Ways to save money on commute
Commuting is a hard fact of life, whether you like it or not. I spend a minimum of 2 hours every day to travel to and from college. Traveling using the metro with a student card saves money but is more time consuming. If you choose to drive, you might be saving your time but at the cost of fuel prices, Salik, paying for parking as well as the inevitable fines that you’ll end up having to pay every other month. Your commuting budget is costly both in terms of money and time.
But fret not, there are some extremely easy ways to slash your commuting costs saving you both time and money.
1. Use public transport
If you are a student, then you have no excuse for this. Public transport remains the most cost-effective mode of transportation for long distance journeys and it is environmentally sustainable as well. Students in schools and colleges can apply for a student card which permits them to travel for half the cost on the metro and buses. Some employers get employers discount as well.
In addition, recharging it with your credit/ debit card online could help you make use of their points systems.
No parking hassles, no fuel prices, no car insurance. And best of all, no fear of paying fines or getting stuck in traffic (for the metro). Now for your regular transit, this is easily your best bet.
The second option you can consider is car-pooling or ride sharing to your work. If you have a friend or colleague who shares the same transit journey as you, then travelling together will cut your cost in half. You and your friend(s) can coordinate amongst yourselves, e.g. take turns driving or paying for gas in rotation so that the cost is shared equally.
If you do not have a friend to share a car with, you can consider Uber-pooling or join a car flex program where cars are shared with other local participants (e.g. Zipcar).
There are also a number of websites online (eg. Liftshare) that can fix you up with someone in your area to car-share that have similar routes and schedules as you.
3. Fix your driving habits and gas mileage
Incorporating a few changes into your driving behavior will help you reduce your bucks on your transit.
- Turn off your AC- Air cons consume a large amount of your fuel. Try opening your windows whenever possible. Switch it on only when the outside is uncomfortably warm.
- Unload – Your car is not an on the go storage room. Free your car of unnecessary stuff, that is not pertinent to your travel. This will improve your gas mileage. Make sure to clear your boot too.
- Plan your journey- By planning ahead of time, you will be leaving early for work, and presumably spending less time in traffic by avoiding the rush hours.
- Car Maintenance – Check whether your tires are under inflated because that could increase fuel consumption.
- Drive wiser – Avoid sudden acceleration, last minute turns and other behaviours that are not only bad for fuel consumption, but put your life at risk as well.
Personally, I am a big advocate for this. If your place of work is not too far for you, it would be wise to just walk it. It is the best option environmentally and keeps you fit too. You may look up walking route planners to see the shortest and quickest route from your home to work. And if the weather is pleasant, then it can be quite relaxing and you will enjoy it.
Commuting makes up a huge portion of our lives, as it is unavoidable. It is vastly time consuming and eats up quite a bit of your money. Yet not enough people seem to be actively trying to optimise it. If you sort out your commute in the best way possible, you can find out exactly how much you need to set aside and also have peace of mind as you do not need to stress about that any longer.