Author Topic: Considering going carless...  (Read 6643 times)

kmb501

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Considering going carless...
« on: February 27, 2016, 06:33:20 PM »
I had to go to work without my car recently due to yet another flat tire and cancelled roadside assistance. I hired an UberX for 87 cents with a first time riders promotional coupon that I found online. It was much faster than a taxi; the driver was available immediately, and I got to work with plenty of time to spare. It made that flat tire so much more bearable and really took the hassle out of not driving to work.

I did some calculations, and it would actually cost me less to rely on a combination of bus service and Uber than it would to own a car, and I could really get my expenses down if I could move closer to work.

On the other hand, though, I could probably make a fair amount if I leased a new car and became an Uber driver. If I hustled, I could probably cover more than my car payment and expenses. That way, I would be building my credit, too.

Another option might be to save up and invest in an e-bike and riding gear. They're more compact than motorcycles and scooters and could probably easily fit on the bus's bike rack. 

What do you think?   
« Last Edit: February 27, 2016, 06:41:30 PM by kmb501 »

lbmustache

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Re: Considering going carless...
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2016, 08:14:00 PM »
I thought most analyses show that working as a driver for Uber does not net you a whole ton of income once Uber takes their cut, you pay for gas, wear and tear on your car, etc.

Leasing a car will also limit your miles which sounds like it would not be a good idea for Uber.

Jakerado

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Re: Considering going carless...
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2016, 08:18:50 PM »
Leasing a new car to be an uber driver is a bad idea. You won't make back depreciation+gas+extra insurance + extra mileage fees on the lease + monthly payments. Uber/lyft way under pay in general, and the only way to make a decent hourly rate on them is to only drive during high demand times (after bars close, big sporting events, etc) and there are only a limited number of high demand hours.

lhamo

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Re: Considering going carless...
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2016, 08:54:51 PM »
You just posted elsewhere that you have $80k in student loan debts that you are paying $0 on (and accumulating interest) while on IBR.

Don't lease a car.  Please.

Moving might make sense if you are going to keep your current job.  But sounds like you are not thrilled about that, either.

I would focus on figuring out a long-term career plan, adjust your living location to fit wherever you end up working, and figure out the transportation piece in conjunction with that move. 

kmb501

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Re: Considering going carless...
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2016, 07:34:56 PM »
Well, this is an update:

I really would like to explore car-less options in this area, because my current car is costing me too much money. I've made repairs that total about $500 some months! This is the worst used car I've ever owned, but since I need a car to take care of all of my obligations, work (full-time), school (part-time), and more work (part-time), I need a car. Here's what my schedule looks like. Does anyone see a way I could possibly go without a car and go where I need to go? The bus is not an option, because it only runs once an hour, meaning if I board the bus at 3:00, I won't reach my destination until 4:00. Shuttles, like Uber and Lyft, aren't great options, either, because they can charge as much as a taxi, and taxis are definitely too expensive to rely on.

Monday: Work: 7:00 AM - 3:00 PM, School: 3:25 PM - 4:45 PM,
Tuesday: Work: 7:00 AM - 3:00 PM, Work: 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM,   
Wednesday: Work: 7:00 AM - 3:00 PM, School: 3:25 PM - 4:45 PM, Church: 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM 
Thursday: Work: 7:00 AM - 3:00 PM, Work: 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Friday: Work: 7:00 AM - 3:00 PM,   Church: 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
« Last Edit: October 18, 2016, 07:38:10 PM by kmb501 »

Grizzly Dad

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Re: Considering going carless...
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2016, 10:06:04 PM »
Should you lease a car to drive for Uber? Absolutely not, as other have already stated, the chance that you make back the cost + all other ancillaries while only driving part time is almost non-existent.

However, the other question of 'should I go carless' is an excellent idea.  By all means get a bus pass. But don't supplement the bus pass with a bunch of uber/lyft rides. Get a bike instead. This is what I just did, not only am I in better shape but my monthly cost on things related to my care went from about $150 per month to zero.

Sell your current car, don't lease a car, don't drive for uber, don't use uber or taxis, get a bike.

kmb501

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Re: Considering going carless...
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2016, 02:29:35 AM »
Should you lease a car to drive for Uber? Absolutely not, as other have already stated, the chance that you make back the cost + all other ancillaries while only driving part time is almost non-existent.

