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January 30, 2010


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Wow, this is, like, from the cro-magnon era in its stereotypes and mysogeny! I'm a woman, so I'll share my take on this:

1&2) I spent $1500 last year on clothes, shoes, bags, & accessories. All work outfits. I'm an executive, I can't go to work in sweatshirts from walmart with kitties on them. At home I wear my ripped jeans and hippie T-shirts, which is fine unless I'm trying to get a business to take one of my checks! Also, while I didn't buy them last year, I can attest to the value of having a few pairs of sexy heels in the back of your closet!
3) I'm not overweight, I've never dieted, I've never done the tossing that's described here. My grocery bill for my entire family is $400/mo and I spend maybe $50/year on takeout. I do spend about $70/mo eating out, with friends and my BF, or treating my parents when they come to stay. Doesn't seem too excessive to me.
4) BTW, I'm not a "girl", I'm a woman. I spent $590 last year on fine wine for dinners at home (I love to entertain) and to bring as hostess gifts when I go to friends' homes. I buy wine by the case at 10% discount & store it in my wine cellar. I don't drink hard liquor, I don't drink in bars, I've never passed out, I don't think it's common for any women to do this.
5) I rarely buy makeup, but I do buy skincare products. I spent almost $1000 last year on that. Hey, I'm almost 50! My skin needs the help!
6) Beauty treatments? Yeah, but I do it all myself (free).
7) I spent $414 last year on hair cut and color. This is pretty cheap, I feel. I can't really go to work and expect to get respect looking like Helga with my long grey braids wound around my head! My kids' haircuts last year cost $121.
8) I got cable a couple years ago so my kids wouldn't feel like social outcasts anymore. I do enjoy watching it occasionally--but I've never seen either Dexter or SITC. I like fantasy--mostly HGTV, those fabulous homes where there aren't any legos or action figures piled up everywhere!
9) My workplace has a gym and I have a membership that costs $6/mo. I will go someday, most likely because if I go 6 times in 3 months my health insurance premium will decrease by a few dollars.
10) I spent $600 on gas last year for my Honda CRV. Yes, I drive to work, but it isn't far. I do wish I had a convertible, but it would be pretty impractical where I live (it's 2oF right now! Yay, warming trend!)

I'm a guy, ruling out most of these.

1) I get most of my clothes at Unclaimed Baggage in Scottsboro, Alabama, which is sort of like a Thrift store, except clothes out of people's lost luggage tend to be their best stuff, not their old, unwanted junk. If you're within a couple hours drive, it's definitely worth checking out.

2) No, not really.

3) I went on a 'eat less unhealthy food' diet starting last January and lost about 50 lbs. I did eventually throw away some 'bad' food that expired before I could eat it. There's still some sodas sitting in my fridge from 2008 that I'll probably throw away eventually.

4) Don't drink, never have.

5) I'm a dude.

6) Still a dude.

7) Long-haired dude. My haircuts are cheap and infrequent.

8) I get all my TV via antenna and Hulu. I was very surprised at how many channels you can get via antenna nowadays.

9) I don't do the gym just to be doing the gym. I take dance lessons and I attend Latin and ballroom dances. Lessons can get pricey, and they are probably the biggest expense that I could totally cut if I wanted. I guess this item wasn't to apply to me since I dance regularly. (This week, it was a salsa class on Monday, another salsa class followed by a dance on Tuesday, a non-dance event Wed, a swing dance (interrupted by a salsa class for an hour) on Thursday, a rumba class followed by a dance Friday, today I'm meeting my partner for a (free) practice this morning, followed by another practice with a friend, a salsa dance tonight, and a salsa workshop followed by a dance lesson Sunday afternoon and evening. One step I'm taking to save money here is to take fewer lessons from instructors and practice more with partners and friends. This hobby could probably finance itself if I was willing to charge for lessons, but so far I've either turned down the ladies who offered to pay me, or just agreed to practice with them for free.

10) Meh. I drive around in my little 4-banger manual transmission Ranger and get over 27 mpg. I probably spend somewhat more money than necessary on gas, but I do alright. I've saved of the money I need to buy my next car outright (if I wasn't planning on keeping the Ranger when I get it, I would be done saving - having two vehicles for just me is one place I'll be wasting money) and it'll be a gas sipper - probably a Jetta turbodiesel.

I'm a guy and where did I waste excessive money? Well it was more than gas but rather modifying old cars. I'd modify the engine for more power then proceed to fix everything that broke because of this, then modify the engine again once I had some more cash. Rinse and repeat.

