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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 01-16-07, 07:33 PM   #1
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MSN says "The Real Reason Your'e Broke"

This should be no surprise to us. Nice to see it on MSN
http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com...&wa=wsignin1.0
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Old 01-16-07, 08:46 PM   #2
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Reads like it could have been written from parts of the Living Car Free forum. Are we mainstream yet?
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Old 01-16-07, 09:44 PM   #3
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I wonder how many people will see themselves in that article and decide to make a change? I have an '01 Ranger that cost me about 8k three years ago, I got rid of a 30k minivan to buy the Ranger...I found I was getting angry every single month when I wrote out that big check so decided to do something about it.

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Old 01-16-07, 10:11 PM   #4
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This article was amazing. Among other things, I learned that people at the lower end of the income spectrum actually spend less of their total income than people at the upper end (14% vs. 19%), but that people in the middle spend the most (21%). It kind of makes you wonder if people learned decent math skills when they were young; it seems insane to me to spend $400-800 a month on a car.... (Bikes and bus passes seem really smart right now, don't they?)
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Old 01-17-07, 06:19 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bragi
It kind of makes you wonder if people learned decent math skills when they were young;
This comment made me remember that back in college, several of my math professors rode bikes to work. I remember getting in conversations with them at the bike rack. I don't recall seeing any other professors on bikes though I'm sure professors in other departments must have ridden. The math department was small too. One showed up looking like Dr. Frankenstein's monster- he had been struck by a car and landed on his face. He still biked after that too. My favorite was Dr. Sigmon, he was active in arguing to the city about making it more bike friendly. I wouldn't be surprised if there is a correlation between being able to think logically and rejecting car culture.
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Old 01-17-07, 09:20 AM   #6
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awesome article
Cars were my first love and ate the first 3 years of pay after getting out of college.
now down to 2 paid-off, inexpensive vehicles. may sell one as it gets driven maybe once a month.
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Old 01-17-07, 09:30 AM   #7
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Awesome article !!

I will repost it EV3RYWh3R !
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Old 01-17-07, 09:51 AM   #8
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People in the upper income brackets are in the upper income brackets because they know how to handle money... mostly. There are lots of doctors and lawyers living paycheck-to-paycheck, though.
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Old 01-17-07, 10:36 AM   #9
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There are lots of doctors and lawyers living paycheck-to-paycheck.
I know some.I went to a private high school with (obviously) a ton of rich kids. while i was stuck driving the old family station wagon, lots of kids wer drving new mustags, bmw's, land rovers, etc. I got some joy however knowign that my family actually had more disposible income than some of my rich friends. My parents paid off their house in 20 years, and all our cars were bought used, mostly in cash. So pretty much everything my parents brought home could go towards fun stuff vacations, bikes, skis and whatnot, while my friends' families wer racking up credit card debt for so same things.

what good is that $100,000 a year job if all the money is going to debt service on your house, your jag, you r lexus and your Escalade (yes i know someone with those vehicles), not to mention your credit card debt. I really can't believe how so many people live outside their means, rich and poor.
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Old 01-17-07, 01:16 PM   #10
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One of the few times I've read something like this in the mainstream media:

Quote:
Originally Posted by MSN
Rethink the whole thing. Isn't there something else on which you'd rather spend $8,000 a year? With that as your motivator, you may be able to find a way to live without a car, or with one less car if yours is a multiple-vehicle family, or to keep the car you have going for a little longer. Maybe not, but it's worth thinking about the options before you commit yourself to another payment.
(from MSN.com)
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Old 01-17-07, 01:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acroy
awesome article
Cars were my first love and ate the first 3 years of pay after getting out of college.
now down to 2 paid-off, inexpensive vehicles. may sell one as it gets driven maybe once a month
.
Yup, might as well sell it...and maybe the othe one too?
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Old 01-17-07, 01:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody
Yup, might as well sell it...and maybe the othe one too?
Roody, do you live car-free up there in Lansing?? Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!
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Old 01-17-07, 01:25 PM   #13
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Wow, great article. I'm recently car lite and loving it (one car, two drivers...I'm rarely one of them).

Reading this article just reinforces the fact that I'm making a [what I believe to be] wise decision.
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Old 01-17-07, 01:47 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Queen
Roody, do you live car-free up there in Lansing?? Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!
Yes indeed, and I love it here. I'm glad that we're finally geting some real winter weather. I'm putting my studded tires on my bike this afternoon. (Not riding lately due to knee injury, but I'm almost ready to get back in the saddle.)
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Old 01-17-07, 01:51 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody
Yes indeed, and I love it here. I'm glad that we're finally geting some real winter weather. I'm putting my studded tires on my bike this afternoon. (Not riding lately due to knee injury, but I'm almost ready to get back in the saddle.)
We've mostly had flurries and some ice so far this year (in CU), still I'm not sure I even own enough warm clothing to ride in the 8F temps we had yesterday.
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Old 01-17-07, 01:59 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Queen
We've mostly had flurries and some ice so far this year (in CU), still I'm not sure I even own enough warm clothing to ride in the 8F temps we had yesterday.
Instead of buying new clothes that you'll almost never need, try putting on another layer of clothing that you already have. For example, you could wear a soft wool sweater as a base layer, over (or even under, if it's soft enough) a t-shirt or jersey. If you have long johns, wear them over your cycling shorts and under a pair of pants.


