Author Topic: I have an obscene commute of 34 miles round trip - need to save on gas  (Read 11996 times)

rionorte

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Should I sell my 2002 Lexus ES300 and buy a USED hybird?
I have done a few calculations and the payback on the cash I will spend to get a decent used hybrid is at least 3 years.

What is the prevailing mustachian opinion on this?

slugline

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I'm pretty sure MMM's recommendation would be to get that commuting distance down to something that doesn't require a car at all.

rionorte

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I am not that badass.  I need to solve the car problem.


Beric01

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I am not that badass.  I need to solve the car problem.

Moving (or else finding a closer job to your current place of residence) is definitely the right thing to do in this case.

Is there any reason you can't move? Your clown car at 34 miles a day is costing you thousands a year (do the math on how many days you work and assume $0.50/mile). You're also spending a good deal of your life cooped up in that car, accomplishing nothing except flushing money down the toilet. Think of what you could do with the extra time!

Get so that you can bike to work. I started doing it 1 month ago, and not only am I saving thousands a year, I'm getting daily exercise without having to go to a gym, which makes me healthier, reducing medical costs, and happier.

slugline

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I have done a few calculations and the payback on the cash I will spend to get a decent used hybrid is at least 3 years.

Share the numbers you're playing with. My gut feeling is that the "payback" would take longer than 3 years. But I don't know the condition/mileage of your current car versus your target hybrid.

Trudie

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The prevailing Mustachian view would be to ride a bike.  But that doesn't work for my commute and it won't work for yours.  Also, changing your work situation may not be easy or quick (depending on where you live), so I won't say that either.  I commute also and am working on changing it, but it is not an immediate choice, so I feel your pain.

Now to your real problem...

I don't really know the details of your car (mileage, etc.) to answer the question as you have phrased.

Here's what I suggest:
(1) You can't consider past costs of owning the Lexus.  They're sunk costs; done.
(2)  You need to compare the future ownership costs of your current car versus various alternatives to make valid comparisons.  Incorporate gas, mileage, maintenance, licensing, insurance price of the car (offset by the proceeds from your current car) and decide.  I don't know how it will come out.

I do know, anecdotally and from articles I have read, is that a hybrid is not always worth it.  As an alternative, you may want to consider a wider range of smaller cars.  (I have a Honda Fit and love it.  My other car is a Hyundai Sonata that routinely gets 32 MPG.)  There are threads on this site about low-cost cars.  One more plug for the FIT -- it hauls stuff like a beast!

I have made peace with my commute until I can do something different with my work situation (also working on it), so I don't beat myself up.  Because I have such a significant work commute I let the thing sit when I get home.  I don't feel like driving and I don't do incessant errands.  I don't run all over at my lunch hour.  I bike and walk on the weekends.  You get the idea.

Best of luck!

rionorte

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Thank you Trudie for a sensible response.  I cannot uproot my family to save money on gas.

I am considering a motorcycle.

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I also have a 34-36 mile round-trip commute, and am not in a position to relocate.

Motorcycles have their good and bad.  It's not fun to ride in inclement weather; visibility goes to crap in rain VERY fast.  Also, road conditions can play havoc with a motorcycle - gravel, oil, even water can put you into a slide.  REALLY think about that before you jump. Also, motorcycles are not as visible as other cars, so you must be vigilant.

And all of the above is why I decided that using a motorcycle for my daily commuter wasn't worth it.

neo von retorch

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Sometimes I wonder where the hell some of the forum members live that they think "Oh it would be trivial to sell my home and buy another and not pay 5-10% in closing costs and also I will only accept jobs within 7 miles of my home but still get paid six figures!" Hmm... I live in the wrong town!

Beric01

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Thank you Trudie for a sensible response.  I cannot uproot my family to save money on gas.

I am considering a motorcycle.

If you're really opposed to making the obvious change, have you considered whether you can use mass transit (bus/train/etc.)? Are they any commuter programs at your work which will give you money for using public transportation? Can you carpool?

Sometimes I wonder where the hell some of the forum members live that they think "Oh it would be trivial to sell my home and buy another and not pay 5-10% in closing costs and also I will only accept jobs within 7 miles of my home but still get paid six figures!" Hmm... I live in the wrong town!

