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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 09-06-07, 07:18 AM   #1
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The Real Reason they're broke

http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com...oureBroke.aspx
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Old 09-06-07, 07:21 AM   #2
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I've heard that that's not true. Just because I have a budget, have the car paid off, use as little gas as possible, last replaced the vehicle when it was over ten years old and ONLY because my husband insisted, the pickup was paid off ten years ago, and will be kept until I die (hopefully many years from now)...and I hate paying insurance because there are far better things to do with that money.

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Old 09-06-07, 07:29 AM   #3
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CAR HATER!!!
Just kidding! I just wanted to get that out of the way for anyone thinking that.

It is a really good article and you can apply much of that same logic to the housing markets of the last few years, not this year perhaps.
Hm the first few points there
*Viewing cars as a need rather than a want
*Treating cars as a status symbol
*Failing to consider the overall costs
*Assuming they can afford a payment simply because a lender approved it
At least your house isn't worthless after a few years though. I know far too many people who with two months of their car payments/insurance I could buy my bike and all my gear over again. Then when I mention how much my pedals cost they say they would rather walk Thanksfully I know a few, and many people who would visit this forum may fit this too, that can actually afford the car they have if they have one at all.

If you have a TV, have cable and need to burn half an hour or so watch king of cars sometime you'll see those 4 points in action in almost every deal.

And hey this should point to LCF "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."
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Old 09-06-07, 07:38 AM   #4
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Parts of that article read like rants on Living Car Free.
"Isn't there something else on which you'd rather spend $8,000 a year?"

"...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,..."

"Viewing cars as a need rather than a want. Transportation is, indeed, a real need. We have to get to the grocery store and to work. But many of us have plenty of options, from our own feet to public transportation to car pools to shared car arrangements."

"You can't watch television for long without being bombarded by car commercials, and many of us have absorbed the idea that we are what we drive. It's complete BS, of course, but some people have been so brainwashed that they literally drive themselves into bankruptcy."
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Old 09-06-07, 08:24 AM   #5
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Wow, the average person in my income bracket spends TRIPLE what I do on motor vehicles. Although, in the past few months, I've spent less on the paper weight in my driveway than I have on my bike.
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Old 09-06-07, 08:36 AM   #6
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I just wanna know where all these practicle people are that they are complaining about that only spend 8k on a car every year
'round here only people near poverty spend that little
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Old 09-06-07, 09:13 AM   #7
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That must be for people who buy or lease new cars every few years.

If you don't consider the fact I paid my insurance all at once, my 2000 Civic costs me about $40 in gas a month. But the higher rent I pay that allows me to live closer to work and only drive once a week might tack on an extra 2 or 300 to that.
But I'd still rater have that 2 or 300 go to rent than be dependent on my car, and if need be, go entirely without a car, until I go back to get my masters, that is.
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Old 09-06-07, 09:34 AM   #8
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hey whaddaya know, cars are expensive

it's the American way. Quickly becoming the Global way.

It pays for a lot of advertising. I bet if suddenly all the car advertising money was pulled, the media industry would collapse.

I bet if suddenly every driver started obeying the traffic rules and cops could write no tickets, most local governments would collapse.

I bet if for one week, every car was parked and untouched, the entire world economy would shake.
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Old 09-06-07, 10:43 AM   #9
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It pays for a lot of advertising. I bet if suddenly all the car advertising money was pulled, the media industry would collapse.
That is for sure. Ask any account executive of a TV station. Car Dealers are the ones who pay the bills.
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Old 09-06-07, 11:36 AM   #10
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oh, this is the real reason why I'm broke:


I keep on choosing the one in the right hand over the one in the left hand...
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Old 09-06-07, 11:55 AM   #11
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My old 1994 Saturn SW - paid 1500.00 for it used a few years ago, so no payments. Drive just a few times a week - 20.00 per week in gas. 40.00 monthly insurance. 1 repair all of last year = app. 2000.00 cost last year. And to think I could have put that money toward a bike .
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Old 09-06-07, 12:11 PM   #12
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Every car we've ever bought has been used and paid for in full before leaving the lot. It keeps things simple.
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Old 09-06-07, 12:25 PM   #13
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oh, this is the real reason why I'm broke:


I keep on choosing the one in the right hand over the one in the left hand...
IPA FTW!

Is that a spartan utilikilt?
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Old 09-06-07, 01:12 PM   #14
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IPA FTW!

Is that a spartan utilikilt?
You know it is. Perfect for Ultimate Frisbee (but you have to wear shorts under it, or give people a show, your choice)
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Old 09-06-07, 06:05 PM   #15
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I came here to post this same article, but was beaten to it. My question was to ask why has the bicycle transport crowd failed so miserably? This article says a car isn't a need, it is a want, and then says "many of us have plenty of options, from our own feet..." Do these articles ever mention the lowly bicyle? Isn't the gist of this article "you poor thing, maybe you spend too much on a car, but the dealership is after your money, and car ads are everywhere; what are you going to do, walk?" They give plenty of decent options to lower car costs but it still bugs me that transportation options in this country seem to be one acceptable solution and several unhappy ones (to most americans)
1. car (under warranty, payment)
2. car (beater, unreliable, replace with payment asap!)
3. The worthless bus
4. don't like it, then walk!
And down at the bottom of the list...

5. bicyles are for DUI convictions and poor people
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Old 09-06-07, 07:49 PM   #16
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From the article:

<<<<"Average transportation spending grew more than 12% between 1999 and 2005, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, at a time when median income growth was basically flat. Even when adjusted for inflation, we're spending more: 8.3% more in 2005 than in 1995, with people in the lowest and highest income brackets accelerating their spending the most. <<<<<<<

It's incredible how expensive cars are costing today. I see those same commercials on TV boasting a vehicle costing over 40K -50K! Who's buying these cars! Seriously. It would take me 25 years of hard savings to come up with 50 thousand dollars.

