Monday, July 28, 2008

Live Downtown, Save Money

Cool article in today's LA Times describing the economic benefits of living downtown.

But keeping Big Oil's grubby paws off my hard-earned cash isn't the only benefit. There are so many other financial upsides to moving closer to the office and downsizing one's living quarters that it's a challenge to tote them all up.

Downsizing may even be an overstatement. I've cut back from 1,800 square feet to about 1,400, which still seems bigger than Rhode Island.

Consider these savings:

* My water and power bill has dropped by more than two-thirds, as has the natural gas bill.

* Cable and Internet? My bill has fallen by more than 80%, thanks to the special rate my building negotiated.

* Adios monthly parking pass; you don't need one when you don't drive to work.

And my gardener? No longer necessary -- I can handle the half-dozen plants on my balcony myself.

Without a patch of grass to call my own, there has been one major new expense: a dog walker who gives my Labrador, Larry, a stroll every afternoon while I'm at work. That's setting me back $60 a week. Yet, even with that factored in, I'm still more than $300 ahead each month.

This has been the case for our family as well. Even when you consider that we're paying for parking, we still come out about $300 ahead every month.

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