The Ups and Downs of a Gallon Challenge

[Sorry for the light posting recently. By the time you read this I’ll be in Israel for my sister’s wedding. Mazel Tov, Mindy! Oh and don’t think about robbing my house. We have a house-sitter and she’s a rugby player.]

August is over so let’s take a look at how I did on the Gallon Challenge. Here were the car trips I made in the month*

Date Purpose Miles Gallons
8/02/2012 Dad’s birthday 16 0.8
8/09/2012 Drive babysitter home 4 0.2
8/16/2012 Drive to concert 17 0.85
Totals: 37 1.85

The bad news is that I used almost 2 gallons of gas, twice as much as I wanted to use.

The good news is that I only made 3 car trips for the entire month! Instead of driving, I did a lot of walking and biking (which is better than free, since it’s free + I got exercise). I also rediscovered the joy of reading a good book on the bus (which is free for me since my employer provides a bus pass), and prevented over 100 pounds of CO2 from polluting the atmosphere.

Instead of all that driving, I biked or walked about 100 miles. This included running errands, commuting, and exercise. By not needing to refuel the car, I spent a whopping $0.00 on gas this month, as opposed to an average fuel spend of $97 per month. If I got rid of the car and permanently invested that $97 every month, it would add up to over $17,000 in ten years (including compound interest). Imagine how much more that would be if I also didn’t need to buy auto insurance, oil changes, parking, etc.

As a side note, I also got my blog idol Mr Money Mustache to join in the challenge. He upped the ante by having his wife join in, and the two of them pledged to only use a gallon of gas combined!

All in all, I’d say the positive aspects of this month far outweigh the negative. Oh, and you should see what biking the boys to camp did to my leg muscles. I’m ripped!

* remember, family vacations are excluded. I also excluded times I kept Venessa company in the car while she was delivering food for her catering business.

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