@KimO I'm in the $50 range, but I don't really do menus. My favorite cheap thing to get at the grocery store is a whole chicken for roasting (or whatever your preferred method). That's my dinner and lunch protein for the week. I eat it by itself, in chicken salad, in a casserole if I'm feeling home-y, in soup, etc. I'm not too picky about my sides - something starchy like potatoes or pasta, and a vegetable of some kind(usually whatever's seasonal; I'm into roasting peppers right now). Alternatively, I make a big batch of lentil soup (here's my recipe: http://goo.gl/kzAkV), and I pair it with some cheese and a fresh salad. I freeze extra soup for later too. I'm kind of weird about food in the morning, so my breakfast is almost always a banana with peanut butter (I don't have any brand preferences for peanut butter, but if I'm rolling in extra money, I get the almond butter from Trader Joe's). This week, I had some extra bananas that were getting too ripe, so I made banana bread. That's been my breakfast with a boiled egg, apple, and milk or yogurt. I'll be honest though - when I run out of food money for the month, I have a backup of ramen noodles in the pantry. (Egg drop soup in ramen is filling, and you can add frozen veggies to get some extra nutrition).
@stuffisthings If Tim Cook is an example, the rate would have to be less than 10%, but that's probably a lot more than Congress can handle.
@stuffisthings Sure, “one of the highest rates” would clarify things. I agree, but my point is not whether the U.S. wins the gold medal in the corporate tax rate Olympics. The point is that the rate effects business decisions – hell, Apple is issuing bonds (interest rates are so nice and low) to fund its dividends, rather than bring some of its cash back into the U.S.
@stuffisthings The corporate tax rate in the U.S. is the highest in the developed world - I think Bangladesh may have a higher rate, but maybe it's not "developed"? Apple's state and federal rate would be ~39%, and their effective rate would be ~14%, which is still higher than Ireland, where the corporate rate is 12.5% and Apple's effective rate is ~2%.
@loren smith @jfruh I've got seven! I have accounts for car expenses, hobbies (running shoes, pilates class card), renter's insurance, emergency fund, and travel; I have 2 that I don't use (the interest checking and a long-term savings account that was opened in a bout of optimism). And I have an account that holds the earnings from my side gig. The seven accounts may be a little bit of overkill, but I'm always glad when I can pay my semi-annual auto insurance premium without blinking an eye! And naming my accounts just makes me happy.
I've only recently separated my grocery food expenses from restaurant, coffee shops, and alcohol expenses, so my guess is about $50/week. I generally keep my overall food budget at less than $300/month. That does not include household supplies (I budget ~$25/month for cleaning supplies and so forth) or toiletries. I trade off buying some stuff with roommates, but it's generally just me that I'm buying for.
@RosemaryF Totally agreed. And maybe develop a closer working relationship with the financial adviser to shift some of the worry to someone else? Or at least have the financial adviser tell him that he's doing ok. This guy seems like he's reading so many books and comparing himself to so many people, but not getting outside input into how he's going.
@jfruh When I was in graduate school, I paid the part of my tuition on my credit card. I had student loans, but I also had some of my own money for tuition. So with that money in the checking account, I would put the same amount on my credit card, an Amazon Visa. I did this because the card had a promotion with 5x the points for education expenses. I got something like $300 worth of amazon cards in one semester alone. A totally responsible use of the card, and I didn't go into debt or go crazy with my credit limit.
I pay 12.75% of my net income (9.5% of gross) to rent. I have roommates right now, but I'll probably be living on my own sometime in the next year or so. I'd like to keep my rent around 15% of the net income when I move.
Beyond the financial perspective, maybe the letter writer should talk to the therapist a bit about this. For me, living with roommates was a healthy choice, even though it has the downsides mentioned (and this is assuming that the roommates are good ones).