No, my car payment is not $700 per month.
I am not that crazy to spend so much cash on something that moves me from point A to point B. However, if I add up all the costs of owning a car, it does add up to a lot. And that is not including my wife’s car! Combining the payment, the insurance, the parking, the gas and any wear and tear comes out to about $700 per month; and I barely drive the thing. Since November 1, I have put 601 miles on the car. I work at home and live 1 block from the beach and all the shopping, dining, movies, etc that I could ever want to go to. My wife commutes in her car, but it only costs us about $250 per month for hers, and it is an older model that is JUST ABOUT paid off. Mine is no where near being paid off, and it sits unused for 90% of the time. I did not know I would be working from home when I bought the car, and when I did drive to work, it was a great car for commuting and gas mileage. But now it is collecting dust for the most part and we are tired of paying for something that we barely use. If I really need to go somewhere where my feet cannot get me, I can either rent a car or join a car sharing service like Flexcar.
This is a tough decision; it is hard to give up one’s car. I have never been without a car since I started driving at 15 years old, and even though I live in a giant city, the public transportation system here leaves something to be desired. If you want to go across town, often you have to take several different buses. Growing up near Boston, this system here in L.A. is awful. But still…..$700 a month for a car I barely even use. Even if I got rid of my car and bought a scooter or something to get around town on, we would still be able to put away a ton of money a month towards retirement, house payment, whatever. But oh, my car….
I think maybe I should keep my car for at least another month and never use it. Walk further, take the bus, ride my bike; but see how it is getting around without a car. My wife’s car is here at night so that is not a problem, I can use it if need be. But during the day, for doctor’s appointments or client meetings, I will have to figure out a way to get around while leaving my car in the garage I pay for. That way I can tell if this idea is a feasible one or not.
Has anyone else given up their car only to find that they were lost without it? I am not talking about people living in cities like Boston, SF, NY or others with wonderful public transit programs. I would never own a car if I lived in one of those cities. But here, everyone has a car and people look at you like you are crazy when you don’t. So….thoughts?