Archive for the ‘Vehicle’ Category

Cost of Driving to Work

January 24th, 2008 2 comments

I am still unsure of whether it makes sense or not to drive the back roads to get to work. In order to figure this out, I’m going to run some math.

If I drive the toll roads, I have to pay $1.50 off the bat. My truck gets 14 mpg city and 18 mpg highway. The length of the trip is 21.2 miles, with 13.6 of those miles bing pure highway driving (with no traffic). Roughly %64 of the drive is highway. Totaling this up, I get .75 gallons of gas for the highway, and .54 gallons of gas for the city. If I use $3.00 as the price of a gallon of gas, the total comes to $2.25 (highway) plus $1.64 (city) plus $1.50 tolls, giving me a grand total of $5.39. If I drive this both ways, each day will total $10.78.

If I drive the back roads, there are no tolls, and it is a little bit shorter of a drive. The total distance is 18.5 miles and there are some stretches where there aren’t any traffic lights, so I would say %10 is actually more like highway driving. 1.85 miles on the highway, and 16.65 miles in the city. This equates to .1 gallons on the highway and 1.19 gallons for the city. Gas for the highway is $.30 and $3.57 for the city, totaling $3.87. If I drive this both ways, it comes out to $7.74.

There you have it, it is actually cheaper to drive the back roads. Of course this doesn’t count the extra time (although it’s not worth much anyways :) I spend in the car.

Over the course of the year, I could save approx $760 by only driving the back roads.

Categories: Vehicle, work Tags:

Back in Black

January 15th, 2008 2 comments

Ok, so not really in black, but I am back.

It seems that I had the worst cold ever. Seriously, it took me over two weeks to start feeling better. Then after that my ear felt funny, like it was permanently trying to pop.

Now that everything is back to normal, hopefully I’ll continue some regular posting. In reality, the wife’s decision to not go back to school has made us let our guard down about being frugal. I joke that my income doubled over Christmas break. Us not having to live off my salary alone leaves plenty of breather room in the budget.

Also, just an update on the comment about Corvettes dancing in my head… I am still interested in finding one. Just the other night I had a conversation with someone about buying one. His thoughts were that I should just buy a new one (Hello??? $50k ???). He thought that by buying a used one, I would just be inheriting someone else’s problem. Well, I don’t have $50k lying around (he mentioned that it the average SUV costs about that much anyways) and I am looking for a used one for under $20k. Most likely it will be around model year 2000 with under 75k on the odometer.

The trouble is that I can’t find one I would want close to O-town. I could drive over 2 hours away to look at some of them, but who has the time for that? Tampa must be the center of the Corvette world, because it seems like there are always a couple nice ones listed there.

Enough already though. Later!

Categories: corvette, Vehicle Tags:

Saving Cash on the Drive to Work

December 18th, 2007 1 comment

I’ve mentioned several times that I’m trying to find a new vehicle to replace the truck.  This weekend, I calculated my fuel economy, and it was 15 mpg.  Horrible!

One other thing that is costing me money though, is the tolls on the way to work.  I actually calculated how much I’m spending, and it was pretty scary.  Each way to and from work, I hit a pretty expensive toll ($1.50) and a cheaper one ($.25).


  • Each day: $3.50
  • Each week: $17.50
  • Each month: $70
  • Each year: $840

Needless to say, I’ve found a different way to get to work.  I’m going to have to get up earlier in the day if I want to drive the back roads and not be sitting in traffic.  Today I left at 6:40 AM and got to work at 7:20 AM.  This commute was 40 minutes compared to 30 if I take the toll roads.

Overall though, I need to cut down on expenses, so this extra 20 minutes each day will save me $840 over the course of the next year.

Categories: Vehicle, work Tags:

Cars, Cars, and More Cars

December 13th, 2007 2 comments

It would be wonderful if I had no feelings towards cars, except to view them as a tool to get from one place to the next. Instead, I find them way too interesting and constantly think about buying a new one.

In my quest to find a cheap replacement for my truck, I have slowly been increasing my price range in order to find one that I would be satisfied with. Yesterday I was looking at cars for around $10,000 and realized it’s not going to happen. It just doesn’t make sense to get a new loan for a car in order to “save” money. I probably have around $3,000 in equity in my truck, although it seems to depreciate about as fast as I make payments. I think the wife and I have a new solution to this dilemma.

I will sell my truck, and use any proceeds to buy her a beater. She will most likely try to ride her bike to school and work this next semester since it’s only 4 miles away from our new house. This will allow me to use her car as the commuter, giving me both high mileage (30 mpg) and reliability. She will have a vehicle to get around if the weather gets bad, or she needs to run errands, and hopefully the new ride will last through her schooling.

Now, if only I could find a new car for under $3,000 – one that I can live with!

Categories: Vehicle Tags:

Uncovering an Autotrader Scam

December 11th, 2007 211 comments

Last week when I was searching for cars on AutoTrader, I came across one of those “too good to be true” deals. I sent an email to the user who listed it, and just recently received a reply.

For sale was a 2004 Grand Jeep Cherokee, 4X4 listed for $5200. The retail value of this car is probably closer to $15,000. Anyways, here is his email response:



Sorry for this late reply but I was unable to check my e-mail until now also I have been overwhelmed by the number of emails I got from interested buyers after listing the car on Yahoo Autos and Autotrader. The car is in good running condition and comes with a clear title. There is no lien on the car, there will be no monthly payments, no take over payments, just final price. It’s a non smoker car with zero mechanical / electrical problems, no damages or accidents.
I am looking to sell it right away for $5200 (shipping and title transfer fees included). There is a reason for selling it for such a low price but it’s just something personal that has nothing to do with the car’s condition and I’m not willing to discuss it so please don’t ask.
The only problem is that I’m currently stationed in Camp Bucca, Southern Iraq and I can’t close the deal in person. I know you can’t buy a car just by looking at pictures and that’s why I’ve decided to use Yahoo Autos services. I had nobody back home that could help me with the sale so I’ve left the car at the Yahoo Autos Depot.
For a small fee (which I’m going to pay in case that you are serious about the car) they will deliver you the car for a test drive, they will help you with the title registration in case that you will want to keep it and they will take care of the payment transfer.
If you are interested please go to and click the sign up link in order to register (Activate your e-mail account too) then get back to me with you user id so I can contact Yahoo and ask them to provide you the details about the transaction process.

For more pictures and details about the vehicle please visit:

Peter O’Brien.

After I read this, I thought “if this is a scam, he’s pretty damn good”. I didn’t follow up on him, but I did do some background research. Lo and behold, I found this vehicle listed on Ebay on December 3rd – for $14,000. I used the VIN number listed on his website to find it, and it was actually at a dealership in PA.

Just remember, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

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