So for the last few years I've tried, somewhat unsuccessfully, to spend $500 or less (excluding mandatory payments such as rent, car, insurance, and loan repayments) during the month of May. This year I am trying to take "$500 May" more seriously. Gasoline in San Diego costs about $4 per gallon. The drive from home to work is 13 miles. With a stop to grab some breakfast and a slightly different route to avoid traffic...about 15 miles. Have fun with the interactive google map below. That's my route I would normally drive. if you want... click on "view larger map" and then click on "Take Public Transit" to see my options.
View Larger Map
Based on the manufacturer's information my car will average about 25mpg on the trip. So I figure I am using about 1.5 gallon of gas per day just driving to work (probably a low estimate). So thats $6 a day in gas, times 31 days in May... $186 in gas. Just to work and back. I am guessing it might be hard to stay under $500 if I drove. So I went ahead and bought a bus/trolley pass.
The pass cost $64 and is good for all buses and trolleys and coaster shuttles. With the pass and another buck I can ride the coaster if I want to go somewhere far. So, I figure I've knocked at least $100 out right there by riding mass transit to work. I will post later about the experience(s). I've done the subway in Boston, New York, L.A., and the Trolley here in town, but this is my first experience with the Bus. I will take photos and post them here with my stories.
A big spending point is obviously food and drink. Tonight I will go to Costco (I will either try to get a ride from Sean or use the last gallon of gas in my car) and go stock up for the month. I am guessing that I can survive somewhat healthily for a month on canned tuna and not much else. So that is pretty much my plan. Tuna and water. I really have no idea what a case of starkist is going for these days. I will let you know tomorrow. Its gonna hurt like hell, but I will not pay for an alcoholic beverage this month. Luckily for me, I have 4 or 5 bottles of scotch, and a monthly poker tournament that I am hosting. I buy the food and drinks with money from the entry fees, and there is generally some beers leftover. Yay.
Entertainment. Yeah. Well, I guess I will be playing more guitar and reading a lot. There will be the Wednesday night poker games (poker is and always has been completely and totally separate from my regular finances) to inject some fun into the mix.
So far $436 remaining.