College Savings Tip: Live Without A Car

This might sound crazy to some of you, but I knew plenty of people who made it happen. The only drawback this is that it makes it tough to hold a job during college. I think all college students should working during their college career, but many jobs are either on campus or right around the corner. My senior year, I worked as a computer technician on campus, and I lived five blocks from campus. I drove my bike to work every day. Here are five reasons why living without a car can save you some significant cash.

  1. Gas is $3.75 a gallon. Need I say more?
  2. Insurance premiums for young people are outrageous. You’ll easily spend $75 to $100 a month on car insurance.
  3. Car maintenance is extremely costly, and most young people drive old cars. Oil changes, new tires, new alternator, new radiator, and new batteries. I replaced all of those during school, and I cringed every time that I did it.
  4. Parking is never fun at large universities. Parking passes ran $75 to $100 a semester for on-campus passes and some apartment complexes near campus charged for parking passes as well.
  5. You won’t be tempted to go home as much. I know mom and dad want to see you, but going home is expensive. Not having a car won’t tempt you to make unnecessary road trips.

Seriously consider buying a good bike and get familiar with the bus system. I owned a car, but I still frequently road my bike, because finding a parking space on UF’s campus is impossible during peak hours. I also used the bus system frequently, because it was free with our student ID. You will seriusly save some cash if you can find a way to make it work for you.

  • ekrabs

    No, I don’t think this is crazy at all. In fact, I really, really, really want to go carless. And go with a scooter or bicycle instead.

    Unfortunately, circumstances being what they are right now, it’s not an option for me. But hopefully, it can be some day into the future.

  • Elizabeth I

    Most people do not need cars on campus especially if you live in a college town. College students need to think more creatively, find someone with a car and see if they can give you a ride somewhere for a small fee $5-$10 dollars or take a taxi if necessary. It is so much cheaper than gas, car payments, insurance, etc.

    My husband and I have shared a car for 5 years. At first I thought how could we do this? Then we got used to it. We didn’t run unnecessary errands. We got used to it and save a TON of money.

    • Elizabeth I

      I forgot to mention that community cars are a great way to cut down car expenses if you live in a big city.

  • DG

    I don’t know why a car is essential unless you live at home and go to college. Usually, you can’t find parking any where and gas prices/maintenance prices are bummers. In a big city, public transportation should be fine and many college campuses offer shuttles for free or at a reduced cost. Pretty surprised to find that a lot of people still depend on vehicles in college. Unless you live far there’s really no reason for it.