Gifts they'll actually want, we promise.
We all know them.
That person who just waves off your gift-related questions and says, "I'll like anything you get me," who seems to always have the latest in everything, whose taste is so refined and specific that you just know that every gift you buy them is gonna end up collecting dust in the back of their closet. Whether they're your spouse, significant other, parent, or co-worker, we know one thing: They're a musician.
In the same way that musicians are perfectionists about their music, they're often the same way about the rest of their lives, from their tech to their clothes. This, of course, makes it incredibly hard to buy gifts for them. Sure, there's probably some music engineering software they'd love, or maybe a new guitar tuner; but how are you, a non-musician, supposed to know anything about that stuff? Fear not, while many musicians seem like enigmas, there are a few factors that they all have in common, which means there are some valentines gifts that your musical loved one is guaranteed to love no matter what.
There are two things you need to consider when clothes-shopping for a musician: comfort and cool-factor. Let's be honest: A big reason most people get into music is because of the look, which means that anything you buy has to be on-style. But it's also important to consider the kind of lifestyle a musician leads. Odds are, they spend a lot of time lugging around heavy equipment, crammed into vans, and rehearsing for long hours, and then after all of that, they have to be ready to perform. Luckily, you don't always have to sacrifice comfort for style.
Public Rec is all about stylish, comfortable clothes you can wear every day. According to their website: "We perfect the classics with custom-made performance fabric. A tailored fit. And design details that elevate 'good' to unquestionably better." We can absolutely attest to this. Every article of clothing from Public Rec is made out of durable, high-stretch, moisture-wicking, breathable material that wears like work out gear while looking like stylish staple pieces. Every musician deserves classic go-to pieces they can pair with everything and be comfortable in no matter what their busy day brings.
There's nothing like a good band t-shirt to complete any musician's look. This website is a great source for officially licensed band merch from even the most obscure groups. Simply search your musician's favorite band or artist, and get them a shirt they'll never want to take off. Plus, paired with a Public Rec bomber, you've got a look that any musician will feel like themselves in.
This site is all about comfortable, basic black clothes made specifically for musicians. If your musician plays in an orchestra or other ensembles, it's likely they're required to wear all black for concerts. Now, with this site made for and by musicians, they have a range of durable and flattering options to rock comfortably all year long.
No, you're never gonna know exactly what musical equipment the musician in your life needs unless they tell you, but there are a few things that they're sure to use no matter what.
Unlike regular earplugs, these earplugs don't distort the quality of the sound. They just filter out harmful decibel levels, allowing your beloved musician's hearing to stay perfectly intact, even at the loudest concerts or gigs.
Guitar players are always digging through their pockets looking for a pick, but with this pick punch, anything can be used to strum those strings. As long as they can find an old gift card or other plastic material, they're never without a pick!
No matter what instrument your loved one plays, odds are that they need to keep their hands strong and healthy to excel at their craft. That's never been easier than with this hand-grip exerciser, guaranteed to increase finger dexterity and grip strength with frequent use.
After all, who better to articulate such a chaotic and dystopian crisis than an Indian-American Muslim comedian who was waitlisted for law school?
Comedian Hasan Minhaj just delivered some tight stand up to what is maybe the fourth worst audience in the world, following North Koreans, ISIS, and an office Christmas party.
On Tuesday, the Patriot Act host appeared on Capitol Hill to speak before the House Financial Services Committee about the $1.5 trillion student debt crisis. Specifically, he addressed the crippling reality of the cost of higher education, the shrinking of the middle class, and why policy-makers and student loan services are such douchebags.
You know the student loan crisis is bad when I'm asked to testify before Congress about it. https://t.co/TTqylZZf8k— Hasan Minhaj (@Hasan Minhaj)1568146653.0
The committee held a "long overdue" hearing on student lending and the higher educational system's craven and predatory practices. Chairwoman Maxine Waters called the hearing overdue "given the scale of the crisis at hand," referring to the 45 million Americans with student loan debt—the size of which has surpassed the nation's total outstanding credit card debt and auto debt. Waters invited Minhaj to speak, considering Patriot Act's large outreach to audiences of thirty-something-year-olds and younger, who came of age amidst the worst recession since the Great Depression and whose daily struggles are dismissed by politicians who are deluded about the severity and real-world cause and effect of "millennial problems."
