Ditch Your Car And Walk More

As I recently said in Welcome To Paradise – We’re Living On A Sailboat!, we no longer have our Jeep. Since we are preparing to cruise and will be leaving the marina soon, we no longer have a need for full-time use of a land vehicle. Now, technically we still own our Jeep, but it’s…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: May 27, 2023

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4 Reasons To Ditch Your Car And Walk MoreAs I recently said in Welcome To Paradise – We’re Living On A Sailboat!, we no longer have our Jeep. Since we are preparing to cruise and will be leaving the marina soon, we no longer have a need for full-time use of a land vehicle.

Now, technically we still own our Jeep, but it’s currently being stored at Wes’ parent’s house. We love it and put a lot of time and money converting it into an overland vehicle that is great for exploring the country without worrying about needing a place to stay. But, for now, as it’s being stored far away, we are completely carless.

Due to ditching our car, we will be commuting by dinghy, folding bikes, and walking.

Some of you may feel bad for us, but we’re actually really excited! Perhaps this novelty will wear off eventually, but for now, we’re excited to make this change.

I understand that for many, being able to drive a car anywhere you need may be extremely convenient, but in some cases, driving everywhere might just be a habit.

Trust me, I completely understand. I used to live in a suburb, and the thought of walking or riding my bike somewhere never once crossed my mind.

Not even once.

However, for some people, taking the time to consider the benefits of being car-less might just be the push you need to change your life.

Ditching your car and walking might be exactly what you need if you want to save more money, be more active, feel refreshed, and so on.

Here are some of the many great benefits of walking and/or biking more.


Walking makes you think twice.

Having a car is so convenient, and I realize that. However, one of the big benefits of no longer having a car is that we will think longer and harder about each errand we have to run.

This is because if I want to get something from the store, it’ll take me a heck of a lot longer to complete that errand. Plus, it’s super hot in Florida so I will really think twice or even three times before thinking that I need something.

And, if I do decide to go to the store or complete whatever other errand I have, I will have to carry it home in my arms or in a backpack, so that’s another thing that can stop you from overspending or getting things that you do not actually need.

Just think about it: how many times do you go to the store for one or two things and come out with several bags full of stuff? That’s definitely not happening now!

There’s really no splurging and going crazy at Target if you don’t have a vehicle to put everything in once you’re done shopping.

And, this is probably a no brainer, but if you are thinking more about your purchases in terms of how much stuff you can carry home, you are likely spending less money on stuff you probably don’t even need.

Maybe you really think you want something, but you can’t drive to the store to grab it, you will weigh out the benefits of actually going to buy the item in the first place.


You’ll save so much money on transportation that you’ll want to do this! 😛

You can save money on transportation.

Okay, this one is clearly a given.

One of the great benefits of walking and/or cycling is that you may be able to save money on transportation. Brand new bikes can be expensive, but not nearly as expensive as a car. And, whoever said you need a brand new, top of the line bike to get around? Plus, walking and/or biking doesn’t require insurance, licensing, etc. Really, the only costs you will incur are your shoes (which you probably already have), a bike, and a helmet.

If you are able to walk and/or bike everywhere that you need to be, you may be able to completely eliminate your car insurance, fuel, vehicle maintenance, and other expenses from your budget.

Considering that the average family spends over $10,000 annually on car-related expenses, that is a lot of money to potentially save!

However, not everyone is ready to completely get rid of all of their vehicles. I understand, that’s a bigger change than most want to make. Plus, your car is probably helpful in many circumstances, such as getting you to work. Don’t forget, though, there are plenty of ridesharing services for those rare times when you just need to get somewhere a little faster or farther away.

If you aren’t ready to completely ditch your car, walking or biking to just some of the places you need to be can still help you save money on fuel. You can also save money as you will have to do maintenance less often on your car.

And, if you are a two car household, you could even consider getting rid of one vehicle to try it out and see if it’s a change everyone can make.


Walking can help you become healthier.

According to the CDC, only 23% of American adults get in their recommended amount of daily exercise. That statistic is astonishing when you think about all of the health and medical issues that go along with inactivity, which then leads to long-term health issues and medical bills.

Plus, with the number of people working jobs that require them to sit at a desk all day, it can be hard to fit exercise into an already busy schedule. However, one of the benefits of walking and biking more is that you may be able to improve your health and hopefully prevent certain medical problems which may arise in the future.

Walking more may help you to:

  • lower your blood pressure
  • lower your body fat
  • lower your risk of heart disease

And more.

This is one of the big benefits of walking and cycling more – you will be more healthy!

Just think of how it would help your physical, and even mental, health if you were biking to work rather than driving. I know that’s not possible for everyone, but if you live close enough to your job, trying to bike or walk to work would be a great way to fit in a workout.


You may increase your productivity.

