While cars are increasingly becoming a necessity more than a luxury, there are still a lot of people who choose to be car-free.
Whether you chose to not have a car or circumstances resulted in you not having one, here are some benefits to giving up your car:
- Less money. No car payments, no insurance, no maintenance or oil changes, etc…. With cars come a lot of responsibility that often comes with a hefty price. Not having a car can easily add hundreds or thousands of dollars to your wallet.
- Better time management. When you have a car, you can mostly operate when and how you want. If you walk, bike or use public transportation you are a lot more time conscious. Staying on top of a bus schedule or calculating walking distances makes you think more carefully about your schedule and where your time goes.
- You walk more. Not having a car forces you to get your feet moving if you have somewhere to go. If you track your steps per day, you should see a big jump once you go car-less.
- You don’t have to sit in traffic. If you walk, bike or take public transportation, traffic will never be something you have to deal with. You can catch up on your reading or work while riding the bus or train.
- Less carbon footprint. Even though the human race is developing and expanding, our footprint on the Earth doesn’t have to. By not driving we are pushing out less fumes and chemicals into the atmosphere.
When adjusting to a car-free lifestyle, here are some things to think about:
- Make a list of other ways to get around. Can you get a ride or call an Uber? Take the bus or subway? Walk or bike? Having an idea of how your going to get around to places will help you preplan your trips.
- Make a list of places you go and how often you need to go. Doing this step helps you plan your week and trips according to what you have to do. If you go grocery shopping once a week, write that down. Having everything written out and visible allows you to see where changes can be made if needed.
- Buy a bike and good walking shoes. When becoming car-free, walking and/or biking becomes one your main ways of getting around. Invest in a good paid of shoes so that walking will be a lot more comfortable.
- Download apps to help you plan. Getting a good weather app like Accuweather will help you stay on top of upcoming severe weather. Uber and Lyft will be your friend when you can’t void getting a ride. Having an app like Yelp on your phone will also help you find the closest places to you so you can stay within walking distance no matter where you go.
Whether you drive a car or not, there will always be advantages and disadvantages. Decide for yourself which lifestyle would suit you best. If you can’t completely give up your car, then try driving less to reduce your miles and spending.
If you have any other tips, please share them in the comments below. Thanks!