My in-laws in South Carolina, who don't have a stellar history with money, are facing some challenges that are really restricting their circumstances. They're not against cleaning up their act in terms of budgeting and being smarter about money, but don't really have a head for it. What's the best way to help from a distance? [more inside]
posted by Shepherd
on Dec 5, 2013 -
I'm in the process of writing a budget for my department for 2014. I've just been given a title bump with the promise that a pay raise will be coming when cash allows.
Should I include my expected pay raise in the 2014 budget as a line item for my salary? I haven't been told what it is, but I have a good idea what it should be.
posted by grubby
on Dec 2, 2013 -
I need to be better about managing my grocery budget and streamlining my time in the kitchen. I've just started poking around for options but I'm eager for hive mind recommendations.
The main caveat is that I'm in Canada, which has ruled the promising foodonthetable.com.
Something that allows you to cost meals fairly easily would be nice.
Please pardon any typos--mobile AskMeing is a bit tricksy.
posted by Decimask
on Nov 28, 2013 -
What strategies can I use to convince my husband to more openly discuss our household finances with me? [more inside]
posted by anonymous
on Nov 20, 2013 -
I'm living with just shy of $50,000 of debt. That's actually pretty crazy to say.
$18k of it is credit card debt. $22k of it is owed to the IRS (terrible decisions while freelancing). It was recently down to $20k, but I missed one of my monthly $500 schedule payments so I got hit with a sizable penalty. The rest of it is a Sallie Mae student loan. [more inside]
posted by anonymous
on Nov 4, 2013 -
I am a frequent buyer of <$5 books on Amazon. Lately I am interested in math treatises but have been unable to find any that aren't way out of my price range. Am I being way too demanding? [more inside]
posted by myitkyina
on Oct 20, 2013 -
My wife and I got HTC Sensation cell phones from Cincinnati Bell in Nov 2011. The contract will expire shortly, and I'd like to find alternatives that would save us some money. We're generally happy with the hardware, so I see little incentive at this point to get rid of the phones. Does anyone have any experiences, good or bad, that they can share regarding switching from Cincinnati Bell to a prepaid or other budget carrier? We would both need voice and data (though not a huge data plan), and my wife needs SMS messaging (I use Google Voice). Thanks!
posted by zainsubani
on Oct 15, 2013 -
I'm interested in finding online sources of precious-metal jewelry at a low cost. For example, a site that had solid gold/gold plated/solid silver chains to put other jewelry on. I know ebay has a good selection, but I have found that things have been mislabeled (ie something marked solid gold that is obviously not). I also know there are some things like that on Etsy, but there has to be a source of their supplies. I'm more interested in the low cost side than the artful jewelry side (I already have lots of sites like that to drool at!).
posted by fermezporte
on Sep 30, 2013 -
Spending a week in accommodation in Brockley, London, in early October. To be specific, Manor Avenue Brockley London, SE4 1TE. As London seems to be the place where you literally breathe out money in order to survive, keen to do this on as low a budget as possible. Will not have a car and prefer walking where possible. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore
on Sep 27, 2013 -
My 4-year-old laptop is dying and I want to replace it with a desktop. What is the least computer I could buy now that would still be upgradeable enough that I could keep it and upgrade it for several years? [more inside]
posted by matcha action
on Sep 13, 2013 -
Last year, my SO posted this question
about making a budget for our family. Your answers were very helpful. August 31 was the last day of our first budget year, and we did pretty well. But we wondered what are good ratios or metrics to gauge just how well we did and where we need to improve. [more inside]
posted by 5845(f)(1)(D)
on Sep 6, 2013 -
Is there an app for iOS that functions similarly to You Need A Budget, but doesn't require syncing with a desktop? [more inside]
posted by creativenothing
on Sep 3, 2013 -
I'm a big fan of the cook-a-big-hunk-of-protein, turn-it-into-dinners-all-week thing. I need more ideas! [more inside]
posted by peachfuzz
on Sep 3, 2013 -
