Hey! Lurker here. I want to do a serious money diet this March. Paleo for bucks. $outh Beach. Whatever. Who wants to join me? Who has good short term saving tips? The short of it is I want to be really savey and recalibrate what "normal spending" is, and I think that's easier with a short time frame. Like Drynuary but for money. Longer: I'm pretty good with money and have a lot going into savings / retirement before I even see it (and no debt), but the past few months have been pretty spendy and I've felt like my average spending has been creeping up too. I basically want to take a month or two of being more aggressively savey to recalibrate what I view as normal spending. My system is set up such that basically everything is auto-saved such that I should live off of what comes into my checking account and not have much left over. But I've been getting down to the edge or pulling out of savings too much recently. I believe in and am fortunate to be in a place where little luxuries are good occasional treats, but I think I'm blowing more without thinking/appreciating than I'd like. So for March: -no taxis (excepting emergencies) -no purchased morning coffees - make tea instead (weekend coffees with a book or friend allowed) -no clothes or home shopping -budget of $35/week for work lunches. if I wanna blow $13 on food trucks I had better be bringing cheap leftovers the rest of the week -careful manipulation of group outings to avoid $40 mediocre meals Don't really spend money on delivery or much on booze. Your tips?
ah what no this is not being a good friend "Other times, I remember how I thoughtlessly got in his passenger seat while he drunkenly drove around the city one night. He’d just had a very ugly fight with his girlfriend and was trying to “cool off.” I’d preferred he’d die with an equally wasted friend than perhaps died alone. Anyway, at 70 m.p.h. downtown D.C. is surprisingly beautiful." I mean I'm all for people living their own lives and given the positive comments I won't deny this resonates with people and that's great but that kind of living with no regard to others' well-being certainly fits disease-model alcoholic and deserves shaming, even when the person doesn't.
But you guyyyzzzz copyright law in the US--while being terrible and whack in general--does not allow for "moral rights," thankfully. You don't get to dictate how permutations of your creation will be used forevermore because that would be terrible. Sure it's nice when it's something anti-corporate like "don't use in commercials" but remixes and parodies and other derivative works could also be full-stop prevented. So while it may have been a bit of a jerk move on Goldieblox's part (I personally don't think so given how terribly offensive the original song was, and yes I know the Beastie Boys matured and distanced themselves from it which to me makes reclaiming it good and not jerky but I get disagreements)... anyway, while you may think it was a jerk move we can't evaluate on that any more than we do on Goldieblox's mission. It's a question of fair use. I think there is a legitimate argument to be had but this lawyer is, um, not right about things like morality and needing it to count as a 'new piece of art.' For the opposite side, with an actual point by point evaluation of fair use arguments, here's EFF's perspective. I don't fall as fully on the "it's obviously fair use!" side as they do, but it evinces much fuller understanding of copyright law.
@polka dots vs stripes Hi, I live in the Bay Area and don't make millions of dollars! I work for a non-profit, bike 10 minutes to work, and save ~1/3 of my salary. But I have it very good: no debt from undergrad, worked all through high school and college and so had a cushion of savings, found a rent-controlled place <$900/mo (though I share with 4 other people). One thing is that, at least for a lot of recent grads, the Bay Area was one of the best bets to find work. The job market was especially terrible for people without good work experience (summers don't really cut it), and the Bay Area over the past 4ish years had more systems in place for hiring "smart and inexperienced" than other places in the country. Then once you get a job your life and work is there. For me, I moved to SF sans job and apartment because I loved the city. It's not really the restaurants or nightlife - it's that so many things bring me such joy. From the radical acceptance of alternate lifestyles to the sudden views of the bay when you turn a corner to the cozy fog rolling in to the detailed architecture - San Francisco strikes my heart consistently in a way no other place has. I'm sure there are other places and I don't feel entitled to live here and I'm sure I'll look elsewhere eventually. But it was worth it for me to give it a shot because I'd trade a lot for daily doses of psychic boosts. ETA: All personal, obviously! And I don't have the same priorities as some of these people and I know it's easy to romanticize a city. But I know a lot of people who feel the same way about SF--joyful--and think that can get lost in griping sometimes. Like complaining about your partner's bad habits but it's inconceivable to imagine being anywhere else. Not a good enough reason to stay with someone/a city, necessarily, but just putting out the attitude that I think for many people it's more than just stubborn "this is the hip place."
@Anonymous1330 Yes, I definitely don't blame the rent problems on Air BnB, though it does contribute. Just given the situation, I was uncomfortable with using an apartment like that. More of an ethics-y thing than a practical thing. But I'm glad to hear it's not just a moneymaker, and I do understand not wanting to give up a lease once you have it if you want to live in the city again. ETA: And glad to hear that you're paying the TOT!
@frumious bandersnatch I do want to make clear I love Air BnB as a concept! I think it's wonderful and way better to stay in apartments than hotels. But I don't want it to be falsely low-priced because landlords/tenant-landlords are switching long-term rentals into AirBnBs and not paying city taxes/complying with the law. And yeah aside from the legality I think the ethics of some of the renters are suspect.
@Fear Biter Yeah I care less about the violation of the tenancy laws, because if his landlord and neighbors know, eh. But yes somewhere along the line, AirBnBers should be paying the transient occupancy tax, which amounts to something like $1.8 million a year that SF probably isn't getting. And yeah, having friends unable to find places to live in this city because of low occupancy rates, I also find this dickish. Renting it out while you still live there? Great. Brilliant! Maintaining a lease just to make a profit on it when you don't use it at all? Pretty dick. Even though you seem like a nice guy.
@nudenixon Ha I guessed it would be the Bay Area! So, given your name is on the lease and his isn't, I think it's a well-known sucky but reasonable thing that people have to deal with, having to leave a sublet when the primary tenant wants a partner to move in. I know of many on both sides of this and it's always viewed as a bummer but not an evil thing. ALSO, and importantly, generally the way rent control works in SF at least has to do with the tenants on the lease. It can be raised to catch up with the market when the last original lease-holder moves out. So, you moving out would probably force him to renegotiate rent prices and they'd probably go up anyways. (I know people whose rent almost doubled when the last original tenant moved out.) I think you should talk about what will make it suck less for him and work together to make it as easy as possible, but yeah you can ask him to move. ETA: You can give him a fair move-out date (whatever works with boyfriend), but if he's having trouble offer to let him stay another month or two with all three of you.
@kbn22 You can also do this on Craigslist with the wonders of RSS! Get the search you want, then scroll down the the bottom and click on RSS on the right. Copy and paste that URL and add it as a new feed to your reader. I use Google Reader and it works great; can't verify for others. (If you have a gmail account you have a google reader. You just click subscribe and paste in the URL and voila. You can then organize with folders, etc.) I have CL alerts set for a few things as well as "free stuff in [my neighborhood]." You do need to check your Reader (unless there's some way for it to alert you when something new shows up, but I hate getting more email so I like just browsing every day). Easy and up-to-date.