Right or wrong, it is expensive to live and how you get to work is something that must be taken into account. The good news is that there are ways to save. It just depends on you.
Tip one: Walk or take public transit
Walking to and from work is an obvious option, not to mention using buses or trains. However, for many people that live in suburban or rural areas and work elsewhere, walking just simply will not work. Pun intended. Meanwhile, most buses and trains don’t do pickups in the ‘burbs. So, if this doesn’t help you, shift your savings plan into second gear.
Tip two: Get a more fuel-efficient vehicle
According to Cars.com, there are many options today when it comes to fuel-efficient vehicles, and not all of them will make you sacrifice space for fuel savings. You could also purchase a vehicle that runs on something other than gasoline, be it an electric or hybrid model that sometimes uses a battery instead of a gas-powered engine. Still, even with the tax rebates that often come with the purchase of alternative vehicles, spending money each month on new car payments could erase any commute savings, especially if the car you’re driving now is paid for and insurance is low.
Tip three: Carpool
If you live along the same route as a co-worker, try riding to work together. You can split the cost of gas. If you find someone else who lives near you and works in the same area, you could offer that person a ride and split the cost even further. You may also want to see if there are any programs in your city or state that offer incentives to carpoolers. I once lived in a state where a program actually paid people to carpool as a way of cutting down on traffic and emissions. People I knew that took advantage of that used that money to pay for their gasoline.
Tip four: Drive wisely
If none of the previous tips are in your best interest, then consider how your driving habits may be affecting the cost of your commute. According to FuelEconomy.gov, the official U.S. government source for fuel economy information, many factors affect fuel economy. These include excessive idling, driving at higher speeds and frequent short trips. That said, keep the tires properly inflated, drive the speed limit and do errands on the way to or from work so as to avoid extra trips. Also, see if there is a way to work that avoids railroad crossings and other things that cause you to sit in traffic for lengthy periods of time. You may also want to read your vehicle’s owner’s manual to see how often you need to change the oil. Changing it more often than necessary results in unnecessary spending.