Expenses related to living car-free

So, you’ve decided to live without a car. Congratulations! What freedom, right? Consequently, unless your income has decreased, you also have more money. Awesome! So, what are the expenses related to living car-free?

You’ve got lots of choices of what you can spend that extra money on. First, you might consider saving some of it in a rainy day fund for traveling and other goals. But you’ll still need to spend a little bit on transportation because you still need to get places unless you work from home and are a bona-fide hermit.

Living without a car

So, here are the things you might spend your money on other than car-related expenses:

A good bicycle. A good bicycle is priceless. You can get one for $50 on Craigslist or buy one new for anywhere from $300 – $3000, depending on the type and quality. For errands around town, you probably want something that’s comfortable that can accommodate baskets and panniers for shopping. If you have a long commute, you might consider something faster. And if you really want to put that money to work and travel in style, an electric bike is ideal.

Comfy shoes. When you live in a city, nothing compares to a quality pair of comfortable walking shoes. You will want to replace each pair every year or so as they stop being as supportive.

Public transit. Set aside a small budget for public transit. This includes your city buses, trains and Greyhound bus.

Uber. I’ve gotten pretty spoiled with Uber. It’s great for inclement weather or if you’re running late or just plain tired.

Umbrella. I live in Florida. Enough said. You can bypass the umbrella if you own a good rain jacket with a hood. If your city is windy, I would suggest a wind-resistant umbrella.

Sunglasses. The sun can do all kinds of damage to your eyes if you’re outdoors a lot. Get some good UVA/UVB protective sunglasses. If you have glasses and are cheap like me, get some clip-ons or fit-overs. They’re available at just about any CVS or Walgreens.

Sunscreen. I know the jury is still out on whether the sun or sunscreen will kill you first, but sunscreen also helps prevent sun spots and wrinkles. It’s your choice.

Massages. Listen, if you’re going to exert physical effort every time you leave the house, and if you’re going to be saving the planet from all that carbon, you deserve massages! Treat yourself! You’ve got so much extra cash, and you need to take care of your physical and mental well-being. Just one a month would leave you feeling limber and refreshed.

Yoga. Another way to find relaxation and stretch out those tight muscles. It’s the opposite of road rage.

Even with all of these things, you will probably STILL save money over owning a car. Plus, you’ll feel healthier and happier all year long.

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