I am a lot poorer since February, due to my ex leaving me (he was splitting the bills with me, so I am down about $500/month from where I was). I have some savings but I've been blowing through it because I haven't been able to get myself to stay on a monthly budget. Help me be frugal! [more inside]
posted by sock puppetron on wheels
on Aug 30, 2013 -
In an effort to distract myself from my life, I've decided to spend next week in NYC. I've never been, and am getting a little overwhelmed trying to decide what to do there. Oh yeah, and I'd like to not have to sell my firstborn to pay for everything. [more inside]
posted by jenlovesponies
on Aug 22, 2013 -
My golden birthday is coming up, and since you only get one, I'd like to do something special. But I'm pretty much broke. [more inside]
posted by catatethebird
on Aug 20, 2013 -
How do you save money on things like food during a long hospital stay? In San Francisco, hotel has no fridge or microwave. [more inside]
posted by perryfugue
on Aug 13, 2013 -
I will have an evening and a day in Anchorage without a car. I'd love to see some wildlife and spend lots of time looking at the mountains. Also open to other ideas. What should I do and where should I go, and how should I get there without a car? [more inside]
posted by lunasol
on Aug 7, 2013 -
I finished my first year of grad school, passed my comps (so they're not getting rid of me!), and spent the summer using a computer lab to work on campus. I'm sick of it and want to buy a laptop but haven't bought one in awhile and I'm not sure what to get or the best way to go about it, so I thought I'd beg y'all for advice. Details inside. [more inside]
posted by dismas
on Aug 2, 2013 -
My partner and I have just moved into a new rental in South Australia. It has a double garage with electric roller doors on the front. We want to use this space for storage and the landlord has agreed to let us enclose the rear and the open side (between the side fence and the roof). Originally I was thinking cafe blinds, but now I'm wondering if that will be too costly. We are getting a quote next week. If it turns out to be over our budget, which is not really set but probably around the $1,000 mark, what else could work to enclose the garage? Thanks.
posted by Youremyworld
on Aug 1, 2013 -
I have a 2004 Honda Civic Hybrid. The clutch in the A/C compressor is bad, as diagnosed by a well-respected mechanic. He doesn't want to do the repair, recommended the dealer. Dealer price for compressor replacement is US1165(ouch). Without A/C, trips of any length are pretty miserable. The noise from an open window at 70 mph is not pleasant, and I assume it affects the mileage. I can manage short trips up to an hour or so. It's been an especially humid summer in Maine so far. The Honda has 110,000 miles, and is in good condition. I question putting so much money into a car this old(Bluebook @ 6,200), though I expect to keep driving the car for the next several years. [more inside]
posted by Mom
on Jul 25, 2013 -
Even though I'm totally broke, I'm going to London for nine days at the end of August. Yes, the most expensive time to go. Plane tickets were bought with miles, and I'm staying with friends-of-friends. This is why I'm able to go at all.
But I'd like some tips on how to have a good time while spending as little money as possible in a place I am totally unfamiliar with (and I want to bug my hosts as little as possible, too). [more inside]
posted by smoakes
on Jul 18, 2013 -
I am visiting Toronto for the Tiff film festival on the 5th September, and can't find budget accomodation.... [more inside]
posted by Mintyblonde
on Jul 17, 2013 -
I just got news that I got an internship at an architectural office (altough I just graduated as a a graphic designer) in Tokyo, which is crazy exciting. However, they can't offer any compensation (small studio) so unless I find another job next to this, I need some really cheap solutions. I just sent an email to the studio, asking them for assistance, but figured meta could help.
My plan is to stay for 2-3 months. I saved up some money from side jobs, and don't mind spending it on this experience, but the less it makes a dent the better. My only idea so far was to work as some kind of au pair (I speak English, German, Dutch and Croatian fluently, I'm good with kids, but I am a guy, which I guess is not too popular a gender for babysitting), in exchange for a room. Any ideas? Also, some place where I could look for a small job on the side (preferably something where I could use my design skills, but don't mind a day job)?
Also, how much can I expect to spend monthly if I'm, technically, still on a student budget?
