Stokemonkey early-adopter Bill Manewal sent this:
The Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates that car-ownership costs are the second-largest household expense in the United States. In fact, people in the average household spend almost as much on their cars as they do on food and health care combined for their entire family — about $600 per month.
If you were to forego the luxury of owning an automobile and were to instead invest that $600 per month at just 10% for 25 years, you would have $796,000.00 in your investment account. Over the last 100 years, the American Stock market has averaged an annual return of over 11%, so you wouldnÃ¢â?¬â?¢t have to be any kind of expert investor. Just buy a mutual fund or ETF that invests in the total US Stock Market such as those offered by Vanguard or Fidelity and you could retire reasonably well after just 25 years of work or have the financial independence to do what you really want to do.
“Stuff” which includes cars ultimately gives little meaning to life and is a sinkhole on your road to financial independence. The Bush Administration may, however, charge you with failing to contribute your fair share to air and noise pollution, traffic congestion, global terrorism, and the justification for his very profitable wars.
Now, I don’t know about the stock market. We’ve used our car-free savings to pay off the $40K liberal arts student loans, live in nicer places than otherwise possible, buy a house and fix it up, sell it and buy better outright, have a kid, start a company, and equip ourselves with the finest bicycles and related equipment ever, among other things, in, erm, eleven years. Of course, we worked a lot too, and still do. Having no car has never hurt, not in five different states!