Monday, March 30, 2009

Good readin'

For all of us who yearn for more money in our wallets and time in our schedules, I have a book for you.

It's called How to Live Well Without Owning a Car, and it's chock-full of numbers, facts and figures about how much your car is costing you and the world around you, plus tips of how to slash those costs dramatically.

The author, Chris Balish, tackles the problem of the auto-dependent city and culture from a uniquely personal perspective. Instead of railing against the social costs of our transportation infrastructure (which this author is guilty of), he asks his reader to take a moment to calculate just how much their car is costing them. As he puts it, the book is "a personal finance and lifestyle book... that can dramatically improve your finances, your quality of life, and your peace of mind."

Included in the calculations of the cost of a car are the usual things, like purchase price, gasoline, insurance and registration, but there are things that you wouldn't think about: AAA membership, car chargers, car washes, and even clothing soiled while changing a flat tire. Balish figures that the average car-owning American could receive "the equivalent of a $5,000-$10,000 raise" from going car-free.

The link above goes to Amazon. The book is not available in the Riverside Public Library system, but can be requested by UCR and RPL patrons through Link+ here. Oh, and as an aside... Mr. Balish resides in Los Angeles.

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