Monday, November 5, 2012

My Inexpensive Commute

Followers of my blog may remember earlier in the summer my stated desire to commute to my office by bike or food.  A very warm summer, combined with the need to lug a lot of stuff to my office, dashed those goals.  But that was the summer.  It is a new season, and I am leaving my car home a lot more days now than ever before.  Because I bring my computer with, I opt to walk.  Biking with it makes me uneasy.  Plus, I simply enjoy walking far more than biking.  How did the change happen?

First, I now work two mornings a week.  This means I can leave earlier because my husband can stay with the kids until the sitter arrives.  Before I would have to wait for her, brief her on the kids, and then start my 30 minute walk to the office.  When you only have 20 hours to your work week, 30 minutes there and another 30 minutes back is significant.

Second, earlier this fall I hired two third year law students to help in my office. Wow, they are smart and efficient.  In no time flat they had converted my documents from Word Perfect (lawyers love it because of reveal codes) to Open Office.  As a result, I have a lot less stuff to lug back and forth.  Now I can put everything in my Eddie Bauer backpack (purchased in 1991!) and walk to the office.

And third, I have outsourced some of the tasks I used to handle to those students.  That means my schedule is not nearly as packed as it once was.

My typical work week is four days, and usually three of those bring me into my office (the other one is completed in my home office).  Now I am walking at least two of the days into work.  I am saving money on gas as well as wear and tear on the car.  Walking means little to no carbon footprint.  And I am increasing the activity level of my over life (that will have short and longterm savings on reduced health care expenses).  Plus, it is simply enjoyable.  I was aware of the heavy hard frost on the grass, the fact that the mums have reached the end of their season, and enjoyed the sun rising on the horizon.  None of which would have caught my attention from inside my dear Honda.

If possible, look for ways to add walking, biking or even bus riding into your commute.  My office was picked primarily because it was so close to our home.  My husband did the same with his office, in hopes that he can resume his bike commuting ways.  If work is not an option, what about the other routine trips you make to the store, library, church, gym?  Can you use something other than your car.  For those seeking a frugal life, it is worth the time pondering.

Thanks for reading, and have a great start to your week!

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