For the past two years I’ve taken the bus to work after driving for 7 years prior. The company removed our free parking benefits and I wasn’t about to pay $350/month to park in a garage just 5 miles away.
I have a love hate relationship with the bus. When it’s raining, and I have to stand outside shivering, I hate it. When the bus skips my stop every so often, I hate it. When the bus driver slams on the brakes a couple feet away from the stop light and we all go flying, I hate it. When the bus is packed like sardines, but there are some very attractive riders I need to squeeze next to, well, I guess it’s OK.
My VIP Pass aka monthly bus pass costs $60, while taking a cab to and from work costs $30. Hence, the cost breakdown is simply $60 for a bus, $350 for parking, and $600 for a cab every month. Out of principle, I wasn’t going to spend 5-10X more on transportation if I could just ride the bus.
WHAT A DUMMY
A funny thing happened to me yesterday. I tried to cheat. Because I was going to work midday, and the express bus wasn’t running anymore, I decided to drive. I got into Moose, drove downtown and left him at my fitness club just five blocks away from my office. The plan was to work for 6 hours, take advantage of the “free parking”, and drive home.
After a hectic day of work, it was so refreshing to come back home and relax. Oddly enough, there was something that felt off and I just couldn’t figure out what. CRAP! I left Moose at the club because I took the bus home instead!
What’s more stressful is that I’m really only supposed to park at the club for a couple hours. They tow and ticket sometimes if the rules are violated. Even though it was dark and freezing, I just couldn’t bring myself to pay $15 to take a taxi to pick up Moose. My objective that day was to save money and time by driving in the first place!
If I took a cab, my $60 monthly transportation fee would jump 23% to $75 ($15 for cab), and I wasn’t going to let that happen. With a full belly from dinner, at 7:30pm I decided to bike through the hills, and between the lanes of traffic to save Moose from the pound. Sometimes saving money is just about principle.
Readers, do you think I was foolish to not just spend the $15 to get in a cab and go back downtown given the inconvenience and danger of riding my bike at night? Have you ever done something as stupid, and out of principle decided to go the less convenient route?
Sam @ Financial Samurai – “Slicing Through Money’s Mysteries”
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