After 2.70

Posted by supaa_dry. Categories Automotive, Lifestyle

As Forest Gump so wisely said “Shit happens”, and last month it did. The Government decided to increase petrol prices to RM2.70 a litre. Except that unlike the other times they raised petrol prices, this time it’s different. This time prices went from high to extraordinarily high. And boy does it hurt.

Let’s assume the pay for a fresh grad in KL is about RM2500. And because this graduate comes from Sarawak, he has to rent a room for about RM300 a month. He also buys himself a car, because face it, everyone drives in KL. Public transportation sucks big time. His monthly installments are about RM500. And he has to pump a full tank of petrol once a week (RM100 each time) so this leaves him with RM2500-500-300-400 = RM 1300. Minus off EPF and you’re left with RM 1100. This is just his salary minus the cost of the necessary things to get to work! Then assuming he spends RM20 a day on food (including the weekends when he brings his gf to nicer restaurants), he’ll need another 20×30 = RM600 for food. That leaves RM500. Sure that may sound like a lot, but in reality, you can’t even get 5 decent t-shirts for that kind of money (and this assumes he doesn’t pay income tax).

So things have to change. But there’s not really much flexibility, since our fresh grad’s expenses are pretty basic. But there’s wiggle room, at least.

For me, one change is that things which weren’t reasonable to do before suddenly make a lot of sense now. Like tolls. My car (it’s an old car) probably gets about 10km/litre. Previously I avoided all the new highways like Kerinchi link, Penchala link and all that because it was expensive. RM2? Mahal oh! But now, it makes a lot more sense to take it. If it manages to save me aobut 5km (and the Penchala link does) then technically I’m saving about RM1.50 on the distance, and the extra 50 cents is the premium you pay for the time saved. Same thing with Kerinchi link and the Sprint highway. That extra buck or two saves may hurt when you’re paying it, but it hurts a lottttt less than the RM100 you pay for petrol!

Another big thing is that people have started to drive a lot less (I think). It seems like that’s less traffic on the roads and it actually is a lot faster for me to drive to work in the mornings now. There’s no way I can get to work on public transportation, so I’m forced to drive but other people must be managing somehow. The 35 minute drive has been cut down to about 25 mins! That’s a time savings of about 25%!

I’ve also decided that it’s time to fix my motorcycle. If I ride to work 2-3 times a week, I should be able to save at least RM100 on petrol. That’s a very very cool yearly savings of RM1200! I could afford a pretty decent holiday with that money.. or get my diving license.. or buy a PSP! I’d save even more if I ride on the weekends. I’ll probably have to revert back to driving the car once the rainy season sets in, and I’ll still have to drive if I want to take a girl out (would you wanna sit on the back of my bike? didn’t think so!) but in general, I think my bike and I are going to be much closer to each other now. Also another advantage of motorcycles is that you don’t have to pay for toll or parking. and THAT my friends, makes a lot of difference.

I’ve also been trying to carpool lately. I’m more than happy to share a car with someone and pay them for petrol rather than drive two separate cars. At RM1.92 a litre it made sense to drive your own car. You had the liberty of doing whatever you wanted. But at RM2.70? You’re more than willing to throw that liberty out the window. And if we have to choose between taking the bigger car or the smaller car? I’d take the smaller car because it’ll save more petrol!

I read in the papers today that Proton is going to make NGV kits for their cars. Where can I sign up for one please? Last I checked, NGV costs about RM10 for a full tank, and can go about the same distance as 1 full tank of petrol can. That’s a 90% savings!!! I hear the kit is going to cost about RM5000, but is you save RM 350 a month by using NGV, the payback period for the kit is less than 2 years. And face it, the price of petrol is not coming down anytime soon. If we’re lucky, it stays at RM2.70 a litre.

Yes, I know all this talk about saving money and petrol makes me look cheap and probably isn’t gonna make me very popular with the girls. That’s why I don’t use my real name when I blog. But when petrol is about 20% of your monthly expenditure, you can’t really help but be cheap. But tell the girls that you’re gonna spend the money on them, please. Or you may die a loner.


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One Response to “After 2.70”

  1. After 2.70 - July 3, 2008 / 6:22 pm

    [...] After 2.70 It seems like that’s less traffic on the roads and it actually is a lot faster for me to drive to work in the mornings now. There’s no way I can get to work on public transportation, so I’m forced to drive but other people must be … [...]


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