How to save money on transportation costs

Unless you are lucky enough to be able to bike or walk to school or work, you probably have car expenses, bus or subway fares, or both each month. Today, we are going to look at how you can save money on transportation costs, no matter what mode you travel on. I will discuss many conventional tips to save money, and a few off the beaten path.

Bike and foot transportation

While walking is free, your shoes aren’t. Get the best deal on shoes you can by doing some easy comparison using a common shopping search engine like Shopzilla. Same goes if you are looking to buy a bike, follow the same advice.

Car costs

Ok, maybe walking and biking aren’t part of your daily regimen but driving a car is. This gets a bit more fun. If you haven’t already visited GasBuddy or downloaded the app, you should. GasBuddy allows you to search for the lowest price of gas in your area. You might save a few cents off your tank of gas – any bit helps. Bonus tip, if you haven’t read my discussions about Fuel Rewards and other grocery store gas programs, you should. They offer additional suggestions and advice for using loyalty programs to help you save money. Next, if you don’t have a credit card that earns cash or miles back bonuses on gas purchases, I suggest you get one. For example, the American Express Blue Cash Preferred card earns a 3% cash back bonus for gas station purchases. There are many other cards out there that have similar rewards, you might already have one and don’t know it. Finally, you can also save a bit on gas buying discounted gas station gift cards through Gift Card Granny.

Buses, trains, subways, or ferries

transportation

Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/smaedli/

For the rest of us who don’t drive to work or school, there might be a public transit option. Again, if you are lucky enough to have access to a bus, train, light rail, or other means, here are few more tips. Your employer may offer a discounted transportation benefit program. This might be a pre-tax dollar savings or straight up subsidy. Either way, that’s awesome.

If you don’t have this benefit available to you, you are still in luck. Occasionally, Discover Card has 5% cash back bonuses during certain times of the year. This means that if you are buying a monthly or even daily fare card, you can save a bit of money on that. Bonus tip: you can earn points or cash back on your transportation expenses all year long with any credit card that earns points or cash back. You don’t have to wait for a quarterly bonus promotion.

And, last but not least, the unconventional tip. Just as Gift Card Granny offers discounted gift cards on retailers, eBay and Craigslist sell partially used fare cards – and it’s legal, at least in Washington, DC. If you know you are going to spend a few hundred a month on subway or bus rides, check eBay or Craigslist to see if anyone is trying to offload their partially used fare cards. You might be able to save a few bucks on metro cards.

There you have it. Chances are, if you need to travel for work, school, or play, you can save money.

 

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