Have you even read MMM's post on the topic? Moving to a better place is a core MMM philosophy. Thinking that you're "stuck" as you are and that you can't change is the opposite of Mustachianism.

frugaliknowit

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I don't know what kind of mileage you are getting (http://www.edmunds.com/lexus/es-300/2002/), but a 3 year payback does not sound bad, and at that point your mileage should be about double (40-50 mpg?). 

If you do it, make sure the newer beast has very good resale, so that when you land the closer job you can dump it as well.

rionorte

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Thank you Frugaliknowit - another great response. 

I know my OLD Lexus is luxury that I don't need but I bought it for $3,000.  I could probably sell for $7,000 and hope to pick something else up for about that same price or an additional $1,500. 


slugline

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If you can get $7000 for your Lexus, go for it. That number was more than I was imagining.

frugalnacho

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From what I have seen hybrid cars rarely make sense financially.  If you drive 200,000 miles, and you get 30 mpg, and you pay $3.50/gal, then you will use 6,667 gallons of gas and spend $23,333 in gas over that 200,000 miles.   How much more is a hybrid going to cost compared to a similar sized gas powered car?  Even if your hybrid cost the same in maintenance cost (it will likely be more expensive), and you don't use any gas, and you somehow get free electricity, then you are only saving $23,333 in fuel cost over a 200,000 mile life span of the car.  And you probably had to spend that much more to get a hybrid instead of a conventional vehicle. 

I too would like to see the numbers that suggest a 3 year pay back period.

Eric

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Is there a way to work from home even one day a week?  That could help.  Is there a carpool option?  Check craigslist, post a flyer at work, or I've seem some places with dedicated phone numbers to call (but I have no idea how that works).

odput

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Thank you Trudie for a sensible response.  I cannot will not uproot my family to save money on gas.

I am considering a motorcycle.

At least use the proper terminology.

Your engine size limit is 250cc if you are serious about getting a motorcycle to save money

cdub

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I am not that badass.  I need to solve the car problem.

Moving (or else finding a closer job to your current place of residence) is definitely the right thing to do in this case.

Well I have a similar 34 mile commute. But there is no way in hell I'd move to be closer for the following reasons.

  • I'm freelance. Where I work changes every couple of months.
  • I work in North Hollywood, Studio City, and Hollywood - not exactly places where I want to raise my 3 kids. Studio City isn't that bad but certainly isn't too family friendly. 
  • But more importantly - see point #1.

I live in the foothills in a green mountainous family friendly community not too different than where MMM lives probably. It only takes me 20-30 minutes to get to work.. and I drive an ELECTRIC Nissan Leaf - so I"m not using gas anyways.

A used Leaf might be a good option for the original poster.

neo von retorch

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Have you even read MMM's post on the topic? Moving to a better place is a core MMM philosophy. Thinking that you're "stuck" as you are and that you can't change is the opposite of Mustachianism.

I have read it. That reminds me - I have 8 nieces and nephews that will only grow up once all within about 45 minutes of me. Yet another reason I'm "stuck" here. But I'm able to rent out rooms and save money there. I'm saving over 50% of my take-home pay. I think I'm doing fine for myself, but I also have a commute I hate (14 miles one-way, 20-30 minutes depending on traffic) which is mostly interstate, not ideal for biking. (Actually not legal for biking in many places!)

I'm also not sure I'd say it's a "core of the philosophy." I'd agree that "not commuting" is - cars are a huge vacuum for money, and driving them burns that money! But MMM just says "moving is often a fantastic idea" and he's "mostly trying to plant the idea in the young, with no kids." He specifically said it works for him because he wasn't close to his family.

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But we were always a far-flung family who got together only a couple times a year anyway.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2014, 02:03:28 PM by neogodless »

iamadummy

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I too have a 30 mile commute one way. 

dragoncar

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Have you even read MMM's post on the topic? Moving to a better place is a core MMM philosophy. Thinking that you're "stuck" as you are and that you can't change is the opposite of Mustachianism.

