Most people assume that there is no way to reduce the cost of their commute, but there are a number of alternatives worth considering. Here are 10 ideas that can help you reduce the amount you spend commuting:
Get up earlier: If you can learn to leave an hour or two earlier, you’ll miss the majority of the morning rush hour meaning you’ll avoid the stop and go traffic and the costs associated with it. You’ll also spend less time on the road meaning you’ll have more time to do other things.
Reroute your commute: Map out several different ways to get to your office so you can choose the most efficient way depending on the traffic that day.
Carpool: You save by not driving your car everyday and you you can use commuter lanes to avoid traffic jams. The Internet (search your city + car pool) provides a lot of services to match you with others that want to carpool.
Ride a bicycle: If your company is within riding distance, biking to work a few times a week can save quite a bit of money plus get you some good exercise. You may even be able to cancel the gym membership.
Get a scooter: A scooter can make sense for those who work a bit farther away. Even if you need to drive on days when the weather is bad, you’ll still save a significant amount and if your commute is heavily congested, you can even arrive faster than by car.
Public transportation: Public transportation has greatly improved in a lot of areas, so if you haven’t tried it lately, you may want to give it another shot. Best of all, you can be productive reading or doing other work on your way to and from work.
Check for incentives: Don’t forget to check with your company to see if they offer incentives. More and more companies are and this can make it even easier to make the switch.
Telecommute: Technology has made this option much more practical in recent years. Even if you can convince your boss to let you do it once a week, that is one less commute you have to make.
Have you spouse drive you: While this at first doesn’t seem to make sense since you would be making two round trips a day, it actually can save money if the commute is fairly short and you can get rid of one of your cars. Do the math, but it’s a viable option for a surprising number of people.
Walk or run: If your work is within a few miles, walking or running can be an option. It helps a lot if your work has a changing room and shower facility. If they do, it’s a great way to get exercise while saving money.
Before dismissing the above changes, remember that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. If you can adopt even one of the options one time a week, you’re going to save money. Start slow, experiment and expand as it works best for you, and you should be able to save quite a bit on your commute costs.