1 Monday Check-In: Going for Gold | The Billfold

Monday Check-In: Going for Gold

Did you have an Olympic-winning weekend? Let’s check in.

On Friday afternoon, Logan and I walked by so many Mister Softee trucks that we each decided to get a dipped cone ($3.50). I don’t own a television and wanted to watch the opening ceremonies—which was totally bizarre!—but a friend of mine said she’d graciously host ($26 for a bottle of rose for the hostess).

Can I just rant for a second about how much I love the United States and our athletes, but as a person who doesn’t own a television, am unable to watch my country compete in the Olympics online except in short clips after they’ve already occurred? I would pay good money (um, $50?), to be able to watch the Olympics on a good platform online. NBC’s Olympics app for the iPhone is pretty much useless if you’re not paying specific cable providers.

Ok! Rant over!

I had brunch on Saturday in Brooklyn ($17), and then went to an afternoon birthday party at a friend’s very nice home where I mostly sat outside drinking shandys. In the evening, I headed back to my gracious friend’s apartment to watch more of the Olympics.

Sunday morning was spent doing work, laundry ($10), and grocery shopping ($31.04). I’m trying to watch my spending as much as I can so I can set aside some money for all the weddings I’ll be attending.

Weekend Total: $87.54

What was your damage?


48 Comments / Post A Comment

A $26 bottle of rose for your host? You can come over to my place annnnnnnytime you want.

selenana (#673)

Friday: ¥0. The gentleman friend bought groceries and made tempura. Saturday: ¥2000 Batman ticket (IMAX, prepurchased), ¥1000 in snacks (ice cream, popcorn, cola). Sunday: errands. Replacement headlight for burnt out one at auto parts store: ¥1780. Roll of screen to repair the busted screen door upstairs: ¥280. More ice cream and beverages to beat the heat: ¥480. Block of tofu and an avocado to supplement pantry items for home cookin’: ¥228. Total: ¥5768.
Bonus: getting my hands greasy in the car, even if it is only to change the headlight, makes me feel handy and kind of badass.

EmmaG (#1,023)

I’m no computer whiz, and I know I’ve seen “You cannot view this video from your location” more than I would like to, but have you tried streaming through CTV.ca? I’m not an Olympic viewer myself, but I’ve heard they stream just about every event live – I’m not sure on stuff that has already aired though.

Be prepared for that notorious Canadian boasting though.

@EmmaG CTV.ca has been glitching all over the damn place for me. I sent them an email complaining about it and they responded like “well you know, it’s HARD to stream so many videos at once”

Uh yeah, I’m sure it is. If you were not up to the task maybe you should let somebody else broadcast it.

SO ANNOYED. I wanted to watch the men’s 400m and it cut out in the last 100m and I haven’t been able to watch the whole thing and I’m just. so. annoyed.

I spent $75 on a hotel room for my friend’s wedding out of town, $40 in gas, $10 in snacks, and $5 on breakfast from my favorite fast food place that I only eat at when traveling.

Yesterday I had a weird experience, or weird to me anyway. I called the pizza place to order food to go, and the total was $16.40 or something. When I picked up the food I gave the guy a twenty and he asked if I needed any change. I was so taken aback that I said no, but I definitely hadn’t planned to tip for takeout–is that a normal thing? I would definitely rather support this local pizza place than the Dominos two blocks away, but that turned me off big time.

Anyway, total spent was $190 but it was for a special occasion so I didn’t mind.

selenana (#673)

@backstagebethy That’s really rude, I think. Sure, maybe some people might throw some change in a tip jar upon pickup (but you don’t have to!) but asking if you want change means he was expecting a more than 20% tip on takeout? Crazytalk. You should have stuck around for an hour and asked him for glasses of water.

Quinn A@twitter (#1,008)

@backstagebethy Yeah, that’s not normal. If anyone ever asked me that question, I would be similarly taken aback, but would probably have said “um. Yes, please,” instead of no.

I’m guessing that’s a place where they split tips with the kitchen? In which case the question wasn’t totally unreasonable, maybe? Still weird, though.