When Minhaj appeared before congress, he applied his usual mix of candid humor and anal retentive research. After all, who better to articulate such a chaotic and dystopian crisis than an Indian-American Muslim comedian who was waitlisted for law school?
@congbillposey @taylorswift13 @RepPerlmutter @CFPB @theSBPC @Navient @hasanminhaj .@RepPerlmutter asks the lawyers… https://t.co/xADjZDG509— AFR (@AFR)1568131205.0
It's unfortunate that some of Minhaj's best lines from Tuesday's hearing only received a smattering of laughter from the back of the room amidst a miasma of Republicans' indignant huffs and that smell of fear boomers give off in the presence of minorities who know things. In that spirit, we've spotlighted some of his best bits:
1. When he reminded the room he's brown but was still invited to congress
"My name is Hasan Minaj. I'm a Muslim and I condemn radical Islamic terrorism. That has nothing to do with anything but I just want that on the record."
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Do you make enough money to own a home? It may be more affordable than you thought.
One of the biggest questions of millennials today is: should I own a home, or should I just rent? If you buy, you get a return on your money and an opportunity to build real wealth. If you rent, you are just throwing that away or financing your landlord's funds to put their kids through college.
On the other hand, renting means more freedom, more flexibility. It means you can move across the world in an instant (okay - as long as it takes you to sublet your apartment on Gypsy Housing). There's a lot of appeal to that.
If you know you want to buy a house, then comes the biggest challenge: "Do I even make enough money to own my own home?" It's probably the most important question you will ask yourself in the process of becoming a homeowner. However, the results of what this really looks like can be astounding.
According to Forbes, the cost of living in some of the fastest growing cities in America can range from $42,161 (Detroit, MI) and $53,384 (Albuquerque, NM) to $58,504 (San Antonio, TX) and $58,973 in Columbus, OH. These figures include not only your mortgage payment, but enough financial resources to live comfortably, make your mortgage, pay your utilities, and maybe even have a little to put away for retirement.
The median cost of homes in areas such as San Antonio are about $172,400, according to Zillow. This means if you put down a $25,000 deposit and financed $152,400, you would be looking at around $800 per month for the mortgage payment, at 5% interest for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage. This rate assumes you have a credit score in the range of 680-700. Plus, you may need to add escrow fees, which include homeowners insurance and real estate taxes, if your loan terms require it.
So owning a home can actually be pretty affordable. The first step is to start saving up for a down payment. It's usually recommended to put down about 20% of the purchase price. This will also reduce the size of the loan you need to borrow from a lender. There are also certain mortgage programs–like the FHA loan program–that allow qualifying buyers to make small down payments in exchange for agreeing to pay for private mortgage insurance.
Another important factor in obtaining financing is your credit score, according to Tyler Frist from Citizens Bank. This is why credit is so important. It's how banks assess the likelihood that you'll be able to pay back your loan. This will also impact the interest rate you qualify for and the terms of your loan.
If you're applying for a mortgage with a significant other, it's also important to note that they'll take the lower score between the two of you. So when you are working on building your credit, you may find it more strategic to pay off one person's debt sooner than the other.
When it comes to your credit score, don't blame the bank. They're just trying to protect their investment. We are talking hundreds of thousands of dollars. Instead, get ahead and work on your credit before it comes time to make major purchases and life-altering decisions.
Keep an eye on your credit score with apps like Credit Karma. Smart moves like paying credit card debt and submitting bill payments on time will help you to maximize your score.
Another great way to build wealth when saving for a home is to automate your savings, so that when you get paid through direct deposit, like most of us, money is automatically put aside into a housing fund. Create a plan to tackle debt and reduce spending on frivolous items so that you can save in the long run.
Owning your own home means owning equity. This gives you leverage when making financial decisions and taking on debt. We often think of debt as a bad thing, but it can be a good thing, even necessary, such as when you're taking a line of credit to start your own business or obtaining a mortgage to finance a home purchase. And even if you're not ready to commit to a mortgage, you'll have the resources to make an educated home purchase in the future.
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