DC Cost of Living - help?

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bullfighter
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DC Cost of Living - help?

Postby bullfighter » Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:21 am

Anybody who is current or former D.C. resident/student have some tips for keeping COL down. for instance, gw COA
Their not directly school related costs are:
Room and board: $16,500
Personal Expenses: $3,200
Transportation: $2,200

Where and how are the best places to make the cuts? Don't want to to take out more loans than necessary, but loan decisions are made before apartments are leased.

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D. H2Oman
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Re: DC Cost of Living - help?

Postby D. H2Oman » Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:25 am

bullfighter wrote:Anybody who is current or former D.C. resident/student have some tips for keeping COL down. for instance, gw COA
Their not directly school related costs are:
Room and board: $16,500
Personal Expenses: $3,200
Transportation: $2,200

Where and how are the best places to make the cuts? Don't want to to take out more loans than necessary, but loan decisions are made before apartments are leased.



Housing, either find roommates or live out city somewhere on the metro lines. You don't really "need" 16500 for room and board.

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bullfighter
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Re: DC Cost of Living - help?

Postby bullfighter » Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:26 am

would living close (in a couple blocks) not be made up in the extra metro costs saved?

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D. H2Oman
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Re: DC Cost of Living - help?

Postby D. H2Oman » Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:30 am

bullfighter wrote:would living close (in a couple blocks) not be made up in the extra metro costs saved?



Nah no way.

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nealric
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Re: DC Cost of Living - help?

Postby nealric » Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:40 am

You can live for a LOT less than that. My expenses totaled around ~1,300/month my first two years of law school.

#1: Room mates in a group row house. NE Capital hill or H-street corridor are great areas for saving money- especially if you are going to GULC. You should be able to find a room that rents for around $700 a month.
#2: Cook on your own
#3: Ride a bike instead of the metro. It's actually faster for a lot of trips.

dudders
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Re: DC Cost of Living - help?

Postby dudders » Wed Dec 22, 2010 12:25 pm

Living near school/by yourself anywhere is way pricy. Get roommates and commute.

Metro costs approximately $4/day. So you'll probably only spend $100-$125 a month on Smartrip, depending on whether you always commute at rush hour, how many extra trips (not commuting) you take, and factor in extra cost if you live in Virginia, because Metro dings you when you leave or enter the District.

There's no way you can "make it up" by living close to school. I live in Columbia Heights, about a half-hr bus/subway commute (door to door) to GW, in a house with roommates and I pay $800/month with parking. The cheapest studios in Foggy Bottom/West End seem to hit around $1300, and most people I know pay closer to $1500 to live within reasonable walking distance of the law school.

Plus Foggy Bottom is boring. Nothing is open on the weekends, except undergrad bars. Maybe I'm just projecting my post-finals anger at the law school's neighborhood though.

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sojuteacher
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Re: DC Cost of Living - help?

Postby sojuteacher » Wed Dec 22, 2010 12:39 pm

I was in DC for 3 years-- 2 years for UG and 1 year working, and my biggest mistake was not moving out to maryland or virginia when working. Rent is so ridiculously expensive if you want to live somewhere decent in the city. VA has some great options -- especially if you are going to GW because its easy to get there via metro (blue/orange).

If you are going to GULC -- I'd check out somewhere in Maryland on the red line -- there are some cheap apartments near the metro from Tacoma Park and further north on the line. The metro runs late enough on the weekdays for most night activities -- and late enough on the weeknights too.

cowgirl_bebop
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Re: DC Cost of Living - help?

Postby cowgirl_bebop » Wed Dec 22, 2010 2:41 pm

Rent a room to keep costs down and live near the metro.

Ive been in DC since '06 and living off campus since '08; the most I ever paid in rent was $750. Now, I live in a lovely renovated old turn of the century row house in NW for $690, which includes all of my utilities. Its a short 10 minute walk to the metro or a quick bike ride to anywhere in the city. There is no way you should be paying $18500 in rent and utilities.

Find yourself some room mates and keep your costs low. You can still afford to live inside the city and close to school on that budget.

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dood
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Re: DC Cost of Living - help?

Postby dood » Wed Dec 22, 2010 2:43 pm

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Last edited by dood on Sat Dec 25, 2010 6:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bullfighter
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Re: DC Cost of Living - help?

Postby bullfighter » Wed Dec 22, 2010 4:27 pm

i haven't ridden a bike since I was still young enough that you could ride on the sidewalk and nobody got mad at you. that would be a learning experience.

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gdane
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Re: DC Cost of Living - help?

Postby gdane » Wed Dec 22, 2010 4:35 pm

This is a serious question. Is running a possibility? I like running.

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bullfighter
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Re: DC Cost of Living - help?

Postby bullfighter » Wed Dec 22, 2010 4:36 pm

i've wanted to know the same thing. Keep stuff in a locker there at the LS, run there.

dudders
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Re: DC Cost of Living - help?

