Our grocery costs are about $55 per person per week (about $450 per month for my husband and me). Our food habits are basically to make most meals from groceries, but each of us buys a couple of lunches out and we eat dinner out (at varying levels of fancy-ness) once or twice a week, probably. We have friends over for a big dinner party probably once a month, and we like to go to nice restaurants for celebratory occasions or when visitors are in town. So that does add to total food costs I think it's interesting that Mike collected rent as a percentage of income but is collecting groceries as just the absolute expense number. It's revealing, kind of, that we expect to upgrade housing with income but not necessarily food. It also points out the main disadvantage in poverty calculations in the States. Do you all know how we come up with the poverty line? Back in the '60s, Mollie Orshansky, an employee at the USDA, came up with the thrifty food plan. It was the cheapest of food plans designed by the department, an inexpensive basket of groceries to meet nutritional needs. She calculated the cost of that basket. Then, because food used to account for a third of household expenditures, she multiplied it by three. We adjust the cost of that basket for inflation, and that is still the poverty line today. Even though housing costs have far outpaced food in the time since! So most analysts adjust by using twice the poverty line. The first time I heard that, it boggled my mind. All the fancy statisticians in this country, and we use this archaic, inaccurate food number. Amazing.
Um I am not single and I still skip doing Valentine's Day on Valentine's Day (minus, you know, a token card and maybe some balloons if I am feeling fancy). I'll be bringing some (store-bought, feeling lazy) cupcakes to work for my coworkers tomorrow, because one never needs an excuse for cupcakes, and manfriend and I will be going out to eat on Friday night (as many people do!), not Valentine's Day. Since he's in school and we're trying to save money, just going out to eat at all at a semi-nice restaurant is special enough. Maybe tomorrow we'll use the free pizza code I won from Papa John's as a prize for guessing the correct side of the Super Bowl coin toss. Mm, Valentine's Day pizza... Overall, Valentine's Day is pretty dumb.
LONG time reader (I even read all the archives when I found this site!) but first time commenter to share something that I'M SUPER EXCITED ABOUT! Medical bill: $5,500 dollars from an emergency gallbladder removal in 2010. I had health insurance, but it wasn't that awesome so I was stuck with 25% of the total bill. Two 1000 mile moves, 12 months of unemployment, a bunch of family emergencies later, my husband and I paid the balance off this month. He's a grad student, working part time at best and I was the one who was unemployed for 12 months, but it's gone and I am so, so proud of us. We did it without parent help, too, which is even more excited. Just had to share! :) Edited to add: December 2010: $5,500 December 2012: $0!!!!!!!!
Know that when you see someone steal something so casually that it's not his first time and won't be his last.
There was a point in my life when I went to Quaker school during the year, and a military-themed summer camp at Valley Forge during the summer.
Best Dad lesson ever: You do not pay interest for something that you cannot expect a return on. You take a mortgage because you expect the increase in the value of the house to exceed the interest you paid on it. Else you find a cheaper or more undervalued house. You take student loans because you expect to earn more money with the degree. You do not EVER pay interest on a car, because cars only depreciate. You do not even consider paying interest on anything consumable. That includes clothes, household good, basically anything you just buy. If you want something and do not have the money to pay for it, you save money until you do. That's how it works. If you can't afford it, then you definitely can't afford to pay more for it. Easy to say, tough to live. And, wow, Mike Dang, the parents with no savings because they have kids instead. Have invested in kids instead, I guess? If that were my parents I would be sweating bullets.
I once had a job interview at a company that is run by the Church of Scientology. I realized this when I was given a questionnaire that stated they practiced some sort of L. Ron Hubbard management style. One of the questions was, "Do you believe in God?"
I applied for a secured card with Citibank and they put my $500 in a CD, so when they "unsecured" my card after a year, I got about $60 back in interest.