Unless you’re able to telecommute, the daily cost of commuting probably takes a significant bite out of your budget. Some businesses will supplement this for their employees, but if you are paying the full cost of petrol or public transport out of your own pocket, the numbers can really add up. Rail fares are on the rise, while a rise in petrol prices is hitting drivers where it hurts. The following are a few ideas to help you cut these costs and still get to work on time.
1. Walk or Cycle to Work
Have you been putting off going to the gym because you feel you don’t have the time? You can multitask by cycling or walking to work. Although this is really only an option if you have a relatively short commuting distance, it can be a great way to get in shape and save money at the same time. Many employers will provide safe storage space or other incentives for cyclists.
2. Buy a Monthly or Annual Rail Pass
Whether you take the New York City Subway or the UK National Rail to get to work, a long-term pass will save you money. In the case of National Rail, an annual ticket will give a full 52 weeks’ worth of travel for the price of only 40 weeks. Although this requires some upfront expense, many companies will give you a season ticket loan to cover costs, which you then pay back out of your salary each month. No matter which form of public transport you take, in the majority of cases it will work out in your favour to pay for a longer term period rather than pay a single fare each day.
3. Drive a More Efficient Car
If you drive to work, your car’s fuel efficiency will take a direct toll on your expenses. As you compare cars for your commute, keep this in mind. If you’re reading this Mazda 3 review by Motoring, pay attention not only to the safety and entertainment features to keep you happy on your commute, but also to the fuel economy ratings. Small cars like the Mazda 3 or Ford Focus tend to be popular with commuters for their efficiency.
4. Consider a Motorbike
Driving a motorbike or moped to work may seem frivolous, but it’s actually a smart investment if you’re trying to save money on insurance and fuel costs. It may even work out to be cheaper than taking public transportation. It’s easier to park a motorbike in a congested urban setting, and they use less fuel than larger cars.
5. Use Car Sharing Services
An easy way to cut commuting costs is to team up with a co-worker or two and share driving duties and petrol costs. If you don’t have any fellow employees who live in the same area, you could consider car sharing services on websites like BlaBlaCar and Liftshare, which introduce drivers and passengers travelling the same routes. This is a simple way to cut the cost of commuting in half, by sharing with just one other passenger.
The best tactic will depend on the distance and nature of your commute. Walking may not be feasible for everyone, but alternatives like driving a more efficient car or carpooling could be a good solution. It’s best to analyse your needs and find a way to start saving.