All Blog Posts Tagged 'barack' (25)

Taxes and The White House Forum on Workplace Flexibility

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Added by bradi nathan on April 12, 2010 at 3:26pm — No Comments

My $30 Face Lift

Spent 8 minutes this week having my eyebrows shaped. Yes, I am aware how ridiculous this is. That a decent pair of tweezers and a steady hand can do the same thing and for $30 less.



But there’s the rub. I don’t have a steady pair of hands – nor do I trust my visual abilities to know if I’ve done the trick or not. When I started seeing Connie two years ago, my fascist technician, she fairly yelled at me for the destruction I had brought on my face.



“This is too short. This… Continue

Added by Lauren Barack on September 18, 2009 at 5:12am — 1 Comment

Is The Recession Over For You?

With the up and down news lately that unemployment is getting better, getting worse, consumer spending is back, now it's not — I thought I'd ask the center of this key universe —



Is the Recession over for YOU?



So I'm really hoping to hear from TwitterMoms....and I think some other readers would like the opportunity to check in.



I'll start - The recession is most definitely not over for my family. Jobs are still there - but pay cuts are still there as… Continue

Added by Lauren Barack on August 20, 2009 at 6:09pm — 9 Comments

Will Free Admission to National Parks Make You Hit The Road?

For any mom (or dad) living near a National Park, this is an offer that's almost too good to be true — this weekend entry fees at more than 100 of our National Parks is free of charge.



Yes, free.



Now, that might not be that much depending on which National Park you live near. Sure Muir Woods costs just $5 for an adult who wants to tour the kings of all redwoods, but Yellowstone might set you back… Continue

Added by Lauren Barack on August 13, 2009 at 10:47pm — 3 Comments

Staycation or Vacation?

Like most families, we've made some adjustments for our summer plans.



A trip we take nearly every August to Big Sur got scrubbed. Instead, an economical visit to family in Los Angeles substituted. (Economical in that hotels, car rentals are not needed.) In fact, most of our days are spent hanging out with the cousins, grabbing ice cream cones in the park — a staycation, albeit one we flew about 3,000 miles to take.



However, one of us (okay, I'll admit the guilt) got the… Continue

Added by Lauren Barack on August 6, 2009 at 8:06pm — 2 Comments

Health Insurance – Should we HAVE to have it?

President Obama's mandate to provide health insurance for nearly all Americans is going to come with a hefty price tag — and many of us are going to be paying for it.



Right now, health insurance is not a right for all Americans. In fact, it’s a pricey privilege. The average American family of four pays $3,354 a year for coverage — double what they paid nine years ago. And the reason it's even that low? Because… Continue

Added by Lauren Barack on July 30, 2009 at 6:58pm — 5 Comments

The Economics of an Ice Cream Cone

It’s summer and with a young child, ice cream is a joyful, daily ritual. But as I’ve been shelling out dollars over the past days, I began to realize just how our economy plays out — even with something as simple as an ice cream cone.



In New York City, Mr. Softee is our basic ice cream man — a truck that features a smiling ice cream cone with a swirl of vanilla on his head that is a bit Carmen Miranda-looking to me.



One truck usually pops up outside my daughter’s school… Continue

Added by Lauren Barack on July 10, 2009 at 6:55am — 4 Comments

Have We Hit Bottom?

I remember my Holiday party last December. An annual event, I invite literally everyone I know for iced cookies, Cava, colorful candies for the kids and empanadas on what always turns into a wonderful crush and mix of friends.



Even six months ago, on this wintry night, talking about the economy was front and center. Many of my friends are business journalists and we all started speculating on what number unemployment would hit:



"Does anything think we're talking about 10… Continue

Added by Lauren Barack on July 3, 2009 at 7:52am — 4 Comments

Should We Write it All Down?

My family and I are in the midst of an experiment — one that's starting to wear a bit on my nerves especially during these last two weeks of school with daily picnics, plays, end of the year events and, oh right, work!



We're writing down everything we buy - everything we spend.



On the face of it, it's amazing to see where we've chosen to spend, and not spend, our money. Frankly, I suspect that after the first week of 'hey, this is cool!' wore off, it was more, 'Ugh, I'm… Continue

Added by Lauren Barack on June 26, 2009 at 6:00am — 4 Comments

Are You Afraid to Shop?

New York City’s unemployment rate hit 9 percent according to news stories today. It was a good piece of information to stop me from dress shopping this morning — and I was planning to use a gift card I’d be given for my last birthday.



The current economy has caused me to re-shift and rethink my spending habits, as I’ve written here for months, and as you have all mentioned as well. And even when I have gift money — funds not even coming out of my budget — I still find I’m… Continue

Added by Lauren Barack on June 19, 2009 at 5:57am — 1 Comment

How to Save Some Green While Going Organic

Last Tuesday, I walked over to a small amphitheater a few blocks from my house, and a few minutes later left with nearly 1 pound of kale, 2 pounds of turnips, a pound of mixed greens, some bok choy, dill, parsley, another head of lettuce, and an intimidating large bunch of radish for about $12. All organically grown.



