As I was walking home from my car sale today, license plates tucked under one arm, I texted my boyfriend to let him know I was “officially carless”. Just before hitting ‘send’, I changed the wording to “officially car free”. Carless sounds like there’s a deficit in my life, like I’m missing something, but I feel just the opposite: I’m free of the burden of gas-powered transportation.
Car ownership is pretty much essential in Colorado if you ever want to leave town, and considering how much out-of-town there is in Colorado, it’s a given that you’ll want to. So I’ve had a car since 2008, a nice, shiny Subaru Impreza named Juanita la Pistolera. Oh, the adventures we had!
There were all the rock climbing trips…the summers of climbing 14ers (this car got me up to some gnarly trailheads)…
…and the ability to drive home and visit family.
Those were the good times. We also had our fair share of accidents and damages, like the epic hail storm the summer after I bought the car (hooray for insurance!)…
…the ticking engine that required replacing (just before the warranty expired, thank goodness!)…the deer that hit my car while my friend was borrowing it…and, just a couple months ago, the fender-bender while on my way to get groceries. Even though I’m not leaving on my trip for another three months, my mindset was, “Dear god, just let me sell the car before I wreck it and lose all the money for my trip.”
So I did. And it is glorious. Not only do I no longer have an excuse to not ride my bike everywhere, but I’m saving bundles of money. Check out the money I’m not spending on my car:
- Registration: $143 due now
- Gas: $50/month
- Insurance: $80/month
- Oil and filter changes: $40/every three months
That adds up to $573 in savings between now and when I leave for my trip. Plus, of course, the money I made selling it, and the non-monetary benefits like the health and happiness gained by only riding my bike, and the feeling of well-being that comes from being an environmental do-gooder.
I sold my car for freedom: the freedom of not being responsible for a large, expensive object; the freedom of riding my bike around town with the sun, wind and chirping birds; and, of course, the freedom of money in my bank account that will enable me to travel the world.
Best. Decision. Ever.