Postby dudders » Wed Dec 22, 2010 4:47 pm

In re: running, it's definitely possible. Both GW and GULC have lockers where you can leave all your books. GULC has a fitness center on the law campus, and GW's is about 2 blocks from the law school (if you want to shower and change when you get there).

Caveats:
1) DC's weather blows like 8 months/yr.
2) Routes may/may not be desirable depending on where you live. I'm not much of an urban runner, but streets near both campuses are choked with traffic at certain hours of the day, and pedestrians don't really make the sidewalks much better.
3) You're probably still going to be lugging some stuff with you (laptop, phone, wallet, change of clothes, etc.).

I didn't run and I ended up staying at campus way later than I often planned just because I didn't want to lug my books home. So if you plan to be a dedicated runner, plan on long days at school.

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LawandOrder
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Re: DC Cost of Living - help?

Postby LawandOrder » Wed Dec 22, 2010 5:00 pm

dudders wrote:1) DC's weather blows like 8 months/yr.


Wat? We have great weather for running from late April through November.

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dood
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Re: DC Cost of Living - help?

Postby dood » Wed Dec 22, 2010 5:22 pm

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Last edited by dood on Sat Dec 25, 2010 6:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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bk1
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Re: DC Cost of Living - help?

Postby bk1 » Wed Dec 22, 2010 5:24 pm

LawandOrder wrote:
dudders wrote:1) DC's weather blows like 8 months/yr.

Wat? We have great weather for running from late April through November.

cowgirl_bebop
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Re: DC Cost of Living - help?

Postby cowgirl_bebop » Wed Dec 22, 2010 5:27 pm

bk1 wrote:
LawandOrder wrote:
dudders wrote:1) DC's weather blows like 8 months/yr.

Wat? We have great weather for running from late April through November.


DC is built on a swamp, and in the summer, it feels like a swamp.

Im not a big runner, but I'm sure running in the swamp is not very comfortable. It is MUG-GY...

JJDancer
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Re: DC Cost of Living - help?

Postby JJDancer » Wed Dec 22, 2010 5:31 pm

Rent + roommates = best place to save $ in DC COL.
Live near American U (wayy cheaper).

2011Law
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Re: DC Cost of Living - help?

Postby 2011Law » Wed Dec 22, 2010 5:43 pm

No idea if I will end up in D.C., but how much does a 1/1 cost? Wherever I end up I want a decent 1/1 for at least first year, at least 500ft, and in an okay area (doesn't have to be awesome, just not the ghetto). A glance at craigslist looks like I won't get away with paying less than a grand minimum. I think I got spoiled with a low COL at my undergrad.

2011Law
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Re: DC Cost of Living - help?

Postby 2011Law » Wed Dec 22, 2010 5:46 pm

One other question actually. Does just about every law student room exclusively with another law student? I'm wondering if that helps minimize the distractions that would come with rooming with just about anyone else (in my experience anyway).

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dood
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Re: DC Cost of Living - help?

Postby dood » Wed Dec 22, 2010 5:49 pm

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Last edited by dood on Sat Dec 25, 2010 6:23 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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dood
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Re: DC Cost of Living - help?

Postby dood » Wed Dec 22, 2010 5:50 pm

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Last edited by dood on Sat Dec 25, 2010 6:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

cowgirl_bebop
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Re: DC Cost of Living - help?

Postby cowgirl_bebop » Wed Dec 22, 2010 5:51 pm

2011Law wrote:No idea if I will end up in D.C., but how much does a 1/1 cost? Wherever I end up I want a decent 1/1 for at least first year, at least 500ft, and in an okay area (doesn't have to be awesome, just not the ghetto). A glance at craigslist looks like I won't get away with paying less than a grand minimum. I think I got spoiled with a low COL at my undergrad.


$1K minimum.

Go for a roommate. There are some REALLY nice places that you can get for much cheaper if you live with others. I have 5 people in my house (5 bedrooms, 2 floors) and I rarely see my roommates. My house is old but redone, nice neighborhood, and close to public transportation. I pay $650 in rent for a nice sized room with a fireplace and an extra $40 (fixed) every month in utilities (gas, electricity, water, cable, internet). Found it on craigslist. I rent directly from the landlord, so my rent is different from the other girls'. Or you could find a roommate and split everything evenly.

Try to live with either another law student. If not, find a young professional or at least an upperclassman in undergrad.

You can get all of the perks of a house so long as you can deal with living with another person.

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bullfighter
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Re: DC Cost of Living - help?

Postby bullfighter » Thu Dec 23, 2010 4:00 pm

Anybody do Anacostia? Pros/Cons?

JJDancer
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Re: DC Cost of Living - help?

Postby JJDancer » Thu Dec 23, 2010 8:02 pm

bullfighter wrote:Anybody do Anacostia? Pros/Cons?

I would not live in SE DC.

Try to stay in NW. But the closer to GWU, the more expensive the apartments.




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