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Downtown is Cheap, Pets are pricey

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Los Angeles Times' Julie Makinen gives a first-person account of saving money by moving downtown: "Something wonderful and completely unexpected has been happening since I moved from the hills of Sherman Oaks to a downtown loft this winter: My wallet has been getting fatter. Part of the windfall has come from trading my hourlong, 20-mile morning crawl down the 101 Freeway for a leisurely 1.4-mile stroll or bike ride to work. That means $160 less in gas expenditures each month. Cha-ching!" She's also saving money on cable, parking, and gardening, but notably is now spending $300 a month on a dog walking service. [LA Times]