“I need to go to the grocery store.” “I have to commute to work.” “My legs don’t work.” Regardless of your excuse, most of us truly believe that we need a car to get around. Unfortunately, owning your own car these days is becoming pretty expensive. With gas prices near $4.00 a gallon, driving to every destination under the sun no longer seems like the financially prudent thing to do. Still, there are ways to get to where you need to go without breaking the bank. Here are a few tips for getting around without putting your finances under stress.
Up until about 50 years ago or so, many families did not use cars as their primary means of transportation. In fact, many families were still without cars, particularly in the larger cities. Do you know how they often got around? Walking. Walking is the old fashioned way to get to where you need to be. It is a great way to trim some of those love handles off your sides while you make your way about town. I know, I know. It isn’t very glamorous right? It may not be first-class enough for Fergie, but it does have one giant upside: it is 100% FREE. Of course, walking isn’t suitable in every situation, and that is why there are still four more options to go!
Remember how much you loved to ride your bike as a kid? I can remember cruising around town, feeling like I was absolutely flying over to my friends house across town. In reality, I was probably only pedaling at a rate of 25 mph, but it sure did feel like I was getting places quickly. Well, here is the good news: you can still do that. Even though they may be considered old school, bicycles have not gone the way of the dinosaurs just yet. Sure, you may get totally gassed by riding the thing around your block. Yes, you may wake up feeling sore the next morning. However, the more you do it, the less it will suck, the more fun it will become, and the more fit your body will be. Besides that, it is an uber cheap way to cover larger distances quickly without having to rev up that engine.
I’m not sure if you have noticed, but riding a scooter is all the rage right now. Still, I have to admit, almost every time I see an adult motoring around town on one of these things, my first thought is, “Man it must suck to get a DUI.” However, scooters can provide great value to you, regardless of whether or not your name is Lindsay Lohan. They are great on gas mileage and are pretty darn cheap to buy. So, if you really don’t need the car, maybe you should look into spending your cash on a scooter instead.
Rent a Car
OK. Fine. You want to be able to travel long distances and it really does require a car. No problem. However, rather than running out to the nearest dealership and slapping down a cool 40 G’s on a brand new Acura, perhaps you should look into renting a car for those trips that you only take every 6 months. If the costs of owning and the amount of driving dictate that you may not really need a full-time car, you should look into renting one for those few days that you do. Rather than insuring a car you own year-round, you can pick up daily car insurance from Insure 4 a Day at a reasonable price. How’s that for cost cutting?
Car Sharing Program
Have you guys ever heard of this one? Yeah, neither had I until I started doing a little research. If you live near a large city, you may be lucky enough to join a car sharing program. The program is exactly what the name implies – people who don’t need cars everyday can essentially share a car without the hassles of ownership…and for less money. Similar to renting a car, members can reserve the wheels for periods of several hours or days. Not only does it save people money, but it also is a “greener” way to get around. How’s that for innovation?
So, there you have it – 5 frugal ways to meet your transportation needs. What ways can you think of to save money on transportation? Let us know in the comments below!