On Let’s Throw Some Money at Our Problems: March 2015 Check-in

So much good news in the comments today! It must be tax time! I changed up my system this month: -I transfered my balance to a new card with 0% APR (yayy) so I can pay it off more slowly -I split $500 out from my emergency fund into short-term savings/a checking account cushion. (so it looks like my emergency fund is smaller, but this ensures it's only for an actual emergency) -I revived a dormant account with Ally for my emergency fund and another one for weddings and fun travel. Credit card Feb: $2,763 at 19.99% APR March: $2,510 at 0% APR until June 2016 Emergency fund [goal: $15,000 by my 30th birthday in summer 2017] Feb: $1,181 March: $911 Travel Feb: $0 March: $100 MONEY NOT SPENT in 2015 total: $1,865

Posted on March 31, 2015 at 9:28 pm 0

On Friday Estimate

Tonight: Going out to dinner with a friend at our favorite hole in the wall Ethiopian place ($15, including drinks, it is that magical) and then wine at my house after ($15). Tomorrow: I'm traveling for work on Monday, but am flying out tomorrow, so I'm still spending my own money untill midafternoon Sunday. $5 for the traditional Egg McMuffin of Travel breakfast at the airport. $15 on my Ventra card. (I forget they charge you $5 just to leave O'Hare now, which is both a ripoff and a bargain at the same time.) Hanging out with a friend the rest of the day and not really sure what we're doing — I'll budget $50. Sunday: $20 for breakfast/lunch/coffee. Everything else gets expensed. Total: $120.

Posted on March 27, 2015 at 1:05 pm 0

On Adjusting My 2015 Budget To Accomodate Freelancer Estimated Taxes

Yeah, every month I put at least $500 in my Mint "everything else" pot, and every month it somehow all gets spent! And I'm not a big shopper or live particularly luxuriously, and I actually have a budget line for nights out with friends.

Posted on March 25, 2015 at 12:49 pm 1

On Monday Check-in

This weekend didn't totally go according to plan, but it was OK! Friday I had drinks with coworkers (did not have to pay!) and then dinner and cocktails with a friend (the cocktails were because there was still a long wait at the restaurant even at a relatively late hour). $29 total for the night. Saturday I took an adventure to the suburbs and spent $48 at the international grocery store in Hyattsville. Also spent $7 on a hangover lunch along the way. Then Saturday night I went out for a friend's birthday and things went off the rails a bit... $12 for drinks, then $6 for an uber, then $9 for breakfast the next morning. And then I spent $17 at Whole Foods picking up extra dinner ingredients and a facewash because it was on sale and I didn't feel like going anywhere else. Total: $128. March is feeling like a long month!

Posted on March 23, 2015 at 10:51 am 0

On Friday Estimate

Tonight I'm going out with coworkers after work, probably. $10, more if I grab dinner, but I have food in my house that needs to be consumed so hopefully not. Tomorrow I need to get groceries ($40?) because I am having some friends over for dinner Sunday night, and because I realize I'm really, really bad at feeding myself lunch on weekends. And I'm going out for a friend's birthday, so $20 for that. Sunday I have the aforementioned dinner party and probably some work to do. Total estimate is $70, which I don't think I've ever successfully pulled off, so we'll see how this goes.

Posted on March 20, 2015 at 9:58 am 0

On Talking to a Millennial Taxpayer

@lisaf You can deduct a portion of college expenses (up to $4K, with $1500 refundable) but not all of tuition. Given how expensive college is in the US, and given that financial aid tries to be at least somewhat progressive, totally tax-deductible tuition is a pretty regressive policy idea (the rich pay the most tuition and would be able to deduct the most), but was also part of a great plotline on the West Wing.

Posted on March 18, 2015 at 12:15 pm 0

On The Cost of Things: Getting The Flu When Your Insurance Sucks

It sounds like you might have been the victim of some over-prescribing, too. Antibiotics aren't recommended for acute bronchitis or sinus infections. (http://www.cdc.gov/features/getsmart/) I don't know about the inhaler/steroids (that must be new in bronchitis treatment since I last had it). I take Flonase for allergies and while it is awesome, it takes a few weeks to be fully effective. I hope you're feeling better, but it sucks that you had to pay for prescriptions that might not have helped at all.

Posted on March 17, 2015 at 1:06 pm 0

On Monday Check-in

Friday I went out to dinner with a friend. Cab there because public transit was a cluster ($12). $44 for an incredibly delicious dinner and cocktail. $33 for supplies for hosting a brunch for marathon spectators on Saturday. $11 for a six-pack of beer that I drank with friends after dinner. Saturday night I ended up with a mini-hangover from brunch champagne so I spent $7 on a fast food dinner and stayed in finishing Kimmy Schmidt. Sunday I bought a $19 bottle of wine to take to a dinner party. And that would have been a reasonable weekend ($126) but then I decided to go ahead and order $90 worth of supplies for an upcoming project in my Amazon cart, plus a new $60 work bag! Really, though, I was going to spend the money anyway, so it seemed silly to wait until Monday just so it wouldn't end up in my weekend total. Total: $277

Posted on March 16, 2015 at 10:01 am 0

On Monday Check-in

My weekend was great but spendy but I somehow came in not too much over my estimate! Huh. Friday: movie ticket ($11), dinner ($33 — way more than I estimated and entirely on me for ordering fries and extra beers). Total: $44 Saturday: Ended up grabbing brunch ($13) after my run and then bought groceries for a baking project ($20). Dinner that night with friends ($33, again, weird) plus one beer after ($8 with tip). Total: $74 Sunday: Spent nothing! Made brunch and dinner at home, went to yoga, got a lot of work done. Hooray. Total: $118.

Posted on March 9, 2015 at 9:22 am 0

On Friday Estimate

Have a bad confluence of a lot of plans just when I realize I need to rein it in a bit (I have a trip coming up at the end of the month — it's for work, but I have a lot of friends in the cities where I'm going and will probably spend a good amount of non-reimbursable dollars)! Onward. Tonight: Dinner and a movie with friends ($25). Saturday: Breakfast/lunch at home (free!). Supposed to go for a run but it's about 3 degrees outside with a bunch of snow on the ground so not sure how that's going to happen. But I will try! Dinner with friends ($40) and maybe going out after ($20). Sunday I need to have a real work catch-up day, but I also have a yoga class (prepaid) and need to do some grocery shopping for the week ($30). Total: $115. Tempted to get $120 in cash from an ATM to make myself stick to it.

Posted on March 6, 2015 at 11:06 am 0