Contrast this with the gigantic salaries paid to the heads of big non profits - disgusting.
We moved to Massachusetts from Oklahoma in part because our 2008 marriage was recognized here. There was still the issue of federal recognition at that time, which complicated a lot of things, not the least being our taxes. The first filing of single OK, Single Federal and married MA was awful. I think things will be moving along to universal recognition among the states soon.
When my mother in law was dying I bought her beautiful Natori pajamas. I had never spent so much on pj's and probably never will again. My wife bought her soft cotton daywear. Her skin was so sensitive and she really appreciated the treats. It is odd to purchase gifts for someone who you know will be gone in just a few weeks (she died the first week of February), but the invitation to stay on as long as she like implied in a nice gift was a comfort. I never regretted that purchase.
This is what I do: garden (veggie and flower), go to the beach, go kayaking, read, knit, cook, go to yoga class, go cycling, have lunch with my friends, play bridge, do my little house chores, rinse and repeat. Occasional trips into the city for museum viewing, yarn shopping. Aside from house and health maintenance there is a lot to do for not much money. Plus my wardrobe needs are much simpler.
Any kind of waste goes all over me. Waste of time, waste of money, waste of resources. I use everything up. Right soap shavings from the remains of a nice bar of soap are dissolving in my hand soap pump, and I have an ever growing basket of leftover yarn from various completed knitting projects. That said, I do buy good quality.
National parks have very cheap camping, but reserve early. Put a roll of quarters in your camping supplies so you aren't unduly surprised by pay showers. One final word of advice from a frequent car camper - everything that belongs in your camping bins lives in your camping bins and nowhere else. That way you are always ready to go and will not find out at 6:00 in the am in the middle of nowhere that your coffee press did not make the trip.
For many years I lived in a decent neighborhood bordered by a lot of not so nice neighborhoods and scruffy apartment complexes. Every year I got hundreds of kids at the door. It was crazy fun, even when the giant boys came around at the end of the trick or treating window. It was a night when even the poor kids got to go right up to you and make demands - one of the high points of their year, I'm sure. Why is that such a problem?
I live in a vacation destination that is highly seasonal. Lots of seasonal businesses operate on a cash basis, probably because of issues with processing chargebacks from vanished vacationers or questions of terminal fees for operations that are literally closed for 8 months of the year as much as the extra margin of income from cash. Personally I don't find the ATM outside to be a slap in the face; it's a benefit for those of us who did not plan ahead. One or two gas stations in the area offer a discount for cash sales.
Since I am All Grown Up and have few needs or wants I don't prefer to satisfy for myself I am not so much into birthday gifts. Except for my own children I generally do not buy birthday presents or expect any (exception being my spouse). If I am working on my birthday I bring cake or slutty brownies or some other kind of treat for everyone to share.
My grandparents, taught me to make it, grow it, and make it last, reinforced by my mother who can make or fix anything.