How to Commute For Less
You’ve just got a job and have realised the commuting costs aren’t viable, you may have even been in a job for years, but only now believe you’re spending too much to get to and from the office. It’s a common problem for employees from a number of different backgrounds, they feel they’re paying too much and may even leave their position to pursue something closer to home.
I’m here to tell you that you don’t need to make any rash decisions, a few simple changes will help you save money every day and you’ll still be able to do the same job you love (or hate).
Learn to ride a bike
It’s difficult to not see a cyclist these days, but it’s not just because of the health benefits.
Forking out £600 on a quality bike does seem extortionate to the regular user, but if you’re willing to cycle every day, you’ll get incredibly fit and make an even more ridiculous saving. How much do you spend on petrol every year? I can almost guarantee it’ll be far greater than the one off payment for a decent bike.
Most workplaces have a shower in some form, so if you’re conscious of the body odours you may produce, take advantage of them.
Embrace weekly and monthly ticket schemes
Across the UK, ‘bulk buy’ travel tickets are available in the masses, you just have to look for them. In London, spending £150+ upfront on a monthly travel card may seem expensive at first, but if you’re commuting five days a week, you’ll likely exceed the initial cost of a monthly card by around the 23rd of each month. That’s not to mention, having a monthly card means any travel outside of the commute can be regarded as free.
Make sure you do the math for your individual journey, your saving will vary entirely on what you currently spend in conjunction with the price of a monthly ticket. Even if you save £2 on your commute over the entire month, it’s still worth it!
Walk part of your journey
This is as self-explanatory as it gets, for those who have a long journey that is too far for a bike but too short to merit using the train, find somewhere 10-30 minutes’ walk away from work, get out of your car and take in the fresh air.
It may not seem like you’re saving much, but over time it’ll equate to a mass saving. Imagine you walked the last 30 minutes to work there and back, that’s 5 hours’ worth of petrol you’ve saved, and even better is there’s no congestion on the pavements!
Entirely dependent on where you live in regards to your colleagues, if you can do this, do it.
If you know someone that drives past your house, or you drive past theirs, set up a rota and drive each other to work; split petrol 50/50 and you’ll save half of your allocated commuting funds every single day. This is another example of everything adding up over time to make massive savings.
Get a railcard
Spending £30 on a railcard has to one of the best investments I’ve ever made.
I use the train a lot, regularly visiting my girlfriend in London or Worcester, wherever she may be. On average, the pre-railcard cost of a return trip to London is around £30, add the railcard and it’s down to £20, so anyone that knows basic math will recognise a £10 saving.
The railcard is valid for a year, so after three journeys, I will have paid off the cost of the railcard, making any other journeys becoming pure savings. If the train is part of your commute, find out of if you can qualify for a railcard and purchase one immediately, it’ll be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made.
And that concludes my suggestions on commuting for less.
Realistically, you’d just read the word ‘walk’, as it is the cheapest way to commute by far, but that wouldn’t be any fun, nor would it be much of a blog post, would it?
If you are or ever have been worried about your commuting costs, there are plenty of methods, many listed above, that can reduce the strain on your wallet. An hour of research into your journey could prove vital, so get to it as soon as possible and you’ll have money to spend elsewhere!
Written by Chris Johnson