Time to Walk the Walk

This website, as you all know is about trying to live a more sustainable life.  I try to offer tips to sustain your finances by telling stories of lessons that I have learned (typically the hard way) and ways to save money.  From personal experience, I can say that once your finances are in a sustainable position, you’ll feel a lot better about the way that things are going for you.  Along with finances, I tie in tips for how to get healthy and how to go easy on the environment (if you’re into those things, if not, there’s probably a better place online for you).

When I was in school, I was able to walk everywhere, I got so used to it that I didnt even own a car for almost 6 years!  It was an awesome time, and considering that I spend almost 1/3rd of my income per month on my car, I know that part of the reason that I enjoyed those years was because I could use that money elsewhere.  When I did get a job, along with it came a 100 mile per day commute.  Then my old car died and I needed a new one.  After so much trouble with the old one, I just wanted something that wouldn’t be in the shop all the time.  I was tired of all the repairs, so I made the decision to double down on my debt and buy a new vehicle.  Even though this is against my premise of getting rid of debt, I think most of you readers understood where I was coming from, if you didn’t agree with me.

Where I really incensed readers (I think) is with my choice of vehicle .  I knew how much I drove everyday, and yet I still got a vehicle that’s not all that great when it comes to gas mileage.  Lots of people have said in comments (even my fellow blogging budddies Mr & Mrs SPF) that I should have chose something that got better gas mileage and was more sustainable.  I know that they made good points, and I knew that when I did it, it was going against the whole premise of the blog.  From reading finances blogs so often, I changed my view of money – and this was probably one of the first times where I used my coin to help advance (or work toward) my life goals.  I was glad I did it then, and I’m still glad now.

The reason that I’m going over all this is because there’s been quite a few changes in my life recently, and this plays into them quite a bit.  After countless 60+ hour weeks with me driving ~800 miles per week, it has changed.  I’ve driven almost 45,000 miles since I bought the truck in December 2009, and now I can finally walk the walk – literally.

As you know from mondays post, I have secured new employment (I start next monday) –  I’ll now be working 1 job that is in my home city.  Not only that, I can walk to work!  No more driving (except to the gym), and I can save money on gas too!  That’s an extra $400 dollars per month  I can pay towards my debt.  That’s not counting the recent price increases that we’ve seen – the $400 per month was based on gas at $2.50 – $2.60, not $3.00 – $3.15 where it’s hovering now.

I can now walk to work, and continue working on my 2011 goals – though I probably wont be making extra progress because my monthly take home will probably be the same.  Where I will really gain is the commuting time (45-50 minutes to 5-10) and in the gas savings.  I’m excited, and I know that this will help me live a more sustainable lifestyle.  Im glad that I get a chance to “walk the walk” now.

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About Jeff

Jeff is the founder of sustainable life blog and has been interested in sustainability for most of his life. After realizing in 2007 that his finances were a total wreck, he started reading financial blogs and quickly realized that what is best for your wallet is typically better for the earth, and is usually healthier. On sustainable life blog Jeff shares his journey to a more sustainable lifestyle. For updates, subscribe by email or like us on facebook.

Comments

  1. Proud of you Jeff! I know i’ve given you a bit of a hard time about that truck of yours, but it’s only ‘cuz I care ;)

    You sure will save a bundle on gas – and on maintenance. Saving that time each day is invaluable. You’ll be able to take on new projects or just veg out a bit more! Lastly, you’ll burn some calories getting back into your walking routine. One of my best pals lived in Toronto and walked/used transit to get everywhere. He eats rich food (works in fine dining) and consumes his share of high calorie beverages yet he never gains weight (plus he is on his feet for his work).

    Congrats again on the new job and the new freedom – both in time and financially.

    • Thanks SPF – I still like my truck, and believe it or not, once this dies, I’ll probably get an even bigger truck (that’s what I hope for, anyway). I’m looking forward to all the savings – esp gas. I’ve done well on maintenance because I change my own oil and I haven’t had to do much else yet. I’m approaching 50,000 miles soon (though I could very well not get to it until December at this point, so I’ll need to keep a head out for that.

  2. Cutting down your commute from almost an hour to 10 minutes and saving $100, you did pretty good!

    Once again, congratulations and good luck on your new job Jeff!

  3. That’s awesome to hear! Back in the summer of 2008, I walked to my internship job everyday. I was in California, and lived 1/2 mile away from work. I currently live 2 miles away from work, so could probably still do it. In fact, I think you’ve inspired me to start this week. It’s supposed to be close to 50 and then 60 tomorrow/Friday, so I’m gonna walk to work! Gas is 3.37 here :(.

    • Take advantage of the nice days, jonathan – you’ll never know how lame it is to drive to work until you stop doing it for a while.

  4. Congratulations on your new job, your future savings, and your decreased carbon footprint! I’ve never made as wise a move as I did when I got a job within a few miles of my apartment. I don’t even own a car, let alone spend much if anything on public transit.

    (If you’re now going to have a couple hundred bucks laying around, I might recommend you get a bike…it will add even more precious minutes to your pre-work morning and post-work evening. Worth it, in my opinion. Plus, biking is fun!)

    • Thanks for the tip justin – I’ve got a bike, but this place is literally close enough that the time would be the same once I added in the time it would take to find a spot to lock up my bike.
      I think finding a place to live near your job is one of the smartest things a person can do – I just wasnt very good at taking my own advice

  5. Jessica07 says:

    I’m so happy to hear you say that! You’ll be happier, healthier, AND be saving money! Hooray!

  6. Well, a truck isn’t a bad thing to have (You mentioned you bought a truck before.. right) I drive a little car now but since I also bought a fixer upper in the country I’ve quickly realized a little truck would have been a better investment. But I didn’t know I would be buying a fixer-upper in the country 6 years ago so… It really depends on your situation, sometimes a truck really is the better thing to buy even though it’s not so great on gas.

    • I agree that a truck isnt a bad thing t have, that’s why I bought one ;) I’d like to get a spot in the country in the future, and thats one of the reasons I bought a truck.

  7. Lucky! I’m just gonna say it… I’m jealous! I would love to walk to work.

  8. My first job out of college was in my college town, and I was two blocks away from work. My second job I was lucky enough to live just two blocks away from work as well.

    Then it was 15 minutes away, and now I am 30 minutes away. Not bad, but definitely a change. We’ll be here awhile–since we purchased our home.

    Do you have one car or two cars for your household? You might want to think about selling the second if you foresee a future with this new employee….

    • I’ll need to look into selling a car. The truck has a lot of miles even though it’s only a year old, so I may be upside down on it. It wouldnt make much sense to eat that (at least I dont think so).

  9. Staying healthy while you save money is awesome. More ways to think about staying green and expanding your mind on green things would be to check out http://www.aznow.biz/green you will enjoy the weekly post that tell all about sustainable living. Congrats on the job.

    Stacy Ayiers
    Green Blogger
    http://aznow.biz/green/green-banking-new-resource-bank-helps-empower-sustainable-businesses

  10. That must be awesome to walk to work again! I wish I could walk to my work, but that’s pretty tough to do these days. Plus, I don’t really want to live in the city.

    Make sure you dump all that extra money toward your debts! It’s pretty easy to start spending it on other things, but don’t let that happen! You’ll be glad once you see that debt snowball tumblin! :)

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