COMMUTING FROM “CHEAP”RENT
For the last few weeks I’ve beat my head against the wall, trying to discover a magical solution that somehow has eluded me so far. How can you escape the city while still working full time? It used to be easy. You simply commuted. That was back when oil was nearly free. Now, I’m not saying that oil at $130 is necessarily an outrageous price. Considering inflation and the fact it’s a non-renewable resource shipped from half way across the globe and protected by a very expensive military. But it is a price we are hard pressed to pay, taking into account decades of stagnating wages and purchasing power. The price might still be a bargain, but our declining economy can’t afford it. Car ownership will one day be the exclusive domain of the wealthy, as it was a hundred years ago.
My family situation is no longer as strong of a glue holding me here in the city. My father most likely is moving up north soon. And the wife is really becoming fed up with her daughters antics. So moving is now less of an emotional issue as it once was. So of course, at the same time gas prices shoot up. Commuting makes living in the country much more expensive than it used to be. Cheap suburban or rural living is becoming much less cheap. I could move to my land, rent free. But the cost of that “free” is the necessity to start driving. Even assuming no mechanical expenses, gas alone is two gallons a day. Since we can safely assume $5 a gallon gasoline, I call it $200 to live cheap. Then you need to add in the increased cost of rural living such as expensive phone service and Internet access. At least an added $80 a month. While living in town I spend $395 for rent, phone and Internet. I’m barely spending over a hundred bucks more to stay in a trailer park compared to living in the wild without a sewer or electric lines. Yes, I want to live like that, to escape all the BS. It is merely hard to justify living rural while working full time in town.
I could move a lot closer to town. Buy a lot a few miles from town, bike to work. If I lose my job I can give up the lot and move 20 miles away to the lot I already own free and clear. $125 payments. Drive in one day a week to stock up on water, dump sewage, wash clothes. $20 in gas a month. Add in the $80 for the increased phone and Internet cost. $225 sure beats $395. And it is better than the above $280 since it removes a lot of commuting and all of the mechanical problems. But I am still only saving $150. The cost of that is moving from family, biking five miles instead of my current one mile, and living primitive. Again, I want to live primitive. Just not while working in town full time, and not when it saves so little money.
Financially, it makes little sense to commute anymore ( I understand my rent in town is cheap compared to most peoples, but this is all about me, okay? ). Getting out of town is mainly for peace of mind and future security. Not savings.
Instead of larding up the Bison site with lists of links, the daily updated survival blogs list is now at http://survivaldigest.blogspot.com and will be posted each evening, between 5 and 6pm PST.
You are still expected to Buy All My Crap