Could You Survive Without a Car?
As more and more people are being forced to edge toward frugal living, many of those people are also seeing the need to make tough financial choices. Some might be able to get away with just cutting back on little things like takeaway food, eating out or certain utilities. Others might have to go a little further and possibly start growing their own food – or if the man of the house is taking the brunt of the cutbacks – even brewing his own beer. What though if you’ve reached the limits of conventional cutbacks and still feel that you’re way off the mark of financial break even, what then? Is that it, or is there more that can be done?
Well there certainly are more drastic measures which you can take to massively help your finances, but the big question is ‘how far you are willing to go’?
Life’s biggest expenses
Taking kids out of the equation, what would you say are the two biggest expenses that you pay for in life? I’d say that the majority of people would answer that question quickly and easily in saying ‘my house and my car!’ Well it’s quite obvious that most people – especially if they have a family – cannot live without a conventional roof over their heads. Whilst it’s true that a drop in housing expectations could certainly reduce our outgoings dramatically, we do still need somewhere safe and warm to reside. So if we are going to say that one of the biggest financial outgoings in our lives is pretty much non-negotiable, what about the other one? What about our car?
How much does it cost to run a car in the UK?
After reading an article by a writer from The Telegraph discussing the average yearly cost of running a car in the UK, I’m going to play it safe and say that when you’ve included the cost of fuel, maintenance, insurance, servicing, breakdown cover, road tax and also depreciation/finance payments, then the average annual cost of running a car comes out at roughly £6000 a year. That’s £500 a month! Now I know that this is an average cost and you may not personally spend anywhere near that amount, but the chances are that you still spend A LOT.
But I Can’t Get Rid Of My Car, Can I?
Now this is where things really do get personal. I don’t mean that I’d like you to tell me your life story. I mean that the decision of whether it’s really possible to get rid of your car is completely dependent upon your own circumstances. It’s important though not to just casually toss the idea out of the window without first giving it an honest examination. If you think about the way your life is set up at the moment and try to make the decision based upon that, then your answer will more than likely be that there’s no way that you could give up your car. Instead take the time to consider whether there are any changes that you could make to help make car free living possible.
For example, if you currently use your car to drive to the supermarket, could you instead order your weekly food shop online? If you currently commute to work and back each day, could you cycle to work instead? I know that cycling to work in the rain each day isn’t everybody’s idea of fun but if it could save you almost £500 a month, would that make the idea worthy of serious consideration?
Would I give up my car?
The only reason I talk so much about not dismissing the idea of giving up a car is because many of the arguments that I’ve mentioned here are one’s that I use myself. My initial reaction to the question of could I give up my car would be ‘Not a chance’, but then could I?
If I were to change my lifestyle and circumstances a little, could those changes make a car free life possible? Maybe we should trial it. I’m really tempted to try living without a car for a month, just to see how I get on. Maybe I’ll hate the experience and wonder why I ever wrote this blog post. But maybe, just maybe I’ll love the fact that I have so much extra cash in my pocket, while also helping to save the environment in the process.
What do you think? Could you ever give up your car?
Here are 5 of my favourite posts from this week for you to enjoy over the weekend!
L Bee and the Money Tree ~ Debt: The Great Anchor
Fearless Men ~ What is Manliness?
Reach Financial Independence ~ Defining my dream, little guest house in Guatemala
Canadian Budget Binder ~ I Can Buy It, But Can I Afford It
Frugal Portland ~ Get to Know Another Blogger: Joe, Stacking Benjamins
Also thanks to the following carnivals for including Money Bulldog recently. If you’re not on this list and you should be, then I must not have had a pingback so please drop me an email so that I can add you.
Finance Carnival for Young Adults 5.19.13 — Faithful With A Few
Have a great weekend everyone!