Three Top Ways to Cut Your Transportation Budget

The Average family spends nearly 20% of the family budget on transportation. Auto-dependent families living in the suburbs see that number increase to 25% of the overall budget, with the cost of getting around coming in just behind housing costs in the average budget. Trimming these costs can lead to substantial savings each month.

Here are three places to find savings when it comes to transportation:

  1. Reduce your drive time. The cost of vehicle ownership includes both the fixed cost of a car payment and insurance and the variable costs of vehicle operations. The less you drive, the lower gas, maintenance, and other expenses are on a monthly basis.
    Easy ways to stay out of the car include combining trips when running errands, carpooling to work, and taking public transportation when possible. Using one less tank of gas a month will save between $40 and $100 depending on the vehicle. You will also experience lower costs on mileage related maintenance such as oil changes and tire replacement.
  2. Reduce the cost of operations. Maximizing your miles per gallon is an effective way to save money without changing your routine. Simple measures such as properly inflating tires, emptying the truck to reduce vehicle weight, and gradual acceleration will make each tank of gas last longer.
  3. Maintain the vehicle through proper maintenance will make the car last longer and lead to lower operating costs. For example, oil and filter changes allow the engine to run efficiently and lead to better gas mileage.

Public transportation is not available in much of the country requiring many families to allocate a large percentage of the budget to transportation. Finding creative ways to reduce these costs can free up additional money for longer term financial needs.