The Third Weekend of March in $$$

Me again because I’m half a day ahead of everybody!

Let’s start with ESTIMATIONS today -

Friday (already over) - I had breakfast out bc I failed to cook enough eggs for the week as usual, HK$ 34 - US$ 4.30. Went out for drinks with coworkers bc we have a new boss and have to socialise, had just water tho. I forgot to pay and will give my coworker like HK$ 50 - US$ 6.30 on Monday.

Saturday - I’m going to be at my grad school interview, then I have an hour or so before the info session. May grab a snack - let’s say HK$ 40 - US$ 5. Afterwards, I’ll come home, teach 3 classes, MAYBE a handyman will come and fix our broken toilet seat. HK$ 300/ US$ 38 for my half. Afterwards, maybe groceries if I feel up for it. Have to stay under HK$ 250/ US$ 32 for my half.

Sunday - I’m teaching a couple of classes and will mope around the house for the rest of the day.

TOTAL ESTIMATE: HK$ 634/ US$ 81 if the toilet seat man comes


I put £10 on my work pass for lunch etc, only to realise I’d left it at home and then had to put lunch on my card - around £6. Let’s hope the rest of the weekend goes better than that!

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Please don’t make me figure out how much money I spent yesterday… Uggggh Florida get better public transit!


At some point this weekend, I’ll buy groceries for myself and fiancée. Since we had to get a lot last weekend, hopefully this weekend will be under 75.

We’re going to the first home MLS game for FC Cincinnati. Fiancée has season tickets, but I bought a last minute general admission ticket for 45 plus fees (so actually like 57) yesterday. We’ll be meeting up with people for food and drink beforehand. Maybe 50-60 for the two of us? I’m hoping to not spend much else this weekend, but fiancée will be gone until right before the game on Sunday, so I might indulge in a little shopping…

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Friday: Bought some groceries in the morning for breakfast/snacks ($4.98). Getting free lunch at Bestie’s workplace. Will spend a little bit more on groceries later today (broccoli, farro, maybe $5 overall?) to make dinner with Bestie.

Saturday: Possibly buy a new pair of gardening gloves if I can’t find my old ones that we may have tossed because they were half-ruined (ack) ($10 or so). Volunteer with local land trust 10-3 to remove invasive species from coastal land. Go (likely late) to D&D. Hopefully spend no money this day, but $10 if we have a Glove Issue.

Sunday: A full grocery shop is needed for our house, and will likely happen this day. This will probably be something like $40-80 total, which means $20-40 out of my pockets. No other plans yet, so it should be a quiet time at home otherwise.

That’s an estimated total of $50–100 this weekend.

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Saturday: I don’t plan to buy anything, but we will be going to the local bookstore for drag queen storytime, and the bookstore is in a complex with all kinds of other neat shops, so who knows. I should save my money for boots and other important things, so I will estimate $0.

Sunday: We need a few groceries. Estimating $50. That’s about it.

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Weekend already broken: stocked up on fancy tea after not buying any for over a year and a half.


I managed to spend £75 yesterday, which I’m kind of annoyed about but also…most of it was necessary? I spent £10 on topping up my Skype credits only to realise that I already had £10 that had been deactivated and I could activate again, but at least it meant that I didn’t need to worry about my international conference call being cut off while I was making it. I also got the train part of the way home instead of the bus, which is £2.80 as opposed to the pre-paid bus pass so that I could go to (also pre-paid) spin class, only for the train to be delayed meaning that I wasted money and missed my class. AND wore lycra in public for no reason after changing at the office.

I spent £20.25 on food for the weekend - slightly more than I needed, but my eating patterns have been erratic lately so this was a good way of getting both nourishing food in me and getting back into a regular eating routine. I didn’t need to spend - gulp - £27.80 in Lush, but it does mean that I’ll have the good conditioner when my current bar runs out. £6.95 shampoo wasn’t necessary no matter how good it’s supposed to be for curly hair though. I had already factored in trying the new - stupidly expensive - bath bomb as part of my plans for Ostara, the vernal equinox, though, and I needed to stock up on a month’s worth of tea tree tablets for a steam session to sort my skin out.


Yesterday - $9 something for hemp hearts, Epsom salts, soy milk, something that said it was a brownie but wasn’t. I also exchanged my dearly departed aroma gem diffuser at saje for a functional one - and didn’t buy any extra magic things. $25 on my overpriced laundry card

Today $22 for second breakfast plus last minute birthday gift plus shared chocolate

Tomorrow - hopefully nothing and I sleep


Magic things are one of the easiest ways for me to spend money, so high five for that!


