A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Getting Around

Earlier this week, I wrote about some ideas to consider to better align your housing with what matters most to you. Cost represents only part of the reason your current home may be causing stress and anxiety. In continuing along that thought process, let’s work through another big expense – transportation.

What is your primary mode of transportation?

What is your true out of pocket expense each month?

How does this align with your values and priorities?

snow-3320917_640 At the minimum, it’s important to have access to at least three different ways to get around. Flexibility is key when bad weather, accidents or emergencies happen. It’s about being resilient and prepared when things come up suddenly, and you can keep going.

Walking – this may be high on your priority list, whether you are wanting to stay active, reduce your carbon footprint or to avoid dealing with the expense and hassle of owning a car. Living away from urban centers or neighborhoods that offer the things you need, may create some challenges.

Bikes & Skateboards – these can definitely expand your range while keeping expenses at a minimum. This is also a good option if you want to stay active. Even if you work in a professional office, you can find ways to change and freshen up after your ride. The risk of injury increases, so be sure to consider your route, road conditions and weather.

If you’re new to cycling, start with a used bike and get some experience in different conditions. Ride with other cyclists to learn about different styles, features and benefits of each one, before investing hundreds of dollars in something you may not like. During winter months, you can use your bike indoors as a stationary bike, with a few accessories and adjustments.

Buses & Trains – these are great options if you need to get around during bad weather, have things to carry or distance is a factor. If planned well, it’s a great way to get back some of your travel time to get things done. Instead of driving yourself, you have the flexibility to read, study, write, work or daydream.  Be sure to check out the routes, schedules and fares before you head out.

Ride Sharing – we live in a world where you really don’t need to own some sort of personal transportation, unless it’s absolutely necessary. Even rental cars are evolving. In most metropolitan areas, you can grab a car to run errands or take a short trip, without the hassle of purchasing insurance or gas.

Options like zipcar , Getaround and Turo , allow you to drive different types of cars without the expense of ownership. Even car pooling has gone high tech. Did you know that both Lyft and Uber offer carpooling options through employer benefit programs? In Indianapolis, the city is taking action by offering car sharing programs like blueindy to improve access to reliable and affordable transportation. You can even start your own carpool with coworkers and friends.

Once you consider the cost of loan payments, maintenance, parking, taxes and insurance, owning a vehicle can consume a lot of time, energy and money. Capture the true costs associated with your transportation options, weigh the alternatives and align your time and money with what matters most to you.