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Old 07-03-2013, 11:01 PM
8 posts, read 10,216 times
Reputation: 21


Will do, Jeanie Beanie! So long as I get the apartment =)
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:31 PM
8 posts, read 10,216 times
Reputation: 21
It has been about a month now, and as promised, here is my take on living in the Beacon Hills apartment complex off of route 1 so far. In the end, I decided not to room with someone because I had the option of living alone available to me. I also wanted to be able to have friends and family come down to visit if they were ever in the area.

It is certainly not the "happening" part of nova; however, considering the convenience of the commute and close proximity of Alexandria City and downtown DC, it's a pretty decent place to live in if you're on a tight budget.

I ended up bringing my car down here; and I am glad I did so. But I also chose this location because I do have access to the bus if, god forbid, my car dies. I have yet to try using the bus. I am hoping i never have to.

So far, It is very quiet. I feel relatively safe. This is DEFINITELY NOT the worst area I have seen/lived in. It feels, at least for now since I haven't been mugged yet (or worse), pretty safe. I am still careful walking back to my apartment, whether day or night...but this is more out of habit having lived in NYC during my younger years and later commuting to NYC for college. Of course, anything can happen at anytime, and i have only been here a month.

The biggest complaint I have so far is the water. It is destroying my hair and skin. I have started to use bottled water to wash my hair and face. It has definitely helped...but I'm getting dandruff...and that has never happened before. This is a huge issue for me. I liked being able to simply wash my hair in New York, and not having to style it/put additional products in. But this should probably be the least of my worries...

This is my budget per month after taxes and loans:
Goal: do not exceed more than $2000 per month
rent 1090 (i decided to go with the studio instead of the one bedroom)
food 200
gas 70 (I sometimes visit friends/family farther out)
internet 40
car insurance 50 (under my mother's name)
bills I help pay back home in new york 150 (this includes the family cell phone plan)
recreation 100 (life's too short to not enjoy it a little)
visiting NYC/Long Island once a month 100 (long live mega bus)

This is about 1800 a month, with some wiggle room in case I need to send money back home, there is an emergency, or a friend comes over to visit.

I did spend a lot more the first month because I had nothing but my clothes, laptop, a few personal items, and my car when I moved down here. I had to start from scratch in terms of some furniture, bathroom/kitchen products, etc. Also, with the new job and meeting new people, I ended up spending more money eating out than I should have. But from now on, I will have to stick very closely with my budget.

I hope this provides some insight for some people.
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Old 08-07-2013, 06:40 AM
7,929 posts, read 9,647,844 times
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hgnis - Good for you!! A very tight budget, one that many might say "can't be done" in this area, but it looks like you can make it. I'd love for you to come back and give more updates to let us know how it's working out. Best of luck!
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:22 AM
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Jeez lady, how do you survive on $200/month for food? Eating in all the time/everytime is perfectly fine, and infact a good thing but how do you pull off groceries with that?
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Old 08-07-2013, 03:27 PM
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Depends on how avid of a cook/eater you are. I have pretty bland tastes in food. What I eat is very limited. You could do it off of much less, if you really wanted to (for someone like me).

i.e. typical food shopping for the week for me
chicken slices
a few other vegetables
hot dogs
maybe cookies or some other comfort food, if I really feel like it...

and more than often, I do not finish all of this. Not the most exciting food. And if I ever want to splurge a little, I can always pull some money out of recreation =)

I have already bought large quantities of things like sugar, salt, pepper, some spices/seasonings I can't even recall, ketchup, salad dressing, olive oil, vinegar, some other cooking oil, butter, pasta, rice, etc. So I started off with a decent amount of "staple foods"

it's not the high life. But I have to prioritize things which are important to me right now. And when I buy things, I prefer to buy quality pieces which are heavily discounted. This requires a lot of patience, imagination, and persistence. Non of what I have bought (except my antique beatles record) is from a thrift shop. Everything is new. Except clothes, a few personal items, and minimal hand me downs (like a floating ikea shelf which I supplemented with another new shelf from ikea).

everything is in context. still a work in progress. like me =)
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Old 08-07-2013, 03:55 PM
Location: Alexandria, VA
11,376 posts, read 20,172,662 times
Reputation: 16354
Thanks for the update hgnis! Don't forget to check out freecycle and craigslist - you'd be surprised by what folks are giving away (myself included sometimes) - clothes that were never worn and/or are like brand new (I have this constant delusion that I can shrink it when I wash/dry - but it's not happening, LOL) - Good luck.
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:03 PM
386 posts, read 521,292 times
Reputation: 423
Flamingo, I put things in the washer/dryer in hopes they stretch... LOL!
Hgnis, Thanks for coming back with the update on the move. You seem like a very well-balanced person.
Best of Luck! You're doing great!
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Old 09-09-2013, 11:28 AM
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
1 posts, read 763 times
Reputation: 10
Smile Moving to Alexandria on a budget (sublet, apartment, rental)


I think you are doing extremely well on your budget.

From 2008-2009, I shared an apt near the Eisenhower Metro. While I occasionally shopped at the Trader Joe's in Old Town, I did most of my grocery shopping off Route 1 (Giant & Walmart.)

If you enjoy thrift shopping, there are (or used to be) several thrift shops on Route 1 not far from your area--can't remember the names.

I'd like to thank you and everyone who contributed to this thread. Although my circumstances are a bit different, it has extremely helpful to me, as I may end up moving back to Alexandria in a few weeks to commute to a job in DC.
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Old 09-09-2013, 05:11 PM
Location: Midwest
259 posts, read 307,357 times
Reputation: 185
I made $49K/year when living in Alexandria, and I thought that was barely enough.
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Old 09-10-2013, 04:09 PM
48 posts, read 44,151 times
Reputation: 28
Originally Posted by mootsie911 View Post

If you enjoy thrift shopping, there are (or used to be) several thrift shops on Route 1 not far from your area--can't remember the names.
The biggest one near by is South on Rt. 1, on Sherwood Hall about a half block from corner of Sherwood Hall and Rt. 1.
There are a couple more on the west side of the street just before you get to Sherwood Hall, in the shopping center with the Popeyes.

If you like Mexican, try the Pollo Ranchero, in walking distance from Beacon Hill, (headed north on the west side of the road).

This is sort of my neighborhood, so feel free to ask questions, though I suspect we live somewhat different lifestyles.

Last edited by mcknigs; 09-10-2013 at 04:20 PM..
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