My New Ride!

Well, the time has come. I’ve always been the type to “walk the walk” once I talk the talk. I’ve written a number of times that I’d like to eventually live car-free. Well, that eventuality has come sooner than later. My old ride was this:

That’s a 2006 base model Pontiac G6. Not the most glamorous chariot in the world, but it got me from point A to point B for the last three years fairly reliably. But the expenses have been mounting, and the monthly costs have become too much to bear in my new found frugal living doctrine. Check out my new ride:

I purchased this bike over the weekend. I have been cruising craigslist for the last couple weeks, but came up empty, which is surprising considering the efficiency of craigslist. I paid $109 for the new bike, which I consider a good value if it lasts me just a few years. I think it’ll last longer, however. Overall, it’s a relatively cheap price to pay to rid myself of the $450+ monthly burden of my vehicle. It’s a nice little beach cruiser bicycle. It’s not a road bike, or a durable mountain bike but my ride will be relatively short and I value comfort over speed.

This is a big step in my life, and I’m happy to share my journey with all my readers. I hope that this blog is inspiring, and although not everyone will follow in my footsteps due to my “extreme” ways, I hope it opens your mind up, nonetheless.

I was offered to sell my vehicle to Carmax, which has a car-buying store just north of me. The appraisal on my vehicle was about $600 short of my pay-off on the loan. That will take just over one month to make up and break even. After that, it’s all profit. I’m extremely excited. The car selling process went extremely easy. The appraisal took about half an hour. The actual process of them buying my car took about 45 minutes. I did try selling my car on the private market, but got no bites. I suppose the economy and the fact that Pontiac is no longer made may have had something to do with it. All in all, I think I got a fair price for my car. It had 80,000 miles and it had some repairs coming up. I received $5,500 for it. One article that put my decision to sell over the top was this recent article describing the recent run-up in used car values. When I seen the same sentiment expressed on ABC news, I figured now was the time to pull the trigger.

I have a seven mile journey to work. I’ll have to wake up a little earlier now, as I’ll ride my bike to the bus stop, chain my bike there and ride the bus in to work. The bus stop is approximately 1.6 miles away from my apartment. The rest of the journey to work will be completed by bus. A one-way bus ticket is 75 cents. This is going to save me a lot of money. I’ve calculated a savings of approximately $11,000 over the next two years, which is how long I had left on my car loan. With that savings I’ll contribute most of it to my dividend growth stock portfolio through monthly cost-averaging.

Overall, I don’t think this is going to be much of a sacrifice. Obviously, in many of the big cities here in the U.S. many people live car-free every day. In New York City and Chicago for instance, it’s actually a disadvantage to own a vehicle a lot of the time considering traffic, costs and parking inefficiencies. I live in a very car-centric southwestern Florida city, so I’ll obviously be a little against the grain here, but I don’t mind being a contrarian. In order to reach my goal of being financially independent by the time I turn 40, I’m going to have to take extreme measures. This is one of them.

Only time will tell how this works out for me. Maybe this works out wonderfully and I’ll never own a car again. Perhaps this fails epically and miserably. I’m anxious and excited to find out.

Wish me luck!

Thanks for reading.

Comments

  1. Oculista says

    I must admit this is a brave move. You keep surprising me Mantra. I take off my hat to you. Congrats.

  2. Anonymous says

    Good luck, kind of thought about doing the same thing, has no bus service, but but like you in the auto business also, so I can do most, but not all the repairs myself.

  3. says

    Henry,

    I hear you. My area is very car-centric and from walkscore.com my address received a score of 2!! I just decided that the only way I could do it was just to do it. If I had no car and no choice I would survive. And I do.

  4. says

    Mantra – Cool! You’ll save hundreds of dollars every month, and you will be in better shape for it :) I rode my bike and bussed for years. I used to own a car.. and it cost me a lot.

    Believe it or not, I am in the same situation as you will be. I live only 15 minutes from work with public transit outside the door. Parking is expensive where I work, so no need to drive. I save hundreds of dollars every month that goes right into investments!

    Now remember, being thrifty is a good thing, but life is also meant to be enjoyed! Make sure you treat yourself and the girlfriend to a nice dinner and date-night once in a while, or buy that nice bottle of wine! LOL you can afford it now :)

  5. says

    Ninja,

    Thanks for stopping by. I’m very excited about this. I live in a very suburban area, that’s 2 miles off of a major road. If I lived downtown, cycling/busing would be even more convenient. But, I’m making it work in the meantime.

    I’ll have to heed your advice on splurging every once in a while. Speaking of which, I was at the grocery store today and mulling buying avocados for guacomole tonight. They were expensive ($2 per), but I thought “I’m in the mood and now I’m car-free. I can splurge.”.

    Thanks! Have a great holiday weekend.

  6. says

    me myself and I,

    I had thought about that, but a couple problems exist. First, I work around customers all day, and I can’t be sweaty/smelly for work. There is no shower at work. Second, there is no easy way to get there by bike. There is a major road that runs the length of the trip, but traffic is a bit hairy and there are no sidewalks. I’m simply not comfortable riding my bike in that kind of traffic at 6 am.

  7. Anonymous says

    Recently ditched riding the Subway in NYC during the summer in favor of riding a kick scooter. Saves me about $100 a month and the exercise and sights in the mornings/afternoons are well worth it. It’s about a 25 minute ride from my apartment to where I catch a bus. I wear shorts and a T-shirt when riding ths scooter and change when I get to work to keep myself cool/unsweaty.

    My only concern with regards to avoiding the subway is during inclement weather, when riding my scooter will be too dangerous/gross. So far I haven’t had to deal with some nasty weather, but if it’s too bad that i’ll have to ride the subway, then so be it. At least on those days, I bet the subway’s a bit cooler.

    Good post and good luck on that cruiser

  8. says

    Anonymous,

    Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad to see you riding a scooter. A 50cc scooter was actually one of my ideas, and I still may go that route one day…but the problem as of now is my apartment management does not allow them without a garage. A garage is $70/mo. Obviously, not a good move. Good idea on the change of clothes. If I lived slightly closer to work I would probably follow your idea on that.

    I hear you on the inclement weather. Down here, we get afternoon showers that can be pretty brutal. We’ll see how I survive those. NYC must be great for public transportation. I’ve never been there, but been to Chicago many times. Good luck on your scooter and subway. Take care and stick around.

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