Do you remember driving your own car for the first time? For most people, owning their own set of wheels is a major plus, but can be very costly if you happen to have a gas guzzler on your hands. Unfortunately, the spending only increases as the vehicle’s mileage increases and starts to require more maintenance and repairs.
So, if you’re looking to save a few bucks, you may want to park your car and find alternative forms of transportation. These include walking, biking, ride-sharing, or public transportation.
1. Reduced maintenance costs
When you take care of your car, it’ll take care of you. In other words, your car needs more than gas to run efficiently. If you visit a mechanic for routine maintenance and occasional repairs, your vehicle should be around for quite some time. A standard oil change won’t do too much damage to your wallet (high-mileage oil changes are the exception to the rule), but other maintenance items, such as brakes, rotors, tires, and alignments, will be more costly. Also, expect to fork over at least $1,000 for major items, including engine and transmission repairs.
2. No parking fees
“I love paying to park at work,” said no one ever. However, if you drive to work and the options for parking are severely limited, you may not have a choice. The good news is that if you walk, bike, or take public transportation to work, you can keep that daily or monthly parking fee in your wallet.
3. Healthier lifestyle
Ever feel like there isn’t enough time in the day to get a good workout in? If you’re fortunate enough to live close to work, ditch your car and walk. Doing so will help you stay active and burn a decent sum of calories. (You can also do the same for errands, like grocery shopping and picking the kids up from school.).
4. More networking opportunities
Who said networking could only take place in a formal setting? When you take public transportation, you never know who you’ll meet. It may just be your next boss, or the human resources director at the company where you want to work. Plus, there’s also a chance you could become meet a cool guy or girl that can join you for happy hour after work.
5. Minimal stress
There’s nothing worse than sitting in rush hour traffic after a stressful day at work, only to miss your son’s basketball game, girls’ night out, or that important appointment you’ve had scheduled for weeks. Parking your car and catching public transportation doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t sit in traffic, but it does minimize stress, since buses, trains, and subways run on a schedule and give you a better idea of when you’ll arrive at your destination.
Bottom line: using your car less not only softens the blow to your wallet, but also facilitates a healthier lifestyle, reduces stress associated with rush-hour traffic, and could even open new doors of opportunity. Give it a try!