Driving Down Costs: 10 Tips for Commuting to Work for Less

commuting to work

The average American household spends approximately $9,737 every year on transportation costs. This makes transportation the second largest household expense after housing.

Commuting to work is the biggest reason for transportation requirements. A survey by the U.S Census Bureau revealed that the American commute is getting longer.

With fuel prices only getting higher, it is natural to want to keep these costs as low as possible. This article will offer you ten tips for saving on commuting expenses.

1. Buy the Right Vehicle

If your current car is a fuel-guzzler, it would do you a lot of good if you purchased a fuel-efficient model. Even though the costs of buying a new car are quite significant, you could make substantial cost savings in the long run.

Upgrading your car can also help you with this objective.

2. Check Your Driving Habits

You need to consider the things that impact your car’s efficiency. For example, are your tires properly inflated? Inflating your tires can enhance your efficiency by up to five percent.

You also need to be conscious of your driving habits as they can have a significant impact on your vehicle’s fuel consumption.

This means costing downhills and only using gas when you have to.

Moreover, ensure that you are not carrying more than you need in the car so as to keep the vehicle’s weight low. This article discusses other tips that will help you drive efficiently.

3. Move

Obviously, if you live far away from your workplace, you are spending more than you would like on commuting. If you cannot work from home, then you should consider moving closer to your job.

This will dramatically bring down your costs of transit. And if you are lucky to find a place that is within walking distance, you will have eliminated these expenses completely.

Depending on your commuting costs, you might even find it a good idea to rent your home and rent an apartment for yourself. Weigh the options and see if it is feasible for you.

4. Drive Fewer Miles

If moving is not a possibility, consider using a phone app that will help you determine the most efficient routes to your destinations.

This will also help you avoid traffic jams which happen to be one of the biggest contributors to fuel wastage.

5. Minimize Fuel Costs

The cost of gasoline has risen over the years hitting an all-time high average of $3.60 a gallon in 2012. While prices have normalized, we are still paying much more at the pump than we used to ten years ago.

Consider the following tips to minimize your cost of fuel:

Make Smart Purchases

Use cash to pay for fuel instead of your credit card. This is because the posted prices at most gas stations usually include an extra six to eight cents per gallon when paying with credits cards.

Another alternative would be to get a gas credit card. This allows you to earn some cash back. Moreover, most gasoline stations that are linked to warehouse clubs or grocery chain stores tend to discount prices to their members.

Buy Regular Grade Octane Gasoline

Gasoline typically comes in three octane grades. The 87 octane (regular), 89 octane (mid-regular), and 93 octane (premium). The kind of grade you go depends on your car’s needs.

Using the recommended grade for your vehicle allows you to avoid pinging (unnecessary combustion of fuel in the cylinders).

Generally, however, only luxury vehicles and sports cars require higher octane grades. Most cars, therefore, are made to run on regular gasoline. As such, consider looking into what your car needs.

If you do not have to use premium, stick to regular grade. This will allow you to make savings of up to $0.30 per gallon.

6. Car Pooling

If you have a friend or colleague who shares the route with you, consider using one vehicle for your commuting needs. Work out an agreement where you alternate who drives in addition to making fuel contributions.

If you do not have someone you can carpool with, then consider looking into sites such as Carpool World which can match you up with someone looking to share as well.

Who would mind some company?

Carpooling not only helps you save on commuting costs but also breaks the monotony of sole-commuting.

7. Utilize Public Transport

If you live in an area that has a public transportation system, you should definitely consider utilizing it.

Not only will you be saving on costs but it also gives you the chance to enhance your productivity as you can use that time to look into your work or read a book.

8. A Bike for Commuting to Work

Looking to save on fuel costs as you get in a workout at the same time? Consider getting a bike. Bikes are quite affordable and very cheap to maintain. 

What’s more, you will save on gym costs as well. 

Navigating through traffic jams will become a breeze. However, you need to practice defensive riding since riders are more likely to get into accidents.

9. Notify Your Insurance Provider Once You Stop using the Car

If you have decided that you will be using other means of transportation other than your car, be sure to let the insurance company know about this decision.

Since you will not be exposed to risks, it means that can get some breaks on your insurance costs.

10. Work From Home

Can your job be done from home? Today, telecommuting is a real thing and most companies have embraced it. You can do your job from home while making video conference calls with your colleagues and bosses to ensure synchrony.

This allows for more productivity since less time is wasted in traffic in addition to doing away with fuel costs.

Being More Efficient

We need our jobs. However, it does not mean that a significant portion of your earnings should go towards facilitating your commute to work. Consider the above tips to cut on expenses associated with commuting to work.

Are you are looking to be more productive at work? Check out this article for some valuable insights.