It all stopped once I discovered how compound interest worked. Now I'm pushing for work to become optional by saving like crazy to allow compound interest to go to work.

This is hilarious! And I don't know which was funnier, the excerpt or the comments!! There are some really interesting people who read this blog...!

Unfortunately, I do know some (many?) people who fit into the post's stereotype. My sisters-in-law often are often sporting the latest designer bags, highlights and nails, and appletinis or what-have-you.

Here's a (boring) snapshot of where I stand:

1. Clothes and shoes: Have just talked myself into pitching the only black flat that I've worn for 15 years!!!! (haven't pitched...still looking for a suitable replacement to land in my closet...I detest clothes shopping!)

2. My most recent purse was a gift given to me this past Dec. for my 40th b-day. Now I will be able to replace the last purse I was given as a gift for my 35th b-day.

3. If it weren't for pasta, I think my fam. of 5 would starve! Last time I ate at a rest. was w/a $25.00 gift card (a gift). The bill came to 27.72. Can't remember the time before that. We do Chinese take-out and pizza each about 1X/month. Grocery budget is $320 (ok, sometimes it is $350, but that includes DH's lunches out).

4. Beer/wine on weekends. Cost: $50/mo. for DH and myself. Summers at the beach can be budget busters since mt in-laws love fancy drinks, but somehow always forget to bring their own.

5. Make-up: the rule that u should throw it out after 6 mos. is a crock. I've had the same bottle of consealer (L'Oreal) for 2 years now. Works fine, no prob.

6. Never had a beauty 'treatment'. Massages from DH are free!

7. L'Oreal Preference covers gray. Every six wks. for about $8. Haircuts every 5 or 6 months at Cost Cutters. Looks nice, costs $26 (w/tip). I might splurge once every 2 years around the holidays for a highlighting for $120 (w/tip).

8. Cable t.v. is an ok source of entertainment. DH loves sports (football, esp.)...I watch the occassional CNN, Antiques Roadshow or prime-time sitcom; kids watch Disney, etc. I HATE COMCAST!!! Way too expensive! I LOVE NETFLIX!!

9. Our gym is a work-out dvd, some weights (passed down from in-laws) and a great treadmill (also hand-me-down). DH has a gym @ work as well.

10. Gas is not a problem...'07 Honda Accord, '97 Ford Ranger. Take-home car.

Loved the post. Sorry, no exciting dance lessons to talk about...

Sorry, a few typos above (detest typos. OCD?!). Switch 'mt' to 'my' and 'consealer' to 'concealer'. Thnx, FMF.

Fun post...MC got worked up for all the women and then seemed to fit the stereotype to a lesser degree...that's funny to me :-) Here's where I stand:

1. Clothes. Buy a few new pairs of black and gray slacks ($30 each) and a few new blouses ($10-$30 each) a year for work from Kohl's and Dilliard's. Once in a while I find something great at Goodwill for $3-$5. Total clothes budget is less than $200 a year.

2. Shoes and accessories. Bought the new work Crocs for $35 on Ebay last year. Bought the Miche purse and some shells for $120 the year before that. I've spent about $200 of this stuff in the last 3 definitely a $75 a year or less average.

3. Food. We were spending about $600 a month on food last year ($250 for groceries, $150 on restaurants, and $200 on fast food). We cut that down to less than $300 this month. We've cut back on eating out to once or twice a week for $15 and cook the rest at home. Stocked up our freezer using Angel Food Ministries. We like this new system more so I hope we stay on track. We will be ordering from Angel Food Ministries again since everything tasted great.

4. Alcohol. We spend about $50 a year on alcohol...we just don't drink much and my favorite - Mondoro Asti Spumanti sparkling wine - is $13 a bottle.

5. Makeup. I wear foundation that costs $7 a bottle and $1.50 chapstick...I might spend $15 a year on makeup.

6. Beauty Treatments. Never paid for this...well I guess my disposable razors cost about $5 a year.

7. Your Hair. I get straight cuts of a couple of inches twice a year for $15 since I have naturally wavy red hair that looks good long. I also use Pantene ProV shampoo and conditioner. The only other hair stuff I own are some rubber bands to keep it back and a brush. I definitely spend less than $40 a year on my hair.

8. Cable TV. We love our cable and DVR...we spend $720 a year on it not including the internet.

9. The Gym. No membership. I walk to feed the ducks in the neighborhood ($8 for a 50 lb bag of cracked corn) and I've started to do situps and pushups at home.

