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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Better news for my budget / the next step in Afghanistan

Taking a new job that pays 30% less than my last job did, I am always on the hunt for ways to make a smaller paycheck go farther.

Nowadays, it actually becomes cheaper to use public transportation in the Los Angeles area (it wasn't always like this, but with gas prices just over $2 per gallon and my compact SUV getting 18 miles/gallon and a 25 mile one-way drive, a $5 day pass is actually a money saver when I add in less spent for maintenance and insurance).

My new employer is offering to pay for monthly passes in full if I continue to use the public transport.  It is the first time in over 17 years of working full-time that an employer made this much effort to encourage employees to use public transport.  I found out from HR today that about 100 out of 300 of the company's employees use the passes.

For the incredibly low price of $0.00 per month, I'm actually going to spend a little less on the car now than I did when I had to drive 5 miles one way to work.  I'm even getting full-day parking passes for 2 days a month at the employee parking lot and a $20 gift card to a nearby discount department store.


It is tempting to jump the gun regarding tomorrow's scheduled announcement from the President on the increase in troops going to Afghanistan.  

Articles posted today hint at a military/civilian strategy.  I'm pulling for "more civilian, less military' plan, but even I know well enough to leave my rose-colored glasses in the case.

More on that tomorrow.

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