I am in need of some pampering. So is my SO! We are just a little stressed from being busy, but we always set aside a few nights a week for just relaxing. What at-home spa activities do you like to do to help you relax? We have tried giving each other massages, clay masks, and baths. I want to know what you do, or want to do! Snowflake details inside. [more inside]
We (myself, husband and 10 year old son) are hopefully making a return trip to Japan in November. While we were planning on mainly visiting Shikoku and Kyushu, we are open to suggestions. MeFi has been awesome on the travel front before, so hoping you can help again. [more inside]
Help me buy some great-looking men's suits without breaking the bank. I'm not well-educated on the subject, and I want to look good but avoid spending more than I have to. [more inside]
I have been using Quicken to track my expenditures for more than ten years. But I'm stuck on how to use the information for budgeting, because every expense category is so variable. How do I do this? For the sake of this question, assume I'm trying to calculate the minimum salary I'd need from a new job. [more inside]
It looks like I will be moving to LA in as little as 6-8 weeks. I would like to use a moving company to make this happen as my parents and friends will largely be unavailable at the time I need to go go go. Can you recommend a moving service in San Diego, and can you tell me what I should be aware of from a safety, budget, bargaining, etc standpoint? [more inside]
I've had a fantasy that has been rolling around in my head for the past 15 plus years of opening a small public aquarium. It's always been the sort of things that I thought to myself "If I ever won the lottery one day." level of realism. Over the past year or so, I've been getting encouragement from friends to actually go for it. While I still thinks it's just daydream fodder, I sort of want to figure out a rough idea of cost to see just how crazy the idea is. The problem is, I have no idea how to figure that rough estimate of what it would cost. [more inside]
Is it a faux-pas to not provide dinner for a party held during dinnertime? Also, need more suggestions for a first-time party host! [more inside]
BeMyTravelAgentFilter: Help me figure out a way to make a trip from the Bay Area to New Orleans doable and affordable - when driving is not an option. [more inside]
This question was posted three years ago, but none of the answers seemed to have worked out and technology moves so fast that I thought I'd check in. Is there a budgeting program that will let me do a biweekly budget? [more inside]
Can you recommend budgeting and personal finance courses, or where I should be looking for such a thing? [more inside]
I have $13 to my name and a long list of financial obligations. Can you help me prioritize them? [more inside]
I'm headed to San Francisco for a week at the end of the month. Work will reimburse up to $190 per night for a hotel. I really want to stay downtown for easier access to restaurants, bars and nightlife. I'm fine with driving to and from the worksite. Which hotel(s) would you recommend?
MeFites have always been pretty good at giving basic financial advice, like how to start saving, building a budget, getting out of debt, etc. I'm there already. I find myself in the surprising situation of being comfortable these days, and I'd like to know: what's next? [more inside]
I have several goals that I have been working on for a long time, and I never seem to keep up with them. They're pretty standard - stick to my budget, develop an exercise habit, spend more time with friends and less time watching tv, etc., and I usually start out well, but fizzle quickly. I'm looking for resources that will help me create and sustain my plans better. [more inside]
My son's piano keyboard broke, it was 10+ years old. His birthday is coming up, and I would like to get him a piano keyboard with midi/usb (for making music) for his birthday. It can't be too expensive - I'm thinking $80-200 range, but a little outside is fine as well - but I don't want to get him a piece of junk either. I could use some advice, since I don't know much about keyboards and would like to keep it a surprise without picking something silly. [more inside]
How do you budget? [more inside]
My girlfriend and I have won a week's holiday in Paris over the new year period. Flights, bed, and breakfast are covered -- how can we stretch our food and entertainment budget? [more inside]
We are a married couple with one child who is old enough to require their own room. If we're leaving from the midwest of the US, and plan to stay for two to three weeks, is $9k USD a realistic rough estimate of the amount we ought to budget for the trip? [more inside]
Which healthy grocery items/nutritional supplements/dietary interventions have you found to be worth the splurge, and how/why? [more inside]
My girlfriend and I both have some time off between Christmas and New Years Day. We'd like to take a one-day roadtrip somewhere along the southern California coast, get a hotel, hang out on the beach a while, sleep, come home the next afternoon. We're located in Santa Monica, and on a pretty tight budget. Ideas for great little spots/hotels? [more inside]
A previous question about affordable men's style generated a recommendation for Dappered. Dappered has helped in a couple of cases, but its glib self-importance, aspirational posturing, and adolescent dating advice (from a real, live woman!) make me feel like I'm reading a 19-year-old's advice for the varsity jacket crowd. What are some alternatives that do stick to a similar, relatively sensible budget and don't descend into tedious aspirational window-shopping, as many other fashion and consumer design blogs do?
I am looking for an iPhone app that will allow two users to track their spending for a shared budget. [more inside]
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]
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.
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.
What strategies can I use to convince my husband to more openly discuss our household finances with me? [more inside]
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]
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]
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!
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!).
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]
What are your grocery staples that get the most bang for your buck? [more inside]
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]
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]
Is there an app for iOS that functions similarly to You Need A Budget, but doesn't require syncing with a desktop? [more inside]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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.
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]
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]
I am visiting Toronto for the Tiff film festival on the 5th September, and can't find budget accomodation.... [more inside]
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!
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]
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]
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]