Even though gas prices are once again falling, we can expect that gas prices will rise again at some point. Besides the price point of gasoline as a motivating factor, it’s just wise to attempt to save money where you can.
Below are several suggestions on how to save money on your daily commute. Some of these strategies can be practiced by every reader, while others hinge on your location in an urban, suburban or country geographic setting. Enacting even one of these tactics will help you save money in the long run, however, so we hope your mind is as open as the wide-open road in a new car commercial!
- Mass Transit. It’s not available everywhere and it certainly does change the lifestyle of commuting, but taking the bus or train to work saves you gas over the course of a month and lets you avoid parking fees. Plus, you can nap, read a book or catch up on the news while you ride to work. You can even text message LEGALLY while commuting via train or bus.
- Carpooling. By sharing your vehicle with other employees who work in the same company, building or even neighborhood, you all split the cost of gasoline over the course of the work week or month and reduce the amount you use since others take turns driving their car to work. Plus, carpooling puts fewer cars on the road, which means fewer emissions entering the atmosphere.
- Lighten your load. If you’re driving a car or truck to work and you routinely haul unnecessary weight around with you, get rid of it. Heavy tools, bags of sand, those bags of shoes you’ve been meaning to drop-off at the church or thrift shop all decrease your gas mileage.
- Telecommuting. This is of course the best way to reduce your expenses when it comes to getting to work, and with the advent of the Internet and laptop computers, it’s more feasible than ever. Working from home saves wear and tear on your car, uses no gasoline, reduces pollution in the air, and lets you get to work faster than ever. Just remember to have a dedicated space at home so you are not distracted.
- Combine errands with your commute. Why bother driving home after work, then going back out to shop for food, drop off packages or pick up your cleaned laundry? Incorporate the errands you need to accomplish into your drive to or from work instead. You’ll save money in the long run on gasoline and save time in the short term on errands and extra driving duties.
- Avoid frivolous stops altogether. We all get bored from time to time on our commutes and often times that boredom leads to stops at places like fast food restaurants. Besides contributing to unwanted pounds due to all those junk food calories, these stops add up over the course of a month to serious cash expenditures. If you’re hungry and you have to snack while driving to or from work, keep an apple in your car at all times for a quick snack fix. Your wallet and your belly will think you in the long run.