However, the other question of 'should I go carless' is an excellent idea.  By all means get a bus pass. But don't supplement the bus pass with a bunch of uber/lyft rides. Get a bike instead. This is what I just did, not only am I in better shape but my monthly cost on things related to my care went from about $150 per month to zero.

Sell your current car, don't lease a car, don't drive for uber, don't use uber or taxis, get a bike.

To be honest, I'm kind of a big chicken about riding my bike on the road. I feel like cars in this area don't give bikers proper courtesy, and I'm assuming that could be dangerous. If I could make my bike go 20 mph or more without peddling much, though, that might be another story, because then my bike could sort of keep up with traffic. The route I could take to work is relatively bike-friendly, but there are no buses that run in that area.

I need to do something about this car situation, though. I think I'm going to try something as soon as possible. This morning, I think I'm just going to try to take the bus, but I need to get into the habit of riding a bike to see if I can get comfortable relying on it as a form of transportation.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2016, 02:34:54 AM by kmb501 »

Sibley

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Re: Considering going carless...
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2016, 02:06:27 PM »
An e-bike might be a good option for you, at least regarding speed. However, if possible, live near work, work, and school so walking/biking is a viable option.

cincystache

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Re: Considering going carless...
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2016, 05:11:16 PM »
I wouldn't lease a car to Uber for reasons others have already stated.

+1 on moving closer to work and school so you can walk and/or bike

How about you put your car key into a block of ice for a month so you pretend you don't have a car to see how things go? That would give you an idea of what a car free life would be like.

jaysg7

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Re: Considering going carless...
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2016, 09:22:21 PM »
I agree on the ebike comment, but I'd try a regular bike first. Test one out on the roads you're nervous about during the lower hours, if any, to get a feel for it. I'm always nervous about riding in a new area and it always turns out to be fine. Read up on bike safety also.

Going carless is a great idea and great for your physical/mental/financial health. I'm working towards the same goal.

kmb501

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Re: Considering going carless...
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2016, 04:28:56 PM »
I wouldn't lease a car to Uber for reasons others have already stated.

+1 on moving closer to work and school so you can walk and/or bike

How about you put your car key into a block of ice for a month so you pretend you don't have a car to see how things go? That would give you an idea of what a car free life would be like.

I've been trying it for about two days. So far, not so good. I end up calling Uber taxis to pick me up during the hours the bus doesn't run or when it would be inconvenient. I work until about 8:00 PM at one of my jobs, and the bus stops running at about 7:00 PM. Plus, the bus only runs once per hour, and the streets are pretty busy. I haven't tried biking, so I might try that before I give up entirely, but so far this has been a small hassle. It takes much longer to get where I'm going, and I have little down time. So far, in the course of three days, I've spend around $50 for the privilege of being car-less.

I haven't tried biking, though. I'm actually a bit afraid to. Maybe things would change if I started doing that. A lot of the places I need to get to are too far to walk to quickly but a good bike might get me there.

torbisen

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Re: Considering going carless...
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2016, 01:50:39 AM »
How far is it to work? If your area is fairly flat go for a race bike instead of an electric. You will get in shape quick, i can go 30km/h in the flats with "no" effort on a race bike. 40 for up to an hour if i go maximum all out. The electrics are generally mor expensive, bad handling and do not go faster on flats.

dilinger

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Re: Considering going carless...
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2016, 02:22:41 AM »
There may be a local bike advocacy group or something that will help you master the skills needed to get comfortable biking with cars.  I mean, as comfortable as you can get given the circumstances.

Plug into the local bike community. If there's no organized advocacy/educational group, you may be able to find people who help others get into biking by showing them routes and riding with them.

kmb501

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Re: Considering going carless...
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2016, 05:57:44 PM »
How far is it to work? If your area is fairly flat go for a race bike instead of an electric. You will get in shape quick, i can go 30km/h in the flats with "no" effort on a race bike. 40 for up to an hour if i go maximum all out. The electrics are generally mor expensive, bad handling and do not go faster on flats.

