7 Ways To Help You Commute And Save Some Money
There are various options available to help you commute and save some money. These range from utilizing technology, such as using traffic and parking apps to telecommuting from home and encouraging your physical fitness by choosing a bike or walking. You could even share the fuel cost load by carpooling or looking into ride-sharing companies. Avoiding unnecessary purchases on your way to work, staying well-informed, and even asking for hour alterations may aid you and your wallet greatly.
If you live close to your workplace, one of the most efficient ways to commute, in terms of travel costs and health benefits, is walking. Not only will you be staying on top of your fitness, saving money on gym equipment and memberships, cutting daily costs such as fuel, car maintenance, parking and other transportation fees, but you’ll also be reducing your environmental footprint. If your workplace is a little further than you’d wish to venture on foot, walking part of the way and catching a bus, train or tram for the rest is also a viable choice in saving money.
Cycling is another beneficial commuting method to save money whilst improving your physical and mental state. The average commute in the United States is approximated to cost USD$2,600 a year. If you already have a bike or can acquire one for free, you won’t be spraining as many financial muscles. However, even if you have to purchase a bike specifically for commuting purposes, you will still be spending less money than you would if you decided to drive instead.
Potential cycling expenses include:
- Accessories (helmet, weatherproof clothing, lock)
- Safety equipment (lights, mirrors)
There are also other affordable, money-saving options available when it comes to avoiding equipment costs. Countries such as the United Kingdom and Ireland have the right idea with their Cycle to Work schemes. This approach consists of an agreement between you and your employer and what is called “salary sacrifice”. Your employer purchases the bike and you hire it, ultimately avoiding tax costs. This method, depending on your tax-payers rate, can save you huge amounts annually. This system must be working, as Australia has now adopted a similar scheme after coming to the realization that the average number of people who choose to cycle to work down under is ten times lower than that of other European countries.
Many people are unable to commute by bicycle because of health issues or age. A good option for them are electric bikes and motorized bikes. These types of bikes are equipped with a motor to help boost power and speed without putting in too much effort. While motorized bicycles cost more than regular ones, they are still significantly cheaper to buy and own and more environmentally friendly than cars.
3. Carpooling and Ridesahring
Carpooling and Ridesharing, although slightly different, can help you save some extra cash on your way to work. Carpooling is a more well-known term, whereby you and your colleagues, if close-by, share a ride and head into work together. Passengers will usually chip in for fuel, resulting in the driver not having to pay the full cost either.
Ridesharing is a newer concept that has materialized in the form of companies such as Uber and Lyft. It differs to carpooling in the sense that you and the driver are not headed to the same destination, and drivers are typically community members offering their vehicle for paid services. The best ride share companies will even allow you to split the fee with someone else if you’re willing to share the ride with them.
Both carpooling and ridesharing are kinder to the environment, and less traffic congestion will also result from such services.
Commute is easier and cheaper when your workplace isn’t far from home. It’s even better when your home is your workplace. A few steps from your kitchen and into your home office may be your only required travel time. If your job is one that can be done via tele-commuting you will be saving several everyday costs that would otherwise pile up if you were required to drive in or use public transport. You are also less likely to spend money on drive-through food, takeaway coffee and other tempting comforts on your commute to work.
A 2012 survey by Accounting Principles revealed that Americans spend approximately $1000 on coffee a year, and $2000 on meals for work. Working from home will reduce that number significantly, for you are more likely to eat and drink what you already have at home. Another money-saving hack that working from home allows is the lack of need for work “essentials” such as clothing and proper attire. Finding the perfect working outfit can cost a lot depending on the industry, however, if your situation allows it, working from home in your sweatpants will probably suffice.
5. Alter Your Hours
If your job offers flexibility, it’s not a bad idea to ask for alterations to your hours. A lot of money goes down the drain when you’re simply stuck in peak hour traffic or sitting on public transport. If you have the option to choose your working hours, opt for in-between shifts when the road rage and congestion is lesser—it may benefit your wallet greatly.
6. Car Manteinance
It’s no surprise that if you look after your car, you’ll spend less money fixing it. Ensuring your car is well-maintained and undergoes regular check-ups can result in you saving a lot. If you aren’t a car-fanatic it also not a bad idea to investigate the cheapest cars to run.
7. Be Well-Informed
Technology has provided us with several helpful platforms to aid us in our everyday tasks. In your endeavors towards an easier and cheaper commute, turning to technology isn’t the worst idea. There are several phone applications whose sole goal is to find the most accessible and affordable route to your desired destination.
Some functions may include:
- Alerting you about traffic jams and congestion
- Finding you the most inexpensive nearby fuel
- Finding free or affordable parking
There are several ways you can turn your expensive, long commute to work into one of a more affordable and relaxed nature. Looking into certain hacks such as traffic apps, ditching your car for a bike or own two feet can not only save you time but also money. Whether increased physical activity or the chance to work from home in your pyjamas appeals to you more, these methods are worth considering if you’re wanting to lessen your commuting burdens.