What would you do if you had an extra $20,000 lying around? Or what if you didn’t have to spend that money in the first place? It would be pretty nice, huh?
Well, I saved $20,000 by not buying a car! I was never a big fan of driving, and since I live in a city now I can just take buses and occasionally Uber or Lyft. Public transportation is awesome and super affordable. It’s about $2.50 each direction where I live for the bus and about $1 per minute for one of the aforementioned taxi apps.
Not driving a car can save you so much money. I’m lucky that I’m young and live in the city, so here are some of my tips on how to survive without a car if you’re in a similar situation. Best of all, it saves the environment! Hooray!
How I Saved $20,000 (and the Environment!)
Usually I’m just going to visit family / friends / or eating out, which ranges from $5-10 for places near me, and for farther distances I can take the bus for $2.50. Since Uber / Lyft is several times the cost of public transportation, I only use that when it’s late at night and the buses aren’t running. But it’s still cheaper than a cab. 🙂
[See Also: How to Survive Without a Car (and Save Money!)]
Either way, I’m still saving thousands by not having to buy a car every several years, not to mentions hundreds of dollars every year for auto insurance and gas each month. That’s another several thousand dollars I don’t have to pay on top of the price of buying a car (and $20,000 would probably only cover a used car).
I spend about $75 a month on transportation, including a few Uber / Lyft rides, and I never have to pay a giant lump sum for buying a car. 🙂 Maybe in the future I’ll have a different living situation, but right now I’m young and unattached and the only person who needs to be transported is me (and occasionally my cat haha). I’m also saving the environment :D, and driving no car at all is still better than driving an eco-friendly or electric car.
If you want to ride for free with Uber and Lyft, you can use one of my codes below! 🙂 We both get free rides. First time users only.
In some places (like the middle of nowhere ;)) you’ll probably have to have a car, but if you live near a major city and especially if you don’t have kids, it’s definitely possible to survive without a car and save hundreds of dollars every month because you don’t have to pay for a car payment, insurance, filling up the gas, maintenance, repairs, and all the other costs that come with having a car.
How to Survive Without a Car (and Save Money!)
1. Either live close to work or work from home / telecommute
If your job is flexible, see if you can work from home or telecommute even one day a week to start, or just find a place within walking or bussing distance to your job.
2. Take public transportation and buses.
This one is probably a no-brainer, but if you live near a major city, there’s probably some kind of public transportation system. Make friends with the buses and / or subway system!
3. Take Uber or Lyft on occasion for short distances
I personally use Uber (and sometimes the bus) for much of my transportation and forgo having a car completely. I work from home so I don’t need to drive places very often, and when I do, it’s nice to have an Uber or Lyft pick me up because they’re usually at my door within a couple minutes and I don’t have to worry about finding parking in the city (and paying for it!). If you can swing it and you just have to transport yourself, there’s so much peace of mind from not having to worry about car payments, gas prices, car insurance, repairs, flat tires, oil changes, and all the stresses that come with having a car. (That’s my eco-friendly, minimalist soapbox!)
But even if you do have a car, it’s still fun to have a chauffeur from time to time so you can get work done on the ride over to wherever you’re going.
Although these can be pretty pricey (around a $1 per minute or so), Uber and Lyft are a great alternative to a car for if you’re going out with friends, etc, and probably wouldn’t be driving anyway. It’s an app you can download on your phone. It’s also a great way to get to the airport so you don’t have to pay to park your car for weeks at a time. You can get a free first ride up to $20 if you use my codes (and remember, you can get a free ride with BOTH services, so try both! :D)
Free rides for Uber and Lyft:
4. Walk places!
Walking is great exercise and can get you from point A to point B. 😃 (This is my sales pitch for walking, sponsored in part by Michelle Obama 😉 Speaking of her, am I the only one who thinks Pokemon Go is totally all part of her plan?). You also don’t have to find a parking spot or pay $15 an hour for that privilege (I’m looking at you, downtown!). If you’re going to the grocery store, you can even get a folding shopping cart like this one to carry your heavy groceries in, or have groceries delivered for a little extra money with Instacart.
5. Make friends with Amazon Prime
Although Amazon Prime is a little pricey, the benefit of having free 2-day shipping on everything will more than make up for the cost if you have heavy or bulky items delivered to your home, since you can’t tote them around in a car.
Well, those are my tips for how to survive without a car. Good luck!
- How I Stuck to a $75 Grocery Budget This Month
- The Best Websites for Free Stuff
- One Easy Trick to Save Money on Grocery Shopping with No Effort
- 5 Ways to Make Money Blogging
- 8 Easy Ways to Save Money
- Free Budgeting Printables
If you’d like more tips on budgeting and saving money, check out our ebook Budget Transformation.