I think I'll look for one, even though this area has a lot of hills and curves and bumps, not to mention traffic that frequently goes over 60 mph on its way to work! I still think it might be possible for me to stay safe, as long as I have the right equipment. I think I'm going to start by looking on Craigslist for a good used non-motorized cruiser bike, outfit it with the recommended safety equipment (headlight, taillight, turn signals, horn, etc.), and try to ride it along the back roads to my usual destinations, like work and other places. If I succeed, I may use it as a regular form of transportation. If I fail, I'll probably just keep driving and look for a better vehicle. At least I can cross one option off of my list.

The e-bikes are also pretty expensive, so I don't think I'm going to explore that option right now. I've seen other pedal assisted bikes, but I wonder if they are even legal, as some go 30 mph or more. I was interested, but I've heard you have to have a moped license to ride these, and that means you have to pay for a tag and insurance coverage (which can be high on a motorcycle).

torbisen

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Re: Considering going carless...
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2016, 07:59:38 AM »
I have brought my bike to "every" corner of the world on vacation. Thailand, Mauritius, Hawaii, Barbados, Spain. Traffic is of cource dangerous some times, but in my last 40000km, i never had an accident, so take care and you will do fine. Although last time i lived in the States (Enterprise Alabama 1999) The biggest problem was that if you walked or biked, the cops would stop you because they were suspicious ;-).

myrax

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Re: Considering going carless...
« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2016, 09:46:29 AM »
You can find a bicycle education class here: http://bikeleague.org/content/find-take-class

If there isn't one in your area, the League of American Bicyclists has some free videos on the basics of riding with traffic safely. Cycling Savvy is a rival organization that also teaches people how to ride in traffic. They just started offering online courses, but I believe they cost money.

frompa

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Re: Considering going carless...
« Reply #16 on: October 22, 2016, 11:14:27 AM »
kmb501 - I'd find it easier to respond to your transportation questions if you provided more info, such as the area where you live, how far between work (full and parttime), school, and your home. 

Pending your provision of that information, I'd recommend against going the "e-bike" route.  The point and pleasure of a bike, for our MMM purposes, is that it is self-propelled and therefore very cheap, health inducing, and pretty safe as well (i.e., you have much less likelihood of injury if you are traveling the typical 8-12 MPH of pedaling yourself versus the higher speeds of a motor propelling you.)  As for your fear of cycling, it's good you recognize that, but no need to stay there.  As others have said, take some time to learn how to ride on the roads safely.  I second the recommendations of the League of American Bicyclists (LAB) road-riding courses, and I've also heard great things about Cycling Savy. 

kmb501

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Re: Considering going carless...
« Reply #17 on: December 30, 2016, 08:40:49 AM »
Well,

I finally did it. I traded my old car in on a newer model, a Toyota Prius. I'm proud of my purchase, but I now have a car payment. I guess having a car payment, though, is better than having an unreliable car that constantly breaks down or a situation where I lose sleep because of having to catch the bus to places. Now, though, I guess I need to try to figure out how to get this purchase to work for me. I'm seriously considering trying to sign up as an Uber driver. If I could drive for Uber once a day, I could probably pay my car payment and insurance out of what I made doing that, instead of having to take it out of what I make at my other jobs. I could save money driving this thing in the long run, because it gets around 45-50 miles to the gallon and can be run off of only electricity for short distances.

My new expense list now looks like this:

Car payment: $280
Insurance: $160
Gas: $50
Upkeep: (included in extended warranty)
Rent: $525
Cell phone: $45
Home phone: (free for now)
Internet: $45
Cable: (free for now)

Now that I have a reliable vehicle, I could cut my expenses by moving further away from my job. The Toyota Prius gets excellent gas mileage, so I could save money even if I had to travel five or ten extra miles to work.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2016, 09:30:35 AM by kmb501 »

Greenback Reproduction Specialist

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Re: Considering going carless...
« Reply #18 on: December 30, 2016, 09:08:11 AM »
I hate to say this... but you rationalized the purchase with emotion. If it makes you feel better, fine, but financially that was a horrible decision, especially considering the student loan debt mentioned above... I don't know what your income level is, but it sounds like you are probably broke, and just became more broke.

The best decision I ever made was to rid myself of the "I need a reliable vehicle" argument, I sold my car with payments and went and bought a $200 beater 1988 Toyota Tercel that got me 30+mpg. I drove that car for about a year or two before saving enough for a nicer 1990 Mazda B2000 for $1200 and got 28mpg around town. I never had to put much into either vehicle.