10. Gas. I drive an Aveo that makes about 28 mpg and I hate driving. I usually stay under 9,000 miles a year and 6,000 of those are for my commute. That's been about $775 a year for gas here in Houston.

So I spend $1880 a year on all the stuff above except for food and my husband and I are aiming for less than $5000 for all food expenses this year instead of our average $7200. Being a tomboy pays off...

Love the comments! This excerpt did nothing for me because I'm not a "girl", I'm a money-smart women! :) Yes, I'm paying for a lot of these items, but I spend carefully so I don't think I'm overspending.

My take:

1 and 2) I keep a list of things I actually need, and then shop sales. I'll buy an inexpensive, trendy top or accessory now and then, but most of my clothes are colours and styles that are classic and flattering on me. I buy quality, not quantity.

3) Food: I don't do trendy diets. I buy healthy food and I enjoy it because I know how to properly prepare it (and freeze it!)

4) Alcohol: I don't drink it, nor do I drink coffee.

5) Makeup: I don't buy that much. I stick to basic colours and essential products and don't impulse buy. I buy only what looks good on me, so no need to spend on trends.

6) Beauty treatments: Razors and skin care, yes. But I'm careful with my spending. Don't do spas, and I learned to care for my hands and feet myself.

7) Hair: A good hair style and colour really makes your look, and I don't dare do it at home! I found a reasonably priced and talented hairdresser, and I keep a style and colour that aren't too pricy to maintain.

8) Cable: Basic is good enough for me, and Canadians don't have access too as much free online content as Americans so there aren't as many alternatives for viewing.

9) The gym: Don't have a membership. I make use of the free and inexpensive facilities my community offers, or work out outdoors. I mainly powerwalk, so why pay for a gym membership when the park is prettier?

10) Gas: I don't drive much, and I have a fuel-efficient car.

Hey, what about a little parity? How about a list of 10 things "guys" are likely to spend too much money on?

Like whiskey, cigars, sports tickets, big-screen TVs, cars, riding lawn mowers, video game consoles, tech toys like iphones and the newest hot computer, snowmobiles, and guns. You know, stuff I'd never bother to buy.

I admit to having a very extravagant sweater collection - about thirty Tundra's and Coogi's. My very first was a gift from my wife but after seeing how horribly expensive they are I bought all of the others, as new, over several years on eBay for a whole lot less than retail. I also like shirts made of a wood fiber called 'Tencel or Lyocell', because it is very soft, and I have a nice collection of those, also purchased on eBay at a fraction of the retail price. For any eBayers - I use a free sniping service where I decide on my maximum possible bid and then their computer submits my bid 5 sec before the auction ends.
For cable I have Extended Basic and a DVR which is getting more and more expensive, the last bill was $86, but we like having lots of channels available - some things you don't have a lot of choice.
One other extravagance is that my wife makes appointments to have my hair cut and my beard trimmed by the owner of the hair salon she goes to, he does a fantastic job and spends about an hour for just $30 including the tip, a plus is that he likes to talk about investments.
For wines we like a nice chardonnay with dinner but in California you don't have to pay very much for a good one unless you need to impress someone with the label - and I don't. Our favorite is called 'Down Under', it's imported from Australia and bottled by a winery in the Napa Valley in California - I'm too embarassed to give its price other than to say that it does cost more than 'Two Buck Chuck' from Trader Joe's which is also very good value.
Other items where I save a lot are on my wife's Clinique products on eBay and books at Amazon, some of the used ones are at giveaway prices. We also use a few neighorbood restaurants that have reasonable prices and let us bring our own wine for a very low corkage fee.
Saving money on our purchases was a necessity for decades and now that we don't have to any more we still both love to get bargains and good value for the challenge that it provides. One example is a vegetable market, run by immigrants, and frequented mainly by immigrants, that greatly undercuts supermarket prices for the same quality products. I think everyone likes a bargain.

MasterPo agrees 100% on #4.

But MasterPo has to draw the line on food and gas.

Cut back on food? Sure, eat sensibly instead of Wendy's all the time. But let's have a reality check: Most professionals work 10-12 hours a day plus commute time. When is there time to make roasts and such? Even to go food shopping? Not a lot. You're body is an engine that can only perform well with good fuel.

Which leads to the gas issue...

MasterPo agrees about frivolous driving across town for your favorite latte. But a SMart Car will get you killed! Besides, how is a family of 4 supposed to travel in one of those death boxes?!

