This perspective is a little odd to me because it seems to define "farmer" in that hipster-friendly way as "produces things that humans eat pretty much right away in their original form." I'm from the Plains states and all the farmers I know grow cash crops -- soybeans, feed corn, hay, etc. And I'm pretty sure a lot of them qualify as "small" under the USDA definition (under $250K gross income). The side hustle there, I suspect, is the kinds of jobs people do in small towns, not selling to farmer's markets and making artisanal jam.
@jfruh Yeah, two things: federal loans are now all made by the Education Department, so they're not underwritten by banks (or Sallie Mae) anymore -- they had been US gov't $$ before, but given to the banks to lend/manage. And colleges can no longer direct students to a specific private lender/bank if they need to borrow more than they're allowed to under federal loan rules. More here: http://www.finaid.org/loans/preferredlenderlists.phtml (On a side note, Mike and Logan, if you want a "What We Talk About When We Talk About Student Loans," I work in a financial aid/communications related field...)
@jfruh As I understand it, with federal loans, after your tuition is paid, you get a check for the leftovers. But $55K in debt means that some of the loans were from banks and probably went straight to the students to begin with.
No real plans this weekend, so I could spend $50. Or $250! I'm going to try to keep it under $100. Tonight: Going out with either one or two groups of friends. I'll budget $30 total; if that includes a meal, maybe $40. Tomorrow: Driving a friend to the airport and going for a run! $0 for that. Hanging out at home for the rest of the day. I haven't bought groceries or cooked food for myself in... too long, so I'm going to try to eat all my meals at home. $15 for some preliminary groceries. Sunday: $15 at the farmer's market. Another $30, probably, at the grocery store. And that's $100 exactly. I suspect I might have a brunch somewhere in there that could bump it up to $120. Hopefully no more than that!
Logan, you give fantastic advice. Your friends are lucky to have you!
No huge plans this weekend. I've spent spent spent for all of May, but I think I should be able to hold it down for June. Tonight: Already spent about $50 today, but should keep it down the rest of the day. Tonight is family dinner with my roommates. I usually cook for these, and this time I'm not, so I'm just going to get some limes for cocktails. $5 at the grocery store. Tomorrow: Going for a run in the wee hours before it gets too hot, so probably will treat myself to an iced coffee later. $4. I'll also need to make a grocery run because I don't think I have any non-breakfast food left. $10-$15. Then a friend's birthday; I'll budget $25. Total: $45, on the high end. Sunday: $10 at the farmer's market. No plans the rest of the day, so I'll budget $30 for groceries and $10 for incidentals. Total: $100.
So... I sort of cheated this month because I spent a LOT of money, but I'm pulling it out of savings instead. They were planned purchases, but perhaps not the most prudent ones. American Express Gold Delta Skymiles, 15.24% APR Feb. 2013 balance: $1,469.95 March 2013 balance: $1,172.95 April 2013 balance: $963.54 May 2013 balance: $776.45 I'm slowing down a little bit, but am hoping to have a cheap(er) June and throw some more money at this one (as well as slowly building savings back up). Once I get under $500, it's in impulse payoff territory.
CAR EXPENSES Car payment: $177/month Insurance: $430 every 6 months or $72/month Misc. parking fees: ~$8/month (more if I get parking tickets, but I think that's stupidity that would pop out somewhere in my budget regardless) Gas: $40/month Total: ~$300/month NON-CAR EXPENSES Metro: $15-$20/month Cabs: $20/month GRAND TOTAL: $340/month. This isn't including car maintenance, but my car is in pretty good shape so that's not a significant expense, $120/year or $10/month at the most. I also lowballed gas a little, but I consider gas for road trips to be a travel expense, not a transportation one. My car is my biggest luxury. It's not something I need by any stretch of the imagination; I walk to work, walk to the grocery store, and live near the center of a city with pretty good public transportation (DC). I bought it in another life when I lived in a small town with no public transit whatsoever and had to have my car for my job. I now almost own it -- one more year, baby! -- and the insurance and gas is reasonable enough that once the payment is gone it will be an easily justifiable expense. But I like the freedom of being able to take a road trip whenever I want. I like being able to drive on weekends if DC public transit is a cluster (as it so often is). (On a practical note, I'm pretty sure every group of friends in most non-NYC cities needs That Person With A Car, and right now I am that person.) I like paying off a loan, and I like *owning* something -- I rent, my adult life so far has been fairly transient, and I like having a big solid thing that is mine, if that makes sense. So it's an emotional need almost even more than a practical one at this point, and, as I said, it's a luxury. eleven more monthhhhhssssss of payments to go.
Ooh, this is a fun game. I'm frugal about: -Clothing/shoes/accessories. I buy less than one piece of clothing a month on average and can vividly the remember the two times in my life I bought something that wasn't on sale. (Sundress, Gap, 2007. Chambray shirt, J.Crew, 2012.) I've also never bought a purse that costs more than $50. -Entertainment. I spend about $100 a year on books and music combined. Some years I go to no movies at all, although that's ticked up lately. -Food (alone). I've gotten pretty good at taking my lunch to work and not going out to eat by myself. -Home decor. Maybe a stage in my life thing, but I don't ever really buy stuff for the home if I can avoid it. I'm frivolous about: -Travel. Mint says I've spent $5,200 on air travel in the past 2.5 years, which... wow. but still. -Drinking/eating out. I don't go crazy but I don't ever really say no if friends want to meet up at a restaurant. -Personal care. Most of my makeup is from Sephora, my haircuts are $75, I use shower gel instead of soap and the most expensive razor blades Venus makes (the last two are a real thing that my mother has criticized me for not being frugal enough on)
It's been an expensive couple of months and I have $70 in my checking account until I get paid next Friday (oh god, had totally not assimilated that I have to go another whole WEEK without a cash infusion) so I'm going to try mightily for a cheap weekend. Today: Out of lunch supplies so I'm buying lunch. $7. Grocery run on my way home for dinner supplies. $8? Total: $15. Tomorrow: Going for a run (free), eating BBQ with friends ($15), and either going to drinks and a movie ($15) or hanging out at home, depending on how the budget is doing. $15-$30. Sunday: $10 at the farmer's market! Probably another grocery run for $10 or so. Hanging out with a friend sometime that day, but we don't really have plans for what we're doing yet. $10. Monday: $25 for groceries for the first part of the week. Plus $20 for incidentals. Total: $85 if I don't go to the movie, $100+ if I do. Trying not to spend too much money that I don't have yet.