Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Daily Kost Kutter is Born

Welcome to visitors from my other blogs, which are:

This blog: http://dailykostkutter.blogspot.com will not deal with politics, except perhaps in a peripheral way. It will, however, deal with many of the themes covered previously in the now defunct blog called "Live Better on Less." (You can visit that at: http://livebetteronless.blogspot.com.)

I'm not a believer in "get rich quick" schemes. On the other hand, I strongly believe in "get rich . . . slowly" approaches. Also, I lecture people about how they should conduct their lives. But I do want to share my experiences about how I used to waste money, particularly in spending large sums on the purchase and maintenance of automobiles.

Today, I went to the urologist, an "experience" I hadn't endured before. I caught the bus at 7:31 two block from my home. I got off fairly near the hospital (five miles from my home), bought a Starbucks (not exactly a cost-saving move), went to the doctor's office for an 8:30 a.m. appointment. Then, I walked back to the bus stop and caught the 9:05 a.m. return to my home in Ambridge.

I didn't drive to the hospital, mainly because I don't own a car --and haven't since 1995. I didn't spend money on gasoline (at a whopping $3.19 per gallon today). I didn't spend money on parking ($2.00), or on insurance, or on car payments, or on depreciation of a vehicle.

I heard recently that the average American spends about $8,000 per year on automobile expenses. I don't. Instead, I spend about $500 per year on a rental car when I positively, absolutely can't do without one.

But what about the costs for the bus rides? Actually, since I'm a "senior" (a term I hate) I can ride buses in Pennsylvania for free. Actually, the Starbucks' coffee was my main expenditure today.

For many Americans, an automobile (or two, or three of them) are a money-pit. Saving or otherwise investing the $8,000 per year on auto expenses would make many American very rich. Some people can't live without an auto (mainly because of choices I might question), but I can.

Columns will appear here every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I'd very much love to have your input through comments or e-mails (to TalkTop65@aol.com.