There are lots of reasons I ride a bike. For the last couple of years, one of those reasons is financial. I always realized that choosing to bike instead of drive was the cheaper option, but I didn’t know how big a difference it could make. Not only is there the obvious cost savings like not buying gasoline and wear and tear on your car, but the unintended effects are even more significant.
Every time you choose to use the bike instead of the car, you shift your mindset slightly. We live in a culture where driving is expected for almost any travel, even places as close as 5 minutes walking distance. Getting on your bike gives you a different lens to see the world through. The idea of using less in terms of travel (less roads, less fuel, less frustration) makes me think about using less in other areas of my life (less junk food, less screens, less sitting).
It also makes me more intentional about all aspects of life. When I bike, I think more about whether I need to make the trip at all (eg. going to Home Depot). And if I do, are there multiple errands I can do on one trip (Home Depot, grocery store, play date for the kids). If I’m driving a lot, I get into this ‘get up and go’ mentality, where I will race out to do one thing that probably could have waited till there were a few more things on the ‘to do’ while I was out. That saves time and money.
Before I go to far down the rabbit hole of cycling being good for your wallet, I will direct you to someone who has thought a lot about this, and who communicates it much better than I do, Mr. Money Mustache. He has lots to say about money and work, all of which is worth reading. But this one is about biking and I think everyone reading here will enjoy this post as well: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/05/07/what-do-you-mean-you-dont-have-a-bike/