carpooling http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/12713/all en-US 6 Ways to Get College Kids Home for the Holidays for Cheap http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-get-college-kids-home-for-the-holidays-for-cheap <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-get-college-kids-home-for-the-holidays-for-cheap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/friends_traveling_together_58534620.jpg" alt="Finding ways to get college kids home on the cheap" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Kid off to college this year? You're already feeling the pinch on your budget as he or she starts their (fingers crossed) four-year career, but there are perhaps a few expenses you may have overlooked during all the hustle and bustle &mdash; like how your little smarty pants will get home during breaks and holidays. To keep these travel costs manageable, consider these inexpensive ways.</p> <h2>1. Cash in Miles for Free Flights</h2> <p>In all the years you've been saving those airlines miles for the vacation of a lifetime, I bet you never thought you'd have to compromise them by bringing your kid back and forth from college for holiday breaks. Yeah, it sucks, but when they graduate and land that high-paying job, they'll totally pay you back&hellip; right?</p> <p>While you hold your breath on that prospect, consider consulting <a href="http://www.rewardexpert.com/">RewardExpert</a>, which helps travelers create easy-to-follow strategies by developing customized points earning plans and maximizing frequent flyer rewards. The service makes it easy to earn free tickets in just a few months, or help you make the most of what you already have.</p> <h2>2. Carpool With Someone Headed the Same Direction</h2> <p>I often carpooled with friends to and from college who lived at least somewhat close to my home. I'd offer gas money for the ride, and my parents would pick me up from their homes so they didn't have to go out of their way to drop me off at mine. Your kids can do the same thing the old-fashioned way by asking their friends for a ride, or &mdash; if they don't have any friends who live within driving distance of where you're from &mdash; suggest that they post an ad on Craigslist or a community or school message board looking for a driver.</p> <p>Alas, if that's too 20th century for them, there's <a href="http://thecollegecarpool.com/">College Carpool</a>, one of a handful of services that allow students to connect with others driving the same direction through private pages for each college. Through forums, students can find available rides, or proactively request one.</p> <h2>3. Enroll in a Car Share</h2> <p>Does your kid prefer to take the wheel, but they don't have a car of their own on campus? Nowadays they can sign up for car-sharing services, which help eliminate the issue of not being able to rent a car from traditional services (like Alamo) that usually require drivers to be at least 25 years old. Car-sharing services like <a href="http://www.zipcar.com/universities">Zipcar</a> and <a href="https://www.enterprisecarshare.com/us/en/home.html">Enterprise CarShare</a> are available to university students, and monthly fees are low. Once registered, students can reserve a car whenever they need one. This is a helpful convenience especially around the holidays when the rest of the family is busy with their own day-to-day concerns.</p> <h2>4. Hop on the Bus</h2> <p>I never took the bus home from college &mdash; that eight-hour ride didn't much appeal to me, plus I had awesome friends who didn't mind giving me a lift &mdash; but when I moved to Manhattan without a car in my mid-20s, I often hopped on a Greyhound to get back to my hometown of Baltimore. It was convenient, fast, and, most importantly, cheap.</p> <p>Thus, if you live a reasonable distance from child's university and they don't mind tight quarters, this may be a good option for you and your family. It's actually a rather relaxing ride once you get situated; most modern bus services, including BoltBus and Megabus, feature free WI-FI, power outlets, and even reclining seats. Smaller-scale regional buses, like <a href="http://www.coachusa.com/info/shortline/ss.studentdiscounts.asp">Short Line</a>, also offer student discounts.</p> <h2>5. Travel by Train</h2> <p>If booking your kid a bus ticket isn't an option, perhaps riding the friendly rails is a more accommodating compromise. <a href="https://www.amtrak.com/student">Amtrak</a> provides service from 500 destinations in 46 states, and it offers a 15% student discount along with the opportunity to earn points toward free travel. Amtrak is the only nationwide rail-service, which means you don't have any other options for train travel, unless you can work your regional lines to your advantage if they exist.</p> <h2>6. Get Creative</h2> <p>You don't always have to choose one option over another. Sometimes you can use a few different methods &mdash; like a bus to a train or a train to a plane, for instance. Look for the best deals among the types of transportation available to you and plan your student's trip home accordingly. It may take some time to plan and settle on the most efficient and cost-effective method, but it's worth it &mdash; especially when you consider how often you may have to do this over and over again in the next four (or five or six) years.