Thank a lot!
posted by ahtlast93
on Jul 11, 2013 -
I recently bought a new house. One of the things I liked about the house was that the backyard was a blank slate -- fairly large, but nothing "done." It's just an expanse of concrete, with some edge areas covered with either tan bark or stones to keep weeds out.
I thought I'd hire a landscape architect to help me envision nice landscaping and plan something great out there. But I ran out of money! Whoops.
So, I turn to the hive. Hive, how would you improve a backyard that is mostly just (quite ugly) concrete, on a budget? I don't love entertaining in a prison yard. [more inside]
posted by fingersandtoes
on Jul 9, 2013 -
I am really bad with money and I'm about to start making a ton more which is great, yay! But I want to make sure I stick to my budget because I've got a ton of bills to pay off. Here's what I'm considering, tell me if you think it's nuts: [more inside]
posted by dawkins_7
on Jun 16, 2013 -
My 19-year-old daughter loves to spend every dollar she earns. She is good about working, but she's awful at saving. She's got a great summer job, and I want that money to both cover some of her college tuition AND her living expenses in the fall. But how do I do that without becoming an obnoxious helicopter parent? [more inside]
posted by frizz
on Jun 13, 2013 -
A week before my former roommate moved out her dog came into heat, resulting in my own ankle biter marking everything he could hike his little leg at. Apparently in his haze of lust he decided that bathing the house in stink would boost his chances of getting a bit of action. Defiled items include the back of my couch, my box spring and the linoleum in the kitchen (where I keep him penned up when I'm out). Also some bedding and other small items I'm comfortable throwing away instead of trying to clean.
Next week I'm moving to another property under the same management and hoping to get back most of my deposits (as well as keeping in the landlord's good grace) by getting the house as minty fresh as possible before I turn in the key.
I'm looking for some low budget recommendations on getting the stench out. I would prefer they be methods that you've used with success, so if I have further questions I can actually discuss it with someone who has experience with the specific method. [more inside]
posted by myShanon
on Jun 5, 2013 -
We're a family of four with two girls, ages 5 and almost 2. Need to keep grocery budget around 100/week. We like to buy organic fruits, veggies, and milk. How do you do it? Examples, lists, all helpful. [more inside]
posted by percor
on May 23, 2013 -
I've wanted to go to Tokyo all my life, and have a few weeks off soon. I've been looking for flights and the cheapest I can find are $1450 all in... but I suspect if I the trip was broken up a bit by not flying there directly, it'd be a lot cheaper. Are there any resources you know of to help with this/have you done this before/do you know a good route that would shave off the $$$? Time isn't overly important as I have three weeks between jobs for exploring. But I don't want to be paying this off till next year. Help!
posted by abbagoochie
on May 22, 2013 -
I have a pretty hefty surplus in my nonprofit project budget this year, and I have been told to spend it all, because otherwise it would go back to the funder. We're talking about $20K. We did our work, we met our goals, we provided what we said we'd provide. It just took less money than anticipated. I feel dirty and guilty about blowing this much money on "stuff" that isn't what we said we'd spend it on. I have never had a budget at all before, much less a surplus, so I may be a little naive about how the (nonprofit?) world works. Can you please give me some thoughts about how to view this in a way that doesn't feel icky? Am I just being silly and this is normal practice? Bonus points if you have suggestions on what to spend it on. [more inside]
posted by anonymous
on May 20, 2013 -
I'll be in Montreal and Longueuil, Quebec, Canada for two weeks. What budget-friendly things should I do there? [more inside]
posted by GlassHeart
on May 12, 2013 -
Girlfriend and I are looking to get away this August, and we're looking for destinations. We want to spend ~10 days relaxing, experiencing some natural beauty, being warm, eating delicious food (both of the restaurant variety and the pick-up-bread-and-cheese-from-the-local-vendor variety) and generally unplugging from day-to-day life. Not big partiers, but we'd frequent the local cafe/pub. Something like a little cottage in the south of France would be our dream, but we're working with a budget of ~$4000 all-inclusive, so France may have to wait. We're 30ish and live in Boston. Idea us please!