I have read it. That reminds me - I have 8 nieces and nephews that will only grow up once all within about 45 minutes of me. Yet another reason I'm "stuck" here. But I'm able to rent out rooms and save money there. I'm saving over 50% of my take-home pay. I think I'm doing fine for myself, but I also have a commute I hate (14 miles one-way, 20-30 minutes depending on traffic) which is mostly interstate, not ideal for biking. (Actually not legal for biking in many places!)

I'm also not sure I'd say it's a "core of the philosophy." I'd agree that "not commuting" is - cars are a huge vacuum for money, and driving them burns that money! But MMM just says "moving is often a fantastic idea" and he's "mostly trying to plant the idea in the young, with no kids." He specifically said it works for him because he wasn't close to his family.

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But we were always a far-flung family who got together only a couple times a year anyway.

Yeah, you don't have to follow everything MMM says to the letter.  I agree with his broad view on housing, and like everyone else location plays a strong factor in my selection of a home, but I refuse to blindly "live close to work."  Housing "close to work" is twice as expensive.  I'm in the process of lengthening my commute right now, and my calculations (which include commute costs, opportunity costs, etc.) still favor my new location.  Not to mention that any shortening of my commute will be a lengthening of my wife's commute.  Some day I may try to get a job near my home, but it will not pay as much (even including opportunity cost of travel time).

madmax

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Even if your hybrid cost the same in maintenance cost (it will likely be more expensive), and you don't use any gas, and you somehow get free electricity, then you are only saving $23,333 in fuel cost over a 200,000 mile life span of the car.

I think you are confusing hybrid and electric.

SpicyMcHaggus

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There's not enough information in your post to say yes or no.
However, your car is basically a toyota camry with gold trim and leather interior. You should keep it until it dies. 35 miles round trip is not THAT bad. It could be better, but you have to examine all the circumstances.

For myself, I live in Milwaukee, work in the downtown area, and commute from about 6-7 miles out. There is no closer housing that I can afford. The housing that I have purchased is a duplex that is rented, so I am living there nearly free. I could be biking to work, but to be honest, I'm a gear head. I love to drive and tinker on cars, so as a part of my lifestyle that I enjoy, I drive my project cars to work. I'll be selling my second one this year soon, and buying another project.

If you don't enjoy driving, you should look into biking. Some people enjoy a large house, or keeping the A/C at 71 degrees. I have chosen to cut in some areas while spending in others. MMM is a guide, apply it where you want. Maximum rewards can only be reached with maximum adherance to the principals.

frugalnacho

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Even if your hybrid cost the same in maintenance cost (it will likely be more expensive), and you don't use any gas, and you somehow get free electricity, then you are only saving $23,333 in fuel cost over a 200,000 mile life span of the car.

I think you are confusing hybrid and electric.

It applies to both;  $23,333 would be the ceiling of fuel costs.   

My main point is if

regular car + life time of gas < hybrid/electric, then it doesn't make economic sense. 

Scandium

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Sometimes I wonder where the hell some of the forum members live that they think "Oh it would be trivial to sell my home and buy another and not pay 5-10% in closing costs and also I will only accept jobs within 7 miles of my home but still get paid six figures!" Hmm... I live in the wrong town!

Yeah, for some people with some types of jobs this might be easy. I'm in a very specialized field, jobs are usually in crappy areas outside major cities. I'm not raising my kid in a bad baltimore suburb with 1/10 rated schools, gang violence and plummeting house values to save on gas.. Where the good schools are, where I live, the companies in my field don't have offices.

But if I can find a good neighborhood anywhere in the country, and a CEO that's not such a cheapskate that the office is in the worst part of town I'll consider it!
« Last Edit: July 31, 2014, 04:56:47 PM by Scandium »

BooksAreNerdy

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The prevailing Mustachian view would be to ride a bike.  But that doesn't work for my commute and it won't work for yours. 

Hate to throw the first face punch here... But my DH bikes 15.2 miles one way to work. We live in a rural area and about half of that is on a winding, two lane highway. So, just over 30 miles a day and he does it 4 or 5 days a week. It can be done.

