Getting Around Town on a Tight Budget is More Possible Than Ever

Basic travel is only getting more expensive, but there are things you can do to lessen the burden

Ever wonder how much you spend a year on just simply being able to drive from point A to B? For some, the cost of driving in the United States is frighteningly high, and can actually be their most financially crippling household expense. Owning and operating a car can account for more than 50% of their monthly budget, leaving little wiggle room for much else.

The simple truth of it all is that there are so many different things you need to purchase or spend money on just for the pleasure of driving down the street in an automobile. The list almost seems never ending. Here are the basics of what you need to pay for:

  1. Drivers license
  2. The actual car itself
  3. Car insurance
  4. Registration
  5. Car taxes
  6. Emissions testing
  7. Safety inspections
  8. Parking
  9. Tickets & tolls
  10. Gas / Fuel
  11. Driving lessons (most don’t get these, but need them, badly)
  12. Car maintenance & repairs
  13. Gadgets to personalize your ride (why not, right?)

After a while, it really starts feeling like everyone is demanding a piece of your savings account when it comes to your car. Though, it seems the government is really the biggest mouth to feed when getting ready to hit the road. If you decide you want a brand new car, the car taxes alone are phenomenally high.

How to Save Money on Your Daily Commuting Costs

It’s time to put your hands in the air, scream “enough is enough!” as loud as you can, and start doing something about the money hemorrhaging from your bank accounts due to your need to get out of the house.

Here are a few simple ways you can lessen your dependence on personal automotive travel, and become an independent traveling guru! Soon you might wonder why you even had a car to begin with.

  • Location, Location, Location

    When it really comes down to it, where you live is going to play a major factor in how much money you’ll be able to save on your travel expenses. If you live in New York City, odds are you’ll never need a car. If you live in Killingworth, CT (a small town with lots of woods) you’ll probably need some kind of personal transportation. But, even if you live in a small town, you can still choose what you live close to. If you’re currently in between homes, it’s a good idea to keep in mind where the stores you’re likely to frequent are located, and if possible, live as close to them as possible.

  • Public Transportation

    Often overlooked, public transportation like buses and trains, are an amazing way to get around town for only a small fraction of what it costs to own and vehicle. Most locations are reachable by bus and a little footwork. Whereas destinations that are a bit further can be made localized by train.

  • Biking, Jogging, and Walking

    Why not kill two birds with one stone?! Do something healthy and get physical with your daily commute. Walking and jogging might be a little much for most destinations, but biking is a great way to get your heartrate up and cover larger distances. Bicycles can vastly range in price and features, so you’ll have to do a little bit or research on the bike that best fits your needs. In the end, though, it’ll all be worth it.

  • If you haven’t tried Uber yet, or any other taxi-like apps, you really should. It’s an insanely easy way to get around town. You simply get the app, pop in your desired location, a car picks you up where you’re standing, and in no time you’re there. It’s generally pretty cheap, too! Prices differ from day to day, location to location, but if you want to get from one side of town to the other, you’ll probably pay something pretty close to $5.00, which is really nothing compared to what you’re paying now for your car.

  • Scooters / Mopeds

    If riding a manual bicycle is too healthy, and mobile apps are too confusing for you, maybe consider getting a small scooter or moped to ride around on. Though these aren’t the most cost effective way to replace your car, they are a lot of fun, and if they are under a certain amount of CC’s (basically the strength of the engine), you don’t need to register or insure them! (depending on your state’s laws, of course)

  • Telecommuting to Work

    Companies have been rethinking how business can be done in this day and age. They are realizing that they can greatly benefit from employees that telecommute to work instead of being in the office. For them, this means less overhead expenses maintaining a place for employees to work. For you, this means having a job you can perform at home without having to deal with crazy traffic issues and spending money just to go and make some. Why not ask your current employer if this is possible! The worst that can happen is they say no. Just remember to make a compelling argument, and state the reasons why this is in their best interests as well.

  • Home Delivery & Internet Shopping

    In the past year internet shopping has really boomed. Today, you can order your groceries using Amazon Fresh and have them delivered right to your door. When it comes to shopping, you really don’t have to leave the house anymore. Anything you could ever want / need is online! Well, except for hard liquor and guns (unless you’re familiar with the dark web…)

Are You Ready to Leave Your Car in the Dust?

As you can see, there are many different ways to cut your gas guzzler out of your life, and saving some valuable coinage. It just comes down to choosing the best options for you and sticking to your guns. Soon you’ll be stacking cash, and (depending on your chosen options) getting healthier while saving the environment some much undue stress.

  • Biking
  • Budgeting
  • Buses
  • Cars
  • Driving Costs
  • Jogging
  • Mobile Apps
  • Public Transportation
  • Telecomuting
  • Trains
  • Trucks
  • Uber
  • Walking
Written By
Shelly Stevens
Shelly is a wife, mother, and eco-conscience member of society. When not fulfilling her daily family duties, she actively seeks out ways to make the world a better place.