Hi, I’m Little House from Little House in the Valleyand I’m part of a larger personal finance blogger’s network called the Yakezie.com. Our community of finance bloggers selflessly support others with the common goal of sharing our finance experience and knowledge. As part of that support, we frequently swap posts to help broaden our readership. This month our blog swap topic is about the Best Go Green Method to Save Money. Be sure to surf over to my site as well to read another member’s perspective on their Best Go Green Method to Save Money.
Over the past few years I’ve reduced my ecological footprint; I’ve swapped out plastic bags for canvas bags, toted my own reusable drink mug around, and changed out my incandescent bulbs to CFL’s. But while I was following the Green movement, I found that the best money saving method was to go car-lite and take up bicycle riding.
Now, I can’t say I’m car-free, because I’m not and I don’t think I’ll ever be completely sans car. Logistically, that just isn’t going to happen. However, my husband and I have saved money by going to a one-car household and biking the neighborhood to run short-distance errands. Some of the money saving benefits of bike riding are obvious like not having to pay the insurance or maintenance on two cars, not to mention an additional car payment. But some of the not so obvious money saving benefits to riding a bike include:
- Better health. By riding, I’m increasing my immune system and decreasing my doctor’s visits.
- No gym membership needed. I’ve never been much of a gym-goer and with riding, I get plenty of exercise.
- Less wear and tear on our one vehicle. Using our bikes for short distance errands keeps those additional miles off our one car.
Going car-lite can be very inexpensive. Using a bike to run errands close to home doesn’t mean having to purchase a Lance Armstrong style bicycle. Purchasing a used bike will serve the function just as well as an expensive one. Just be sure to have it tuned-up, check the tire pressure, and get a helmet. If many of your errands seem too far to pedal, here are some alternate ways of going car-lite:
- Power assist bicycles. Izip bikes have a battery assist that can go up to 20 miles per hour for 45 miles depending on the model. An excellent option for errands at about 20 miles in distance, especially if you still want the option to pedal yourself.
- Scooter. A low cost, gas-efficient option. Most scooters will go up to about 35-40 miles per hour. However, many states require you to take the written motorcycle license test. Depending on your level of risk, this could be a good option.
- Golf cart/Gem car – A slightly more expensive option to replace a second vehicle is to purchase an electric car similar to a golf cart. Gem car is one popular option, but their price point starts at $7,500 new.
Going car-lite has been the best money saving technique to “go green”, and it has made me happier and healthier on top of the financial benefits.
Have you tried going car-lite?