After dealing with multiple rounds of repairs on my ten year old Honda Civic, I decided that enough was enough – I was going to sell my car.
The only catch was…that I wasn’t going to buy another one.
Even though a lot of people are giving up their cars nowadays, the majority of American’s would probably think I was crazy for doing this.
And many people told me exactly that…”you’re crazy!”
While it was difficult to give up the means to just “getaway” and go for a drive, there are a lot of cool things about not having a car.
You know that immediate change in mood when someone cuts you off? Or when that guy almost gets into an accident, which makes him really angry, so he starts driving even more reckless?! I don’t have to deal with that anymore.
They also say it’s much healthier to take public transportation to work than it is to drive.
Meeting People from All Walks of Life
I still have to get to work somehow, so I take a bus and then train each morning/afternoon. While this does add some extra time to my commute, I get to meet/see a lot of different people. I’m a big introvert, so the latter more often than not applies. I love people watching and learn a lot just by watching people interact in their day-to-day.
Living in Philadelphia, I see a lot of homeless and less-fortunate people throughout my travels. I try to help when I can, but it’s always good to remember that no matter how crappy your day is, there is always someone having a worse one.
Saving Money Each Month
Of course, this is the big one and what you’re probably most interested in. Between insurance ($115), car payments ($200), gas ($150), repairs ($50), and parking ($40), I have saved over $400 each month by getting rid of my car.
And this is after I account for the $160 it costs for my monthly train pass. Talk about a chunk of change!
I know what you’re going to say – “I don’t spend anywhere near $50 a month on repairs!” Go back through your statements, I bet you’ll at least get close once you divide the amount into monthly payments. Think about all of the money you can then funnel into savings or other areas? Have you thought about investing? Now’s the time to look over some online brokerages and pick one. When you’re not spending money every month on a car, your financial world can really open up!
Getting More Work Done
Being a blogger (start a blog here…) means lots of writing, reading, and connecting with others. What better place to do this than during your commute?
Before I sold my car, I was actively paying attention to the road. Now I can sit back, and let someone else do the “driving”. There’s nothing like finding an extra couple of hours in your day to get some work done – or whatever else you want to do – read, study, play games, and most importantly….relax!
While it took a bit of planning and getting over some fears, I don’t regret my choice to sell my car and take the train to work. I’ve been much less stressed and have been able to see a lot more variety of life experiences than I would just driving down the same roads every day by myself.
Will I be car-free forever? I’m not sure, but I know I’ve made the right choice at this point in my life.
Have you ever thought about selling your car and just using public transportation to get around? Is that even possible where you live?