The subconscious wave of thoughts on car free living from our lovely green friends has obviously had more impact that we thought!
Financially, things came to a crux this week, and something had to give. We’ve tried cutting back on most things: bills, food shopping etc, but we took a long hard look at where our money goes, and it turns out that about a quarter of our monthly income gets poured into our car. <gulp>
I did some sums, and taking into account petrol, car insurance, car maintenance, car loan <groan>, car tax, over the 3 month period Mar-May we would be spending about £1200. That’s £1200 I could really do with spending somewhere else!!
I presented these thoughts to B the other night, and sat up late talking it out, and by the end of it we could totally see all the positives to this change. The thought of all the extra exercise we would all be getting, the money saving, and the change of attitude we would need towards our travel arrangements.
We don’t live slap, bang in the middle of the city centre, but we have pretty good bus links from where we live to most other places nearby. Plus there is a new car club that has been set up here, so when we do *really* need to get somewhere that public transport can’t take us, there is another way! For our summer camping trips we will have to probably fork out for a hire car, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it!!
I had a think through all the places we *need* to get to every week, and they can all be done by walking, cycling (the girls have their own bikes, and the boy goes in a baby seat on mine), or by bus. We’ve been venturing outdoors into local woodland, and other such wildernesses recently, so they are going to be more tricky to do, but am going to have to get creative on that! Worst case, we hire the car club car for a few hours so that we can do stuff like that.
I’ve done a quick budget for transport without a car over 3 month period: bus pass – around £150 (I will have to pay for me and E, who is over 5yrs), car club hire approx 4hrs per week@£5p/hr – £240, one weekend hire – approx £300. I’ve way overestimated the car club hire, and it’s still halved our transport costs.
Well we spent the weekend cleaning the car outside and in, and have now put it on local free ad sites. Tomorrow’s job is to put some signs up in the car windows, and get this thing going! If you can think of where else to advertise it, let me know!!