I haven't estimated in a while and have been spending way too much. Today I didn't bring lunch (that's becoming a thing with me) so I will pick something up, anywhere from $5-$15 depending on where I end up going. For the rest of the weekend I am doing some spring cleaning and reorganizing. It’s the last weekend before it gets hot in Phoenix and I want to get some yard work done. I need to take in some laundry and dry cleaning and pick up some groceries. My aunt is going to be in town this weekend so we might end up having a family dinner out somewhere tomorrow night. The goal is to just spend the cash in my wallet now so $116 or under. We’ll see how that works out.
Usually 30 minutes at most. If its just me and one other person we will try to get seated at the bar for a shorter wait. If it's just me I am usually picking up take out. Longest I've ever waited was for Mother's Day brunch last year but I was planning for that. I went ahead and put our names in while mom and grandma were at church. The restaurant had a coffee bar, free wifi, and plenty of outdoor seating for people waiting so I was fine. It was nicer than the brunch itself, actually.
When I was about 12 my parents were looking for a new home. They had planned to buy the house we were renting but the owner sold to someone else. My family's financial circumstances varied wildly when I was a kid and that was one of the bad years. They were looking at the icky apartment complex by the interstate as a short term move to keep us in our school district. I was babysitting for a family from church who were trying to sell their house and told my parents that they should buy it. My reasoning was that it had a pool and was within sight of my best friend's house. Fortunately it also had the right number of bedrooms and bathrooms and the owners were willing and able to carry the financing in a rent-to-own deal over 15 years. The house turned out to need a lot of work and my parents had agreed to handle all the maintenance since they would be the ultimate owner. The pool was drained after five years and eventually filled in rather than doing all the repairs it needed. My friend and I had a big fight during 7th grade and only spoke once before high school graduation. And the owners tried to screw us over when it was time for my parents to assume the title. Another friend of my mom’s covered the retainer on a good real estate lawyer to write a threatening letter and after some back and forth my parents got the house. Over the last five years they have been slowly remodeling and updating, doing all the work themselves as they can afford it and they plan to stay there as long as they can. So I guess all’s well that ends well?
Saturday I need to take the car in for an oil change ($20). I will probably get a breakfast sandwich and coffee on the way ($5). I need to stop by Walgreens to pick up a prescription ($0) and get a gift card and birthday card for my cousin ($30). Eleven-year-olds still like Toys-R-Us, right? I also need to get a bag of dog food at PetSmart ($50). I plan to clean the kitchen and do some meal planning for next week in the afternoon, then will be picking up my grandma and heading to my aunt’s house for a family pizza party for my cousin’s birthday. I should probably get gas before driving to Chandler ($20). Sunday I need to return a couple of skirts and tops that didn’t fit to Nordstrom (credit back on my card). I’ll stop at the grocery store on the way back ($50-$75 depending on how meal planning , cleaning out the fridge and cupboards goes). The rest of the day will be spring cleaning my house and cooking for the week. I’ve never really done the plan and cook in advance thing so I’ll see how it goes. Total estimate - $175-$200
Friday I picked up chicken for the dogs and flan for me ($6.43) – the grocery store raised the price on both recently. Saturday I got a breakfast sandwich and iced coffee ($4.85) and washed the car ($8). My niece and I went to see Rodgers and Hammersteins Cinderella. It was fun but I think she is still a little young for it. During intermission she asked my why the movie was so long and we spent most of the second act in the lobby. We weren’t the only ones out there, there were dozens of little girls dressed as princesses there and she had plenty of playmates until she was ready to go back into the show. She didn’t notice the souvenir display, they really didn’t have a lot, but we did get a snack pack for her and a blondie and soda for me at intermission ($15). Whoever at Gammage decided to do the snack packs deserves a raise. They assembled Ziploc bags with a juice box and several kid-friendly snacks. I think she liked the fruit roll-up better than the show. After I dropped her off at home I picked up a pot pie for Pi day and a few sides for the rest of the weekend at Boston Market ($17.93). Sunday I planned to stay home and clean but ended up going to my parents’ house to help my dad assemble a screened gazebo and move some patio furniture around. I took my laundry with me and one of my dogs to play in their yard. Since I had the dog with me I didn’t go to the grocery store but I also wasn’t out of as many things as I thought. I will have to pick up milk and eggs on the way home. I estimated $80-100 and spent $52.21. Pretty good.