Harriet Welch (#127)

This is probably TOTALLY not the reason…but I have done this a few times!
I waited tables at this place where they trained you to say “Do you want change?” (Which I think is rude. I always just give change back in small denominations and expect them to tip me as they see fit). BUT they MADE me do it. Then I was also working at a pizza place, inside late at night (like, went in at midnight late). Occasionally people would stumble in and order take away and I would say “Do you want change” because I was used to it.
So, if the place has table service, maybe you just got someone who typically is waiting and they said it out of habit.
Or they are a butthead. You never can tell.

charmcity (#1,091)

My spending was very front-loaded: I spent $54 on picnic supplies for an outdoor concert ($20 plus ripoff ticket fees, so $26) on Friday. However, I had leftovers that fed me through the weekend and into tonight, and the only other thing I spent was $25 on a tank of gas that will get me through the next two months. So, a little over $100, but I don’t feel terrible about it.

RachelG8489 (#1,297)

I spent almost nothing this weekend. Grocery shopping and errands on Friday afternoon, $25. Laundry on Friday afternoon, $5.75. Farmer’s market on Sunday, $15, and dinner out on Sunday night, $17. Total: let’s round up and call it $63. But this coming weekend is my birthday and I’ll end up spending on the dinner I’m hosting for myself. And the next weekend I’m flying out to Chicago to explore for a weekend before a work thing. I’ll make up for this low-spending weekend.

genkiliz (#683)

If you don’t mind downloading a program that reroutes your IPN to England, you can watch everything for free on the BBC IPlayer plus livestream of all BBC channels. I recommend Expat shield is great, as is torrent bear, but torrent bear has a limit before you have to start paying, while expat shield is totally free. Otherwise, http://freetvall.com/video/3D7RG2BY8AAU/BBC-ONE is great a great channel for a stream of BBC1 (and they have streams of all the other channels as well)- no downloading of programs required. Plus, you don’t have to listen to the inane chatter of Matt Lauer or Bob Costas . . .

Quinn A@twitter (#1,008)

$12.04 for a hardcover book that I was really excited to read, and $60-odd on groceries.

Other than a “house-cooling” party for friends moving out of town, which didn’t cost me anything because they hosted and I wasn’t drinking, I didn’t really go anywhere this weekend. Just spent a lot of time swimming/lounging by my building’s pool and watching Arrested Development with my girlfriend.

Aunt_Pete (#693)

I did AWESOME this weekend. Finally the whole “save dollars” thing sunk in.

On Friday, I sent a few books off to paper back swap recipients for $8. I can later cash that in for three free books, so I consider it money well spent. I also sent $22 at the grocery store. The total was double that but my roommate and I cook/buy food together which saves us a bunch. Also included in this total was a bottle of champagne for an Olympics viewing party (I hosted).

Saturday I spent $10 at the liquor store. I wanted to bring this beergarita punch thing to a dinner party and I was curiously out of beer. Was at the dinner party until about 12 and then decided to opt out of any further revelry so I could drag myself to the gym in the morning.

Sunday I went to the market. I got a free Fuze from a Fuze truck (!!) and then spent $5 on corn and cherry tomatoes from my favorite farm.

Total: $45.

@Aunt_Pete I love Paperback Swap! I also do the Swap a DVD thing, but I have like 7 credits and I’m on the waitlist for 4 DVDs right now…but I spend SO MUCH LESS on DVDs now, between Netflix, the library, and Swap a DVD. It’s great.

$40 on batman imax tickets (definitely agree that imax is the way to go although we were unfortunately a bit too close to the screen)

$50 on gas

$10 alcohol

$7 ice cream

=$107. the gas will last a while so that hardly counts right?!

Harriet Welch (#127)

Had my husband’s birthday party.A low key BYOB/pot luck deal. We bought meat and veg for kababs, that, plus a six pack of Abita was $36.39. We hit a bar after the party, but it was the husband’s birthday, so his friend paid.
I spent $40 on a Sams batch of toilet paper and paper towels that should last about 4 months.
Saturday we hosted brunch. Others brought drinks and bacon. We creatively fried up dinner leftovers with eggs and pancakes $0.The birthday boy went bowling with friends. He paid for a broke friend and another friend bought the booze. Ended up at $40.
I had dinner delivered because I was too hung over to move $8.49 (includes tip).
We spent Sunday watching the Olympics and eating leftovers from the party.
This really isn’t that bad. I planned for about $50 on the party and then $50 for various shenanigans since our friends were in town. That money is drawn from our entertainment or bars and alcohol budget. So I actually came up $15.12 under budget in those categories. The paper products come out of our household essentials budget.
Not bad at all!

shesaboutamover (#1,649)

Other than having to replenish stuff like shaving foam and coffee, I thought I did pretty well, then a friend date on Sunday was more spendy than I anticipated. To compensate, this week will be comparably thrifty.