Now 7 years later, I own a couple pretty nice vehicle, have zero debt(student loans including) and I'm on track to FIRE in 5 years. I never could have got where I am today if I would have continued making car payments, they suck resources and really beat you up when you are down and starved for cash. Maybe getting laid off and having to choose between a stupid car payment or having a place to live is the only way to understand that.

I hope my post doesn't come off to harsh, but I've been where your at. It might sound like a BIG sacrifice, but trust me, not having debt is worth it, and its never to late to turn things around. I've made A LOT of bad decisions myself, they suck and they hurt, but the sooner you realize it was a bad decision the sooner you can change course and move on.

Good luck.

kmb501

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Re: Considering going carless...
« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2016, 09:39:23 AM »
I hate to say this... but you rationalized the purchase with emotion. If it makes you feel better, fine, but financially that was a horrible decision, especially considering the student loan debt mentioned above... I don't know what your income level is, but it sounds like you are probably broke, and just became more broke.

The best decision I ever made was to rid myself of the "I need a reliable vehicle" argument, I sold my car with payments and went and bought a $200 beater 1988 Toyota Tercel that got me 30+mpg. I drove that car for about a year or two before saving enough for a nicer 1990 Mazda B2000 for $1200 and got 28mpg around town. I never had to put much into either vehicle.

Now 7 years later, I own a couple pretty nice vehicle, have zero debt(student loans including) and I'm on track to FIRE in 5 years. I never could have got where I am today if I would have continued making car payments, they suck resources and really beat you up when you are down and starved for cash. Maybe getting laid off and having to choose between a stupid car payment or having a place to live is the only way to understand that.

I hope my post doesn't come off to harsh, but I've been where your at. It might sound like a BIG sacrifice, but trust me, not having debt is worth it, and its never to late to turn things around. I've made A LOT of bad decisions myself, they suck and they hurt, but the sooner you realize it was a bad decision the sooner you can change course and move on.

Good luck.

I totally agree with you, but I was just too afraid to show up to work too many times without a car. Having "reliable transportation" is a requirement for most jobs, and going car less, although it was actually working for me, probably wasn't making the best impression on my boss or coworkers, so purchasing a reliable car was better than getting that unreliable piece of junk repaired every month. I'm sorry, but I guess I thought going car less wasn't worth being jobless, too. I'm making twice as much here as I was working as a substitute teacher. I really would be in trouble financially if I had to go back to subbing.

Plus, I think I can get this purchase to work for me. I could maybe sign up to be an Uber driver, for one thing. I could also move further away from work. I was only paying a little to live off of a neighbor's land a year or so ago. Now that I have reliable transportation, I might try that again instead of living in this apartment. I could save $200-$300 per month doing that. I felt like it was inconvenient and honestly not very comfortable, but I could probably save a lot of money if I found a way to put up with it.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2016, 09:53:50 AM by kmb501 »

YoungGranny

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Re: Considering going carless...
« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2016, 09:52:01 AM »
I hate to say this... but you rationalized the purchase with emotion. If it makes you feel better, fine, but financially that was a horrible decision, especially considering the student loan debt mentioned above... I don't know what your income level is, but it sounds like you are probably broke, and just became more broke.

The best decision I ever made was to rid myself of the "I need a reliable vehicle" argument, I sold my car with payments and went and bought a $200 beater 1988 Toyota Tercel that got me 30+mpg. I drove that car for about a year or two before saving enough for a nicer 1990 Mazda B2000 for $1200 and got 28mpg around town. I never had to put much into either vehicle.

Now 7 years later, I own a couple pretty nice vehicle, have zero debt(student loans including) and I'm on track to FIRE in 5 years. I never could have got where I am today if I would have continued making car payments, they suck resources and really beat you up when you are down and starved for cash. Maybe getting laid off and having to choose between a stupid car payment or having a place to live is the only way to understand that.

I hope my post doesn't come off to harsh, but I've been where your at. It might sound like a BIG sacrifice, but trust me, not having debt is worth it, and its never to late to turn things around. I've made A LOT of bad decisions myself, they suck and they hurt, but the sooner you realize it was a bad decision the sooner you can change course and move on.

