Friday I went to an OCMS show at the 9:30. I bought the ticket months ago so didn't count against my weekly budget, but $35 for reference. I brought a flask with me (again contents previously purchased) but spent $15 after on beer and clam strips because I was starving and my feet were killing me. Saturday I went to the grocery store for people food and cat litter $43.33. This included $8 in yeast because I'm on a bread baking kick and $9 in cat litter. As an aside, buying cat litter is the WORST. I also ran by the market for eggs and local produce (about $16) and was too hungry to consider waiting an hour to cook so I bought a yummy sammie for $7. I had a friend date Saturday night. $9 at a wine bar and then $22 for cocktails down the street. Half of that was my bill and half was the tip becuase the bartender was the best. He injured himself hand chipping ice for me, what a sweetie :) Sunday was $0 because I only left my couch long enough to make pita bread...which I then ate on the couch even though the table is about two feet away. Total spending: $112
@stuffisthings I'm not sure what the exact amount of our rebate was but my boss waived the employee contribution during our last pay period. For me, that was $42.58 which I'm pretty sure is more than what my share of the refund was. My boss is a super nice guy. Not always the best business man, but a super nice guy :)
@mczz Oh dear...this would totally be me. I like the little 30 minute under the sea IMAX shows, but I just can't deal with the feature films.
I did AWESOME this weekend. Finally the whole "save dollars" thing sunk in. On Friday, I sent a few books off to paper back swap recipients for $8. I can later cash that in for three free books, so I consider it money well spent. I also sent $22 at the grocery store. The total was double that but my roommate and I cook/buy food together which saves us a bunch. Also included in this total was a bottle of champagne for an Olympics viewing party (I hosted). Saturday I spent $10 at the liquor store. I wanted to bring this beergarita punch thing to a dinner party and I was curiously out of beer. Was at the dinner party until about 12 and then decided to opt out of any further revelry so I could drag myself to the gym in the morning. Sunday I went to the market. I got a free Fuze from a Fuze truck (!!) and then spent $5 on corn and cherry tomatoes from my favorite farm. Total: $45.
So I've been taking my weekly money out in cash every Friday and using that to budget (when the cash is gone the spending stops). The problem though is I feel like I need to break it up a bit more because I end up using it all on necessities and then having nothing left for fun which is obviously not ideal. $52 at Safeway on Friday. I was out of pretty much every baking ingredient and I wanted to make cookies to bring to a baby shower. I got butter, eggs, flour, sugar, etc. Wine, a baguette, cheese and a cucumber made it in there as well. I should have just skipped the wine and cheese and gone out for a few drinks. Usually I like a night in, but I just felt sorry for myself on Friday. Saturday was cheap! I went to lunch with my uncle who was visiting from out of town (he paid). The babyshower was a cookout (amazing amazing food), so other than my cookies, and a card which I paid $3, that was free. I owe the happy couple a gift, but I'm making something so it wasn't quite ready for the shower. Sunday was marginally sunny so I walked up to the farmer's market. I found good deals on zucchini, mushrooms, chicken and eggs, but really splurged on fresh salmon. $29. Total spending: $84. I tried to keep it reasonable because this coming week is going to be expensive.
$34 on combination lunch/happy hour with a coworker on Friday. Summer hours are the best, I get out at 2:00 every Friday through the end of August! $40 for a bottle of bourbon (Leopold Bros Small Batch). I was planning on buying something inexpensive and flasking it up for my concert, but the SA totally sold me on the nicer bottle. I'm considering it an investment. $15 for a ticket to Murder by Death at The Black Cat. $9 for cook out supplies at Safeway. The total was actually $28, but I had a $10 off coupon that I got for spending $75 on a previous trip. My sister and I split the balance. We bought a case of Bud Light (cans only around the pool), a bag of tortilla chips, ketchup, a red onion, and a package of Hebrew Nationals. $7 at CVS. Again the total was higher but between coupons and splitting costs with the sis I kept it under 10. Yes! I got cascade, paper towels, tortilla chips, salsa, and face wipes. $105 which isn't bad. The problem is that I didn't get groceries yet and if I keep to my budget I only have $25 to last me until Friday. Oops. Maybe should have gotten the cheaper bourbon after all...
All you can (and should) do is play the hand that you're given. The support that your parents provide and the degree to which you accept it is a personal decision between the three of you. Your parents are adults and they have the right to do what they wish with their money. They happen to want to help you. Your responsibility is to make the most of it. I find it incredibly frustrating and useless to compare my circumstances to those of friends and acquaintances. Would it be nice to have zero loans, a nest egg in the bank and subsidized vacations every year? Of course it would, and I'm sure my parents would have loved to provide me with those things. But it wasn't our reality. They did what they could, and it was more than I ever expected. I think I have made the most of the support that they gave me and that's all the thanks that they have ever asked for or wanted.
Ugh ambulances. They also usually aren't participating providers, so even if you have insurance you'll end up paying a couple hundred out of pocket. Also, air evac is the worst...it will set you back 18K, though at that point you probably don't have a choice. You can almost always negotiate you hospital bill down. Offer the billing office...say 50% of the total in full and final settlement. Tell them the alternative is a payment plan. Hospitals hate payment plans. They'll work with you if you can give them a lump at once. ALSO, read your bills and EOBs. Sometimes there is stuff on there that you can challenge. Hospitals occassionally will charge you for tests and such due to accidental exposure. That's their fault and you don't need to pay for it.
I was planning on dropping some cash on Sunday so I had a no spending policy for Friday/Saturday that I actually stuck to! Yay me! I had a lazy Friday night and ate couscous and watched Reservoir Dogs. $0.00. Saturday I brought wine spritzer ingredients over to a friend's house and then she generously insisted on taking me out for a few drinks. $0.00 but I should probably return the favor next time I have some dollars. Sunday I had a pool party so I dropped $21.00 on vodka for mixed drinks and $115.00 at the grocery store. That included a ton of fruit, a case of Bud Light and my food for the week. My sister owes me $45 for her portion, so total spending comes in at $91.00. I'll take that, though I was really expecting the grocery bill to be under $100.00. I need to start making lists. Impulse buys are the death of me.
When I was studying abroad in England, one of my medieval history professors told me the he netted less than £100 for his latest book on Crusades history. He was, at the time, beginning research for his next book. I love buying books. I love buying them from independent bookstores. I appreciate deeply the contributions of writers past and present. As Mike said however, “our pockets are only so deep.” Most of my purchases are done at yard sales and discount sources online. I use the library and I borrow books from friends. Yes, occasionally I buy something at list price at Kramer Books. Or, if there is a release that I am particularly excited about, I’ll run out and get that too. Perhaps this is too tangential, but I have to admit to a general feeling of frustration and discomfort that so much emphasis is currently being placed on monetary support of an ideology. I’m sure this is as old as time, and I’m just more tuned into it now that I balance a checkbook, but sometimes I feel like I can’t win. And of course I get it…put your money where your mouth is. But I have limited resources and infinite demands on it. Fair trade coffee, locally raised sustainable produce, handmade crafts, products from companies with ethical labor standards – all these are things that I support and things that come at a premium. And that’s not to mention charities and foundations that do wonderful, wonderful work that depend on donations to survive. I guess I’m trying to say, we’re all doing our best. So I wish the people with clipboards on the sidewalk would stop asking glaring at me when I decline to donate and hostilely asking me why I don’t care enough about the earth/starving children/equal rights/etc to give them my credit card number and pledge $20.00 per month. Because I do care.