I don’t know how much gas is where you live, but in Seattle $3.95/gallon seems about normal. Girl Ninja and I spend about $200-$250 a month on gas. Thank goodness for a work vehicle, otherwise that amount would be another $100+ higher. Our insurance runs another $160/month.
Carry all these expenses out over a twelve month time frame and we’re averaging about $5,000 a year to drive our two cars.
FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS!
Do you know how many California Burritos that is?
ONE THOUSAND BURRITOS!
Driving freaking sucks. It sucks the money out of my wallet, and places it in to a depreciating asset.
That is no bueno.
Sure I could drive less or probably find cheaper insurance (we have full comp/coll coverage on both vehicles), but even that wont drastically reduce our annual auto expenses.
The only thing Girl Ninja and I can really do to ensure transportation has a minimal impact on our budget is try to drive less, and drive our vehicles until they explode.
New cars depreciate like crazy (40% in the first four years). This is why I personally could not stomach a $400 car payment on top of the gas, insurance, and maintenance payments I previously mentioned we have.
The disdain I have for debt, outweighs the joy I’d get from driving a new vehicle.
That’s just me though. I have plenty of friends that have car payments (many who read this blog in fact). They are all intelligent people and are by no means reckless when it comes to their finances. I realize that just because I don’t have an appetite for a car payment, doesn’t mean that someone else wont find them beneficial or helpful.
This is the very reason I love personal finance.
You do you, and I’ll do me.
So reader, How much do your transportation costs work out to each month? Break it down by line item (gas, insurance, maintenance, and payment). After adding all these numbers up, are you shocked just how expensive driving can be (I was with our $400-ish a month obligation)? Where does it fall on your balance sheet (I’m assuming probably your second or third largest expense after your rent/mortgage and maybe food)?Do you hate car payments, find them a necessary evil to have reliable transportation, or love the ability to spread payments out over many years?