How much money are y’all saving?

Here is a picture of Grant and Darcy, cheering on runners.
Sometimes people ask us how much we are saving by going without a car.  

Actually, nobody ever asks us this; they are too polite.  Instead, the people just say “Wow, I bet you are saving a lot of money!”  

Now, I have never sat down and calculated how much money we are saving, but I just nod my head solemnly, raise my eyebrows and say; “Loads, just loads.”

Steph and i were talking about this earlier today.  “Steph,” I said, “We should really write a post about how much money we are saving by riding bikes around.”  Steph rolls her eyeballs.  
“We didn’t really start the bike year to save money.” She says.
“Our people need to know.”  I say.

In my mind I have a loyal following to my blog.  Hundreds of people who are all wanting to know how much money we are saving.  This group of people is not something that exists.  On last review I have one follower, and about six other people who occasionally stumble across the blog every month.  None of them want to know how much money we are saving.  

“Nobody really cares.” Steph says. “Besides, we are not actually saving a lot of money.”  

Steph is a realist, but I gotta give the people what they want.  

So, here is how much money we are saving:

  1. Car payment – Before we started the Bike Year, we owned our car (a Hyundai), and when we started the bike year, we didn’t sell it.  Instead, we just gave it to my parents to drive around.  In Utah.  Thus, we are not saving any money.   Instead, we just don’t have a car anymore.  But nobody wants to hear that.  

So instead, let’s imagine that Steph and I were leasing a Tesla.   We would be leasing a Model X, because it has a panoramic window, and because it looks like a big squishy jelly bean car.  And because it is electric.

A nice Tesla Model X runs $1,200 per month, with $7,000 down payment.  $1,200 per month comes out to about $12,000 per year.  Plus the $7,000 down payment, and we are talking about $15,000 per year.  With rounding.  For a Tesla.  

Bottom line: we are saving about $15,000 per year in Tesla payments alone.  

  1. Insurance – I literally have no idea how much insurance costs.  The only thing I know about insurance, is that if it is too high, you can always save fifteen percent or more.  By bundling.  Frankly, I do not even know what bundling means.  I think it might be something that pirates used to do, but I am not sure.  Gonna have to go look that one up.  

But let’s imagine that insurance costs $1,000 per year.  Plus, if you can save fifteen percent or so, that comes to…  still $1,000.  Because of rounding.  
Bottom Line: we are saving like, about a thousand bucks.  Maybe.  It is a number.  

  1. Gas: Tesla’s don’t use gas, they use electricity.  Plus, before we started the bike year, I rode my bike to work anyway, and Steph rode her bike around most places as well.  We maybe spent ten bucks on gas a week.  And ten bucks, multiplied by 52 weeks in a year… that is about $500 bucks.  Or half a thousand.  
Bottom line: Probably about $500 savings in gas. Maybe.  Gas prices go up and down, so it is basically impossible to know.

  1. Rained yesterday.  These are my light grey pants.

    Maintenance:  Good lord, this conversation is going on forever.  How about $500?  Is that a number?

Bottom line:  Another $500 bucks or so in pure maintenance savings.  Like extra gravy on a heaping pile of mashed potatoes.
  1. Total: Honestly, we might have saved something like $5,000 total, all in.  But maybe not even that much.  Plus, we bought some fancy bikes, which cost about $5,000.  So yeah, it was probably a wash.  Maybe we even lost money when you factor in all the wind-proof and water-proof clothing we are buying.  And spandex.  So much spandex.

Basically, like Steph said, it never was about the money.  It is about the adventure of it.  About figuring out how to do a hard thing in the comfort of our own cozy life in Minneapolis.

2 thoughts on “How much money are y’all saving?”

  1. When my guy and I moved into a place that we could sell one of our cars and both walk to work I thought we were gonna save so much money! I think our story is like yours – we had both cars paid off and both were even pretty efficient and so I don't think we have saved much at all. But not driving to work is like a godsend!

  2. Yeah, I totally agree. I don't even remember the last time I was stuck in traffic. Instead, I just cruise past on my bike. Much better.

    I think you are right about choosing the place you live and work though. The only way this bike year is possible is because we are living in a wonderfully bikeable city, with work, libraries, parks, etc. all really close by.

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