Save money (and even save the planet): Get rid of your car!

Here’s a New Year’s resolution to consider:  Get rid of your car.  Your life — and your fiscal health — could improve significantly.  Also, the planet will thank you.

It sounds drastic, but  — if you really think it through — it may not be as crazy as it seems.  In fact, I’ve done it for the past year.  It can be done.  It’s way more feasible than you think.

Getting to work:  Remember there is public transportation.  Let somebody else do the driving.  Take advantage of that time for yourself.  Read.  And make use of technology to get work done:  Use your cell phone to answer emails, review documents, whatever.

In fact, technology makes ditching your car even more realistic.  I discovered Uber and Lyft and love them.  I’m happy to get chauffered to court.  I don’t have to spend another 20-30 minutes looking for parking (and paying dearly for garages).  I pop out of the car and go to the door of the courthouse.  Done.

Need a car for the day or week? I found Turo.com, a car-sharing website.  Somebody in my neighborhood has a new, clean Toyota (and other cars) he rents out.  I click a few times on the website and presto I have a car delivered to a spot near my house.  Not even Hertz will do that.

And with an office on the “cloud,” and virtual assistants off-site connected to the Internet, it’s possible to work from anywhere.

It pains me to see my bankruptcy clients spending 30 to 40 percent, and even 50 percent of their after-tax income on car payments (and related expenses for insurance, tags, parking, repairs, etc.)  It’s absurd.

And, if you can, consider moving.  Old suburban neighborhoods were designed around cars.  We don’t need that.  Check out this interesting video.  The video blogger moved to the central city where she could walk and bike.  Paid more in rent and still ended up saving money.

Make 2019 your year to think outside the box.

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