Keep in mind that it's not like we never drive a car--we use zipcar and other rental cars when we need them. And that costs money. As does bike repair and T passes.
So here are the totals:
In our last year with the car, 2008-2009, here's what we spent on transportation:
Car repair: $1,839.35
Monthly parking: $720.00
So last year, without a car, here's what we spent:
Bicycles (repair, class, supplies, and new (used) bikes for both kids): $896.10
Car rental (not zipcar): $939.17
Walking: $42.48 (shoe inserts, but not shoes)
So, by getting rid of our car, last year we saved: $2,217.22 (or about $184.77 per month). Last year, when we were getting started on this, we'd estimated that we'd save about $170 in cash every month
Some things to keep in mind:
- the car costs from the last year with the car did not include the purchase cost of the car (it was paid off a long time ago). If you spread out the cost of buying the car over all the years we owned it, that was about $150/ month (I figured this out last year.)
- our bike costs might go down a bit in the next year because this year each of the kids got a new (used) bike via Craig's List, we bought a trailer, and I learned how to do basic repairs on the bikes, so even though there will still be some shop visits, they should be fewer.
- We spent more on zipcar and rental cars than we'd planned, but I think we were pretty satisfied with how it worked out. We got to visit family when we needed to and took field trips that we wanted.
- Not only did we save money, we also put a lot less emissions into the air. And we got a lot of great exercise and fresh air.
- In our daily lives, because we live in a very walkable, urban area, not having a car didn't end up costing a lot more time. Grocery shopping by bike doesn't take a lot longer than by car, and other errands, by the time you get in the car, find a parking space, park the car, get out of the car, aren't a lot faster by car than on foot or bike. This wouldn't be the case if we lived in the suburbs or country.