Monday Check-in

Good morning! Let’s check in.

I left work on Friday evening and picked up two pints of Jeni’s ice cream and a box of cookies ($26.47) to bring with me to a meatballs and wine party some friends of mine were throwing. A friend and I split a cab home after ($14). On Saturday, when it was gorgeous out, I bought a frisbee ($3) and some snacks ($20) and met up with my former roommate and some other pals for a picnic in Central Park, and then we grabbed burgers for dinner ($11.85). On Sunday, I met up with my former roommate and another friend again so we could start planning a summer trip (more on this later), and then picked up some items at Bed Bath & Beyond ($40). My estimate was $125 and I spent $115.82.

And how were your weekends?

Friday Estimate

What are your estimates?

The Costs of Eating Out

Daniel Frank, a Canadian law student, wrote an homage to economist Tyler Cowen describing how to be a “frugal foodie”

One Year Closer to the ‘R’ Word

April is the month of my birth, and I am amused every year by the corporations that have that date on file and send me notes. Some are just discount offers, like the pop-up card above sent to me by West Elm where I bought some sheets a few months ago.

But now, I’m getting to that age where some of these corporations remind me that I am getting one year closer to my death and they hope I’ve been preparing! Here is, for example, a note from Allstate, where I buy my renters insurance:

We did want to let you know though, that as you get older Life Insurance becomes more expensive. So, if you were planning on looking into a policy, it will be cheaper before your birthday.

How helpful! But I’m already covered under term insurance for now, thanks.

And here’s a special birthday message from my 401(k) provider:

The Business of Sitting on Airplanes

There is an option, sometimes, like on an airline like Delta, where you can buy “trip extras” in advance. I always buy the Wi-Fi passes ahead of time because they’re $16, rather than $34 if you’re buying them during your flight. For $15, you can buy a “priority boarding” pass, which allows you to be one of the first passengers on the plane, giving you early access to the overhead bins and allowing you ample time to get comfortable in your seat.

Monday Check-in

Good morning! Let’s check in.

On Saturday afternoon I met up with some friends at a bar for a birthday and got to catch up with someone I haven’t seen in a few years ($18 for drinks, $10 for a small gift), and then we headed out to a Tex-Mex place for dinner ($34) before saying our goodbyes. On Sunday, I spent the day outside enjoying the weather, picking up some groceries ($60), and doing some work. My estimate was $130 and I spent $122.

And how were your weekends?

Photo: Les Haines

Friday Estimate

What about you? What are your estimates?

Thursdays Mean Doing That 1 Thing

What about you? What’s your 1 thing this week?

Let’s Talk About Philanthropy

I feel like philanthropy is something that is missing in most budgeting discussions aimed at millennials (me being one of said millennials, here). I’m biased because I work in fundraising at a nonprofit … BUT I also care deeply about making personal charitable contributions. I just wish more people were asking my generation to give back, because we can. Even when we were broke, we could, and now that a recovery is starting to peep out from the muck, it should become as intrinsic to our budget as Netflix.