Ya’ll. As I’m writing this today, it has been almost exactly six months since I sold my car! It’s hard to believe how quickly time flies. Selling my car was a great financial decision for my situation, and I’m incredibly happy that I decided to pull the trigger.
Today I want to highlight the biggest reason that I’ve been able to succeed in the car free lifestyle – finding an affordable, well built bicycle to transport me to where I need to go.
You don’t need to go out and buy an incredibly expensive bike. You can find a bike on craigslist or in a yard sale. I got one like this one from Amazon and I’m still a fan of it. Even if you aren’t able to live a car-free lifestyle, using a bike whenever you can will not only save you money, but also help you get more exercise and vitamin D!
I’m fortunate (and strategic) in that I chose where I live based on how easy it was to bike to things like my work, church, grocery store, etc. However, even if you don’t live close to your place of work, I’m sure there are still a few ways that you can cut out some car trips and replace them with bicycle trips if you really wanted to.
So how does purchasing a bike help you save money? I’m glad you asked :)…..
Using my personal experience, I’ve saved right at $1,500 dollars in the 6 months that I’ve been car free. This savings amount does not even include any car note, maintenance costs, depreciation, tires, or “convenience savings” (Money that I would have spent had I had the convenience of a car).
These savings were purely from insurance, tax, gas, and parking costs.
I’ll also point out that the $1,500 dollars in savings is even with occasionally utilizing other transportation options at times such as Uber/Lyft, Bus, Rideshare, etc.
Ultimately, I’ll be saving approximately $3,000 per year by trading in my car for a bicycle.
If I’m being honest with you, I’ll likely get a vehicle at some point in the future. However, for the sake of making a point, let’s assume that these savings remain constant over the next ten years. As you can see below, I’d amass $30,000 dollars!
Now, as I typically point out in my Spend To Save posts, let’s assume that not only do I save $3,000 every year, but that I reinvest that into a total stock market index fund earning a 10% return on my investments every year. I know a 10% average return may not be likely over the next 10 years, but just go with me here. At the end of 10 years, I’d have over $52,000!
Over $52,000 just from choosing to use a bicycle instead of owning a car! That’s not even including the money saved from avoiding paying a car note or investing in a car in the first place.
As you can see, in a way a bicycle can turn out to be a $50,000 investment if you make the appropriate sacrifices.
Get out there, get a bike, and start improving both your health and your net worth!