Author Topic: Advice for a commuter  (Read 1580 times)

Mr. Frumpington

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Advice for a commuter
« on: December 12, 2018, 11:20:52 AM »
Hi everyone,

First time poster!

I'm hoping the mustachian community can help me come up with a creative solution for my problem.

I know mmm often advocated keeping expenses down by living close to work, reducing the number of household cars, living in a smaller house, etc.

However, my partner and I are in a sort of inflexible living situation. His children from a previous relationship live and attend school in a rural town in Canada. Unfortunately the closest jobs which would produce a sustainable income are about 1 hour commute. So we currently commute the hour each way daily, carpooling whenever possible. We want to have a house near the children; being readily available to them is extremely important to us.

Does anyone have any creative ideas for reducing our somewhat inflated living expenses, given our somewhat unique situation?

Thanks all!

Home Stretch

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Re: Advice for a commuter
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2018, 11:30:00 AM »
What's the farthest away your partner would be willing to live from the kids? I can understand if he wants to be close, but surely a 20 minute drive to the kids wouldn't be unbearable?

If that's the case, then build your choices around a 30-40 minute commute. Buy a 5-year-old Prius or other inexpensive, efficient commuter car and continue to carpool whenever possible.

former player

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Re: Advice for a commuter
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2018, 11:48:29 AM »
Hello and welcome to the forums.

How long is this situation going to last?  How old are the kids?  How many years before they leave school/ move on/ start to become mobile on their own account? Are they likely to move at any point (eg because their other parent moves for a job or a new relationship)?  Are they likely to decide at any point that they would rather live with your partner and you?  (Or indeed stop seeing either of you?)  That's a series of nosy questions which you don't need to answer here, but the point is that this situation will not last forever.  Sometimes it is easier to deal with a situation when you know it is temporary and that changes can be planned for the future.


In the meantime -

1.  Do you have the most fuel efficient/cheapest to run/cheapest to tax cars?  Is public transport an option, and if not can you campaign for it?  Can you minimise the time aend expense of commuting, for instance by taking jobs on the same side of the city as you rather than in the centre of the city?

2.  Can you work from home one or more days a week?

3.  Alternatively, is it worth having lodgings in the city one or more nights a week?

4.  Are either you or your partner entrepreneurial, and able to create your own jobs in your current location?

That's a lot of questions rather than the answers you've asked for - sorry!

Mr. Frumpington

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Re: Advice for a commuter
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2018, 02:19:46 PM »
Thanks all!

Great things to think about. Certainly moving to a more fuel-efficient and cheaper-to-insure car would be a good first step.

We are trying to exhaust our options in terms of eliminating or reducing dual car costs.

I'm wondering if a rental subscription service would allow is to go down to a single car!

brokescientist

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Re: Advice for a commuter
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2018, 09:35:55 AM »
Hey Frump.

I kind of disagree with the amount of money people spend on their commuting cars.   

I currently own 5 cars.... they don't cost me much cash.  Besides the project car which will eventually come into the rolling door of commuters and I don't plan on spending more than 3000 dollars on that particular car. 

If you have a commute especially if its longer than 15 miles, I highly urge everyone to learn mechanics.   Not just changing your oil.  Learn how to change a whole entire suspension.  Learn how to take out an engine.   Learn how to change gaskets ect.

It's funny, but I bought a stupid non-mustachian car in highschool.  A 1991 toyota MR2.   That car ended up saving me thousands of dollars because I learned how to work on it.

1993 Del Sol Si
2008 Hyundai Accent
2001 BMW 325iT -  Wont be buying another BMW unless its an e30.  They are a bare to work on.
1986 Toyota MR2
2004 Subaru Outback

PS www.rockauto.com

junk yard is your friend


2004 outback-  I have replaced all the suspension on the outback.   I got it for 300 dollars.   It runs freaking excellent and has 225,000 miles on it.  I put 30,000 miles on it so far.   Cheap insurance.  I put around 1500 dollars into the suspension.  1800 dollar car.   


