How To: Save Money on Transportation
Being a college student can be an expensive adventure. With tuition and fees, books, on or off-campus housing, and trying to maintain a social life, expenses add up quickly.
HackCollege is all about helping you save money. That’s why we’ve put together this list of ways to save on transportation wherever you go: class, home, events, and everything in-between.
Owning your own car
On campus parking can be pricy. To avoid getting 100 parking tickets this semester, invest time researching the types of parking passes that best fit your needs. Your university website is the place to start. Some institutions offer discounted passes for part-time students who won’t be on campus every day of the week.
It’s also a good idea to research and compare car insurance companies. In Ohio (where I go to school), for example, the average annual insurance premium is $926. I don’t know about you, but I don’t know any college students who can afford that out-of-pocket. Using an insurance comparison engine to compare benefits or ways to the most money based on your driving record, the state you live in, and what kind of car you have can keep some of those dollars in your pocket. Make sure that you look for good student discounts!
Take advantage of the research skills you’ve honed in the classroom.
Alternatives to owning your own car
For those of you who don’t own a car, there are many other forms of transportation. Public transportation is always a great option, since you can pay monthly or utilize a pay-as-you-go method. Other good options are Uber and Lyft, which have been on the rise among college students. These companies are designed to get you from point A to point B with no hassle. It sure beats taking a taxi.
Another good option would be to use your on-campus transportation system. For example, your college or university might have a bus system or passenger vans that loop around campus to get you from class to home, especially during the colder months.
Many students choose to ride their bike to and from class rather than rely on cars or buses. This is a great option to reduce your carbon footprint and ensure no cost of parking passes or long waits at the bus stop. Just make sure to invest in a good bike lock; take the bike inside and hang it in your apartment in decrease chances of theft. There’s also the handy kick scooter, if you’re looking for a bike alternative.
Budgeting transportation costs
If you know that you’re going to be traveling to and from campus or home, make sure to keep track of what you’re spending to figure out ways to cut costs. For example, if you drive 25 miles a week and gas, on average, is $1.75 a gallon, you can calculate how much money you’ll spend on gas per month. If price of gas is becoming troublesome, consider carpooling and splitting the cost among passengers. You can take turns driving or become the designated driver. If you can rely on your carpool-mates paying you for gas, budget for it, but remember how much it costs without their help in case they stop riding with you.
It’s always good to overestimate how much you’ll pay to leave a buffer to roll over into the next month.
What types of transportation do you use? Let us know in the comments below or tweet at us @hackcollege.