U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Economics > Frugal Living
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
Old 04-24-2010, 07:59 AM
 
Location: Planet Eaarth
8,957 posts, read 17,009,429 times
Reputation: 7193

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by plaidmom View Post
I can relate. I once lived on a small island off of the Gulf Coast. We were connected to the mainland via a very long bridge.

I suppose that's why I am a proponent of "car-lite" living. Keep ONE well-maintained automoblle----then make a game of seeing how long you can go without driving it.

It's probably a good idea to drive once per month. Keeps your driving skills up, the car in working order, and you can run your "big" errands on this trip.
Yes, the "car-lite" lifestyle has many benefits if you live in an area that is rural or laid out with urban sprawl.

Otherwise sell the damn car.

 
Old 04-24-2010, 08:17 AM
 
5,748 posts, read 10,505,876 times
Reputation: 4494
I think car-lite is a doable lifestyle for many people. I, too, am resistant to going completely car-free, but having an older, paid-off vehicle for occasional use is a great compromise. The best part is that now we actually have room to store our bikes in the two-bay garage!

Last edited by formercalifornian; 04-24-2010 at 09:18 AM.. Reason: typo
 
Old 04-24-2010, 10:57 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
15,044 posts, read 13,106,118 times
Reputation: 6419
Interesting thread. Driving is a necessity where I live. Nearest bank and grocery store are about five miles and the library is a few miles away. Closest malls, movie theaters, and "big box" sort of stores are about thirty miles away. I live a rural town with no sidewalks. Most of the roads here are too dangerous to walk on. I'd rather drive and spend the money on gas and insurance than risk getting run over. Also, most residents work outside of town. I drive to school 60 miles round trip, 4 days a week, 240 miles a week. I don't particularly enjoy driving. Its boring and annoying, but it's a necessity. Without a car here, you're trapped. I prefer being a homebody so I usually don't drive anywhere during the weekend.

So while driving is a "necessary evil", I don't have any intentions of giving it up. I'd rather live in a suburban or rural area anyway. Hopefully someday I'll have a job that isn't too far from my home.
 
Old 04-25-2010, 09:24 AM
 
Location: Planet Eaarth
8,957 posts, read 17,009,429 times
Reputation: 7193
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovemycomputer90 View Post
Interesting thread. Driving is a necessity where I live. Nearest bank and grocery store are about five miles and the library is a few miles away. Closest malls, movie theaters, and "big box" sort of stores are about thirty miles away. I live a rural town with no sidewalks. Most of the roads here are too dangerous to walk on. I'd rather drive and spend the money on gas and insurance than risk getting run over. Also, most residents work outside of town. I drive to school 60 miles round trip, 4 days a week, 240 miles a week. I don't particularly enjoy driving. Its boring and annoying, but it's a necessity. Without a car here, you're trapped. I prefer being a homebody so I usually don't drive anywhere during the weekend.

So while driving is a "necessary evil", I don't have any intentions of giving it up. I'd rather live in a suburban or rural area anyway. Hopefully someday I'll have a job that isn't too far from my home.
In situations such as noted here in this post it helps a lot to "bring the world to your door" as they did before the car became king.

Shop the net or other mail order businesses for 99% of what you need and let the already in place network of delivery sources bring what you want to you instead of you playing fetch all the time.

Our grandparents did this with paper catalogs and the post office. We are lucky today since we have both the paper catalogs and the net to buy from.
 
Old 04-25-2010, 01:13 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic east coast
5,120 posts, read 9,418,782 times
Reputation: 9428
Interesting comment form Tightwad..I'd never thought of the similarity of our grandparents ordering from the Sears and "Monkey Wards" catalogs and our ordering from the internet--but they are just about the same, though internet delivery can be so swift sometimes...

And I understand that sometimes those paper catalogs got used again-- or frugal t-paper in the outhouses of the day..I wonder if the ink was colorfast...??

One caveat...it does pay to compare prices with online and offline stores...I ordered some underwear from Hanes.com and later found the same things at the local K-Mart for the same price..but without the shipping charges...the same thing happned with buying a case of organic peanut butter online--it was the same price at the local health food store but without the high shipping fee I paid from the online seller.

I like to save time and money, but since my local stores are very close by, I'm not spending much in time or money to shop there--and I'm supporting the local economy at the same time...which is a good thing.

For lighter purchases--and ones that fit in my bicycle basket, I pedal to shop...two bags of groceries fit in there just fine. My car sits in the driveway most of the time..and we got rid of the second car...big savings.
 
Old 04-25-2010, 01:47 PM
 
Location: San Francisco, CA
12,852 posts, read 10,206,269 times
Reputation: 11487
I finally live in an area where I could conceivably give up my car, and I may do so in the coming months. But I grew up in the Midwest and lived in cities like Columbus, OH and Indianapolis, IN. These are cities with sprawling, far-apart suburbs and scant public transportation options. When I ended up having to change my job to the other side of the city for a year, how else was I going to reliably manage the 25 minute commute except to drive? I couldn't wait on the two buses that sort of go somewhere around the area before noon. It wasn't really feasible for me to sell my house just for a limited stint like that. And it sure as hell wasn't feasible for me to bike all the way.

The point is that most of American society is just not set up to allow a car-free life. America has decided to sprawl out its residences because it has so much space.

You want to see how it should be done so that public transportation works? Go to Europe. Everything there is much closer together from the old days when they didn't even have cars. There is less space in general. When I lived in Switzerland for a year, I could go anywhere in that mountainous country easily, reliably, and without a car. I was in a car maybe a handful of times the whole year. I biked a ton. It was great!

