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Have you given up the car?

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Have you given up the car?

Old 11-28-18, 02:41 PM
  #101  
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I bike commute to be frugal so that I can direct my limited funds elsewhere.

I also try to commute in a frugal manner, hence a low cost of operation.

Initially, those funds were to pay down my student loans and travel. Currently, it's for a full house renovation and travel. Soon, it will be to raise one (or more) children and travel.

However, I will say that there are many members of this forum that are far from frugal. It would be nice to see other members with a test as in-depth as mine to determine the sunk cost/running cost ratio and to compare to other commuting options.

For example, it took me between 100 and 200 commutes to break even on the bike equipment. For other people, it would be much more expensive until it beat public transport or other options.
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Old 11-28-18, 02:44 PM
  #102  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
I would say that you both share the benefits and convenience of owning the vehicles; it is immaterial as to who drives it to bring home the bacon, literally or figuratively, to keep the household functioning. IMO, you are both car-lite if you prefer that term.
That's true, my wife not being car-lite is a big factor in me being able to be car-lite. That's why I think it makes more sense to say we are a 1.5-car household, vs the common terms 2-car or single-car household.
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Old 11-28-18, 02:49 PM
  #103  
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
No, I'm not sure where noglider found that figure, it was probably from this different post The True Cost of Commuting


MMM recommends investing in low-fee index funds to just track the market (although he also has a little bit of stuff dabbling with peer-to-peer lending (Lending Club)). The rest of the equation is (a) consume (spend) radically less, (b) save radically more. If you are skilled in frugality, you don't need as large of a pile of money to 'retire', and accelerated saving gets you to that pile quicker.
Consume radically less, hmm, that does have the ring of the ideology espoused on the LCF sub-forum. Does MMM provide any insight, about ever adjusting consumption upwards with all the radical savings or must one practice what is euphemistically called "skill in frugality" forever?

MMM also advised in that article, "Besides the option of picking a home close to wherever your work happens to be, there may also be the option of picking a job that is close to your home in the town of your dreams. Get a new job! "
Easy for him to say, eh?

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Old 11-28-18, 02:49 PM
  #104  
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115 commutes to break even in my case.

scientific evidence (a single datum point).

746
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Old 11-28-18, 02:51 PM
  #105  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post

MMM also advised in that article, "Besides the option of picking a home close to wherever your work happens to be, there may also be the option of picking a job that is close to your home in the town of your dreams. Get a new job! "
Easy for him to say, eh?
At least over here, the costs grow exponentially as one moves closer to work. There is increased competition for housing, closer to where the jobs are, and thus, the costs (renting/owning) increases, negating any relative gain.
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Old 11-28-18, 03:04 PM
  #106  
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After my wife and I got married, one of the biggest criteria in our house search was that it be in a neighborhood that was commutable by bike or public transit. We could have gotten a bigger lot and a bigger house out in the burbs, but the commute would have been miserable.
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Old 11-28-18, 03:06 PM
  #107  
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Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
At least over here, the costs grow exponentially as one moves closer to work. There is increased competition for housing, closer to where the jobs are, and thus, the costs (renting/owning) increases, negating any relative gain.
I hear SF and NYC are interesting places to live. Lots of people would love to live close to work there too! Probably can ride a bicycle right from their close in house to work and save scads of money for later gratification.
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Old 11-28-18, 03:14 PM
  #108  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
After my wife and I got married, one of the biggest criteria in our house search was that it be in a neighborhood that was commutable by bike or public transit. We could have gotten a bigger lot and a bigger house out in the burbs, but the commute would have been miserable.
I agree. I'm thinking for a European perspective, i.e. not a lot of housing stock and usually housing shortages / most jobs being in a metro area and the rest being farmland, most available land has already been developed.

In England (and most European capitals), this is London. Proper London is about 8.5M people. If one add the sprawl accessible by subway/light rail it's about 10-12M and when one considers commuter rail (under 1h each way) ... it's 16M+, which is about 30-35% of the English inhabitants. I live 1.5h directly away and a ton of people commute every day, thus it's probably about 20-22M+ people (or 50% of England competing for jobs/housing in the area). I don't commute as I want to live in a satellite city (small at only 300K people with a builtup area of about 2M people).

