Thursday, June 12, 2008

Gas prices and travel in the U.S. of A... AND financial modeling text recs?

With gas prices seeming to set up camp at $4.00 a gallon recently, I considered how I would have made it to my friend's wedding if I had actually attempted to get there by public transportation. After about 20 minutes of fairly efficient searching through Amtrak and NJ transit I was given the following answer:

We are sorry, but there is no service available at the destination at the specified date/time.

That, unfortunately, is why most Americans rely on their cars to transport us from point A to point B. However, I didn't give up on my little examination of the current state of transportation affairs. The bride lives outside of Philadelphia, which IS accessible by train and bus. A single trip on Amtrak and the NJ transit trains from Washington, DC to Cherry Hill, NJ would cost me $45.25 at the cheapest. Looking at the buses, I can get from DC to Philly and back for approximately $50. Comparatively speaking, that's not bad, plus in my imaginary scenario I would carpool with someone for the rest of the way and not pay all the tolls. According to my sources (my brother who drives from Baltimore to Philly every weekend) that's about $17 each way.

In short I could save quite a bit of money by taking the bus, but it wouldn't actually get me to where I need to be and there's no public transportation I could utilize during the weekend. And then I wouldn't have the flexibility to drive around the NJ towns we were staying in to pick up such necessities as sparkling wine and fake eyelashes (SO not for me) when required.

I am facing a life of self-induced poverty and not enough alcohol during my second year with my current state of financial affairs. Therefore I am exploring some money-making endeavors. Those may or may not come to fruition in the upcoming weeks. If they do, I'll post about it. If they don't work out, I'll pretend it never happened. One thing I wanted anyways for the fall is a paid internship. As I am starting from ground zero experience wise, I knew I would have to go for anything and everything and see where it took me in the development world. I found this advertisement for a really cool summer position- financial analysis for a non-profit- so I am going to see if they need anyone during the school year.

In other randomness I now have a sketchy gym membership to go along with my sketchy cable. I won't go into too much details, but I'll just say cash may or may not have been involved. Given that the gym has non-sketchy cable TV I have been spending some quality time there since I joined last week. Bend it Like Beckham was on yesterday evening so I spent more time on the elliptical than originally planned. I love that movie. I'm also using Rosetta Stone to try to recover some of my Spanish this summer. These two activities are only keeping me busy to around 7:30 each night as my work, home and gym are in the same 5 blocks. So, in addition, I am going to try to do some work for my other internship and find a book to teach myself financial modeling this summer. Suggestions on texts are welcome and encouraged!

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