Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur
jducoeur

There are times when it's useful to engage one's inner accountant...

So it's time for something new this weekend. We had decided that this was the best chance for me to go visit my mother, and see what her house now looks like. She's selling it, so has finally done 20 years' work of backlogged work on it, and she'd like to show it off before it's sold. (The fact that it's Mother's Day doesn't hurt.) But driving 300 miles each way doesn't fill me with joy. So I'm going to do something I haven't done in decades: I'm taking the train.

The only problem is that it's kind of pricey. I'm taking the Acela down because everyone tells me that it's quite pleasant. It's not available on Saturday, sadly, so I'm taking the less-expensive but less-pleasant Regional train; in order to make that suck less, I blew the extra $30 to upgrade to business class, so hopefully it'll be decent. But all told, it's going to run $225, which feels like Real Money.

At this point, it's useful to run the numbers. Driving myself doesn't *feel* expensive, but it's not as cheap as I think. Even assuming an optimistic 30 miles per gallon, that's 20 gallons of gas at $3, so $60. And figuring that the depreciation on the car is about $.20/mile, that's another $120, bringing the actual total cost of driving myself to $180.

So from that perspective, I'm only spending an extra $45, for the privilege of letting someone else do the driving for 10 hours and relieving myself of a bit of Liberal Environmental Guilt. That's not too bad a deal...
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