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Survival Tip: Ditch Your Car, Invest in your Home & find Alternative Transportation

Survival Tip: Ditch Your Car, Invest in your Home

As the economy slows in Fort Collins and the US, you may be looking at ways to scale back to deal with a job loss or increasing financial insecurity by using alternative transportation.  If you are trying to save money, it may be time to think about whether you can afford to keep your car and invest that money into your home.  To do this, you need to calculate exactly how much it costs to keep your car and how much your transportation would cost if you went without it. Here’s how:

Total the Cost of Your Car

To figure out exactly how much your car costs you each month, you will need to total up your monthly spending on car payments, gas, and auto insurance.  You will also need to add the approximate amount you pay on average each year for routine maintenance and repairs including oil changes, tune-ups, annual inspection, registration, repairs, and parts including new tires.  Also remember to consider the resale value of your car, which could be used towards another form of transportation.

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Total the Cost of Alternative Transportation

This is a bit tougher, and requires you to consider all of your different options, which will vary depending on where you live.  If you can get most places you need to go on a bicycle, for example, you will need to consider the cost of the bicycle, helmet, and any associated equipment you will need, such as a basket or saddle bag to carry your things.  If there are a few places you will need to go each month that you cannot get on a bicycle, you will need to consider the additional cost of occasional bus, subway, or taxi rides as alternative transportation.

If your main way of getting around would be public transportation, add up the cost of a monthly pass to use public transport plus the cost of anything else you might need to get around comfortably, such as a good pair of walking shoes, a water bottle, and a backpack.  Again, don’t forget to add up the additional cost of any times you may need to take a taxi or travel long distance by bus.

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Other forms of Alternative Transportation

Another option to consider is the purchase of a moped or scooter.  In some states, you do not need to register or insure 50cc scooters, which are capable of reaching 35 to 45mph.  If this is the case in your state, you will need to pay only for the cost of a scooter and helmet plus the cost of gas.  Considering these scooters get from 50 to 100 miles per gallon depending on the model, your gas budget should be a lot less for a scooter than it was for your car.  Small scooters, however, usually cannot be driven on highways, so they may not be practical for some drivers.  In some states, scooters will require registration and insurance regardless of their size, but the savings in gas may still mean that switching to a scooter makes sense for you.  You will need to make the calculations for yourself to see.

The important thing to remember is to realistically calculate the actual cost of any means of transportation before deciding to get rid of your car.  For many people, switching to a bike, scooter, or public transportation will make a lot of economic sense.  For others it may not.  If at first glance it does not appear that  getting rid of your car will save you any money, don’t forget to think about alternative ways to save on transportation: maybe carpooling with friends coworkers or trying to bike around town even if you need to keep your car around for long distance travel.  In this economy, every little bit counts!

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If you want to Invest in your Home call Backes Landscaping

Backes Landscaping is a full-service landscaper in Fort Collins offering landscape design services. Please give us a call for your landscaping needs at (970) 222-1730. Our professional landscapers install water features, retaining walls, xeriscaping, hardscaping, firepits, sprinklers, and offerCommercial Landscaping Services.

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