@BillfoldMonkey Thanks. I was fine, but it still makes me shaky to think about that intersection. They've started doing construction that blocks off the sidewalk there now, so it's even more dangerous, and I can't find a route that avoids it. Biking! Woo! I've never biked in winter, and I don't think my tiny Italian racing tires can take it. But it sounds fun, apart from slush.
Even better: my 25-minute bike ride to/from work instead of a 45-minute walk-and-train combo. I've never driven in my life so I can't compare those, but biking clears my mind and gets in exercise that I otherwise don't have time for. (Not that I've been biking since I fell in traffic a few months ago, but I wish I were.)
Oh hey, this is my life exactly. Except that gym money goes to utilities instead (because I can't find a gym that's closer than 30 minutes away from me) and I /am/ able to save 15% of my income thanks to a generous matching plan from my employer. But not for long, since that fund gets tapped out if I have surprise bills.
@Kthompson The way you stopped spending so much money and started saving sounds great, and it's something to be proud of. But you're really lucky, and $40k/year isn't actually that little money. (That's what my field pays, on average, to someone with a graduate degree in a major city, for example.) What's frustrating to me personally is that so many methods of saving money & growing what you have require enough extra money on hand that you can afford to experiment with it. I make enough that I can throw in 5% to my work-provided retirement plan, for example, which matches and supplements my contribution so that I'm putting 15% before taxes into my retirement. But because of that, I'm living mostly paycheck to paycheck while paying off student loans and occasionally buying enough low-key meals out that I don't hate my life. I don't have any extra money to put into investments or specialty funds. I know that this will get easier as I go on with my career. Hopefully my next job will pay me a little more so that if I keep the same lifestyle, I can afford to save more. But when you CAN'T cut anymore, or when you come from a background where already the generations before you can't retire, I don't think it's whining to question this system or express frustration. Especially when so many people frame these difficulties as moral failings.
@katiekate Yeah, sorry, why should we expect to have anything like today's retirement system in a few decades for anyone but the super-wealthy? I'm in my mid-20s, with a work-provided retirement fund and everything, and it makes me laugh to think that any of that will work out in forty years. One of my parents is in his mid-70s and still desperately looking for work, because it turns out a life of freelancing doesn't necessarily allow you to step away gracefully.
@Caitlin with a C I'm young & basically entry-level, but I've always been told that skills aren't, well, skills, but rather specific technologies. So rather than data analysis, listing software competencies. Maybe it's field-specific?
@notpollyanna Right, these stories seem to go a whole lot smoothly if you're making decent money. Jill Davi wasn't in rolling money, but she was bringing home over $30k after taxes--even if that doesn't go as far in a city like NYC, it's still more than many of the jobs available to recent college graduates pay.
Hmm. I don't mean this as a judgment on the author's rent at all, I'm just asking because I'm relatively new to earning and spending money--is $1,050/mo rent on a $36,000 salary manageable? Did you have to scrimp like crazy? That annual figure is before taxes and benefits (if you had them), right? I've read here before that your recommended maximum rent should be 1/3 of your income, I think before deductions. That would make Leda's recommended max rent $1000--not so far off. I make a little less money, so my max rent would be $925. But that seems absolutely insanely high--my current rent of $500 plus $80 in utilities is just enough to let me put some money in savings. What have other people's experience been in managing rent like that?
@cuminafterall I really love the mental image you gave me of a VS bra as Alien facehugger, leaping off one lady's chest to ferociously glom on to another's.
Oh jesus. I went hiking two weeks ago and we encountered a bat on the trail in broad daylight. It was flying jerkily back and forth in the open space between the trees, and I don't know if it was sick or just disoriented in the daytime. But my companions didn't know about the rabies risk and were all set to merrily walk right under it if I hadn't stopped them.