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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Reducing Your Transportation Costs in 2012

When money is tight, most of us will take some concerted steps to rethink our expenses, our investments, and our overall spending habits. We might look to cut back on entertainment or shopping trips. We may eat out less and shop at Wal-Mart more often. And we may seek to move some of our money around by searching out high interest savings account tips and advice.

But all too rarely do we make an attempt to reduce one of our core expenses: transportation. For most Americans, transportation costs are an inevitable part of living and working in a modern society. We need our cars to get to work, do errands, pick the kids up from school, and essentially do anything that requires leaving the house. And, for most Americans, rising gas rates and insurance fees have made transportation costs increasingly expensive.

Changing up your travel and commute habits can consequently translate into significant savings, especially in the long-run. How can this be done? Here are a few tips:

Cut Back On Car Use

The best way to save on transportation costs is to cut back on our car use. Driving a car, after all, is quite expensive these days when gasoline and maintenance costs are included. So how can we get around without a car? If feasible, the best way to do this is by taking public transit. In most cities, public transit costs for daily use run somewhere in the range of $80 to $100 per month – far less than the cost of owning and running a car. If public transit is not a feasible option, you may want to consider running or biking to work. Doing so can help you save money while also getting fit at the same time.

Plan Your Trips

Many people take shopping trips and run errands as the need arises. They leave their home, go to the grocery store, return to their home, go to the dry cleaner’s, and then return to their house once again. This approach wastes both gas and time. Instead, you can get more value out of each driving trip by planning out your errands more fully beforehand.

Save On Gasoline

High gas costs have made paying high gas costs an unavoidable activity for most drivers. But there are certainly ways to reduce the amount you spend on gas. First, you can use websites such as GasBuddy.com to find the cheapest gas costs in your area. Second, you can sign up for credit card rewards programs that offer discounts on every gas purchase at particular stations.

These are just a few of the ways that we can reduce our transportation costs and therefore realize savings in a significant portion of our budget. While our culture of car dependence is deeply instilled in the American psyche, with a little planning and sacrifice we can reduce this reliance and save some money in the process.

~ Guest Post ~


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