Six months ago, I arrived back in the US after an extended vacation to my new home in a similar location to the one I had left the country from. That is to say, the same old commute. I was in no shape to improve that with a car, but spring was on it's way. I am still here, but spring is long gone. There are decisions to make.
Early in my stay here I got an indication that I might need to move again in the near future. That is another option. I could move close enough to have a more reasonable commute. To make a long story short, I found a few places, but I just can't run out on my friends and landlords so quickly with just an indication. And I do like having friends as neighbors.
So that brings me back to option one, a car. A new car, new to me that is, can be a fun purchase. Driving is a chore to me, so I can't say I feel that way. I find it stressful. I find just owning a car to be stressful. Having the most expensive thing I own sitting out on the street sucks. Then there's all the insurance, the fees, and the tickets. I have no idea how someone who goes out of his way to try to follow all the rules has gotten so many tickets.
There are things to look forward to. This time around I will have a garage, so that should help. I plan to buy a car with less mileage than my previous cars, so that should cut down on surprise maintenance. There has been a lot of that as well. I will need to get a car loan for that, so it will mean more insurance though.
Then there are people. Relying on a car to get to work is a less than ideal situation in my opinion. Socially, you kind of have to. You never really know where the you will want to be to hang out with friends and well wishers. It will be nice to not have to explain that it's hard to get there.
And even though there are a lot of added costs with a car, there are some savings. Public transit has a price. Plus I always insist on paying for lunch if someone else is giving me a ride. Even my own food will be cheaper. I currently eat out a lot for convenience. I spend so much time traveling, it's just a good time to do it. Plus grocery shopping is such a chore without a car.
Which brings me to time. Owning a car will literally save me hours a day. I plan to wast most of that, but in funner ways.