After food and shelter, transportation costs can be one of the most significant daily expenses for people. We usually need it to get to our jobs, so it can be hard to save on it.
So let’s look at how to reduce transportation costs through 5 basic tips.
Even one of these could be a game changer for you, so check them all out.
- Spend less on gas
- Take a bus, bike, or scooter
- Buy a different car
- Pack up
- Change your priorities
Let’s start with an easy one—spending less on gas.
#1— Lowering Your Cost of Gas
I recently wrote a post about how to save on gas for your car, and I highly recommend reading through that short blog if this is one you’re going to take on.
Basically, the gist is that you can save just by driving to a gas station a few minutes out of your way.
My favorite method of gas shopping is a free app called GetUpside.
The app will search for gas stations which are offering free cash back, and pass that along to you; all you have to do is claim the offer on the app and visit that gas station.
This free cash back is possible because gas stations compete on price for their customers, and they don’t always want to publicize the much lower prices they’re willing to offer to earn your business.
As gas prices go up, the cash back from GetUpside tends to go up too.
So, try it out and sign up (you can use my referral code “ANDREW6362” for a starting bonus on your first fill-up).
Last tip before moving on…
Also think about some of the other easy ways you can lower your own transportation costs by shifting how you drive.
As I also mentioned in the saving gas article, doing things like taking the slow lane and the highway can make a difference with how often you have to fill-up on gas, which has a direct impact on your costs.
Try some of those out and see how they can reduce those essential costs in your life.
#2—Take a bus, bike, or scooter
This tip is not a fun idea, for sure. But if you’re struggling, maybe sacrificing some convenience and comfort to reduce your transportation costs will be worth it for your finances.
Of course, your options to take alternative transportation will depend on where you live.
But if you haven’t looked into something like your nearest bus—or even biking to the bus—give it a try and at least research it.
Assuming you can still stay safe while doing so, taking alternative transportation can be a huge way to save on these essential costs—especially since car payments, car insurance, and paying for gas can really drag down your finances depending on your situation.
It’s not for everyone.
And you don’t have to do it forever.
But especially if you’re broke, thinking outside of the box and getting practical on the transportation costs you might be taking for granted could get you motivated to make progress on reducing costs (and increasing how much you can save!).
#3—Buy a different car
Now I’m really threatening some of you out there. Especially because in some areas of the country, your car is like your identity.
But remember, cars cost thousands of dollars.
It’s funny how we can make an effort to save a few dollars here and there, and then not think twice about a few thousand dollars here or there, just because it’s on a car and just because the payments are so spread out. (It’s only human nature, don’t worry).
I hope that thinking about what car you drive is not an afterthought.
Like I wrote in my post about no-nonsense financial planning, your car expenses can be among your second biggest cost every single month.
So spending some time to reduce that can be a gamechanger too!
Some practical ideas to think about:
- Sell your car to get one that’s slightly older for a lower payment
- Trade your gas guzzler for a car with better fuel efficiency
- Do you really need all that space in the truck bed or SUV trunk?
Most of us probably don’t like the idea of uprooting our life to get our expenses under control, and for some of us, it probably isn’t practical or you can’t.
That said—moving out or moving on can be a fantastic way to help your financial situation.
- Maybe that means moving locations to get a better job
- Maybe you move jobs to score a closer commute (and hopefully a raise!)
- Maybe you move to a city with a lower cost of living
Whatever the application, packing up can make a big difference in your day-to-day expenses, which can make a massive difference over time.
You could even combine this tip with another to multiply its effect in reducing your transportation cost.
For example, it could mean moving to a city with lower cost of living AND better public transportation, for a multiplier effect.
#5—Change your priorities
Nobody wants to hear this one either; actually you could probably say that about all 5 of my tips.
But when it comes to reducing costs, you’re going to have to make tradeoffs—at the very least some changes—in order to actually be successful in your efforts.
Here’s some more ideas to swish around in your head…
- A long road trip can get expensive. What about taking a shorter one somewhere that’s still new to you?
- Instead of flying and staying at a hotel, is a road trip to a camping site another double whammy cost reduction?
- Sometimes we just want to feel like we’re getting away; have you ever considered just getting a hotel locally and just lounging around there to save on gas?
- Do you have a hobby or habit that’s requiring you to drive a lot? Should you continue that?
Look, we’ve got great resources for all kinds of ways you can reduce your expenses on our website, right here. And they’re free! So at least check them out.
- 11 Surprising Ideas for How to Save Money On Vacation Easily
- Useful Tricks to Form Good Money Habits into Natural Decisions
- Financial Independence Isn’t Hard – It Starts with Knowing How to be Frugal!
After reading this post, you should know how to reduce your cost of transportation practically. Now comes the hard part—doing it.
We can help, check out our other motivating resources, and use all of this to build wealth for your future!