- Personal Finance
People Drive Everywhere
Cars are the dominant form of transportation. And they're expensive too. My society in America is very car centered. Sad to say, but I think most of the world is following suit. I live in a very car centric city where pedestrians are treated as an afterthought with lack of sidewalks and crosswalks. That's OK though because I still fight the man. I have a car, but I don't drive unless I absolutely have to. Those that know me might think I take it a little too far, and maybe they're right. It's something I believe in though, and on this one I think our culture is off-kilter. Let's look at some ways cars affect us.
They cost a lot of money. Even if your vehicle is paid off you have to pony up insurance, registration, maintenance, repairs, gas, auto club, parking, and potential tickets and accidents. Cars are the second biggest expense in most people's budgets. To ride the bus unlimited in my city costs 35 bucks a month. 35 bucks! What can you buy with that for a car? Maybe an oil change or a fill up. It doesn't go far. I could sit on the bus for the better part of the month for 35 flat. I really would like to be car-free, but it is just not realistic sometimes.
I notice that people take on this rage or behavior while behind the wheel they don't exhibit in regular life. It's like any kind of anger or frustration is amplified while driving. I don't quite understand it do you? I think driving is stressful, and I'm sure others feel the same. Maybe individuals feel powerful because they're in control of several thousand pounds of metal. Driving a personal automobile seems to bring out the worst in us.
We are very dependent on the barrel of oil. Oil is volatile! And the futures traders don't make it any easier with their untamed speculation. As the barrel of oil rises so do gas prices and prices of products that are shipped. If you drive less you don't care as much what the price of gas is. According to economic theory if we create less demand prices should come down.
I don't want to get all tree hugger on you, but cars are probably causing global warming and environmental problems too. Every time we drive we contribute to that in a small way. And remember automobiles require a lot of energy and resources from the earth for the initial building.
I know it's not realistic to be car-free for most people in America. If you're reading from another country maybe your home is not as car dependent. I hope so. All I'm saying here is think of ways to scale back your driving little by little and replace it with walking, biking, and public transportation. It could improve your life.
© 2013 Blair Williamson, ChFC®