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Home » Eco-Friendly Savings, Frugality

Reducing my Commute will Fund my Retirement; 10 Ways you can Save at the Pump!

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How to Save at the Pump and Fund your Retirement

One of the easiest, and most internally satisfying ways to save money is through reducing your impact on the planet. And one of the best ways to do that is to reduce your commute and how much gas you use.

The average transportation costs in the U.S. per 2 person household are $9,211!

This past year I relocated for a new job, and in the process went from commuting 25 miles per day to only 4. I have since starting biking to work and even gone from two cars to one. This was a conscious decision. Not only did I hate the time wasted in traffic and the stress, but I hated the expense of it. In the process, I went from filling my tank once a week to just once a month!

reduce your commuteThis conscious decision allowed me to realize an annual savings of $1,170 at today’s prices. Now, I figure to spend under $400 a year on fuel. Let’s see what compound interest could do for my retirement with that kind of savings (assuming we give the oil companies the benefit of the doubt and gas prices only increase 5% annually and you’re able to make the historical stock market average of 10% per year on your investment):

$1,170 per year x 40 years (at a 10% compound interest and 5% inflation) = $2,707,166.36

That is not a misprint. Reducing my commute could result in nearly $3 million saved and completely fund my retirement. And this is only one example of how you can cut your time and expense on the road. Are you excited yet?

Here is a list of ways that you can cut your fuel expenses:

1. Reduce the commute. Move closer to work. Not only will you save money, you’ll save time and reduce stress.

2. Plan your meals and get groceries once per week. I have a number of friends who don’t plan and end up going to the market 3 times per week or more as needed. With 5 minutes of planning a week, you can keep it to 1 trip or less.

3. Eat at home. Off the the last point, if you actually plan your meals and cook at home, you don’t need to be going out 4 or 5 times per week to eat. Not only will you save significant amounts on the food, but you will at the pump as well.

4. Get a bicycle. Great exercise aside, there’s no pollution, and little expense beyond the initial purchase. Here are some tips on how to choose a commuter bike.

5. Walk. If you’re close enough, why wouldn’t you? Rather, why not get a place close enough to work where you can walk?

6. Get an electric scooter. So maybe arriving at work drenched in sweat from biking is not for you – then get an electric scooter. The economics of a scooter are phenomenal, compared to a car or truck.

7. Public Transportation. If you’re in a metro area, hopping on the bus will also allow productivity time while riding in.

8. Carpool. Split the cost of commuting and build long lasting positive work relationships in the process.

9. Change your driving habits. If and when you do drive, drive in a way that cuts down fuel usage. You can follow these 30 gas saving tips.

10. Trade in the gas guzzler. Isn’t it about time? Gas is not going to get cheaper, you might as well adjust, sell, and make a few dollars before demand for your gas guzzler completely disappears. If you’re in a 2 car household, consider going down to a 1 car household (which will save you a ton of money on insurance, upkeep, and purchase expense). If none of the tips on this list apply to you, then start looking for a more fuel efficient car – ideally one that can get 40-plus miles per gallon.

What tips do you have on saving money at the pump?

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About the Author
I am G.E. Miller, & this is my story. My goal is financial independence ASAP. If you share that goal, join me & 7,500+ others by getting FREE email updates. You'll also find every post by category & every post in order.


4 Comments »
  • G.E. Miller says:

    @ retirement – there will definitely be more coming, thanks for the enthusiasm. Any time you can combine two positives – saving money and lessening your impact on the environment – it’s a good thing.

  • Ted Warren says:

    I doggone LOVE these tips…I can look at this list and truly see the “error of my ways”. I’m not kidding you, I have been doing the opposite of almost 100% of these things you listed. I’m not proud of this, but man it’s an eye opener. Thanks for sharing.

  • Andre says:

    I live just 1.5 miles from my job. In over 20 years of working professional corporate jobs in six different cities I have never lived more than 10 miles from my job. Coworkers and others that complain about long commutes have only themselves to blame and I find they regularly make excuses for their long-distance living arrangements. (Or claim that the hour-long commute helps them “unwind.” I’d rather unwind at home an hour earlier at he end of the work day.)

    Basically, the long-distance commuters want larger, newer homes with larger lots than what is generally available closer in to the city.

    Also, on my daily drives to work, I’ve always wondered why it seems that commuters from the north side of the metropolitan area head to jobs in the south side, while at the same time, those on the south side head to jobs on the north side. (Or , east-west.) They all should just switch residences.

  • Hannah says:

    I’ve done the math and this won’t work for us. Right now we both drive the same distance to our respective jobs. If we moved closer to his, we’d be further from mine, so we’d only save on one commute.
    However, moving closer to his costs more for rent, so we’d actually lose money.
    If we moved closer to my job instead, we’d then be living in the ghetto, and that’d just be foolish.
    So you see that it is not always possible realistically to do something that on paper would be practical.

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