I once suggested a friend for a job I was being recruited for, and she ended up getting it. She bought me drinks, which I appreciated, but honestly -- and this is super nerdy -- seeing how much happier she is at this job is its own reward. (I didn't want the job! I'm glad it went to someone I love who is great at it!)
Ooh, this is going to be interesting! I spend probably around $60 per week for one person, living in DC -- more if I hit the farmers market. That's for 3 meals a day at home, 5 days a week. I almost never buy meat (except deli meat for lunch), but I do spend on nice bread and cheese, and do about half my shopping at Whole Foods. I also bake a lot and so often am making quick weekend runs for buttermilk, sugar, butter, heavy cream. I usually spend around $30-$40 at Whole Foods, and the rest in dribs and drabs the rest of the week.
My 1 Thing was to finally sort out the mess that all of my allergy prescriptions had gotten into -- my allergist called them all in, but I didn't need to actually refill them yet, and they were at the wrong CVS. It took a huge amount of holding time but I think I got it done! Oh, and I sent an email nagging about a freelance check I've been due forever. Preview: My 1 Thing next week is to make. a. dentist. appointment.
Also in DC (there are a lot of us transplant Washingtonians!). Mine varies a bit with utilities, but I spend 36 percent of take-home pay on rent alone, and up to 42 percent with utilities, depending on the season. I pay under $1,000 (under $1,100 if you count utilities), which is just about the floor for a new lease in DC at this point -- I have friends who pay less, but when I was looking last year, I couldn't find much under $900. I have multiple roommates. I'm lucky that we all get along, and more than that, they bring me joy; I'm almost certainly happier living with them than I would be living alone. And while studios in DC are expensive, they're more "out of reach" for me, not "oh haha maybe someday in your dreams." Right now, living alone would be a pinch (if not outright unaffordable), but I can envision it being a possibility in a few years. I can enjoy my living situation in all of its imperfections because I'm confident that it's a distinct epoch in my life that I'll look back on (mostly) fondly. Like Taylor Swift says, it's miserable and magical. If I lived in New York, I don't think I'd have this confidence that this isn't forever. My real expense is my car. Payments and insurance are both reasonable, but together (and including a tank or two of gas a month) they make up another 11 percent or so of my take-home pay. I think of my car like a big dog. It's completely impractical in the downtown-ish lifestyle I live, and yet something I've invested too much in and love too much to give up. (I bought it when I was living a non-big city life, and I'm one year away from owning it outright. The freedom it gives me is priceless, but also has an exact price tag: $300.)
@Vicky Yes, do this! My aunt did it once for an employee, and that person told her the next time they saw her that they'd gotten a raise.
I'm going to visit a friend out of town! And actually expect this will keep costs way down for everything except gas. $50 for gas for the trip and the rest of the month. $12 for road-fast-food (dinner tonight, lunch Sunday). $20 for incidentals while I'm there. $25 for groceries Sunday night after I get home. Total: $115ish.
OK, so I should be spending ZERO DOLLARS this weekend because I have zero dollars left on budget for April. But that's not an option. So. Tonight: Drinking with a friend. Probably $20? Please no more than $20. Tomorrow: Lunch/shopping/errands in NoVA. I'm hoping to get away without buying anything during the shopping, but I'll budget $40 in case. Tomorrow night I don't have any plans. $10 for daily incidentals. Sunday: My friend is running a race! So coffee en route to watch the race ($3) and brunch after the race ($17? think I might make it a dry brunch. $25 if I succumb and drink.) Also need groceries for the next week, so I'll budget $30 for that and try to stick to it. Estimate: $125. I'm trying an overestimate to see if it makes me feel less guilty about spending!
@Caitlin with a C My car loan (which I'm not tracking here because it has <2% interest and so there's not much advantage to paying it off quickly) hits triple digits in the fall and I am so excited about that one I can't even.
@calamity I just realized last weekend that a lot of the cheap-weekenders (even on groceries, etc) are probably coupled and only half of the couple posts here, and it made a lot more sense to me. I can't come in under $100 for the life of me.
Less excited about this month than usual, because I overspent like whoa for all of April, but I did still manage to make my credit card payments. My savings account is a little sadder for it, but better to not be paying 15% APR on debt than earning 1% on savings, right? 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 TRIPLE DIGITSSSSSS