FREE Parking Hack – Incredible 1 Month Pay-Back Period

Free Parking Hack

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FREE Parking Hack - Incredible 1 Month Pay-Back Period

Hey folks so as you may know a high savings rate is one of the corner stones of Financial Independence (FI).

Some say, a dollar saved is worth more than a dollar earned. 

What that saying is really saying is that, at the entry level of wealth building, it is much easier to save your current income than it is to generate additional income.

Anyway, along those lines of saving, I’ve been on a bit of a “savings harvest” recently and my attention has moved to parking.

Because, I hate spending money on parking.

Where I live, parking is not a necessity. There are decent alternatives, e.g. bus, tram and cycling.

However, where I live there are also some little-known FREE parking places near my work, and they would only be a 20 to 25 minutes, walk away. 

So walking is another option. 

However, most folks don’t know of these places because 25 minutes’ walk is outside of the maximum perimeter where most folks are willing to investigate or walk.

And so because not many folks are parking in these spots, it means the parking inspectors have not yet made it that far with their annoying “No-Parking” signs.

Which means I can try an experiment in savings harvesting!

My FREE Parking Hack Options

Bus. No, costs too much.

Walking. No 25 minutes is too long to add in commute time at the beginning and end of the day.

Cycling is another option which is totally free. The issue for me with cycling is:  

  1. I’m a long way from my work place about a 25 minute drive (waaaah)

  2. Its all uphill (on the way to work) through dense traffic (waaah)

  3. I hate rocking up to work sweaty (waaah)

So, cycling on workdays is not for me. (Note: I still love my Mountain Bike riding on weekends).

Another free parking hack option I’ve been researching is to purchase an electric scooter.

The two scooters I’m comparing are:

• Xiamoi M365 or
• Segway Ninebot ES2/ES4

Electric Scooter

Parking hacker (aka ENTREFINEUR): Xiaomi M365 Scooter

The Experiment

Aim:

To reduce my parking expenses to Zero.

Hypothesis:

I should be able to reduce my parking expenses to zero with the right strategy.

Variables:
  • Cost of Scooter
  • Distance to Work
  • Availability of Free Parking Spots
  • Any Offsetting Income
  • Weather
  • Sick Days / Carers Days
  • Changing Jobs
Approach:
  • Find suitable parking spots, about 20 minutes from my work, with no parking signs.
  • Choose best value for money scooter, which is fit for purpose.
  • Calculate estimated pay-back period.
  • Track every day that I save money on parking costs.
  • Track the estimated pay-back period Vs the actual pay-back period.
  • Post the results in a post.
Analysis:
Estimated Pay-Back Period

I pulled out the parking costs I’ve incurred over the last 4 months and these are the results:

In other words, I have spent $522 on parking in four months in the period from Oct-19 to Jan-20.

And this is a conservative result because December and January are low activity times for working and so there were less working days for me to accrue parking costs.

If you multiple the $522 by three you get an estimate of the full year cost to me for parking.

Google Search results shows the best prices of the two Scooters I’m looking at are as follows:

  • Xiaomi M365 – $600
  • Segway Ninebot ES4 – $850

So the clear winner (for me) is the Xiaomi M365 in terms of price.

There are a few downsides with the Xiaomi M365 and they are the power, top speed and maximum range. 

These are all significantly less than the more powerful ES4 which has the additional battery.

However, I’m happy to save the extra $250 and go with the Xiaomi M365.

Parking Income Offset

Another way I am reducing my pay-back period is through some offsetting parking income. 

I recently won a parking spot at my work through a ballot process which I will be able to sub-let out for an income. 

So, most people would think, wow that is fantastic just use the parking spot yourself. 

I would but the parking spot still costs $8 per day (as opposed to $14.50 outside), and as I said before, I hate paying for parking.

By the way, I have factored other costs of parking outside into my risk assessment. 

E.g. theft, hail damage, other car damage, vandalism, parking tickets, hot car in the afternoon etc, personal security etc. 

I have thought of all of these and as my car is very old, I’m willing to wear the risk and avoid analysis paralysis.

Back to the parking income offset, I’ve arranged for a colleague to pay me $10 per day for my $8/day parking spot. 

If you add this up it equates to a passive $20 per fortnight ($40 per month) additional income from this spot. 

It’s not ground breaking but its these kind of little hacks which keep adding up to a steady stream of passive income. 

This income now also offsets a small part of the investment into my parking experiment (i.e. scooter investment)

Free Parking Hack - Pay-Back Period Calculation

Electric Scooter Cost = $600

Parking Income Offset = $160 (over four months approx.)

Offset Cost of Scooter = $440

No# of Days park back = $40/$14.50
= 30 days (ONLY 1 Month!!!)

However I only need parking three days per week, I park (Mon, Thu and Fri) so if I start the experiment on 1  March then it will take me until Mid-May to pay back the experiment.

So for me, realistically, the pay-back period is. 2.5-3.5 months.

However for most people, working 5 days per week, this is an ASTOUNDING 1 Month Pay-Back Period! 

And if your Parking costs are higher than me, e.g. $20 to $30 per day then the return on this experiment would be insane!

Parking Hack! FREE Parking Forever, 1 month pay-back!

Conclusion:

So, in true Entrefineurial spirit, I’ve purchased the scooter and I start tracking my FREE Parking Hack experiment from Monday!

And, I’ll see you in a few months’ time with the results. Woot!

This is the life design and Entrefineurial thinking I like to apply to my life to see where I can reduce my costs, increase my savings “harvest” and get to Fi faster. 

Be an Entrefineur, get “there” faster!

Related Post: Car Next Door Review – 1st Six Months Amazing results 

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The EntreFIneur
The EntreFIneur

EntreFIneur is a passionate frugalist, FI enthusiast, experimenter, ideator and entrepreneur. He's also a family man and when he has time, an active fitness fiend and outdoor hobbyist.

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