Issue #69 / Sept. 14, 2018

✨ Catch up on what ya missed this week ✨

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  • GOLDMAN NEWS: Goldman Sachs has named a new operating chief and chief financial officer, Reuters reports. Unsurprisingly, they're both men. Want to dig deeper on Goldman? The New York Times has an interesting piece on how a former executive tried to whistleblow the company but ultimately failed. 

  • FALL OF LEHMAN: It has been ten years since banking giant Lehman Brothers had to file for bankruptcy as a result of the financial crisis. Media outlets have been sharing retrospectives on the symbolic bankruptcy all week, but our favorite piece was one by Barry Ritholtz on the crimes that were committed — but not prosecuted — before, during and after the financial crisis.  

  • MEASURING UP: JPMorgan chief executive officer Jamie Dimon said he is smarter than Donald Trump this week at an event at his company's headquarters,CNBC reports.

  • TESLA TROUBLES: Again? Yes, again. The electric car maker's chief accounting officer quit, Bloomberg reports. 

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Book Recommendation: "Money Diaries" by Lindsey Stanberry

We did not invent money diaries. I’m sure that doesn’t come as a surprise to most of you. While our diaries are designed to get a holistic view of a person’s spending, we have to credit Refinery29 for being our inspiration for the column in each newsletter. 

This week, I had the chance (thanks Emma!) to pick up the new “Money Diaries” book by Refinery29’s work and money director, Lindsey Stanberry, after seeing Stanberry speak at an event. 

The book is good. Very good, in fact. It, essentially, is a guide to tackling your finances with money diaries and “money challenges” peppered throughout. 

Stanberry takes a welcoming attitude as a writer, and even shares some of her personal experiences, including a money diary from herself and her husband, in the book. She also interviews money celebs like Sallie Krawcheck for topics like asking for a raise. 

“Money Diaries” includes a number of illustrations, which break up a somewhat monotonous topic. 

What makes it different, though, and a strong point of the book, is that it’s written specifically for women and non-binary folks. There’s a section on having children as a queer couple, for instance. These very real money issues are rarely discussed in mainstream financial media. 

Given these necessary conversations, “Money Diaries” is an important book, especially for those who are marginalized. We definitely recommend checking it out from the library, or, if you have a few extra bucks on hand, paying for a copy is certainly a good idea!


Want to Try Alternative Medicine? Here's How To Do It In a Fiscally Responsible Way

Okay, so, I don’t know how to admit this, but I read medical studies for fun. I’ve talked about it before, but I have PMDD, a disease affecting people who get their periods that’s basically PMS to the nth degree. 

Because it only affects people who get their periods, there are surprisingly few medical treatments available, even though it is destructive. So I read medical studies in the hopes of finding a supplement, a dietary protocol, literally anything that could help. I’m sure many of you can relate given this conversation we had in the Facebook group. 

It’s no surprise, then, that many of us turn to alternative medicine in the hopes of finding a fix. I personally have tried just about every supplement under the sun, in addition to adjusting my diet and going to acupuncture each week. The costs of all of this adds up. 

According to a study from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Americans spend a total of $30.2 billion each year on alternative medicine. 

What’s more is that as family income increases, so did spending on alternative medicine, and significantly. The average yearly spend for people with family incomes with who make less than $25,000 per year was $435. Meanwhile, for families with incomes of $100,000 or more, the yearly spend was $590.

So we’re spending a lot of money on alternative medicine. Does it actually work? 

That, of course, depends on your condition, the treatment options and whether you actually stick to the protocol. You can get highly specific and dig into the Journal of the American Medical Association to determine the chances of a specific treatment working.

That’s actually an important step here: instead of relying on what a Facebook group or Reddit thread full of people with a similar condition, make sure that you read up on the research behind their claims. You don’t want to be scammed into using a supplement that won’t work, right? 

Once you’ve done some research, check in with your doctor. You can call your PCP’s office for free to check whether it’s safe for you to take a supplement or engage in some other sort of treatment. 

