A great majority of people are really trying to save as much money as they can whenever possible. Since transportation is one of the things that can really put a strain on people’s budgets, it’s no surprise that they constantly look for ways in which they can reduce the costs related to it. While owning a car, for example, definitely has its benefits and some people simply need it, there are several alternatives that might be worth looking into. Here are some of them.
It’s quite obvious that this is the cheapest alternative, though not always viable. However, if you don’t need to carry some heavy load or travel very long distances, you should always opt for walking. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also improve your health if you introduce this healthy routine to your life.
Many communities encourage cycling with sponsored bike-share programs and open bike lanes for commuting. Like walking, cycling saves money and boosts your health, but you need to think carefully about this option before splashing out cash on a new bike. Namely, you should consider the cost, time, and safety considerations of biking.
Motorcycles and scooters
These are quite popular means of transportation around the world, especially in Asia and Europe, but they are also quite risky. For example, motorcyclists in the U.S. are almost 30 times more likely than automobile occupants to die in a crash per vehicle mile traveled and almost five times more likely to be injured. That’s why you should always wear a helmet and practice defensive driving when you ride among automobiles and trucks.
If you need a car only temporarily, the most inexpensive solution is often renting. Many residents in major urban communities rent cars for vacation trips or weekends away from the city. The main advantages of a car share program are that you don’t need to worry about car repayments, registration, and maintenance. You simply opt for a scheme that suits you and you’ll be able to save quite a lot of money.
With the cost of operating a car, including fuel, maintenance, and parking, sometimes exceeding the food budget of many families, it makes perfect sense to rely on public transportation whenever possible. Most smaller communities offer scheduled bus services, while larger cities combine reliable bus services, rapid light rail, and commuter rail systems that are inexpensive and extensive. Many of the services provide space for passengers to load their bicycles for shorter trips when they reach their destination.
This concept makes a lot of sense. Carpooling is particularly practical where people regularly travel to and from the same location, such as commuting or picking up children at school. You just need to organize it with co-workers or other parents. The costs are split by rotating drivers and cars or by passengers paying an agreed amount to travel. Some companies even sponsor ride-sharing programs for their employees, including the use of a company-owned vehicle.
If you own a car and can’t really opt for alternatives, you should look into the ways of cutting some costs related to car ownership. One of the things you should definitely investigate is car maintenance. Proper maintenance will ensure safe, reliable operation and slow major declines in the resale value of your car. You need to find a trustworthy mechanic and follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule. Also, joining a local or national automobile association can help you save costs that would incur due to running out of gas, having a flat tire, or having a breakdown in the middle of nowhere. Finally, doing the easy repairs yourself will help your budget. For example, changing the fluids and replacing windshield wipers, lights and fuses are rather simple tasks that everyone can perform.
Buying a used car
While many people want their car to reflect their personality, dreams, and social status, we shouldn’t forget that our dreams are often unattainable and that we shouldn’t jeopardize our financial stability by buying a car that is too expensive for us. That’s why buying a used car and settling for a vehicle that may not be the one you’ve always dreamed of having might be the shrewdest decision.
These are just some tips related to cutting the costs related to transportation. Though some maybe not an option for you at the moment, you should still consider them for the future. The most important thing is to avoid making any unnecessary costs related to this important aspect of our lives.