With gas prices back on the climb again, now may be a good time to revisit ways to increase your bottom line by cutting your overall commuter costs.

daily_commuting_timeAccording to Citi’s ThankYou Premier Commuter Index released recently, workers spend about 200 hours annually at a cost of nearly $2,600 on their daily commute. That breaks down to an average amount of $10 a day. We often think in Atlanta we have the worst traffic in the country, but New Yorkers still rule with an average commute of 73 minutes.

Here are 10 ideas to lower your commuter costs:

  1. Go Electric During The Weekdays- With state and federal credits still available for purchasing an electric car, if your range is not more than 80 to 100 miles there are great options for a fairly low cost electric car.
  2. Get Productive- What? You mean make money? That would be a neat trick, but I mean learn some new skills. If your average commute is an 1 hour to 1.5 hours per day, you could take a college course or two over the course of the year.
  3. Clean The Trunk Out- If you have a good deal of heavy stuff in your trunk, you could be losing gas mileage on the road. Get the items you really don’t need out of the trunk that could be weighting you down.
  4. 3 Tanks, 1 Tank- If you are used to using just super unleaded gasoline, one idea is to use 3 tanks of the lower grade gas and then use one tank of the super unleaded gas.
  5. 3,000 miles- I have always done a good job making sure I change my oil every 3,000 miles while also taking my car in for every single maintenance check. My current car has almost 158,000 miles and still runs like clockwork. The more wear and tear you put on your car, the more your commuter costs will go up.
  6. Telecommute- There is no harm in asking your boss whether or not you can work from home one or two days a week. With modern technology, you can easily get face to face in meeting if you have to for the days you telecommute.
  7. Carpool- Even if you cannot do this for five days a week, just carpooling for one or two days a week can make a big difference in your budget over the course of the year. There is a good website called www.carmacarpool.com that would be cool to check out.
  8. Mass Transit- Whether you use the city bus or subway system, you could cut down not only on gas costs but especially parking costs if your company does not reimburse you for this expense.
  9. Check Your Benefits- If you work for a larger company (or even a smaller company) perhaps there is some benefit you may have overlooked. I recently had a small business owner client who bought electric cars for some employees in lieu of a little advertising on their car.
  10. Bike- This one won’t work for everyone obviously. I don’t want to see you biking down 400 or on 285 in Atlanta. However, if you live in the city this could be a good option for you. I have several clients who bike to work every day.

Hope these ten tips help you do better with saving money on your commuter costs!

Written by: Ted Jenkin
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