Keeping with the theme of frugality and this week we explore one of the major costs we have to manage both as a household and a small business. Unlike the city of Chicago we in McHenry County and the surrounding areas do not have a variety of public transportation choices. We are also limited by the types of roads and lack of major highways. This forces us to with an eye towards monthly savings while being conscious of the burden we place on nature’s scare’s resources.
Consider the use of fuel, cost to your own pocket book, impact on our local environment, and the time-expense trade off of alternative options to make your travel efficient. If you plan on working out for 1 hour every day and you have to pay monthly gym membership to be able to work out, is bicycling or walking to certain destinations more efficient while being cost effective? This is a question each of us must ask ourselves. Understanding the transportation options, road conditions and seasonal weather patterns are foundational to increasing efficiency and thereby controlling expenses. Going for a ball game, visiting the various attractions in Chicago, or going to work could be accomplished by car pooling with friends, family, or business associates and then parking at the nearest Metra station and hopping on a train once you have evaluated the alternatives available for the commute. Planning ahead will allow the opportunity to organize leisure trips to Chicago or any other destination on the train route on the weekend to utilize the flat weekend rate of the ticket usable on both days of the weekend. This strategy will free up money for having a good time while being frugal.
Another benefit of planning ahead is consolidation the various travel into reducing the number of trips. This strategy is not only cost effective, but environmentally responsible and helps with good time management. Never forget to by asking for Senior Discount, AAA discount, etc or collect points that would off-set costs elsewhere for your family and business. These basic rules apply to vacation planning, business travel by air, and any other reason a trip is warranted.
So, what other tricks do you have to keep your family or business travel costs down? Let’s share and build an efficient community around us.