Disclaimer: The statements made in this post are the opinion of the author. They should not be viewed as financial advice. Please consult with a financial specialist before making any financial decisions.
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Have you ever been told to ride your bike to work? If you have, you may have had the experience of your insides tightening as excuses start to pop into your head: It is too far, I’d be sweaty when I arrive, I haven’t ridden a bike in years, I…I…. um….
But before we get to that, why do people suggest riding your bike to work?
As it turns out, your car (including the car payment, gas, insurance, maintenance, etc.) is the third biggest expense you have (read about that here). So while there are many other benefits to riding your bike to work–it is healthy, less carbon emissions, you can take prettier biking trails, etc.–it is also cheaper than owning another car.
But if the idea of riding your bike to work gives you the heebie jeebies, consider these options.
Cheaper Commuting Options
1 An Electric Bike. Okay, so I realized I just said this is an alternative to riding your bike, but hear me out. What is your biggest concern about riding your bike? Probably that it takes more effort than driving–let’s be honest, we’re lazy. An E-Bike is the perfect mix. It is a normal bike with a small motor attached so you can zoom along without much effort. Traditional E-Bikes, however, are expensive. Starting around $1,000. If you already own a bike, however, you can get a kit to make your bike into an E-bike yourself for much cheaper. Check out this bike kit that I used (affiliate link). And don’t forget that bike wheels have different sizes, so get the correct one!
2 Move closer to work. A lot of people don’t want to live next to their work. It might be a less desirable neighborhood, or you won’t be able to have a yard, or any other number of reasons. The question to ask yourself here is, Are my financial goals worth a small sacrifice now? A shorter drive will save a lot on gas, and if you are able to walk to work your savings will be incredible.
3 Don’t forget about Public Transportation. There are many opportunities to take public transportation, even in cities that don’t have a full transit system. Many of those cities at least have buses that can get you around. Buses can save you money and time if there is a bus lane. Be creative with it. You can even ride your bike to a bus stop then take the bus. Also, car pooling and ride sharing can be a good cheaper alternative. This way you save money and get to meet other people.
4 Build a work from home business. This is probably the best option since building a business has such great potential for greater income. This can be building your own business from home, or freelancing. But for saving on commuting, getting a remote job also works. If you can work from home, you can cut gas costs almost entirely. Just remember that it is important to get the skills needed to run an online business before diving in.
Financially, the reason for taking one of these steps is to reduce costs. So before you take one of those steps make sure that it will save you money if you do. For example, if a bus pass is going to cost as much as your gas then it might not be the best option. Lastly, gas is not the only expense of car ownership. Consider buying a cheaper, but reliable car which will reduce insurance and car payments. This by itself can save even more money than the options I just gave you.
How have you reduced your commuting expenses? Are there any other ways that we can reduce commuting expenses? Tell me about it in the comments below.
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