This Habit Saves Us a Lot of Money -- Especially These Days

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  • There are certain essential expenses that many of us spend money on.
  • Walking when I can allows me to spend less on gas -- and reap savings.

It's a practice I uphold not just for the cost savings involved.

I grew up in Brooklyn, New York -- an area where many people don't have cars and rely on public transportation as well as their feet to get to where they need to go. I then spent several years living in Manhattan, where owning a car is even less common thanks to a glaring lack of available parking spaces and roads that are so congested it's scary to navigate a car through them.

Now at this point, I've lived in the suburbs for well over a decade. But I still tend to keep in the habit of walking everywhere (within reason, of course). And these days, it's saving me a fair amount of money.

Keeping my gas costs to a minimum

I live in an area where most people drive places rather than walk. Part of that stems from the fact that things around here are very spread out. And also, in some parts of town, there aren't any sidewalks, so that definitely makes walking a challenge, especially with children.

In spite of that, my kids and I walk to school together almost every day, even though school is more than a mile away and they sometimes have heavy backpacks to carry. Doing so is a great way to get exercise and fresh air to start off the day.

I also happen to live relatively close to one major supermarket, and it's actually on my way home from my school route. So often, I'll head there on foot, buy whatever groceries I can carry home with me, and then repeat that process several times a week.

Meanwhile, my kids have friends in the area who live anywhere from a few blocks to a mile or more away. If the weather is nice and we're not in a hurry, we'll walk to a play date rather than hop in the car.

All of this walking definitely leads to saving money on gas fill-ups. And these days, that's important.

Right now, gas prices are soaring nationwide -- they've been that way for months, since the start of the Ukraine conflict. Thankfully my financial situation is such that I can absorb higher gas prices without having to worry about going over my monthly budget. But that doesn't mean I enjoy paying more at the pump. So if I'm able to minimize my gas purchases by walking more, that's a good thing.

Old habits are hard to kick

Sometimes, people will look at me funny when they see me carrying groceries home through the neighborhood on foot (this is a common occurrence in the city, but in my neck of the woods, it's kind of rare). But the reality is that I've always been the type to walk places, and I don't feel the need to stop just because I happen to live in the suburbs. And while saving money on gas isn't my primary motivation for walking places, racking up a lower credit card tab each month is certainly a nice added perk.

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