- Personal Finance
Getting rid of my car and using my legs to walk everywhere instead
Ditch the car
Getting rid of my car and using my legs to walk everywhere instead.
Well actually, I am getting, no, we as a family are getting rid of my husband's car. Seeing as he needs a car to get the 9 miles to work and I do not, I have been kind enough to let him have the people carrier. That does mean I am traipsing four children everywhere. So why did I do it? Amazingly enough, the first conclusion nearly everyone around us came to was that we could not afford to run two cars. Whilst this was almost the truth, we could have pressed on if I had wished. We just could not have afforded any other needed items, or gone on holiday, or paid any emergency costs, and we can pay existing debt off faster this way.
So can a mother of four really get along with out a car? I will tell you!
I saved this hub as I wanted to write with a week or so of time under my belt, with no car. And I am glad I did make that choice. I find it always easier to write from experience.
Well, the first day I had no car. I walked to school. Baby in pushchair and three young girls walking along side me. Was not the nicest journey. Not because it was raining, but more because we had to share the pavements with an abundance of dog poo. Why? Why do people let their dogs poo all over the place and in their own village. Do they like seeing it everywhere? If it is because they do not like picking it up, then they should not get a dog in the first place.
After managing to get the children off to school I came back home and dodged the doggy poo once more. I am slightly over weight and I think, nay, I know I looked like some one had set a light on my face like a pumpkin on Halloween. I am quietly hoping it helps me drop the baby weight I have held on to for too long.
I have to go up to school three times a day at the moment and each way is 10 minutes at a fast pace, so that is 60 minutes of exercise,bonus!
The only problem is that it is tiring my four year old out so much she sometimes drops asleep mid afternoon and I struggle to wake her up so hat we can walk to collect her older sisters. And of course, it is Summer, and whilst it is sometimes a struggle walking in temperatures of 25-30 degrees, it is more preferable than walking in the freezing cold and snow. I will no doubt have to add to this hub on my experience of that once winter arrives.
So how am I dealing with the grocery shopping etcetera? Well even though I could wait for my husband to come home and take the family car, with four children that eats in to time we need to be together. That time is already limited. I now do most of my grocery shopping online. I have had to tweak this and change my day to midweek. It seems most people do their shop towards the weekend and that means the stores charge higher delivery fees. So I pay £3 delivery for getting it midweek. Similar to what it would cost me to drive there and back and I do not have the running costs of the car to worry about. So it is more than worth paying the delivery charge and I can earn money and make my millions on hubpages whilst some one else gathers my groceries up, right?!
I haven't visited my mother as much as we are busy on the weekend and now I can not go any where in the week. That does some times make me feel claustrophobic, but saying that I hardly used the car when it was sat on the drive, as I had no time to just nip out in it.
Another bonus is that when people see you with a people carrier they seem to think it is okay to ask you to run them around for free and put on you in general. Usually with little if no gratitude. At least when they see me walking they do not ask. Don't get me wrong. If I am on my way somewhere I will offer help and a lift. If I have a half empty car and can help, I will. But we all know someone who would take advantage and never want to take their turn.
So in conclusion how do I feel about getting rid of my car? I am happy about it. I feel like I have helped the family budget to go further and it kind of feels like when I quit smoking. Every one would prefer to be able to smoke and drink, own an expensive car, it's just tough though and my family come first. I am still lucky enough to have a car between my husband and I. More than some are lucky enough to have.So I count my blessings.
Could I live with no car at all? No. We live so rurally that it would be impossible. My husband would not get to work. There is no public transport towards his workplace. No one else works in that part of the County as he worked where we use to live and we moved. The last thing we as a family need is to be jobless right now.
So will I ever get another car of my own? I hope so but not for at least a few years. I will wait until I need one for work. If you are contemplating getting rid of your car. Try it for a while. It is surprising how quickly you adapt.
An update of how I have gone with out being without my car
It has been over two months since I decided to go with out my car. How have I fared? Well, better than I had expected actually. I have walked to school in high winds, including Hurricane Katia. I have walked in the rain and the lovely sun.
I actually have found it easier, because I do not have to click and clunk four children in the car seats. I just strap the baby in the pushchair and start walking. I have a lot less stress.
I do my food shop on line, so instead of wondering when I am going to fit in the grocery shop and then swallow endless hours a week food shopping, I can work online and await the delivery driver.
I am a bit down on the fact that even though I am now not paying any insurance, tax or fuel for the car, I have not noticed any massive savings. I do however realize that there is no way I could afford a car at the moment, and was probably sinking into debt with the car I had. So good job it has gone.