News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists


Guaranteed way to save money

Because Regina and I work together, our separate rides to and from the office have been welcomed time to ourselves.

She'd use hers to call our daughters, Lynn and Mary Grace, and her mother, Grace, who lives in Andalusia.

I'm more basic. In the afternoons, I'd tune in to Paul Finebaum, and listen to country music in the mornings.

That changed Monday when we decided that we'd ride together and save money.

Realizing each must adjust to the possibility of $3 gasoline, Regina made the first demand. She leaves home first, which gives her time to visit the McDonald's drive-through at Priceville for senior-discount coffee.

I'd have to leave home earlier.

She made the second demand, too: We were to listen to public radio and forget Finebaum.

I made the third one: We would drive her LeSabre because it gets better gas mileage than my Ranger truck.

The one-way trip is eight point something miles and takes about 15 minutes, depending on traffic conditions. In her car, we can make 1 round trips on a gallon of black gold.

Leaving the truck at home, we figure we can save about $60 per month.

But there are conflicts. On Monday, I needed the car for my weekly Rotary meeting at noon. She had planned to take film for development at a Beltline store.

So we did that together after work.

Tuesday was the day to buy groceries, a job we rotate but rarely share because two people shopping together always buy more, and because I can do it in half the time she takes.

Because she didn't want to attend a
7 a.m. Thursday meeting with me, we had to drive two vehicles that day.

Friday also had too many conflicts for carpooling. So for the week, we saved about $3.

I'm confident we will do better. Next week, we might save $10. And the next one, $15. We might even top $20.

Those savings, of course, are predicated on us not going broke.

Tom Wright Tom Wright
DAILY Executive Editor

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