I think we can all agree that transportation costs end up taking quite a big chunk of your budget, so why wouldn’t you jump at the chance to reduce them however possible? Here are some top tips to help you bring down your transport-related expenses and save some money!
Work From Home
This might have seemed like a radical idea just a couple of years ago, but I think most of us have now gotten pretty familiar with the concept. The good news is that companies have also fallen in line and understood how having employees work from home can be beneficial to them. So, you may consider switching to a WFH job or ask your current employer if you can do so (even if it is partial WFH). If you’ve got nowhere to go, you’ll definitely be saving on transport costs!
If working from home isn’t a viable option, the next best thing would be to see if any of your coworkers live near you so you can set up a carpooling system with them. Parents of school-going children can also do the same with other parents in their neighborhood with children attending the same schools.
Consider Insurance Options Carefully
Speaking about insurance, since it is one of the biggest costs related to car ownership, it’s important that you don’t pick the first one you see. Make sure to shop around and consider rates offered by different insurance providers so you can be sure that you’re getting the best deal possible. There are several websites and applications that can help you compare all the insurance options available in your locality and help you pick the best one.
Find the Cheapest Gas
Similar to shopping around for insurance, you can also shop around to find the cheapest gas options available around you. There are several apps that find gas stations around you based on your location and show you price comparisons. You can also see the distance between each one so you can consider if it is worth making the trip. There are certain apps that even give you offers and cashback to be availed with participating retailers.
Stick to One Car
Owning a car isn’t a one-time expense; you have to keep shelling out for everything from insurance and auto repairs, to, obviously, fuel. This is why sticking to one car for the entire family can be a good idea. If there aren’t more than two drivers in your house, this is certainly plausible and can be made to work if you plan your schedules and make a few compromises such as using public transportation once in a while or staying at home while the other person uses the vehicle
Skip the Car Altogether
Depending on where you live and your lifestyle, it might make sense to give up the car altogether and stick to public transportation. This is entirely plausible if you live in a well-connected area or don’t go out all too often. Plus, you’ll make some extra cash off of selling your car too. This is, of course, an extreme option when it comes to reducing costs but you can’t deny it’s a pretty effective one. Make sure to do a thorough analysis of your current costs and potential public transportation costs if you were to use them exclusively to make the right decision.
Maintain Inflated Tires
A vehicle with underinflated tires has a very poor fuel economy, which means that you could end up wasting a lot of gas. If you’re unsure of the proper psi, make sure to check the inside of your driver’s side door. It’s also a good idea to buy a digital tire gauge and keep it in your vehicle so you can check the car’s tire pressure every month or so. Better yet, keep it in the glove box so that you don’t end up forgetting!
Get Your Errands Done at Once
Instead of taking the car out multiple times a week to run errands, plan out everything that needs to be done and pick one or two days out where you will go out and do them at one go. This way, you will not only save fuel costs and reduce wear and tear on your vehicle, but you’ll also free up the rest of the days so you can use that time productively!
Lighten the Load
How often have you dumped something in the backseat or trunk of your car and forgotten about it? Well, did you know that this seemingly harmless habit can actually end up costing you more money in the long run? It’s simple; the heavier the vehicle, the more fuel it ends up using. Therefore, it only makes sense to lighten the load as much as possible. Clean your car out regularly so that there isn’t anything in there that adds unnecessary additional weight.
Use a Bicycle
You don’t have to bust out the car for every single trip outside, especially if you’re not going to be going far anyway. Using a bike can be a great way to get some exercise and also save money and reduce your carbon footprint on the environment. If it’s a nice day outside, you can even take a walk!
Don’t Be in a Hurry
You may think that you would burn less fuel while driving fast since it can help you get from A to B in a lesser amount of time, but the opposite is actually true. In fact, the best way to use the lowest amount of gas possible is to use cruise control. Plus, this can also save you from potential speeding tickets – which can be quite expensive!
Use the AC Efficiently
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that using a vehicle’s air conditioning system reduces its fuel efficiency quite a bit. So, the next time you take it out around town, consider turning the AC off and lowering the windows instead. This way, you’ll save a few bucks and also get enjoy some natural air.
However, on the other hand, if you are going to drive at higher speeds (such as on a highway), it’s actually better to have the AC on! This is because having the windows down while driving at higher speeds actually creates more drag, which ends up wasting more fuel than the car’s cooling system.