‘Your Perfume Smells Like Your Daddy’s Got Money’: The Paris Hilton Story

Paris estimates that only Elizabeth Taylor has sold more celebrity-branded perfume than she has.

Weighing the Costs Of A Wedding In Singapore

The couple conceived of the event as sort of a Shakespearean comedy: two brides, two grooms, an Indian wedding in a country that is really just a single sprawling metropolis. For me, though, the unexpected wedding was a tragicomedy of not immodest emotional and financial proportions.

When Your Health Insurance Drops Your Hospital, Which Means You Must Drop It

I’m feeling more in sympathy with the Lost Boys these days as I’m forced to adult as hard as I can on several fronts at once. Including: choosing a new health plan.

The Cost Of Things: Returning To Orthodontia As An Adult

Go ahead, ask me about my retainer.

I Used An Accountant And I Liked It

My accountant works in an office building next to the 23rd Street PATH rail station in Chelsea, on the fifth floor of a shared office space, staffed by a very polite receptionist. There is a TV playing NY1 in the waiting area. His office is a bit too warm, but comfortable, and there is a shelf of family photos watching over our proceedings. While he rifles through my papers, stuffed hastily in a yellow file folder I found at the office, he asks, very politely, if he can turn on the news.

On My Own: Doing a Personal Finance 180

I’m standing in Trader Joe’s, contemplating a container of chicken broth. It’s $1.99. I put it back. After I’ve checked out, I tell my roommates, who are grocery shopping with me, that I’m going to run next door to Foods 4 Less. I’ve actually never shopped there before, but I suspect its chicken broth is cheaper—and I’m right, It’s only $1.68.

It’s Time to Pony Up for an Accountant

I have always done my taxes myself, because for a long time, they were very simple. I had one job, or maybe two jobs, depending on the year, and a student loan interest form that I always lost the minute it was mailed to me. Doing my taxes is exciting, because I get to fill in the numbers, check off the boxes, and watch the amount of money that I’m going to get back from the government grow. One year, I did my taxes at the end of January, got my refund by the first week of February, and booked a plane ticket to New Orleans for Jazzfest with the proceeds. Another year, I put some of the money aside in savings and spent the rest on a Coach bag, convinced that I would have it for decades, telling myself that I deserved the purchase because that was money I worked for.

The Delicate Nature of Asking Your Parents for Financial Help

I have not asked my parents for very much, mostly because they’ve never had much, financially, to give. As a child, if you grow up with not that much, you don’t know what you’re missing. For so long, your worldview is only as big as the two-block radius you’re allowed to travel, and since you return home every night like a little boomerang, you only understand what it is that happens inside your house. You only understand the world within the context of what you’re living with, so when I was growing up, I understood on a very basic level that we had enough to get by.

So You Don’t Have Curtains…

Over at Brooklyn Magazine our old friend Edith Zimmerman has taken us through her curtain-based journey, under the title How To Achieve Everlasting Happiness (And Install Curtains). It is both enlightening — on a curtain as well as Edith’s soul level — and hilarious.

Can You Wear a Cocktail Dress to Work?

Portland Monthly has an interview with Kelly Williams Brown, who recently penned a book titled Adulting: How to Become a Grown-Up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps, and will be doing a book launch at Housing Works on Thursday (Billfold pal Lindsey Weber will also be there). I’d also like to propose “formal Fridays” where we all wear cocktail attire to work.