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Old 02-16-2013, 06:23 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,101 posts, read 16,163,564 times
Reputation: 12713

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Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
Not everyone wants to live in an urban setting. I'm in sales and NEED to drive to get to my customers locations--most of which are not (and couldn't be due to the type of industry they are in) accessible via mass transit. If I lived in an urban setting I'd have to pay for parking, and I'd pay higher insurance.
Not in sales, but likewise outside (the office) job. I do go to San Francisco a few times a month and it's always a headache. I went Friday, took 20 minutes to go two miles in the City, paid $30 to park five blocks away, then I got stuck on the on-ramp for 20 minutes.

Likewise, no car loan. I bought mine with a two-year note. It's an '08, I'll probably buy another in a year or two just because of the miles I put on. So far it's still reliable but I suspect it'll start having issues around 150k. I'll probably finance. At .9%, I really don't see a reason not to.

 
Old 02-16-2013, 06:23 PM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 877,618 times
Reputation: 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
US has lower energy costs than most of Europe... not sure what you're talking about? It's one of the reasons we consume so much here. Energy is cheap, why not? Go to Germany or France where wholesale rates for electricity are triple what they are in the US, and you have more of a reason to use it efficiently.
Taxes on petrol are much higher in Europe - they want to discourage oil consumption.
Who is making the right choice on this?
Again, we may have opposing positions.

The US may someday pay very heavily for its ongoing car dependecy, if the Dollar oil price escalates if/when the Us dollar falls. I am on the strong opinion that this scenario is inevitable, and will be a big shock to the US economy. I am sad that so few of my fellow countrymen are preparing for something that I regard as inevitable... and necessary.
 
Old 02-16-2013, 06:32 PM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,725,726 times
Reputation: 13024
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geologic View Post
Did you choose your job, or did someone force you to take it?

My point is, you choose your overall living arrangement.
By making wise choices over the years, I am in the happy position to be self-employed.
I sold my company. Cashed out, made a ton of money. Never need to work again. I met a former colleague for coffee and confessed I was bored. Three days later my phone rang, and it was the president of a company in my industry calling. He said he understood I was bored, and asked if I'd be interested in working for him. He laid out a very attractive offer, and I now work for him. Because I WANT to. I also live in the suburbs because I WANT to. I've also made wise choices--read sentence three in this paragraph.
 
Old 02-16-2013, 06:42 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,993 posts, read 42,169,049 times
Reputation: 14811
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
Not in sales, but likewise outside (the office) job. I do go to San Francisco a few times a month and it's always a headache. I went Friday, took 20 minutes to go two miles in the City, paid $30 to park five blocks away, then I got stuck on the on-ramp for 20 minutes.
I'd argue San Francisco is a city where more efficient and faster public transit would (extending the rail system, giving buses signal priority or a lane, a Caltrain that actually went downtown instead over a mile away) since the urban form isn't very friendly for driving to being with and there's not space. Sure, it'd be unpleasant for those who need to drive such as you, but otherwise makes sense.

Quote:
Likewise, no car loan. I bought mine with a two-year note. It's an '08, I'll probably buy another in a year or two just because of the miles I put on. So far it's still reliable but I suspect it'll start having issues around 150k. I'll probably finance. At .9%, I really don't see a reason not to.
That's a lot of miles in a year; I average 8000 / year myself.
 
Old 02-16-2013, 06:58 PM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,725,726 times
Reputation: 13024
Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
That's a lot of miles in a year; I average 8000 / year myself.
My husband does about 25,000. Of course if he didn't, people would die. Half of his are put on driving back and force to ambulance calls--he's a volunteer EMT.

Last edited by nei; 02-16-2013 at 07:15 PM.. Reason: I'm sure he will, but still a personal attack
 
Old 02-16-2013, 07:06 PM
 
26,596 posts, read 52,505,094 times
Reputation: 20475
I don't drive a lot... but, I am driving more.