OH WAIT IT’S SATURDAY. I traveled on Thursday. That means I might get away with a zero spend weekend, since a fancy forum friend is hosting me. Which is helpful since I spent a lot of money Sunday through Thursday…

$10 on Friday for hot dogs and the makings of s’mores, all of which I’m delighted to report can be acquired at Dollar General. Also $20 for straw bales (from feed store, not Dollar General).

Saturday: nothing yet, but will spend around $17 to feed the two of us at the nearest Chinese place and $32 for tickets to the local(ish) community theater in the county seat with friends, plus the fuel to get there. More than we like to spend going out, but someone is trying to do something culture-related out here in feed store/Dollar General land, and we want to encourage it. For context, the population of the county seat is under 7,000.

Sunday: may buy groceries for the week if we get our act together. Husband will likely buy fuel on the way back to Grad School City tomorrow night. $40 estimate for groceries, $50 for fuel.


Friday $0

Saturday: parent and little sister in town. it was decided we should all go to the art museum. tickets were $20, and I didn’t have that to spare, so my other sister covered for me, I’ll be paying her back at some point in the future. then little sister and I went to a concert ($40 for tickets but these were purchased in advance already) $10 for both of our round trip subway tickets to the venue. such a good show the band really exceeded my expectations with their live performance. and we took plenty of super cute sister selfies to commemorate.

Sunday: probably $0. I might walk to the art museum again because a ticket gets you admission for two consecutive days.

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Tomorrow - hopefully nothing and I sleep

my kind of Sunday!

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I am 17 hours ahead of the west coast US so I am about to go to bed on Sunday night! Here’s the damage for my weekend in Tokyo. It’s so long… All is within my trip budget but normally I spend about $25 on groceries and that’s it for the weekend. 100¥ = ~$.90 USD Not including transit since that’s all pre-paid but will include it in the full trip costs.

So here goes:

Friday: 11,050¥
Had breakfast from a 7-11 in our very cute neighborhood- edamame, soyjoy crispy and some Onigiri. (515¥) Got coffee from a vending machine (120¥) and then transferred hotels to Shinjuku and properly got LOST in a massive stationary store. Spent 2399¥ on a gift, and 5,276¥ on planners, stickers, and other dangerously cute paper items. Got +512¥ back as a tax-free refund. Went and had vegan ramen for lunch in the train station, which was delicious but we got so lost trying to find the right part of the massive train station that we ended up only having 8 minutes to slurp down a massive bowl of ramen (950¥) before having to get on the train and go to the Robot Restaurant for a robot burlesque show we’d pre-booked.

I cannot accurately describe the show. Someone said “it’s like being inside a migraine”. There were robots and battles between crab and dinosaur and space princesses and a robot playing covers of the grateful dead in a pure gold room… a rendition of mamma mia from someone dressed for cher’s quinceanera from atop an animatronic dinosaur and. It was…confusing and dazzling and… I wouldn’t say I “liked” it but I’m glad I “experienced” it. Anyway, I had pre-bought my ticket but I did get a virgin mojito (600¥) and then was too physically exhausted to do anything but stumbled to a delicious dinner at Ain Soph Ripple (1,702¥) including matcha vegan tiramusu before taking a soak in my first bath in 18 months.

Saturday: 8,399¥
Woke up bright and early to spend the whole day filming a tourism vlog. Free breakfast at the hotel, then snacks from Don Quijote (an 8 floor dollar store of chaos) for 254¥ Then my tights were falling down and driving me crazy so I begrudgingly bought a pair of bicycle shorts from H+M for 1,499¥. I was much happier then. We then hit up Shibuya crossing, filmed there, then got lunch at a ramen place for 1,025¥ before walking around the beautiful nearby shrine.

Went down the iconic and super-packed Takeshita Street, where despite the crowds I got a full used gothic lolita suit for 2,800¥ and a sparkle rainbow pillow I have no idea how I’m going to haul it home for 972¥.

Went to the legitimately coolest rooftop starbucks with an amazing outdoor garden and view for the cost of a soy matcha latte 529¥. Ducked into the free art installation on the 8th floor of Louis Vuitton, where I felt supremely out of place trying to get to the exhibit and I know they could tell we didn’t below. The exhibit was cool, but then it started pouring down rain, so after a slightly damp exhibition to the park where the cosplayers were scared off by rain, we went to an adorable cat cafe (820¥) and then headed back to our hotel, where we tried to gain motivation to go back for dinner but at that point we had no fucks left to give so I had a coffee at the rooftop hotel bar (500¥) and ate snacks in our room and watched Japanese TV instead of exploring all the nightlife completely surrounding our hotel.