Tonight I need to pick up some plain cooked chicken on the way home. One of my dogs was sick last night and they both refused breakfast so it is plain rice and chicken for dinner tonight. I think I will also get myself some flan. $5 Tomorrow I am washing the car ($10) and taking my niece to see Rodgers and Hammersteins Cinderella. Tickets were bought last month but we will probably get soda's at intermission and some sort of souvenir. Hopefully less than $25 but she has really good puppy-dog eyes. I'll probably pick up some dinner after I drop her off ($15). Sunday should be quiet. I need to get a few groceries ($25) and then the rest of the day is for cleaning and Netflix. Total should be around $80. I'll count anything less than $100 as a victory since I have been spending way to much lately.
I usually take leftovers. Sometimes my mom and I will take the other's side dishes if there was something one of us likes that the other was going to leave behind. The first review lunch I ever had my boss told me to pick somewhere fancy that I wouldn't usually get to go to so I picked a nice steakhouse. I took the leftovers and the kitchen put a nice, pre-printed note in the bag that said "we are glad you enjoyed your meal enough to take some of it with you." I don't have an issue taking leftovers from a date or a business meal. I have noticed lately when I go to bigger lunch presentations for work that a lot of people ask for their dessert to go when the waiters come around. That feels weird to me.
@CMD+click I used to work for a commercial real estate broker who got into house flipping with her husband back in 2006/2007 because the commercial deals were drying up. She formed an LLC with her husband and son and took out a line of credit at her business bank. I think they used their own homes as collateral but I’m not sure. They were able to come in as cash buyers since they could just write a check on the line of credit and made very small payments while they worked on the properties and then repaid a portion of the line when they sold a property. At one point they were up to about half a dozen townhouses in the same development and a few condos across town. When the market crashed they weren’t able to sell all the properties and had to rent them out. I think they came pretty close to losing their house. Last I heard they were back in the flipping business.
Friday I decided to pick up Five Guys for dinner ($13.29 + $3 cash for the tip jar) and I bought tickets to take my niece to see Cinderella when it is in town next month ($164.65). Saturday I did not drop off my laundry since there was no parking at the laundromat, it’s in the car so I will take it after work. I did get gas ($23.82), groceries ($55.69, I picked up some frozen stuff that was on sale to try and cut down on unplanned eating out), a card for Dad ($6.49), a haircut ($17 with tip), and picked up a chicken sandwich for lunch ($4.74). I met my cousin and her friends at the trampoline park ($19.50 for two hours of jump time) and then we all went out to dinner ($11.67 for dinner and $6.92 for a second soup to go). I stopped at another grocery store on the way home to get cake mix and frosting since my regular store doesn’t have coconut pecan frosting ($14.28). The girl scouts weren’t at the grocery store so I will have to get cookies later. Sunday I made cakes, German chocolate for Dad and strawberry for me and my niece, I don’t like coconut and she doesn’t like chocolate. I picked up a gift card from AutoZone for Dad to use on his car restoration ($50) and spent the rest of the day at my parents. I spent $4.50 at the ice cream truck since my sister didn’t have any cash. We watched part of the game, I think dad watched it all but I left to take Grandma home after halftime. Total spent: $395.55 Total estimated: $180 or less. I would have just made it if I hadn’t gotten the theater tickets or the gift card but I don’t regret either of those.
Tonight I am planning to stay in and enjoy the rain. Tomorrow I am running a bunch of errands - I need to get gas ($25), take in the laundry I didn’t do last week ($15), pick up some groceries ($25) and Girl Scout cookies ($40? How much do the cookies cost this year?), get my hair cut ($20), and get a card for my dad’s birthday($5) - and then I am going to an indoor trampoline park for my cousin’s birthday, about $20 for two hours of jumping time, and probably to dinner after, $15-$30 depending on where we go. Sunday I am baking a cake and going over to my parents’ house for Dad’s birthday. Dad never told me what he wanted so his gift is an IOU for something he needs for his car restoration project. Total should be $180 or less