Good luck.

I totally agree with you, but I was just too afraid to show up to work too many times without a car. Having "reliable transportation" is a requirement for most jobs, and going car less, although it was actually working for me, probably wasn't making the best impression on my boss or coworkers, so purchasing a reliable car was better than getting that unreliable piece of junk repaired every month. I'm sorry, but I guess I thought going car less wasn't worth being jobless, too. I'm making twice as much here as I was working as a substitute teacher. I really would be in trouble financially if I had to go back to subbing.

Plus, I think I can get this purchase to work for me. I could maybe sign up to be an Uber driver, for one thing. I could also move further away from work. I was only paying a little to live off of a neighbor's land a year or so ago. Now that I have reliable transportation, I might try that again instead of living in this apartment. I could save $200-$300 doing that.

At the same time if you were considering going car-less and biking then presumably you don't live too far from work and bikes are a reliable form of transportation. Moving further away from work instead of biking increases costs too. In fact between your car payment, insurance and gas that's almost $500 right there. Just seems like if you could have made the car-less thing work you would have been on a strong savings path.

Glad to see you are thinking about how to make this all work for you with the decision you've made and I wish you the best of luck in whatever direction you take.

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Re: Considering going carless...
« Reply #21 on: December 30, 2016, 09:57:46 AM »
I totally agree with you, but I was just too afraid to show up to work too many times without a car. Having "reliable transportation" is a requirement for most jobs, and going car less, although it was actually working for me, probably wasn't making the best impression on my boss or coworkers, so purchasing a reliable car was better than getting that unreliable piece of junk repaired every month. I'm sorry, but I guess I thought going car less wasn't worth being jobless, too. I'm making twice as much here as I was working as a substitute teacher. I really would be trouble financially if I had to go back to that.

Re-reading my post, I wasn't real clear. I, at one point, I would rationalize the "reliable car" thing as it meant having a newer car that never needing any work. I bought in to the lie that only newer cars were reliable, when in fact I have discovered that I can get a reliable car that is older and sometimes for dirt cheap. Also, just because you get a vehicle from a dealer and it is newer doesn't automatically mean that it is going to be more reliable(lol ask me how I know). The biggest factor here is the ability to know if a car is and will continue to be reliable, or at least make an educated guess... This is probably the reason why I own multiple cars come to think of it, just as a hedge in the event one breaks down.

In any case, I would HIGHLY encourage you get rid of that car with the payments as soon as possible (and start listening to Dave Ramsey ;). I agree that showing up to work on time is super important, and constantly taking time off to get a car repaired doesn't look good.... I cant count the number of times I've had to repair a car and missed a little work... But, I'm here to tell you it can be done. I've taken my boss and co-workers for a ride in my beat up old 1979 Dodge camper van, one up front and 3 in the back on the fold down couch/bed... Not fancy, but it was my $1000 pride and joy at the time that got me where I needed to go. I believe my hard work, long hours and ability to work with others out shined my crappy car... But I also get it looks REALLY weird to be totally killing it financially and show up to work in a 1979 camper van lol : )
« Last Edit: December 30, 2016, 10:03:53 AM by Greenback Reproduction Specialist »

robartsd

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Re: Considering going carless...
« Reply #22 on: December 30, 2016, 11:46:24 AM »
I totally agree with you, but I was just too afraid to show up to work too many times without a car. Having "reliable transportation" is a requirement for most jobs, and going car less, although it was actually working for me, probably wasn't making the best impression on my boss or coworkers,
Most bosses define "reliable transportation" as showing up on time. If you're there on time, your transportation is reliable enough; if you're citing transportation problems as a reason for being late, your transportation is not reliable enough.

I'm a fan of cycling for transportation. My area is flat and has mild winters, so it is not difficult. Our bus system has bike racks, so it can be as decent backup/supplement (though I often ride fast enough that the bus system would not really save me time).

kmb501

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Re: Considering going carless...
« Reply #23 on: December 30, 2016, 11:59:46 AM »
I totally agree with you, but I was just too afraid to show up to work too many times without a car. Having "reliable transportation" is a requirement for most jobs, and going car less, although it was actually working for me, probably wasn't making the best impression on my boss or coworkers, so purchasing a reliable car was better than getting that unreliable piece of junk repaired every month. I'm sorry, but I guess I thought going car less wasn't worth being jobless, too. I'm making twice as much here as I was working as a substitute teacher. I really would be trouble financially if I had to go back to that.

