As someone who rents her apartment, has a roommate, and receives an average to below-average income, I’m always on the lookout for ways to save money.
One of the blogs I enjoy reading has several posts on the benefits of biking. He talks about saving money by riding your bike instead of driving, and takes it a step further by getting groceries and other items and transporting them in a bike trailer. I’m not sure I’m ready for that level of commitment, but I love biking, and I live 5 minutes from my new job so it seems to make sense.
Plus, I’m spending way too much on driving:
$8 per day for parking
$30 every week or week and a half for gas
$1600 a year for insurance
When I renewed my car insurance a few weeks ago, I inquired about the next level down of insurance. Turns out there isn’t much incentive for people to stop driving every day from an insurance point of view, which is too bad.
For me (a female with a perfect driving record), here’s the savings:
$1600-something ($1637 or something like that) is the cost for regular (daily driving) insurance … and
$1300-something is the cost for ‘recreational driving,’ which comes to driving four times per month.
So to drop my driving down from 6-7 times a week to once a week, the savings is only $300. Which is lame. I wish there was a mid-level insurance of maybe 1-2x per week, which I could potentially do. I think if the insurance savings was similar for mid-level insurance, people might actually consider doing it. And then of course the recreational level would need to be cheaper still. Let’s promote green living, Winnipeg!
Anyway, back to biking. It won’t save me anything on insurance to bike to work, but it will save me both gas and parking money. Plus it will help me achieve my New Year’s Resolution to be active on a regular basis.
I’m a huge believer in visualizing your goals and your progress, so I would put the money I save on parking and put it in a jar or something. Then at the end of the month I would put all the extra money in my savings account or do an extra investment or something. The very idea of watching money build up makes me very excited.
The problem is, my bike is very small, and very terrible. Guess we all know the next thing on my to-do list! (Actually, I’m going out of town on Tuesday so it might have to wait until I get back. But I will do it as soon as possible. Also, bikes are expensive so I want to buy one used – definitely not new – to help increase my overall savings.)
The plan is to bike to work (and other places) all summer, and maybe by winter I’ll be a seasoned veteran enough that I can brave some winter biking too! Does anyone have any experience with biking on a daily basis? Winnipeg is a fairly spread-out city, so I’m not sure how it will go.
One way to find out! Wish me luck, and by all means tell me your experience biking to work and other places.
Until next time,