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Archive for the ‘Car’ Category

Gas, oh, gas

I just filled up the Old Faithful this weekend for $3.40/gallon. Regular Unleaded. Two weekends ago it was $3.07 a gallon. Prices are now $3.50+.

WHY?

This gas price is really a pain in the you-know-where… I have $150 for gas/parking, and so now my plan is to minimize ALL parking expenses (which is difficult, given that most of the places near my home require valet parking or paid parking***) and devote the full force of the $150 towards gasoline purchase.

To be honest, I have NOT made any dramatic changes to my driving habits in response to the rapid upswing in gas prices. On the weekdays I commute to work & back (~12 miles round-trip). On the weekends I drive more (~100 to ~200 miles) to see CB, volunteer, etc. Now, one thing I really dislike is feeling like I can’t go somewhere because it’s too expensive to drive. If gas prices keep rising (til $4+), however, I’d have to make some adjustments.

Have you made any changes to your routine because of the gas prices? Would you rather cut back in other areas or would you reduce your driving?

***Does PAYING to park at a mall where you’d be spending $$$ anyway bother you? (At least give me validated parking!) ‘Cause it’s always bugged me a little. Isn’t it enough that I’m buying things from your store? Why do I still have to pay $3?

***I once paid $10 to park for a not-so-good play. Never doing that again.

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Car, oh, car

Well, I thought that because I don’t have a car payment the cost of owning and operating a vehicle would be… I don’t know… LOWER?

I’ve done a quick tally of all the costs associated with my car:

Gasoline/parking: $150 a month
Auto insurance: $125 a month
Oil change/maintenance/repairs: $85/month
Total: $150+$125+$85 = $360.

So every month, my car get $360 of my $2,000 budget, or 18%. I might be under budget, especially if I don’t have any major repairs this year, but still…

This result showed me that, NO! It’s not cheap owning a car (even if I own it free & clear) – it’s just a lot cheapER than driving a car that you still have to make payments towards. This means that if I get a new car, with a monthly payment of $350 or $450, the total cost of having a car can easily rival (or exceed) my rent.

*Does not compute*

People with a car – how much does your car cost you? People without a car – how much does public transportation cost you? People who would rather spend the $$$ on something else – does this talk of $4 gallon/gas make you cringe?

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$150 in my pocket!

I just called my car insurance company and got my 6-month premium lowered from almost $850 to a little over $700. My monthly payments will be almost $25 cheaper.

That $25 will probably be (more than) eaten up by rent increases when my lease is up in the summer. Oh well.

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