I enjoy my morning walk to work. For about thirty minutes I am able to clear my head, think and relax before I start my day. Fresh air and exercise without the stress of bumper-to-bumper traffic, stoplights and stressed out drivers. We all make choices and mine was to arrange my life in such a way so that I don’t need a vehicle. This allows me to enjoy what I have mentioned above all the while saving me a ton of money on travel expenses.
This article estimates the average savings of not having a vehicle at $5,250 per year.
On my walk to work this morning there were several things that caught my attention. Being that we all want to be positive role models for our children as discussed in a previous post. http://drdaddydollars.com/is-it-really-all-about-your-kids/ I observed a few interesting things;
I walked by a man that was watering the road in front of his house. I would have thought he was washing it but in this case the city had just removed the top layer of asphalt in preparation for repaving. As I continued to walk down the street and past his home I struggled to find a reason why he would be doing this. I never did figure it out. He was friendly enough saying hello as I passed by while uselessly pouring gallons of water onto the road and into the storm drain. Wasting his time and a valuable resource.
A few blocks over I passed the same late model Toyota land cruiser V8 SUV that I have seen several mornings in the past. Parked at the side of the road idling its V8 engine while unoccupied. In fact I rarely see the driver and this day I made it to the end of the block and out of site without seeing anyone. I think we all know on a spring day idling a new vehicle for 10 minutes is not only pointless it is also harmful to the environment, wasteful, inefficient and creates an unnecessary expense.
A little bit further down the same block I observed a large mobile storage container in the driveway of a home. I wondered how these people accumulated so much valuable stuff that they needed to store it offsite so that they could (not) use it in the future. Certainly the topic of a future post, I feel that obtaining too much stuff in the first place leads to not only an empty wallet but added stress in managing and getting rid of, replacing and maintaining what you have acquired.
It is how we program our minds. Sometimes our minds are programmed without us knowing by our environment, the media, out parents and our peers. We need to understand that we can control our programming.
Financial security is all about how we think. What is our mind set? Most of us don’t have the awareness that if we do things a little bit differently on a day-to-day basis we can progress towards financial independence. We need to make the small decisions each and every day that will affect the bigger picture, scrutinize everything we do.
In spite of the above I did find some encouragement. I did see a few rational souls doing things just a little but differently than the majority of the insane population nowadays. There were a few people walking to work and many more waiting for the bus. I was also excited to see a few people commuting by bicycle even though it was not prime cycling weather. Are these people taking the bus, cycling and walking because they can’t afford a car or because they have made a choice to be smarter travellers of commuters? I could make the choice to buy a $50,000 car to drive me the 2 miles to work, possibly financing the vehicle on credit. (I didn’t include the cost of borrowing above) I have chosen a better way.
It is important to look at all aspects of our lives and see if what we do is serving us and driving us towards our goals? Is what we do on a regular basis getting us closer to financial independence? And more importantly are we aware of the example we are setting for our children? We are constantly judging others but I believe our kids are always judging us. Our children take their queues from the way we act so it is important that we act in the in a way we want them to follow.