As gas prices continue to soar, more and more people have begun looking for alternatives to car commuting, attempting to lessen the blow of inflation. Though you may think accepting the extra financial burden is the only option, there are plenty of ways to become less car-dependent and put some cash back in your pocket.
Take advantage of technology
An excellent way to cut back on car usage is ridding your routine of unnecessary drives by taking advantage of tech-forward solutions. The rise of digitalization has significantly reduced the need for small errands, allowing people to tackle menial tasks online instead of in person.
For example, instead of trekking to your mailbox or post office multiple times per week, you can swap out your commute with a virtual PO box to check for urgent deliveries. Or, switch to online payments for utilities to tick off a once tedious task in minutes.
Work from home when you can
Though remote work may not be for everyone, it can certainly save the average commuter on gas money and travel time. Even a few days per week sans-commute can lighten your financial load, though you may find a fully at-home set up a comfortable and economical solution.
Carpool with friends or coworkers
If working from home isn’t feasible for your current situation, carpooling is another alternative to counteract high gas prices and environmental pollution. You might be surprised how willing friends and coworkers are to share a ride— just make sure you develop a rotating schedule and split gas bills evenly.
Plan for more efficient trips
Though you can swap some in-person errands with online alternatives, some tasks are too inconvenient or impossible to run without a car. However, by consolidating multiple trips into one, you can check off several to-do items in one go.
For example, if you find yourself at the grocery store multiple times per week, consider creating a meal plan with a detailed grocery list to fit your order into one excursion. However you plan your car-required chore day, try to check off as many items as possible for maximum savings.
Use public transportation or ride-sharing
Another excellent option for those looking to reduce their car reliance is utilizing the public transit options in your area. City transportation systems are beneficial for those living in bustling hubs—especially those with organized subway or bus coverage. However, those in more rural areas can still take advantage of public transit offers.
Though it may take time to become accustomed to your local schedule, you’d be surprised how must time and money public transport can save you.
Walk or bike for shorter distances
Though walking or biking to some destinations may be out of the question, you’d be surprised how many places are close enough for an on-foot (or two-wheel) commute. Instead of driving three minutes to your local grocer, consider reserving a larger chunk in your schedule and take a much-needed walk to the store.
Plus, you don’t have to give up driving altogether to implement more environmentally friendly and money-saving solutions. Perhaps you could set a limit of five miles, biking or walking to any location within the radius. Or pledge one or two days a week to a car-free lifestyle, easing into lengthier stretches if possible.
Before you go
Though driving is a convenient and often necessary aspect of everyday life, you can reduce your reliance by making a few simple lifestyle alterations. Whether you decide to bike shorter distances, carpool with coworkers, or transition to remote work, limiting commutes is likely more manageable than you may think.