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.
My body's natural rhythm is to go to bed at 11:30 or midnight and wake up around 8. But I'm on a schedule where I go to bed between 9 and 10 and wake up for work at 5. (And then there are nights like last night, where I don't fall asleep until 11.) I'm most productive and energetic in the morning, and I start getting tired after lunch. I usually get home from work between 4:30 and 5, and I'll get a brief burst of energy then.
@madrassoup These stories make me feel weird, too. I didn't know until I was older (and by older, I mean probably middle-school age) that some parents didn't let their kids have certain foods. I grew up solidly middle-class, with teacher parents who have master's degrees. Lucky Charms was just a normal breakfast.
Like @samburger commented above, I never had any idea people's parents restricted what foods they could eat until I was older. My brother and I were allowed to have whatever cereal we wanted, whenever we wanted. We weren't binging on it or anything, but a bowl of Lucky Charms was a normal breakfast for us. If I was at my grandparents' house, I'd have Frosted Flakes.
I estimated $150 and spent $146. Hooray! Friday after work, I got Chipotle for dinner ($8), and my friends came over to watch hockey. I didn't do much on Saturday beyond laundry and watching TV, and yesterday I went to the salon for a cut and color ($138 with tip) then hung out with a friend ($0). This weekend went by super fast for me.
On Burning Out
I burned out in my first job after college. I was 23 and worked at a newspaper. I would get so stressed out every day that my entire face would start tingling and go numb; I had never experienced anything like it and have never experienced it since. I worked for awful people who berated me on a regular basis. I would get memos detailing how I wasn't doing enough, even though I would regularly work 12-hour days and I was writing tons of stories a week (and getting great feedback from people in the community about my work; it was a small town, and people knew me). It was never enough. The one time I got a compliment from the boss -- on my coverage of a murder trial -- I was shocked. I lasted a year. The final straw came in the worst memo from the boss yet, insulting my intelligence and abilities instead of just my work, and I called my mom in tears. She told me to quit and move back home (two hours away from where I was working), and it was such a relief. I went to grad school and, even though I worked a crappy retail job during grad school, my entire life changed and it led me to where I am now. Sometimes I wonder how I even lasted a year there, going through all of that for $10/hour.