Don’t Cost Yourself By Saving


This post is somewhat of a counterpoint to most of the posts here – this post is about making sure you don’t cost yourself in the long run. This is often caused by ignoring various expenses.

Flying:

Let’s say you wanted to go to Atlanta from Fort Lauderdale. For the sake of the principle, we’ll make the following assumptions:

  1. You can get to any local airport via a 40$, 15 minute cab ride.
  2. Driving will be without traffic.
  3. You can get picked up by your friend in Atlanta.
  4. You need to be at the airport 1:15 ahead of departure time.
  5. There will be no flight delays.
  6. We need to be there for all of July 17th 2013.

Now according to Google Maps it is a 9 hour 18 minute drive without traffic, covering 640 miles. Assuming we get 30 mpg overall – at $3.50 a gallon – the trip costs approximately $75. On the cheap and getting cheaper Spirit Airlines it is $217, $234 on AirTran.

Obvious choice right? No. For starters, I would be spending 19 hours, 40 minutes driving – versus 7 hours by plane (both values roundtrip). Let’s say we take AirTran – we break even if we value our time at $18.87 an hour, and that’s before depreciation and maintenance. Any more – we’re saving money! So if you make $100 an hour as a software engineer – FLY!

Health Risks:

My grandfather recently bought himself a SodaStream, on the grounds that he was liable to hurt himself carrying around seltzer six-packs (Where he lives – around 20 pounds (9 kilos). Marginal costs per bottle save money, but not enough to justify it. However, you can easily make back the $70 you spend on it if you can save yourself one doctors appointment, visit to a back specialist, etc. Spend to cut back on your health risks. It usually pays.

Commonly Forgotten Expenses:

For starters, value your time. Also, try to value your comfort (after all, you don’t live under an underpass to save on rent), and the always forgotten – depreciation. Look at the expected cost, not necessarily what’s upfront.

One Response

  1. David May 22, 2013

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