Open thread news! This week, I found out I got into my top choice grad program, with a scholarship that covers about half of tuition (it's the type of program that involves large student loans.) I am BEYOND thrilled, and have been excitedly making personal finance spreadsheets all week. Somehow, the extra money is actually making me more motivated to cut back and live frugally, which is a bit counter-intuitive. I think that it's making me feel like keeping the debt manageable is actually within my reach, whereas before I was much more in danger of the 'screw it, I'm already so far in debt it doesn't matter' mentality.
@HelloTheFuture Same, though buying boxed wine has helped a lot for me.
Yikes, I came out to $775. This is not counting my glasses (which technically I bought using my company's vision benefits anyways, so no cost to me), but counting a $200 watch that was a present and a $100 bra. My most recently purchased item were my boots last January ($220, 50% discount from full retail), and everything else is at least two years old, so at least that's something?
I came in just under $200, ouch. Biggest items were a long-overdue haircut ($82 counting tip), $42 on groceries, $25 on some whiskey to make spiked cider, and (cringe) $50 on eating out. The last one is the only category that was definitely not worth it.
This was a pretty low-spending holiday for me! Total spending was $131: - $7 for lunch at work on Wednesday and $10 for dinner at the airport (proud of myself for forgoing five guys in favor of a salad, in anticipation of all the indulgent eating coming up.) - Didn't spend anything while in Boston at Thanksgiving, though there was a near miss with $20 (?!?!) Mockingjay tickets (I was vehemently opposed, but luckily the show was sold out.) - Went out to dinner back in DC on Friday, but boyfriend paid. Spent $4 on a rental of Obvious Child that evening. - Paid for Mockingjay tickets on Saturday for me and boyfriend, $26 - Three grocery runs (I've been spoiled by living across the street from my grocery store), totaling $84, including breakfast food, steak dinner for me and boyfriend plus a nice-ish bottle of wine, and ingredients to cook myself two big things for the week. I'm pretty happy with the total, but very mad that I forgot to bring in leftovers for lunch today so will have to buy lunch out.
@lisaf The only use I could ever figure out was for tracking checks that don't get cashed right away. I was always terrible as a teenager about cashing birthday checks in a timely fashion, and I only now realize how obnoxious that probably was for my family that would suddenly have the money come out of their account three months after they wrote it. If you think that could happen regularly, I can see wanting to know how much outstanding money you potentially could have leaving your account.
Your comment about wanting to be the Cool Girl + Breadwinner made me think of the second letter in this Toast advice column: http://the-toast.net/2014/05/02/advice-on-coworkers-and-being-poorer-than-you-want/ Mallory's response in particular is so spot and resonates so deeply.
Ferguson actually did push me to finally make a twitter account! It was the event that finally convinced me that I actually would miss out on important news/context/etc. without one.
@triplea Yes, I actually thought this was where the story was heading!
@nell I had that initial reaction, but for me I think it had more to do with the way the headlines have framed it as the companies paying/incentivizing women to do this, when really it's just being added as one of many health benefits that are offered to employees. We can just add this to the long list of reasons why it's not a great idea that health insurance is tied so closely to employment in the US.