Green Matters: Reducing my Commute will Fund my Retirement; 10 Ways you can Save at the Pump!
How to Save at the Pump and Fund your Retirement
One of the easiest, and most internally satisfying ways to save money is by being environmentally friendly. This is part 1 of a multi-part series entitled ‘Green Matters‘, which will focus on how reducing your environmental burden will also reduce your expenses. Not only is it the right thing to do, but choosing low cost green alternatives is becoming easier by the day. Part 1 of Green Matters is going to show you how to save money at the pump.
This past year I relocated for a new job, and in the process went from commuting 25 miles per day to only 4. 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! This 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. As soon as the weather turns, I will be biking to work consistently.
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. I didn’t even know that these things existed until I wrote this post, but check it out! I’m in the market for one of these bad boys as an investment.
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 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 at least get a hybrid or small vehicle that can get 40-plus miles per gallon.
What tips do you have on saving money at the pump?