Monday Check-In

It’s time to check-in.

I spent zero dollars this weekend—mostly because I didn’t make it to the grocery store like I was intending, or to see the new Bond film.

Instead, I woke up early on Saturday morning and headed to the Red Cross chapter headquarters in midtown Manhattan, and was shipped off to New Jersey to work in a warehouse for eight hours. The goal was to put together 100,000 care packages that included blankets, flashlights, batteries, antibacterial soap, and a few other items. I was a part of an assembly line of workers, shoving items into a bag and passing it along to other workers who would shove other items into a bag. I have a lot of respect for people who work in warehouses or manufacturing plants and are able to stand in a single spot and do the same thing over and over again all day. My feet were killing me after I got back on the bus to head back to New York.

All the volunteers I worked with this weekend were great and kindhearted, but I also felt torn about how much of an impact our efforts were going to make on the Sandy recovery. It’s been nearly two weeks after the storm, and flashlights and blankets seem like they would be less of a priority now. Of course, the Red Cross is a huge operation and have mobile feeding trucks and other things happening at the same time, but I wished that I felt like my efforts were making a better impact. Felix Salmon has a great piece about how I’m feeling today. In any case, I was too exhausted to spend any money this weekend.

And how were your weekends?


62 Comments / Post A Comment

LizF (#1,399)

This weekend was my birthday celebration so it turned out to be spendier than I was planning but not bad for how much I did.

Friday I went to the mall and then out to dinner with my boyfriend. He picked up the tab both places- for a work/winter appropriate purse at H&M and a wonderful dinner at a local restaurant.

Saturday was spent enjoying the museums and stores of Salem- I put 25$ worth of gas into the car my boyfriend and I borrowed to get there. Then that evening I had people over for appetizers and drinks then went to a bar for more drinking and picked up 0$ of the tab.

Sunday I took my mother to tea at the MFA and to see a few new exhibits there. We have a membership so total cost was solely on the tea, which was overpriced at 66$.

Had a fantastic time and spent only what I had budgeted. My boyfriend probably went over his budget, though.

@LizF happy (belated?) birthday!

Jimmy Kibble (#1,603)

@LizF I’m sorry, but could you tell me a little bit more about that tea? I’m curious to know what $66 tea is like; I imagine that you had a full tea service? What comes with that?

Oh, and happy birthday!

LizF (#1,399)

@backstagebethy Thank you! And my actual birthday was on Election day which obviously overshadowed it a bit. But my friends did get me President Obama re-elected and Elizabeth Warren elected which was so very nice of them. :)

wearitcounts (#772)

@LizF hahaha you’re welcome for your birthday gift :) hope you had fun celebrating!

EvanDeSimone (#2,101)

@LizF I initially read this as “I bought a $66 cup of tea” and was sort of horrified, then really impressed, then really jealous because I wanted some $66 tea. Of course you actually “WENT TO TEA” which makes way more sense. However, can we contemplate how bonkers at $66 cup of team would be?

wearitcounts (#772)

@EvanDeSimone hm, now see when i read your comment, at first i was all like, she didn’t GO to TEA, that’s not a PLACE, Evan, GOD!


EvanDeSimone (#2,101)

@wearitcounts Somewhere in the world there is definitely a gross pretentious nightclub called Tea or TEA or T.E.A. I’m sure of it. I’m also sure it’s not the kind of place you take your mom.

Megano! (#124)

@EvanDeSimone I hope all the staff is dressed like slutty Victorians.

wearitcounts (#772)

@Megano! hmmm…what would make a victorian slutty? toe cleavage from underneath a too-short hem?

Megano! (#124)

@wearitcounts Ankles and boobs! For dudes, Imma have to think on that.

LizF (#1,399)

@Jimmy Kibble It was a full service tea with live music and continuous hot water and tiny sandwiches and desserts. I drank Darjeeling. It was Tazo, though, so not really anything special.
The staff was dressed in gray suits like something out of Gattaca and a neon sign that read “All art was once contemporary” glowed outside the windows.

Megano! (#124)

@LizF Not even loose leaf? And probably not even the good flush of Darjeeling either. NOT WORTH IT. Well I guess MAYBE the ambiance was worth it.

