I have absolutely no expense guilt whatsoever. I don't travel as much as I used to, but even so, my attitude has always been that I am giving up my free time, seeing my loved ones, sleeping in my own bed, etc. etc. for the better part of a week, so the least the company can do is buy me a nice meal at a good restaurant every night and put me up in a decent hotel. Public transit vs. cabs I just consider a safety issue - if I don't know a city I don't feel comfortable navigating its subway or bus system, plus I have back issues so I try to avoid carrying luggage any distance longer than a few blocks. One of the more interesting pieces of advice given to me when I was first starting out was that, on a first business trip with a new company or in a new position, one should go a little over the top with one's expenses because that sets the tone for the future. I haven't necessarily followed that advice, but I do think it's good to set the bar on the higher side. I did, however, accidentally get a reputation for being totally over the top at my current job: a group of us were in Europe for a trade show and on the last night, two of us decided to go to a three Michelin-starred restaurant on our own dime. Right around the time our desserts came, our boss saw us sitting on the patio as he passed and actually crashed our dinner with a couple of additional coworkers, ordered some more wine for everyone, and then despite our protests paid most of bill, which ran into the multiple thousands of dollars. He will never let us live that one down.
This was what led me to move out of my last apartment. My roommate's boyfriend moved in with us, unbeknownst to me (I assumed he was just staying till he found a place of his own). The problem with him was not that he used my products, since in that household I was definitely the one with the girliest products, but that he was unemployed, completely lacking in ambition, and would sit at home in front of the television all day watching basketball. It didn't matter what team, just any basketball that happened to be on. So unless I happened upon the empty living room during one of his rare trips out of the house, there was virtually no chance of me ever getting any access to the television. Oh, and for every 12-pack of beer I bought, he helped himself to at least two. I know my roommate rationalized it by telling herself that my boyfriend usually slept over too, so things were even, but my boyfriend would be there from 8:30 PM till 7 AM max, never showered there, never did laundry, etc.
This is extremely relevant to my interests. Before I was even engaged, I made the mistake of falling in love with one specific, very unique dress that turned out to retail for $5,200(!). In the months since the proposal, I've been monitoring pre-owned wedding dress sites in an effort to buy it resale, but because I am a giantess, I'm limited to dresses that have never had the hem taken up, so it hasn't really been working out. This very morning I decided that I am just going to go to David's Bridal and buy a Vera Wang White gown, which would be $1500 at the absolute most...even if I could buy a sample of the other one, it would be absolutely insane to spend 20% of my budget on a dress.
I would pay off my student loans and car loan. I'd still be about $700 short, but close enough!
One plus of SF is, if you are willing to live with roommates, you can typically find a room in a house that has been rented by the same master tenant for several years and thus effectively pay whatever the market rate was that many years ago. Rent control allows rents to be raised only a very small amount each year, so finding something in the $750-1000 range is possible (though HIGHLY competitive, think 100+ people showing up for open houses, etc.), However, if you are looking to rent a new place cheap, I wouldn't even bother with the Fillmore (getting trendy) or the TL (many parts are not safe). I'd look at the Sunset, the Richmond, or maybe the way outer Mission if you don't like being enveloped in fog 80% of the time.
This is really interesting to me. I have a degree in journalism like many of the writers and commenters on this site, but I got a corporate marketing job pretty much straight out of college and have never even for a second considered freelance writing in the seven years since. To me, the financial security is so much more important than any semblance of control I might get from being my own boss. The only situation in which I would be open to freelancing would be after having kids, and assuming my husband's income would give us a solid safety net. But till then, I'd rather work for someone else, make a quite a bit more money than I'd be likely to make on my own, enjoy my awesome corporate benefits (preferably until after I have had any children I plan to have because $$$$ hospital bills!), and consider that possibility once I actually have some offspring who might benefit from me having a more flexible schedule. Incidentally, this is why I have a really hard time relating to the New York writer community-focused content on this site and would love to see more from people who have made more diverse career choices. I know some people manage to do super well for themselves freelancing but I would just be so stressed out all the time, trying to hustle for the next job.
@deepomega I actually disagree...at present my entire supply of cookware consists of a cast-iron skillet, an enameled saucepan, and a stockpot, all three of which are Le Creuset, and they are a million times better than the shitty pots and pans I had before I moved cross country. Worth every penny, especially if you get them on sales from the outlet or cutleryandmore.com.
I have a standing desk and I love it. Some days I stand all day, and when I do sit, it's never for more than an hour. An anti-fatigue mat is key though...it takes all the pressure off your joints so it's not nearly as tiring.
@selenana In many places I am sure that would be the case, but I think it's mostly about preserving the character of the neighborhood. One good thing about San Francisco is that so many people are so dedicated to exclusively patronizing small businesses that chains don't tend to push local places out here.
@aeroaeroaero That's exactly where I'm talking about. I'm not bummed about Chipotle per se...I would never go there with the abundance of taquerias right there and Little Chihuahua half a mile a way. But that space has been beleaguered anyway, and I just don't see what could successfully fill it but some type of formula retail. Like, it's just sitting empty for years on end...wouldn't it be better to get someone in there and, I don't know, create jobs?