How to be a good housewife: the lost art of Home Economics

Home Economics ClassI’ve tried baking chicken.

With my first chicken, I was going for “crispy” but ended up with “dry beyond chewing.” Next time I was going for “juicy” but ended up with raw. As I watched my husband pick his food for a good piece here and there, I had this terrifying thought:

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Newlyweds money & finance: I hide money from my husband

barbie dollWhen I was little, I thought we were very poor. There was this time when Barbie dolls were the hit – hey, their legs can bend! I thought this was so cool.

But Barbies were really expensive when they first came to Bulgaria. There was this girl that we used to play dolls with, *Jane*, and she had two or three Barbies. Her father was working abroad and that’s how they could afford it.

I didn’t have a Barbie doll. They were special. I had two or three other dolls but of the regular kind. They were nothing special.

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Newlyweds with baby on the way: our money and finance

painting a wallAt the end of May 2013, we found out I was pregnant (unplanned). At the end of July – just two months later – we got married.

Here’s what our financial situation looks like.

We live in a 1-bedroom apartment rent-free.

When I first moved to my husband’s town, we lived with his parents in a 3-bedroom + kitchen apartment. It was okay, for now, but we wanted to be on our own eventually. We had made our peace with the fact that this was probably not going to happen soon. I had a vague plan idea that we could live with them for about 6 months, and re-evaluate our options then. Maybe we could rent a place or buy one with a mortgage?

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15 tips: How to plan a wedding in 3 months, on a budget (and not kill anyone)

Dear all,

In my last post, I shared some great news with you: we got married! I also promised to tell you all about it my next post, so here goes.

We planned our wedding in less than two months, and I guess you can call it a “shotgun” wedding – we found out I was pregnant on May 27, already 6 weeks along. We settled on July 20, a Saturday, for an evening wedding. We planned 100 guests and 2500€, but ended up at 150 guests and 3500€.

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How to ask for cash for wedding gift

We got married!
We got married!

Dear all,

I have some great news: we got married! I’m telling all about it in my next post, but for now, here’s a sneak-peak tip on how to let your guests know you prefer money as a wedding gift.

I see nothing wrong with saying you prefer cash for a wedding gift. Everyone wants cash, but not everyone feels comfortable saying it.

So here are some tips on how to ask for cash for wedding gift:
— DO NOT print it on the invitation. No matter how cleverly or playfully you word it, it’s tacky to give invitations with strings attached. Also, when you look at your wedding invitations 15 years from now, do you really want to see a request for cash printed there?
–If you decide not to print invitations (we didn’t), you’ll invite people personally or over the phone; that’s you verbal invitation. Verbal and printed invitations follow the same rule: DO NOT mention gifts. Unless of course the guest asks you what gifts you prefer.

Do not speak of gifts at the time of invitation.

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13 tips: How to negotiate a higher starting salary for a new job during interview

There are two kinds of salary negotiations. One is when you are negotiating a starting salary & perks with a new company at the interview stage. The other is when you are negotiating a salary raise within a company you’ve been with for a while.

Let’s talk about the first kind: negotiating a higher starting salary for a new job.

job negotiation Here’s something no one will tell you: what you can get out of a salary negotiation is very much predetermined by your starting position. It’s not about using clever words (#3), deceipt (#13), or keeping a poker face (#1) (although that helps). But ultimately, it all starts with this:

Tip #1: Beggars can’t be choosers.

Who’s the beggar? Who is more desperate? Who’s got more to lose? Do you need this job more than the company needs to hire you of all applicants?

These factors outline the field where you’ll be tossing the negotiation ball around. And these factors are not set in the interview room; you come with them in the interview room.

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I wanted to change my husband

This post is not mine; it’s by Pam Satran, originally published in Parenting magazine. I just loved it! Enjoy.
Book cover. NOT the book mentioned here.
Book cover. NOT the book mentioned here.

I wanted to change my husband. Not in any huge way. He doesn’t have any horrible habits – blowing his paycheck on the ponies, sleeping with my relatives – that I needed to break him of. I wasn’t out to make him taller, or smarter, or sexier.

No, it was tweaking he needed, improvement of the usual marital kind.

What if, for instance, I could get him to do more around the house? Get him to adore doing dishes, relish handling the taxes? What if I could make him a masseur? A touch more patient and a tad more thoughtful – a little more prompt and a bit more cuddly?

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My money problems (and wins): the story

MONEY: it gets shit doneWhen I paid back my debts in March 2011, I thought I’ve seen the last of money struggles.

Those debts came from a 2500€ business loan and one small personal overdraft I had for 250€ (2009). I was planning on paying back the big loan from the revenue the business would generate; however, the business started slow and we couldn’t wait out long enough for it to pick up. There was some cash-flow (more like a trickle) but it wasn’t even enough to cover the monthly expences, let alone pay back the initial investment.

A debt of alsmost 3000€ was crippling to a 24-year old who made 350€ a month; and when you factor in living costs, I could only afford 150€ towards the loan. At that rate, it would take me about 18 months to pay it all back – provided that I didn’t buy shoes or clothes in that time, provided that my rent didn’t go up in that time, and provided that no emergencies happened in that time.

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