LizF (#1,399)

@Megano! I was disappointed with both the quantity of the snacks and the quality of the tea. However my mother and I were both celebrating our birthdays and I really enjoy being an adult child who can treat my mother to nice afternoons every so often.

I was pretty on track, except for one surprise purchase. I’d predicted $55…

Friday I spent about $20 on holiday treats: dog treats, chocolate bark, lavender cookies, and a beer and half a shrimp special.

Saturday I did not go get my eyebrows waxed, and instead spent $40 on jeans because I tore a hole in the crotch of my only work-appropriate pair. Then I spent $6 on chicken tenders and a drink at the football game.

Sunday I went to the botanical garden to study for a little while (free because I now have a membership). I used my free pass to see Skyfall, which I loved. I will probably see it again because my roommate wants to go now. Had a coupon for a free soda, so I spent $6 on popcorn and $1 to upgrade to a large drink. One day I’ll learn I don’t actually like movie popcorn, and I’ll get something else instead and not throw away half the bag. Then I spent $20 at Target for some bathroom organization and tissues and a case of Diet Cokes so I don’t have to buy drinks at work.

So total spent was $52 without the “emergency” jeans purchase, $92 with. Lesson learned: if I spend less on booze on Friday night, I don’t have to feel as bad when I splurge on towel racks and shower shelves on Sunday afternoon.

wearitcounts (#772)

i did not stay out of trouble. and i went over. because that’s how i do.

i went out with friends three times and spent exactly twenty dollars each time, which was kind of impressive. i also spent $4 on iced tea, and then made a $55 grocery run and an $18 liquor store run. so about $127, give or take some change.

oh well. these things happen.

EvanDeSimone (#2,101)

I spent less than I would have expected this weekend. I’m in the process of moving into a new apartment which has been taking ages because moving gives me anxiety. I worked on that most of the weekend and i did spend about $50 on assorted items and cleaning products to get the place in order. I also spent about $15 on coffee and lunch with an old friend who happened to be in town unexpectedly. Other than that I was the soul of frugality. Unfortunately I have the day off for Veterans day and most of my friends are still working. That means today is likely to turn into a gluttonous explosion of take-away Chinese and cleaning. Today doesn’t count as part of the weekend does it?

EvanDeSimone (#2,101)

@EvanDeSimone Oof I forgot I spent $23 on two tickets to see Sykfall because my friend lost his card. He will surely pay me back in beer and nachos at some point but still, that goes against my weekend total.

eagerber (#1,958)

Mike Dang! Good for you for volunteering. Both of my parents in NJ are still without power and I know they are very appreciative of the services they’re receiving from the Red Cross volunteers. Thanks for helping out!

My boyfriend returned to DC on Friday after working on a campaign in CT, so Fri night we went to one of our favorite restaurants. I bought him dinner, so with tip, it cost me $40.72 total. He bought me a drink later.

Saturday morning we got up early to go hike Old Rag Mountain. I put $36 of gas in my car, and bought the $10 parking fee. My boyfriend bought us dinner on the way home. Then we saw Perks of Being a Wallflower, which cost me $9 for student ticket and $8 for popcorn/soda combo.

Sunday was super low-key. We ate leftovers and tried to also see Lincoln, but it was sold-out. We got drinks at Room 11 instead, and I spent $14 on one drink. It was a strong, peach, ginger ale, gin drink and worth every penny.

TOTAL: $117.72

selenana (#673)

@eagerber @Mike Dang Considering the number of people who still didn’t have power as of this weekend (I heard more than 100,000, most in Long Island and N.J.) so your volunteering was making a difference, certainly. Thank you!

probs (#296)

Friday-$3.67, Coast Guard Exchange, snacks. $20.33, dinner to go from some pizza and subs place off 95 on our way down to Richmond.
Saturday- Ran my first half marathon, paid for lo those many moons ago. $28.39, cocktails, beers, and fancy french fries for my girlfriend and I.

My dad paid for both of our meals out, and brunch with friends was cancelled Sunday, so this was shaping up to be a cheap weekend, considering. But then I had a mini heart attack and remembered my car’s registration was expiring, so…

Sunday- $185, online registration renewal with DC DMV, as well as payment for emissions inspection and residential parking permit.