2008 Accent super reliable 36MPG my workhorse commuter.   I bought it with 50,000 miles on it for 3200 dollars.  I haven't done much workto it besides replacing the coilpacks, tires, a few sensors, filters and oil.  It now has 120,000 miles on it.


2001 BMW - Don't buy a BMW.  I finally got this running without a check engine light.  Drives excellent.  PITD to work on.  All rubber goes bad at or about 100k resulting in .  Bought it for  $2800 and put about $1000 into it.   

1993 Del Sol Si- currently replacing all suspension on this.   I got it for free by trading some vehicles around.  Non-running jeep v8 (gift from MIL) traded for a CRV which I traded for this del sol.   Car has 136,000 miles on it.  Gets 35MPG and willl be the next commuter.   Just in my driveway on jackstands, runs great.  Getting ready to by the next workhorse.    I will sell the Hyundai for the same amount of money I bought it for when this gets on the road.

1986 MR2- bought with a blown up engine that leaks oil like crazy.   Planning on putting in a new engine and replacing all suspension parts while I am driving the Del Sol Si.   When I am done with this car I will simply switch and sell the Del Sol.   


I think commuters should have at least 2 cars.  1 reliable old car that just chills or is used in snow/when your main commuter breaks down and needs repair.   1 Reliable car that gets great MPG and is no thrills basic to get to work and back with no fancy features that will inevitably break.   And call me crazy but I think there should be a 3rd!!! car in the wings getting ready to take over for the next commuting vehicle. 

This method gives you the flexibility and time to always have a working car on the cheap.  If one breaks down you have another waiting in the wings, allowing you precious, STRESS FREE, no rush, time to get your car fixed and back on the road. 







Car Jack

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Re: Advice for a commuter
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2018, 12:48:00 PM »
I guess I can't disagree as I've got 4 cars in the family and 3 licensed drivers.

Something that's not easy to figure out without some experience and car knowledge is "what are the cheap cars that are reliable?".  I have one of those cars....an 09 Ford Fusion.  I've looked around and these cars are dirt cheap, many from old fogies with no miles on them.  Heck, mine has 65k miles on it (was my mom's car) and is worth all of $4k at best.  If you can find a 4 cyl with a manual, the mileage is high 30's average.  A Focus manual is another.  Either of these can go with liability only and as mentioned...you could have the next one purchased and waiting for when one of your cars dies on you.

When you have to have a car and you have to commute, you just do it.  Not everyone can bike everywhere and drink craft beer on their spare time, you know.

slow hand slow plan

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Re: Advice for a commuter
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2018, 03:03:51 PM »
Please don't buy more cars some of the advise on the forums recently is ....off putting

get a cheaper more efficient car. Try to live as close as possible between the two. Try to convince a job to let you work from home some days. Look at carpooling. Try to both work at the same times.

Goldielocks

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Re: Advice for a commuter
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2018, 06:28:26 PM »
My most creative idea is to have two places to live in, and split your time between a multi bedroom place near the kids, and a small place near work.

IDK what the custody time arrangements are, but this could work fairly well for some scenarios.

pk_aeryn

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Re: Advice for a commuter
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2018, 02:47:05 PM »
Quote
. I think commuters should have at least 2 cars.  1 reliable old car that just chills or is used in snow/when your main commuter breaks down and needs repair.   1 Reliable car that gets great MPG and is no thrills basic to get to work and back with no fancy features that will inevitably break.   And call me crazy but I think there should be a 3rd!!! car in the wings getting ready to take over for the next commuting vehicle.   

Do you keep all those cars registered as operational?  I donít know about other states but here in CA, the car registration alone exeeds the cost of renting a car or taking a rideshare oneís sole and mustachian vehicle is in the shop for a few days. And I have car rental on my insurance in case of an accident, which is the only time my reliable car has needed to be repaired longer than one day anyway.