In the past, I would fly to Seattle for work... now, I drive half the time because I can't take the tools and supplies I need with me when I fly.

It was never a problem before... company even bought a second seat at times for the instruments... can't do that anymore.

It takes me 12 hours to drive and 5 to fly with the airport, rental car dance and driving to the job.

When I drive, I have all the comforts of home with me...
 
Old 02-16-2013, 07:48 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,113 posts, read 102,899,540 times
Reputation: 33170
Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Well here's total energy use measured in energy equivalent to kg of oil:

Energy use (kg of oil equivalent per capita) | Data | Table

US is about or slightly more than double.
Only about 10% more than Norway; about 30% more than Sweden for total energy use. Less than half of that of Iceland. It gets colder in parts of the US than it does in Norway or Sweden.
 
Old 02-16-2013, 08:38 PM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 877,618 times
Reputation: 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
I sold my company. Cashed out, made a ton of money. Never need to work again. I met a former colleague for coffee and confessed I was bored. Three days later my phone rang, and it was the president of a company in my industry calling. He said he understood I was bored, and asked if I'd be interested in working for him. He laid out a very attractive offer, and I now work for him. Because I WANT to. I also live in the suburbs because I WANT to. I've also made wise choices--read sentence three in this paragraph.
Okay - just asking. (No need to be hostile, if you were.)
You chose your living arrangement, which now leaves you car-dependent, and vulnerable to a rise in oil prices, and bad roads due to a worsening squeeze on state and local funding.

Since you chose this situation, I therefore imagine that you should be prepared for a squeeze on you finances when the direct and indirect costs of car dependency rise. Don't go complaining that: "the government should do something!" when you chose the situation you are in.
 
Old 02-16-2013, 08:42 PM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 877,618 times
Reputation: 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Only about 10% more than Norway; about 30% more than Sweden for total energy use. Less than half of that of Iceland. It gets colder in parts of the US than it does in Norway or Sweden.
Sure. Heating is expensive.
And parts of America are much warmer that the countries you listed
 
Old 02-16-2013, 08:44 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,801,685 times
Reputation: 32309
Default Is this thread really about saving money? I think not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geologic View Post
It is simple for me:
I CHOOSE not to own a car, and would rather put the money into paying down a mortgage.
So do not expect me to be an expert on costs I choose not to pay, especially since I live outside the US.

Whatever the detailed number are, they are more than I want to pay...
And I think they will escalate in the future.

By being STUBBORN and only living where I can live carfree, I can sidestep much of the coming drama about rising Dollar Oil prices.

Truly, I do not understand why far more people do not adopt this simple, winning strategy.
Geologic: The first sentence in bold was your bolding, and the second one is my bolding. The second bolded sentence is very revealing. At great length you have written about saving money by living car-free, but then you finally admit that it's really not about the money after all, as no matter how cheap car ownership is, you simply do not want to own one. Well, fair enough; I have absolutely no interest to convincing you to own a car - as someone else already posted, there are too many of us car owners as it is. But let's face it, you are an ideologue - a true believer - masquerading as someone who is interested in frugal living. I even agree with you to a certain extent: Gasoline prices can only rise over time, as the amount is finite and the low-hanging fruit has already been picked. I think Americans are daft for chosing gas guzzlers to the degree they have (SUV's and the like), and I think cars like the Prius are wise choices. Did you know that the Prius was the largest selling car or truck model in California in 2012?

But this whole saving money business about which such enormous volumes of ink have been spilled in this thread (and I just read the entire thread - all 200 plus posts) is pretty irrelevant to people with even very modest incomes. I worked as a high school teacher for 34 years - that's about as modest an income as a person can have and still be even remotely considered middle class. And yet I could easily afford modest cars and still pay off my mortgage early. Your constant talk about being carless and paying off your mortgage makes a tacit assumption that the former makes possible the latter. But it's just a smoke screen for your real agenda, the anti-car agenda.
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