The Hindsight Budget – Transportation

transportation expense messy moneyThe hindsight budget continues.  Today I’ll show you our 2012 and 2013 spending on transportation.

I was hoping to post this last night, but after spending some time with the numbers I grew depressed found an old bottle of vodka, mixed it with a Kool-aid jammer and went to bed shortly thereafter…

This exercise is more painful than I thought it would be.

Here’s a pretty chart of our 2012 and 2013 transportation spending.

Auto chart 2012.13

This chart does not include spending on the hobby car that is in pieces in the garage.  It also does include the spending on the snowmobile.  While they are both used for transportation, they are hobbies so I have included them in different categories.  (I know, I know….)

The good news is that is we want to retire tomorrow we can if we live in one of our cars and find a cheap place to park.  The bad news is that we are above average in terms of our spending in this category.

I did some digging and found that for the average U.S. household 2012 spending on transportation was $8,998 and in Canada spending on transportation was $11,216.

Can we reduce our transportation expenses in 2014?

Auto Insurance:  As I mentioned in my pursuit of thrift report, we dropped the collision and comprehensive coverage on my car for a savings of $500.  I have shopped around to see if we can better rate on our insurance, but no luck, probably related to the next category.

Auto Fine:  Speeding ticket.  Don’t speed.

Gasoline: $7,477…. That’s $623 a month.  Our cars are not fuel efficient – what a surprise.  We commute.  We travel for the kid’s hockey games.  Our families live hours away.We have been trying to cut back on driving but we are track to spend the same amount in 2014 unless we do something drastic.  I started carpooling with someone from work, when I can and it helps. There are things we can do, but I don’t believe we are prepared to do any of them.  I guess I can’t whine about it.

Public Transportation:  There are not many options for us based on where we live and where we work.  When I have to travel for work, I have been driving to the end of a transit line and take a bus, train or subway to my destination.  I hope I spend more on this category in 2014 and it translates into overall savings.

Service and Parts:  My husband is mechanically inclined and tries to do most of the maintenance on our cars – oil changes, brakes, tires etc.   It helps, but oil, parts, and tires are expensive.  I know we don’t need tires, but I think all I can do is ensure we keep the cars maintained and cross our fingers.  With some luck we might be able to keep this category under $1,000.  I have also started using rental cars (a work expense) for long distance travel to help reduce the wear and tear on my car.

Licences and Tolls:  I am going to ask if I can business expense some of my toll charges at work.  In the summer, I will try to avoid toll roads when I can.  Hope this will reduce this category by $300.

Car Payments:  We still have 24 months of payments.  It feels like it will never end.  I  have made extra payments to pay it off faster.  My car is not going to last forever and we need to start saving for the next one.  I look forward to life without car payments.

If I can deliver on my plans, I will reduce our expenses by 10%.   Feels a bit like putting a band-aid on a gunshot wound.  I guess we need to start somewhere.

I hope this post helps somebody, somewhere feel better about their own transportation situation.

This post has been added to the financially Savvy Saturdays blog hop hosted by Femme Frugality.  Want to join it the fun?

Femme Frugality



  1. I love this idea for the budget in hindsight. Looking at the trends is such a great idea! I wish you the best in reducing this category… it is tough!

    I dream of moving to a place that has good enough public transit to sell my car… but then I’m sure other expenses would rise! 🙂


    1. Thanks – the autos expenses are shocking when you add them all up.


  2. Ugh. Cars are soooo expensive. I hate that when I think about the “cost” of a car- aka the sticker price – it is NOWHERE near accurate.

    I also hate that you have to “register” your car every year too. I mean, just don’t call it registering, call it “you have to give us money to keep driving” or something, because I feel like after you register something once, you shouldn’t have to do it repeatedly.

    And then there’s tolls, gas, etc. Sigh. Your post has made me so depressed. But that doesn’t make it inaccurate.
    Mel @ brokeGIRLrich recently posted…A Tale of Two HairdressersMy Profile


    1. Sorry ’bout that – hope your numbers are better than mine and can take comfort in that. If that doesn’t work there are always Kool-aid jammers.


  3. With the price of gas these days it’s tough to reduce the transportation budget. What interest rates is your car loan(s) at? We had a vehicle that was at 4.99% and paid it off with a low balance transfer credit card, but only because I was sure I could pay it off before the rate increased on the credit card. You have to be very disciplined or even have a big chunk in your emergency fund in case things go ca-ca.
    DEBt DEBs recently posted…Throwing up a Blog Time CapsuleMy Profile


    1. The loan is at 5.99%. We have thought about putting it on our HELOC because the math makes sense but mentally can’t seem to do it. This loan is going to be our focus so hope that we can have it paid off early than 24 months. Thanks for the suggestion.


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