Forum home Commuter cycling forum Commuting chat

How little money can a person live on?

phy2sll2phy2sll2 Posts: 680
edited April 2013 in Commuting chat
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22065978

Spot the missing money saving idea in the 'transport' section.

Posts

  • tgotbtgotb Posts: 4,714
    I'm not at all convinced that cycling to work saves me any time or money. The actual journey to/from the office is quicker and cheaper, but you get sucked in. Once you've factored in all the time and money spent on racing, club runs, specialist CX/TT/track bikes etc, I think I'd have to advise anyone on a budget to take the train...
    Pannier, 120rpm.
  • TheStoneTheStone Posts: 2,291
    tgotb wrote:
    I'm not at all convinced that cycling to work saves me any time or money. The actual journey to/from the office is quicker and cheaper, but you get sucked in. Once you've factored in all the time and money spent on racing, club runs, specialist CX/TT/track bikes etc, I think I'd have to advise anyone on a budget to take the train...

    Agreed. But if your aim was to save money, I reckon you could keep an ok bike going for a year for £50. My current commute (25mins each way) is about £1400 on the tube now.
    exercise.png
  • rubertoerubertoe Posts: 3,993
    Cycle commuting can be as cheap as you want it.

    There is no reason why you couldnt do it on a £50 BSO with no maintainence, as long as the bike keeps going (which will probably less than a week) its just that people who tend to frequent these forums tend to think a bit different about it.
    "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got."

    PX Kaffenback 2 = Work Horse
    B-Twin Alur 700 = Sundays and Hills
  • kieranbkieranb Posts: 1,674
    mobile phones, my non-smart mobile phone costs me £5 per month.
  • SubaquaSubaqua Posts: 73
    kieranb wrote:
    mobile phones, my non-smart mobile phone costs me £5 per month.

    If you commuting by bike in London, Strava is a subsistance level item... thus a smartphone is a neccesity.

    It is possible to commute cheaply by bike... but lets be fair, its just another opportunity to buy toys
    Black Pearson Imnotanumber- FCN 4
    Blue Marin Team Issue MTB - FCN around 30
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    tgotb wrote:
    I'm not at all convinced that cycling to work saves me any time or money. The actual journey to/from the office is quicker and cheaper, but you get sucked in. Once you've factored in all the time and money spent on racing, club runs, specialist CX/TT/track bikes etc, I think I'd have to advise anyone on a budget to take the train...

    What has your hobby got to do with your commute? :wink:
    One might have originated from the other but they are still distinct and separate things. I doubt someone active in motor racing would regard that as part of his commuting costs!
    Faster than a tent.......
  • The OH commutes 8 miles each way in London, and he's not at all interested in Strava. Same with his brother.

    I see clubs/racing/ etc as a completely separate expense, although as I use the same bike for club runs and racing as I do on the commute, it can feel like it all comes from the commuting expense pot when I get a puncture or something on the way in/home!
    Why? Because I'm guaranteed a seat all the way in.

    Brompton SL2
    Ridley Icarus SLS
  • Kieran_BurnsKieran_Burns Posts: 10,052
    kieranb wrote:
    mobile phones, my non-smart mobile phone costs me £5 per month.

    giffgaff and a 2nd hand smartphone will do just as well
    Chunky Cyclists need your love too! :-)
    2009 Specialized Tricross Sport
    2011 Trek Madone 4.5
    2012 Felt F65X
    Proud CX Pervert and quiet roadie. 12 mile commuter
  • Rolf F wrote:
    tgotb wrote:
    I'm not at all convinced that cycling to work saves me any time or money. The actual journey to/from the office is quicker and cheaper, but you get sucked in. Once you've factored in all the time and money spent on racing, club runs, specialist CX/TT/track bikes etc, I think I'd have to advise anyone on a budget to take the train...

    What has your hobby got to do with your commute? :wink:
    One might have originated from the other but they are still distinct and separate things. I doubt someone active in motor racing would regard that as part of his commuting costs!

    I think TGOTB meant that it can lead you down a more expensive path ... although a path worth travelling down IMO :D

    (TGOTB, shoot me down if you think I'm putting words in your mouth!)
    Why? Because I'm guaranteed a seat all the way in.

    Brompton SL2
    Ridley Icarus SLS
  • tgotbtgotb Posts: 4,714
    Rolf F wrote:
    tgotb wrote:
    I'm not at all convinced that cycling to work saves me any time or money. The actual journey to/from the office is quicker and cheaper, but you get sucked in. Once you've factored in all the time and money spent on racing, club runs, specialist CX/TT/track bikes etc, I think I'd have to advise anyone on a budget to take the train...

    What has your hobby got to do with your commute? :wink:
    One might have originated from the other but they are still distinct and separate things. I doubt someone active in motor racing would regard that as part of his commuting costs!

    Don't worry, my comment was very much tongue in cheek. If you had a few hundred quid to invest (and I acknowledge that this may not be an option for most people on a low income) I reckon you could set yourself up with a nice second hand bike and some budget clothing which would cost very little to maintain, still be good enough for both recreational riding and commuting, and last pretty much indefinitely. That's exactly what many people used to do "in the old days"...
    Pannier, 120rpm.
  • tgotbtgotb Posts: 4,714
    I think TGOTB meant that it can lead you down a more expensive path ... although a path worth travelling down IMO :D

    (TGOTB, shoot me down if you think I'm putting words in your mouth!)
    That's exactly what I meant :-)
    Pannier, 120rpm.
  • rubertoerubertoe Posts: 3,993
    tgotb wrote:
    Rolf F wrote:
    tgotb wrote:
    I'm not at all convinced that cycling to work saves me any time or money. The actual journey to/from the office is quicker and cheaper, but you get sucked in. Once you've factored in all the time and money spent on racing, club runs, specialist CX/TT/track bikes etc, I think I'd have to advise anyone on a budget to take the train...

