I don't estimate because I'm a bad planner :) FRIDAY: activities were all free: work drinks (boss paid) and sushi (SO paid). took $20 out of an ATM to put on my WMATA card, so… $20. SATURDAY greasy fast food lunch: $8.50. Ethiopian takeout for dinner (and breakfast and dinner the next day): $15. lying in bed all day reading Harry Potter books: free. $23.50 SUNDAY got lunch with friends: $11.50. filled up my car: $22 (!!!!). watched a basketball game with a friend: $37.50. parked at said basketball game: $12. $83 (!) Total: $126.50, but that's including $42 on various transportation costs (bus fare, gas) that will last a few weeks. on the other hand, didn't go grocery shopping yet, because we are not getting snowed in so there's no rush! honestly kind of a crappy weekend because I've been sucker-punched by winter depression/anxiety. always hits this time of year and just have to ride it out.
Friday: 3 beers — two for me, one for a former intern who just got a job! — at happy hour ($22 with tip; I overtipped because we were at a beer garden and the lady bartenders had to wear ridiculous liederhosen-type outfits with very short skirts in winter). Dinner at home (free!) and an Uber to my SO's place later in the evening ($8). Total: $30. Saturday: SO bought coffee/bagels (free!), but between a leisurely breakfast and lying in on a sunny morning I was running late, so I took an Uber ($9; worth it for 30 extra minutes in bed) to my friend's wedding dress fitting. She bought me lunch (free!). Went for a run (free!). Roommates got Chinese delivery and I couldn't say no ($15). Stayed in and watched Netflix and ate cookies (free!). Total: $24 Cheap weekend went off the rails Sunday: Had to replenish some pantry staples ($19) and got a breakfast sandwich on the way ($6). Late/necessary Christmas present to myself of new running shoes ($127! eek). Watched football at home with a friend (free!) and used an Amazon gift card to order some stuff for a home improvement project ($65, but I only paid $15). Total: $167 Monday: Went for a run and stopped for milk and coffee at the bodega ($6, LOL $4 milk what was I doing). Lunch with a friend ($10). Grabbed some frozen pierogies for dinner ($2.50) and then met up with friends for a drink and dessert ($13). (Total: $31.50) Total: $252.50 (but a very reasonable-for-a-3-day-weekend $125 without the running shoes!), although I still have to buy groceries for the week.
Comments welcome! Take-home pay: $3300/month (I think. This excludes 401(k), FSA for health care and transit, and health premium, all of which changed this year and I haven't gotten a paycheck yet. I work in media in Washington DC.) **Fixed expenses** -Rent + utilities: $1280 -Share of cell phone bill: $50 -Car insurance: $60 -Spotify and Hulu: $21 **Savings/debt repayment** -Paying off ~$3500 in credit card debt: $600 -Savings: $150 I also am paying off some other stuff — minor medical bills, parking tickets, etc — from 2014 that I haven't listed here. **Other expenses** I don't find the Mint categories very helpful so I make up my own. -Groceries, lunch, solo food: $300 -Socializing (mostly food/alcohol, occasionally a movie): $250 -Uber: $25 (I have an uber problem. This is an attempt to control it.) -Everything else: $400 (haircuts, household stuff, dry cleaning, parking tickets, occasional books, about a tank of gas a month. I don't belong to a gym but I do spend a good amount on my running habit. this is kind of a "where does it all GO?!" category, but I've found having rigid budgets just leads to me spending a lot of time adjusting them rather than living within them)
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.