Lessons from Low Car Diet: Saving Money by SEPTA

12 Oct

Unfortunately, the ‘hand-me-down-post-college’ car my parents lent me at age 23 died a few months into my (second) real job-post college.  Therefore, with no choice living in the suburbs, I purchased a brand new Nissan Sentra.

One of the advantages of taking the train is how much money I’ve been saving.  Each week, I fill up my gas tank at least once for around $32.  Every 3 months I have to change my oil for $30 bucks.  I wash my car for $3-5 every 2-3 weeks. My car payment is $312, and insurance is around $100/month.  This adds up to about $555 per month to maintain my car.  Plus, now that my car is 3.5 years old, I have the occasional bender I don’t expect: new tires, brakes, etc.  The new tires were between 5-6 hundo wayyy out of my budget.

The convenient SEPTA pass has taken around 40 out of my budget per week, for a small $120 in comparison per month.  Another factor I didn’t really take in: I can literally take care of my life in the few miles surrounding my office: Car, haircuts, food, groceries, libraries etc. But when I’m at the office with no outlet, I’m forced to get everything done between 8:30-4:45, and can’t spend money since I can’t get anywhere. I condense my errands once I get home and get only bare essentials: No mid-day cupcakes, mac & cheese or other occasional treats I take for a break.

Overall, I’ve been saving a few smack-a-roos these past few weeks!

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One Response to “Lessons from Low Car Diet: Saving Money by SEPTA”

  1. Tim Wilson February 7, 2012 at 4:54 PM #

    Congratulations on the savings. I hear you on the car expenses, it always feels like there is something else that comes up and needs attention.

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