I have probably spent somewhere in the neighborhood of $2K for my ink over 10 years. I have 2 big (about hand-size) pieces - one of which is part of an in-progress half-sleeve. I thankfully was sort of "grandfathered in" with my tattoo artist, who basically doesn't even take new clients unless she's traveling. She charges a drawing fee now, which she didn't before and her rates are in the $200/hr range, but also she's great about adding extra time to long-term clients. I also buy actual art too, which might be a topic worth discussing at some point. It helps to be friends with a lot of artists, but there is probably close to $30K worth of art in my house.
splitwise saved me and my partner when we first started cohabitating. It's a great app and we have a section for rent and bills and a section for all other shit (dinners out, target, home depot, etc). Actually it's great to this day - we use it constantly, but it really helped us get on track those first few months. The first year we dated, I still maintained my apartment, but we rented it out on airbnb because I was staying at his place so much. after that first year, we officially moved in together. The airbnb money we made paid for a trip to europe and some moving costs. it was a nice way to ease into officially cohabitating.
I bring a lunch most days but when I don't, Pret and Potbelly seem to be my main go-tos
mike - you could totally make a batch of soup at home that would last a few meals (or make a few and freeze them so you have variety). i know you've talked about cooking for 1 being terrible - but if you make a pot of something you could have dinner and lunch all rolled up into one. Some decent soup-toting options could be a small investment and you're on your way!
i also have a whole foods discount (a lucky 27%) which means i really do all my grocery shopping there. But I've also figured out how to shop smarter there too - the 365 brand items are usually cheaper than other grocery store brands and are GMO free, which I feel great about. I also buy a lot of cheap bulk and eat vegetarian. I will allow myself one salad bar trip along with my grocery shopping, which does usually add on like $10 to my general expenses, but basically I'm spending about $75 a week on groceries for 2 people which I feel totally great about (and that usually includes a fancy cheese).
@Mindful Riot this is about all i can think of: http://stream1.gifsoup.com/view2/2380549/ross-in-leather-pants-o.gif
The first few cities that came to mind were Asheville, Memphis and Little Rock. Little rock is a total hidden gem of a city - and it's got gorgeous river-side living and craggy mountainy(ish) places and a great little art/punky scene. Plus Hot Springs is close and awesome. I'm not recommending anything in the midwest even though i think places like cleveland or chicago would tick a lot of your boxes - the weather is just too miserable for like 8 months out of the year. And the northwest coast would also be perfect except for cost of living perhaps, though I feel like it might be worth investigating! good luck!
oh god @Meaghan O’Connell - do ANYTHING to avoid chicago airports anytime soon. We are still experiencing delays and tons of BS from the Air Traffic Control station that was damaged by fire last week. Like 700 flights got cancelled today due to storms, not because of the terribleness of the storm, but because all the air traffic control is being done by surrounding control towers who have much less experience in dealing with major flight control. see: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-nearly-500-flights-canceled-at-ohare-midway-as-storms-approach-20141002-story.html
@Lily What about plain greek/strained yogurt for breakfast? Low sugar, high protein and you can mix it with nuts or fruit
I have to get blood work and mail it in. It's $190 to do, so I've been avoiding it, but I just got paid and really i have no more excuses.