4alpacas

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The prevailing Mustachian view would be to ride a bike.  But that doesn't work for my commute and it won't work for yours. 

Hate to throw the first face punch here... But my DH bikes 15.2 miles one way to work. We live in a rural area and about half of that is on a winding, two lane highway. So, just over 30 miles a day and he does it 4 or 5 days a week. It can be done.
Your DH is a bada$$!

Radagast

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If I flip that 3 years on it's head, it looks like a 30% annual return on investment for the hybrid. Seems pretty logical to me, if you will be commuting that distance for 5 years or more. Unless another vehicle makes more sense. I've seen good things about cheap internal-combustion-only high-MPG vehicles, and also the all electric Nissan Leaf around here. You might also check those alternatives out.

James81

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From what I have seen hybrid cars rarely make sense financially.  If you drive 200,000 miles, and you get 30 mpg, and you pay $3.50/gal, then you will use 6,667 gallons of gas and spend $23,333 in gas over that 200,000 miles.   How much more is a hybrid going to cost compared to a similar sized gas powered car?  Even if your hybrid cost the same in maintenance cost (it will likely be more expensive), and you don't use any gas, and you somehow get free electricity, then you are only saving $23,333 in fuel cost over a 200,000 mile life span of the car.  And you probably had to spend that much more to get a hybrid instead of a conventional vehicle. 

I too would like to see the numbers that suggest a 3 year pay back period.

Not true. I bought a used Prius for 13 grand and it had around 60,000 miles on it. It routinely gets 50 mpg and the maintenance costs are virtually nil (aside from oil changes and tires). A new hybrid car is not worth it, but a slightly used hybrid is well worth the money.

EDIT: I should probably clarify that it's worth the money from a semi-minimalist perspective and not the extremes that are talked about on this website.

surfhb

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I am not that badass.  I need to solve the car problem.

Moving (or else finding a closer job to your current place of residence) is definitely the right thing to do in this case.

Well I have a similar 34 mile commute. But there is no way in hell I'd move to be closer for the following reasons.

  • I'm freelance. Where I work changes every couple of months.
  • I work in North Hollywood, Studio City, and Hollywood - not exactly places where I want to raise my 3 kids. Studio City isn't that bad but certainly isn't too family friendly. 
  • But more importantly - see point #1.

I live in the foothills in a green mountainous family friendly community not too different than where MMM lives probably. It only takes me 20-30 minutes to get to work.. and I drive an ELECTRIC Nissan Leaf - so I"m not using gas anyways.

A used Leaf might be a good option for the original poster.

Exactly!   I live in Huntington Beach and Work in Studio City.    Moving to these areas from a good one is not exactly what MMM would be advising.   I live in HB because it makes my life complete.....I work in LA because this is the career Ive chosen (movie industry).    My commute is 50 miles one way and I carpool.   Is this a possibility OP? 

Not everyone can be 100% MMM
« Last Edit: July 31, 2014, 06:06:49 PM by surfhb »

Beric01

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The prevailing Mustachian view would be to ride a bike.  But that doesn't work for my commute and it won't work for yours. 

Hate to throw the first face punch here... But my DH bikes 15.2 miles one way to work. We live in a rural area and about half of that is on a winding, two lane highway. So, just over 30 miles a day and he does it 4 or 5 days a week. It can be done.

That's actually pretty awesome. How long does it take to ride?

daverobev

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Honda Civic, manual trans, drive gently.

Jacana

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Maybe you can clarify what kinds of hybrids and model years you are looking into? There's a world of difference in purchase and gas costs between a 2011 Chevy Volt (plug-in) and a 2003 Prius for example. A Volt may get you to work without using a single gallon of fuel, which is awesome. But it'll cost you in that 18,000 price tag (KBB used 2011). And it assumes you have a safe location to plug it in at home and work or you're right back to 37 mpg. A 2003 Prius is only around 6,000 (KBB), but only gets 42 mpg which isn't a huge improvement over an efficient non-hybrid.

