Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday Reader Poll: What's do you think of being frugal and being green?

As a young person, I'm often conflicted about being green on a limited budget. What do you think? Can you go Green and Save Green?

And for some Friday fun:

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

New City, New Apartment

I know I promised a job hunt update. More on that later.

But an important factor in my job hunt is in fact, my apartment. You see I'm moving across the country, and even though I'm eager to start working, I don't want to sleep in the company parking lot.

After a series of summer sublets, I've become a bit of a remote apartment hunting master. As a result, many of my still-in-college friends have asked me for advice on the hunt.

Below are my tips:

1) Figure out your transportation situation.
Particularly for those of you going from a New York to a LA or a part of DC without a metro stop (Georgetown anyone?). It's the first question I ask. I can't recommend neighborhoods where you'll need a car when you don't have a car.

When I subletted, I never had a car so a major factor was walking distance to and from work and if there was public transportation nearby.

Also, is it reliable public transportation? If there is limited or no service after certain hours or on the weekends--that might not work for you.

2) Who is your ideal roommate? Do you even want a roommate?
Are you a night owl? A smoker? Partier? Studier? Whatever you are, figure it out now and make sure you spell it out so everyone is on the same page. Don't think that you can just "figure it out" or "handle it later." Some lifestyle changes are non-negotiable and some people won't change for you. It stinks to be in a new place with a new person and have one thing become a big problem.

3) Write your story.
I think of remote apartment hunting as a little like pitching a business idea, you've got to sell yourself. So write it out beforehand. Tell you them your little story, why you are moving to XYZ and what you are looking for in an apartment or sublet.

4) Hit up the CL
That's right. Time to scour Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and Google. Don't be too picky. Send your story to anything that looks reasonable based on your living/location factors. And don't be afraid to use the "Housing Wanted" section too.

5) Once you're done, get an agreement.
Draft an agreement between yourself and your subletter or landlord. Be sure to define security deposit and return and what the move in/move out process. Don't assume that the terms are the same in LA and NYC....because they're not.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Prepping For Frugal Living

In preparation for post-graduate life, I'm preparing for all these new post-college expenses.

For the record, I did have some different expenses than most college graduates. I lived off-campus and didn't have a meal plan and I also didn't have text book expenses classes didn't have text books.

But let's a do a comparison

College Car-less City Life Graduate Car-necessary City Life
Rent Rent
Utilities (Electric, Cable, Heat) Utilities (Electric, Cable, Water, Trash)
Groceries Groceries
Metro Cards Car ( plus gas and insurance)
Health Insurance Health Insurance
Cell Phone Blackberry
Gym (free in college)

And I'm sure I'm forgetting some things. But basically, I've been researching living frugally. Researching apartments and then checking to see how close they are to Trader Joes, CostCo, Walmart and Target.

But in my adventures I've discovered some new blogs (which I've added to my sidebar)

Fabulous and Frugal

The Frugal Diva

Check them both out for general and LA-specific spending tips.

Next Time: How I saved my spending money the last semester of college and a job hunt update.

Monday, May 17, 2010

A Graduate.... now what?

It's happened. I've graduated.

A whirlwind of graduations, lunches, and celebrations and it's all over.

So now what?

Well, I don't have a job lined up yet and I'm planning to move across the country. So in these next few weeks, I'm doing some spring cleaning and learn some new skills.

In terms of spring cleaning, I'm literally sorting all the crap I have in home closets and brought from school and deciding what I need to move. Which means I'm giving up lots of shoes.

But I've also decided I want to learn some new skills and work on some skills I already have.

Things to Learn & Do:

  1. HTML--it's just a useful skill I should learn. Especially because
  2. Building portfolio website for film crew & animation stuff.
  3. Become a better PR guru- I've been doing PR for some of my friend's projects. I've even secured an article in the Boston Globe for my friend's film.
  4. Work on my storyboards--I need to just storyboard some random sequences and ideas.
  5. Learn After Effects--Okay I appreciate you now and wish I learned this program earlier