Cash, Cash, #Money, Y’all!

My youngest daughter Grace is almost done high school, so this year I’ve been driving her to school every morning. She’s in the IB program (an accelerated college curriculum) so she attends a different school 10 miles away.

Next year Grace is going to leave us to join academia in the frosty Northeast and become a bastion of the liberal establishment, so before I lose her to the Democrats forever I’m cherishing all the time we can spend together. Once she becomes a card carrying member of the secret illuminati she’ll probably forget my name because she’ll be too busy manipulating global currency markets.

We’ll be lucky if Grace invites us to her swearing in ceremony when she becomes Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. She might even let us fly to Sweden  when the Nobel committee recognizes her for curing cancer…

But I digress, horrifically.

I used to drive Grace to school in a 2006 Toyota Avalon. The Avalon is a big car with a 268 horsepower V-6 engine. For a heavier vehicle the Avalon had plenty of “up and go” when you stomped on the gas. One night on a long drive from Houston back to Tampa I got her up to 135 mph on a straight stretch of I-75, just below Gainesville.

The Avalon looked like your Grandpa’s car, but I drove it like a bat outta hell.

I have no excuse for this, I just like to drive fast, even at the advanced age of 42 years old.

My biggest gripe with the Avalon was that I was always putting $20 or $25 bucks in the gas tank, seemingly every other day. My wife could put $20 in her 2010 Prius and drive ALL WEEK, with my Avalon a $20 spot would seem to last less than 2 days.

It was not just the 20 mile round trip to Grace’s school, I’m also out selling restaurants and filling bookings for Balloon Distractions, in addition to meeting folks for my LIFE coaching business.

I bought the Avalon for $12,000 with 72,000 miles on the odometer. I drove it to 188,000 miles before the Chevy dealer gave me $3K for it. The Avalon was paid off a long time ago, so I feel like I got a ton of value out of it…..

…. except for the additional $13,000 I spent on dead dinosaur fluid at the Exxon station!

Earlier this month I traded my 2006 Avalon for a 2013 Chevy Volt with only 15,000 miles on the odometer.

SO FAR I love the Chevy. And THAT is a sentence that I never, ever, thought I would write! I’m just worried that the Volt will not last as long as my previous TEN Toyota models, only time will tell.  

If you scroll down and read my last few posts you can read about my recent 3,400 mile road trip across the Southeast in my Volt.

Just over the last 4 days my Volt has burned through LESS than one gallon of gas. 95% of my driving has been under battery power, as recharged at my home outlet. I have no idea how much my electric bill will increase, but even if it goes up $50 per month that’s far less than $25 at the pump several times each week.

If my electric bill doubles I’m going to cover the southern side of my roof with solar. It will pay for itself, eventually. My house has the perfect roof for solar. With the right set up I can get my electric bill down to $40 per month. I’ll still maintain a utility connection, but just like my Volt has 2 sources of energy so will my home.

If a hurricane knocks out the grid my home (after I get solar) will still be in great shape.

By some online estimates the cost of running an electric car is the equivalent of buying gas at 50 CENTS per gallon. When I get my electric bill I can compare the usage this month to my usage one year ago.

I’ll write about it, stay tuned.

Benjamin T. Alexander

January 24, 2017

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