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Old 05-26-2008, 03:41 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by JESSE69 View Post
I can't beleive people like you survive on $10/hr and have a wife, kid, and 03 Vibe GT! I thought I was poor at $20/hr 2 years ago, now I make $65,000 / year and can mostly spend on anything I want and splurge on good food! I should be a good enough catch for a chick!
it's all about how and where you live, I suppose. We are not materialistic people by any means. We buy (and usually prefer) 2nd hand or vintage clothes, we grow a lot of our own food (both vegetarians), etc. We bought the vibe only because its reliable and our previous car (a 99 jetta) had us in the shop at least once a month and this one is relatively trouble-free. We don't eat out very often, we don't go to movies, we don't usually buy new things (even the Vibe was used).

but we're not poor, at least not for this area. We live in a house (paid for), we have 2 cars, we have a daughter with an expensive diaper habit (haven't trained her to hypermile her diapers yet . We don't eat out but we eat well, and generally make better meals than you can get in local restaurants anyway. Hypermile your entire life man, you'd be amazed what you can do without and where you can conserve. $65k a year here would support us in relative comfort for almost 3 years.
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Old 05-26-2008, 04:03 PM   #32
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the gas prices are actualy helping my hypermiling. i caost when i can and used to get cars blowing by me to get to the light but now seems like a few are doing the same or are not in as big a rush now.
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Old 05-26-2008, 04:26 PM   #33
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Stay out of debt as much as possible is my first advice for living better. Even in triple digit income territory, past credit cards are still a drag. But at least I know I can get them paid off now.

As for changes, well, heck, I found this site! I knew I needed to squeeze some extra mpg out of the old girl and just by slowing down and a few other minor habit changes I'm down to one tank of gas a week for 600 miles of commuting. Much better than I used to do. I'll keep on trying to do better. I'd like to rationalize a scooter but my around town trips are already sparse and limited to big hauls at Wal-Mart or Lowes or something so....
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Old 05-26-2008, 09:02 PM   #34
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BTW, people ARE being stuck in vehicles, especially SUVs. unable to sell or trade is a bad place to be.
I would argue that they are simply unwilling to do what is necessary to remedy the situation. Granted, anybody upsidedown in a loan is not looking at desireable options with respect to trading down, but the options do exist - even if it is to the extreme of letting the repo-man take the vehicle.

The deficiency of $10-15k on a vehicle worth $30k for example is still allot easier to deal with than something like a $600/month payment + twice the fuel cost vs. a cheap economy car.

Persons needing to jettison such a gas guzzler could likely skip 3 months of payments before reposession, get a decent running car for the $1800, and work out the rest with the lender later on. No more $600 payment. No more budget killing fuel expense. Unfortunately one's credit rating will take a hit, but it takes far less time to recover a credit worthy score when one can actually afford their payments than if they are always strung out to the max and constantly fighting with late payments and a high debt to income ratio.

We took a less extreme approach when we sold our pickup last year by selling it for under book value. It was certainly worth at least a thousand more than we got for it, but we were sinking over $250/month worth of fuel into it, and sucking up the loss on a quick sale has saved us substantially in the long run. We are now extremely glad we sold it when we did!

We are also prepared to sell our Mazda5 now for less than our loan balance because the long term financials of it make sense to us in allowing us to get a favorable refinance of our home. Just because we are upsidedown in it, like I said, does not make us stuck. It just means we need to sacrifice some extra cash from somewhere else to make it happen.
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Old 05-26-2008, 09:34 PM   #35
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Averaged 40 mpg or so for the last fillup, and paid 41 in gas.

Last time I filled, I paid 35 or so for 10 gallons...=/. Oh well, I get to laugh at the people paying 100+...
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P.S. I must be a wierdo as I think just because a guy can afford to do something, doesn't mean he should. I can afford to buy 100 gallons of gas several times a month, pour it on the ground, light it (or not)... but I don't think I should.
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Old 05-26-2008, 09:53 PM   #36
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I would argue that they are simply unwilling to do what is necessary to remedy the situation. Granted, anybody upsidedown in a loan is not looking at desireable options with respect to trading down, but the options do exist - even if it is to the extreme of letting the repo-man take the vehicle.
If you know something of cars and can do most of your own repairs the situation is a lot different than if you are a clueless n00b with cars. Even just being able to tell if the mechanic is wafting universal obscurant out of his nether orifice is a big plus.