Total- $237.39, and I didn’t get groceries. At least the car stuff is an infrequent expense that will have me covered until next year, and the race gives me an excuse to eat a ton of carbs!

annecara (#1,914)

I was hoping to stay under $50 and I did! $25 on wine for a friend; $13 on pizza for me. (This total completely ignores whatever my husband might have spent this weekend, but given that he was visiting family it probably wasn’t too much. I hope.)

faustbanana (#2,376)

Hummm… I think I actually stayed within my $75 goal!

Friday: $5 for a drink at a bar
Saturday: went out for my sister’s birthday – was not really in the mood to drink or socialize so I cut out early, resulting in only spending $30 and the indefinite ill will of my sister!
Sunday: about $45 on groceries

Total: $80, most of which was on groceries. Not too shabby.

kellyography (#250)

I didn’t see the new Bond movie either, mainly because even the 10am Sunday screening was packed (according to the box office lady) so I went to see Wreck-It Ralph. Recommended! $6.

It was a lovely day so I also walked to the book sale (nothing good – $0), and went to get ice cream (rocky road – $4).

I had to work Saturday so I didn’t spend any money then. I am so boring, you guys.

thenotestaken (#542)

@kellyography A $10 weekend is something to be proud of, especially since that included way more than “staying home.” good for you!

Blondsak (#2,299)

I stayed under this weekend, but also didn’t volunteer-work as many hours as I had hoped, so, it probably doesn’t even out.

Friday: $20 on a box of wine, $17 on pizza.

Saturday: $54 on wedding-guest related items, like heels and a gift box, and also a gift for my father’s birthday.

Sunday: Nada.

Today, because it is a holiday for me: $3.50 on laundry, though I haven’t done it yet; also maaaaybe going grocery shopping, if I feel like it later.

Total: $94.50. I had guessed $120, so am technically under, but if I go grocery shopping that total will certainly go over. Ah, well. Back to working on my 30 page essay 0_o

Blondsak (#2,299)

@LO Also, is this a place where I can mention that because of the Billfold, I have started a budgeting excel sheet for this month? It takes me forever to plug in the numbers and I keep forgetting and having to guesstimate how much I spent exactly, but I’m doing it! My goal is to save at least $100 each month (Someday, when I am not in school, life will be about more than just surviving. For now, I am happy as long as I’m not spending more than I am making – unless it is on classes, for which I am soon to put down a $5,000 payment… blerg).

wearitcounts (#772)

@LO i am impressed. i did this once and it worked really well for three months until i stopped doing it because, i’m not sure, probably because i got distracted by something shiny and expensive? haha seriously, good work.

Blondsak (#2,299)

@wearitcounts Thanks! It’s more time-consuming than I thought it would be. Every day at the end of the day, I think to myself, “Yeah! You didn’t spend anything!… oh, except on lunch… oh and that stop at CVS… oh and you have to factor in adding money to your metro card!” Seriously, it’s ridiculous how much we (just me?) spend without really thinking about it! It probably doesn’t help that I use my credit card almost universally for purchases, because 1) I get cash-back for a bunch of stuff, 2) their website has a nifty spend analyzer that I use to track myself sometimes, such as with dining out, and 3) I pay it back in full every month, so it’s not accruing interest. HOWEVER, I do think I spend more because I use it. It’s just so easy to swipe and not stop to think about it.

sintaxis (#2,363)

@LO Have you considered using an automatic program like That’ll save you lots of time.

wearitcounts (#772)

@LO i totally do that too…i’m like oh i spent like NO money this weekend! …except for all that money i did spend but whatever everybody needs chapstick and iced tea.

Blondsak (#2,299)

@sintaxis I’ve thought about using, but I’m a little leery of giving away bank account numbers and credit card numbers and all that. Maybe I’ll have to give it a try though! I’ve heard good things… I’m just rather paranoid about having all that info available in one place.

sintaxis (#2,363)

@LO Yeah, I understand that. I was a little unsure at first, but I switched over to it and find that it’s made me a lot more likely to keep track of my spending since it imports the transactions and all you have to do is classify them. It has a few quirks that are annoying though. I mean, if you don’t mind the work of doing your budget and tracking by hand then stick with excel, but I found that I was slacking off and Mint reduces the amount of effort I have to put in.

megsy (#1,565)

