If I don’t choose to give up my apartment and live in a van, my other choice for greatly reducing my monthly expenditures is going without a car. My car is paid for but this year I’ve averaged $262.79 a month for transportation expenses. That includes registration, licensing, gas, maintenance and repairs. The average is skewed a little high due to having to replace my clutch earlier this year but with my car having 230,000 miles it is likely it will need more major work done before the end of the year. Although getting rid of my car wouldn’t completely eliminate my transportation expenses I estimate it would save me approximately $200 a month.
Before getting rid of my car I need to determine if it is feasible for me to live without a car. I live less than two miles from school so I could easily get there by bike. I have a grocery store right across the street from my apartment and my bank, the post office, a drugstore, and several restaurants are within walking distance. If you’d like to see what is within walking distance of your neighborhood visit WalkScore.com. Just note that the distances are measured as the crow flies and the businesses are pulled from Google Directory and aren’t always accurately described.
The problems with not having a car would be seeing my girlfriend and working. Looking at the bus schedule it would take about one hour each way to see her which is longer than I’d prefer. It might be workable though. Another option would be for her to always come see me or for her to come and pick me up. That isn’t really a reasonable option and I’m not seriously considering it. I deliver pizzas for a living which would be impossible to do without a car. That would mean I’d have to find a new job or make all my money online. I like my job but gas prices are making it less rewarding. If I were to quit the job I’d probably have to find a new one since I’ve still got quite a way to go before my online income can cover my expenses. I’d also have to rent a car or ride a bus when I wanted to visit my mom which would eat up some of the money saved by not having a car.
It does look like I could get by without a car. Most likely I’ll choose to live in a van rather than go without a car though. This is simply because I like the freedom of being able to get in my vehicle and go. That isn’t a financial reason but sometimes the personal trumps the finance. I do encourage everyone to consider whether they could live without a car.