@KingCash Also, the EIA's data browser lets you dig into average retail electricity prices throughout the country since 2001. It's pretty fascinating (and fun to play with!): http://www.eia.gov/electricity/data/browser/#/topic/7?agg=1,0&geo=g&endsec=8&freq=M&start=200101&end=201303&ctype=linechart
Oh man, this is actually relevant to my work life! (I report on electricity markets.) The Energy Information Administration has a lot of really interesting info about energy costs, such as today's featured story: http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=11731 I, ironically enough, pay $0 for electricity because all utilities (except internet) are included in my rent.
Friday: Went to Truckeroo with my boyfriend. He covered most of our beer, empanadas and a great sandwich from El Floridano, I covered one beer and a marvelous invention known as a cheesecake dipper ($11). Saturday: We got breakfast at Spring Mill Bread Co (my boyfriend covered it) and then went shopping for a new bike for my boyfriend. He got a great Jamis hybrid and I got to play with a really nice Surly bike and successfully resisted buying it. Got a slice of pizza for lunch from We The Pizza ($4), hung out with some cats at the Washington Humane Society’s “kitty city” and got water bottles and beer at Union Market ($16). Biked home and had a quiet night in. Sunday: Got a bagel and bottle of water for breakfast ($5) then went on a free group bike ride. Afterwards I decided to reward myself for getting a raise by finally springing for an awesome waterproof Ortlieb pannier ($160 -- probably more than I’ve ever spent on a bag of any kind). I bought a couple books at Barnes & Noble for my boyfriend, whose birthday is today ($46), and got lunch at District Taco ($10). I swung back around to BicycleSpace to pick up a nice saddlebag as a final birthday present for my boyfriend ($32). Biked back home and then went to Sephora for replacement foundation, blush and a new blush brush ($99). Did some grocery shopping ($27) and did laundry, which required adding some money to my laundry card ($20). Total = $430. Yikes. And I was doing so well until Sunday!
On Open Thread
@stuffisthings Oh noooo! I knew I should've been reading those posts about the importance of reading the fine print more closely...
On Open Thread
Had an awesome week! I got offered a new job, but my current company made a really solid counteroffer so I accepted that. I'm getting a 15% raise and moving to a new position that will be all the stuff I like in my current position (in-depth reporting and feature writing) with none of the stuff I dislike (number crunching). This was my first real job negotiation experience (my current job is the first one I got out of college) and I feel like it went pretty damn well. I also feel like reading the Billfold has made me think more critically about my financial and career priorities, which helped a lot in deciding which offer to take. So I guess I wanted to say thanks!
I pay... $0. I'm still on the AT&T plan my family got around the time I started high school, which is grandfathered in at a really low rate and lets me and my flip phone do as much voice and texting as I need to. My parents tell me that the cost of my personal line is basically de minimus and I shouldn't bother sending them a check for it every month (although that may just be them being generous). I've thought about getting a smartphone, but I can get pretty much everything I need from my phone, my iPod and relying on friends with iPhones when needed, so I haven't really felt able to justify the added cost yet...
Friday: Nada - stayed in and studied for the LSAT. Saturday: Spent $13 on breakfast for me and my boyfriend at Spring Mill Bread Co. and then had a ton of fun at Tour de Fat. I covered our $10 “suggested donation” for participating in the bike parade and kicked in an extra $5. Spent $2 on water bottles and $20 on our four beer tokens. Met up with friends there and went for a double date for lunch at Matchbox, but my boyfriend covered our share. Went to a friend’s birthday party BBQ for dinner, boyfriend bought beer for us to bring over. Sunday: Spent $11 on some groceries at Safeway, took advantage of the Dupont-Kalorama Museum Walk Weekend to get into a bunch of places I’d been meaning to visit (Dumbarton House, the Phillips Collection, the Woodrow Wilson House plus the Textiles Museum and the Anderson House) for free. After that I spent $5 on an ice cream cone, $1 on a bottle of water and $15 on a shirt that was on sale at Ann Taylor Loft. Spent another $31 on groceries at Whole Foods, but that includes a new bottle of my sorta fancy hair conditioner. Total: $113. Not bad!
This is such a fascinating thread! I live in DC and before the start of this year my monthly transportation costs were usually between $150 and $180 or so, spending most of that (usually $100 to $140) on Metro and the rest on cab rides because I was drunk, out late and/or lazy. But at the beginning of the year I bought a bike (for $420) and once I made the initial purchases to make it commute-ready (I’m estimating about $350 or so for stuff like locks, lights, a pump, panniers, etc) I’ve had to spend very little on necessary maintenance (probably about $10/month for stuff like replacement brake pads and chain lube). I’ve also been biking a lot for fun, though, and buying some extra stuff that’s not strictly necessary (like a bike computer and cuter helmet) but I wouldn’t really count that toward pure transportation expenses. I still take the metro and buses occasionally, so I add $20 to my SmartTrip once every 6 weeks or so. I also sometimes take cabs, but the frequency of that has gone way down (because you can’t really fit a bike in a cab if you’re out and feeling lazy). My boyfriend does own a car, though, and so I can use that when I need to, which is really nice.
With an uptick in my rent this month, I'm going to be spending about 35% of my take-home pay or about 24% of my pre-tax income. I live in DC and I decided that I really wanted my own place. I live in a pretty small studio in a suburban part of the city, though, and biking keeps my transportation costs really low. I still feel like I'm able to spend and save about as much as I want, although I will note that I'm lucky enough not to have student loans or debt to worry about.
@eagerber It was really good, the costumes by Picasso and de Chirico were amazing! And I'm now totally fascinated by the Vaslav Nijinsky love triangle.