27% of my take-home - I live in a lovely NYC neighborhood with one roommate (my sister, if I wasn't living with her I'd probably opt to live alone). 27% seems pretty low to me, given the area, but it's actually only because I got a substantial promotion (and raise) in January. I don't have the numbers from before that in front of me, but I'd guesstimate it was closer to 35% before then. (And that would have been up a bit from a few years previous, when sisterroomie and I were living in a different, much cheaper neighborhood. We both agreed it was worth it to pay more for a better location, even though the apartment we're in now is much smaller. It has been totally worth it, as far as I'm concerned.)
I feel like I'm the only person in New York who's had a good broker experience. (Then again, I've had two terrible experiences to go with it.) But I was warned ahead of time not to bother hoping the apartment on CL was real - just to find brokers with a few listings in the area and call them to see what they do have. I had a couple of super sketchy experiences, but then one lovely broker who actually listened to what my roommie and I wanted, showed us places in our desired neighborhood and price range, and got us where we wanted. Neither of us had the time or experience to do it directly ourselves - for that alone, we found her worth the fee. Also I second someone's advice above: have all of your documents ready to go when you go looking at places, so if you want one, you can get the paper work in THAT DAY. Listings go FAST, so you need to jump on them when you find one.
I guess how I feel about donating to the VM kickstart is that I'm not looking to make money or get my money back. I'm looking to get a Veronica Mars movie. What I chipped in is indeed significantly more than I would pay for a movie ticket, but then again, I also have *years* of emotional investment in these characters and in seeing this happen. So I get a movie, hopefully a satisfying emotional resolution, and a t-shirt or whatever it is that they were giving as a reward.
Oh man. I was working at a Borders cafe when they first brought out the rewards card program. Do you know where people don't want to sign up for a card? In the cafe, when all they want is their damn coffee, and the card doesn't give them a discount on it. I eventually quit over the unreasonable sign up numbers we were given. (Among many other reasons. But that was the biggest.)
I have the opposite problem, in that I sent a check on time, the company cashed it, and forgot to record that they did that. Every single month since then (three) I've had a past due notice on my account. I then call and tell them the date my check was cashed, the check number, and offer to show them the images from my bank (which includes their stamp on the back of the returned check). They say they'll take care of it. Next month, same thing. Sigh.
For me it tends to come down to how cold it is out. I'm a lot more comfortable with a "sorry, no" in the summer, even though poverty is miserable regardless of season, but if I have a buck to spare when it's snowing out I'll almost always give it with the hopes that someone can at least get a warm drink somewhere and get inside for a few minutes.
I guess I kind of consider this akin to folks who sit around coffeeshops either hanging out for long periods of time, or setting up a laptop to do work. There's nothing wrong with doing either of those things! But at a certain point it's a little rude to keep taking up space when other folks are purchasing things - how much time did your $2.50 coffee buy you? Ages ago when I worked at a business mag and working in coffee shops was starting to become a serious Thing, the recommendation was to buy a drink/baked good/something at least once an hour you were there, to continue supporting the space where you're working/interacting with other humans/hanging out/whatever. idk what the bar equivalent of that would be, but I think it's a nice idea - if you're drinking soda, cool, or hanging out for awhile because you like the atmosphere, great, but think about those things part of the bar's business (instead of just the booze) and consider buying another drink to pay for them, instead of nursing one; or tip extra on your soda to support what it is you enjoy about the place. There's nothing that says you have to, and people probably won't notice or judge you if you don't, but if you're able to, it's a nice thing to do.
@professionalmess Oh god, I used to get that ALL THE TIME. Dream Me would almost always think, "But this time it's not a dream! OH NO!" I thiiiiink at one point I read that teeth falling out dreams are usually related to anxiety over stress/life changes? That aligns with when I get them, anyway. They were worst in college around finals/starting a new semester, and I was getting at least three a NIGHT leading up to graduation. In the years since, I've only had them rarely, and it's usually when I've dealt with things like changing jobs or moving.
My roommie and I reupped our lease in June - it was only (ha, only) a 7% increase, but it was for two years, meaning no increase NEXT year. We love our apartment and neighborhood (all except our terrible, terrible neighbors) so it felt like a steal. We'll see what increase they try to hit us with in two years...
I've had sporadic moments of feeling like an adult (the first time I filled out forms to get my own insurance, first adult job, second adult job, first apartment...) but for me the BIGGIE was when someone tried to rob my apartment. I was home and me screaming sent the attempted robber running off, thank god. I freaked out a bit, but still called the cops, the building manager, the super (to come change my locks), etc etc. It took a few hours during which I was shaken but okay and able to get shit done. Then everything calmed down, and THEN I started sobbing incoherently and freaking out. But I felt like I won at adulthood by holding things together until everything was under control.