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1/2/14

4th QTR 2013 & 5 YEAR Mileage Report

1/02/2014
This is for me remember. Go read a good book if you think its stupid. But, hey maybe you could learn something here. Unfortunately, it looks like the bottom line is that transportation costs are going up. I think the majority of our expense this year (the most expensive in the past 5 years) is the maintenance we took care of to preserve our vehicles for even longer. The car is ten years old, and the truck is fifteen years old and they both needed a face lift. We installed new headlights on both vehicles, replaced the cruise control switches on the truck, and had the truck painted at Maaco. We could have gotten a cheap paint job for $299, but we opted for the top of the line job with prep work, 2 coats of color and the clear coat on top. It cost $1214 which is almost the value of the vehicle and I know most people would not have opted for that choice. But really, it looks nice and with the low miles (70K), the truck will retain its $3K value for many more years. We hope to drive it until we retire and then trade in both car and truck for a minivan. We have a friend who has a 1996 Ford Explorer with over 250K miles and it still runs fine, except the door handle broke and the windows don't roll down anymore. At least everything still works in our truck and we'll repair whatever we need to keep it functional. To us, its worth 30K - because that's what it would cost to replace it.

Anyway, the five year summary is more exciting than the mear 16,508 miles we traveled this year. In the last five years you have tolerated my mileage reports showing we have driven less and less, down about 5000 miles per year (25%) less driving than we used to. Part of this is increased online ordering, instead of shopping trips to the mall. Another part of this is combining trips to conserve fuel and save time. We also just have not gone out as much, having already had our fun attending festivals and events, and coming to the conclusion that we don't want to deal with the drama of parking, expense, crowds and driving.
In summary, our cost of driving has doubled in 5 years from 0.19/mile in 2009, to the present cost of 0.40/mile in 2014. Part of this increase is because we have cut down driving 25%, so the given cost is more per mile. It costs us an average of $4 to drive to work 10 miles. Every mile I can ride by bicycle saves $0.40. So ten miles a day is $4. And 50 miles a week is $20. And 200 miles a month riding is $80 saved. If you think  this is a ridiculous exercise, I challenge you to figure your cost of transportation. Add your car payments, insurance costs, maintenance, car washes, parking and tolls, gasoline and then cry. You will find it is a very ugly number. But you can't improve what you don't measure.
Today is a great day to just make a note of the miles on your car or truck and you're on your way to improvement.
 
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