A lot of people simply don't have the knowledge or skills to make a go of it with an older, less reliable car with no warranty.

I post on several boards where just average non-car enthusiast Americans chat with each other.. The level of ignorance as to what makes a car work and why is truly mind boggling, and these are far from stupid people I'm talking about.

A car is the most complex technological item most Americans will ever come in contact with and very damn few of them have a decent idea what makes it go and what to do if it doesn't.
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Old 05-26-2008, 10:56 PM   #37
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What do you mean is it hurting, hell yeah it's hurting when I'm spending 20% of my gross income on fuel, how that doesn't hurt is beyond my feeble level of comprehension.

Sorry I just had to say it...
There's NO way in the world any amount of hypermiling can offset a 4x increase in the price of fuel, because the reality is fuel used to be 1.169 not that long ago and that price remained for close to 20 years!

Y'all done got used to $2 fuel, Wow I ain't used to NONE of that crap, hypermiling now isn't a waste of time but it would have been nice if folks had seen it sooner, way sooner.

Not to let out my anger on you guys, sorry again but it's the fact most of the rest of the world still doesn't see it that frustrates.
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Old 05-27-2008, 05:23 AM   #38
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Are you saying you wouldn't LOVE to see $2 a gallon gas again? It's not gonna happen, but I would love to see it again myself. High gas prices are here to stay, and we are still relatively cheap compared to most of the world. So we can either deal with it, stay home, or ride a bike.
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Old 05-27-2008, 07:34 AM   #39
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Are you saying you wouldn't LOVE to see $2 a gallon gas again? It's not gonna happen, but I would love to see it again myself. High gas prices are here to stay, and we are still relatively cheap compared to most of the world. So we can either deal with it, stay home, or ride a bike.
Yippe for high fuel prices.

Way harsh on staying home. How is one to work to meet basic necessity's... like food, (bike? Way too dangerous in my area and I live close to work 12 miles one way, 6 via the express way. While no one has been run over recently, things do get thrown at the bikers.) of course one can always grow food, but the enviromental damage if 300+ million people start doing so..... Land use would go right out the window. Deforest station in mass..... yuck....., or at least thats how I see the cookie crumbling.

I imagine we will never see prices below 2.50 again.

Cellulosic Ethanol, Oil Shale, and Heavy Crude Oil will see to that, as Light Crude Oil runs out.

Move closer to work, car pool, more fuel efficient car or motorized bike, public transportation if available. These are the only viable alternative we have right now.
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Old 05-27-2008, 08:17 AM   #40
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I don't get the people here calling for a "guzzler tax" on high consumption vehicles. We already have that, it's called the fuel costs itself. I also don't understand the animosity towards the high consumption vehicle. If the cost of the vehicle is untenable to its owner the situation will naturally work itself out. Perhaps I see things a bit differently because I have one foot in each world. I commute my little Toyota Yaris and get in the 40 mpg range. I drive 1.5 hours and about 42 miles each way. Once a week I commute about an extra 80 miles on top of that to go to grad school, so trust me, its in my best interests to burn as little fuel as possible. On the other hand, my wife an I have a Jeep Wrangler that we have almost entirely as a toy for us to wrench on, play with and abuse, and I put about 50-100 miles on it every week or two at the moment, usually for a sunday drive or trip to see friends or to the beach with the top down. The Jeep gets ~18mpg, so I use maybe 4 gallons in it in a two week period. Why should I have to pay an exorbitant tax? Then again, I'm from New Hampshire. I generally don't think what I spend my money on is anyones business but my own. I'm also pushing for my job to let me telecommute, in which case I would be using very little fuel total.. so even though I'd reduced my consumption considerably, and spent 98% of my driving in an efficient vehicle with good efficiency driving techniques, you propose taxing me for the vehicle thats parked in my yard not going anywhere? Because I might burn 4 gallons of gas in it?
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