Ooh fun. I didn't know about posting my own parallels to this ten list, but since I'm not alone:
1) I bought clothes just under a year ago: one pair of jeans, five tank tops, some underwear, and came out under $50. I bought a frivolous T-shirt offline for $9 two months ago. I think the time I bought clothes before that was nearly a year previous. I don't need any new clothes now. I get many hand-me-downs in great condition, so as long as my underwear and jeans hold up, I do great. I'm also a professional, but only have to look great about 8 hours a week face-time with clients. That's, oh, four outfits a week? Jeans and fatigues with T-shirts the rest of the time.
2) I have three pairs of shoes: keen sandals for 3 seasons, boots for wet and winter and construction (DIY around the house), and tennis shoes which I loathe. I vaugely remember having a pair of flats, though my sandals function for all occasions.
3) I have a family of 4 and my husband cooks every night. We shop warehouse, have 2 fridges and 3 freezers, and buy fresh milk and veggies weekly. We also do FoodShareAmerica, so we spend about 500 every three months on food--167 a month. If we do eat out, we stay under $30 for 4 people.
4) I can't finish one drink let alone drink to passing out, and having dry-clean clothes? No way--I do ALL my own laundry. Dry-clean-only come as gifts and get donated or handed down. They do NOT live in my house. Sleep in my clothes? Saves on laundry expenses as I don't have to wash my jammies.
5) I haven't worn makeup since I moved out of my parent's house for college.
6) Beauty treatments--um, none. Four disposable razors a year, maybe. Jeans--all year.
7) Hair: I pay $10 to donate 10+ inches of hair every two-and-a-half years.
8) Hulu, $9/mo Netflix, Joost, and borrowing DVD/VHS from family. We canceled all TV more than 3 years ago. Never even got those fancy boxes for broadcast TV.
9) Gym, no. I pay to be instructed in Martial Arts. 1000 for an eight-day training with the Master once a year and I write and maintain a website in trade for instruction in between his visits.
10) Gas: My guilty sin. All 4 or my cars have carburetors, all get between 10 and 20 mpg. And I drive around--a lot. I love my cars. It's my recreation as well as my transportation. On the flip side, I can fix them all myself.

Besides 9) and 10) I probably lose the most money on:
8) Insulation/heat/cooling. My house is old and I don't have the investment for windows and doors, or the basement repair.
7) Water. The kids tend to need a lot of it.
6) Text messaging--I have friends who ONLY text, never call. Saves them money, me, not so much. I have switched over to having them text my email, though.
5) Lessons for the kids they won't practice for.
4) National Geographic Subscription. I know people donate their old yellows and I could pick a year's worth up for $5 at the Salvation Army.
3) Ink Jet printing. If I could invest in a Laser printer I could save a fortune for all the printing I do.
2) Recycling. I could haul my own recycling to the collection center, but instead, I pay $30/year for curbside pickup.
1) Electricity: we run a lot of electricty-sucking electronics, a space heater at night, refrigeration (the kids feeding themselves = lots of open-door time)...

That looks like a list of goals, now.

This covers all the bases = saves you money, helps the environment, helps your health, makes you feel better, it's so easy to do and it costs less than $50.00; Save money and the Earth and be clean at the same time! Add Bathroom Bidet Sprayers to all your bathrooms. I think Dr. Oz on Oprah said it best: "if you had pee or poop on your hand, you wouldn't wipe it off with paper, would you? You'd wash it off”. With these you won't even need toilet paper any more, just a towel to dry off! Don’t worry, you can still leave some out for guests and can even make it the soft stuff without feeling guilty. It's cheap and can be installed without a plumber; and runs off the same water line to your toilet. You'll probably pay for it in a few months of toilet paper savings. As for water use a drought is always a concern and must be dealt with prudently but remember the water use of industrial users far exceeds the water use of household users and in the case of toilet paper manufacture it is huge. The pollution and significant power use from that manufacturing process also contributes to global warming so switching to a hand bidet sprayer and lowering your toilet paper use is very green in multiple ways.

Odd indeed

Food is the only thing on the list that gets me. Cooking at home might be cheaper, but sometimes, I just like eating out. Nothing expensive of course, but still....

Two things on my list:

Eating out - It is just good to get out and it is our entertainment.

Home theater - Every few years, I like to upgrade the equipment. I bargain shop for things on closeout after model changes. I just love going down in my theater and turning on a good movie. It takes away the stress of the day.

LOL... I guess I don't fit this person's view of women. Very few women I know fit that article either.

