On 1 Thing Is Ruining My Life

I prepurchased inflight wifi for a trip last weekend, and then at the last minute they switched the aircraft to one not equipped for internet. So I need to call someone (the airline? gogo?) about getting that $18 refunded. I also need to convert the contribution I just made to a traditional IRA to a Roth.

Posted on August 1, 2014 at 12:31 pm 0

On Baby Purchases, Reevaluated

This write-up is perfect. So much so I don't even know what to say. I read it on my phone in the uber on the way to the airport yesterday afternoon, and then I made my husband read it immediately. He literally laughed out loud several times and then said, "that's the best thing I've read in a long time." Then he said, "I guess even though you're 26 weeks and the baby would be viable we don't have to run out and get the car seat."

Posted on August 1, 2014 at 12:22 pm 0

On Friday Estimate

We're in Vail this weekend at the international dance festival with my husband's parents. (they're fancy.) Lodging and meals are on them, and we prepaid for the rental car on the Colorado side with frequent flyer miles, so I'm not exactly sure what expenses to expect. Here's a go at them: Thursday: Uber $15, airport lunch $23, dinner on the road $37. Friday: new umbrella $30, potential incidentals $50. Saturday: snacks $20. Sunday: breakfast $30, rental car gas $40, taxi $40, groceries $100. Total: $385 If anyone ever happens to be driving from Denver to Vail (or Aspen or thereabouts) at a mealtime, we highly recommend Jenny's Restaurant in Empire. It's been there since 1861, the staff are extremely nice, and the food is great.

Posted on August 1, 2014 at 12:16 pm 0

On The Billfold ABCs: A is for AMORTIZE

@cjm I actually have difficulty with the "how often will this happen" periodic budgeting. Mint will deduct the monthly amount in each of the first five months. And then in the sixth month, Mint will deduct the full amount from your budget! So it is as if you double paid those five months. They've been alerted to this glitch in the community forum and via troubleshooting reporting, and they always say they'll have to escalate it to the engineers for a fix. But as far as I know they haven't fixed it yet. Which is why I use rollover budgets (also a kind of front-end amortization).

Posted on July 28, 2014 at 3:17 pm 0

On The Billfold ABCs: A is for AMORTIZE

@ThatJenn I use rollover budgets for spreading large, routine expenses. So the insurance budget for our two cars is set for $100 per month, and then I check "start each new month with the previous month's leftover amount." It's not exactly the same thing as amortizing. Unless you also do the manual split thing, it will still look like you've spent a lot of money in one month, but it helps me more for planning purposes. I let pretty much all of my budgets roll over, but I find it particularly helpful for membership fees, taxes, insurance, and holiday gifts.

Posted on July 28, 2014 at 1:38 pm 0

On Monday Check-in

We had a great time in the city, and expenses were roughly on target. Friday: lunch together -- sandwich for me $8, another refill on MTA cards $20, afternoon snack $8, then dinner was his parents' treat. (And delicious! they also very kindly made the most refreshing mocktail for me.) Saturday: lox sandwich from Murray's on a long walk down Broadway $8.50, emergency hot dog in the park $4 and two ginger ales $2, 1 adult + 1 student entrance to Whitney $36, late lunch/snack with friends after $34, dinner with other friends $58 Sunday: breakfast at the airport $18, lunch out $34, groceries $57, supplies for a small project from Home Depot $22. Plus travel expenses from before Friday morning: $161. Total: $470.50, a hair over my estimate of $460. New York is swell in the summer.

Posted on July 28, 2014 at 1:31 pm 0

On Friday Estimate

@EvanDeSimone Hey thanks for the welcome. It's nice to check in on the eastern time zone. Of course we absolutely wouldn't be able to do this trip at this cost without the assistance of my husband's work and family for food and lodging. @Runawaytwin thanks for the tip! unfo. we have dinner reservations for tonight. times were planned according to friends and family availability. but the friend going with us to the exhibit works for the Met and may be able to gain us complimentary access. i just didn't want to count on it.

Posted on July 25, 2014 at 4:38 pm 0

On Friday Estimate

@halloliebchen woohoo! thrilled for you.

Posted on July 25, 2014 at 4:35 pm 0

On Friday Estimate

I am in New York! Accompanying my husband on a work trip extended into the weekend. Expenses that occurred before Friday but might be counted as weekend: uber to airport ($11.20), sandwich and water ($15), AirTrain/LIRR/subway into city ($14.50), refill on two metro cards ($20), dinner with his parents last night ($90 non-expensable), breakfast this morning ($10 for me). Tonight we're having dinner with his folks at Narcissa in Cooper Square. Even though we treated last night, they will probably pick up the check today. Tomorrow we're seeing the Koons retrospective at the Whitney ($36), lunch with friends after ($50), wandering around, dinner with separate friends ($100). Sunday we'll catch a cab to JFK (expensed), grab breakfast there ($30), and get a cab home from LAX (expensed). Finally, groceries ($85). Total: $460, including Thursday's costs but not the expenses his firm will pick up

Posted on July 25, 2014 at 9:58 am 0

On Only Suckers Don't Buy Generic

On our first joint trip to Ye Olde Target, my now-husband and I were picking up incongruous things like ramekins and sandpaper. Just as we were on our way to the checkout line, I said, "Oh! I forgot the 409." A few days later, he pulls out a nearly full bottle of Fantastick from a cabinet I'd never opened. I was like, why'd you let me buy 409 if you had this other perfectly good all-purpose cleaner I just didn't know about? He said, "I thought you were expressing brand loyalty."

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 1:08 pm 3