Not Having a Car

Piedmont Park

When I was pricing my apartment and neighborhood, I realized that it was substantially cheaper for me to live in the city and walk everywhere than to live outside of the city and buy a car. Not including the price of purchasing the actual car, the monthly cost of a car would have been close to $500 between parking, insurance, gas, and maintenance. Choosing to live in Midtown and walk everywhere was the easy choice once I ran the numbers! 

It’s so fun to tell people that I don’t have a car- I get all sorts of reactions. But, not having a car works for me, and it’s a green commute, which is something that I’m really happy about. For my commute, I walk straight to work in the morning, which takes me about a half hour. In the evenings, I take a bus from my office and walk from the bus station because I don’t like to walk outside of Midtown in the dark. Once we have daylight savings, I will probably walk straight home. For now, my commute is about four miles round trip.

Walking every day is a great workout, which is probably my biggest motivator on days when I’m not in the mood to walk to work! I was worried about gaining weight when I started working full time and had less time to work out, but now I basically have my daily workout during my commute. It’s fun for me to track my walks and calories on my Apple Watch- I usually burn about 500 calories a day in my red ring, just from my commute. 

I’ve also discovered that the long walk can be kind of relaxing! It’s so much more pleasant to walk to work and get outside in the morning than to sit through Atlanta traffic.

People often ask me what I do when it rains, and I Uber when the weather is really bad. I figure, as long as I’m not paying more than $100 a month on Ubers (the cost of parking at my office), I’m still saving money. Besides, it’s more fun to go to happy hour after work when you don’t have to worry about driving yourself home!

The most important thing I’ve learned is to gear up properly- I never leave the house without an umbrella, and I have sneakers that I wear for my commute. Then, I change when I get to the office. I actually have two pairs of “commute shoes”- my leather Nike sneakers for sunny days, and an older pair of shoes for rainy days in case it is muddy! I also always have a pair (or two) of extra socks in my bag just in case. And, because I’m that person, I also have two extra pairs of flats, and another pair of socks, in my desk.

Now that it’s getting lighter out, I’m thinking about getting a bicycle to shorten the length of my commute from about a half hour to ten minutes. The saved time would be nice, but it’s also kind of fun to not be tethered to anything- if something fun comes up after work, I don’t have to worry about driving home or a bike. One day I will probably get a car, but for now it’s kind of fun to be carefree and not have to worry about the responsibility of a car, or any of the costs that come with owning one!

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