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#1 2018-03-25 14:15:08

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,099
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Teacher disallows bike/car-free option in "plan your future" assignmnt

My daughter (senior in high school) has an assignment in which she's supposed to make a budget as though she were living alone and had to pay all her own expenses.  The students weren't allowed to plan to bike and be car-free, because (according to my daughter), the teacher said, "You might get a flat tire when you're biking to work."  (As though the student couldn't then just call a taxi.)

Interestingly, the teacher himself bikes to the school.

Also, in the budgeting worksheet, he accounted for gas and car repairs, but didn't include a spot for the biggest expense in car ownership, the payments on the loan.

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#2 2018-03-25 18:54:45

dougmc
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Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 525

Re: Teacher disallows bike/car-free option in "plan your future" assignmnt

These projects are supposed to set the kids up to fail, so of course they disallow the things that might allow it to work.  Instead, the kid is supposed to think "wow, I'd better go to college ... or else!"

Getting a roommate also can save a lot of money, and having a kid can ruin even the best budget.

And personally, when I was starting out, my insurance payments were higher than my car payment, and repair costs were high because I had an old car.

As it stands, my daughter is 16 and I was looking to see how much it would cost to add her to our insurance policy, and it added like $2500/year to our insurance costs -- that is indeed the payment on a used car.  (A better one than I had!)  (She doesn't have her license yet, and this cost is a large part of it.)

And come to think of it, the last time I got a flat tire while out on the road somewhere ... I was in my wife's car.  I do love my Gatorskins!

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#3 2018-03-26 07:56:27

RedFalcon
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Registered: 2013-10-10
Posts: 160

Re: Teacher disallows bike/car-free option in "plan your future" assignmnt

MichaelBluejay wrote:

"You might get a flat tire when you're biking to work."

Good point.  No one has ever been late to work because of a dead battery or a flat tire on a car.  Also, fixing a flat on a bicycle tire requires expensive tools and special training.

And it is much better to spend $400/month on a car than to invest that same money in a retirement plan - especially when you are young.  We must protect our youth from the dangers of compound interest.   Having to work to well past retirement age is a great plan.  I know I'm excited about it!

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#4 2018-03-26 08:31:05

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,099
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Re: Teacher disallows bike/car-free option in "plan your future" assignmnt

LOL, Red.  I tell people that one reason I got financially comfortable was not owning a car for 27 years.  At $8000/yr. (which is what AAA says is the average total yearly cost), that's $216,000.  That bought my house for me.

I made a calculator that shows that car ownership costs over a million dollars over a normal working lifetime.  I sold the website that it's on but the new owner kept the calculator there:  https://bicycleuniverse.info/car-free-millionaire/

Yeah, Doug, I think the goal might have been to shock the kids into how much living actually costs.  Our daughter was certainly surprised at the price tag.  I think she has a new appreciation for what we provide.  So, by that metric, go, teacher!

Ironically, I was late to my first day at work at Apple in 1992 because of a flat tire.  I was so concerned about being on time that the previous weekend I biked the route to make sure I knew exactly how to get there.  (This was before GPS.)  Of course on the first work day I missed the final turn in an unfamiliar neighborhood.  When I realized my error I headed the right way as fast as I could, and then suddenly got the flat.  Had I not taken the wrong turn I might have been close enough to walk, or run.  As it was, a kind engineer at a gas station gave me a ride, but it took me a while to get to the station.  I was the only one on the new team of 25 to be late.

Yeah, I should have brought an extra tube.

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#5 2018-03-31 12:57:58

RedFalcon
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Registered: 2013-10-10
Posts: 160

Re: Teacher disallows bike/car-free option in "plan your future" assignmnt

MichaelBluejay wrote:

I made a calculator that shows that car ownership costs over a million dollars over a normal working lifetime.  I sold the website that it's on but the new owner kept the calculator there:  https://bicycleuniverse.info/car-free-millionaire/

Its a great calculator and I often refer people to it.  I wish I had gone car free a lot longer ago.   I could sure use that wasted money now.  One of the things that kept me owning a car was the idea that I would want it to go on vacations.  But, the cars I ended up owning I couldn't really trust to go too far from a big town anyway.

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