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February 7, 2013

What It Costs to Be Me

dionna dorsey

Photo Credit: Nancy Newberry

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Dionna Dorsey, 32, Arlington, Virginia

Occupation: Graphic designer

Annual income: $85,000

Home, sweet home: "I pay $1,750 a month for my one-bedroom, less than it would cost in D.C. With the money I'm saving, I want to buy a condo next year — my budget is $400,000. I run my company, creating branding materials and websites for businesses, from home."

Bills, bills, bills: "Basic cable is included in my rent, but I added HBO so I can watch Boardwalk Empire. That plus Internet cost $70 per month. Gas, heat, and water bills are $125, as is health insurance. I drive a white CLK Mercedes, a hand-me-down from my sister. Gas is $60 a tank; insurance is $2,400 a year."

Meal plan: "Working from home allows me to make my own meals, like Korean beef barbecue, for dinner. I spend $65 a week at Whole Foods."

The weekender: "On Saturdays, I meet friends for dinner in Georgetown. On Sundays, I go to a service at the Alfred Street Baptist Church, where I tithe — give 10 percent of my earnings."

Only in Arlington: "Using a citywide bike-share program, I can rent a bicycle for $7. I love riding by the monuments on the National Mall."

Big splurge: "For $120 a month, I wax my eyebrows, armpits, upper lip, and bikini area."

The shoe index: "I spent $770 on a pair of pink satin Viktor & Rolf 5-inch heels."

The view from the ground: "Business comes through referrals, so I haven't advertised. If I'm doing well, I donate services to community groups; I just reworked the logo for a group that helps intellectually disabled athletes reach the Paralympics." —L.N.W.

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