Personal Transportation - my choices
My choices of personal transportation over the years reflect my focus on frugal living, convenience, effectiveness and a willingness to trade off a bit of my time to save money.
All, without sacrificing comfort and safety.
Many factors drive our personal choices, and factors change throughout our lives, so what was once a good idea, may later turn out to be unwise and in need of rethinking.
Therefore, we need to be willing to modify our choices to match our goals in light of current circumstances. As long as you generally steer clear of undesirable forms of transportation, you'll be in much better shape from a standpoint of getting where you're going and saving money.
Personal Transportation in School
In high school, I always walked or rode a bike. It might have been two miles to school, but I always walked, regardless of weather. My dad taught at the high school, and sometimes I would catch a ride with him, but usually I walked.
I didn't drive until my senior year because I just didn't see the cost-effectiveness of a car of my own.
Going to the university, I always drove old cars. The insurance was cheap, I always parked on the street to avoid charges for a lot or parking structure, and I didn't care much about what happened to the vehicles. They were old and couldn't be hurt much.
I also shared rides with a friend of mine, so we cut our cost of transportation in half. Back then a used car might cost only a few hundred dollars.
Personal Transportation for Work
The first year out of college, I didn't own a car. I walked to work, used a company car, took a bus or train, or got a ride with friends. I lived a mile from work and made certain that the apartment I selected was within walking distance of my office.
When I went shopping, I rode a bike or walked. It wasn't convenient, but it was a great way to save money on transportation.
After finding a place to buy that was much farther way from the office, I used public transportation in the form of light rail. So, I walked to and from the train station, and the grocery store and shopping center were only a block or two away from my home.
When you're young, walking is easy and it costs nothing.
Once I purchased a car, I drove it for 17 years and then gave it to a friend who needed one. I paid less than $1,000 for it, and it served me well. I drove it so seldom that my insurance company would send me letters asking me to verify the mileage on it. I put very few miles on the car because I traveled a lot for a living. Once a week I made a round trip to the airport and then I didn't drive for an entire while on travel - that kind of lifestyle will keep the miles on your car quite low.
The first new car I ever purchased was a 4 cylinder vehicle. I use this vehicle as my primary form of personal transportation today, and it has more than 150,000 miles on it. It gets great fuel economy and it was paid for through mileage charges to my customers when I was doing quite a bit of travel.
I own two motorcycles, and both are good on gas and have been used extensively to travel to customer locations around the country during nice weather. They both have over 20,000 miles on them. They're fun as well as practical, but not necessary and therefore a type of luxury item.
I'm reminded of an album by Joe Cocker titled, "Luxury You Can Afford."
Personal Transportation for Working at Home
I own trucks, and they are necessary for work around my estate. I don't use them as forms of personal transportation. Only one is licensed and insured for the road. It's needed for picking things up in town. I drive it only when necessary because it's not fuel efficient.
These days, I don't drive much at all. I telecommute and tend my personal affairs out here at Best of Both Worlds, and on occasion hitch a ride into town when my neighbor has business there. My sweetheart works in town, so she picks up things while she's there, thus allowing me to avoid the time and cost of heading into town for a few things.
I'm happy with hanging around the house and doing my work here. That was the whole point of moving out to the country - to be here instead of somewhere else. So, I'm here to enjoy it.
Done with Personal Transportation, take me to Save Gas