My house is quite cheap at only 15X the average wage in the area (pre-tax). If one goes 30min toward London (1h away). it's about 20X-25X the average wage and in London it's more (30-50X yearly wage). House, not flat.

Many more jobs closer to London as well.

I'm not really seeing the advantage. I'd rather select a seaside city in the "commuter belt. (1.5h from central London.)"

I like NYC/SF are the closest to a European city in the US and the land usage and scarcity of living space is similar. Otherwise, it's not (Boston, Dallas, Columbus, etc...)
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Old 11-28-18, 03:39 PM
  #109  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Consume radically less, hmm, that does have the ring of the ideology espoused on the LCF sub-forum. Does MMM provide any insight, about ever adjusting consumption upwards with all the radical savings or must one practice what is euphemistically called "skill in frugality" forever?
To paraphrase/channel MMM, if you are looking at it as if frugality were a short-term suffering that you hope to eventually abandon once you have enough money to live a lavish lifestyle, then you're not getting it. You need to change your mindset to understand that happiness does not come from possessions; creating is more fulfilling than consuming, convenience is often self-defeating. He touches on this idea a lot, in a few seconds I'm not sure I can find the one post that addresses it most directly, but this one is pretty good. Actually here's a better one I found.

But shorter answer; does he ever talk about adjusting consumption upwards, definitely not. Once you've retrained yourself out of a consumeristic mindset (budhhism-ish "freedom from desire") increased consumption is not something you would want.

MMM also advised in that article, "Besides the option of picking a home close to wherever your work happens to be, there may also be the option of picking a job that is close to your home in the town of your dreams. Get a new job! " Easy for him to say, eh?
I agree, many americans are too uneducated/unskilled to have job prospects that give them the options that MMM advocates. They are trapped in low-wage jobs in ritzy urban centers that are way too expensive for them to live in or near, so they are also trapped with the money-and-time expense of a car and a long commute; or public transport and a longer commute. All this because for a very long time American city 'planning' has prioritized The Almighty Automobile.
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Old 11-28-18, 03:57 PM
  #110  
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
To paraphrase/channel MMM, if you are looking at it as if frugality were a short-term suffering that you hope to eventually abandon once you have enough money to live a lavish lifestyle, then you're not getting it. You need to change your mindset to understand that happiness does not come from possessions; creating is more fulfilling than consuming, convenience is often self-defeating.
I learn quite early to substitute possessions for experiences and have been happy most of my adult life. Most people can't do this.

I'd rather ride a lower-quality bike and spend a month backpacking on holiday instead (at the same price point.)
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Old 11-28-18, 04:28 PM
  #111  
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
They are trapped in low-wage jobs in ritzy urban centers that are way too expensive for them to live in or near,
due to america's extreme racial segregation, not all of our urban centers are uniformly ritzy and expensive.

here in chicago, this 4 bed/1 bath single family home could be all yours for a mere $83,000 (probably negotiate down to 75K. hey, that's not much more than a new full-size pick-up truck!).

the catch? some of your new neighbors will shoot guns at each other (and possibly hit you) out in the streets on a routine basis.

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Old 11-28-18, 04:33 PM
  #112  
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Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
I bike commute to be frugal so that I can direct my limited funds elsewhere.

I also try to commute in a frugal manner, hence a low cost of operation.
You are bike commuting to spend less than what are your other options? I presume public transit. You don't seem to have given up the car as part of your frugal commuting plan.
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Old 11-28-18, 04:45 PM
  #113  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
After my wife and I got married, one of the biggest criteria in our house search was that it be in a neighborhood that was commutable by bike or public transit. We could have gotten a bigger lot and a bigger house out in the burbs, but the commute would have been miserable.
I presume school districts was not yet a criteria for your decision.
MMM seems to poo-poo this as a consideration for selecting where to live in the quest to maximize "frugality" Łber alles other considerations.