I guss those commercials really don't expect anyone to have that kind of money so you are expected to take out a costly lease for 7 years, return the car back after 5 years and get a new lease with even higher monthly payments! From what I read, this is quite common. Now you know the motorist is broke!
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Old 09-06-07, 07:55 PM   #17
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A key element of the $50,000 car is to justify the $25-30,000 car. Maybe you can't afford an Escalade, but the Tahoe is half the price and almost as good. Same for misgivings about gas consumption and emissions: prospective buyers can say "Well it gets better mileage than the Hummer, so I'm not that bad."
Or "I didn't get the biggest SUV, so when people talk about jerks in SUV's they are talking about someone else."
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Old 09-06-07, 07:57 PM   #18
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From the article:

What we spend on transportation Income range 2005 spending
Less than $19,179 $2,742

$19,179 to $35,999 $5,330

$36,000 to $57,659-------$7,437

$57,660 to $91,704------- $10,504

More than $91, 704------- $15,691

All households
$8,344
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

HOLY COW!

I thought my transportation costs were expensive at about $1,600.00 per year. This includes both for work and play. Folks in my income bracket are spending 10K on transportation! I find that hard to believe.

Those stats are really a sad commentary in this country. If I had to spend 10K in transportation, there's no question, I would be dead broke! I don't have 10K a year in mad money and it's just unreal that people in my income bracket are spending that kind of money. Incredible.
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Old 09-06-07, 08:11 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by kc9eog View Post
My question was to ask why has the bicycle transport crowd failed so miserably? This article says a car isn't a need, it is a want, and then says "many of us have plenty of options, from our own feet..." Do these articles ever mention the lowly bicyle?
The transportation cyclist is considered too broke to afford an "inexpensive" motorcar or even public transit. Furthermore, these folks are considered strange and there may be some truth to this as only the homeless tend to make up the majority of the utility cyclist in urban areas.

The good news, you're starting to see a trend for every major bicycle manufacturer is building a "Dutch" bike of some sort. However, none of these bikes receive any kind of marketing other than a page in Bicycling. In other words, the marketing is still focused on the same crowd hoping those with Lance Amstrong Specials will go out and become transportation cyclists. They have no desire to capture or discover new markets.
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Old 09-06-07, 09:40 PM   #20
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America's love affair is costing more & more with every passing year.
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Old 09-06-07, 09:58 PM   #21
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It's incredible how expensive cars are costing today. I see those same commercials on TV boasting a vehicle costing over 40K -50K! Who's buying these cars! Seriously. It would take me 25 years of hard savings to come up with 50 thousand dollars.

I guss those commercials really don't expect anyone to have that kind of money so you are expected to take out a costly lease for 7 years, return the car back after 5 years and get a new lease with even higher monthly payments! From what I read, this is quite common. Now you know the motorist is broke!
There are people out there to whom a $50k car is hardly a dent in their checkbook. Sadly, there are also plenty of people out there who cannot afford a car that expensive, but bought one anyway. Most new cars probably sticker in the $20-30k range, which is still a painful payment for some.

Personally, I grudgingly bought a new car that stickered at nearly $16k, and handed over a check for the full amount. I hate the idea of making payments on a depreciating asset. Oddly enough, I see them used for only $1k less than I paid 18 months ago. Go figure.
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Old 09-06-07, 10:09 PM   #22
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I could probably swing $5330 a year, but man it would be tight probably and I wouldn't be able to afford any extras in life. I probably have to take a hit in how much I put towards retirment/savings, being car free I am thinking about increasing it from 10% to 15-20%.
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Old 09-06-07, 11:02 PM   #23
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I don't see this as a car problem; I see it as a problem with a culture of instant gratification, combined with easy credit. This problem shows itself in car purchases, but it does not begin or end there. It is present every time an advertiser extols us to buy now and pay later, or every time a sales business offers easy payment plans or guaranteed credit approval. In the past, this was the domain of furniture and appliance dealers.

Too many people don't think about the amount they must spend to buy a new vehicle. For an average working person, the ticket price will work out to six months to one year's take-home pay. (This depends on the vehicle and the wage.) That's just the price of the vehicle. It doesn't include any of the other costs such as insurance, fuel, maintenance or repairs not covered by warranty. If customers actually considered the costs of new car ownership, I think a lot more would look for used vehicles or car-light and car-free options.
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Old 09-06-07, 11:42 PM   #24
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I just wanna know where all these practicle people are that they are complaining about that only spend 8k on a car every year
'round here only people near poverty spend that little
What???!!! I'm not rich by any stretch of the imagination, but I do make a decent living, and even when I had a car, I never spent anywhere near $8000 on driving over the course of a year. Unless you're doing very, very well, it's just stupid to spend that much on owning, operating and maintaining a car. Borrowing money to buy a car is particularly idiotic (though I've done it myself more than once). By using a bike and public transportation, I figure I now spend about $500.00 a year on local transportation. Much better.
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Old 09-07-07, 12:17 AM   #25
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5. bicyles are for DUI convictions and poor people
It depends on where you live. Where I live, there are a lot of bicyclists, and their numbers are increasing pretty dramatically. The vast majority of these new cyclists are definitely not DWIs, nor are they homeless; they're firmly middle class. They mainly want to ride because it's less of a hassle than driving. They still own cars, they just choose not to use them in town all that much.

Today, I had to ride around quite a bit to run errands, and, just to entertain myself, I counted the number of other cyclists I encountered on the way. I stopped counting at 58. (At a couple of intersections, bicyclists outnumbered cars.)
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