We often overlook when planning our finances just how much many of us spend on travel. Be it work or pleasure, a large chunk of our hard-earned money can be lost just by getting from one place to another. And back. But there are usually ways of reducing what we spend. Moolr looked at how to cut travel costs.
This may not be an option for everyone. However, this is a system that has become increasingly popular in the modern workplace. When I worked in the Jobcentre, we used flexi-time. I could start at 7am and work as late as 6. This allowed me to car-share in the mornings sometimes. On other occasions I avoided peak time tram charges. Most employers are happy to allow employees to arrange some of their working hours to suit family life too. Another consideration is to fit your working week into 4 days instead of 5. I know two friends that do that. This allows you to travel at off- peak times whilst removing a whole day’s travel costs.
You can get much cheaper train tickets by booking well in advance using the online booking service. You can choose a specific train and time, and this is much cheaper than buying an any-time ticket. Just ensure you make the train on time!
Also, annual season rail cards give greater discounts than monthly, weekly or daily rail cards. Any seasonal card works out cheaper than buying single tickets. Ensure though that you make regular journeys to make the purchase viable. Statistics show that on average an annual card means that you are paying for 40 weeks travel and not 52.
There are other ways to save money. For example, on Manchester’s zonal tram system, getting off a stop earlier could save you a lot of money. you can get some extra exercise in as well! The vagaries of the UK rail network means that splitting up your rail journeys across the country can save you huge amounts of money. As long as you prepare yourself for having to change trains. give yourself plenty of time to do so.
Travelling by car does not sound like a good way of cutting costs. But there are ways to get costs down. Park and Ride is a great scheme that lets you park well outside the town or city and then get a free bus to the centre. also, consider when using your car about costs for parking. Consider a car share to share costs for travel. You take it in turns on a weekly basis to drive The larger the company, the batter the chance of pairing up with someone. Some companies may have a scheme set up for you to join.
It is the most difficult question to ask, but do you really require a car? If it is not used for essential travel, then consider ditching it altogether. In a crowded city like London, it is almost a hindrance to own one, especially with extra charges for entering the centre.
If you must drive, locate the cheapest places to fill up with petrol, get the most competitive quotes on insurance, and choose a vehicle that is both reliable and retains its value well. When driving, do not over-rev your car. Drive steadily and try not to blast the air-con too much – which should be easy in the UK!
Over the last 10 years there has been a large rise in the number of people cycling to work as well as cycling for leisure. You can hire a bike or purchase one 2nd hand to save funds. For longer journeys consider super-cheap coach options, though you will have to set aside plenty of time.