$6.60: Sandwich at Subway, after discovering that the leftovers I had in the office fridge spoiled overnight.
$12.78 (after using a $5 coupon): Toiletries at Bed Bath & Beyond.
$14.09: Greek take-out.
$45.79: Produce and pantry staples at Trader Joe’s.
$9.20: Four-pack of DFH Festina Pecha for a friend’s birthday party.
$20.00: Cab ride to friend’s birthday party. (Was running very late and was very frustrated with the bus/Metro. Ugh.)
$10.00: Late night blueberry pancakes and decaf at IHOP.
$28.44: Brunch.
$21.00: Pre-’Magic Mike’ bloody marys.
$3.75: Candy at the movie theater.
$19.57: Groceries at Whole Foods.

Total: $191.22

ATF@twitter (#1,471)

Friday I had dinner with my parents and they paid. And then I went to the market and bought a bunch of groceries to cook stuff for family cookout (which turned to family cook-in due to the weather) Saturday night. I spent $41.87, which we will round to $42.

Saturday day I took $80 out of the ATM. Used just under $40 of it on coffee (2 lbs total for various family events and for my parents to take home with them), ricotta pie at the bakery (for family breakfast on Sunday morning), and milk, birthday cards, eggs, and candy at CVS. Also spent $35 on a gift card for my sister.

Sunday I spent $25 on a Zipcar to get to family breakfast at my brother’s house.

So, right around $140 spent. Not too bad.

mczz (#569)

I hate NBC for this! I very much want to be watching the Olympics but am not a cable subscriber and am basically out of luck. Booo.

Anyway, I did pretty abysmally this weekend.

Friday we went to see the Dark Knight Rises at IMAX ($40, roughly, purchased by husband) but I had a panic attack and we had to leave within the first 5 minutes. I also got a water, while trying to resume normality ($3.50). We were an hour away from home, and I required some quiet time, so we got some beers ($17) at a bar called the Brewhouse. They do not brew their own beer, and I was pissed. But I did enjoy my Victory Hopdevil. Once we got home I walked around our idyllic town green and drowned my sorrows in some ice cream ($5.48).

Saturday we were home most of the day until we decided to go to a coworker’s for a beer tasting ($18). I was pretty drunk and thought it would be a good idea to go dancing at a club downtown, and ended up with a mysteriously high tab ($40 w/ large, drunken tip) after buying a drink for a friend and apparently some shots? Horrible. Also the cover ($6). Oh shit, and husband probably had to buy gas ($45)

Sunday I needed my goto hangover remedy of a sausage egg and cheese on a bagel, and the only place I could find it was Brueggers ($4.24). It was terrible. Afterwards I met my husband at a coffee shop for Go club, and ended up getting a latte and tipping too much ($5).

This was horrible! I never like to go out that much, and I would like very much to have not gone to the bar on Saturday, saving myself over $50. And you know, not have wasted the cost of the IMAX tickets. At any rate, our total here is about $184.22. Blech.

Aunt_Pete (#693)

@mczz Oh dear…this would totally be me. I like the little 30 minute under the sea IMAX shows, but I just can’t deal with the feature films.

wallrock (#1,003)

I got nailed this weekend. My old college roommate is getting married and had his bachelor party plus wedding shower in northern WI. On my way up there my car had an air sensor go out. I managed to limp in to a dealership but they couldn’t get it fixed until this week ($250 + labor) so I ended up renting a sweet yellow FIAT for five days ($24 a day special rate x 5) and got up to the resort ($150 for the weekend). I was charged with bringing up beer and soda ($110) and I spent another $10 on ice for all the coolers. We stayed at the resort that night but did go out for pizza and beer ($40 since I bought the first round).

