Commuting to and from work in a car can be one of the most expensive parts of your life. Your commute includes so much more than just the gas you buy for your car — you also have to consider maintenance costs, insurance payments, registration fees, and more. At Cash Factory USA, we can help you maintain your budget by cutting commute costs a little with these tips.
1. Improve Gas Mileage
One way to lower your commute expenses is by improving your gas mileage. Making each tank last a little longer means you fill up less frequently throughout the month. Some of the best changes you can make to your daily commute include:
- Maintaining your car properly to avoid major maintenance. Small things like proper tire inflation and better brakes mean your car saves gas throughout your drive.
- Avoid left turns on your commute. These force your car to idle and waste gas. Plan a route to work that relies on right turns as much as possible.
- Reduce the weight in your car. Don’t haul around any unnecessary items, as the additional weight lowers your gas mileage.
- Avoid traffic. Arriving at work early or leaving late means you aren’t stuck sitting in rush hour traffic wasting gas every day.
If you and your partner both commute, carpool if possible. If not, give the most fuel-efficient vehicle to the person who has the longer drive. This way, both of you save on commute costs.
2. Discounts from the Government
People who choose public transport to get to and from work often don’t realize they could save even more when they report their commute costs to the government. Most states allow you to file a tax deduction for your transit or vanpool costs. This lowers your taxable income substantially and you end up paying less on your taxes.
In some states, you may have to go through your employer to receive benefits for your commute. Like a 401k or other company benefit, ask your employer about proving transit passes for their employees, as the company can take a tax deduction and business expense.
3. Public Transit
If you primarily drive to work, it may be time to compare your car costs with public commute expenses. Is there a bus or train route that can take you to work quickly and easily? Usually, these costs are much less per month than maintaining your car and paying for gas. Completely converting to public transportation also allows you to dispense with vehicle registration and insurance costs.
Vanpooling allows you to share commute costs with several other people instead of taking the entire burden on yourself. In areas that lack good public transportation options, carpooling is the next best thing. You can also look into taking advantage of the tax benefits that this option offers. Explore your local CommuterChoice listings to find others who live in your area and commute to work near you.
5. Lower Your Insurance
Car insurance is without a doubt the most expensive part of owning a car. Thousands of dollars a year go to ensuring you’re covered in case of an accident. Just like shopping around for the right credit card interest rate or the right bank for your needs, you can explore different insurance options to find the best one for you.