If you would like to save more money – for retirement, college tuition, healthcare costs, or some other financial priority – hop on your bike and ride.
As it turns out, riding your bike may help boost your savings. Whether you commute to work on two wheels or cycle around town doing errands, opting for manpower instead of horsepower can help generate some additional savings, according to a source cited by Bankrate.com:
“The average American household spends over $9,000 a year on transportation, making it the second-largest expense after housing…Many families simply take for granted the two-car, driving-to-work arrangement that’s the norm for American households and often don’t consider alternatives like public transportation, carpooling, or biking…That’s a shame, because its status as a major household cost means cutting transportation can radically cut your overall costs and, potentially, increase your ability to save…”
If you are serious about saving, imagine what your finances would look like if you:
- Drove less. AAA reported owning a small car costs about $6,600 a year, while rumbling around in an SUV costs more than $10,000 annually. (The estimate includes fuel, insurance, depreciation, maintenance, fees and licensing, finance charges, and tires.) Eliminating a car could significantly improve your ability to save.
- Cycled more. Not everyone can get by without a car; however, if you bike shorter distances or when the weather is good, then you could qualify for a low mileage discount on your auto insurance.
- Didn’t go to the gym. If you’re riding a bike to work or to run errands, then you probably don’t need spin class. The average gym membership runs $54 a month or almost $650 a year.
- Bought less stuff. Impulse purchases are less tempting when you’re cycling because bike baskets and saddlebags have limited storage space. Who knows how much that could help you save?
In addition to saving money, two-wheeled travel options are likely to improve your fitness and reduce the stress of rush hour driving. Cycling may even eliminate the need for dieting and some medications. Here’s an added bonus: If biking improves your longevity, you may have more time to spend the money you save!
For more on how health is true wealth, see Chapter 11 of my book Mindful Money: Simple Practices for Reaching Your Financial Goals and Increasing Your Happiness Dividend.
Weekly Focus – Think About It
“Life is like a 10-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use.”
–Charles M. Schultz, Cartoonist