Gas-Free Commuting: Efficient And Amazingly Economical

Gas-Free Commuting Is Both Efficient And Economical

Automobiles are a major source of pollution (no surprise there).  Cars also play a big role in our reliance on petroleum, which has its own environmental and socio-political baggage.  So reducing your time behind the wheel may be the socially responsible thing to do, but it literally has a more direct payoff too – namely, saving you a stunning amount of money.  Because driving probably costs way more than you realize.

What if someone offered you a duffel bag containing $125,000 in cash, and all you had to do was avoid a lengthly commute in your car every day?  Surprise – that’s exactly what it can cost a family with two commuters over a 10 year span.  Online personal finance guru “Mr. Money Mustache” recently took a look at the real cost of relying on cars for daily commuting, and he backs up his estimate with some pretty compelling figures.

Gas-Free Commuting Is Both Efficient And Economical

According to his breakdown, an average suburban couple might be looking at numbers like these:

“38 miles of round-trip driving at the IRS’s estimate of total driving cost of $0.51 per mile [means] $19 per day of direct driving and car ownership costs.”

If each person spends more than an hour in the car each day, that equals over a year of time they could have worked extra hours instead and other opportunity costs as well:

“After 10 years, multiplied across two cars since they have different work schedules, this decision would cost them about $125,000 in wealth (if they had for example chosen to put the $19/day into extra payments on their mortgage), and 1.3 working years worth of time.”

Gas-Free Commuting Is Both Efficient And Economical

Biking To Work Makes Financial And Environmental Sense

While many car owners may be able to drive more cheaply than this hypothetical couple, Mr. ‘Stache estimates that the bare minimum cost for a long commute would still be at least a third of that amount – totaling tens of thousands of dollars over the decade.  It’s also worth remembering that while some costs vary depending on usage, other expenses like car payments and depreciation are a constant reality, whether your ride is cruising the highway or collecting dust in a garage.

The bottom line:  living close to your workplace and taking public transportation will help keep the air clean, but it will also help save you a ton of time and money.

(via ModernEnviro & Mr. Money Mustache)

Comments

  1. Bernard says

    Bike commuting also has a financial effect on a country.

    Bikes cost are mostly locals while car cost are part of the world economy:
    The car you use is partially produced in other countries/totally.
    The gas you use is partially/totally imported.

    The ones commuting by bikes use less money but also keep it in the country.

    People also have a tendency to count bikes death-toll by million kilometers but forget that car use also has a huge impact outside car crash : hearts attacks, pollution diseases…

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