"Beware of enterprises that require new clothing."
--H. D. Thoreau (paraphrased because I can't recall the exact quote)
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Old 01-17-07, 02:36 PM   #17
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Well she never mentioned a motorcycle and a trailer.

My commute might get super long and need to get one. I phsically can't hold a job, college, commute and have enough time.
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Old 01-17-07, 04:30 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acroy
awesome article
Cars were my first love and ate the first 3 years of pay after getting out of college.
I know how you feel. I grew up wanting to be a car designer. But the Oil Embargo happening just when I was going off to college made that seem like an unwise career decision. So I've always had a love-hate relationship with the car.

But as I get older, the side I'm on seems clearer. My oldest vehicle is a bicycle. It's seen 4 cars come and go and the 5th one is sidelined. I think it's slipping sugar in their gas tanks.
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Old 01-17-07, 05:05 PM   #19
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I've had 23 vehicles. Cars, pick up trucks, straight trucks, and a couple motorcycles. Ive driven 1.1 million miles, did that by age 35. Im not sure what Ive spent total, but just the purchase prices come in at around $150,000, ya I bought quite a few used ones of the $500-$1000 variety. Ive probably spent around a 1/4 million or so on cars/fuel/car stuff since 1982. Considering I did almost all my own wrenching, I shudder to think what it would have been letting someone else do the repairs. Still, after driving for a living, I was probably around 30 before I finally got a clue and made the choice to get out of that type of life. Took 5 more years before the car life was history.

the car culture will enslave alot of people, I refuse to live under that yoke any longer
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Old 01-17-07, 05:29 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pedex
I've had 23 vehicles. The car culture will enslave alot of people, I refuse to live under that yoke any longer
Yow, that's more cars than I've had bikes.

Bikes never seemed to have any style potential when I was younger. I think things are changing.

Especially Alt bikes like Atomic Zombie makes have the creativity I enjoyed in car designs. I bought a chopper bicycle just for fun. Now if I could only find time for a welding class and some room to build bikes in.

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Old 01-18-07, 09:49 AM   #21
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Motorcycles aren't exactly cheap either. Cars were always just transportation for me.

I am down to 1 non-running motorcycle. The Guzzi was sold last spring and three new bicycles and living debt free soon followed. The cash hole of an old clunker was solved when I gave it away.

Low income and a car= poverty.

Low income and bicycling and occasional bus riding= a pretty good life.
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Old 01-19-07, 12:37 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wheel
Well she never mentioned a motorcycle and a trailer.

My commute might get super long and need to get one. I phsically can't hold a job, college, commute and have enough time
.
Location, location, location.

Moving to a better location might be cheaper than buying the motorcycle and trailer. Besides being expensive, motorcycles have little (if any) advantage over cars when it comes to the environment. They are also less practical than either cars or bicycles in bad weather.
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Old 01-19-07, 10:14 PM   #23
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I'm surprised no one's mentioned the obvious transportation choice that was not named in the article!

Although the article mentioned people living in rural areas having more of a real need, due to lack of public transportation, I was disappointed they didn't get into how much suburban sprawl exacerbates that. I don't know if it works the same in other areas of the country, but around here, sprawl is partly driven by rising real estate and rental prices in the metropolitan areas, forcing poorer people out into the countryside where prices are cheaper, thereby increasing their need for a car!
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Old 01-21-07, 12:53 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by JohnBrooking
I'm surprised no one's mentioned the obvious transportation choice that was not named in the article!

Although the article mentioned people living in rural areas having more of a real need, due to lack of public transportation, I was disappointed they didn't get into how much suburban sprawl exacerbates that. I don't know if it works the same in other areas of the country, but around here, sprawl is partly driven by rising real estate and rental prices in the metropolitan areas, forcing poorer people out into the countryside where prices are cheaper, thereby increasing their need for a car!
It's way different here. The rich people have abandoned the cities and set up their McMansion communities many miles out. With 2 acre lots, sprawl occurs on a monumental level. Here, sprawl is not driven by real estate prices. It's driven by racism and an irrational phobia about crime.
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Old 01-21-07, 10:24 PM   #25
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My niehbor complains of being broke all the time. She can't figure out why. She has a good job with good pay. Who am I to tell her that eating out every single day and driving her two cars everywhere may be the cause to both money and her weight problems... She complains about her weight too. She wants to join a gym and always wants to buy the latest diet craze. I try to explain things to her but she thinks I'm just "naturally" skinny... Of course she thinks I'm crazy for riding in the rain, to the supermarket, or work, etc... Go figure I've learned that I can't save the world but maybe her daughter will use me as an influence one day and realize that their is another way of life.
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