Per Diem Q

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Anonymous User
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Per Diem Q

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:44 am

On second of 3 callback trips. First host firm had defined meal expense guidelines of 15-25 for breakfast, 15-25 for lunch, 40-50 for dinner. Second host firm (in different but no less expensive city) says "reasonable meal expenses." What the hell is reasonable? Can I use the first firm's guidelines as a touchstone for what constitutes "reasonable" or should I aim to be more conservative? Will I be fine with like $35 for a dinner?

Geist13
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Re: Per Diem Q

Postby Geist13 » Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:56 am

I don't care what city you're in, there's no way that 100 dollars is "reasonable" for a day of eating. Jesus. If they say reasonable, don't spend more than 7 on breakfast (panera bread costs the same in every city), 10 on lunch (so does subway, or panera bread again) and 20 on dinner. Gasp, you could even get a damn good dinner for under 10 dollars.

kaiser
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Re: Per Diem Q

Postby kaiser » Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:59 am

Agreed. Why would you need to spend 35 for dinner? Just grab a sandwich and spend 10 bucks. You ged fed for free, plus it is most certainly a reasonable meal expense. Just because they allow you to spend up until a certain point doesn't mean you have to spend that amount.
Last edited by kaiser on Sun Aug 28, 2011 1:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: Per Diem Q

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:59 am

if 2nd city is la, the legal recruiting coalition from the big firms there defines this relatively similarly to the above, but with dinner capped at, iirc, $30.

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IAFG
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Re: Per Diem Q

Postby IAFG » Sun Aug 28, 2011 1:03 am

Geist13 wrote:I don't care what city you're in, there's no way that 100 dollars is "reasonable" for a day of eating. Jesus. If they say reasonable, don't spend more than 7 on breakfast (panera bread costs the same in every city), 10 on lunch (so does subway, or panera bread again) and 20 on dinner. Gasp, you could even get a damn good dinner for under 10 dollars.

:?

There's no reason to live like a poor student on CBs. Firms are not going to be impressed by your frugality.

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rayiner
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Re: Per Diem Q

Postby rayiner » Sun Aug 28, 2011 1:06 am

IAFG wrote:
Geist13 wrote:I don't care what city you're in, there's no way that 100 dollars is "reasonable" for a day of eating. Jesus. If they say reasonable, don't spend more than 7 on breakfast (panera bread costs the same in every city), 10 on lunch (so does subway, or panera bread again) and 20 on dinner. Gasp, you could even get a damn good dinner for under 10 dollars.

:?

There's no reason to live like a poor student on CBs. Firms are not going to be impressed by your frugality.


+1.

Unless you charge $100 for dinner, literally no-one will notice what you spent. Some administrative assistant in the recruiting department will punch the numbers into the system and will forget it literally as soon as she's typed it in.

Geist13
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Re: Per Diem Q

Postby Geist13 » Sun Aug 28, 2011 1:13 am

IAFG wrote: :?

There's no reason to live like a poor student on CBs. Firms are not going to be impressed by your frugality.


I can't imagine a world where 40 bucks for a day of food "living like a poor student." You're right, they won't be impressed; they won't be annoyed either. Go ahead spend 80 bucks on food. Maybe they won't care, maybe they will. Are cafe sandwiches and coffee so unpalatable to be worth the risk (no matter how slight)?

kahechsof
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Re: Per Diem Q

Postby kahechsof » Sun Aug 28, 2011 1:16 am

You can always wait to submit it until you hear back. Can't you?

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IAFG
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Re: Per Diem Q

Postby IAFG » Sun Aug 28, 2011 1:30 am

Geist13 wrote:
IAFG wrote: :?

There's no reason to live like a poor student on CBs. Firms are not going to be impressed by your frugality.


I can't imagine a world where 40 bucks for a day of food "living like a poor student." You're right, they won't be impressed; they won't be annoyed either. Go ahead spend 80 bucks on food. Maybe they won't care, maybe they will. Are cafe sandwiches and coffee so unpalatable to be worth the risk (no matter how slight)?

Assuming we are talking about a big firm, there is no risk at all. No one with decision-making power fusses with receipts and reimbursements for even a moment.

Anonymous User
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Re: Per Diem Q

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 28, 2011 1:36 am

The average cost of a meal at your hotel's restaurant will be 'reasoanble'.

Sup Kid
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Re: Per Diem Q

Postby Sup Kid » Sun Aug 28, 2011 2:35 am

IAFG wrote:Assuming we are talking about a big firm, there is no risk at all. No one with decision-making power fusses with receipts and reimbursements for even a moment.

This. Also, think about it from the firm's viewpoint -- most allow unlimited summer lunches for SAs, with an average per person limit of $40-50. They absolutely will not think twice if you spend $35 on dinner. The fact that you could eat for significantly cheaper doesn't mean that you have to, since the firm will not care.

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YourCaptain
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Re: Per Diem Q

Postby YourCaptain » Sun Aug 28, 2011 8:12 am

The guidelines are there to make sure that you don't mortgage the firm's reception furnishings trying to pay for a meal and hotel.

On a CB, I think I just always get a bagel and coffee, a sandwich for lunch, and then a dinner. Unless you normally shell out $50 for dinner, just eat the way you normally would and little chance of breaking that $100 ceiling.

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paratactical
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Re: Per Diem Q

Postby paratactical » Sun Aug 28, 2011 9:07 am

Anonymous User wrote:On second of 3 callback trips. First host firm had defined meal expense guidelines of 15-25 for breakfast, 15-25 for lunch, 40-50 for dinner. Second host firm (in different but no less expensive city) says "reasonable meal expenses." What the hell is reasonable? Can I use the first firm's guidelines as a touchstone for what constitutes "reasonable" or should I aim to be more conservative? Will I be fine with like $35 for a dinner?

FWIW, these are about the rates that the Boston firm I worked for used for meal reimbursement and is substantially lower than what the NYC firm I worked for used. I think it's a pretty fair guideline as long as you're in a city and would doubt that anyone would give you issues if you stuck with that.




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