As the price of everything goes up, everyone is looking for easy ways to cut their commuting costs. You can scour the internet for ideas, but many ideas just aren’t realistic.
Drivers are told they should buy a new car, purchase a different home or get a new job, but those ideas might end up costing you more money out of pocket all at once. So, how do you cut commuting costs? You can make small changes in your commute instead of overhauling your life. You can take small steps every day that will add up to a considerable savings over the entire year.
Take a look at 10 different ways you can save money on commuting.
1. Make coffee at home
Avoid unnecessary stops and trips. You will save time and money by making your own coffee at home, and you won’t be using extra gas running to the coffee chop and sitting in the drive-thru.
2. Make sure your tires are properly inflated
You can save money just by making sure your tires are properly inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended psi. You lose gas mileage with each pound of air below the recommended.
3. Reevaluate your work schedule
Explore options at your place of employment. Do you have the ability to work from home? Can you change your work schedule? Some employees are working longer hours to reduce the number of days they commute, or they are working different days.
4. Reduce your speed
Slow down! You may get to the office a couple minutes faster, but you can cause an accident, get pulled over and reduce your gas mileage if you have a lead foot. Plus, driving slower helps you save on gas.
5. Explore mass transit options
If you live in an area that has mass transit options available, consider taking advantage of the savings. Many commuters take buses, trains and the subway to help save money. When you aren’t driving, you are saving money on gas and insurance costs.
6. Carpool with coworkers
Share a ride with your coworkers and take turns driving so everyone saves money.
7. Share a car with your spouse
If you and your spouse take 2 cars, consider driving to work together. You can alternate cars each day or choose the most efficient vehicle to drive each day.
8. Keep up on your car’s maintenance
When your car is running properly, it burns fuel more efficiently and reduces the likelihood of mechanical breakdowns later on.
9. Take your bike to work
For the commuters who work fairly close to home, a bike can be an inexpensive option. Your bike doesn’t cost anything to ride, and it will help you get into shape. Before you take off for work, make sure you do a test trip first.
10. Ask your employer about transit programs
Ask about employer sponsored transit programs. Some companies have reimbursement programs or special passes for employees who use public transportation such as the bus or the subway.
If you are trying to save money, incorporate a few strategies each week. Even if you bike one day a week, that is one step closer to putting money back into your pocket. Make a schedule that allows you to use an alternative mode of transportation at least a couple times a week.
Debbie is a writer who specializes in parental finances, consumer spending and mortgages.