I second the Honda FIT, we have a 2010. It is reliable and fantastic for commuting and can carry a surprising amount of stuff and gets over 35 mpg. I feel your pain, we cannot move closer to my husband's job because our housing costs would quadruple. He commutes about 30 miles each way on roads with horrific traffic (gotta love DC) and he can't take public transport even close to the base he works on. He can occasionally take his motorcycle but not often enough that it would be a reliable method of transport (ie still need the car). He's furiously applying to new jobs and we're working on moving to Utopia, but in the meantime, it is what it is and we're working with what we got.

BooksAreNerdy

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The prevailing Mustachian view would be to ride a bike.  But that doesn't work for my commute and it won't work for yours. 

Hate to throw the first face punch here... But my DH bikes 15.2 miles one way to work. We live in a rural area and about half of that is on a winding, two lane highway. So, just over 30 miles a day and he does it 4 or 5 days a week. It can be done.

That's actually pretty awesome. How long does it take to ride?

I just asked him and he said 53 minutes one way is his average. He did make it home in 48 minutes once, but he was hauling ass and it was a painful push. Driving, the commute is about 28 minutes one way.

DarinC

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From what I have seen hybrid cars rarely make sense financially.  If you drive 200,000 miles, and you get 30 mpg, and you pay $3.50/gal, then you will use 6,667 gallons of gas and spend $23,333 in gas over that 200,000 miles.   How much more is a hybrid going to cost compared to a similar sized gas powered car?  Even if your hybrid cost the same in maintenance cost (it will likely be more expensive), and you don't use any gas, and you somehow get free electricity, then you are only saving $23,333 in fuel cost over a 200,000 mile life span of the car.  And you probably had to spend that much more to get a hybrid instead of a conventional vehicle. 

I too would like to see the numbers that suggest a 3 year pay back period.
It really depends on the hybrid, but they're as expensive or less expensive to maintain IME.

Here's a link comparing a 2005 PP Prius to a Civic, and it looks like the TCO of the Prius edges out the TCO of the Civic around 40k miles.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1VBnKktkBCj-J9wX3VfiF4VxDMb7H3y8d4GY_zUtjWSM/edit?usp=sharing

There are certain situations where there isn't a benefit. Take for example Toyota's recent sale on their Prius plug-ins. They were going for ~$23k OTD after the tax credit and state rebate here in CA. A Mitsubishi Mirage is something like $14k OTD. And the difference in fuel economy will only save ~$6500 in fuel costs (Gas @ $4/gallon, Prius at 55mpg, Mitsubishi at 38mpg) over 200k miles, which puts the Pris at ~$2500 more than the Mirage. But, really, I think most people would pay the extra $2500 and drive the Prius. It's about having something inexpensive of value versus having something that's cheap. Also, If they can plug-in a lot (~75% of the miles), and have normal electricity prices, the Prius could actually be a few grand cheaper than the Mirage.

Edit- Obviously if someone can avoid the clown car habit, great. But for many people a ~10-40 mile commute can cut anywhere from $100k-$600k off the price of a home close to work.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2014, 08:10:26 PM by DarinC »

Prepube

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Es 300 hwy/city mileage is about 26 mpg, from what I just researched.  A used prius hybrid (2007) in really good condition can be had for 10000 or less and gets roughly twice the mileage (I get 53 in mine).  So, your 8500 budget immediately gains you, what, 60 a month (previous estimated gas expense of 120 dollars divided by two). That 1500 additional cash is made up in about 25 months. 

I traded my SUV for a prius this year and it feels like I am already winning the game because I fill up less and my 60 mile rt commute has turned into a personal contest to see how little gas I can use each way.  My best is 100 mpg to work (mostly downhill) and 45 mpg going home (uphill).  I spend only about 35/week on gas now, which is a lot for mustachian so but a trifle compared to what used to spend. I live west of mmm in the foothills of colorado, and would not trade my location for anywhere else. Mist worth the drive, though when I fire I am looking forward to walking or biking everywhere.

kendallf

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My commute for many years was 17-19 miles one way (depending on route).  For the last ten years or so, I rode to work a good chunk of the time.  From our new house, my commute is 14 miles, and I ride whenever I can (1-2 days a week right now).

You won't start riding that sort of distance the first week, but there are many options to "ease into it": drive in, ride home, ride in the next morning for instance.  I love my bike commutes; when everyone else is stressing out in their box, I am unwinding and getting my daily health maintenance dose.

