@tussock Seconding the honest conversation thing. If you say something to the effect of "hey, money's tight right now, but I'd be more than happy to pay back your hospitality by helping around the house!" and they're like "that's fine!", cool, but make sure you're clear about what everyone expects and is prepared to give.
Yeah, that's...wow. I wouldn't mind chipping in somewhere in the $10-20 range for a gift for my boss, because I like my boss. If I didn't like my boss or couldn't contribute even a little, I'd say sorry, but no, with the understanding that my name might not be on the card/my boss might know I hadn't chipped in/whatever. Honestly, even if I were in a financial place where I COULD contribute $100 to a boss's gift, I'd balk at spending more on that than on gifts for my family and friends, and I've never spent more than $50 on a single person's gift.
I've never run the numbers, but buying stuff I can make for lunch (or dinner, if I'm working the night shift) is a pretty well ingrained habit, so for me buying lunch is usually not a question of "spend money on this instead of groceries" but "I already spent money on groceries and now I'm spending more money and also my perishable groceries are going to go to waste if I don't eat them". Plus the selection of food places I like and can get to and back on my meal break is limited and not substantially better than what I can make for myself. There are still times when I slip up and don't make anything and buy lunch/dinner a lot, but I frequently end up with buyer's remorse.
I'm always a little torn on Black Friday, because on the one hand I hate it and everything it stands for, but then on the other hand I think that if I had less disposable income and/or more people to Christmas shop for, those deals could really make a difference and I wouldn't be so quick to despise it. That said, I am completely comfortable drawing a "no Black Friday shopping on Thanksgiving Day, wtf, has the world gone mad" line.
@theguvnah I have a moderately-sized sapphire ring and I manage to scratch myself with the edges of the setting sometimes. Aside from all the other reasons not to get a big diamond, I think I'm too clumsy for one. Also too scatterbrained--I thought I'd lost my sapphire ring once and felt panicked and guilty until I found it. I don't think I could leave the house with something that cost $8000 on my finger.
@deepomega Now I will inevitably be disappointed by any proposal that does not include an engagement kitten. Thanks for that. But seriously, your wedding sounds great! Hiring people for coordination just on the day of seems like a great idea
I really wish someone had sat me down and explained #2 to me (and that I'd had the sense to listen to them). I slacked off a lot and muddled through with barely-passing grades some semesters, and looking back on the amount of money my parents spent for me to do that is a guilt trip I'll be dealing with for a long time to come. As far student jobs go, one of the best things I did for myself in undergrad was get a workstudy job at the library. Aside from the part where it led me to a career, it was a job I found genuinely enjoyable, not too hard, and gave me a lot of time to read and do my homework, so a library can be a pretty awesome place to work as a student (I just should have spent more of my free time studying and less reading for fun, see above paragraph).
This is why I only get salad from restaurants or grocery store salad bars anymore. I have yet to find lettuce sold in amounts I can eat all of before it goes bad in any store or farmer's market. Anyone have a Single Person Lettuce Secret I'm missing out on?
@Tuna Surprise We recently had a group of protestors gather right outside the library where I work to call for, among other things, transparency about people's salaries. I was busy with other stuff while they were here, but I wonder if anyone ever let them know that we have a book like that, AND you can look them up on the university's website.
@ThatJenn Same here. We keep a giant binder behind the circulation desk with the salaries of everyone at the university I work for. Sometimes I look up the salaries for people who have their MLIS degrees just to stare at them covetously.