From today's www.steepandcheap.com email!
Back when I was a teenager I wanted a car more than almost anything. I owned a Thule roof rack for my car before ever buying a car, and I devoted hours to combing newspaper ads and biking around looking at $500 station wagons. There were a surprising number of mint, wood-paneled wagons for less than $500 back then. But no matter how I sliced the finances including gas, upkeep, and insurance, I could never convince my parents to let me park one of these things in their driveway. And thank god. Nowadays I go to great lengths to try to avoid owning a car or even driving one. I bike or ride the train. And on the rare occasion that I have to pollute the earth by buying bottled water I get to think, "Well, at least I don't own a car."