Friday was on target with bus fare ($5.20) but the rest of the weekend was off. I went to Startup Weekend on Friday but not the rest of the weekend so I had additional expenses of $47.46 on Saturday and then $26.93 on food and ginger ale on Sunday. So I’m glad it stayed under $100 but I am disappointed it wasn’t quite as cheap as I had hoped/planned/expected.

thenotestaken (#542)

Friday I brought some kale, lemons, and chocolate to a friend’s dinner (not to be consumed together) which was about $6, but that was it for the night.
Saturday I spent the day in cafes which came to $3+2+6=$11. Nighttime was more expensive–$15 on groceries and wine, and a $20 burlesque show which I had already bought a ticket for. My friends bought me drinks all night which was nice. Also I have to count $3 for transit for that one since my friends deemed it too cold to bike.
Sunday I spent maybe $6 on grocery items for breakfast but the rest of the day did a bit of window shopping and went to a friend’s house for a crafternoon. I also paid $5 to go to a talk with Chris Ware, Charles Burns, and Adrian Tomine, which was well worth it. I spent another unplanned $15 on one of Adrian Tomine’s books since I could get it signed while there as well.

Total: $81. I had predicted $65 and without the book purchase it would have been $66 which would have been right on target. But I love having a signed book so it’s well worth it.

selenana (#673)

@thenotestaken Only $5 for that talk? That sounds awesome. I saw Chris Ware with Ira Glass and I can’t remember but I’m sure it was more than $5.

thenotestaken (#542)

@thenotestaken Oooh well if Ira Glass was involved my wallet would fly right open! But yeah, I know, $5 was a hell of a deal plus they put the price of your admission towards any books that you buy there, so my book purchase would have been more expensive otherwise.

Heckyes (#1,162)

I am trying to furnish a new apartment, so I spent what felt like a million dollars. My boyfriend is providing a huge portion of the furniture that we need, so I am just filling in the gaps.
$35 on assorted IKEA stuff – bath mats, closet organizers, a can opener, etc.
$35 on an end table from a consignment store in one of the fancy suburbs.
$125 on a dining table + 6 chairs from a garage sale.
$18 on place mats from World Market to put on said table.
$7.50 on snacks to sustain me while I waited for the nice (very strong) men to deliver my washer and dryer.
$22 on a shower curtain (inexplicably 75% off) and a new trash can from Target.
Total: $242.50 which isn’t so bad?

Megano! (#124)

Friday I went to the Friday Night Live thing at the ROM with some ‘Pinners, and spent $32 on drinks. Oh and the admission was $12 because I bought it online. I liked it but I think they let too many people in, because there was one point where ALL the rooms where packed like sausage casings. Also I may have spilled a drink on a display case while talking about dinosaur sex in the Dino Gallery.
Saturday I slept most of the day, and I don’t think I spent any money.
Sunday — went to the mall and spent $30 on tea and other necessary items (zit stuff wooo!), then I dropped $33 on a Nars lip pencil which I will maintain as worth it. Then I had to go downtown to plaster Leslieville with info about the WORN’s (mag I intern at right now)launch party in a couple week. Spent $15 on lunch at a diner that was mostly staffed by handsome French Canadians. There was a lot of other stuff I wanted to buy that I didn’t have the money for, so be proud!!! I still have to go back though cuz I only got like half the neighbourhood before running out of flyers.
So….a pretty expensive weekend for me, at over $100.

wearitcounts (#772)

@Megano! …i want to go to a diner staffed by handsome french canadians.

@Megano! I think you’re right, they did let too many people in. I’m sure they cleaned up many spills that night. Heady off their own success!

$12 on the Hairpin bargain bin
$10 to my friend’s Indie GoGo campaign
$10 for my Christmas flight (used miles otherwise)

$80 groceries
$35 on dinner for the boyf & I on Friday

So, $147. I feel like I’m forgetting a purchase somewhere? Maybe another $20 grocery run? Hm.

@polka dots vs stripes oh also Mike, I have some east coast friends who JUST got power back, not to mention the people who’s homes were wrecked, so I’m sure the flashlights and blankets were still needed!

Mike Dang (#2)

@polka dots vs stripes I really hope so.

Maladydee (#909)

I was waaaaay off this weekend. This wwkend seriously kicked my ass, you guys. But the worst of it was more or less inevitable.