Saturday we nursed our hangovers at an AYCE lumber camp breakfast place ($10.50) and went to the wedding shower – free lunch at least. That evening we went to a casino but I don’t gamble so the damage was limited to $12 on beers while I watched Olympic swimming in the bar. We hit the bars later but I only had two more ($10) and called it a night.

Sunday we went to a local brewpub where I got a sandwich and filled up a growler to take home ($25) and then hit the road. I had to fill up the FIAT ($36) once home. Take out the repair work and rental cost and I’ve actually come in under budget for the weekend.

wearitcounts (#772)

i had the BEST WEEKEND EVER. twelve friends, four of my best friend’s awesome family, at her family’s huge house on frye island, ME. just the best time ever. $40 to her mom for cooking FEASTS all weekend and a combined $105 for gas, booze and incidentals. WORTH IT. plus i have an entirely untouched bottle of whiskey leftover. pretty great doggie bag.

Megano! (#124)

I’m trying to remember what happened this weekend. It was kind of a flurry of not sleeping because I ran out of my meds that keep my leg/foot from bothering me constantly and also making me drowsy. Although it kind of turned out to be a blessing, because my site relaunch (paperdroids.com!!) was last night at midnight, and we discovered we had to redo ALL of the youtube embeds, so that managed to get done like, before ppl came.
I spent ALL OF FRIDAY (literally) bussing out to Vaughan to pick up two packages at the UPS depot, which had like $55 of duties on them all told. Then I stopped to get groceries on the way back and I think I spent about $45?
Saturday I think I bought a dress online with my CC for $60 (planned and budgeted for), but otherwise did not spend any money.
Yesterday I spent $9 on bandaids and $12 on a burger. And I won a free poutine! So TOTALLY WORTH IT IN SO MANY WAYS.
I was supposed to go see Batman today, but that got cancelled, which is kind of good because 1. I need to get my meds today, pretty bad. I am running on maybe 5 hours of sleep. And 2. My outside hallway basically got destroyed after that storm on Thursday morning, because they procrastinated fixing the roof, and a bunch of water got in my apartment UNDER THE FLOOR, and parts of my parquet are majorly warped. And they are supposed to be fixing it today maybe?

Crabtree (#774)

I went camping, so I bought all of the groceries we needed, plus a flashlight – $70. Then I bought dinner once we got back – $20. $90 isn’t too bad actually, and it was a great trip.

I am watching the Olympics on YouTube! It’s been pretty good so far (gymnastics binge!) but I am watching from South East Asia, and maybe there’s some reverse mojo going where it’s America that doesn’t get the videos? youtube.com/olympics just in case

@Syar S Alia@facebook THANK YOU for this!!!! I have been going crazy trying to find videos anywhere since the canadian broadcast is shit.

Megano! (#124)

@redheaded&crazy I keep hearing that CTV’s is pretty good? But then I remember what their streaming service is like and that can’t be right.

Mike Dang (#2)

@Syar S Alia@facebook Unfortunately, I can’t get access to the page here in the U.S. I really don’t understand why they’re making such a huge event difficult to watch here. I don’t recall this problem in 2008.

@Megano! I dunno CTV hasn’t worked at all for me, on different browsers, different servers. I’m so annoyed, and I also don’t remember this being a problem in the 2010 olympics.

@Mike Dang I read an article that said YouTube is in charge of NBC’s online streaming, so maybe that’s why it’s difficult for Americans to access. Here’s the article http://gigaom.com/video/olympics-live-streaming-youtube-nbc/ Which sucks! Good luck, Mike. Hope you find somewhere to get your Olympics on.

@redheaded&crazy You’re welcome! :D

Man, all this stuff I’ve heard about the NBC Olympic coverage is so disappointing. You’d think they’d be able to do a little better. I recommend going with the above suggestion to reroute your IPN to England so you can watch iPlayer. I’m not even that big on the Olympics, but the BBC has coverage seriously down. They have like 24 channels on the red button covering things live or something crazy like that. Also no adverts! Woo! And no Matt Lauer. It sucks you can’t get iPlayer easily in the US (just like it sucks that I can’t watch a lot of American interweb TV over here).

