|Not mine, but it looks exactly the same|
I promise I’m not changing my transportation options just to write articles! I have been completely and totally as honest and forthcoming as possible since starting Dividend Mantra, as I want this to be a completely transparent view of one man’s march toward financial freedom. As such, this blog will chronicle both my victories and failures. I have decided to change my transportation once again as I constantly keep an eye on frugality while trying to maintain a balance of reliability and quality of life. While I like being frugal and living as cheaply as possible, I also need a reliable way to work as being late is something that is not tolerated well by my current employer. I had thought that purchasing a cheap vehicle, as I chronicled back in January, was the best way to balance reliability and frugality but I have now realized that I was wrong.
I am a frequent visitor and contributor to the Early Retirement Extreme Forums, and I regularly post information there for sharing and mutual learning. I posted last month’s income/expense report, and one member there called me out for a little lifestyle inflation. Although I had thought I had a pretty firm grasp on my expenses, after some careful consideration I realized that I had indeed been subject to a little inflation. This could be due to the fact that I’m making a little more money than I was last year, or perhaps frugality and riding the bus was wearing me out. I don’t know. But, at any rate, I knew that quick thinking was necessary to put me back on track. I decided to sell my car this past weekend, for the same exact $1,900 I paid for it. I listed it for sale on Craigslist, and it sold less than six hours later.
I took that money and quickly paid $1,375 for a used blue 2008 Yamaha Zuma 49cc scooter. There are a couple of really great things about this trade-off. A scooter is a really great tool for saving money. I have listed just a few great things about owning one:
- With a 49cc motor, it doesn’t require insurance in the state of Florida. This will save hundreds of dollars a year.
- It gets about 100 mpg. Do the math.
- Yearly registration is a fraction of what a vehicle costs.
- Maintenance is very cheap. Everything is very small, and very cheap on these.
All things considered, I probably should have gone with this option in the first place. I’ve discussed the idea of buying a scooter a few times before on this blog, but my fear of getting hurt riding one kept me from going through with the idea. I decided this weekend that fear is my enemy. Fear is what keeps people in line, plodding along with everyone else. If I let fear run my life, I wouldn’t be on the journey I’m currently on so it was time to step up. I was also also a bit concerned about the scooter getting stolen, so I decided to lock it up to a bike rack located in the apartment complex with a U-lock and a cable lock. If someone cuts through both of those and loads it up in a truck, then I guess it was meant to be.
I’ll still also continue to ride the bus, as it’s economical, safe and practical. The scooter not only gives me a cheaper alternative to the bus, but also allows me a back-up plan in case the bus is running late. I actually enjoy riding the bus for the most part, but the lack of reliability was starting to cause a rift at work. I now have two economical ways to get to work. If the bus is running late, I just walk over to the bike rack that the scooter is locked up to and hop on. We’ll see how all this works, but I’m excited to get back on the frugal train. One great thing is that not only did I trade my car for a much more economical choice, but I also received money back in the process in the form of the difference in costs between the two. I’ll be counting this difference as an “other” source of income for March when I post my income/expense report next month.
The scooter certainly has it’s share of disadvantages. They’re not completely safe, as getting hit on one would probably mean extreme injury or death. I’m subject to the weather when I’m riding on one, so rain could make things difficult. It also doesn’t have a lot of room for cargo/groceries/stuff. That last one might actually be an advantage, depending on your viewpoint. When considering these disadvantages, I view it as a positive trade-off.
I hope this is the last article in the “My New Ride” series! I’ll make sure to keep all readers updated as I ride the bus and the scooter and let everyone know how this frugal combination is treating me. To any readers out there that also ride scooter; I would appreciate any tips or information!
How about you? Ever consider buying a scooter?
Thanks for reading.
Photo Credit: Total Motorcycle