    What has your hobby got to do with your commute? :wink:
    One might have originated from the other but they are still distinct and separate things. I doubt someone active in motor racing would regard that as part of his commuting costs!

    Don't worry, my comment was very much tongue in cheek. If you had a few hundred quid to invest (and I acknowledge that this may not be an option for most people on a low income) I reckon you could set yourself up with a nice second hand bike and some budget clothing which would cost very little to maintain, still be good enough for both recreational riding and commuting, and last pretty much indefinitely. That's exactly what many people used to do "in the old days"...

    They still do in most parts of the world.
    "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got."

    PX Kaffenback 2 = Work Horse
    B-Twin Alur 700 = Sundays and Hills
  • stu-bimstu-bim Posts: 406
    Commuting is a gateway drug.

    I have a spreadsheet with graph showing when I will break even from commuting. That is when it will pay for bike and all equipment and then the fun part is free. Would have been all now but new bike puts me back a few months of commuting to pay for toys.
    Raleigh RX 2.0
    Diamondback Outlook
    Planet X Pro Carbon
  • gbsahne001gbsahne001 Posts: 1,962
    Provided my spreadsheet shows that cost of commuting = cost of train or better then I'm not too bothered. At the moment I'm £130 better off than going by train.
  • mpattsmpatts Posts: 1,002
    kieranb wrote:
    mobile phones, my non-smart mobile phone costs me £5 per month.

    My iphone costs me £10.20 a month.
    Insert bike here:
  • Benjo74Benjo74 Posts: 67
    Work? Its just something to pass the time inbetween rides.
    FCN: 3 on the singlespeed, 4 on the roadie.
  • kieranbkieranb Posts: 1,674
    Handset was free, ex-work phone.
  • I take that all back. The OH has just bought a road bike, and now joined Strava... without me evening mentioning it to him.
    Why? Because I'm guaranteed a seat all the way in.

    Brompton SL2
    Ridley Icarus SLS
  • Big_PaulBig_Paul Posts: 277
    Commuting definitely can be done for nearly free, it depends on how far you lower yourself, I rode around quite happily for a couple of years on an ancient Dawes Ambassador I pulled from a skip that was kept going with bits salvaged from defunct BSO's that were dumped on the local fly tip, The only reason I bought my Corratec, which led to serial bike buying, is because some lowlife stole the Dawes. When I had a car, the last one was an old 106 diesel, it was costing £500 a year to sit outside the door in tax and insurance before I actually put diesel in the thing, or tyres, or fixing it for MOT. My OH has a 35 mile round trip and for some reason she wanted a new car, it costs her £150 a month and she'll never actually own the thing without coughing up a lot more than it's worth in a final payment. That's before petrol.

    Part of me want to do a "BSO Challenge" in which I buy the cheapest usable bike I can find, run it on the commute for a year and see how it gets on with the minimum I can spend on it.
    Disc Trucker
    Kona Ute
    Rockrider 8.1
    Evil Resident
    Day 01 Disc
    Viking Derwent Tandem
    Planet X London Road
  • KerguelenKerguelen Posts: 248
    Not the only thing the Beeb have a blind spot for. In the recent article about falling crime figures at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22275280 the author completely fails to note the one factor which explains more about the trend in violent crime figures than anything else: http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/01/lead-crime-link-gasoline

    TL;DR version: lead in petrol + 23 year lag = 90% of violent crime trends.

    Far be it from me to accuse the Beeb of having a pro-car bias.

    http://biasedbbc.proboards.com/index.cgi?action=display&board=rant&thread=2011&page=1
    http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=7647
    http://road.cc/content/news/76150-bbc-show-newsnight-scotland-accused-anti-cycling-bias-studio-discussion

    No, there's no evidence of that whatsoever.
  • kieranb wrote:
    mobile phones, my non-smart mobile phone costs me £5 per month.

    giffgaff and a 2nd hand smartphone will do just as well

    I pay £5 per month (2 year contract) for my smart phone - a special offer for existing customers with the operator - good to take advantage of at the right time given I was out of work (last month).
  • Came off unemployment benefit last month after 5 months. £71 per week. You can live on it quite well once your rent/mortgage is taken care of, and you get a bit creative, looking for opportunities, solutions.

    Toughest thing to deal with for me was cost of the gas which I dealt with by spending as little time in the house as possible - actually quite convenient given the winter we've just had: library (I love reading), leisure centre (low income concessionary rates) for exercise and showers, job club and work programme premises for jobsearch/networking/meeting others/help & advice/personal development/free tea and coffee, all good for keeping warm, but I would have gone there anyway.

    In the summer, entertaining days out can be had by bike, say 40-50 mile round trip to one of the nearby towns plus a swim when you get there - £4 - swimming seems to be cheap everywhere.

    Use forums, YouTube, Sheldon's site and Haynes bike manual (from the library if you haven't got it) to find out how to fix and maintain your bike on the cheap and get your bike bits from Wilkinson's and Lidl.

    Have the attitude that low income is only temporary.
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