You can use a flexible spending account or a health care spending account (both offered through your employer) to use tax-free money on these types of care. You can also look into perks offered by your employer and insurer: sometimes they partner with a store and offer a certain percentage off. 

Other ways to cut costs include waiting for sales and promotions (of course!), using credit card points to pay for certain expenses, seeking out sliding scale treatments (this is how I was able to afford acupuncture) and checking with your insurer to see if the treatment is covered.



We're sharing the spending secrets of one woman each week - completely anonymously. This section draws inspiration from Refinery29's Money Diaries and New York magazine's Spending Diaries (gotta give credit where it's due, right?) Click here to take our anonymous survey on spending habits. 

How a 25-year-old Atlanta-based video journalist spends:

  • SALARY:  I make $56,000 per year working as a video journalist in Atlanta, Georgia. I asked for a raise when I had another job offer on the table. My boss couldn't give me a raise immediately but she secured new camera gear for me so in a sense that was the "raise."

  • SAVINGS: I have $9,000 in my savings account.

  • MONTHLY EXPENSES: I pay $1,228 per month for rent. I live by myself and rent an overpriced studio in Midtown but it has great amenities like a gym, pool, fire pit and an actual parking garage. I contribute to a 401(k) and I pay for my own health insurance. I also pay $50 for electric, $50 for water, $120 for car insurance, $75 for gas, $10 for MoviePass, $10 for Spotify and $20 for Weight Watchers each month. My mom and I share Netflix, Hulu, HBO and a cell phone bill. She pays them each month.

  • DEBT: I am in debt. My minimum payment for this student loan is about $70 a month but I’ve been trying to pay closer to $150 when I can.  

  • INVESTING: I only invest through my 401(k). 

  • SPENDING VICTORY: About a month ago I found a $400 round-trip, non-stop flight to Paris. So my Abuela and I booked the flights and we will be spending a week together in Paris this November. My Abuela is turning 80 years old this year and she's the most experienced traveler I know. This will be my first big trip with her and I'm so excited that we're able to do it.

  • SPENDING REGRET: There's not one big spending regret in particular, but I have been in a bad habit of eating out way too much. At one point I was probably spending upwards of $400 to $500 a month on eating and drinking out. I have recently cut back on that drastically and I try to limit myself to one dining out experience a week. This is very new, so I'm still working towards sticking to it.

  • SIDE HUSTLE:  I do not have a side hustle, but I can get overtime at my job. I'm an hourly employee so I'm overtime eligible and I regularly work a few hours extra a week, which equals about $400 extra month. 

  • IF I WON THE LOTTERY: I'd take a long and luxurious vacation. I love staying in very nice hotels and I'm desperate to sit on a beach for a week straight. I'd love to be able to pay to bring family members along with me on this vacation.

  • GOALS: I'd like to start saving more money by splitting rent with my boyfriend when we move in together later this year. Hoping to be able to purchase my own condo in the next few years and for sure pay off my student loan debt before I'm 28.


Updates, blog posts and other important things:

  • FACEBOOKIN': We talked about saying "thank you for waiting" instead of "sorry for being late" in the Facebook group this week. Join us!

  • CONTRIBUTE: Support us through Patreon! Your patronage can help us continue to create tools that empower women to hammer away at the glass ceiling. 

  • NEW YORK SWAP: We're hosting a fall clothing, book and beauty swap! You can find the event details on our Facebook page, or get the details by responding to this email. (It's at Alicia's apartment, so we're not widely sharing the address). 

  • PATREON SPOTLIGHT: Shoutout to Patreon supporters Alexis Andreas, Jacob Bell, Lauren Bonner, Mimi Chiahemen, Emma Court, Rachel Creager, Maria Eisenberg, Sara Guenoun, Ellen Kern, Tim Livingston, Duncan Magidson, Carolyn McElhaney, Hanya Moharram, Emily Munson, Gracie Raver, Julia Reinstein, Bill C. Smith, Carmilla Tan and Anita Whitmore Ally-Jane Grossan, Kristina King, Laura Porter and Sara Rosso. Couldn't do it without you!  


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