The cost of fuel goes up and down like a yo-yo, but rail and bus ticket prices are only ever on an upward trajectory, which can make the cost of commuting very expensive. Unfortunately, unless you are lucky enough to run your own business from home, the exorbitant cost of commuting to work is usually something you have to put up with.
Luckily for cash-strapped commuters there are many ways to cut the cost of commuting to work and slash your stress levels. Some are relatively simple and some a bit more extreme, but whatever you do, don’t just sit and moan about your costs – do something positive about them instead!
Car Sharing, also known as ‘car-pooling’, is becoming increasingly popular. The premise is very simple: if you make a regular journey to work, you offer up your spare seats to paying passengers, who reimburse you for fuel or agree to drive some of the journeys in their car. This means you can save money on fuel and reduce wear and tear on your vehicle. It’s a win-win situation for everyone. Check out www.liftshare.com to see drivers who are offering to car share.
Agree a Work from Home Schedule
There are some jobs that can easily be done from home, which means you are spared the horror of the daily commute. If you can see no reason why you can’t work from home, try asking your boss if it’s OK to do this one, two or three days a week. Alternatively, switch your hours around so that you are working longer hours on fewer days. Every little helps!
Find a Cheap Parking Space
For many commuters, a significant portion of their daily expenditure is the cost of parking, especially if you work in a city or need to park at the station in order to catch a train into work. If parking is really expensive, check out www.yourparkingspace.co.uk and see if you can find a cheaper parking space. It might save you a fortune.
Cycle to Work
Cycling is good for your health and a lot cheaper than running a car; you can even buy a bike tax-free via the scheme at www.cyclescheme.co.uk. Cycling to work is a great option in fine weather or if you live within a reasonable distance of the office. And even if you live miles away, you could park up half-way and cycle the rest to save money on fuel. The only real disadvantage is the extra time it will take.
Move Closer to the Office
If none of the above strategies sound right for you, it could be worth moving home so that you are with walking distance of work. This won’t be possible for everyone, in particular parents with children, but if you rent, why not look for a place a bit closer to the office and save some money at the same time? If you don’t have a family yet then you could even look to rent a place close to work just during weekdays. The website www.mondaytofriday.com is a popular place to find these weekday-only flat rentals.
If you still can’t make it work, perhaps the time has come to look for another job a bit closer to home – or even start your own business working from home!