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Commuting to Work and Saving Gas

Commuting to Work and Saving Gas

In this day and age of economic crisis, every single penny that you spend counts (unless you’re a self-proclaimed millionaire). And for a lot of people, nowhere else do they see themselves losing more money than when it comes to driving. A few years ago, I made the mistake of being young and naive when it came to buying my first car. Everything that you are supposed to do when buying a car the right way, I pretty much went the opposite direction. As a result, I ended up purchasing a brand new Jeep Liberty (which is considered a small SUV). No sooner had I purchased this car, then the economy decided to take a swan dive. Gas prices shot up, and I saw my checking account drain out fairly quickly.

I’m not the only one who has found themselves in a predicament when it comes to driving. Millions of Americans everywhere who made poor choices in the types of cars that they purchased have felt the pinch. Shortly after I got my new Jeep, I switched careers and had to commute thirty minutes to almost an hour at times just to get to work one way. In total, I was putting over forty miles on my Jeep each day just going back and forth to work, not to mention wasting gasoline sitting in traffic.

After a little while and a couple of negative hits at the bank in my checkbook, I began to get frustrated. Why couldn’t I keep any money in my account? After all, I was pretty sure that the only things I was spending money on were gasoline, food and bills. I did some investigating and soon discovered that I was right. I was living as frugally as one could- even sacrificing social events that other people my age were having fun with- all in an effort to save money that wasn’t getting saved. So where was it all going? My car.

That’s right. I discovered that on average, I was spending over $400 a month in gasoline just to get back and forth to work! This didn’t even count the gasoline that it took for me to fill up to run other errands around town, etc. After I tacked in my monthly car payment and car maintenance (I.e. oil changes, miscellaneous, etc.), I was spending close to $1,000 PER MONTH on my car alone. I started to figure that short of getting rid of my car (which I couldn’t do), I would have to drive it less because my paycheck that I was receiving was literally getting handed over to paying for my gas to get to work.

I wasn’t even breaking even. I started thinking about applying to a different job because it didn’t make sense for me to drive so far and not see the fruits of my labor. It was actually costing me money to go to work! Luckily, my situation improved, and I didn’t have to do anything drastic, but it just goes to show how the choices we make can really come back to bite us!