But Switzerland is also one of those "socialist" countries that is willing to levy their tax dollars for that kind of a public good... I wonder how that proposition would go over with this right-wing country?
 
Old 04-25-2010, 04:34 PM
 
2,073 posts, read 3,679,733 times
Reputation: 2498
Quote:
Originally Posted by ambient View Post
But Switzerland is also one of those "socialist" countries that is willing to levy their tax dollars for that kind of a public good... I wonder how that proposition would go over with this right-wing country?
Right. Because you can really compare a country barely larger than Maryland with the entire USA.

Most of this country was built with cars in mind. To undo all of that would require redesigning entire cities. Does that mean it's not possible to use cars less? No. Does that mean you shouldn't bike if possible, or use public transit where available? No.

I have traveled around Europe by rail, tram, subway, etc. -- it was a fun. It was easy. But even in Europe, there are places where a car is a necessity. Yes, even in Switzerland. You probably didn't go to those places because you didn't have a car.
 
Old 04-25-2010, 06:51 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
15,044 posts, read 13,106,118 times
Reputation: 6419
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tightwad View Post
In situations such as noted here in this post it helps a lot to "bring the world to your door" as they did before the car became king.

Shop the net or other mail order businesses for 99% of what you need and let the already in place network of delivery sources bring what you want to you instead of you playing fetch all the time.

Our grandparents did this with paper catalogs and the post office. We are lucky today since we have both the paper catalogs and the net to buy from.
This is true. I was just discussing the distance to major stores and malls so you could see why a car is necessary in my area. I actually only go to the mall a couple of times a year, so it doesn't matter to me. Ordering online and through catalogs is a great idea, especially if you can save money. But there are also certain purchases that have to be made in store, IMO, such as clothes, furniture, etc. Of course you can have furniture delivered, but seeing a picture of it on a computer screen or in a catalog isn't enough for me.
 
Old 04-25-2010, 07:23 PM
 
Location: Planet Eaarth
8,957 posts, read 17,009,429 times
Reputation: 7193
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovemycomputer90 View Post
This is true. I was just discussing the distance to major stores and malls so you could see why a car is necessary in my area. I actually only go to the mall a couple of times a year, so it doesn't matter to me. Ordering online and through catalogs is a great idea, especially if you can save money. But there are also certain purchases that have to be made in store, IMO, such as clothes, furniture, etc. Of course you can have furniture delivered, but seeing a picture of it on a computer screen or in a catalog isn't enough for me.
This is a point where not only your thinking ,but many,many others as well, could use a paradigm shift to get accustomed to total separation from the shop till you drop mindset.

I can vividly remember ordering clothes,furniture, bedding ,kitchenware etc. from the Sears or Penny's catalogs when there was no net to help find what we needed and we did ,and still do, just fine !!

Not only does the net/catalog shopper save fuel cost & time they also save sales tax (on the net) and most of the time shipping cost!!!! I figure any truly frugal person will see the huge amount of money they save every year by sourcing their needs to mail order/net stores.

Now I know this concept will be new and strange to the "mall rat" generation but it's one they had better adapt very quickly to let their money do more for them than the "mall rat" mindset ever will.

Stay home more and bring the world to you while you smile all the way to the bank!
 
Old 04-28-2010, 04:05 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,103,855 times
Reputation: 9065
Quote:
Originally Posted by ambient View Post
I finally live in an area where I could conceivably give up my car, and I may do so in the coming months. But I grew up in the Midwest and lived in cities like Columbus, OH and Indianapolis, IN. These are cities with sprawling, far-apart suburbs and scant public transportation options. When I ended up having to change my job to the other side of the city for a year, how else was I going to reliably manage the 25 minute commute except to drive? I couldn't wait on the two buses that sort of go somewhere around the area before noon. It wasn't really feasible for me to sell my house just for a limited stint like that. And it sure as hell wasn't feasible for me to bike all the way.

The point is that most of American society is just not set up to allow a car-free life. America has decided to sprawl out its residences because it has so much space.

You want to see how it should be done so that public transportation works? Go to Europe. Everything there is much closer together from the old days when they didn't even have cars. There is less space in general. When I lived in Switzerland for a year, I could go anywhere in that mountainous country easily, reliably, and without a car. I was in a car maybe a handful of times the whole year. I biked a ton. It was great!

But Switzerland is also one of those "socialist" countries that is willing to levy their tax dollars for that kind of a public good... I wonder how that proposition would go over with this right-wing country?
Our transportation system is every bit as socialized as Switzerland's, if not more. Almost every single street, road, and highway in the US is tax-supported. In fact, "freeways" really are "tax-ways." Taxes build and maintain them, and their location and configurations are decided by politicians and bureaucrats, not the market. That is socialistic, pure and simple. We Americans simply choose to ignore that just because we "enjoy" the "privilege" of buying the vehicles we drive on that massive socialist experiment. Truth is, there is really no "non-socialized" passenger transportation system in the world. Almost all rely on some nature of government subsidy in order to operate--be that subsidy direct or indirect. The difference is that Europe tends to subsidize relatively energy-efficient, space efficient, and environmentally efficient passenger rail service, and the US subsidizes fuel inefficient, space inefficient and environmentally inefficient automobile transportation. In my opinion, that has been and is a grave policy mistake in the United States that is going to cost us very dearly in the not-distant future. Unfortunately, most of we Americans can't see that huge fiscal, economic, and environmental wreck coming. Too bad.
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Closed Thread

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Economics > Frugal Living
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top