Melissa Chandler’s essay for the Bold Italic, “My Dad’s a Cabbie But Sometimes I Use Lyft” is both lovely and has lots of great cabbie stories (win-win).
Gary Leff writes for an addiction and recovery site called the Fix about his obsession with earning free airline miles.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the Guardian interviewed a dozen or so young people about the financial strain of dating, and how personal finances affect their relationships. Yes, please:
Winter biking in Minneapolis isn’t for the timid. It’s cold, the roads are both slippery and narrower than usual, and cars aren’t exactly friendly. But Minnesotans are nothing if not hardy, and proud of it. I’ve been biking to work this winter, and here’s what it has cost me:
Winter Tires: $65 each, $130 total. I decided to go with the Continental Winter II tires, because they’re nearly as grippy as studs, fit on the wheels I have, and they were in stock and relatively cheap.
Various bike service odds and ends: $59. I got the winter tires after riding in to work on my normal tires—on 4 inches of snow. When I took my bike in during lunch they also adjusted my brakes, fixed my fender, and replaced an inner tube.
Joyce Wadler, my new hero, shares via the NYT the kind of calculus she does when deciding whether to pop a $35 pill that will help her get to knockin’ boots:
The older woman’s cost of love: $880 a year. I am not the sort of person who would ever put a dollar value on intimacy, but $880 is a winter coat. Two nights in a Paris hotel. Dinner for two at the most expensive restaurant in New York, although that gave my companion such heartburn he couldn’t lie down until three in the morning and would have negated any love drug benefits, were we able to afford both and had that sort of relationship.
Happily, I am not one of those women who has to decide between cat food and hormones.
Also, after crunching the numbers, I realized things were not as bad as I had thought. Dividing the annual cost of product ($880) by estimated number of encounters (conservatively, twice a week or 104), I saw it would be only $8.46 per event. And if the guy surprises you with a trip to the Caribbean in February you could probably get it down to $7.
All I can think is 1. that’s a really nice coat, and 2. that we should all be so lucky to have sex (“conservatively”!!) twice a week when we are over 60 / me right now. Oh and 3. I want to be Joyce Wadler’s best friend.
Photo: See-ming Lee
As verified by NBCNews, gas prices really did rise this week, for the first time in two months:
Regular-grade gasoline prices, which had decreased about 37 cents between early September and Nov. 8 to an average of $3.22, inched up 3.4 cents to $3.25 a gallon as of Nov. 22.
The highest price for gasoline in the survey of major cities in the 48 continental states was in San Diego at $3.58 a gallon. Drivers in Tulsa, Okla., paid the least to fill up at $2.93 a gallon.
Commentary today is provided by my father, who posted this on his Facebook profile 7 hours ago, presumably while he browsed the web with his morning coffee:
Gas prices jump 35 to 40 cents a gallon just in time for Thanksgiving week when the people are on the road to visit family and friends. Thank you Oil Cartels. Enjoy being robbed by polite men in suits and ties this week.
Thanks, Dad! Will do.
Spirit Airlines is famously terrible — they serve no in-flight snacks or beverages, seats don’t recline, and it costs $50 to CARRY ON a bag — but according to Derek Thompson at the Atlantic, their business is still doing really, really well. Between 2008 and 2012, Spirit Air “saw fuel costs rise by nearly 60 percent, increased salaries by about half, flew more miles at higher costs, and, despite all that, still managed to reduce its average ticket price by 20 percent,” earning 40% more per airplane than their competitors.
I love a good transportation woe, and I love Emily Carter Roiphe’s essay about getting around in her hometown of New York versus the city of Minneapolis, where she went for rehab and then stayed for years
Some financial facts, gleaned by the infograph-ers from various reliable sources, are here presented in plain text:
- Mastercard gave $6.5M, and Citibank gave $41M, for a total of $47.5M in sponsorship.
- As of September 15, 2013, CitiBike has made $8,532,147 in revenue.
- The docks cost $13.7M, the kiosks $13.5M, the bikes themselves were $11.2 M, the “cables and toolkits, etc.” were $1.5M, and the cards alone were $250,000 (you guys gotta work on those card margins, ok?).
Texting while driving is the leading cause of death among teenagers, which is why 46 states have banned texting while driving and have imposed penalties on drivers who break the law. In California, the maximum penalty for a first-time offender is $20, which may not be so much of a deterrent for drivers there. In Alaska, the penalty is $10,000 plus a year in prison, which, wow, yes—sounds like a major incentive not to text and drive. Mother Jones has a state-by-state list of fines for texting and driving here.