I thought my bridesmaid dress was stiff enough to support me without a bra, but as it turns out I was wrong, and all my current bras are sad and worn out and would be worse than useless. So I had to make a surprise bra shopping trip. I’m hard to fit, so no cheap bras for me – $380 after tax, on just 3 bras. D: (but they are so pretty and also my old ones *really* are worn out. This money was going to be spent soon either way. This is the inevitable part. )

Also, $8 on subway for lunch, because like hell was i going to shop for bras while hungry and grumpy. then instead of eating supper at home before seeing my friends, they picked me up for dinner and drinks at a restaurant, because really, fuck plans, right? And I spent about $40 there, and then bought a $10 bottle of wine on the way to my friend’s house, where we spent the rest of the night and *spent no more money thank god*. (Except I owe my other buddy $15-20 for cab fare next time I see him, we split a cab home and it was a long ride. )

I DID work on the saturday and Remembrance Day, which means I got paid just over a dollar a minute thanks to stat pay, so I can pay off those pretty, pricy bras ASAP. And I feel no guilt over my usual $1.89 coffee and muffin at McDonald’s.

And then the video games. My taste in games right now runs to ports of old ps2 games to newer systems, so it is somewhat cheaper than a new AAA title. Okami HD for my ps3 was $20 and Bard’s Tale for iOS was $5, and these will help keep me sane in the long winter months, and was pretty much the only money I spent 100% because I wanted to.

So…. $458.78 plus $20 paying back my buddy next week. Thank god for stat pay, I will be able to pay most of that off again reasonably quickly. And not have to spend ungodly amounts of money on new bras for at least another 6 months to a year.

wearitcounts (#772)

@Maladydee being a girl can be really expensive.

@Maladydee I have to buy new bras, and I always wait until I go home to my parent’s for the holidays because they a. have lower sales tax and b. live near what is basically a bra emporium and I can get ones for under $40.

So, I feel you :/

Megano! (#124)

@Maladydee Okami is good times. I still have the original PS2 one! I maybe spent like $120 on games this month.

Maladydee (#909)

@Megano! OK, I feel lots better about my gaming spending, now. :) I’ve been trying SO HARD to only play the games I already have, but they are all played out, and I have missed Okami SO MUCH. It was my break-up comfort game years ago.

Maladydee (#909)

@wearitcounts yeah, it really can, it just adds up. My biggest challenge is getting over feeling like it’s frivolous to spend money on clothes and bras and decent shoes, and even makeup. It’s just the price of admission for presenting a feminine appearance, but I have a hard time getting over the feeling that I am wasting money on “girly” things.

KingCash (#2,095)

Friday: I stayed in to watch the Georgetown-Florida game, which was on an aircraft carrier. Looked really cool until the second half was called due to condensation. Frustrating, but it did keep me from spending money!

Saturday: Paid $5 for admission to Crafty Bastards and once there I spent $9 on cupcakes and $6 on a very twee bottle opener. Spent $22 on dinner and drinks with my boyfriend and a friend at Kangaroo Boxing Club and then $14 more on drinks at a nearby bar. Took a cab home, but BF paid.

Sunday: Spent $5 on breakfast (tried a new bagel place, not as good as my regular spot) then $28 on groceries. Had to pay $2 at FedEx Office to print out my tickets to the Georgetown basketball game since I forgot to do that on Friday. Spent most of the afternoon bumming around the National Portrait Gallery (free!). After the game I spent $7 introducing my boyfriend to District Taco.

Total = $98, which is a good amount below my prediction of $130!

wallrock (#1,003)

I did pretty OK considering my parents stood me up on Saturday and I instead went out with an old friend from college. I was supposed to meet up with my Hoosier parents to watch the UW-IU football game but after I drove halfway my father called to cancel. I was near to the restaurant where my friend works so I stopped in to see if she was working. She wasn’t on the clock but she was there watching the game so I pulled up a barstool and joined her. I ended up paying for the second round and some nachos at the bar ($18) while she paid for the rest over my objections, though with her discount it was probably not too much. Later that evening we both went to see a mutual friend play an early show at one of my favorite venues. I paid the $5 cover for both of us and picked up the second round ($10). We grabbed a late dinner ($18) and I called it a night.

