While the gas prices have come down from their all time highs experienced around the country just a few months ago, they’re still higher than what most of us would like to pay to fuel up our vehicles. The job market is tough, and many people are forced to take jobs that are further away than they’d like to commute, simply because it’s all that is available to them at this time. Commuting is among many family’s highest weekly expenses, which reduces the amount of income you actually earn after your commuting expense- but here are some tips for saving money on your commute that should help you stretch your income a bit further:
Is there anyone you work with that lives near you? Why not take turns driving each other to and from work? While not as convenient as jumping in your car and taking off, sharing the driving responsibilities means you aren’t always using your own car to get to and from work – reducing your gas use and mileage on your vehicle.
If no one you know works in the same place that lives near you, think a little more outside the box. Does anyone live near you who also works in a near-by building? If you’re both traveling from your home neighborhood to the same general location to get to work, couldn’t you ride together and drop each other off at work or within walking distance to your place of work?
If you live in an area where there are buses and public transportation, consider using them to get to and from work a few days a week. Often, buses and commuter trains are very inexpensive and cost much less than driving your car to and from work – and while they’re not as convenient as having your own wheels, they do have some other advantages. You can read while commuting, or give your presentation slides one last look-over before arriving in the office for example. These are things you can’t (or should not!) do when driving yourself.
Consider a Smaller Car or Hybrid
Smaller cars and hybrid vehicles are usually more fuel efficient than larger cars. When you buy them though, they tend to have a higher price tag than the other cars so it can be difficult to decide whether or not you really get any savings over the long term. Play with some numbers and see what you come up with for your personal driving needs to see if this is an option that will save you money long term.
Can You Work From Home?
In some cases, employees can eliminate the commute expense altogether by working from home. If it’s not possible to work from home every day, perhaps you could work from home a few days a week. Depending how far to and from work you drive, you could very well save considerable amounts of money in gas and wear and tear on the vehicle by working from home a few days a week. In addition, driving less miles per week is one way to lower your car insurance premiums, which can be another source for saving money for you if you can telecommute.