No, I didn’t pull a Peter Rabbit and hit up a neighbor’s backyard (can you imagine a green space like that in Manhattan?). But actually, they did come from a shared… Continue

Added by Lauren Barack on June 12, 2009 at 6:03am — 3 Comments

Don't Go In

Harper and I recently spent a few days visiting family. I love to see them, but the fact that my favorite shop is also nearby is a nice bonus. I've dropped some decent change on jeans, sweaters and shirts at this particular spot. It's not that I can't get these at home in New York, it's just that this store is curated just so -- you know what I mean.



One morning Harper and I walked to a nearby breakfast place, to get some air, and also, well, because it's nearby to said store. I just… Continue

Added by Lauren Barack on June 5, 2009 at 7:40am — 6 Comments

Let's Talk Hair

Maybe this doesn’t sound like a topic for a financial column, but with a woman now estimated at spending more than $209,000 on her hair over her lifetime — well, that’s clearly a serious financial decision, and of course a vanity one as well. Before you start to howl, I’m right there as well.



Once upon a time I was a raven-head gal who got her long locks cut once every 8 months. Yes, I went to a fancy salon to do it, but per year it… Continue

Added by Lauren Barack on May 29, 2009 at 5:00am — 5 Comments

Should My 5 Year Old Have A Savings Account?

Many of Harper’s friends are already getting an allowance. Yet despite our chats on how she too can earn four bright quarters for keeping her room clean, she’s not bitten yet. But we’re not worried. Her father and I are fairly certain her instinct to earn money will kick-in.



But sometimes parents do get nervous about their children and money. Worried that their kids may not be learning how to value all those coins and bills. Anxious that every request for an ice cream cone, or a new… Continue

Added by Lauren Barack on May 22, 2009 at 6:05am — 11 Comments

What If the Nanny Makes (Almost) As Much As You?

A friend of mine, is thrilled to be collecting unemployment. Sure, it’s great to have income in this economy. But actually she's thrilled because she's earning more money now, while looking for work and at home, then when she had a job and paid a nanny to watch her 2-year-old.



Sound familiar? It probably does.



Parents all over this country are faced daily with the exorbitant cost of childcare. Some are lucky to have family members who live nearby who can watch the little… Continue

Added by Lauren Barack on May 15, 2009 at 6:22am — 15 Comments

The Tooth Fairy Pays HOW Much?

Losing teeth is a major conversation topic in our house right now. This is because my 6-and-a-half-year-old daughter has not lost any yet, despite nearly all of her friends proudly sporting holes in their mouth.



Assuming that at some point these baby teeth will depart (the front one is possibly wiggling, according to Harper) I have started asking parents what the going rate is for the Tooth Fairy. Now when I was little (cue the squeaking rocking chair), I firmly remember getting a… Continue

Added by Lauren Barack on May 8, 2009 at 5:30am — 22 Comments

To Bundle or Not to Bundle

So my family took the leap yesterday to bundle. (Nope, not a co-sleeping arrangement going on here.) We decided to link our phone, Internet and cable with one carrier — and one bill, with the hope that we save $50 a month.



Hope is the operative word in that sentence, because (no surprise), yours truly spent one solid week running the numbers to see if this move made financial sense. To my husband it made sense — he who believes his life was critically harmed by not having High… Continue

Added by Lauren Barack on May 1, 2009 at 5:46am — 4 Comments

Credit Cards Redux

Credit card debt is not uncommon, as many of us know. (Ahem.) But in recent years abuse of these plastic cards has seemingly grown exponentially — by the credit card companies themselves.



Most of us know someone who has seen their credit rates skyrocket for no reason other than the bank feels it can raise them. A friend I lunched with yesterday told me of his wife’s credit rating dropping — just as they’re trying to refinance because she is paying down her credit debt.… Continue

Added by Lauren Barack on April 24, 2009 at 6:15am — 3 Comments

Do Charities Test Your Limits?

When the National Do Not Call Registry when into effect you might have heard my hurrahs clear across the country. Little did I know that something else would take the place of those dastardly, speed-dialing, suspicious-pauses-when-I-pick-up-the-phone callers: Charities.



My husband and I try to make some donations every year. While we have one or two usual favorites, sometimes we mix it up. But in the past year I’ve been shocked at… Continue

Added by Lauren Barack on April 17, 2009 at 7:08am — 13 Comments

Should You Refinance?

With President Obama’s encouragement yesterday to Americans to refinance existing loans, I feel an important question was left off the table. Is that the best move for everyone?



For people who are in good standing with their mortgage company — which, despite the negative press, is most of the country — refinancing to lower a monthly payment can be a great idea. Mortgage interest rates are at incredible lows, just… Continue

Added by Lauren Barack on April 10, 2009 at 7:11am — 3 Comments

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