As I recently said in Welcome To Paradise – We’re Living On A Sailboat!, we no longer have our Jeep. Since we are preparing to cruise and will be leaving the marina soon, we no longer have a need for full-time use of a land vehicle.
Now, technically we still own our Jeep, but it’s currently being stored at Wes’ parent’s house. We love it and put a lot of time and money converting it into an overland vehicle that is great for exploring the country without worrying about needing a place to stay. But, for now, as it’s being stored far away, we are completely carless.
Due to ditching our car, we will be commuting by dinghy, folding bikes, and walking.
Some of you may feel bad for us, but we’re actually really excited! Perhaps this novelty will wear off eventually, but for now, we’re excited to make this change.
I understand that for many, being able to drive a car anywhere you need may be extremely convenient, but in some cases, driving everywhere might just be a habit.
Trust me, I completely understand. I used to live in a suburb, and the thought of walking or riding my bike somewhere never once crossed my mind.
Not even once.
However, for some people, taking the time to consider the benefits of being car-less might just be the push you need to change your life.
Ditching your car and walking might be exactly what you need if you want to save more money, be more active, feel refreshed, and so on.
Here are some of the many great benefits of walking and/or biking more.
Walking makes you think twice.
Having a car is so convenient, and I realize that. However, one of the big benefits of no longer having a car is that we will think longer and harder about each errand we have to run.
This is because if I want to get something from the store, it’ll take me a heck of a lot longer to complete that errand. Plus, it’s super hot in Florida so I will really think twice or even three times before thinking that I need something.
And, if I do decide to go to the store or complete whatever other errand I have, I will have to carry it home in my arms or in a backpack, so that’s another thing that can stop you from overspending or getting things that you do not actually need.
Just think about it: how many times do you go to the store for one or two things and come out with several bags full of stuff? That’s definitely not happening now!
There’s really no splurging and going crazy at Target if you don’t have a vehicle to put everything in once you’re done shopping.
And, this is probably a no brainer, but if you are thinking more about your purchases in terms of how much stuff you can carry home, you are likely spending less money on stuff you probably don’t even need.
Maybe you really think you want something, but you can’t drive to the store to grab it, you will weigh out the benefits of actually going to buy the item in the first place.
You can save money on transportation.
Okay, this one is clearly a given.
One of the great benefits of walking and/or cycling is that you may be able to save money on transportation. Brand new bikes can be expensive, but not nearly as expensive as a car. And, whoever said you need a brand new, top of the line bike to get around? Plus, walking and/or biking doesn’t require insurance, licensing, etc. Really, the only costs you will incur are your shoes (which you probably already have), a bike, and a helmet.
If you are able to walk and/or bike everywhere that you need to be, you may be able to completely eliminate your car insurance, fuel, vehicle maintenance, and other expenses from your budget.
Considering that the average family spends over $10,000 annually on car-related expenses, that is a lot of money to potentially save!
However, not everyone is ready to completely get rid of all of their vehicles. I understand, that’s a bigger change than most want to make. Plus, your car is probably helpful in many circumstances, such as getting you to work. Don’t forget, though, there are plenty of ridesharing services for those rare times when you just need to get somewhere a little faster or farther away.
If you aren’t ready to completely ditch your car, walking or biking to just some of the places you need to be can still help you save money on fuel. You can also save money as you will have to do maintenance less often on your car.
And, if you are a two car household, you could even consider getting rid of one vehicle to try it out and see if it’s a change everyone can make.
Walking can help you become healthier.
According to the CDC, only 23% of American adults get in their recommended amount of daily exercise. That statistic is astonishing when you think about all of the health and medical issues that go along with inactivity, which then leads to long-term health issues and medical bills.
Plus, with the number of people working jobs that require them to sit at a desk all day, it can be hard to fit exercise into an already busy schedule. However, one of the benefits of walking and biking more is that you may be able to improve your health and hopefully prevent certain medical problems which may arise in the future.
Walking more may help you to:
- lower your blood pressure
- lower your body fat
- lower your risk of heart disease
This is one of the big benefits of walking and cycling more – you will be more healthy!
Just think of how it would help your physical, and even mental, health if you were biking to work rather than driving. I know that’s not possible for everyone, but if you live close enough to your job, trying to bike or walk to work would be a great way to fit in a workout.
You may increase your productivity.
I often used to skip out on walking, cycling, and working out, in general, because I would justify to myself that the time could be better used on something else (such as working, cleaning, etc.).
That’s just not true, though.
Walking somewhere can help you go to work refreshed, which may help you be more productive as well as increase your creativity. Even if you weren’t able to ditch your car, using your lunch hour or whatever free time you have during the day to fit in a quick walk or bike ride will help you get back into the day feeling refreshed and ready to accomplish whatever task is in front of you.
I’ve noticed that the more active I am, the more I am able to get done. While it may seem like it would be the opposite, I definitely recommend you try it.
Would you get rid of your car? If not, are you open to walking/cycling at least occasionally?