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Car-free living

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I've been carless going on 6 years now and I love it. As a downtown resident it makes sense to walk and use public transit, cabs, town cars, trains, etc. I save a ton of money and spend it on things that are generally awesome. I'm 29 and not married, so hey, it seems like the obvious way to go.

However, I still get TONS of shit from friends- suburban and otherwise. It doesn't matter how much money I save, they still cannot fathom that lifestyle or would most likely say the things I'm spending it on are frivolous, hedonistic and indulgent.

Anyone have any encouragement here? There are almost no articles online about how being carless in a metropolitan area is a sound "investment." I guess I just need more comebacks... Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 17
who cares what your friends say as long as you're happy and banking that cash. but don't be that guy who always asks for rides as favors.
post #3 of 17
I only drive around 2500 miles a year and walk to work. I would still never give up my car.
post #4 of 17
If I was single, I'd probably have sold my car. Wife and I live downtown and put maybe a tank of gas in it a month - mainly used for grocery getting, and trips to parents. We both take transit or ride/walk to work.

It's paid off, though, so not a huge deal financially at this point. At 185 000 km for a 2002, it still has quite a bit of life left in it...
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenFrog View Post

who cares what your friends say as long as you're happy and banking that cash. but don't be that guy who always asks for rides as favors.

True that. Oh, yeah Im not a mooch. If someone offers to drive I always chip in for gas or buy an extra round. The extra cash is great, but you find yourself traveling and doing other things alone quite often because everyone else is getting shaken-down at the gas pump and can't afford to do anything.
post #6 of 17
I am carless too, have been for awhile when I live in Asia. Different set of parameters since it's not America where everybody thinks they need a car but not having a car almost never affects my quality of life. It only makes it better most of the time, because I can go out and have fun, and take a cab home if I drink, I get home safe and alive for ten bucks or something. I don't really save any money by not having a car, because the cost of alternate transport builds up for me, but that's alright though, it's not a large amount of money.
post #7 of 17
I probably save some money by not having a car, but transportation costs still add up (I think I spent almost $2000 in train tickets last year).

I live downtown and being carless definitely saves me trouble (finding street parking, hoping my car doesn't get broken into, clearing off the snow in the winter and moving it to another spot during cleanup operations, etc.). Since I can walk pretty much everywhere I need to go and take public transportation or a cab the rest of the time, I don't really feel like I'm missing out on much except for the pleasure of driving.
post #8 of 17
If you live and work in NYC or even DC it makes sense. Not sure I would do it elsewhere.
post #9 of 17
I lived without a car for years- had one but it was in storage. I thought it would have been a bigger deal than it was- you kind of just adapt your lifestyle.
post #10 of 17
I was carless for most of my 20's, actually, I only got a car becuse it was a company car, the first time I bought a car I was 37, I think
post #11 of 17
When I first moved away from home, I left my Saturn at home. Now that I'm back at home, my Dad bought me a Jeep Grand Cherokee. It's an 02, has over 200k kilometers on it, and I love the freedom. Yes, it costs a little money, but it's technically a company car so fuel, repairs, etc are paid for. If I want to drive out to the mountains on a weekend, I can do it. if I decide I want a hotdog from sev, I don't have to walk ten blocks on my fifteen minute lunch break.

When I first moved from town, I lived in a posh area, I was eight blocks from work. That job was not car friendly and they wanted me to be on a waiting list for parking. Some guys were on the list, just because they "might buy a car later on, and a spot is 30 bucks a month".

If I get a job in that field again, I'll bring my Jeep. Some of my co-workers would carpool in a BMW convertible. Come winter, they were screwed.

It's possible to get around without a car, especially in larger centers. I remember walking over twenty blocks to see the Symphony at the WIndsmere Center, only to make a mad dash for the taxi stand at the Westin later after the show. I wasn't comfortable walking around downtown Edmonton in a suit at 11PM.

Tom
post #12 of 17

Generally, if you live in a city that you can get around without a car (NYC), it's quite normal for most people NOT to have one or to even consider getting one. Why would your friends think you need one then? Do they not live in your city?

post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ballmouse View Post

Generally, if you live in a city that you can get around without a car (NYC), it's quite normal for most people NOT to have one or to even consider getting one. Why would your friends think you need one then? Do they not live in your city?

They live in car-dependent suburbs just outside of the city. It's a whole 'nother world over there. Seems half of generation Y moved to the city and the other half doubled-down on the 1950's "suburban American dream."
post #14 of 17
I would go nuts without a car. Even in NYC, I would want a car. Now, as a matter of practicality, I probably wouldn't have one, but it'd probably take me a while to 'appreciate' the public transit system.
post #15 of 17

I'm car-light.  My fiancee has a car that we or I can use whenever.  Day to day, I walk or ride my bike.  

 

Something to keep in mind.

 

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