One major change that I’m making upon my move is my method of getting to work. Currently, I walk the ten minutes to the Metro, ride the Metro downtown, then walk from the Metro to my office (less than ten more minutes). But once I move, things won’t be as convenient. I have two options – drive or take the bus to the Metro. I’ve debated what I want to do. My office either offers assistance with public transportation costs or free parking in the garage. So both options come with costs.
When I first moved to DC, I loved the Metro. It got me where I needed to go in a relatively efficient manner. Sure, there were problems, but it wasn’t a big deal. But things have changed. The trip that used to take me twenty minutes now always takes thirty or more. And the worst part is that for safety reasons, the trains aren’t on automatic anymore, so the ride is quite jerky. I’d say at least half of my trips end with me ever so slightly nauseous. Not the most fun.
Taking the bus to the metro will take me 45 minutes according to Metro’s website. That’s if I time everything perfectly, meaning I get to the bus stop just before the bus, and the bus has no delays in getting to the Metro station, and the trains are all running on schedule. The odds of all of that happening? Slim to none. Actually, probably even less than that.
Google Maps tells me that driving will take 20 minutes. However, Google Maps seems to forget that this is DC and there is traffic. So let’s double that. 40 minutes. Still less than the optimistic 45. Let’s say it’s even more. What do I prefer? A long drive in my nice, climate controlled car, or waiting for the bus in the elements, getting smashed on with some strangers, waiting for the Metro in the elements, getting smashed on with more strangers, and then getting to work.
I think I’m going to try the driving option for a while and see how it goes. Not the most frugal option, as there will be more wear on my car, but I think it will be good for my sanity. Plus I’ll get to sing along to the radio. They frown upon that on the Metro.
Megan is a 40-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.