ANYWAY! Moneys.

A few groceries on Friday night, including a bit of an indulgent antipasti tray from M&S, about £12.

Saturday, spent most of the day ripping apart the kitchen, but grabbed some treats from the bakery in the morning plus some milk, £2.60. Burrito for lunch, £7. More groceries, £20. Coffee and a ridiculously tasty muffin with a friend a bit later on, £3.20. Beer run, £7.50.

Sunday, a friend bought me lunch (yay!) and I bought beers afterwards, £7.10.

I think that’s actually all. I get paid tomorrow though, so I was trying pretty hard to hold back because I didn’t have much money left. About £48.

I moved this weekend, so in addition to security deposit and first month’s rent:

$13 for a bottle of vinho verde to bring to my friend’s Olympics opening ceremony watchfest
$10 for coffee and breakfast at a coffee shop, in search of WiFi (no internet at the new place yet)
$90 on groceries and cleaning supplies
$6 for coffee and a pastry at a different coffee shop
$7 on lunch at Whole Foods (free WiFi in their cafe area!)
$1 to set up mail forwarding
$40 to set up Internet service (including $10 for a DIY install & setup kit)
$60 on a modem (instead of renting for $7/mo from Comcast)
$40 on wood glue, shower curtain liner, dustpan & brush, etc. etc.

$267… oof. At least I won’t be spending any money at restaurants for the next 2 weeks, since I will be glued to my couch for the Olympics.

$30 miscellaneous Target things (including 10 boxes of pudding mix, on sale for $.44)
$150 for two pairs of boots (my motorcycle classes require me to have “over the ankle” shoes….and I didn’t. Plus these were really cute)
$60 haircut (tip included)
$12 pizza and chocolate with a friend when she came over to swim

Total: $252. Ufh. I maybe should have just bought the one pair of boots…

Megano! (#124)

@Saralyn@twitter So um. 10 boxes of pudding mix eh?

@Megano! It’s not weird at all! They were on clearance! $.44 a box! …and there was butterscotch. (This just in: butterscotch is the best)

genkiliz (#683)

@Kate Amann@twitter

They have a reverse IPN router program to make it seem like you are in the US – HotSpot Shield. You should be able to watch Hulu with it. Seriously, it was godsend when I lived outside the US.

@genkiliz Oooo, awesome. I knew stuff like that theoretically existed, but I was always too lazy to look for it.


This was a good weekend for me!

Friday: Had a friend over for dinner and a movie. I’d already bought everything the week before though, so: $0.

Saturday: Stayed in and did housekeeping things and homework. Only expense was laundry: $3.50.

Sunday: Went to IKEA to look for a new lamp but didn’t find anything just right. I did buy some delicious IKEA food though, which was $6.50 total. Stopped by grocery store afterward and the damage there was $22 in groceries plus $40 in cash for spending over the week.

Total: $32 plus $40 in cash for weekly spending. Not bad!

Friday night – I don’t know, I think I was dead. Before I died I went grocery shopping with my dad and got the fancy shampoo I need, which he paid for.

Saturday – FIONA APPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My friend bought my ticket for me months ago, so I had to pay her back, and combined that with delicious diner fare afterwards for a cool $80. Plus $10 for a drink during the opener that probably increased my ability to put up with Drunk Invading My Personal Space Guy All Night, so: worth it.

Sunday I flopped around some more and as it was my sister’s birthday was treated to yet more dad-footed dinner and groceries. We’re not present-y people but I think I’ll pay for one of the Lush UK items I ordered for her last week due to credit card shenanigans and for which I got the steep (yet cheaper than Lush US!) bill this morning. This (Capital One secured card, acquired on the advice of this very site) is my first proper credit experience and it is a bit shocking to buy something, feel like that’s over and done with, and then get billed a month later. I can see how people get snookered in to outspending their means. But hopefully my tiny credit limit and the irritation of suddenly having a $140 balance from SEEMINGLY NOWHERE will keep me from abusing the system.

OhMarie (#299)

I was doing so well until my husband got a speeding ticket on the way to a beach day trip yesterday. Going from a 2 lane 55 mph highway to the exact same 2 lane but now 25 mph road through a town will get you.