posted by violinflu
on May 10, 2013 -
Two people -- both in 40ish-- are talking about the possibility of moving in together. We are in a loving and serious long-term relationship. There has been an initial talk about how we might handle finances and we came to conclusion that there are many ways we could handle them. I read a few posts about how couples handle finances, but am looking for some more viewpoints/options for us to consider and discuss. Details inside. [more inside]
posted by anonymous
on May 6, 2013 -
I'm planning on taking a solo trip to Berlin for a week. As a general guideline, if I stick to cafes (and the occasional doner kebab) how much should I expect to spend on food?
posted by GenericUser
on May 5, 2013 -
Help my wife and I travel to Ireland in comfort this fall without spending entirely too much money! [more inside]
posted by kindall
on May 3, 2013 -
We are moving into an apartment on top of a Whole Foods so I would like to do most of my grocery shopping there (I use Amazon Prime for stuff you can get in bulk, cleaning products, etc). Does anyone have any protips for saving money there? Their coupon weekly seems pretty anemic and it doesn't seem like they often have really compelling sales. [more inside]
posted by annekate
on Apr 27, 2013 -
How do people survive on $12 an hour? I'm looking to get a job in this pay range, and I can't reconcile it with my budget. I live unlavishly. My own monthly budget within. [more inside]
posted by whistle pig
on Apr 27, 2013 -
I will be in Berlin, Prague, Venice, Florence, Rome, Marseilles and Paris this summer. I've never been to any of these places before. [more inside]
posted by BitterYouth
on Apr 22, 2013 -
I just bought a 1 bedroom co-op in Brooklyn. I want to gut the kitchen. I have 30k. Is this possible? Can you recommend an architect? Share your story? [more inside]
posted by (Over) Thinking
on Apr 17, 2013 -
By my searching, it seems that there hasn’t been a “moving to Vancouver” question yet this year, so I’m here to fill the gap. I am considering a move from Sacramento, CA to Vancouver, BC and would very much appreciate advice and ideas on getting immediate needs met in Vancouver for the first 1-3 months. (I have read the cbsa.gc.ca site’s “Moving Back to Canada” pages, previous Ask MeFi answers, and other sources.) [more inside]
posted by booksarelame
on Apr 14, 2013 -
So I need a new bike. Or a new-to-me bike. But I'm paralyzed by indecision - new or used? What kind do I want? How do I know which local shop to trust when they all have super-mixed reviews? [more inside]
posted by Rallon
on Mar 26, 2013 -
Cheap International Travel-filter: How good of a deal do Groupon Getaways/LivingSocial Escapes tend to be, particularly this one to Turkey
? How does one find cheap international airfare and travel in general? [more inside]
posted by schroedinger
on Mar 26, 2013 -
Stuck at a fitness plateau. Not weight loss - fat loss. I'm about 5-8% (not exactly sure; I only have inexact measurement options) below where I want to be, which is the 10% mark. Help me get to my goal or as close as possible by the summer (and stay there)! [more inside]
posted by Urban Winter
on Mar 20, 2013 -
My wife is approaching a milestone birthday and she's drawn up a list of people she would like to invite. Originally, we were going to have it at our house, but when the invitee list passed 150, we decided we don't want that many people roaming through the place. She wants to cancel the event, but I want to throw her a party anyway. [more inside]
posted by IndigoSkye
on Mar 20, 2013 -
I'm in the market for a new computer, and I'd like to find one that can handle some of the RTS and city building games I've missed out on in the past 5 or so years. I'm on a budget and I don't really understand computer hardware requirements. Can you help? [more inside]
posted by el chupa nibre
on Mar 18, 2013 -
I have never been to Las Vegas but will be going for the first time this summer as a bridesmaid for my friend's bachelorette party. I am not a Vegas person: I don't drink or club, I don't like being around lots of people all the time, my budget is extremely tight, and crashing at the yucky hotel we're staying at sets off all my buttons in every way. Am I going to be able to realistically make this happen, or do I need to figure out a way to bail now? [more inside]
posted by These Birds of a Feather
on Mar 17, 2013 -