Re-reading my post, I wasn't real clear. I, at one point, I would rationalize the "reliable car" thing as it meant having a newer car that never needing any work. I bought in to the lie that only newer cars were reliable, when in fact I have discovered that I can get a reliable car that is older and sometimes for dirt cheap. Also, just because you get a vehicle from a dealer and it is newer doesn't automatically mean that it is going to be more reliable(lol ask me how I know). The biggest factor here is the ability to know if a car is and will continue to be reliable, or at least make an educated guess... This is probably the reason why I own multiple cars come to think of it, just as a hedge in the event one breaks down.

In any case, I would HIGHLY encourage you get rid of that car with the payments as soon as possible (and start listening to Dave Ramsey ;). I agree that showing up to work on time is super important, and constantly taking time off to get a car repaired doesn't look good.... I cant count the number of times I've had to repair a car and missed a little work... But, I'm here to tell you it can be done. I've taken my boss and co-workers for a ride in my beat up old 1979 Dodge camper van, one up front and 3 in the back on the fold down couch/bed... Not fancy, but it was my $1000 pride and joy at the time that got me where I needed to go. I believe my hard work, long hours and ability to work with others out shined my crappy car... But I also get it looks REALLY weird to be totally killing it financially and show up to work in a 1979 camper van lol : )

It's a 2010, and it's a Toyota. Yeah, something could go wrong, but that's rare on Toyota. Plus, the extended warranty covers maintenance for a while in case anything does go wrong. I made sure to ask about whether or not hybrid parts were covered under this warranty, and, yes, they are covered.

If I wanted to get rid of this car, though, I could. I could sell it outright, but I would have to get someone to buy it for more than it's worth to cover the total cost with the extended warranty or hold on to it for a while to pay it down. I could also maybe find a qualified buyer to take over payments, but I'm not really sure how that's supposed to work. I wonder if I would still be responsible for anything if the new buyer couldn't afford the car. I do still have options, though, and I think I'm going to look into getting this situation to work for me before deciding that it was a bad idea. I really don't think it was, considering the circumstances. My boss reprimanded me for having to get to work late and for not showing up once or twice due to car trouble. He said that it couldn't continue to be an excuse. I considered taking the bus and biking to work, but the bus would only work for one of my jobs and Uber rides during holidays or during hours when the bus just wasn't accessible wouldn't work as a long-term solution, due to the cost of rides and other factors. Plus, I found myself taking Uber when I didn't really need to in effort to appear to have reliable transportation in front of my coworkers; I can tell you that's not a way to save money, either.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2016, 12:04:19 PM by kmb501 »

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Re: Considering going carless...
« Reply #24 on: December 30, 2016, 01:23:10 PM »
It's a 2010, and it's a Toyota. Yeah, something could go wrong, but that's rare on Toyota. Plus, the extended warranty covers maintenance for a while in case anything does go wrong. I made sure to ask about whether or not hybrid parts were covered under this warranty, and, yes, they are covered.

If I wanted to get rid of this car, though, I could. I could sell it outright, but I would have to get someone to buy it for more than it's worth to cover the total cost with the extended warranty or hold on to it for a while to pay it down. I could also maybe find a qualified buyer to take over payments, but I'm not really sure how that's supposed to work. I wonder if I would still be responsible for anything if the new buyer couldn't afford the car. I do still have options, though, and I think I'm going to look into getting this situation to work for me before deciding that it was a bad idea. I really don't think it was, considering the circumstances. My boss reprimanded me for having to get to work late and for not showing up once or twice due to car trouble. He said that it couldn't continue to be an excuse. I considered taking the bus and biking to work, but the bus would only work for one of my jobs and Uber rides during holidays or during hours when the bus just wasn't accessible wouldn't work as a long-term solution, due to the cost of rides and other factors. Plus, I found myself taking Uber when I didn't really need to in effort to appear to have reliable transportation in front of my coworkers; I can tell you that's not a way to save money, either.