RapmasterD

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This business about whether you're "mustachian" or not is pure BS. Here's the deal. You're driving a 12 year old car. We don't how many miles are on it, but it's a Toyota/Lexus. It will last a long time.

Your Hybrid payback based on current gas prices would probably be more than you're estimating. Drive your current car until it is dust.

Oh, and given that people in my neck of the woods change jobs every 2-3 years, this notion of moving to be closer to your work doesn't....WORK! Obviously there are extremes. But don't get GUILTED by this forum. Ride your bike to do errands on the weekends. Kill your television. And...cut yourself a break.

rionorte

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Re: I have an obscene commute of 34 miles round trip - need to save on gas
« Reply #37 on: August 01, 2014, 10:26:16 AM »
Thank you Prepube and RapmasterD!

I live East of MMM but work in the same town.  I think I can unload the ES for $4500 and can pick up a used Prius for $7000 I have $2,500 into the new Prius.  This should cut my monthly gas expense by (conservatively) $100 per month so a 2 year payback but increased cash flow.

If I were to invest the $2,500 @ 5% I would have $2756.25 at the end of 2 years or if I invested the $100/pmt for 2 years @ 5% I would have $2518.59.

Based on this I would be smart to continue to run my car until it dies as long as I invest the money. 

Bullocks!  I cannot decide.

MoneyCat

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Re: I have an obscene commute of 34 miles round trip - need to save on gas
« Reply #38 on: August 01, 2014, 10:47:55 AM »
Thank you Prepube and RapmasterD!

I live East of MMM but work in the same town.  I think I can unload the ES for $4500 and can pick up a used Prius for $7000 I have $2,500 into the new Prius.  This should cut my monthly gas expense by (conservatively) $100 per month so a 2 year payback but increased cash flow.

If I were to invest the $2,500 @ 5% I would have $2756.25 at the end of 2 years or if I invested the $100/pmt for 2 years @ 5% I would have $2518.59.

Based on this I would be smart to continue to run my car until it dies as long as I invest the money. 

Bullocks!  I cannot decide.

Don't forget to also calculate the savings on maintenance and repairs.  Since you run the ICE far less often with a hybrid, you don't need to change the oil as often or do as many repairs over the lifetime of the vehicle.  Hybrid components are also required to be warrantied for at least 100,000 miles (150,000 miles in California), so if you get an older but gently driven hybrid that can also save you money on any unlikely problems.


TreeTired

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Re: I have an obscene commute of 34 miles round trip - need to save on gas
« Reply #40 on: August 01, 2014, 11:02:11 AM »
Did I miss the answers to these questions?

-  What is the 17 mile one-way commute like?  ie,  highway/city, and how  long does it take?

-  How much gas do you use? (not the EPA rating, how much gas do you actually use?)

-  What else do you use the car for?

-   Any chance of taking on a passenger for car-pooling?

Personally,   I can't see taking on the transaction costs and risks of selling/buying used cars for dubious benefits.

If I needed a commuter I would look for a 2 seater 2001 era Honda Insight hybrid.  Or I might buy an old diesel Mercedes or VW and convert it to a grease car and run it on old cooking oil.  :)

DK

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Re: I have an obscene commute of 34 miles round trip - need to save on gas
« Reply #41 on: August 01, 2014, 12:31:25 PM »
i have 48 miles, each way. I wouldn't call yours obscene....

at least I get to work from home twice a week.

mm1970

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Re: I have an obscene commute of 34 miles round trip - need to save on gas
« Reply #42 on: August 01, 2014, 01:14:07 PM »
Thank you Trudie for a sensible response.  I cannot uproot my family to save money on gas.

I am considering a motorcycle.

If you're really opposed to making the obvious change, have you considered whether you can use mass transit (bus/train/etc.)? Are they any commuter programs at your work which will give you money for using public transportation? Can you carpool?

Sometimes I wonder where the hell some of the forum members live that they think "Oh it would be trivial to sell my home and buy another and not pay 5-10% in closing costs and also I will only accept jobs within 7 miles of my home but still get paid six figures!" Hmm... I live in the wrong town!