Yesterday I had tickets to the UW basketball opener with my friend. Before the game we went out for lunch and I picked up the check ($32). He paid for parking and also the post-game beer so it all worked out in the end.

So I know this isn’t the place for it, but I need someone to tell me what to do.

This band I love is reuniting for three shows on the west coast in December. I have airline miles to get me to California and from Arizona. I have the vacation time (3 days) but I would have to miss our department’s holiday party (which I am largely responsible for arranging). I’d be splitting rental car and gas costs with two other ladies, and we’d likely be staying with friends in various cities but could have to book a (cheap) hotel for three nights. The actual show tickets are cheap, under $20 a pop, so I could get away with this west coast getaway for under $400, which is pretty great for 6 nights. Plus I will have just finished my first semester of grad school and will be in the mood to celebrate.

HOWEVER, I am going to Ireland in March for 10ish days–5 days of classes, and 5 days of sightseeing that will hopefully also take me to other European cities. So do I save my $400 for that trip, so I can do it in (a little bit of) style, or do I have TWO fun trips that are slightly less fancy-hotel-y?

I have a lot of consumer debt, so I think I should skip the trip. And another beloved band is playing in my city, a mere 4 miles from my house, that weekend. BUT this is pretty much my last shot at seeing the band, and a party weekend with some cool people would be a great way to spend some time.

So Billfold, what say you?

alpacasloth (#108)

@backstagebethy If this is truly your last chance to see a band that you love, then go for it. Of course, I don’t know the particulars of your economic situation, but if you were just planning to use that $400 on your other vacation then go see the band!

One of my favorite bands reunited and played only a handful shows in the US this year and I spent almost $200 to see them in April. And it was worth every penny.

@backstagebethy As someone who’s favorite band ever is doing their last shows last night and today and I can’t go….go.

Is there any way to not miss the holiday party?

selenana (#673)

@backstagebethy I say do it. You can still have a great time in Ireland in cheap hotels. If your hotel is not super comfortable, hang out in a cozy cozy pub until bedtime! You won’t even notice the less fancy accommodations if you’re out in the world most of the time.

@polka dots vs stripes Ahhh I just realized you must be talking about Jack’s. Yeah that is a bummer, I will miss them!

inspector_tiger (#2,651)

finally delurking, ’cause I need to start tracking my spending.

So: this weekend I spent 12 € on groceries and then I thought I would spend another 10 for a cab home from a party but I took the that was good.

On sunday I nurtured my hangover from the aforementioned party so total spending was 12 €. yay!

a very cheap weekend :)

But then I just spent 50 € on mostly essential clothes (6 out of 8 i would say…). snap.

alpacasloth (#108)

I did it! Had a no spend weekend! We had a lot of fresh food sitting in the fridge so I cooked and prepped a lot of food. I also had a lot of household stuff to take care of, like piles of laundry, cleaning the kitchen, scrubbing ovens, so I didn’t need to leave the house. We saw Skyfall on Saturday but we had free tickets and my fiance bought the sodas. I even prepped a casserole last night that will feed me for most of the week. Success!

Blondsak (#2,299)

@alpacasloth Congratulations! That is my dream weekend – as in, it will only happen in my dreams.

breakfast (#633)

A spendier weekend than usual…
Friday: $5 to get into a dance hall for a friends birthday, plus $15 on beers for me and boyfriend
Saturday: $25 at farmers market, then $25 on Brunch with some friends, then an artist talk with a dinner for the artists and their plus ones (I was the plus one) so $0 dinner. Then $10 on a sixpack when I got home, because the liquor store doesn’t use price tags and they are erratic pricers.
Sunday: $25 deposit on turkey for Thanksgiving from the food coop (and also some snacks), $30 on dog supplies: a new harness to keep him from pulling, following several meltdown-inducing walks recently, and a new toy, in the hopes that maybe he will be a better dog if he can keep himself busy (he isn’t really that bad, just going through an asshole stage). GRAND TOTAL: $155

I’ve used the harness twice and it’s like night and day walking him now, so definitely worth the money!

selenana (#673)

My budget was right (1000 yen pizza 3000 yen Costco 4000 yen show etc.) plus another 1000 for parking and $10 for kittens on my friend’s kitten rescue’s Indiegogo ( – if anyone’s in the Bay Area, check them out!) so more like 13,000 yen.

Comments are closed!