Want to Save More Money on Housing and Transit?

Want to Save More Money on Housing and Transit?

Curious how your commuting costs stacks up to your neighbors?

Check out this awesome new tool from the Center for Neighborhood Technology in Chicago: Abogo “is a tool that lets you discover how transportation impacts the affordability and sustainability of where you live.”  Abogo incorporates census and other data to calculate local and regional average spending.

After you’ve figured out how much money you’re potentially wasting on sprawled out housing and transportation, check out their list of resources to help you cut down those expenses.

Example: The average monthly cost of transportation in my neighborhood is $468/month.  Yeow! Seems like A LOT to me, but regionally the average cost is a whopping $780 a month. That’s a lot of working just to pay for getting around.

I primarily get around using my own power and the two-wheeled wonder that is my ultra-efficient bicycle so I have about $460 a month more than my neighbors to spend on restaurants, shoes, trips, and my savings.

Pretty awesome. Also, I don’t waste money on a gym membership because my mostly free mode of transportation takes care of that.

Here’s a more painful example: When I lived in DC, my neighborhood’s average was $795/month with regional costs of $909 a month.

How much do you pay?


7 thoughts on “Want to Save More Money on Housing and Transit?

  1. What a trip! I pay nothing in transport per month. I walk or ride the bus, but my current job pays for my bus pass. I’m saving $539 a month according to this site. I guess I wear out shoes faster than a driver, so maybe $50 a year? I can’t recall the last time I bought a new pair of shoes.

    1. I bought a new pair of shoes on August 6, from Pavement. They’re lovely and I wouldn’t have been able to buy them if I was wasting my money on transportation. I live with other people too, keeping my rent down to $250. So my housing and transportation costs are well within the recommended combined limit of 45% of income. Yes!!!

  2. Wow – according to this, my monthly transportation costs should be $838, with a regional average of $918. Luckily, even if I drove to work every single day, I still wouldn’t be spending more than approx. $200 and that’s a fairly high estimate (even with a car that doesn’t get very good gas mileage – it’s a small 2 seater, but horrible fuel efficiency). But since I have an option of taking a free shuttle to work and biking as much as possible on weekends, my costs can essentially be zero to very minimal. I can definitely see how $900+ is average for my area though – it’s very amusing that people live 40-50 miles outside a city “to save money on housing” and then spend almost $1000 per month for transportation. Ridiculous.

  3. dear Laura,
    this has not much to do with your post, but i wanted to share my thoughts with you, although they might sound a little silly:).
    some wealthy acquaintances were talking about there trips abroad and about how much they walked and how wonderful the cities were. i asked them if they’ve ever visited Manchester neighborhood in pittsburgh. it is a wonderful looking place, and i am not talking about the mattress factory , but about all the houses and the trees.

    i was thinking about organizing a little group of people that would really like to walk in neighborhoods in weekends. one person could prepare something about the history and architecture of the place, but it is not really neccessary.

    i know of such biking groups, but not about walking groups. maybe i am naive, but i would like to see people walking , especially in places that are not considered “proper”. we could make web photo albums of places that people don’t visit anymore. to me, walking is a statement as much as biking is.

    i know it is a bit artificial, it is not like a real-real walk , but it might be nice.

    1. That sounds lovely. The Mexican War Streets neighborhood in Pittsburgh is having a walking garden tour on September 19. I tend to walk by myself because it’s usually how I think, take notes, and sometimes read. Though I don’t read while crossing the street, only while on bridges or sidewalks.

      There are walking tours that are organized by Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation too.

      Walking is really the only way to get to know a place and observe intimate details, I really can’t believe more people don’t do it.

  4. actually i meant you or your friends organize it, because i already have a group. we can, of course, join your group. you don’t have to answer me, just to think about it.:)

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