Save Money for Retirement – Ditch a Car

We’re always on the look out for ways to save money for retirement.

For us there was one easy no-brainer.

One car would be sufficient, thank you. So I sent Dave packing on his bike, and I took possession of the car! LOL!

save money for retirement

Why you might ask? And you might add, “Poor Dave!”

But it wasn’t really like that … in reality we share the car and we were both happy with the arrangement – our carbon footprint would be reduced, and we could save money for retirement.

Reduce our Carbon Footprint plus Save Money For Retirement

So in reality we had a motive, and the motive turned out well, and has definitely been for the best.

When we moved from South Africa to Australia, one of the pre-requisites was that in his new job Dave would be able to cycle to work.

One of the lessons learnt from life abroad was that we wanted a lifestyle change – no more sitting in gridlocked traffic for a two or three hour commute to work as he’d been doing inΒ South Africa and the Philippines.Β 

And I was lucky in that my work is neither geographically or office dependent.

So nowadays for 80% of of the year Dave cycles to work, and on the times he can’t cycle, he either takes the car, or I run him into the city if I need the car that day.

He’s fitter, and I’m fitter, because sometimes I cycle in with him too and we have a lovely cup of coffee overlooking the waterfront, dolphins, sun rising.

Or I might cycle to buy our groceries, and cycle to friends’ houses.

save money for retirement

If he needs picking up from work and I have the car, then I work his pick-up in with a trip to the supermarket or jobs that need to be done in town.

See I’m nice like that πŸ˜‰ Lol!

As we have got older and the kids have become independent we’ve found we really don’t need two cars – we’ve learnt over the years to work well together in the art of compromising, and it appears that nothing really is unsolvable when it comes to transport.

If necessary I’ve been happy to catch buses around town, or trains or coaches to Perth or the airport when needed, because it’s no big deal.

At worst we hire a car or get a taxi, which works out far cheaper on an annual basis than having a second car in the garage for the ‘what if’ occasions.


Car Savings

The saving has been enormous, think car license, car insurance, car maintenance and even garage space.

Then there’s the money Dave saves on parking at work, and the extra petrol we would use if we had two cars.

This means we have money to spend on other things, like weekends away, breakfasts out, holidays and our children.

Ok so I’ll admit our intentions are not lily white pure, but the off set is that maybe we’re doing the environment a favour … I’d like to think that we help a bit.

Do you have one car or two? How does it work for you?


  1. Like Sue, I can’t ride a bike and I have no intention of learning now, I like my nose too much . We have for two years now only had one car and we managed very well. But with our move and wanting to spread our wings, we are going back to two cars. But yes it will mean dollars.

  2. Great advice here Jo. About ten years I went car free for two years. In that time I went everywhere by bike. I didn’t miss the car at all. We now live out of town so the car is back. But I did live those days. As did my wallet

  3. jodie filogomo says:

    We rarely need both our cars now that we are both retired. Yet the other day, when mine wouldn’t start, it was nice to have the back up!! But…..the cost??? Always a great factor!!

  4. We have two cars. Neither one of us want dependent on the other, I really think it is more habit than anything. We are both retired and we use one car for in city things and the other for travel.

    • Hi Victoria, yes I get that. It’s horses for courses really. If it doesn’t work then it’s better to find ways to save in other areas if necessary.

  5. Welcome to the walking club, Jo! I wrote a guest post on Donna’s Retirement Reflections blog about my car-free lifestyle here

  6. This is a great idea if you live in a warm climate and in a city. We live in a cold climate and in the country so two cars are necessary.

    • Hi Amy, when I wrote this I was wondering about people living in cold climates and did wonder if we would be able to ditch a car if we were still living in England and in the country without public transport.

  7. We have one car and it works. I am lucky enough that I can take the bus to the BART station (our subway), take BART to San Francisco and get on another bus to work. It takes 15 minutes less than driving. I enjoy it and it is a lot less stress on me. #MLSTL

  8. Great idea Jo. I love riding my bike around and we’ve coped with one car before and so I know it’s manageable. Good on you for making it work πŸ™‚ I’ve pinned your post for #mlstl

    • Thanks so much for Pinning the post Debbie. Social shares are so appreciated. Yes, it is do-able but like you say you have to find coping mechanisms.

  9. Having only once car was one of the biggest ways we were able to save money to move overseas. My American coworkers and friends thought we were crazy, and couldn’t believe that we shared just one vehicle. But it was so very worth it! We have just one car here in Germany as well. My husband uses it for work, and I walk or ride my bike most places. Sometimes I take the bus or train if needed. I would never go back to paying for two vehicles!

    • Hi Cherie, we sometimes get the same looks of incredulity from our friends as you might have from your coworkers. Like you we’d be very unlikely to go back to paying for two vehicles unless it was super necessary.

  10. I wondered how you funded that fabulous life you have! Now I know the secret and I just need to sell one of our cars πŸ™‚ I think I might wait until I’m not working because it’s a long pushbike ride from Australind to the hospital! From your place it’d be quite do-able wouldn’t it? I have little fantasies about owning a scooter but when I get stuck behind one in a 70 or 80 zone I re-think my plans!
    Thanks for linking up with us at #MLSTL and I’ve shared this on my SM xx

    • Hi Leanne, Lol! The secret is out πŸ˜‰ I do think you’d have to start cycling before you went to bed to get to work on time from Australind to the hospital, so maybe you will need to wait a while to ditch a car. When two people go to work in different directions it’s just not really possible to make do with one car – I get that πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for sharing on SM – really appreciate each and every share x

  11. It’s lovely that you can cycle around like that. I need to learn how to cycle but I try and use my car (I’m a single person household) as little as possible – going to work by the school bus, walking around my neighbourhood. I sometimes use the metro and that may increase as a new station, much closer to home is scheduled to be opened soon.

    • Hi Kalpana, it sounds as if you do very well on foot and by metro. Hope the new station opens near you soon. Yes, we are so lucky to have great cycleways here in WA.

  12. We will need to become a one car family when we move to our apartment on the Gold Coast Jo. It might take some getting used to as it is so easy to just jump into the car and go whenever I want rather than wondering if my husband needs me. Do you know I can’t ride a bike? Perhaps now is a good time to learn! Thanks for sharing at #MLSTL and have a great week!

    • Hi Sue, yes I think maybe it’s a good time to learn to ride a bike πŸ™‚ How lovely that you are moving to an apartment on the Gold Coast, and that will surely be a beautiful spot for bike riding along the beach?

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