Reader Comment on Spending $20k to Save $100 per Month

by Kevin on July 31, 2008

I recently got a comment on Would You Spend $20,000 to Save $100 per Month? from Michael:

Thinking only in terms of dollars saved isn’t the entire point. Conserving fossil fuels is also important. It’s irritating to hear commentators talking about oil “production” when no one is “producing” it– we are extracting it and depleting supply. We’re burning through our capital, in other words.

I happen to have an inefficient car, but I drive it very little, relying on trip consolidation, biking, and public transportation. I know I’m fortunate to be able to restrict my driving, but I think a lot of people could drive a lot less and still be living fine lives. Part of the problem people have is that they want the image of having something new– I would like to promote an new aesthetic, of preserving and conserving. New cars are very wasteful in terms of the resources entailed in their manufacture.

Drive less, folks.

First off, thanks for the comment Michael. I love reader discussion!

I agree that we have a long way to go in stopping our heavy use of oil. However, I still stand by my statement that it is not economically feasible to spend $20,000 to save $100 or $200 per month on gas. If you’ve got an older car that needs replacing or finally dies on you, then sure, look for the most efficient option.

Taking a severe loss by trading in your Ford Excursion to buy a Toyota Prius is nice environmentally, but can be disasterous economically.

Again, don’t get me wrong. I’m all about living the green life. This sounds bad, but if I decide to lose $5,000 by doing a deal like that… it isn’t going to have much of a positive impact on the environment. I’ll save less on gas while everyone else keeps trucking along.

I think we need to government reform/regulations to get us off of heavy oil use. Individual choices are nice — and some can even save you money. Just not the exaple I’ve given. Now if you could spend $1,000 to save $100 per month… then you’ll get your money back in 10 months. That could be a good deal.

{ 1 comment }

Stephanie PTY July 31, 2008 at 9:59 pm

Actually, if we’re talking about the environment, then it’s still greener to drive the car you’ve already got. There is so much energy used (and pollution emitted) to build a new car, that it is better for the environment to just keep driving your current car, even if it is inefficient.

Yet another reason to go for a late-model-used car when you do upgrade! Just try to keep in mind that what’s good for your wallet is usually good for the environment, and visa versa.

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