- The B-Side
- 🤑 We’re making money moves
🤑 We’re making money moves
Plus: ❄️ A messy morning commute
It’s Tuesday, Boston.
🦞 It’s a beautiful day to double fist a free lobster roll and coffee. Starting today, Legal Seafoods is offering a BOGO lobster roll deal to all their rewards members (you can sign up to become one here). Plus, Aroma Joe’s is offering free coffee at all locations today. You’re welcome!
👀 What’s on tap today:
A messy morning commute
Out: Belichick. In: Mayo.
The Somerville art heist
Ballin’ on a budget (for real)
Illustration: Emily Schario
🤑 We’re making money moves in 2024. Last month, we asked you to share your financial literacy questions heading into the new year, and so many of you responded that we decided to turn the answers into a series.
So, introducing: Money Moves, a four-part series where local $$$ experts (from financial advisors to budget-savvy TikTokers) spill the tea on all things money.
First up: Budgeting.
🤔 First things first: You need a budget breakdown. But the traditional “50/30/20” method, which splits your income (post-taxes and insurance) into “needs, wants, and savings,” might not work in today’s world. Liz Schartman, a financial coach and daily money manager, recommends designing your budget around how you’ve been recently spending. Start with fixed expenses (the needs) like rent and groceries, and divide the leftovers into more personal categories. 23-year-old Emma Sandke, a local TikToker who shares her budgeting journey online, has a breakdown of 50/25/20/5: Needs, wants, savings, and debt.
📊 And then pick a place to track it. While apps require the least amount of effort on your part, their hands-off nature can lack the control and specificity you need to create a truly personal budget, so Sandke prefers a spreadsheet. “Actually having to type out what I spent … holds me way more accountable,” she said. And no, you don’t need to be a finance bro to use Excel. Here are easy guides to creating your own budget spreadsheet in both Excel and Google Sheets.
💸 For your budget to work, you have to work it. Experts’ No. 1 tip across the board for sticking to a budget is to simply pay attention. “There isn’t any magic,” said Danielle Piskadlo, the executive director of Women’s Money Matters. It’s all about putting in the time and knowing the money you have going in and out (ex: Sandke puts in 10 to 15 minutes a week to track her expenses). If you want to use a budget to save up for a goal, whether that be new shoes or an emergency fund, you can either add it as a line item into your budget, or use leftover money from other categories to supplement it, Schartman said.
👯 Budget hack: Your friends can be a big help, too. Having constant invites to go out “puts a lot of pressure on you in your 20s” to spend, Sandke said. So, in that way, your friends can be your most valuable resource in budgeting. Not only is financial transparency among friends an expert-certified tool to learn about budgeting (“The more you share, the more you know,” Piskadlo said), but Sandke and her friends have made an effort to prioritize low-cost hangouts, like a book club or a shared AMC membership.
🤑 What’s one thing you’re saving for this year?
Let us know below!
Quick & dirty headlines
Image: David L. Ryan/Globe Staff
🌨️ Winter weather has officially entered the chat. This weekend’s torrential rain, flooding, and record high tide that swept away historic buildings may be over, but the week’s multi-course meal of winter weather is just getting started. The first course starts this morning with one to three inches of snow that’ll likely slow down your commute, followed by several days that barely break 30 degrees, plus the possibility of snow on Friday. But at least we end on a sweet note: It’s so cold that the New Hampshire ice castles are opening this weekend!
🏈 Out: Bill Belichick. In: Jerod Mayo. With the last member of the Brady-Belichick dynasty gone, the Patriots are entering a new era: Jerod Mayo, the Pats’ linebackers coach and former rockstar player has been promoted to head coach. But replacing Belichick isn’t the only news: At just 37 years old, Mayo will be the NFL’s youngest coach, the first Black man to hold the Pats’ head coach position, and the first Pats head coach to play professional ball in decades. As for Belichick’s next steps, keep an eye on the Atlanta Falcons …
🚃 Get ready for another round of Green Line shutdowns. Just like the one we saw earlier this month, starting today through Jan. 28, the Green Line will be OOO from North Station to Kenmore, including the entirety of the E Branch and part of the B Branch (out to Babcock Street). If you’re heading downtown, shuttle buses will take riders to Back Bay on the Orange Line, the 39 and 57 buses will be free on chunks of their routes, and the commuter rail will be free between Lansdowne and South Station. Find what route works best for you here.
🏃 Got dreams of running the Boston Marathon one day? Start here. And by here, we mean the B.A.A.’s Distance Medley. Not only does this three-race series build you up from a fast 5K, to a 10K, to a hilly half marathon, but you also get special race day perks like pre- and post-race drinks, sweet Adidas participant shirts (I still have all of mine and love them), and more. Registration opens today at 10 a.m. and is limited to the first 3,000 entrants who sign up within Athletes' Village, so get on it!
THINGS TO DO
Image: Erin Clark/Globe Staff
Pssst! To celebrate Dry January, all our things to do listings this month will be alcohol-free. Cheers!
🏙️ See just how well you know Boston. It’s National Boston Day, and what better way to celebrate than testing your knowledge of the place you call home at Boston-themed trivia at Castle Island Brewing tonight?
☕ Put a cozy cocoa date on your calendar. This Wednesday, BPL Honan-Allston is hosting hot chocolate test kitchen, where you’ll try different blends of cocoa and cozy up to “The Super Mario Bros. Movie.”
🥾 Start your Hump Day with a hike. Friends of the Fells is hosting a women’s morning social hike on Wednesday, kicking off the day with fresh air, exercise, and conversation.
🎼 Ease your way through Hump Day with some R&B. Looking for a healthy dose of rhythm and blues? Head to Hue Boston on Wednesday for their MLK Day celebration, “Authenticity.”
🏒 Celebrate Beanpot season. The Women’s Dunkin’ Beanpot Semifinals are tonight at Harvard’s Bright-Landry Hockey Center. Watch Boston College take on Boston University.
— Written by Claire Nicholas
ONE LAST THING
The Somerville art heist
Image: Cindy Larson/Facebook
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s art heist may have some competition … Okay, not really. But someone did steal art displayed along a fence in Somerville in a way that felt very reminiscent of the Gardner art heist. And everyone is stumped as to how it happened.
For context: A series of art works were printed on a piece of vinyl lining a fence along Joy Street as part of a partnership between the Somerville Arts Council and a local developer. But one day, some artists learned their pieces were carefully cut out of the vinyl, leaving a large square hole out in the open.
Artists’ reactions ranged from feeling flattered and violated at the same time, to wondering what the heck the thief(s) is doing with them (perhaps a shower curtain?).
But at the very least, artist Jacky Pullman hopes her stolen work is being enjoyed. “That is one of the reasons I like to share my work,” she said, “to spread some joy to others.”
— Written by Gia Orsino and Emily Schario
👀 Thanks for reading! Now, if the Somerville Arts Council offers $10 million for info leading to the work’s recovery, I think the thief will come clean pretty quickly.
🏈 The results are in: B-Siders’ favorite Bill Belichick-ism is his cut-off sweatshirt, with one reader proclaiming, “That sweatshirt needs to be cast in bronze, then placed at the geographic center of New England for annual pilgrimages.”