Here's my breakdown:

Clothing: I buy very little clothing, and often buy on eBay or thrift stores. I spend around $100 a year on clothing, average.

Shoes: I buy one pair of shoes each year on average. Sometimes, I go 2 years without replacing my shoes. I like Big 5 for tennis, because you can get them really cheap when they're own sale there.

Food: Usually pretty frugal. I may eat out occasionally, but most meals are eaten at home, and consist of cheap foods like pasta or beans.

Alcohol: I don't buy it, and I almost never drink it. On the one or two occasions a year I do drink, someone else usually buys. Thinking back on my life, in all my decades of life, I've probably spent less than $200 on booze...IN MY ENTIRE LIFE (and I'm middle-aged).

Make-up: HA! I think I've spent $10 on makeup in the last 3 years. I just hardly ever wear the stuff. One pack of eyeshadow, one blush, one lipstick, and one base will last me for 3 to 4 years.

Beauty treatments: Zero dollars spent. I can cut my own nails, and shave my own legs, thankyouverymuch.

Hair: I get my hair cut about once every 4 to 5 months, and it costs me $15.00 (that's WITH tip).

Cable TV: Let's see, I don't even own a TV. So yeah, I don't have cable.

The Gym: No membership. I can walk for free.

Gas: I don't own a car now. When I did, I drove to work and back, and that was it.

Hey guys, I'm a cheap date, LOL. :P

Gee.... I guess I'm just a cheap dude. I cut my own hair I spend little on clothes. I do try to buy quality food...for health reasons. (think good bread not expensive steaks). As for the alcohol. I have fun with friends on some weekends. Not in the way discribed here though. I might get a little buzz, but not out of my mind ,not out of control, and not sick the next morning. For gas....I drive my truck where I need to go. Not out cruising for fun...that was all done in the teen years. Interesting list. But, not really accurate for most of the people, and really not for the people that post on this site I would think.

@ Jeff9
No man...I'm always going to splurge, and have toilet paper. It's cheap and I'm not that worried about saving the planet.

My spending is zero on items 4-6 and 8-10 and minimal on the others except for 3 (food). Even my food spending is well below average. I selectively shop multiple food markets weekly to cherrypick the loss leaders and specials. Last week I stocked up on (about two weeks' of) large navel oranges at 3 pounds for a dollar - not gonna see that price for quite a while.

It took some time, but after sticking with the Zone Diet, I rarely have food cravings and thereby avoid impulse spending on food. And I'm not a fanatic adherent, I view the diet as a desirable target which I often hit and from which I rarely stray far - I usually come close to the target if not spot on, and that's good enough for me.

HAHAHA on your response to Jeff9's out-of-nowhere post. Thanks for the laugh.

It is only right that someone named billyjobob should not care about splurging on toilet paper, about the planet or anything really except maybe his mullet styling.

You posted a comment about a bidet in an article with NO MENTION OF A BIDET or TOILET PAPER. billyjobob was making a sarcastic response. Chill.

1. Clothes: I've spent maybe $150 in the last year on clothing. I should probably go spend a little more to refresh my closet. I detest clothes shopping because of a unique body type, so my close tend to be high quality for a little higher price.
2. Shoes: I'm not much of a shoe girl, but I do need to replace my flats for work in the near future...they are ready to fall apart.
3. Food: My budget is $60/week, roughly. I make most of our food from scratch and have very little processed food in my cupboards. Makes mealtime a little more time consuming but I feel better about the food we are eating. Fad dieting is a terrible concept, all you need is a healthy diet for the rest of your life.
4. Alcohol: Yes we drink. Yes we buy expensive alcohol. But, the cheaper stuff gives us hangovers and does not taste nearly as good. We do not go to bars and we do not get blackout drunk.
5. Makeup: I will replace my mascara when it gets clumpy and smelly, but other than the occasional mascara I do not wear any makeup. It makes me break out and is a waste of money.
6. Beauty Treatments: These are treats. And they are usually a gift from someone else.
7. Hair: I keep up with a haircut every 7 weeks since my hair grows fast and gets a mind of its own. I do have a more expensive stylist but he is someone I know and don't mind supporting.
8. Cable: We don't watch any live TV, unless it is the occasional sporting event. We watch some Hulu, some movies(redbox), and some boxed series, received as gifts.
9. Gym: Nope, sorry.
10. Gas: We are holding steady at $315/month. We have old cars with pretty good mileage, and don't see anyway to cut this cost.

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