Well, I am going to be moving soon. I need an apartment, furniture, all that stuff. I may have found some furniture from a friend’s mother who is moving out of her house, It is currently up by Orlando, but my find it’s way to Lakeland for me. This weekend I may have found a place to live.

A one bedroom, one bath with a large kitchen and huge living room with a patio big enough that I could work on my projects in it. Well, that’s the description I got at least, I haven’t seen it. The current occupants are paying $350 a month. Tack on the $150 a month they are paying for utilities ($90 last month, but I am going for the most expensive summer season here for pricing), and I found a place for the same money that I am living now! Granted, it’s not a mansion and is in Lakeland, 25 miles away from the office, but, still! It is a straight shot right into the office. 2 blocks off the main drag for the apartment, and 3 blocks for the office. For that kind of money, even including the money spent on the commute, I come out ahead. Let’s see, 25 miles, figure 1 gallon of gas each way, $2.50 per gallon, $1 toll each way, 1/3 of an $30 oil change, 20 working weeks days a month. I would be spending about $150 $110 a month on the commute. If I was to live in Tampa, my apartment price would be about $650 a month, plus utilities, plus commute of say, 5 miles each way, so 200 miles a month, or about $16.50 a month in gas.

That $165 $205/month difference is half a lot of the car payment of the new car that I would need anyhow (or the new insurance price). A new car, with working air conditioning would probably make the extra hour I spend a day in the car OK. A new car would be getting 30mpg or thereabouts. I am thinking Ford Escape Hybrid or Dodge Magnum – although the Magnums are still too new to get a good price on them. Heck, if gas hits $3.00 per gallon I am still $100 $140 bucks ahead doing the commute.

Of course, I could always get a new car, and keep driving the Escort until it dies. Is the $80 a month in insurance on the Escort worth potentially saving 12,000 miles a year on the new car (if the Escort lasts that long, that is)? Probably. Granted the Escort needs a new transmission seal, brakes and rotors, tires and alignment, the AC fixed, some rusty spots fixed, and a few other minor things (like being replaced).

The most important factor here though, is – Close to the office, or Close to Katie? I don’t think I am even going to bother keep looking in Tampa for a place to live if I can price a new car into living closer to my girlfriend! Talk about a WIN-WIN!

UPDATE – It’s ok to edit a post the same day I posted it right? Or even say 24 hours…
Anyway. I got a clarification, I thought that the apartment was near the Parkway, but it isn’t so I wouldn’t have to pay any tolls at all. That’s $40 a month that I wouldn’t have to pay. I corrected all the numbers above.

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