You have to get around, and there's no way around that! But there are things that you can do to minimize or eliminate some of your transportation costs. Take a look at your monthly expenses, and follow these tips to spend less on transportation:
Determine How Many Cars Your Household Needs
Sometimes a household might have a car (or two) that sits in the driveway for most of the day, going unused.
Consider the amount of money tied up in that car. You're paying for insurance... and possibly even car payments for a vehicle that's just sitting around for the majority of the time.
Figure out if you can minimize transportation costs through any of the following methods:
- Trying out a "ride-share" program to get to and from work.
- Using public transportation to get where you need to be.
- Walking, riding a bike, or similar when feasible.
- Coordinating schedules with the members of your household, to cut down on the number of people who need a car.
Spend Less on Transportation and Save Money on Gas
If you do drive a car, consider how you might save money on gas. Of course, if you use a hybrid vehicle, you might already have low gas costs, but there are surely things that you can do to make your gas costs lower.
Try out any of these tips to spend less on transportation costs:
- Observe the gas stations in your neighborhood that seem to have lower prices. Attempt to stop at these gas stations when possible.
- Don't idle your car engine necessary. Turn the engine off when you're not using it. If you're waiting in your car, crack the window to let in some air instead of idling your engine.
- Drive less often. Find ways of getting around and enjoying yourself without driving unnecessarily. Stay local whenever possible, and limit your long-distance driving.
- Determine if it might pay to live closer to your work (if you drive to work). You might be spending unnecessarily on long trips to work each day.
Don't Skip Car Maintenance Appointments
It might feel like a massive expenditure every time you go to your auto maintenance appointments, but to skip these appointments would jeopardize your car's longevity - and even your personal safety.
It's essential to keep your car in good working order. Of course, there might come a time when your car needs so many repairs that it's simply no longer worthwhile to keep. But that's a decision that can come later - rather than sooner - if you've kept your car in good working condition.
Keep your car in good condition and it will also be easier to sell later if you wish to make some money off your used car.
Try out Car Pooling for Children's Activities
One way to spend less on transportation is to carpool- and it’s better for the environment! That wear and tear on your car can really add up when you're shuttling back and forth to your children's activities. If there's a parent you trust whose children are also involved in the same activities, you can see if that parent would want to carpool and switch off each week with the responsibility of shuttling the kids to their destinations.
You can also consider carpooling for school drop-offs and pickups if a neighborhood bus isn't a good option for your family.
For Public Transportation Costs, Consider Package Deals
Utilizing public transportation near you is always a great way to spend less on transportation costs. Depending on your mode of public transportation, it might pay for you to purchase the "unlimited pass"... or it might not pay, depending on the frequency with which you need it.
You can also consider package deals - or unlimited passes - for highway tolls or bridge tolls if you frequent the same routes on car trips. Municipalities will often offer a discount option to offset the cost of frequent travel.
Transportation is often an overlooked line item in the household budget, but consider ways to save, and the savings will add up!