Frequent crime and shootouts in the neighborhood as reported by another poster? Oh pshaw, think of how much money is being saved!
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Old 11-28-18, 04:45 PM
  #114  
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Wow - 5 pages in 5 days?

Yeah, I sold my summer car. Mostly because of my ebike - but I prefer the bike for distances less than 10 miles.
My average car speed is 34mph, and on my bike 17mph (including stops and all - on pedal bike). 10 miles takes maybe 10 minutes more on the bike, but I can often save that not dealing with parking the car. On the ebike - its often a wash with the car.

In the winter I need a car. Just my personal experience.
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Old 11-28-18, 04:46 PM
  #115  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
You are bike commuting to spend less than what are your other options? I presume public transit. You don't seem to have given up the car as part of your frugal commuting plan.
We have two houses in England as we work in two different cities. My partner opts to commute by car and I opt to commute by bike. We have two good salaries currently (if we lived together, we'd be a top 1-5% household depending on means of calculation, since we don't, we're essentially running two top 10% households individually). We opt to keep a car as a luxury but are otherwise frugal ... saving for retirement, etc... don't own a TV for example.

Cycling for me is:

Similar in expense to walking (assuming my time has no value).
More expensive than the uni bus (I can catch a free university bus to/from work)
Less expensive than a city bus.
Less expensive than UBER (which is the same as the city bus).
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Old 11-28-18, 04:51 PM
  #116  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
My question about what the money is being saved for was specifically directed at the one or two devotees of LCF as an adjunct of their belief in asceticism who frequently provide their version of economic advice on the LCF sub-forum. I did not quote your posts when I asked that rhetorical "question."

FYI, I have no trouble, like a 12 year old child understanding the meaning of frugality .

"Frugality/Delayed gratification" as a rationale for bicycle commuting is your construct; and I believe my response to that was clear and to the point.
Frugality/delayed gratification as a rationale for bike commuting is most certainly NOT my construct and not what I was implying.

At this point it is starting to sound like youíre on a quest to bash MMM, anybody who follows his advice, and other forum members. Am I misunderstanding you still?
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Old 11-28-18, 04:56 PM
  #117  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
I hear SF and NYC are interesting places to live. Lots of people would love to live close to work there too! Probably can ride a bicycle right from their close in house to work and save scads of money for later gratification.
Commuting here in NYC is actually pretty hellish for many of us. I'm one of the lucky ones. It sounds just as bad in the SF area.
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Old 11-28-18, 05:05 PM
  #118  
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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
due to america's extreme racial segregation, not all of our urban centers are uniformly ritzy and expensive.
Yes, I was thinking of cities like NY, SF, LA, San Diego, Boston, etc where housing is extremely expensive, so lower-income people often have to live way out in the boonies and suffer ridiculously long commutes. What you describe in Chicago is another legitimate problem.
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Old 11-28-18, 05:11 PM
  #119  
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Originally Posted by Phamilton View Post


Frugality/delayed gratification as a rationale for bike commuting is most certainly NOT my construct and not what I was implying.

At this point it is starting to sound like youíre on a quest to bash MMM, anybody who follows his advice, and other forum members. Am I misunderstanding you still?
What then are you implying about frugality/delayed gratification if not an association with bicycle commuting?

MMM only came up in the thread as the alleged source of some questionable estimates about the marginal costs of driving a mile vis-ŗ-vis bicycling.

Pointing out that sometimes posted financial guidance is based on questionable assumptions and wonky calculations is not what I would call bashing, but rather providing helpful advice.
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Old 11-28-18, 05:13 PM
  #120  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
I presume school districts was not yet a criteria for your decision.
MMM seems to poo-poo this as a consideration for selecting where to live in the quest to maximize "frugality" Łber alles other considerations.
MMM I'm pretty sure included somewhere access to good schools nearby as one of the many reasons he chose to settle in Longmont, CO. He is against paying through the nose for education (post). His kid was in the nearby elementary school for a few years, and then they pulled him out to homeschool him. I believe the biggest reason was they didn't feel the structured classroom environment allowed him enough creativity.

