You’d like to save money, and you’d like to shed a few pounds… what do you do? Ditch the car commute and get on the ol bike is what I say. Crazy? Well… it worked for me and it can easily work for you as well!
When I moved to Hawaii I ditched the car. Back in Wisconsin I had a gas guzzling 6 cylinder four door domestic sedan that got about 20 mpg. I lived about 6 miles from where I worked and every time I wanted to go anywhere I’d end up driving. Moving to a more densely populated area and closer to where I work has allowed me to reduce my expenses and allows me to easily stay in shape. My wallet, and the ladies, love it! 😉
The initial cost for a bike is minimal. I bought a bike for $100 bucks off craigslist when I moved here, then took a $15 course on how to tune up your bike at a local shop and it runs good as new now. No insurance, gas, or monthly payments necessary and if it gets stolen I’m not going to be too torn up about it. My commute is to work is about two miles because I voluntarily chose to. Even if I bought a slightly used car that offered high mpg and was simply used for practical purchases I’d still be spending a couple hundred a month. My old car, with payments and depreciation was costing me roughly $400 a month.
What Makes it Possible
The trick here really is to live within a reasonable distance to your work. If you’re 10 miles or more out it might not exactly be feasible to ride your bike. Likewise you’re probably not going to carry your kids to soccer practice on your bike, but even if you still need a car (for those who have family or an actual need for a car) I highly recommend the daily workout and decrease in gas consumption along with wear and tear on your automobile.
I realize that moving to a more densely populated area does increase the cost of living, but this model could be taken into action in any area, even rural. Especially if you’re renting you can move relatively close to your work without significantly impacting your life.
Forcing You to Get in Shape
Having only the bike to get around has forced me to workout whenever I want to go anywhere. It also helps me at the grocery store by only buying things that will fit in my backpack and limiting my purchases (because those carts are so darn big!). Through creating a forced situation I’ve learned to adapt and the side affects are stronger legs, less fat, and healthier lungs.
For many of you this probably isn’t feasible, wearing a suit (although you could change at work), no bicycle lanes, or horrible weather, may be some of the reasons, but in all honesty any single person could easily do the same if they really had the desire.
What could you do with a shorter commute, rock hard abs 🙂 , and $400 a month more?
Image from mindfrieze