Commuting to work can come at a huge expense. Between the cost of living crisis and the rise in essential expenses, our travel costs can put a huge dent into our pockets. Travelling for work, the school run, or going out for daily essentials is unavoidable, but budgeting on the commute is something that we can start to work towards.
Top budgeting specialists all agree that commuting can come at a huge cost, but there are many handy ways in which we can save a few pennies per journey, which accumulates to a significant monthly saving. In this blog post, we will share our favourite actionable tips on how you can budget for your work commute.
First things first, if you have your car, you may or may not have considered ride-sharing. Carpooling, as it is also commonly referred to, is a sneaky way of saving mileage between you and your work colleagues. Essentially it involves arranging with someone who lives nearby, a colleague, or a friend who works in the same vicinity as you to share the ride to and from work. This can work for as many people who will fit into your car, or theirs. Everyone chips in for fuel, saving a large portion of your monthly fuel usage. Great for the environment, and also your bank account! This can come with its complications, and you might live in the middle of nowhere making this option not applicable. Find out if anyone at your work lives close by, or if a neighbour heads in your direction and make an arrangement that works for the both of you.
2. Public Transportation
Public transport is the saving grace for many people who do not have their modes of transportation. If you have a car of your own, chances are you could be saving a lot more money riding on public transport. With annual, unlimited public transport passes available in most major cities, you can have all of your transport covered for the year. With cost-effective and regular routines constantly making their way through stops, it might be worth swapping in your vehicle for the convenience of public transport if you are trying to save. Always keep in mind that strikes or faults can often halt major public transport lines such as trains and underground railways, so be sure to have a working arrangement that anticipates such events.
3. Bike Commuting
Riding a bike to work has become a favourable transport method for many. Budget-friendly, environmentally friendly and great for your health, riding a bike to work hosts an array of benefits that have left many not wanting to go back to their old modes of transport. Many cities are also expanding their bike lane networks, making cycling safer and more accessible.
This is not a viable option for many, but should you be so lucky to be within a 30-minute walking distance of your place of work, it would be a great idea to put on your shoes for mileage and get walking. Walking is completely budget-friendly, with the requirements of a good train coat and perhaps thermals for when the temperatures drop. If you live within a 30-minute walk of your destination, walking should always be your first choice.
5. Flexible Hours or Remote Work
If your job and employer allow it, consider negotiating for flexible work hours or remote work options. Working from home even a few days a week can significantly reduce your commuting expenses. Fewer commutes mean less money spent on transportation, and you can use the saved time for other productive activities.
6. Park and Ride
If you commute into a busy city centre, you may also consider opting for the park and ride that most bustling suburbs offer. Depending on the fares and the distance it takes for you to drive to your closest transport stop, many urban railways have their own parking which is free of charge, and you simply have to pay for your transport ticket to hop on problem-free. This can come in handy when your transport options are too far a distance to walk to, but you also want to save fuel costs, and exchange for the cheaper public transport fares.
7. Electric Scootering
Riding a scooter is not the first thing that comes to mind when we think about cutting costs on our commitments, but it can be an extremely efficient way to travel and save money. Consider investing in an adult electric scooter. They are designed for optimal, safe, and speedy riding. At a much lower cost than an electric car, electric scooters are compact and lightweight to carry around. Always check the electric scooters in your area as they can differ from country to city. If permitted, electric scooters are great for riding through bike lines if you like in a more urban area.
If you can not live without your car, consider opting for a hybrid or electric car that has a much lower fuel consumption. Not only are governments supporting and funding the use of sustainable vehicles, but many governments are offering tax reductions when it comes to owning an electric or hundred vehicles. Be sure to check your commuting route to make sure there are electric car chargers to plan for the worst-case scenario should you purchase an electric car.
9. Plan Your Route
Sitting in traffic accumulates to large fuel consumption, as well as a poor effect on the environment. The simple act of avoiding traffic can significantly reduce your fuel usage, therefore saving your cost of energy during the week. Consider planning your route to work smarter. This means avoiding traffic where possible and using apps such as Google Maps to measure the real-time traffic overview of the area. It might also be worth considering commuting to your office outside of rush hour, and starting work earlier and finishing earlier should your workplace permit it.
10. Create a Commuting Budget
Finally, to stay on track with your budget, create a commuting-specific budget. Keep records of your commuting expenses and look for opportunities to cut costs further. By tracking your spending, you'll be more aware of where your money is going and better equipped to make informed decisions.
In conclusion, commuting to work on a budget is not only possible but also a smart financial choice. Whether you choose carpooling, public transportation, biking, or even walking, there are numerous ways to reduce your commuting expenses while maintaining convenience and efficiency. By implementing these strategies, you'll not only save money but also contribute to a more sustainable and eco-friendly commute. So, start making changes today and watch your commuting costs shrink while your savings grow.