Los Angeles is the greatest city in the world for a multitude of reasons but there is one glaring abnormality that makes people detest this glorious place:
I'm an awful driver and I hate driving. But it's a necessity in Los Angeles. See, things are so spread apart that the public transit system isn't practical and while biking might suffice for a very short commute, it certainly isn't reasonable on the 405, 101 or the 101 freeways.
So I'm stuck driving a car…
Or am I?
I decided to crunch the number on what it actually costs me to lease a car in LA…
- Monthly payment on a car lease with $0 down and 10,500 allotted miles year: $411
- Car insurance: $90
- Car registration: $20
- Gas: $50 (at least)
- Fixed monthly parking charge for parking structure where I work: $32
- Monthly random parking and valet costs: $40 (approximately)
- Oil changes and maintenance: $20
- Car washes: $25
That's $688 a month!!!
And I don't even like my car! It's not even cool! I'm driving a 2014 Ford Edge – imagine the actual cost if it was a luxury brand! Plus, I hate driving and its a waste of time! Also, it's stressful – I didn't even factor in the emotional cost of road rage. Moreover, the car sits in the garage during vacations or when I travel for business just collecting dust!
So I actually just gave up my car two weeks ago and I couldn't be happier. I realized that “the things you own are the things that own you” and I just didn't want to have to be burdened with another material possession in my life to look after.
Now I'm not completely crazy; My wife and I are going to keep one car to transport the kids and for groceries but as long as I keep my Uber/Lyft bill under $688 a month I'm saving money by not driving. And even if the bill creeps into the mid-$700 range I can emotionally justify the expense.
Now you'll have to excuse me while I ride my skateboard to Taco Bell.