On Monday Check-in

Didn't estimate, but guessed just groceries. Friday: $7 at Whole Foods for tomato sauce & yogurt. No social stuff. Saturday: my dad came to visit, and upstairs neighbor came down to play a board game. He brought snacks and beer, we just offered other beers we had in the fridge, and then we had a very late dinner of homemade deep dish pizza. $0. Sunday: I insisted we take my dad out for breakfast because I had cabin fever and wasn't excited about eggs and toast at home again. My order was cold (and not supposed to be), but it was fun and we split a couple tasty pastries. $38 for 3 people. Then I hit an illegally parked car backing out (aaaargh - my fault for not noticing it), so that's gonna be expensive but I don't know how much. I wanted to just give the owner money to repair the dent but she reported it to insurance so then I had to file a claim too. Then I went to the grocery store and spent $68 stocking up for the week. Total: $113, plus a stupidity tax of unknown size.

Posted on March 2, 2015 at 9:31 am 0

On Billfold Housing Survey: What Is Your Dream House?

@nell As someone with a baby, no house, and a job search underway, I totally love your mom's advice.

Posted on February 27, 2015 at 7:16 pm 0

On Billfold Housing Survey: What Is Your Dream House?

@drydenlane Yeah, I also went with old rambling home even though it's not really what I would want. I guess I would want something in between "old rambling" etc and "sleek minimalist." I'd like a fairly small house so upkeep would be easier, but I'd like 3 bedrooms, kitchen, living/play room, and maybe even an extra room for family expansion, not a "tiny house". And I'm the type to do a lot of cooking and want to have friends over, so yeah, I would need the soup pots and seating, whereas "sleek" implies "stylish with almost no furniture and not much stuff" to me. A "stereotypical small starter home with a yard" option would've been great, I guess!

Posted on February 27, 2015 at 7:15 pm 0

On New York on $70 a Week

@@fo I wonder how much it's a NYC cultural thing. My college schedule totally revolved around the dining hall, and buying food was a big luxury that I didn't do often, so I was able to save a bit of my very part time work study money...but my brother spent one semester at a NYC school and apparently blew through tons of my parents' money on takeout all the time. I was really incredulous and my mom was like, "well, the cafeteria food isn't very good there, I just want him to eat!" Cafeteria food is not known for being amazing generally, maybe there are just too many tempting alternatives (and/or picky, entitled students) there.

Posted on February 27, 2015 at 10:10 am 1

On New York on $70 a Week

@the_famou_boat She...had a full meal plan?

Posted on February 26, 2015 at 5:06 pm 1

On Life Hacks

@Erica I always say that if it doesn't sidestep mortality, it isn't an actual life hack.

Posted on February 25, 2015 at 12:56 pm 1

On Life Hacks

Is is not fairly obvious that "experiences over things" is a recommendation for what to do with your *disposable* income? Like, if you need to spend money on just the basics of rent and shoes and clothes to cover your body, and you have nothing left over for any non-necessities whatsoever, nobody's saying that you should be spending that money on "experiences" instead, are they? Because that's clearly idiotic. I think of it more like a principle to help you decide what to do with money that you are actually planning on using for non-necessities. My monthly discretionary budget is pretty small, so I tend to value spending it on experiences that will give me opportunities to hang out with my friends outside my home (echoing the commenter above who said that doing the same free things over and over gets boring - there's only so many times I want to invite people over to sit in my living room). This means that I'll maybe go out for coffee, drinks or dinner a couple times a month, and I'll put off or try to minimize purchases I might want instead, like the smartphone I still don't have. But if one of my friends wants to go snowboarding for a weekend in another state, I don't feel bad saying "no" because I have neither a snowboard nor the money for it - even if she says she wants to spend on "experiences," I don't think she's guilting me by saying my paying for food and shelter is somehow being too consumerist, I think she's just saying she has more money to blow on fun.

Posted on February 25, 2015 at 12:54 pm 2

On Life Hacks

@garli Really? I'd be nervous to try, if it's like one of those "no-poo" things where you're supposed to wait 3 weeks for your hair to stop being matted. I just don't buy separate soaps, shampoos, and conditioner. I get a big container of one of those 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioners and use it to soap up as well.

Posted on February 25, 2015 at 12:44 pm 0

On Monday Check-in

For once I didn't overspend! I never finished my estimate post but I'd figured $30 gas, $20-50 on drinks and/or lunch, $15 on a gift for a baby shower, and $0 groceries (Peapod gift certificate!). What happened: Friday - went to a nearby friend's house to hang out, but ate leftovers first, which was good because the others didn't order takeout until around 9:30 PM. And at that point I was exhausted and wanted to go home anyway. $0! Saturday: I was going to go to an event at my husband's workplace, but didn't because it took him an hour to get there (usually he can take a 20-30 minute bus ride but we're having reduced service due to our horrendously underfunded public transit system), and I didn't want to deal with that round trip with the baby. So I stayed home, we ate leftovers for dinner, and watched some True Detective. Also put together our Peapod order, and we maxed out the gift certificate and then owed $8 more for shipping. Sunday: drove an hour to the baby shower ($15), which was lovely, and still had gas in the tank so didn't need to refill after all. Then we met up with a bunch of friends in our former city at a restaurant with couches in one section. We took them over, ordered lots of drinks and a bit of food, and basically treated it like our living room for 3 hours. Since we don't have a living room in said city anymore, and it wasn't very busy from 1-4 PM, it worked out really well. And we only spent around $25. Total: $48. Not too bad. I'm so excited about grocery delivery this evening - I'm going to try to modify this recipe, http://www.thebittenword.com/thebittenword/2015/02/kung-pao-brussels-sprouts.html, to make kung pao broccoli and tofu, and we ordered a 7-9 lb pork shoulder, so it will be pulled pork and carnitas week!

Posted on February 23, 2015 at 12:32 pm 0

On Job Of The Day: Antarctic Post Office, Shop, Museum Manager

I can't apply at this stage of my life but that photo is my new desktop background. Love it.

Posted on February 19, 2015 at 1:02 pm 0