Back in August, I got rid of my car and started taking the bus. In East Lansing, Michigan it’s not very glamorous. Our bus system isn’t anything like Chicago or New York City. Somehow it’s worse.
My car payment for a 2017 Chevrolet Cruze was $375.24 per month. I was spending at least $250 per month in auto insurance. Not having that financial burden has made my life less stressful and has allowed me to breathe.
There are other perks too. Studies show that U.S. commute times are longer than ever and they’re stressing us out. Lucky for me, I work five minutes away. Being a barista part-time, taking classes full-time, and getting 20 percent of my income from freelance writing isn’t completely stress-free, but not having to deal with jerks on the road helps.
Between stress and work-life balance, taking the bus has been an upgrade. Here’s are the top ways my life is better and I’m able to get more done.
I’m rarely late to anything
I never thought I would be able to say this: I’m the most punctual I’ve ever been. The last time I was this on-time was when I had to take the bus to high school. I was chronically late.
Taking East Lansing’s public transit system has forced me to plan ahead. In my current semester, I leave an hour before school on Tuesday and Thursday mornings then take a forty-minute bus ride home after class. I work at a Starbucks that’s barely over .5 miles away. It’s a brisk twenty-minute walk.
Because I leave so early for school and the buses are reliable, I’m always getting to school around twenty minutes early. That gives me time to catch up on some notes, school, or a quick phone call with my partner. My quick walk to work allows me to arrive ten minutes early where I can take time to put on an apron and clock in.
Not only have I left early because I have to, but my entire life is so planned that even when commuting via car (we use my partner’s), we’re rarely late.
Truthfully, it was my phone.