So, one of my favourite bloggers, Fabulously Fru-girl, just posted today about her car free life (so far). And I started commenting on her blog and realized that I haven't done a blog post about my own car free life, which is extremely frugal.
The thing is, I never chose this lifestyle. I just grew up with it.
Yes, friends, this is a story featuring the most popular people I have ever blogged about, my parents.
|* not my parents.|
So, my family never had a car when I was growing up. I always wished we did, because when I visited my friends we got to drive in cars which was like magic. My favourite friend's Mom's car was this wood-panelled station wagon where I got to sit facing backwards in the wagon part (I think this is now illegal, but it wasn't in the mid-1980s).
|Isn't this everybody's dream car?|
Anyway, the reason we never had a car was basically for money reasons, as far as I know. We lived close to the university, which meant we were close to major bus routes. Downtown was in walking distance, and anything else was bus-able. If we had to go somewhere far away, such as the airport, we got a taxi. My father - who I will blog a lot more about another day - always said that getting five taxi rides a year was was cheaper than owning a car.
|Taxi rides are also conducive to musical theatre singing.|
Anyway, so I grew up without a car and so the car-free lifestyle is instinctive to me. To the point that I don't actually have a driver's license (not for lack of trying - I have, at last count, failed my driver's test five times). Several of my friends I grew up with also don't have driver's licenses, or only got them in their mid-to-late-20s. It just wasn't a neighbourhood or a city where getting a driver's license was crucial to teenage life success.
Lots of finance bloggers are like, "Don't have a car!" which is hard for people who live, say, in the suburbs. Or who live more than a 30-minute bike ride from work. Or who have children. But for me, it's not difficult at all. I can't actually imagine living with a car, because that's never been my lifestyle.
The funny thing is that, I always wanted to be a normal family with a car and stuff. But now it turns out that, like with so many other things, my frugal parents were simply ahead of the times.
How do I buy groceries? Small amounts, when I run out of stuff. I can buy a bag or two and carry them home or bring them home on the bus.
How do I go on holiday? Take the bus or fly.
How do I get to work? I bike (from spring through fall), walk or bus.
How do I get to the big-box stores on the outskirts of town? I don't go to them.
It's really not a challenge for me. I've set up a lifestyle based around walking, bussing, and biking. Sometimes there are places I'd like to go that are out of the way, but I can usually find a way to get there (going with friends, biking, bus, etc.)
So it's the kind of frugal thing that isn't a challenge for me at all. It's just how I live!