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Old 12-21-2018, 07:04 PM   #18 (permalink)
Isaac Zackary
Full sized hybrid.
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Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Colorado
Posts: 602

Suzy - '13 Toyota Avalon Hybrid XLE
90 day: 37.18 mpg (US)
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We camped around "living out of our car" and sleeping in a tent on several occasions during the last couple of years simply so we could save on hotels in both our Nissan Leaf and now our Toyota Avalon. We just carry around a cook stove for cooking. From time to time camp at a paid campground that has showers.

I've thought of getting an insulated tent like one made by Crua, but don't know it would be worth the hassel in the winter when hotels are much cheaper in some areas during that time of year.

For now though we don't plan on moving out of our actual home. We just travel a lot is all. I do know someone who took his wife and kid and moved into a four season fifth wheel (camping trailer.) Rent around here has nearly doubled in the past couple of years for most people. And the price of land is outrageous. Apparently prices are going up everywhere.

I was calculating what it takes to live in the United States of America for most people. This is what I found in my research:

What an average family of 4 would spend per month with a single used car and a 2 bedroom apartment:
  • Average cost of 2 bedroom apt: $1,180
  • Average cost of healthcare for 4 people (premiums, plus deductions, copays, etc.): $2,347
  • For a single, 5 year old, Toyota Camry (payments, maintenance, repairs, insurance, fuel, etc.) at 15,000 miles per year if you keep it for 5 more years (could be cheaper if you keep it for more years or drive it fewer miles per year): $533
  • Clothing: $150
  • 2 Cellphones $100
  • Tax: At least $503

At that rate, if only the dad works, he has to make $32.18 or more an hour full time all year long just to pay for the above. That doesn't include any money for internet, diapers, school supplies, cable, college funds, money for savings, money for past debts or money for anything else! Note that the average wage is $23 an hour. So basically you either have to make considerably more than average, or both parents have to work full time at $16 an hour or more, or you need to get on Wellfare. OR...

Another option is if you find a job that offers healthcare for the whole family that will help reduce health care costs by quite a bit (but not eliminate the out-of-pocket expenses of course.) One person would still have to make about $25 an hour to pay for the rest, which is still more than average. Or both parents have to work making at the very very least $12.5 an hour. And that's only if the own one car together and don't pay for any other transportation. Hopefully they work at the same place or make more money to pay for more transportation costs.

But if you don't make much and still want to have things like healthcare and can't get on Wellfare for some reason, then the next biggest expense is housing. So living out of our cars can seem appealing. Or like my friend did and get in a travel trailer, put your family in it and move it every 14 days some 20 miles so he's ok with the forest rangers.
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