I agree that reliable transportation is very important to fulfilling the expectation of showing up on time for work. Obviously no one here understands your full situation, if the payments on a car work for you and its an expense you fell you can justify then great. My hope is that my posts might help you in your decision and also open up discussion for alternatives that might help you get to FI faster(assuming that's your goal being on this forum). I bet if you look around you can find people in your life or in worse off situations where they don't use a car and get to work on time.

I had a friend, dumb as can be with money(not saying you are, lol just that this guy really is), still one of my best friends none the less, loyal friend, no drama, just a stand up dude. He got his license taken away due to a lapse in insurance, he just missed the little reminder that got sent in the mail and happened to get pulled over(while on a first date with girl he met lol). Well, he sold his vehicle and started riding his bike everywhere. Then he got laid off about the same time as me, about 7 years ago, so to get by he moved to a small rural community and got a job as manager of a local convenience store.

The fact that he rode his bike everyday for about 4 years still blows my mind. We have really bad winters here in Idaho, especially where he was living. I remember getting a kick out of one of his stories. He was riding in a white out blizzard to work one morning and got pulled over by a cop(in his warm car). Well the cop decided that my friend was putting himself in danger by being out in the blizzard and would not allow him to continue on, so he had call a friend to pick him up. Another day he told me he was riding and the roads were covered in ice with a cross wind gusting up to around 30mph. The wind blew the bike out from underneath him and he slid with his bike across a 3 lane road before being stopped by the snow bank on the other side.

If its super important to keep the prius and you think its worth whatever you paid and the price you will pay with your time. What if you threw everything at the prius, how long would it take to pay off?


kmb501

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Re: Considering going carless...
« Reply #25 on: December 30, 2016, 01:38:22 PM »

If its super important to keep the prius and you think its worth whatever you paid and the price you will pay with your time. What if you threw everything at the prius, how long would it take to pay off?

It would take about two years, if my calculations are correct. I make about $20,000 per year, and my yearly expenses (including the car payment and insurance) average to about $14,000, leaving me about $6000 per year to throw at that debt.

 I could cut my expenses down to the bone, though, by moving out of this apartment and back to my old neighbor's land. She only charged me about $125 per month while I was out there, but I didn't like it. The place was really small, the roof leaked, and I couldn't always get a warm shower.  Plus, if anything were to happen to my car, I wouldn't be able to get to work conveniently enough to keep the job.

I could also drastically cut my rent and related expenses by getting a roommate.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2016, 02:00:20 PM by kmb501 »

Greenback Reproduction Specialist

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Re: Considering going carless...
« Reply #26 on: December 30, 2016, 02:17:54 PM »

If its super important to keep the prius and you think its worth whatever you paid and the price you will pay with your time. What if you threw everything at the prius, how long would it take to pay off?

It would take about two years, if my calculations are correct. I make about $20,000 per year, and my yearly expenses (including the car payment and insurance) average to about $14,000, leaving me about $6000 per year to throw at that debt.

 I could cut my expenses down to the bone, though, by moving out of my apartment and back to my old neighbor's land. She only charged me about $125 per month while I was out there, but I didn't like it. The place was really small, the roof leaked, and I couldn't always get a warm shower.  Plus, if anything were to happen to my car, I wouldn't be able to get to work conveniently enough to keep the job.

I could also drastically cut my rent and related expenses by getting a roommate.

OMG!! If it were me in your shoes, and I've been in your shoes(but with a wife and kid), I would jump on the opportunity to rent a place for $125. I would have literally killed to have a deal like that 6 or 7 years ago. The roof might only take half a day(maybe a few days) to fix and few hundred in materials. Then in the first month or two save the extra money and buy a cheap old motorcycle or scooter for about $500. If the motorcycle is running when you buy it and less than 50k miles, it will run forever as long as you keep the carb clean and oil in the motor. Then you have a great summer time transportation and a winter time car, and a backup if one needs repairs.

Only two ways to change the outcome of your equation, reduce expenses and/or increase income. Dude that is a freaking deal!! And I would imagine it knocks the expenses way down, I would be all over that :).... Of course I'm the guy that wants to live in a trapper shack in the middle of nowhere when I grow up lol.



kmb501

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Re: Considering going carless...
« Reply #27 on: December 30, 2016, 02:27:49 PM »


OMG!! If it were me in your shoes, and I've been in your shoes(but with a wife and kid), I would jump on the opportunity to rent a place for $125. I would have literally killed to have a deal like that 6 or 7 years ago. The roof might only take half a day(maybe a few days) to fix and few hundred in materials. Then in the first month or two save the extra money and buy a cheap old motorcycle or scooter for about $500. If the motorcycle is running when you buy it and less than 50k miles, it will run forever as long as you keep the carb clean and oil in the motor. Then you have a great summer time transportation and a winter time car, and a backup if one needs repairs.