Today: 3,680¥
Breakfast at hotel was free but nothing was open except 24 hour karaoke and hostess bars in before 8am as Shinjuku, Tokyo was still collectively stumbling home drunk so we got coffee for 514¥. We checked out of the hotel, and spent nearly an hour trying to find a storage locker at Tokyo station. Every other person was also looking for a storage locker though, so we gave up and got back on the train, went to Akihabara and found a locker there (300¥) Walked around and had at least a dozen young women dressed as maids try to entice us to a maid cafe, but ended up so overwhelmed, I got some delicious bean paste patties from 7-11 to regain my strength (371¥).

After experiencing 10 floors each of 2 different floor-to-ceiling electronics stores, and more manga boobs than I could handle, we gave up and went to Tokyo station to experience the ramen without burning our mouth trying to finish it in 8 minutes. Spent 1,350¥ and then hopped on the Shinkansen (bullet) train down to Kyoto. on the train I bought a truly awful coffee for 370¥ and after checking into our traditional Ryokan and paying the tourist tax (everything else paid for with points) of 400¥ each, went out to try to find dinner. Failed to find anything open in our neighborhood, but walked about a mile to a “The Only Burrito Place in Kyoto”.

Expected a terrible imitation of a burrito, but it was actually quite good. Much better than any burrito I have ever had in Europe. Damage came to 1,190¥ including chips & salsa. Walked home with a burrito coma. Going to enjoy the japanese soaking tub and go to bed in on a futon. ZZZ.


Not Awesome = $117.56

$5.00 for coffee
$10.16 dinner

$3.25 coffee
$6.67 breakfast
$14.37 lunch
$11.83 candy
$4.88 second coffee
$18.00 dinner

$25.78 lunch
$17.62 dinner

Friday and Saturday were travel days, which made food hard. I’ll get a per diem reimbursement, but still. A few more contentious choices would have allowed me to bank more of the per diem. And Sunday was a flat out extravaganza of Uber Eats.

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:-0 you transferred hotels just because? I would be way too lazy to do that - it’s enough for me having to pack at the beginning and the end of a trip.

Jealous you get to enjoy the soaking tub, when I was in Japan I was with a friend who had tattoos, and I banned us from going to the baths bc I was afraid of a scene! :sweat_smile: Anyway your trip sounds fun and not toooo expensive considering it’s a holiday!

here’s me:

FRIDAY: the previously mentioned US$ 4.30 breakfast. I asked my coworker about Friday’s bill, but she said my boss paid. I’m not sure if that he means he covered the bill for all, or if the others reimbursed him, and will ask him later.

SATURDAY: I realised I forgot to print my application materials before my interview, so HK$ 42 - US$ 5,35 for that (expensive bc I wanted a color print). Had my interview and it went v well, got a coffee at McDonalds after bc I had a headache coming on, HK$ 28 - US 3,57. Then I went to the info seminar of the school I’m hoping to attend, free. In the later afternoon I came home, hit my head on the bus (free), taught a few classes. I went to the grocery store, HK$ 171 - US$ 21,78 for my half but I have go to back later in the week, plus got a mask at Innisfree, HK$ 25 - US$ 3,18. Got accosted by the door lady in my building who made me a pay a dry cleaning bill from January 5. Decided boyfriend and I will split dry cleaning evenly going forward, and it was HK$ 77 - US$ 9,81 for my half.

I also bought a few sandals and dresses at Asos, but I usually record online shopping after I’ve decided if I’m keeping anything.

SUNDAY I was at home teaching and meal prepping etc, HK$ 0.

TOTAL: HK$ 370 - US$ 47, but the toilet man didn’t come

Yea, I am covered in tattoos but we had a private bath in our hotel room - but here in Kyoto we are in a ryokan with a common bath and no one else was there so I took a short soak hoping no one would come in and see my tattoos (you really can’t miss em.)

We transfer hotels all the time! I think we are staying at 8 hotels/hostels in 2 weeks’ time. I like to see different neighborhoods and try out different types of places to stay! If I don’t pack too much it isn’t an issue.

We needed more groceries than I thought. I don’t remember how much it was exactly, but I think about $110 total.

I did, however, resist buying anything at the bookstore or any other shops!

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What sort of a scene do tattoos cause in Japan?