Have you even read MMM's post on the topic? Moving to a better place is a core MMM philosophy. Thinking that you're "stuck" as you are and that you can't change is the opposite of Mustachianism.
This brings up an interesting point.  When that post first came out, I printed out the "cost of commuting" graphic and posted it at work and a few people thought I was targeting them (I wasn't).  But I live in a place where it's really expensive, and affordable places are an hour away.  A lot of people commute that distance.

I was thinking about it  yesterday, though.  When we bought our house, we bought a house between our two places of work. So we could both bike. We were much closer to my spouse's office, so he biked more often (5 miles each way).  We were about 11 miles from my office, so I would only bike 1-2 days per week.

Fast forward 10 years, two kids, and two new jobs.  Now we work 1 block from each other, which is 10 miles from home.  Gee, it would be so much nicer to live near where we work.  As it is, my  commute is 10 miles in the morning, and closer to 15-16 in the afternoon when I pick up the kids at two different places.  My husband's commute is the opposite. We cannot carpool due to the nature of school schedules - drop off/pickup times are such that you cannot work an 8 hour day.  So we, like most parents I know, split drop off and pick up and unfortunately drive two cars.  We had this system worked out when we only had one kid, where 2x a week I'd bike to work, husband would drive with his bike on the back, and then I'd drive home and he'd bike home.  But we never started that up again this year after allergy season faded.  That at least saves 20 miles of driving every day that we do it.

I've thought about moving.  Of course, our house is worth less than we paid for it.  We could probably "swap" our 2BR/1BA/no garage for a house closer to work for the same price, but it would be a 3BR/2BA/with garage, by nature of the age of the homes.  But of course, that would cost about $40,000 to $60,000 in real estate fees for selling/buying.  The tricky thing that I see, really, is that long-term, stable jobs aren't really the norm anymore, and the economy still isn't that great.  So that job my husband had closer to our home - company went out of business.  Now the job is further away, and there AREN'T any jobs closer.  In my experience, where I live/work, you can buy your house to be close to your job, and that will be awesome and work well - for a certain number of years, and then it won't work anymore because you can lose your job and have to find a new one.  The idea of quitting a job with a commute and taking a lesser paying job near your home is good, but only if there are actually jobs near your home.  If you are a renter, you have quite a bit more flexibility.

I'm not trying to be whiny at all, it's just that you can only work with what you have - if you have a tendency towards a stable job, it would lead you in a certain direction.  If I got a good government job at the local university, that would change my plans.

Helvegen

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Re: I have an obscene commute of 34 miles round trip - need to save on gas
« Reply #43 on: August 01, 2014, 03:45:24 PM »
We had to compromise on the commute because moving within 5 miles of our jobs would have driven up the cost of rent more than the cost to commute ever was. I rent a 3b/2ba SFH for $1100 15ish miles from work. To rent the same much closer to work would be more like $1700-$2100, apartments not much less. We carpool and the cost of commuting is about $75 a month in gas. We'd have a car even without the commute, so hard to factor that cost in as an actual commuting cost. In theory, it is cheaper to live within the closest distance as possible to work, but in practice, it just depends on your local area.

tomsang

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Re: I have an obscene commute of 34 miles round trip - need to save on gas
« Reply #44 on: August 01, 2014, 04:28:36 PM »
I just leased a 2015 LEAF for 24 months with $0/down and $290 a month for 23 months.  This eliminates all expenses for gas, maintenance, oil change, repairs, depreciation, etc.  It is $.28 hard cost + .04 of electricity, less if you use the free charges all around town.  For my 40 mile a day commute, the gas savings offset the costs of the lease.  Not exactly Mustachian, but if you want to drive around in a fancy pants car, the all in costs is pretty compelling.

It also in many states/cities gives you access to prime parking spaces and the use of HOV lanes as a solo.     


Check out this forum for more info on the incentives and math to purchase.  I would have lost the $7,500 tax credit due to AMT, so I chose to lease which it gets applied as a down payment.
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/nissan-leaf-almost-paying-me-to-drive-it/