Only two ways to change the outcome of your equation, reduce expenses and/or increase income. Dude that is a freaking deal!! And I would imagine it knocks the expenses way down, I would be all over that :).... Of course I'm the guy that wants to live in a trapper shack in the middle of nowhere when I grow up lol.

I'm seriously considering it. I had to pay more for internet services while I was down there, though, and her son (who lives with her) was on drugs, so it may not be the safest place, but maybe it could work. I think I need to continue the way I am for now, though, at least until I can get a good scooter or motorcycle as backup transportation. It would be awful to move down there and have something stupid happen, like a truck swerving out of its lane and totaling out my car. Then, I would have to start from scratch. The last time I moved out there my car was totaled. I eventually bought another one, but it wasn't that easy.

robartsd

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Re: Considering going carless...
« Reply #28 on: December 30, 2016, 03:00:26 PM »
I'm seriously considering it. I had to pay more for internet services while I was down there, though, and her son (who lives with her) was on drugs, so it may not be the safest place, but maybe it could work. I think I need to continue the way I am for now, though, at least until I can get a good scooter or motorcycle as backup transportation. It would be awful to move down there and have something stupid happen, like a truck swerving out of its lane and totaling out my car. Then, I would have to start from scratch. The last time I moved out there my car was totaled. I eventually bought another one, but it wasn't that easy.
I'm hoping the totaled car wasn't all that related to living there (but more miles driven does mean more risk of collision on the road). But the son on drugs certainly would make me lean more towards finding a roommate as a way to save on housing costs (and of course I've already stated my preference for cycling).

dilinger

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Re: Considering going carless...
« Reply #29 on: December 30, 2016, 04:10:43 PM »
It would take about two years, if my calculations are correct. I make about $20,000 per year, and my yearly expenses (including the car payment and insurance) average to about $14,000, leaving me about $6000 per year to throw at that debt.
[...]
I could also drastically cut my rent and related expenses by getting a roommate.

You could drastically cut your expenses by getting rid of your car.

According to your numbers above, you have $1105/mo in expenses; $490 of that is spent directly on your car.  That makes your transportation costs at least 44% of your expenses, and that's probably not even including maintenance (oil changes, etc).  If you could find a place within easy walking or biking distance of work that rents for less than $1015/mo, you could get rid of the car and come out ahead.  You would also get some guaranteed daily exercise, fresh air, and so on.  Moving further away from work guarantees that transportation will continue to be your biggest expense.

kmb501

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Re: Considering going carless...
« Reply #30 on: December 30, 2016, 05:55:20 PM »
It would take about two years, if my calculations are correct. I make about $20,000 per year, and my yearly expenses (including the car payment and insurance) average to about $14,000, leaving me about $6000 per year to throw at that debt.
[...]
I could also drastically cut my rent and related expenses by getting a roommate.

You could drastically cut your expenses by getting rid of your car.

According to your numbers above, you have $1105/mo in expenses; $490 of that is spent directly on your car.  That makes your transportation costs at least 44% of your expenses, and that's probably not even including maintenance (oil changes, etc).  If you could find a place within easy walking or biking distance of work that rents for less than $1015/mo, you could get rid of the car and come out ahead.  You would also get some guaranteed daily exercise, fresh air, and so on.  Moving further away from work guarantees that transportation will continue to be your biggest expense.

Yes, but it's a Prius, so I could actually move about 20 miles away from work and still not pay that much in gas. It wasn't the world's most financially sound move, but I don't have a motorcycle license and am legitimately leery of riding a bicycle or motorcycle on a busy road at night. I've done the math, and I would actually come out ahead if I could find a way to make more money with the car. Plus, oil changes and other basic upkeep are covered under the warranty, for now. 
« Last Edit: December 30, 2016, 05:57:40 PM by kmb501 »