Commuting costs money and also time. Even though you can’t control the traffic, you should be able to do so with your costs and here are some tips to help.
Find Ways To Get More Miles Out Of Each Gallon of Gas
The first step in getting better gas mileage is investing in a vehicle that has excellent fuel efficiency. Above and beyond that, however, you can also make changes to the way that you drive to cut your fuel costs even further. Here are some tips from UPS's fleet manager on how to improve fuel economy:
- Keep up with regular maintenance. Check your tires to make sure that they are inflated to the correct pressure and take other steps to ensure that your car is in tip-top shape.
- Whenever possible, avoid turning left. The time that you spend waiting to turn results in a lot of wasted fuel.
- Remove any items that you don't need from your car. Excess weight can reduce your vehicle's fuel efficiency.
- Choose your commute time wisely. Try to avoid the times of the day when traffic is heaviest. That way, you won't have to spend as long sitting in traffic, minimizing the amount of fuel that you use during each trip.
- If more than one person in your family commutes, use the car that gets the best gas mileage for commuting to the place that is furthest away.
- Opt for an electric car, they’re often a lot more efficient and cheaper and also are a lot greener than the standard.
See If You Qualify For Tax Breaks
There are tax breaks available at both the state and federal level that are designed to make it easier for commuters to afford the cost of getting to and from work. These tax breaks allow you to pay for the cost of commuting with pre-tax dollars. That means that the money that you spend on commuting won't be taxed, lowering the overall amount of money that you have to pay in taxes. This can add up to significant savings - especially over the course of a year.
At the state level, there are also ways to save. For instance, Maryland incentivizes employers to provide their employees with passes for public transportation by offering them tax credits. This can not only benefit the company but also the employees. With the savings from these types of programs, public transportation is incredibly affordable, putting the cost well within reach of just about everyone. Not only that but encouraging more people to take public transportation reduces the amount of traffic on the roads, which is important in heavily populated areas.
If the company you work for doesn't already offer these benefits, it is worth asking about them. Helping offset the cost of commuting for employees can go a long way toward building loyalty. It can also make it easier to attract some of the top talent in the industry. Because the cost of commuting is so high, finding a way to lower this cost can make a job offer much more attractive to a prospective employee.
Find Other Ways To Save On Public Transportation
Seniors and students often can qualify for discounts on public transportation. Anyone who is attending college should check with their school to see if there are low-cost passes available. This can be a really good way to save and can eliminate the need to own a car.
Look Into Ride Sharing
These days, one of the most popular ways for people to get to work is carpooling or vanpooling. These are good options in areas where there is not a lot of public transportation available. Many employers offer a chance to pay for vanpooling costs before taxes. This can wind up saving you a lot of money. Check to see what types of ridesharing programs are available in your community. You can usually find this information on the website of your city or county. Most states also maintain databases of ridesharing programs that you can use to find a program in your area.
Save Money On Your Car Insurance
If you start taking public transportation more often, you may be able to reduce the cost of your car insurance. Contact your insurer and let them know that you are driving less, if they won’t budge then use car insurance comparison. If you reduce the distance that you drive annually enough, you may qualify for a lower rate.