How to Save Money on Your Commute to Work
With the cost of living rising, people are looking for more ways to save money where they can. From getting savvy with the food shop, to switching to energy-saving lighting - there are all sorts of ways to cut costs.
Travelling into work can be a particularly expensive area - in fact, a 2016 study showed that commuters in Manchester were spending over £1800 on commuting each year. A more recent London-focused study carried out in 2021 showed that the average cost of a commute into London from commuter towns equated to £5,294 per year, further highlighting the financial strain that commuters can be under.
From petrol to parking, the costs can soon add up, and whether you’re a hybrid worker or full-time in the office, it can make a real dent in your monthly budget. Therefore, you might be wondering how to save on your commute to give you a little bit more money to spend on the things you enjoy. Luckily, we’ve got all of the top tips to help with cutting your travel costs to work.
What are the Cheapest Ways to Commute to Work?
From walking and cycling, to driving and public transport - there are a number of different ways to commute to work. However, some of these commuting methods can make a bigger dent in your budget than others, so which are the cheapest commuting methods to adopt?
In order of the least to most expensive methods, these are some of the cheapest ways to commute:
So, whether you invest in a new bike and helmet to transport you to the office, or clear your head with an early morning jaunt - these methods will help you to save more on your commute when compared to methods like driving or public transport.
How to Save Money on Train Tickets
If you live too far away from your office to walk or cycle, then you might consider taking the train to work.
However, the cost of a daily return ticket can really add up, so it’s important to know how to save money on rail travel where you can.
Some of the best ways to save money on train tickets include:
Invest in a railcard
Book your tickets in advance
Split your train tickets
Claim a refund for delayed or cancelled trains
If you’re unable to travel off-peak, railcards are a great option that will allow you to save ⅓ on most of your train tickets. Priced at around £30, you’ll soon make your money back and start saving on your daily commute.
Reducing the Cost of Driving to Work
If public transport isn’t an option and you need to drive to work, it can get expensive. Not only do you need to consider the fuel costs, but you also need to think about wear and tear on your car, insurance and all-day parking, which can really add up.
However, there are a few ways to make driving to work a little more economical, including:
Drive with care until the car has warmed up
Regularly check your tyre pressure
Shop around for car insurance to get the best price
Utilise on-site parking at your office
Avoid travelling at peak times
Don’t carry unnecessary weight in your car
Consider car sharing with a colleague
Seek out the cheapest petrol prices
From saving on your insurance, to avoiding rush hour traffic - these are a few ways in which you can make driving to work a little more cost effective to save you money on your daily commute.
Other Ways to Save on Your Commute
Aside from looking for the cheapest ways to commute to work or buying yourself a rail card, there are few other tips which could help you to save a few extra pounds each month.
Rethink Your Route
Whether you’re taking the train or driving, you’ll probably stick to the route you know, day after day. However, this might not be the most economical option.
If you’re driving, you should use a navigation map to help you plan out the quickest route. So, whether that means avoiding traffic jams, or bypassing toll roads - switching up your route could help you to save a little on your commuting costs.
Similarly, if you’re travelling by public transport, you might be able to save money by being flexible with your journey. Whether you get a bus for some of the journey, rather than travelling by train the whole way, or walk to the train station rather than driving or getting a taxi - it could make a difference to the cost of your commute.
If your workplace offers flexible working and you’re able to adjust your working hours according to your schedule, then you should take full advantage in order to save on your commute.
Travelling at peak times is notoriously more expensive. From peak transport fares, to the increased chance of sitting in traffic during rush hour - the costs can soon add up. However, if you’re able to travel into work a little earlier or later to avoid peak times, then you may just see your commuting costs go down.
Perhaps one of the most expensive aspects of commuting is that trip to your favourite coffee shop for your breakfast and morning caffeine hit. However, this can put a huge dent in your monthly budget - especially if you live in London, which is home to the most expensive coffee.
Even if you live in Birmingham, which has the UK’s cheapest coffee, your daily trip to your favourite coffee shop could be costing you up to £1,007 a year - and that’s before you’ve even added your breakfast!
Instead, try to meal prep your breakfast the night before and take your own coffee with you in a travel cup to keep costs down. Alternatively, you could take advantage of the kitchen space at your office, and enjoy a hot cup of coffee as you sit down at your desk.
Even just replacing one coffee trip a week could save you up to £143 a year, so it’s definitely worth considering alternative options to help you save money on your commute.
So, whether you kick your daily coffee habit, or find an alternative route to work - just a few simple swaps each day could help you to save money, allowing you to spend it on the things you really enjoy.