Yesterday I realized there’s no way I can make ends meet with a $385 car payment, not on Social Security and an RMD…even with the market thundering along like a high-speed freight train.
Sure, I could take more out of the stock market to make up the shortfall, over each of the next five years. But that will take a bite out of my long-term retirement savings…and the bite is likely to be a great deal bigger as time passes, since in my opinion we will be seeing a pretty drastic recession in the not too distant future. The Trump recession is likely to make the Bush recession look like small potatoes.
At any rate, I do not want to let a car — and not a particularly good one — suck away my retirement.
Applied for a job a friend told me about, one that needs to be filled within two weeks. Department chair said I’m not qualified.
Hee heeee! Nothing like a Ph.D. issued in 1979 and 72 years under your belt to do that for you, is there? 😀
So I’m walking the dog and a thought crosses my mind…
Y’know, when I took the junk in to have its struts replaced, the Toyota service dept. rented me a car for $50. Had the thing for two days, drove it around; topped up the gas tank for $6.25 and turned it back in, no hassle.
I don’t do what you’d call a helluva lot of driving. And in theory I could do a whole helluva lot less: the new lightrail goes right past the end of the street, and an Albertson’s, a Safeway, and a Walgreen’s occupy corners about half a mile away. Even the Walmart is only about a mile and a half from here.
Could one, as a big-city girl and resident of a burg with designs on urban sophistication, could one do without a car? And if one could, then what?
This car is costing me almost $400 a month, and that doesn’t include the gasoline (it gets a munificent 20 mpg) or Arizona’s astonishing registration fees on newer vehicles. Or the insurance, to the tune of $700+ a year.
Registration in Arizona is $2.89 for every $100 the state thinks your car is worth. Since I’m paying $22,0000 for it, I expect they’ll charge me for about 20 grand worth: that will be $576 thankyouverymuch, along about the end of next summer when the utility bills are sky high.
So let’s see: $576 registration + $700 + ($385 x 12) = $5898. That’s $492 a month. Not counting gasoline, maintenance, and repairs.
Uhm… Y’know, you could rent a car for a reasonable number of days at $50/day. Almost 10 days as a matter of fact: 9.84 days.
I don’t think I actually drive 9 days a month. It’s probably more like 6 or 8 days a month.
And how many Uber rides could you rent for that? Uber costs 9 cents a mile here, plus a 40-cent booking fee. According to their website, it’s $8 to $10 to the Safeway: $20 plus tip round-trip. Plenty more than that to get to the doctor…but how often does one go to the doc? The train, which will drop you off in front of the AJ’s, goes right by the dentist, and stops across the street from the Target and Costco: $5 a day.
But it wouldn’t take that many Uber rides to get where you wanted to go.
Usually I run my routine boring errands on the way home from the weekly business networking group meetings. A Sprouts, two Trader Joe’s, three Walgreen’s, a Whole Foods, and a Safeway are right on that beaten path. A Costco and the AJ’s are in the general vicinity. So in theory, I could rent a car the night before, schlep to Scottsdale, and then do all my errands on the way home. Return the car: repeat seven days later.
Incidentals could, in theory, be bought at the neighborhood Albertson’s and Sprouts. It’s not very safe to walk down there, Conduit of Blight Boulevard being the garden spot that it is. But as long as you didn’t carry a purse — I’d pin a credit card inside my jeans pocket so it couldn’t fall out or be pickpocketed — it wouldn’t be too bad. It’s only about a half-mile, part of the way through the residential area.
How would I get to church?
In theory I could ride a bike down there on Sunday mornings. On Wednesday nights, of course, that would be unsafe: you’d have to traverse main drags in the dark, where it would be really hard for car drivers to see you.
For choir rehearsals, I pick up a friend who doesn’t like to drive at night. He lives just about a mile away — an easy enough walk. I could walk over there and we could drive down and back in his car. As long as I had a can of mace, it would be reasonably safe to walk back and forth between their house and mine.
So then all you’d have to cope with would be light emergencies: sick dog, quick trip to the doctor, the trip to FedEx for the last-minute photocopy job, whatEVER. For that: Uber.
Four short car rentals a month would cost me $200. That’s less than half what I’m paying for the pile of metal and plastic adorned with 28 computers sitting in the garage. Not counting the gasoline. At 20 bucks a hit, that would leave enough for 10 Uber rides or 50 days’ worth of train rides.
Soooo…there we have a question.
Why do I have this car at all?