The Everyday Girl Guide to: Saving $200 by 2014 (Transportation)

August 27, 2013

Okay, I’m cheating a bit by listing something I already do, but it might help someone else.

Americans are a car-centric culture.  We spend more on our cars.  Our cars are bigger.  We cannot visualize living without our car.

Why?

Yes, there are times when you actually need a car.  Then there are times when it’s really convenient to have one, but you could do without… if you wanted.  Most of us just don’t want.

I got rid of my car almost two full years ago.  Since then, I’ve been making do with a combination of borrowing a car, public transportation, biking, and walking.  This has had several benefits:

  1. I no longer pay a monthly car payment.  I’ve always tried to buy used and pay off my car as early as possible, but this is still a relief.
  2. I don’t pay auto insurance.  This can add up quickly… and I never got a great discount for being a good driver, even though I was a very good driver.
  3. I don’t stress over rising gas prices.
  4. I lost weight.  Yep, you read that right.  When I couldn’t just take a car everywhere I went, I started walking more.  I hauled my groceries (which had the side benefit of not buying groceries I didn’t really need).  I have less time to sit around on the couch and veg in front of a computer or television.
  5. I helped the environment. 
  6. I stressed less (famous L.A. traffic can destroy the most zen of moods).

Yes, there are times I really miss having a car of my own, but I do not miss the cost.  I may see just how long I can go without one, even when I no longer have access to borrowing one.

(As a side note, today I biked, took a train, and will probably walk a bit.  Even though it won’t help me save toward the $200 because I was doing it already, I definitely saved money.)

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