Driving yourself to and from work can weigh down the wallet throughout the week, and unfortunately that makes it tougher to achieve your savings goals for travel.
If you’re actively saving towards a trip, you might be looking for a guide to saving money on your commute. Because bntween parking or transportation costs, the average American can spend as much as $40 a week on their way to work.
However, thanks to modern technology like fuel-calculating apps and telecommuting opportunities, there are ways to avoid spending as much on traveling to the workplace, so you can put it towards traveling overseas instead.
Save Money for Travel: A Guide To Saving Money on Your Commute
Apps for Checking Gas Prices
Sometimes all it takes to lower the cost of your commute is to pay less for gas! Thanks to our smartphones, there are quite a few apps that will help you save.
Gas Guru – An app that searches for gas stations that have the lowest prices. There’s also a great feature that allows you to save gas stations thanks to their convenient locations or rates so that you have easy access to their pricing the next time you want to check on it!
GasBuddy – The GasBuddy app will not only help you search for lower gas station prices, but it will also send you a card to use when paying for gas. Americans get discounts at places like Sam’s club, Exxon Mobil, and a few other places like certain Walmart and Arco stations!
Fuelly – Fuelly tracks how much gas mileage your car is getting over time so that you have an easy way to see exactly how much you’re spending on gas. It even offers SMS messaging and reports so you can stay up-to-date!
Alternatives to Driving Yourself to Work
Although apps like the ones above are great for saving on fuel, not having to drive to work at all is even better!
Consider options like cycling, walking, public transport, or car pooling, depending on your lifestyle and working situation.
Cycle to Work (Biking)
Biking to work is contingent on your route. Not all roads between your home and your workplace may be bike-safe. However, if your community is bike-friendly enough, it can be a fantastic way to save money for several reasons.
The simplest reason is that biking costs you nothing in fuel! Not only that, but biking is a great source of exercise and has proven to lower the risk of heart disease.
It works out the muscles in your lower body that may not normally see enough action, especially if you have a desk job.
All you need is a helmet, a safe route, and a place to lock your bike up when you get to work, and you’re good to go!
Walk to Work
If you don’t have access to a bike, you can always walk to work!
It may take getting up a little earlier in the day, but even if your workplace is a 30-minute walk away, it is not only doable but preferable for you to use your legs instead of your car’s wheels to get to your job!
As long as your health is equal to the challenge, 30 minutes of walking each day are proven to help you lose weight. According to Mayo Clinic, 150 calories can be burnt just by walking for half an hour on your way to your workplace!
Carpooling is not only an efficient way to cut costs but a fantastic tool to get to know your coworkers!
Remember that you might not have the same schedule as others, and be sure to choose the people who can match your hours. Also, although the cost is lessened, you will probably still need to at least split the difference with those you’re riding with.
Remember that there may be several forms of public transportation near you that can easily get you to and from work at the beginning and end of each day.
If you live in a large city, consider using the subway or tram systems. If not, research the nearest bus stops. As we’ll go over later, some employers can offer discounts on bus passes, too!
How Employers May Lower Commute Expenses
There are a few ways your employer may be able to get involved in the ongoing mission to lower your travel expenses! All it takes is a little looking into by you, the employee.
Commuter Benefit Programs: Benefits for those commuting to their location. For example, you may not realize it, but your workplace may offer free parking, or reimburse you for having to board a train or ride the bus. This cuts gas costs and ticket costs!
Subsidized Transit Offerings: The key to subsidized transit offerings is to be flexible. Your employer might not offer free parking, but if you’re willing to take the bus, they may be able to get you a discount on bus passes.
These two options are just scratching the surface of what your employer or company may be able to do to take some of that commuting weight off of your shoulders—and your wallet!
Other Ways to Save Money on Commuting
In addition to checking on how much help your employer can offer, choosing some fuel-efficient apps, and taking alternatives to drive yourself, you can keep saving money using these tips:
Take Care of Your Own Car Maintenance: If you’re handy with vehicles, consider carving out time to maintain your car.
You don’t always need a professional to change your wiper fluid, fill up your tires, change your oil, or install a new headlight. That’s what online tutorials are for! It will save you the cost of driving to a service provider and paying.
Add Telecommuting or Remote Work to Your Work Week: Telecommuting is a term used for switching some of your workplace tasks from having to be done in the office to being easily accomplished at home.
This way, you’re not paying for fuel and driving to work all day, and you get to experience the relaxation of a day spent working from home!
Find Coupons and Promos: Another point in favor of modern technology: you can find digital coupons easily online!
When you work away from home, you likely spend money on lunches or errands outside, too. Coupons can be a great way to save money here and there on these daily expenses.
There are multiple ways to save on your commute to work. Whether it’s cutting back on fuel by carpooling or choosing to take public transportation, or cutting back on the expense that comes naturally with working out of the house by using coupons and promotions, you don’t have to settle for spending too much!
It’s as simple as understanding your lifestyle and making adjustments that suit your needs. If you’re able, walking or biking to work can be a healthy alternative, or carpooling with coworkers can turn acquaintances into friends while saving you money.