4 Ways To Stop Wasting Your Paycheck on Your Commute

Everyone has done the following calculation at least once: If my commute is 20 miles round trip and I work 5 days per week, how many days am I working just to get to and from work? The answer here is often frightening. Most people work an entire day per week just to fund their commute. With gas prices hanging out in the go-for-broke territory, perhaps it’s time you tweaked a few things so that you can keep more money in your pocket and not burn it into the ozone.

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Wake Up Early

This may sound like a death threat
but if you’re stuck on the road during rush hour in the morning, the fuel you are wasting switching from the brake to the gas for prolonged periods of time adds up to more trips to the pump. If you can hop out the door before everyone else, not only will you save gas and always be at work on time, you don’t have to start the day with the anxiety and frustration of traffic which translates to a happier, more productive work day. As a reward for being at work early, ask your boss to let you off early so you can beat the evening rush to save even more. Win win.

Tweak Your Tires

Car part manufacturers have finally gotten the memo. Today’s consumers are much more Eco and budget-savvy than their SUV-driving predecessors. As such, there are many car parts currently on the market that are specifically designed to be more fuel-efficient. If your tires have worn thin, consider buying fuel-efficient tires. The technology here is related to reducing rolling resistance and the redistribution of energy back into the tire (as opposed to releasing heat into the air). These innovations, along with the use of recycled materials and better tread design, all contribute to the fuel-efficiency of your vehicle and can amount to huge savings over the lifetime of these tires.

Go Electric

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If you’re looking to buy a new car anyway, consider dropping off the gas roller coaster altogether by purchasing an electric vehicle. Chances are this thing is going to be small and pretty ugly, but saving money and the environment simultaneously should make those superficial worries insignificant. With an electric car, you don’t even have to waste gas to drive to the pump (since there is no pump). All you do is plug that sucker into a charging station and you’re set for miles and miles. Electricity is insanely cheaper than gas. Just to give you an idea: If you drove a 2012 Honda Civic in D.C for 10,000 miles per year, driving an electric car would save you approximately $1,100 in gas costs annually. That’s a big deal! In addition, since electric cars have fewer moving parts, you will also save on maintenance costs as well.

Bike it Out

Now this one is a double saver. You can cancel your gym membership and get your quads burning during your work commute instead. A bike is a cheap initial investment that saves you money, burns calories and pumps out zero emissions. Of course, biking to work will require a few adjustments (namely, figuring out how to not be sweaty all day) and isn’t for everyone. But if you’re in reasonable shape, work within a few miles of your home and have no serious medical conditions, get yourself peddling to save some major cash.

There is no reason to be enslaved by high gas prices. Minimize your trip to the pump or circumvent that smelly station altogether and you will find more green in your wallet after each work day.

Do you have any tips on saving money on commuting? Don’t be obvious either! Do not say carpooling or pubic transportation!



  • Chris S. /

    Share a ride to work, 4-day work week (for example, work four, 10-hour days as opposed to five, 8-hour days), or work from home on occasion.

  • URFinanceSimple /

    People wish they had the luxury of working 10 and 4. Most people are forced to work or go into the office 5 days a week. Other than that goo suggestions. Do you currently follow any of these?

  • Chris S. /

    I use all three options, depending on the situation.

    I’ve also biked in to work which, in my opinion, is a great alternative. Most areas in Northern Virginia maintain bicycle and pedestrian paths in urban areas. If you don’t want to invest heavily in a new bike, there’s always Capital Bikeshares or Craigslist. Used bikes are inexpensive alternatives for commuters who just need to get from point A to B with minimal cost.

  • My commute recently went from 40 minutes to 40 seconds. It was an instant raise.

  • URFinanceSimple /

    Good tip on using Craigslist to buy used bikes. Most people go out and get a top of the line bike only to give up biking as a commute. So, with your method at least you save a few bucks on the bike purchase.

  • addvodka /

    I live a long way away from work but I've always wanted to be able to bike to work. I've recently applied for a job within my company that it less than 10KM away from work so maybe one day that will become a reality!
    My recent post Young People & Saving For Retirement

  • URFinanceSimple /

    Wow.. Let me guess, you now work from home? I'm curious, if you had to take a paycut for your 40 second commute how much would you take? In other words, how valuable is your commute?

  • URFinanceSimple /

    Nice! I hope you get it. But what if the new position comes with a paycut, how much in pay would you give up for a shorter commute?

  • I am all about biking to work in the summer. This year has been rainier than most and has forced me to take the train on those days. I have thought about getting a hybrid for my next car too, but I love my wagon. I'd love to see a hybrid wagon. 🙂

  • URFinanceSimple /

    Did you do the cost analysis on the hybrid vehicle yet? What is the breakeen point.

  • […] Finances Simplified writes 4 Ways To Stop Wasting Your Paycheck on Your Commute – Everyone has done the following calculation at least once: If my commute is 20 miles round trip […]

  • SavvyFinancialLatina /

    I am going to live 1 mile (4 minutes) from my office! I am so excited!

  • URFinanceSimple /

    Wow! What are you doing and how did you get so lucky?

  • SavvyFinancialLatina /

    Well, I found an apartment close to work. 🙂

  • URFinanceSimple /

    Ahh…nice! What do you do for a living?

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  • I used to have a 10 mile a day commute and then ended up moving + non-profit hoping so now my daily commute is a bit rough. I wish I had my 10 back!
    My recent post Goal Check Up

  • URFinanceSimple /

    Why don't you go back to the old company?

  • […] be a good thing and why your stuff is not inherently bad.YFS @ Your Finances Simplified writes 4 Ways To Stop Wasting Your Paycheck on Your Commute – Everyone has donethe following calculation at least once: If my commute is 20 miles round […]

  • Carl T /

    Taking the bike to work is a triple hit – good for financial health, mental health and physical health. HOME RUN! 🙂
    My recent post Clean Your Credit: Make a Financial Plan for the Future

  • What a timely article! The cost of my commute just increased by an additional $30.00 each month! Needless to say, I'm examining my options 🙂

    My recent post BlogWise eBook Review

  • URFinanceSimple /

    What are you options? 30 bucks doesn't seem too bad.

  • […] @ Your Finances Simplified writes 4 Ways To Stop Wasting Your Paycheck on Your Commute – Everyone has done the following calculation at least once: If my commute is 20 miles round […]

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