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]
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]
Anyone have any ideas for easy, tasty, gluten and egg free lunches on a budget? [more inside]
I know how to use Mint.com, but I wonder if I'm using it in the right way. [more inside]
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]
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!
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]