So excited to see a romance author on The Billfold! This was a great interview.
It feels like I haven't done an estimate in forever! After work, I'm stopping at Trader Joe's ($40). This week has been so long that I'm looking forward to doing nothing tonight. I'll probably do laundry while watching the Blackhawks game. Tomorrow: A friend is coming over to make dinner and hang out ($0). Sunday: I have a coffee date with some dude from the internet, ugh. I never know how to plan for these things because sometimes I pay for myself and sometimes the dude pays, but I'll just say $5. Total: $45
Friday: I had to get gas ($33) and go to Target ($48). I didn't think I was going to spend that much at Target, but I needed a bunch of cleaning supplies/household items I'd run out of. Saturday: Made a Walgreens trip ($23) for the one thing I needed that Target didn't have. While I was there, I picked up a gift card for someone's Christmas present. One of my friends came over to make dinner later, and we ate really good food and drank wine and watched hockey ($0). My noisy upstairs neighbors moved out, which meant I was in a good mood. Sunday: Lazy day. I spent $5 at Dunkin' Donuts. Total: $109. I'd estimated $90.
I haven't done an estimate in about three weeks. I'm not sure what's in store this weekend, but I have to get gas today ($30) and make a Target run ($35? Not sure). I also might go to the mall (pray for me) to pick up a Christmas present, but I've been instructed to stick to a $10-15 budget for this person. Tomorrow, I'm watching hockey with a friend. I'm not sure what else I'll be doing tomorrow or Sunday. Estimate: I'm going to say $90 just to give myself a little leeway.
Your Amazon/coat analogy is spot-on. Chicago has a larger dating pool, but oh god, online dating sucks so much and it's starting to bum me out.
My family is doing a Thanksgiving buffet at a restaurant this year. Not all of us will be at Thanksgiving -- my brother is attending grad school in London and can't come home -- and my parents don't enjoy cooking. My grandma used to make Thanksgiving dinner, but she's older now and it's hard for her to do. A decade ago, my grandfather died a few weeks before Thanksgiving, and even though a lot of time has passed, it's still a weird time of year for my family. I really don't care if going to a restaurant is cheating or not, and you saying so makes it seem like only one type of Thanksgiving counts, which isn't true. Going out takes the stress off my parents and grandma of preparing a meal and we get to spend time together.
I didn't spend anything on Friday. Saturday, I met a friend for brunch ($21 with tip, ouch, and the food wasn't even good) and afterward stopped at the grocery store for a few things ($17). Last night, I went to the Blackhawks game. I bought a bottled water ($4.50) and due to not being able to get a cab or an Uber after the game, I had to add $5 to my CTA pass to take the bus. Then, once I got off the bus to transfer to another bus to go home, it turned out the bus I needed had stopped running (even though Google Maps said it ran until 10!). So, due to the cold, I got an Uber to take me a mile to my apartment ($4.75). It was an adventure. Total: $52.25. I estimated $50, so I did pretty well.
@Erica I haven't tried. The UC has more thorough searches now, too, so I'm not going to try. I'll just suck it up and grumble about paying $4 for water.
@Allison The one time I tried bringing in an empty bottle (just an empty plastic bottle, not a nice reusable water bottle), the security guy at the door made me throw it away. Oh, man. Fried cheese curds. I'll have to think about it. I think my seat is around that area.
I have plans all weekend, but I'm going to try not to spend a lot of money. We'll see how successful I am. Tonight, a friend is coming over to watch hockey with me ($0). Tomorrow, I have brunch plans with a friend I don't get to see too often, and I'm going to guess that will be about $20 once a tip is factored in. I'm going to the Blackhawks game on Sunday! My mom got me a ticket as an early Christmas present. I usually don't buy food when I'm at the United Center, but I might get a bottled water ($4). Which feels so wasteful, because it's WATER, and I get pissed paying more than $2 for a bottle of it. But it's hard going the entire game with nothing to drink. I'll eat at home before I leave to go to the game, and I think I'm probably going to take the bus there (money is already on my card) and get an Uber home ($20?). Most of the time I drive and street-park for free a couple blocks from the arena, but it might snow and I don't feel like dealing with the difficulty of finding parking in my neighborhood when I come home. I'll round up my total estimate to $50.