I often used to skip out on walking, cycling, and working out, in general, because I would justify to myself that the time could be better used on something else (such as working, cleaning, etc.).

That’s just not true, though.

Walking somewhere can help you go to work refreshed, which may help you be more productive as well as increase your creativity. Even if you weren’t able to ditch your car, using your lunch hour or whatever free time you have during the day to fit in a quick walk or bike ride will help you get back into the day feeling refreshed and ready to accomplish whatever task is in front of you.

I’ve noticed that the more active I am, the more I am able to get done. While it may seem like it would be the opposite, I definitely recommend you try it.

Would you get rid of your car? If not, are you open to walking/cycling at least occasionally?

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Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. It feels good to do the transformation work again out of inspiration or desperation. I used to do tons of cardio in the evening and go to bed afterwards on an empty stomach and sleep for 1 hours which put me in the natural Euphoric state of mind and feeling to lose up to 4 lbs weekly. Back in 2009, I was doing just that in preparation for a marathon in Denver, Colorado.

    I was blessed by the LORD Jesus to achieve 26.2 miles at full strength. Just this morning in the wee hours of the night, I did a sort stint of walking cardio in the rain. Only thing I need to do now after doing cardio on an empty stomach is go to bed after drinking “lots and lots of Apple Cider Vinegar with the mother” by Bragg, so I can accelerate my midsection to get my abs back. I’m doing my happy dance again mentally because my cardio is back to par and I’m operating in faith at full strength and “doing the transformation work out of inspiration or desperation!” 🙂

  2. Mike – Budget Kitty

    If I worked closer to home I’d consider biking to work. But right now I’m driving 35 miles each way and biking on major highways is not happening! I do love the idea of getting exercise during commuting time instead of squeezing it in at some other point of the day.

    1. Yes, it’s definitely a great way to get in some exercise!

  3. Alexis

    JD rides to work regularly! It’s a 45 minute ride one way and he gets a lot of good exercise in while also saving on gas.

    1. That’s awesome! Good for him.

  4. Love this! Also, obviously good for the environment. I recently wrote a post and calculated how much I save by biking to work- about $6 per day! Not bad.

  5. The Curious Frugal

    I love walking!!! I’m not a huge city biker, I prefer trail riding :-). More peaceful and no vehicles. I feel really lucky that even though we live in a total car city, our particular neighborhood is super walkable. Lots of cafes and restaurants, a library, and grocery store all really close.

    1. I’m the same way! But, we don’t have a choice anymore – biking on the streets has to happen for us now that we don’t have a car.

  6. Carolyn

    We love walking. When we visit our son in Seattle we take the bus to Costco to buy groceries for the week for the 3 of us. We all take our empty backpacks and 2 shopping bags each. When we get off the bus with these all full we have to walk at least 10 blocks to the condo from the bus stop. We think about each purchase because it may not fit in the backpacks or shopping bags. We never use a car in Seattle. Usually on a normal day we will walk at least 8 miles.

  7. Hi Michelle, great post!

    I bike or walk to run errands at least 4 times a week, because it kills two birds with one stone – I get to save money, and get in some exercise at the same time! It also definitely beats being crammed into a crowded bus or train with other sardines.

    I currently work too far away from home to bike or walk, which is a pity. But I’ve decided that after I quit my job in a couple years, I’ll either bike or walk everywhere. I’m pretty excited for that!

    I never thought about how biking or walking saves you money when you go grocery shopping – it’s a great point! I love how using a bike or walking really saves you money in more than just one way. Incredible.

  8. Absolutely love this article! I used to drive my car around for every single errand, even going to the grocery store that is only 2 blocks from my house! Once I made the decision to walk to the grocery store I immediately saw a change in how much money I spend on groceries by only buying the necessities I was willing to carry. Such great advice, thank you!

  9. I totally agree with you, Michelle.

    Like right now I don’t have a car yet, it thought me to keep away from buying things that will inconvenient me when bringing them down home. I’ve have had to say no to several invitations because I do not have a car yet to move myself around at easy.

    Though not having a car can perfectly do all that you stated above, however, I’d prefer to still have a car.

    Thanks for you tips on personal finance.


  10. We just got two Bike Fridays 🙂

  11. Melissa

    I love biking. It is so much fun.

  12. Erica Leslie

    I personally feel I made one of the best decisions for 2020! I already had a lot of tickets in my city and my car got damage to the point were it would take more work and I need money to take care of my bills! Plus I’ve been on a really good health regimen so I just felt like I’m knocking two birds out with the stone. So I got rid of my car😁 I feel really great about it I feel like I don’t have to spend as much money on useless things And I love the fact that I’m actually doing something with my body then sitting! I might not feel it now about me being tired of the situation but I have a huge burst of energy in life and making this decision…. There is so many people out there that are inexperienced drivers getting in car accidents not paying attention and I feel great to not be a part of that community Whooohoo