We spend about $100-$125/week on groceries for two adults in Brooklyn, although often, there are personal care/household items bundled into that figure. But if we had to include wine and liquor, oh, boy, I dunno, that's probably another $25-$40/week, depending on how flush we're feeling.
I am truly the worst at these. I estimated $215, including a $100 contingency, but spent $326 thanks to an unscheduled Costco run. On the plus side, we now have enough olive oil to last until the next Ice Age.
Snacks for movie: $20 Groceries: $75 Drinks at friend birthday party: $20 Money I will somehow spend despite having no other plans this weekend: $100
@CubeRootOfPi I think that we assume that writing is prescriptive, and that the author is addressing us personally with his or her truths--probably because most of the time, they are, and that's the aim of their writing: to convince us of his or her point of view. So, the "having it all" writer writing about her personal experiences somehow translated (erroneously, I think) across the Internet ether to commenters as "You shouldn't have babies if you want to have it all" (and my questions about whether or not her self-doubt might have to do with the possibility of a latent discomfort around the idea that she could buy her way into having it all translated to some people as, "You shouldn't spend your way into having it all"). It's different here because MMM's writing IS prescriptive--but it's only prescriptive for people who want his lifestyle.
@Mike Dang @Mike Dang I'm not sure if it's fair to judge the guy on the merit of one interview, which was probably condensed. Nor do I think it's his responsibility to consider every single issue around personal finance or the economy. It would be awesome if he did, but that's also unrealistic? MMM, for better or worse--but certainly through his choice and his perogative--is speaking to higher-earning professionals who want to retire as quickly as possible, so his message is oriented to that audience. Again, I don't "aspire" to his lifestyle. It's too constrained for me. But he's definitely helped me see how incredibly luxurious parts of my life are--and how wasteful, too. I think it's shameful that so many people in this country can't live within their means because their means are so limited, and I advocate for all kinds of policy and grassroots solutions to that. But I do believe that the segment of people who can learn something from MMM is huge.
@Worker Parasite We're probably just inured to the MMM style of speaking. I think a lot of personal finance strives to be soft-lit and judgment-free because it's such a sensitive topic, so it's jarring when someone writes the way MMM does. But lots of people do better with a tough love approach, so I'm glad that his voice is out there.
@CubeRootOfPi Haha, I don't think Mike dislikes ANYONE, but I'm sensing a lot of dislike from other commenters who feel like Mr. Money Mustache is judging them for being wasteful. But to me--and perhaps it comes through more clearly for me because I read his site and am used to his hyperbolic way of writing--it seems like the message is more, "If you want to retire very early, you need to be very frugal."
Yikes. So much hate for this dude! His lifestyle isn't for me, but I think Mike and others are missing out on the fact that his advice and perspective are obviously directed to fulfilling his lifestyle. If it's not for you, then feel free to skip his advice. If you want to retire at 30 on a non-hedge fund salary, then, yes, it probably would be a help to cut out the lattes and cable and all the other small luxuries that make up a part of many of our lives. Because... how else could you retire after working for only eight years? It's funny how keenly we feel everyone else's truths about money.
@parallel-lines To contribute to anecdata, I grew up fairly low-income (family of three on $8,400/year, although inflation makes it seem worse than it was), and while my parents did eventually claw their way into the middle class, we continued to live very, very modestly. For most my teenage years, we all lived together in a tiny one-bedroom apartment in an affluent New England town that they choose because it had good schools. In the past, spending money definitely gave me a sense of freedom, but when I look back, personally, it seems ersatz. But everyone else's mileage will vary.
@aetataureate @aetataureate Sorry, I don't mean to imply that I'm annoyed at our discussion! I really enjoy the back and forth. What I meant by not having a dog in this fight is, I don't know whether or not the writer is making the "right" mistakes, nor would I judge her for what those mistakes are (if they are mistakes). And of course, we all have to decide what we want for ourselves, but those are all different fights. Right now, I'm just commenting on this writer's particular situation, as laid out in this particular piece; I don't mean to make her a case study for how everyone could or should feel or behave. Ultimately, it seems like we (and others) took away very different feelings from this piece: you picked up on her self-confidence, whereas I really felt her self-doubt. If being able to buy stuff in lieu of having kids makes her feel like she "has it all," "belongs," or has otherwise made it, then that's great for her! If it were the other way around, that's also great for her! But since I felt the self-doubt in the writing, I wanted to suggest an idea for why she might still feel somewhat ambivalent about her decisions.