If you’re trying to cut your expenses, one of the steps is to review your spending and see where you can cut back. You might be looking at such costs as housing and your vehicle and assume that you can’t reduce them, but what if you got rid of your car altogether? If you live in a rural area or need to drive as part of your job, this might not be possible. However, you might just find that going car-free is not only doable but saves you a lot of money even if you don’t live in a place like New York City where public transportation is ubiquitous.
In the end, you might do the calculations and decide that doing without your vehicle just isn’t cost-effective enough to balance any potential disadvantages. Whether you are trying to finance a move, get your credit card debt under control or free up cash for some other reason, you might also want to consider exploring the options for a personal loan. Online, you can find a lot of information about the right one for you, and it can take fewer than 60 seconds to get matched with loan options. Other options for getting more cash include taking a second job, selling things online and refinancing your mortgage or student loans. Here are some things to consider.
What Will You Save?
Figure out what it costs annually to have and maintain your car. Consider car payments, insurance, gas, repairs and any other expenses, such as whether you pay for parking. This will give you a baseline to help you determine whether using a mix of public transportation, ride sharing and your own power to get places is worthwhile.
Getting to and from work is the first concern for many people when they think about transportation. You might have several options, such as a subway, train or buses, or you might assume that since you live in a town with poor public transportation and your work is eight miles away, you have no choice. This is where it’s time to get creative. Can you carpool with someone, paying a share of the fuel costs but still saving on what it would cost to drive yourself? What about cycling? Riding your bike to work can double your savings if it means you can also cancel your gym membership. An extra benefit of these alternative commute methods is that they can be much less stressful.
Errands, Travel and Entertainment
The next thing to consider is whether you can still go grocery shopping, meet friends for dinner or go on vacation without a car. Ridesharing services, taxis, buses, trains, planes and rental cars might be able to get you to the cinema, the stadium and the family cabin in the mountains for less than you would spend if you keep your vehicle. You might want to try an experiment in which you spend a week or a month relying only on these services to see if giving up the convenience of having your own vehicle is balanced by the savings. You may even find out that not having a car is more convenient.