I normally have no tv service and I got cable just for the Olympics–I work from home and already have FIOS phone and internet, so adding the TV for a month is actually really affordable. And I only do it once every other year, so it’s worth it.

Kate (#1,408)

Hm. Saturday we rented a car and drove out to BFE for a family reunion. The car was at least $150 after gas, which feels like sooo much money until I remember how much it would cost to keep a car of my own in downtown Toronto. Sunday we had breakfast out (boyfriend paid) and then I bought Face Crap at Sephora for $70 and groceries for about $45. All in all $265. I promise I’ll stop bitching about that car rental soon. Soon-ish.

lemons! (#384)

Friday $0 bf made cocktails and dinner. Saturday $88 on a haircut. Maybe my last? I haven’t made a follow-up appointment and I bought clippers, but I’m torn! It’s a really good haircut. $30 on a small bag because I’m forever wanting a bag/purse that’s not as huge as my work bag. Done! $6 for CTA. $8 for ginseng-sugar powdered prunes in Chinatown. Sunday ~$30 at the farmer’s market and $10 for a Salon concert in the neighborhood. $172 Hefty!

Jellybish (#560)

Saturday: $128.39 at my favorite liquor store. It was a sale! Stocked up. $93.27 for groceries.
Sunday: $42.06 at Target for sundries. $47.63 at Home Depot for assorted house-related crap you have to buy when you own a house (a length of hose for the basement dehumidifier to drain constantly, a replacement bathtub drain cover, weed poison for yard.) Total = $311.35, which sadly might be the cheapest weekend I’ve had since participating in the check in.

sparrow303 (#1,641)

I ALMOST FORGOT TO CHECK IN! You guys, that was close.

Friday: Let’s not talk about Friday. Blew my budget entirely on shopping and clove cigarettes! But I count Friday as the week still, SO–

Saturday: $50 bday present for my best little 4-year-old pal
$60 grocery store (hygiene stuff will get you every time. Damn you, handsoap and lotion!)
$10 cab home from my friend’s house, where I invited myself over to watch the Olympics

Sunday: $6 train fare to the suburbs visit my little bday pal

Total spent= $131… very reasonable if you forget to consider Friday.

thenotestaken (#542)

Went to a friend’s cottage over the weekend so damage was low! $20 for my share of the car rental, $30 for my share of the groceries, and $10 for good Vermont cheddar to bring back and $16 for duty-free rum on the way back. I was bummed they didn’t have Pimm’s at the duty free since I was really stoked on making Pimm’s Cups for this hot week, but still pretty excited for dark & stormys!

mormo (#1,729)

$20 cash for drinks on Friday night
$7.50 to see Rear Window @ the Charles
$10.06 post movie burrito and soda
$7.99 Netflix subscription (automatic withdrawal)
$16.47 for a Lean Cusine pizza (gross, I know) and a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc
$49.69 Sunday brunch for me and a friend – drank some delicious 007′s!
$20 for drinks at a burlesque show in DC Sunday night

Did a lot of things, saw a lot of friends, and only spent $131.72 – not too bad!

I don’t even want to know. I had to drive to my hometown for my childhood best friend’s wedding and spending ensued.

Friday – $0.99 on Amazon for new tunes for the road trip (I had $2 credit that I had to use). $69.15 on gas during the drive. $2.68 for iced coffee to start out the drive and $11.32 for road trip snacks at Trader Joe’s (didn’t have to stop for food, success!).

Saturday & Sunday – $81.37 for misc shopping things, gift wrap for the wedding gift, things I had been needing to pick up at Target and a couple items I forgot to pack. $97.84 at Trader Joe’s because my mom works there and gets a discount. $40 is coming back to me because it was a case of wine for a friend (no cheap wine in our hometown TJ’s) and the rest was a case of wine for me plus other nonperishables I stocked up on.

Monday was also kind of part of my weekend because I was off work for the drive back. $36.04 for gas, but arrived home with a very empty tank and will need to fill it up.

$259.39 total. If you take out the gas costs, $154.20 which I guess isn’t too bad. It includes a case of wine after all.

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