Parenting, I’m realizing, is an exercise in self-annihilation. You take the you you were before having a baby, and you murder it a little. Some part has to go to make room for the new parts. This is an ongoing process.

When they tell you early in pregnancy that your due date is merely a window, the two weeks on either side wide with potential, you nod: Of course, babies aren’t alarm clocks, you laugh, can’t expect them to be punctual!

knife pesto in progress

The thing that has most surprised me about moving in with someone is the sheer amount of compromise required. Living alone, my days and nights were wild stretches of me-ness, my every desire, whim, need coded into my surroundings with complete disregard for anything except the vibrancy of light coming through the windows, the particularities of my cat. The way the hand towel rests on the rack. The doors I would close, open, the temperature adjusted to my perpetual chill. I’d leave a glass empty on the counter and it would be waiting there, unfilled, when I came back.



On June 30, the final day of my June challenge, I spent $76.82 at the grocery store. The most expensive line item? $11.49 for a bag of walnuts. The least? $0.89 for a bottle of seltzer.

So there you have it: In June, I spent a total of $3390.94.

Here’s the good news (for me): over the second half of the month, I only spent $670.32, thus reversing course on the damage I did on that first deadly weekend. It was also a very full month for me — I was only home for 15 days out of the month…


Happy Canada Day! (Or Friday, to you Americans.)

My best country is 149 years young today. We prefer to celebrate quietly, so as not to draw attention to ourselves, so I might have a drink or two in a friend’s backyard. The rest of the weekend will be spent catching up on work and errands after my time away, so I’m going to play it cool and say $100.

How much money will YOU spend on Canada this weekend?

Or, Seeing the World Through Mint-Colored Glasses.

Dushanbe Tea House

Man, you guys sure do love Mint. Nicole Dieker herself even crowned them her favourite personal finance software. I get it, guys. This month has convinced me that I do need some kind of tracking, and that I am best suited for the path of least resistance. If Mint really will do it all for me and somehow make me a millionaire in the process, I guess I’ll finally look at all those emails I delete immediately upon receipt.

In the meantime, a couple more days of old-fashioned tracking. Yesterday we flew back…

dream big, little robot

This Facebook open letter, about the 10-year-old girl who applied to the Paris Summer Innovation Fellowship, is well worth two minutes of your time.

In her application, tiny smarty pants Eva asked for help with her robots. Her project, as she put it, was to build a robot that would “make the streets of Paris smile again.” She willingly admitted that she was struggling, and it was that fact (and the adorableness, probably), that won her an acceptance letter to this prestigious fellowship:

I am writing to you personally because your application inspired me. There was nothing on the website…

Frosted Mini-Wheats: $0.64

Silk Almond Milk, Original Unsweetened: $0.37

Total: $1.01

“I drink coffee mid-morning, so it doesn’t count as ‘breakfast’.” — Nicole Dieker

We want to see your breakfast. Submit a breakfast shot and cost breakdown to

Boulder on high

So apparently, according to the comments yesterday, financial tracking is just something people do which nifty neat okay I guess I’m going to have to turn this month into something more permanent and sustainable. I’m thinking about how that will look. I want a system that doesn’t make me feel bound to a calculator and spreadsheet — something that allows me to feel at least vaguely autonomous. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, we did it up our last day in Colorado, and I spent the following:

$7.08 on an Uber to the car rental; $17.89 on mediocre bagel sandwiches and…

so long farewell

It’s the last week of this challenge, and I gotta say: I am not going to miss you one bit, manic financial tracking. Has anyone else been playing along at home? Or is this just “normal” behavior for all of your financially-sound individuals?

Boyfriend picked up all the tabs yesterday while I worked to meet a deadline, so that’s a big $0. Good way to kick off this last week, although I’ll be making it up to him today. Colorado beckons.

I’ll be ordering in tonight — enjoying some of Boulder’s finest delivery while watching the Game of Thrones finale. As such, this breakdown in Taste Talks of the various levels of misery inflicted on delivery humans in New York City was excruciatingly timely.

Give it a read, and pay extra attention to the extremely helpful tipping guide at the end of the piece. Here’s a sample:

1. 18% to 20% of your bill is a standard tip, with a $4 minimum (whichever is higher). For other delivery services (think boxed groceries, meal-kits, booze, etc…) a standard tip is $3 minimum.Always…

Meghan Nesmith

Boston-based writer. Would like to join your bookclub.

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