Unless you’re a complete shut-in, you go out of the house. To grocery shop, to walk, to go to school, to work, to travel, to socialize. Whether you walk, drive, take transit, carpool, you have to think about how you are going to get from point A to point B, and most times there is a cost to that travel.
Your first decision to make is how much time you want to spend commuting everyday. If you are a student, the decision to go to a local university in your own city may mean you wil be living at your parent’s house, which may mean you will be spending up to three hours a day commuting — is this worth it to you? Those that may go away may live in a small town, with a cheaper cost of living, in which they will be able to live a 5 minute walk to school, thus saving on a commute. It is important to think that sometimes what you think is the easier option might not be as convenient as you think! The same goes for work – if you have a full-time job that you like, it might be worth moving closer to work, to save time and costs of commuting — walking to school or work is the best choice for time management and cost effectiveness.
If, however, you do not live close to your school or work, you will have to commute – from transit to car to bike to carpool — you get the picture. If you live in a city, chances our the transit system can get you everywhere you need to be, for unlimited travel, for about $125/month. While a good bike retails for about $1000, it may be a bit cheaper than transit, however transit runs all the time, and you don’t have to worry about cold, icy or wet weather, which you might on a bike. A car is the most expensive option, but sometimes the best choice. When buying a car, always be wary of low financing plans and potentially high interest rates — trying a site like ‘Leasebusters’ might be your best bet for a good deal. After securing your car, make sure you can carry the cost when it comes to registering your vehicle, license plate renewals, insurance and gas charges. A car is best when you have enough money and only for occasional travel. Try not to use it everyday for your commute, as the traffic and costs can easily suck up money that is more enjoyable to spend elsewhere!
November is financial literacy month, and so to you I challenge you to take the car less — and even bike if you can! Try to cut down your transportation costs, and share here in the comments field how you were able to do so!