On Let's All Run Away to Europe Together

I'm traveling around the Netherlands, Belgium, and Berlin for sixteen days in July with my sister, who's studying abroad in the Netherlands this summer. It's the first time I'm visiting Europe without parents or other adults who are somewhat responsible for me and I'm really excited! The plane tickets were still possibly the most expensive thing I've ever bought in one fell swoop, though.

Posted on April 21, 2015 at 2:28 pm 0

On Friday Estimate

Today: Hopefully yoga, depending on how the afternoon at work goes. Then I'm staying in and I'm so excited about it; this week has gone on FOREVER. I'm going to make myself a huge sandwich, maybe do some coding, snack on jalapeno potato chips while watching the leaked Game of Thrones episodes, ??? The world is my oyster! Saturday is 1. supposed to be gorgeous, and 2. the first farmer's market of the season. I'm going to load up on some humanely raised meat and eggs, plus whatever other produce looks good; $20ish. Will definitely go to a yoga class if I skip tonight's, and might go even if I don't. Then I'm meeting up with dudefriend to do something while it's still light out but I have no idea what! Early dinner? Late coffee? The world is still my oyster. $20 more there, and then we'll go out, maybe to this "blackout" party my roommate invited me too. Another $20, why not. Hoping to pregame for that while watching the Orphan Black premiere (!!!!!!!). Sunday: Taking little brother to the National Geographic museum. They gave us free vouchers when we were there last month because only one of their exhibits were open, so that'll be free. Plus along with little brother I'm getting my repaired bike back, just in time for this idyllic weather. $30 or something for lunch afterward. Then that evening I have a yoga workshop that I already paid for. I really want to treat myself to some new nail polish, plus I'm starting to run low on shaving cream, so $20 for a Target run at some point. I was going to plan for a Sephora order too, but thanks to concert tickets and lots of beer yesterday I'm well over my weekly budget already. Total: $110

Posted on April 17, 2015 at 10:25 am 1

On Monday Check-in

@RiffRandell Outlander in the estimates on Friday, and now Orphan Black in the roundup?? Billfolders have the greatest taste in television.

Posted on April 13, 2015 at 10:08 am 1

On Monday Check-in

Friday: $3.29 for bagel and coffee, $6.99 for lunch, $3.19 on a muffin for an afternoon snack. Then I went home and bought plane tickets to Europe. I'll include the $39 I spent so I can pick my seat on the way back, but the total for the rest is too depressing, albeit planned. Saturday: Went to a wine tasting; already paid. Dudefriend paid for an early dinner afterwards, then I passed out at his place and was dead to the world for two and a half hours. Thanks, wine! By the time I woke up it was dark outside, and I was hungover and SO disoriented. And starving (again). I dragged myself to get Afghan food for dinner #2; well worth the personal pain (though it did not feel so on the walk there) and $27.39. Sunday: He paid for brunch, I got us coffee + myself a snack later in the afternoon; $14.29. Then I tried to be a good student and not only read my Ruby homework but do the optional coding challenges instead, only to discover - after nearly an hour of confused frustration - that they required code the book had not yet taught us. I had to soothe my nerves with frozen yogurt and Outlander. Total: $94.15; I had guessed $80.

Posted on April 13, 2015 at 9:53 am 0

On Friday Estimate

@BillfoldMonkey Outlander is excellent and very binge-worthy!!!

Posted on April 10, 2015 at 10:50 am 0

On Friday Estimate

I'm a little hungover and a little overcaffeinated, and it's not a good combination; I can tell I'm going to be very unproductive today. Today: $3.29 for a bagel and coffee this morning, $7.50 for lunch later on. Hoping to make it to a yoga class after work, then I have some cleaning to do at home. I'll make mac and cheese for dinner and stay in with last week's episode of Outlander. Saturday: I'm going to a wine tasting in the afternoon, which I already paid for, and perhaps more drinking and dinner afterwards. $30? Maybe more? Depends on how much a "taste" of a wine really is, and how hard the day drinking hits me. Sunday: Working at a coffee shop for most of the day; $10 for caffeine and various snacks. Yoga class in the evening, and $15 because I'll probably find an excuse to pick up some groceries on the way home. Total: $65.79 seems way too low, so I'll throw in another $15 or so for some other social activity. I'll guess an even $80.

Posted on April 10, 2015 at 10:48 am 0

On KonMarie and Me

What about the things that bring me joy some days, but not others? Or the things that bring me only medium levels of joy? Like, I have some sports bras that bring me a pretty high level of joy (I really like workout clothes ...) but some bras that only give me a "meh" level of joy. But sometimes all my really joyful sports bras are dirty! Plus I hate doing laundry, so doing it less often actively makes my life less joyful! WHAT NOW, KONMARIE. I don't know, I like the idea of having everything you own bring you joy, but in practice, if I threw out everything that didn't bring me "immeasurable amounts of joy" I would have to spend multiple thousands of dollars - and SO much time - finding replacements. My joyful work wardrobe consists of one skirt, maybe two dresses, a pair of pants, and a handful of sweaters. The process of finding these things necessarily (I think) involves lots of trial and error. I never know what purchases have actually brought me joy until I've had them for a few months.

Posted on April 9, 2015 at 12:28 pm 2

On Let's Talk About Philanthropy

@Alicia Going a little off topic here but this is one of my pet concerns (is that a phrase?) ... Charity Navigator is good in terms of rating transparency and such for nonprofits, but honestly overhead costs are kind of a red herring here. Nonprofits need to pay their electric bill. They need to pay rent. They need to give their employees a living wage (without making them work every federal holiday!). These all count as overhead/administrative costs, and they don't necessarily have any correlation with how much good an organization is actually doing on the ground. Figure out how best to get your donations to the people who most need them - not to mention figuring out who these people are - is super complicated, and in a well-run and transparent nonprofit organization, the overhead costs are well worth it. (for more info - here's a good primer on the overhead myth, on a site that is actually co-sponsored by Charity Navigator and two similar organizations)

Posted on April 9, 2015 at 12:11 pm 1

On The Billions We Spend on Our Annual Check-Ups

My insurance actually just started a new program that, in exchange for getting a yearly checkup, gives you up to $300 on a debit card to spend on medical expenses. So I had an annual checkup for the first time in probably almost five years, and now I'll (presumably) have to pay nothing for copays and contact lenses! I don't have any particular complaints and haven't gotten sicker than a bad cold in years, so dentist and gyno visits are really my only regular checkups. (Of course, I also pushed my scheduled gyn and dentist visit back by several months while I looked for a PCP, got an appointment, collected and submitted the paperwork, and got my card back in the mail ... the things I do to save a buck.)

Posted on April 8, 2015 at 3:02 pm 0

On A WWYD? Update From The Millennial Whose Parents Want Her Hard-Earned Savings

@sunnydeedoherty I agree with twofish here - this is a bit harsh. It sounds like her parents basically expected her to live with them, and not pay rent, after graduation. She was saving to move out - and to be able to support herself - not planning on living with her parents for the rest of time. And now that her parents are moving anyway, her timeline is presumably pushed up, which means she'll need her savings sooner than she was planning. I also think it's unfair that her brother, who makes three times what she does, is expected to give the same amount of money as this girl is. If I were her I'd definitely approach it from that angle.

Posted on April 6, 2015 at 3:28 pm 5