Look, I'm as big a MMM fanboy as the next guy, but I think at this point I'm done defending him. His blog is out there, he can defend himself (and often does), and you can agree or disagree or mock or whatever.

MMM threadjack over?
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Old 11-28-18, 05:17 PM
  #121  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
I presume school districts was not yet a criteria for your decision.
MMM seems to poo-poo this as a consideration for selecting where to live in the quest to maximize "frugality" Łber alles other considerations.

Frequent crime and shootouts in the neighborhood as reported by another poster? Oh pshaw, think of how much money is being saved!
Yes, my kids are frequently shot and killed each week in their hellscape high schools.
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Old 11-28-18, 05:22 PM
  #122  
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Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
c... don't own a TV for example.
Do the British impose a yearly tax/fee on every TV in the household like the Germans? Buying/owning a TV in the U.S is relatively cheap considering their longevity and improved picture quality over the tube TVs of old.

If suitable content can be obtained over the air, TV is cheap, affordable entertainment suitable for all but the most frugal or destitute. The cost of TV Cable service is another story altogether though.
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Old 11-28-18, 05:23 PM
  #123  
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post

MMM threadjack over?
I'm done with him.

Let's get back to those who actually decided to "give up the car" when they decided to commute by bicycle, the OP's premise.

Last edited by I-Like-To-Bike; 11-28-18 at 05:27 PM.
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Old 11-28-18, 05:29 PM
  #124  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Do the British impose a yearly tax/fee on every TV in the household like the Germans? Buying/owning a TV in the U.S is relatively cheap considering their longevity and improved picture quality over the tube TVs of old.
Yes, they do. I've heard the tax applies even to an inactive TV stored in an attic or basement, although you would probably never get caught for not paying on that. I have heard though that they used to drive around with electronic equipment to detect whether a TV was being used inside houses that did not pay the tax.

[Edit] Detector technology

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Old 11-28-18, 05:51 PM
  #125  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
What then are you implying about frugality/delayed gratification if not an association with bicycle commuting?

MMM only came up in the thread as the alleged source of some questionable estimates about the marginal costs of driving a mile vis-ŗ-vis bicycling.

Pointing out that sometimes posted financial guidance is based on questionable assumptions and wonky calculations is not what I would call bashing, but rather providing helpful advice.
Iím trying to explain I think the reason people save rather than spend is about frugality. Thatís it. And I think thatís all that MMM is about, is frugality.

I doubt that most of those riding a bike instead of using a car are doing so purely for financial reasons. In my case, it does free up about $300/mo for savings after rideshare expenses, but money was not a primary motivation for selling the car and riding, itís a side effect.

Whether anybody calls themselves car free or car light or whatever, I think those labels are going to mean different things to different people. I donít really like to apply the term to myself or my family since we use rideshare and some folks seem to associate car
free living with never using a car for anything - but thatís not practical for my family and me at our current place and time in life. Iím certainly not anti-car. And I think until/unless we are living in a place with viable public transport we will probably continue to rely on rideshare, or otherwise re-examine vehicle ownership.*But we donít own a car and havenít for over a year. My wife found a job 2 miles*from home, then 1/2 mile from home. My commute is 12 miles one way, and itís a lot to do everyday, but I donít preach it to others. I generally advise people if they want to try riding their bike to work, start small.
Maybe on LCF sub there are some fanatics who may take things to an extreme, but I wouldnít say that most people commuting by bike and/or trying to live frugally are quite so extreme. I donít think MMM advice is extreme. Thereís a lot of gray area between the black and the white. Sorry if I misread, but to me your posts in this thread are coming across more as insulting and polarizing than offering helpful advice. You seem to be very passionate about the topic, and sufficiently articulate, why not start your own financial advice or bike commuting advice blog? Or maybe you have? Iíll give it a read.

Edit: Iím posting mobile and it keeps putting * randomly. I donít know if it shows up for anyone else but I canít get rid of them. Iím not making any side notes.*

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