This month for QuickQuid’s “The Frugal Living Challenge,” we’re homing in on the single largest monthly expense for Britons: transportation. Did you know that we spend about £64.90 per week — or £260 a month — getting around? That’s a lot of quid, but the cost doesn’t have to be so high if you’re willing to explore other options and new routes.
For instance, if you drive a car everywhere you go, consider carpooling with a friend or co-worker several days a week to save money. And if you normally use public transportation, you can reduce your monthly cost by walking or biking instead of hopping on the Tube to get from point A to point B. In addition to putting more money back in your pocket, exploring new routes can offer a number of other benefits. Here we list five of those benefits that make choosing more cost-effective travel options this month a no-brainer. Take a look:
1. You’ll See New Things
Whether you’re carpooling to work with a co-worker, walking to the Tube station, or biking around town, you’ll likely see things you’ve never noticed before, especially if the route you’re taking is completely out of the ordinary. During your commute, take in these new sights. You never know what you might find along the way. Maybe there’s a cool restaurant you’ve never heard of, a cheaper dry cleaner to press your shirts, or perhaps there’s a new park to take your dog that you didn’t know existed. On your way to your destination, stay alert and embrace this new route for all it has to offer.
2. You’ll Get More Exercise
To be fair, you probably won’t get more exercise carpooling — that’s just exchanging one car for another — but if you’re taking public transportation or waking/biking to your destination, it’ll do your body good. To increase the benefits, consider getting off one stop short of where you’re headed on public transportation, and if you’re walking or biking, map out a route that’s not the shortest distance between the two points. Over the course of the month of this new routine, you may start to notice an increase in your energy level and a decrease in your waistline. Not bad, eh?
3. You Car Will Last Longer
Leaving your car off the road even a few times a week will increase its longevity. Putting it to work less frequently will preserve its parts for longer, resulting in less maintenance for you over the course of a year.
4. You’ll Make More Friends
You’ll spend more time with the co-worker with whom your carpool, which means you’ll have plenty of opportunity to get to know each other better. As for taking public transportation or walking and biking to your destination, you never know who you’ll meet along the way so long as you’re open to meeting new people and establishing new, unexpected friendships.
5. You’ll Be Able to Relax
Commuting to work by motor vehicle when you’re the driver can be frustrating. Traffic jams, bad drivers and inclement weather all contribute to your stress level. But when you carpool or take public transportation, you can sit back and relax as a passenger. Perhaps you can even use this time to catch some extra shuteye, read a book, or catch up on email. Walking and biking can also be relaxing if you let it. Leave your house with enough time to get where you’re going at a leisurely pace. You’ll feel more relaxed when you arrive if you didn’t have to rush.
Have other benefits to exploring new routes for your commute that we didn’t cover? Let us know in the comments below.