils down to this: kids today are putting off "adulthood" longer than 20 somethings did a generation ago. What's adulthood? A magical age? When you feel like a grown up? Apparently, there are five milestones that mark the transition to adulthood: completing school, leaving home, becoming financially independent, marrying, and having a child. In 1960, 77 percent of women and 65 percent of men had reached all 5 milestones by the time they were 30. By 2000, less than half of the women and 1/3 of men had reached those same milestones by 30. I would not be surprised if the 2010 census data reflects even less.

But is that because 20 somethings are entitled or lazy? I don't think so. I mean, of course, I'm a twenty-something and I'm going to stand up for my age group. First off, the economy is really to blame. I really think having one of the worst economies in a generation is a ripple effect for everything else - how can you leave home when your job barely pays you enough to live (if you even have a job)? On top of that, are you going to be attracting potential mates from your childhood bedroom? Probably not. And don't even think about bringing a baby into that mess.

I'm going to look at the positive aspects of not achieving these milestones - first off, many 20 somethings are "putting off" getting a job right out of school to do something altruistic, like AmeriCorps, the Peace Corps, or getting involved in other national and international service groups. The rate of service has exploded in the last 20 years. Also, I'd like to think that marrying older (the average age for marriage now is 26 for women and 28 for men, compared to 21 for women and 23 for men in the early 70's) would mean you're better prepared emotionally to handle the responsibilities and the seriousness of marriage. The divorce rate hovers around 50% - maybe because of the 20 somethings holding out, the divorce rate will start to go down in the next 10-20 years. By waiting to have children until you're older, parents are more likely to be financially stable, as well as prepared for the intense and lifelong commitment to be good parents. When did waiting because you're preparing become a bad thing?

What do you all think? Do you think that 20 somethings are putting off becoming adults or do you think they're taking time to make decisions that will impact the course of their lives?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday Deals

Hello everyone! It's Friday Deal time!

*Take 20% off online purchases at The Body Shop for their Friends and Family promotion. Enter code FF10 at checkout. Ends Sunday.

*Keeping with the beauty theme, get a FREE 2 oz. bottle of Bath and Body Works' new scent Dark Kiss with any online order...sounds very "Twilight" if you ask me (not necessarily a bad thing).

*FREE samples of Playtex Sport tampons (huh) and Emergen-C at

*FREE small popcorn at Regal Cinemas when you "like" them on Facebook - gets you a printable coupon that is valid for this weekend only (8/27-8/29).

*FREE lip gloss when you order any PINK product online at Victoria's Secret. Just enter code GLOSS10. Expires on September 2nd.

*Also at Victoria's Secret, FREE PINK body lotion with any PINK purchase when you're a member of the PINK nation.

*If you need to stock up on cute fall essentials, head over to Boden - buy 3 items, get the 4th one for $1! Not too shabby...unfortunately, I'm not in the market for clothes that don't have panels. Blah. Take advantage for me, non-preggo friends!

*The Gap Inc stores (Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic, Gap Outlet, and Banana Republic Factory Store) are doing their Give and Get Promotion this weekend. Here's a coupon to get 30% off your purchases and 5% of what you spend goes to my charity of choice, Feeding America. It's only valid in stores with the coupon, and it lasts until Sunday. Do some good while you're filling up your closet.

*Ann Taylor LOFT is having a good fall sale - buy one top or sweater, get the second one 50% off. It only applies to full-priced items, and I'm not sure when it ends, so hurry!

A good list of deals if I do say so myself! Know of any other good ones out there? Leave them in the comments!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Life is What Happens When You're Busy Making Other Plans...

Sorry to start off with yet another apology for the lack of posts. My husband and I were in NYC for a week (two weeks ago...), and both Frugal Femme and I have been going through some life changes. I'll let Frugal Femme discuss her stuff when she's ready, but my husband and I found out 7 weeks ago that we're expecting our first child! It's been a VERY exciting time for sure! But it's also been exhausting (and I don't even have a kid yet!). But my first trimester is under my belt, and the second trimester has been so much better. I can't complain that much - I've had it pretty easy so far. I didn't really have any morning sickness, thank goodness. I had some pretty weird food aversions, but I still had an appetite. And now, I'm definitely in the "eating for two" stage.

Okay, so I know this is not a baby blog, so for those of you here for personal finance, we're still your gals! However, this blog has definitely evolved to include personal things that happen to me and Frugal Femme, so expect our future entries to reflect what's been going on in our lives.

So question for you parents out there: what would you suggest for a family getting ready to expand? Experiences to have? Things to do before baby? Amount of money to save? Things to straighten out?

My husband and I would appreciate any and all advice!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Friday Deals

Happy Friday everyone! Here are your Friday Deals!

*FREE music downloads for Cost Plus World Market members! They are doing a promotion of "Eat, Pray, Love" (so excited to see that) so they have all kinds of great international music from the soundtrack to choose from. You get three free songs! You have to be a member, but it's free, and you get all kinds of cool perks!

*Did I say happy Friday earlier? I meant Happy National Root Beer Float Day! Go to A&W Restaurant's Facebook page to get a coupon for a FREE root beer float! Yum!

*Express is having a Friends and Family Sale - $15 off a purchase of $30, $30 off a purchase of $75. Use this coupon or online with code 4405 - expires tomorrow so hurry!

*25% off your purchase at Borders! Use this coupon (and you must be a Borders Rewards member - it's free to sign up).

That's it! Hope you guys have a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Wake Up Call

In the last year, my husband and I have endured a tremendous amount of financial change - unemployment, new job, and buying our first home. Every year or so, I like to do a personal financial strength assessment on USAA (if you're a member, do it! Do it now!). But after not doing one in awhile with so much that had changed, it was a little scary and I decided I really need to get my sh*t together.

What I learned that I can pass to you:

1) Get thee to a lawyer! Doesn't everyone have a friend who is a lawyer these days? Well, use their services to write your will and estate plan. You could even do it on your own by reading some books or heading over to LegalZoom. Bottom line - you should have a plan for the unexpected. Regardless of how much or how little you have, you should make sure your stuff will be taken care of by the appropriate people. Make sure your beneficiaries on your retirement accounts and life insurance policies are updated, too (and match what you put in your will). While you're doing the legal stuff, also look into any medical authorizations you should put in writing and who should make decisions. The Terri Schiavo situation years ago should have put that into perspective for us...

2) Do you know your coverages? Life insurance, disability, homeowners/renters, auto insurance, health insurance....the list is quite staggering. Do you if you're covered? Do you know how much coverage you have? Research your policies and talk to your HR department if you're not sure if you have adequate coverage. This can make a huge difference if something catastrophic happens to you. If you're married, make sure your spouse checks into their stuff, too.

3. Make sure to include debt into your emergency fund - this should have probably been a huge "duh" for me. I included things like our mortgage and car loans, but student loans? Forgot about those. Since we don't have credit card debt, we're all good on that end, but I need to bump up my emergency fund a tad to pay for student loan debt.

Anyone else taken a financial assessment? What do you need to work on?