Are you aware of how much you spend on commuting every year? In this read, we will look at some of the extreme measures you can take to cut costs on your commute and make significant savings.
If you like your occupation but dislike the commute, perhaps it’s time to move. Living closer to your place of work can substantially cut your commute costs, especially if you find a place within walking distance. Some may see this as a bit extreme, but there are situations where it’s not. For example, if you rent your residence, you can find a new place closer to your workplace.
However, if you own your residence, moving can be both cost-prohibitive and challenging, given the current state of real estate. In addition, the high relocation costs mean it will take some time before you notice a substantial change in the savings you make on your commute.
Get a New Job
If you are in a job that you dislike and dread the commute, perhaps due to distance or how much it costs, then perhaps it is time to look for greener pastures. This is not a crazy idea if you own a house and have extremely portable or flexible job skills. Like relocating, switching jobs can save you substantial money in commuting expenses without dealing with the high moving costs.
However, it can be extreme if you can’t easily score a new job. So, be smart and don’t quit due to the commitment alone. Ensure you have another position lined up.
Many companies, especially after the pandemic, have been increasingly sensitive about business costs, including commuting. Nowadays, it is easier and advisable to take advantage of programs such as flexible working hours and the option to work from home. Even if you are needed at the workplace for most days, it is not a crazy idea if your employer is willing to compromise. Working remotely two days per week can cut commuting costs by up to 40% annually.
However, suppose your organization has a track record of refusing requests for flexible working hours, or your boss is uncomfortable with the idea. In that case, it might be an extreme plan of action to cut commuting expenses.
Ride a Bike
Riding a bike to work can save you significant money on your commute while keeping your body fit. As more and more communities open up to the idea, finding safe routes and bike lanes to work has become more accessible. Also, most office buildings have secure bike parking, so you do not have to fret too much about theft.
However, weather conditions like rain and extreme heat can easily ruin your day, so you may not want to depend on your bike entirely.
If you do not want to make drastic changes, then carpooling is something you may want to consider. It is an easy and effective option that only requires a bit of coordination among a few colleagues at your workplace.
Carpooling is a good idea as it allows you to utilize HOV lanes, thus drastically cutting commuting time and costs in most cities. However, if you feel you are picking the slack when your colleagues are on vacation or sick leave, wait until you can depend on them for a ride. Otherwise, you won’t be saving much on the commutes.
Also, it can be hard to rely on others every day, making it a stressful undertaking.
Use Mass Transit
If you reside in a city with an ideal public transportation system, you have an excellent way to reduce commute expenses. You get to save money and maximize the commute time to work. This can be in the form of enjoying a hot cup of coffee, reading the newspaper, reading a book, or even doing work. It is just like having a personal chauffeur.
Mass transit is not a crazy idea, as people always use buses and the subway. More often than not, they are faster and cheaper, and you can also arrange for pre-tax contributions to a bus or train transit spending account.
However, you do not have complete control of your travel schedule, and when the fares increase, they can take a toll on your budget. Some people even remove their cars altogether; see here for more information.
Work Longer Days
Instead of five 8-hour days, consider four 10-hour days. This not only has the benefit of an extra day off, but you get to save on the cost of commuting. However, making the necessary arrangements with your employer would be best, which may be easier said than done.