The most common reason for regular travel is your commute to work. You know the kind: you already work long hours in a stressful environment, so it’s time to ask yourself how you could improve your commuting habits.
Frugal Commute And Its Challenges
As a rule of the thumb, if you’re lucky enough to work in a company that welcomes and promotes remote work options, you may not need to monitor your commute expenses closely – given that you don’t commute. But for everyone out there who needs to be in the office every day: what is the best option to keep your travel costs as low as possible without adding to your stress levels?
Planning Your Train Journey To Save Costs
If you happen to be commuting to work by train every day of the week, it’s likely that you’ve already sorted out the best possible deal on your seasonal card. These are quite expensive if you live in big urban areas such as London, for instance. But you may want to discuss the costs openly with your employers as more and more companies are opting for covering up to 50% of their employees’ commuting expenses. But if you only need to travel by train to get to a conference or to meet a client, it’s likely that it’s the kind of things that doesn’t happen regularly.
If you’re employed, you may be limited in your choices – some companies will only let you travel outside of peak times, for example – but at least you don’t need to worry about the commuting costs as these are fully recoverable by your employer. In most cases, your employer will be the one sorting out your train tickets in the first place.
If you’re self-employed, you will have to pay from your own pocket. Here’s a tip: start planning early so that you can find out the best possible option for your travel. You might even find that travelling one day earlier comes out cheaper than same day travel.
The bottom line is that there are many options to keep your train commute costs down, depending on your work situation. From planning ahead to getting in touch with your employer to discuss alternatives, you don’t have always to pay full price!
Cycling To Work To Save Costs
What if you decide to cycle to work? In fact, if you live within 5 miles of your workplace, you may be interested in what the Cycle Scheme has to say about riding to work every day. On the one hand, it keeps you fit and healthy – which is a bonus – but according to the scheme you could be saving over £3,000 a year just by switching to a bike for your commute. Admittedly, the savings include not needing your car at all, which may not be 100% correct.
Additionally, the cyclist’s life can be dangerous in town, especially in a crowded urban area where an inattentive driver can push you off your bike. However, you are not defenceless, as you can run your cycling accident claims through an online scheme. Ultimately, while the goal is to avoid an accident, the cycling cover ensures that you are not left without assistance or compensation.
Saving Money With Your Car?
If you need to drive to work every day, you could car sharing with your colleagues. Indeed, advocates of the lift sharing, as it is called, love to present the simple equation that two people sharing a vehicle produce half the car fumes of travelling in two vehicles. They also share the cost of petrol. So it can seem like a win-win for your wallet and the environment. The only problem is that it doesn’t eliminate the commute stress, as one of you is still driving through traffic.
Additionally, if your pickup turns up late, or if you can’t agree on the music to play in the car, you might arrive to work already stressed out for the rest of the day!
Living Close To The Office Can Be Expensive
What about walking to work. It’s a valid option if you live close by. However, it might involve high rental costs in an urban area. One London’s commuter found out that flying to work from Barcelona would turn out cheaper than living in London. In other words, the most expensive part of your commuting routine might well be the location.
In conclusion, while there are many commute options and plenty of ways to keep your travel costs low, you need to take into consideration your safety, your rental costs, your stress levels and your company arrangements before taking a decision. Cheap travel doesn’t always mean better commute.