E V O L V E – ing

So sorry for the F&F blog hiatus.
If you’ve been keeping up with the foreverfrugal_foreverfree Instagram, you’ll know that I really haven’t been straying from my frugal ways, nor did I ever forget about F&F, but life truly did take over for quite a while, preventing me from updating the blog.

That being said, some exciting events have happened within the past few months, so I figured I’d start with highlighting one of the major happenings in this post –
After far too many applications, numerous cover letters, a few job interviews, and an infinite amount of free refills at Starbucks, I finally got a job. Okay, it really didn’t take toooo long, considering I didn’t truly start the grueling job search until early July and found my current job in August, but with my overachieving, nonstop, want-to-be-making-some-kind-of-difference-and-accomplishing-something-all-the-time mind set, those 2 months felt like an eternity.

BUT I finally accepted an offer with Evolve Vacation Rental Network – a growing vacation rental company who aims “to make vacation rental easy for everyone.” Really though, we’re a team of 120+ people who help homeowners all over the U.S. (and some outside countries) list their vacation homes on Evolve’s Website and other vacation rental sites like HomeAway, TripAdvisor and AirBnB, AND we also help travelers find the perfect rental home for their vacation. We have teams communicating with both sides, trying our very best to make everyone happy because vacations shouldn’t be stressful, but fun.

So what do I do? As a marketing assistant, I help “build” the listings of the homes that we put on our website, as well as on our partner’s websites. I basically write those obnoxious, yet eye-catching, adjective-heavy, detailed descriptions about the homes, I choose & organize the photos, and ultimately, I try my best to make the vacation rental homes sound and look good, so travelers will want to stay there, which will make the homeowner happy, which, in the end, makes Evolve happy  🙂

Now don’t you worry – Since I won’t really be getting rich off of this new job, my frugal & free ways will continue. But I must say, it IS nice to finally be making a steady income again, especially in this not-so-frugal Denver housing market.

And even though I’m not getting rich off of it, I truly do love my job.
I love what we do – clearly, I’m genuinely interested in travel and being able to help others with their travel plans is really mentally rewarding.
I love the people – my production team is great. And really, every single person I’ve met seems to be great. I mean, I’ve already made an awesome friend and we’ve already determined we’ll be friends forever.
I love the startup vibes – we have a strong company culture, filled with team gatherings, clear goals & rewards, and we are also constantly EVOLVE-ing as more people are hired, more ideas are formed, and more changes are made to improve the company.

Of course, there are always downsides to everything, & the main two downsides to working at Evolve would probably be the fact that I have to pay for my own parking ($2.50 a day) and the drive to and from work. While the parking thing is definitely an issue, the traffic definitely overrules it in my mind.
Having left Atlanta, I thought I had escaped the terrible city traffic that I luckily never really had to face too much, but to my surprise, Denver has traffic too. And judging by how many people I’ve heard will be moving here in the next year, it’s only going to get worse. And not to mention the snow that I am both excitedly awaiting and absolutely dreading. Yes, it should be beautiful, but the snow is also probably going to slow people down. So this traffic that I grudgingly confront every day (mostly after work, when it takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to drive the 15 miles from my work in downtown to home in the DTC) not only steals my precious time that I could be spending elsewhere, but it also steals my money with the amount I have to throw in towards gas (luckily my trusty Honda Civic does pretty well with the gas mileage, but still, he’d do a lot better if he didn’t have to sit in so much traffic).
So of course these issues have brought me to compare all of my transportation options, including:

Biking – I am extremely envious of my coworkers who live close enough to the office to bike to work. Unfortunately, I can’t do that because it’s over 15 miles away and would take me about an hour and a half to get there, so biking is out.
Light Rail – Denver’s transportation system is really convenient – to those people who don’t have to pay for their tickets each way. Matthew’s work gave him an EcoPass, allowing him to ride anywhere at anytime on the light rail for FREE. If I had an EcoPass, I would surely do the same thing to save time, gas, and money. Unfortunately, $2.60 for a one-way ticket adds up to $5.20 a day just to get to work. And when I compare the amount it would take me to ride the light rail vs. the amount of money I pay for gas and parking, I’m actually saving more by driving.
So here is my shameless request to the city of Denver: help a frugal girl out (and the rest of those who have to face the frustrating Denver traffic every day) and either heavily discount the light rail OR heck, give every downtown company enough EcoPasses to give to their hardworking employees who want to spend more of their valuable time somewhere other than in traffic.
If you’re in the Denver area and have similar transportation issues, read this article about people’s growing traffic concerns and to take the different transit surveys yourself!. Perhaps if enough of us share our struggles, a difference can be made…or at least some change could start happening.

Wow, so that transportation rant definitely steered me off topic, but all in all, I have a job, I like my job, but just wish getting to and from work was easier, less time consuming, and much cheaper.

Stay tuned for my next blog post on more recent frugal & free happenings!

forever frugal & free,
Claire

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