It says something about our spending in 2012 that we were able to almost buy a bike at REI with the dividends earned with my REI Visa card.
Mr. LL had been considering a bike commute for the 3 miles to and from work in downtown Seattle. Considering that we would save approximately $100/month in transportation costs ($90 for a monthly bus pass and $9.99 for a Spotify subscription he used primarily to listen to on his bus commute each day), it seemed like the break-even point could potentially be in 6 or 7 months. And he would get more exercise than he was getting in his occasional gym time before office job routine.
In March, we went with the Marin Hamilton bike, a good, bare-bones bike for commuting, and still only paid about $150 after dividends for the bike and all its accoutrements (patch kit, lights, fenders, bike rack, etc.).
A couple of weeks ago one of the tires went flat, and so he spent some money for new tubes, and kept the patched one as a spare. There will be maintenance costs in the future, but overall, we broke even on the initial purchase in less than 2 months, and we will continue to save about $100/month minus any bike maintenance costs.
Plus, he’s lost 8 pounds from all the extra exercise.