Reducing the cost of your work commute

By Sijun Li

Millions of Americans commute to work everyday, and incur various expenses from gas and public transportation to tolls. 

Throughout the year, these costs can add up, significantly reducing the amount of money you have at your disposal. This can be especially difficult if you have a mountain of credit card debt, as you will need to worry about making at least your minimum payments and keeping up with all your other bills. 

Luckily, there are numerous ways you can cut down on the costs of your commute, which can leave you with more money to pay down your debt. 

1. Consider carpooling – If you have someone who lives near you that works in your office or in the same area, it would help the both of you to carpool. Specific expenses carpooling can reduce include gas and tolls. Additionally, both of your vehicles will get less wear and tear because they are being driven less, which can potentially save you money on maintenance and repairs down the road. 

2. Work from home – Many companies allow employees to work remotely, so you might want to inquire with your supervisor about this possibility. If you are able to work from home one or two days a week you could cut down on your commuting costs markedly over a year, by reducing the amount of gas you have to buy. Working from home can also save you money on coffee and food, as you will likely eat out less for lunch. 

3. Improve your gas mileage – Those who are unable to work from home, and have nobody to carpool with, should seek out ways to reduce their fuel efficiency to get more out of a tank of gas. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is to take out any unnecessary items from your car, as extra weight causes reduced gas mileage. Avoiding rush hour traffic can also be beneficial, as frequent stopping and starting reduces the amount of time your gas will last. 

4. Reduce your car insurance premiums – If you are successful in cutting down on the amount of times you have to drive into work, you might be able to slash your auto insurance costs. Most providers offer low mileage discounts, and if you qualify, you could save a good amount of money each year.