@echolikebells I was in almost your exact same position last February. My advice would be to start seeking out your options at dealerships immediately, starting with the potential trade-in value of your car. I had a 94 Camry with 280k miles and off the bat I was offered $1k in trade-in ... I should also note that this car had no power steering (lol) and an ailing axle. I have terrible/new credit and ended up co-signing with my mom, don't know if that's an option for you, but I'm now leasing a little hatchback for not much money at all per month. Good luck to you! Car issues can be a horrible type of stress.
Orangette's recipe for cream-braised Brussels sprouts single-handedly transformed me from someone who couldn't care less about food to a person who fanatically loves to cook. Also, it's a fabulous and pretty inexpensive holiday side dish -- even for folks who insist that Brussels Sprouts Are Disgusting: http://orangette.blogspot.com/2006/12/best-thing-since-brussels-sprouts.html The kitchen is one of the only places I get kind of territorial about when other people try to help, though. I love cooking FOR friends, but not WITH them. I'd much rather everyone drinks wine and hangs out with me while I'm cooking than pitch in (other than maybe chopping up some vegetables in a pinch).
Long story ahead, but this was my boyfriend’s experience about 3 weeks ago! So my BF is a part-time tutor, in school but with no insurance (and older than 26). He called me in panic while we were both at work because he was in bad pain (symptoms of appendicitis as well) and was about to get into an ambulance. I tried to talk him down from doing that as I was speeding on my way to get him, but the EMTs talked him into what turned out to be a $1,000 ambulance ride. All said and done, he was finally seen, diagnosed with inflammation and small kidney stones after a CT scan (but a healthy appendix), and is looking at about $12,000 in billing — not including the physician’s cost, which hasn’t arrived yet. They prescribed basically hydrocodone and Aleve. He is still in pain and refuses to go back to a doctor because, again, he is completely broke. He doesn’t qualify for Medicaid in GA, or indigence, because he didn’t receive ER treatment in a public hospital (amongst other reasons). The payment center at the hospital tried to get one of the two of us to pay ~$400 before leaving the premises as a deposit. I guess fortunately? when I told my parents what was going on earlier in the evening, both of them stressed not to put my name or payment on anything, as in the case of BF defaulting or something happened, I’d be the point of contact or collection! Not so sure how true that is, but I didn’t want to find out. Neither of us knows what is going to happen minus constant attempts to haggle the hospitals to bring his bills down. TL;DR great system!
@Franny I live just a hop away from Atlanta. There's a couple of areas in ATL where my reception isn't so great, but it's not isolated to the Sprint network so wash. Generally I'm even able to get service in rural Georgia while driving, so there's that. It's been pretty consistent if I travel up north, too, didn't have any problems in Boston or NYC.
@Lily Rowan Yes! I love Virgin Mobile! I'm on the $45 plan that gives me 1200 minutes and unlimited text/data, with an extra $5 a month for insurance. I am the biggest shill for Virgin Mobile to all of my friends who complain about their phone bills. I switched from T-Mobile about 3 years ago and have not regretted a single moment of it since.
@s. dekker GREEK GODS. I actually never liked Greek yogurt until I had the honey flavor. I could eat that for every meal of every day.
@ThatJenn oh, totally. It's kind of a blue moon thing for me to eat potato chips (the same cannot be said about Goldfish crackers), and I always feel SO. AWFUL. after I do, haha.
@ThatJenn As long as you don't have too many of them, the Cheesy Garlic Bread variation actually isn't too bad. I hate that I know this. I was really hungry last week and bought a bag at the gas station, wolfed them down and totally regretted it. Hence the tip for moderation.
@kbn22 Since you're in Atlanta ... one way to trim at least your grocery list is visiting Your Dekalb Farmer's Market, for sure. Since I've been shopping there more instead of the (admittedly more convenient) Kroger/Publix, I've actually saved quite a bit of money. Buford Highway FM ain't bad, either.
@bgprincipessa Target's been stocking slim/skinny ankle pants that are in a dressier fabric -- I believe they're hemmed so you could lengthen them manually if you want. The ones I bought are really stretchy but are a heavier "knit," so I can wear them to client meetings or whatever and not feel underdressed. I refuse to buy pants that do not stretch. But yeah, the pants don't run more than $35 and have lasted me for over a year now.