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How to Live Well Without Owning a Car

Updated on September 10, 2014
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Erin Shelby is passionate about living a lifestyle that aims for financial freedom. She writes about personal finance and other topics.

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by Erin Shelby

If you’ve ever asked yourself “How can I save money for a car?” or wondered “How can I save money on gas?” you’re in good company. Chris Balish has a solution for you. He also believes he can help you if you’re wondering “How can I lose weight?” or if you’re seeking to improve your mental health and increase your savings account balance.

Chris Balish wants you to open your mind up to the idea of not owning a car.

How to Live Well Without Owning a Car is built on the philosophy that owning a car is unnecessary for most people. Balish presents his case using alternatives to car ownership – including carpooling, biking and car sharing – as well as data, such as a 2000 Census figure stating that 49 percent of people live near a transit stop.

Balish asserts that car ownership is associated with power, high status and freedom due to clever marketing. The reality, he proposes, is that freedom lies in not owning a car. He argues that every car – even a used car - has a “cost of ownership” which includes gas, insurance, license renewal fees, parking, repairs, reduced quality of life and more. Perhaps his most persuasive argument is that if a married couple gives up one of their two cars, it will result in a savings of $7,000 per year. If invested in a trust fund, Balish claims that this amount could eventually become $240,000 which could be used to pay cash for a child’s college education.

If public transportation exists in your area, it can be an alternative to driving.
If public transportation exists in your area, it can be an alternative to driving. | Source

Balish is not alone in promoting a car-free or car-lite lifestyle. Many others throughout How to Live Well Without Owning a Car share their accounts of how this choice has improved their lives.

How to use public transit, dating and socializing without a car, shopping without a car and more are discussed in detail.

How long would you be willing to try to live car-free or car-lite?

See results

© 2013 erinshelby

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