'Get on your Bike' and save money
Being frugal when shopping is about preparation
The reality of cycling is that once you've brought a Bicycle, it needs little and cheap maintenance plus there's not too much in depreciation.Once you've brought one, that's it more or less, it'll last you years and in theory, if looked after, will more or less be as good as the day you brought it..
From a frugal point of view, cycling (or indeed walking) will save you a lot if taken over a year.
Compared to a Car, the initial outlay is minimal, servicing is also cheap and if well maintained, a Bicycle can be as good as the day you brough it on for years to come. I know people who've had their Bikes since the 1970's and when asked why they haven't brought a newer one, the response is on the lines of 'if it's not broken, don't fix it'!
If you commute, even if you go down the fairweather cyclist route and drive on the rainy and cold days, you're still saving money. Take a 4 mile trip to the Railway Station; in a car you're looking at 40 miles a week plus parking costs and the time it takes to get there - the savings will of course depend upon the area you live in for parking, but take the car out the equation, how much would you save.
In many cases, it's actually quicker to cycle, you're more door to door, so you're being frugally minded with your time as well as the cost angle.
For Shopping as well, the bicycle can be most handy, maybe not for the weekly shop, but count how many times you 'pop down to the shop' and without thinking, just get in the car.
Do we need the Second Car?
In recent years, the economy has been affecting us all no matter what income bracket we're in. We tend to live to our means and when the crunch comes to the crunch and we find ourselves spending more than we earn, we tend not to look at the car, only maybe in the size of it, we downsize the car which does indeed save us money - but what if it's the second car and not the first? Do we really need it, are there ways of getting around it?
The debate against this of course would be School Runs and living in the Country where Bus Services are four times a day and all at the wrong times, but for the normal 'townie', it may be possible for you to not have it.
Think of the savings if you did sell the second car; Road Tax, Insurance and servicing. It's a lot of money and money well spent somewhere else.
The Benefits of Cycling
1. Low proportionate outlay. Bikes can cost as little as £100, well good enough for getting from A to B.
2. No Petrol or parking costs.
3. Get closer to work by not having to park half a mile from the Station or Work Place.Same applies to Shops.
4. Low maintenance costs, most things can be done on a D.I.Y basis
5. It keeps you fitter. Keep those knees and thighs in trim and you'll reap the health rewards later.
6. Cycling often becomes a leisure activity as well. Pack the Picnic in the Rucksack or Pannier Bag and go off with the Kids.
7. The Environment. You'r not shortening the life of this Planet by sitting in a traffic jam whilst your car drinks petrol and spits it out the other end.
The other good news is that Councils, at National and local level are more aware of the increasing number of cyclists and promote it accordingly. New Cycle Paths and Routes are popping up all over the place thus making it safer than before.
Finally, I read the other day that one of the biggest profit making Retailers in 2010 was Halfords, add to that the fact that Cyclists on the road have doubled in the last ten years, the trend is going two wheels and not four!
Ask your Company to look at the Government's Cycle to Work Scheme. By participating, you can save £££'s on initial outlay as well!