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7 ways to save money on your commute

Whether you're hitting the road to college or work, Darren has some great saving tips


Written by Darren O Reilly and posted in opinion


This is an opinion of a young person and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of SpunOut.ie. It is one person's experience and may be different for you. If you'd like to write something for SpunOut.ie please contact editor@spunout.ie.


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While more and more people are starting to work remotely or from their own homes, for most, the daily commute is still a very necessary expense. Your daily commute could be costing you more than you realise but there are some simple ways of keeping this expense as minimal as possible to help you save some of your hard earned cash!

Carpool

Made famous in recent times by James Corden and his host of celebrity friends, the carpool can be a fun way of getting around! Because you’re splitting the cost of petrol and parking, carpooling can be a great money saver and you’re guaranteed some company on your daily commute. Make sure that you are clear about the payment arrangement when you agree to the carpooling service. Calculate the costs involved in the journey and decide how your passengers are going to pay (daily, weekly, monthly).

Look After Your Car

Keeping your car in tip top shape can provide big savings over time. While there may be some initial investments, things like ensuring that your tire pressure is correct or changing your oil will make sure that you are using your fuel in the most efficient way.

Plan Your Trip and Know the Traffic Patterns

Use an online mapping system like Google Maps to plan out the quickest and most efficient route and also take note of the petrol stations on your route and start logging the price of petrol to make sure that you are consistently getting the best deals. Another thing to consider is traffic patterns. The longer you sit in traffic, the more fuel you’re burning, so this is essentially wasted money. Take this into consideration when planning your commute and try to avoid heavily congested areas or plan to get on the road before the traffic builds up.  

Park Wisely

Having to pay for parking means that you are paying for your commute even when your car isn’t moving. Super annoying right? Do some research into free parking in your area. It might mean that you’ll need to park a bit further away from work or college but the savings could potentially be huge.

Hop on your Bike

A great workout and a great way to get around - win win! If you don’t already have a bike, check out if your employer offers the ‘Cycle to Work Scheme’ which is a tax incentive scheme with the aim to encourage employees to cycle to and from work. Under the scheme, employers pay for bicycles and bicycle equipment for their employees and set up a pay back arrangement over a 12 month period. This could definitely be worth checking out as the scheme is quite common across workplaces in Ireland.

Walk

Put one leg in front of the other and repeat. Simples! If you are reasonably close to work, college or school, walking is the cheapest way to get around. It is also a great way to start and end your day and it allows you to clear your head and get some much needed fresh air and vitamin D. Just make sure that you equip yourself with a good quality brolly and some warm clothes. We do live in Ireland after all.

Taking Public Transport the Smart Way

Use public transport as much as you can. Not only are you saving a lot of money and reducing your carbon footprint by traveling en mass; it also gives you the opportunity to use your time to catch up on texts or emails, chill out or read a book, which you obviously can’t do if you’re driving.

If you plan on using public transport regularly, I can’t stress the importance of having a leap card. Leap card journeys are an average of 20% cheaper than cash single tickets and also offer a variety of other money saving initiatives such as fare capping which puts a cap on your weekly public transport spend after a certain threshold. It really is the smart way to use public transport. 

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Published March 14th, 2016
Last updated April 5th, 2016
Tags travel money saving
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.

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