The Beginning of a Car-Free Life
How I lost 3000 pounds and saved $7000 dollars. I sold my car last week. It was the last big purchase I made in 2006, and the last debt we paid in 2010. For a long time, I loved my car. I thought I deserved a nice, comfortable car.
It was comfortable because ….
- It was paid for
- It was nice to be able to “run to the store” anytime
- I’ve had a car of my own since I was 16
- It had heated seats
- Most everyone I know has a car
When I quit my job last year to do work I love, I anticipated working locally, but my business took a completely different direction and now my clients are world-wide. I work by Skype, email, phone and occasional in person meetings. I didn’t really need a car for work anymore, but I kept it just in case.
I kept my very comfortable car just in case, but my very comfortable car started to become uncomfortable when I thought about the true cost of driving the car.
Between gas, maintenance, insurance, registration, inspection and the other special things comfortable cars need, I was spending between $5000 and $7000 a year without a car payment. That is uncomfortable.
I know you might be thinking one of 3 things right now.
- Woo Hoo! You did it! So happy for you.
- It’s no big deal because your husband has a car.
- I could never do that.
Maybe you are thinking some combination of the 3, or something completely different.
To attempt to address your reactions
WooHoo! You did it! So happy for you.
Thank you. Your support means so much and knowing that you show up to read my work and implement positive change in your own life, inspires me to continue to move away from comfortable and into wonderful.
It’s no big deal because your husband and daughter have a car.
While having another car in the family makes things easier in terms of eliminating the “just in case” excuses, I don’t use a car often. My husband needs his car for work. There will be days when I have a medical appointment or the weather is really bad when I drive him to work so I can have a set of wheels. I consider this a great opportunity to live with less and look forward to the challenge.
I could never do that.
I thought the same thing! In fact, in 2010, I wrote about driving less. I wasn’t ready to go car-free then, but the seed had been planted. I had every reason to keep my car. I needed a car for work, the grocery store, meeting friends, driving my daughter places, for my own freedom. Now some of those reasons don’t exist and some of them don’t matter. It took a while to get here, but I’m a firm believer in slow and steady progress over radical change.
My Car-Free Plan
I don’t plan on relying on the other car in my family for transportation on a daily basis, or even a weekly basis. Instead, I am mapping out my local grocery store, library, coffee shop, and other places I can visit on my bike.
Each step I take to simplify my life inspires another.
I am so excited to burn more calories, reduce my footprint and save thousands of dollars.
My car was comfortable, but I have a feeling that our family will continue to embrace moving from comfortable to wonderful.
Are you car-free? Do you want to be?
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