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Recession is a nine-letter word for “fear”

Next week they’re laying off at least 55 people at my workplace, maybe as many as 97. The news was announced a couple weeks ago and since then morale has been as high as the stock market. There are rumors and speculation over who will get axed, but mostly there is gallows humor and the unanswered question, “If I get fired, do I still get to go to the Christmas party?”

I’ve heard that at least one person in my department of nine people will probably be let go, maybe more. If it’s me, I hope I don’t cry, or that I can at least hold my tears until I reach the parking garage and can blow mucus into the napkins I store in my car to clean up messes like these. If it’s one of my coworkers, it will be strange and awkward and sad and I won’t know what to say or what to feel. Everyone here does their job well. There is just not enough money to pay everyone.

I read the news on [...]

The price of good health

I may not have cable, but I have Buddhist style dumpling bao.

(Or I had it before it entered the acidic wasteland known as my stomach.)

I have no idea what dumpling bao is or what makes this one Buddhist style. (There was no meat in it, so if it believes in reincarnation, I can’t be accused of cannibalism.) When they cut a carrot wedge into a star and placed it on top, they had me sold. And pay I did. I’ve kept a budget of my spending habits for over the past year. In 2007 I spent an average of $360 a month at the grocery store. For a single woman in the Midwest, that’s probably a high number. I don’t eat out much, so that represents the majority of my food bill for the year and averages to $11.80 a day. Somebody’s got to pay for a trucker to drive my plums in from Florida, because tropical fruits aren’t going to grow in an Indiana snow storm.

Eating well can be expensive. Last week I was [...]

Upgrading blog software

I’m upgrading my blog software right now, so I’ve turned off comments temporarily. Hopefully everything will go smoothly and you’ll never noticed the transition on the front end. But if everything goes pear-shaped (just like my figure), that’s probably why.

ETA at 12:20pm: Okay, upgrade complete. The comment notification system isn’t working and for some reason comment forms are showing up on old entries that I’ve turned commenting off on. Other than that, I think everything is A-OK. If you run into any problems, please post a comment here with the problem. If the problem is that you can’t leave a comment, e-mail me at halfofme [at] pastaqueen (dot) com. Thanks.

Gym survey results – rates, discounts, and some fries

Okay, maybe money isn’t as taboo as I thought. I asked how much you pay for your gym membership and I got over 100 responses. One of you also told me your favorite sexual position. (Confidential to Marla: After reading your comment, my mother wanted to know what the reverse cowgirl is. Actually, I think she didn’t want to know what the reverse cowgirl is. I will spend the rest of my life trying to blot that conversation out of my memory.) I read every single response. Here’s a summary of the results for those of you who don’t want to mine the raw data:

People pay anywhere from $9.99 to $139.00 a month for facilities that range from hole-in-the wall joints, community gyms, facilities with movie theatres and one place attached to a pub where you can charge beer and fries to your membership.

People automatically scored free or discounted memberships by:

Being a firefighter

Living on an army base

Being a student

Working at the gym

Working in the same building as the gym

Working for Nike, Microsoft, the state, [...]

How much do you pay for your gym membership?

Money. One of the last taboos. It would probably be more comfortable for me to ask you what your favorite sexual position is than to ask you how much money you made this year. But I’m going to ask this anyway: how much do you pay for your gym membership?

There are a lot of funny power and status issues wrapped up in money. No one wants to be seen as an idiot who paid too much for a car. It makes you feel dumb and devalued. But knowing what other people paid is important because it gives you leverage to negotiate a better price. So I want to know, how much are you paying for the gym? You can respond anonymously if you wish, but give me the A’s to these five Q’s:

1) How much do you pay a month?

2) Was there an upfront fee? How much?

3) What city do you live in? (Rent for a downtown New York space is going to be higher than the rent for a facility in Nowhere, West Virginia. Gym rates are [...]

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Man looking into telescope

Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JenFul now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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