LET’S TALK ABOUT MY COMMUTE
When I was choosing where to live, one of the main factors I looked at was how close to work I would be. Before my current flat I was living about an hour’s commute away from work. This was straight up miserable. Getting on the tube, with millions of other miserable drones who didn’t want to be there, carrying a gym bag and a work bag, sweating (because hot…and also that’s just who I am) was the worst preamble to sitting in my office until late, only to look forward to the same hellish journey in reverse. I just felt like I was unfairly being stripped of my right to my own dang time and also wasting my precious pennies on something i hate!
So NOW I live 25 minutes away by tube BUT also just 25 minutes away by bicycle. I could technically walk in 45-60 minutes, which actually sounds very peaceful, but long. I am following the Mustachian philosophy on ditching any vehicle other than powered by your own two legs to get to work. It’s a prety Now, let me be clear – I have not gone cold turkey. This has largely to do with the fact that in London it rains, A LOT, and my hair is normally “done” (by done I mean I wash and blow dry it twice a week). If it rains, my hair looks crap
A LITTLE CYCLING RESEARCH
So, with that being said, let’s talk about how much you can save by riding your bike or walking to work instead of using public transportation (or God forbid, a car!). Be prepared, you may wish to be seated for this!
I started by giving it a solid google.
This is an excellent article if you live in the UK and are a regular commuter. It led me to try out totaljob’s Commuter Calculator which enables you to calculate exactly how much you personally will spend in your working lifetime commuting! There is an assumption that your “working life” last 47 years form 18-65 years old (and goodness gracious there is no way I’m retiring all the way at 65); it also doesn’t account for the inevitable huge increases in prices through inflation and profiteering! Anyway, I calculated mine so I could then see how much ill save by cycling at least 3 times per week.
The results are HORRIFYING!
Even with living MUCH closer to work than the average commuter (average in London for a round trip is 13 miles mine is 6.2 miles). I will still spend £56,178 on commuting and waste 216 days of my life commuting 5 days a week!!! That is way, way too much time and money doing something that makes me less healthy and less happy.
THE DIFFERENCE OF CYCLING TO WORK
So this that’s where the bicycle comes in!
If I cycle to work on average 3 days per week, I can save £33,706 over my working life. And (praying that I don’t work until I’m 65) I can at least save at least £45 a month which is £540 a year! That’s pretty dang good considering all of the other benefits there are to cycling:
- Free cardio – I love keeping fit. I hate most cardio. I love cycling. Wind in your hair, feeling of freedom, conquering that pesky hill at the end of your journey….it’s an excellent form of exercise that you don’t have to force into your day.
- Endorphins and reduced stress – I did not expect to feel so different once I started cycling. I get to work in a much better mood. I get home in a much better mood. There is no denying it whatsoever, I am a more pleasant version of myself on the days I cycle! There are even studies that show that people who cycle are significantly less stressed than those who don’t.
- The environment – you’re doing a huge favour to the environment by cycling. No emissions from your car or from other forms of public transport on your account. You also make more road space for the people who do still use the roads which leads to less traffic accidents so technically you’re saving peoples’ lives.
So why doesn’t everyone do it?
Convenience, habit, too scared to even attempt it? I was!!! My boyfriend luckily knew some of the rules of the road and we did a “practice ride” for me journey to work on a Saturday. This is the current set of rules for cyclists in the UK. If you’re not ready to commit to purchasing a bike maybe borrow a friends, or even use one of the Boris bikes.
WHAT YOU NEED TO START CYCLING TODAY TO SAVE MONEY
There are a few start-up costs…
I bought a cute helmet, lights (which must be used at night), and a very good lock for a total of £43.98. I also spent £80 on a gorgeous second hand town bike (6 months old from a neighbour who was upgrading her own). So all told I spent £121 on everything I needed to become a money saving, planet-saving, fat-burning, misery-busting cycling machine!. The most amazing thing about all of this is that it will pay for itself after JUST 36 days of cycling to and from work! I will keep you updated with how often I and my boyfriend end up cycling rather than commuting as part of my end-of-month update!
For now I’ll say happy cycling 🙂 – signal clearly, be alert, and ALWAYS make sure you’re either in front, or behind busses/lorries!