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-ways-to-get-college-kids-home-for-the-holidays-for-cheap&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%20Ways%20to%20Get%20College%20Kids%20Home%20for%20the%20Holidays%20for%20Cheap.jpg&amp;description=6%20Ways%20to%20Get%20College%20Kids%20Home%20for%20the%20Holidays%20for%20Cheap" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Ways%20to%20Get%20College%20Kids%20Home%20for%20the%20Holidays%20for%20Cheap.jpg" alt="6 Ways to Get College Kids Home for the Holidays for Cheap" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-get-college-kids-home-for-the-holidays-for-cheap">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-costly-flight-booking-mistakes-you-make-all-the-time">8 Costly Flight Booking Mistakes You Make All the Time</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-graduate">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Graduate</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-the-most-from-your-airline-miles-in-these-5-overlooked-cities">Get the Most From Your Airline Miles in These 5 Overlooked Cities</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-students-should-make-during-a-gap-year">8 Money Moves Students Should Make During a Gap Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-lessons-that-teach-your-kid-to-be-their-own-boss">5 Lessons That Teach Your Kid to Be Their Own Boss</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Family Travel carpooling college flights holiday breaks kids moving home public transportation rewards miles teens trains young adults Wed, 09 Nov 2016 10:00:13 +0000 Mikey Rox 1806658 at http://www.wisebread.com Here's How Rich You'd Be If You Stopped Driving http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-driving <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-driving" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_piggy_bank_car_000059532196.jpg" alt="Woman learning how rich she&#039;d be if she stopped driving" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Cars are useful, but they can also be an unnecessary burden on your budget. My first car was a sky blue 1993 Mercury Sable. It was a boat of a car, but it was lovely and near-mint because I bought it from a senior citizen who only used it for church and the grocery store. I lived in the suburbs, but I would often carpool with coworkers or take the bus to save money. Eventually, I sold my car and moved to a place walking and biking distance from work and school. With the money I saved, I paid for two years of college tuition!</p> <p>Here in Los Angeles, walkable neighborhoods are flourishing, plus bike lanes and new rail routes are opening regularly. I rarely need a car to run basic weekly errands. My household shares one Honda Fit and we invest the money saved by not owning a second car. Here's why you should try it, too.</p> <h2>Here's What a Car Costs You Every Year</h2> <p>Let's break down all the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-cars-you-can-drive-almost-forever">costs associated with driving</a>, using average <a href="http://newsroom.aaa.com/2013/04/cost-of-owning-and-operating-vehicle-in-u-s-increases-nearly-two-percent-according-to-aaas-2013-your-driving-costs-study/">numbers crunched by AAA</a>, assuming annual driving of 15,000 miles.</p> <h3>1. Car</h3> <p>Many people <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-joy-of-buying-a-new-car-9-car-buying-tips">lease their cars</a>; but let's assume you buy yours outright. A car actually depreciates in value everyday you drive it &mdash; at an average total of $3,571 per year &mdash; depending on the type of car you have, of course.</p> <h3>2. Gas</h3> <p>Let's assume you don't live in major cities like L.A., Seattle, or NYC, where gas is the most expensive in the nation. In most other places, the average cost totals $2,168 per year.</p> <h3>3. Insurance</h3> <p>Another money-pit, insurance is legally mandatory almost everywhere. Depending on your age and driving history, it can be very pricey. The average cost overall is $1,029 per year.</p> <h3>4. Repairs</h3> <p>Depending on your car's age and whether it's domestic or imported, repairs can also be an unavoidable money drain. On average it can be 4.97 cents per mile, or $745.50 per year.</p> <h3>5. Services Like AAA or OnStar</h3> <p>While having a AAA membership is highly recommended, it is an extra cost of $66&ndash;$126 per year.</p> <p>Total Yearly Cost of Driving = $7,513.50*</p> <p><em>*Counting for depreciation of the average car per year, so that we can calculate a yearly savings. Car prices vary by make, model, and state of purchase, so I recommend subbing in the first value with your own. Here's a </em><a href="http://www.money-zine.com/calculators/auto-loan-calculators/car-depreciation-calculator/"><em>car depreciation calculator</em></a><em>. </em></p> <h2>What if You Invested That $7,513.50? Answer: $$$$</h2> <p>If you thought <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking-expensive-coffee">cutting out $5 lattes</a> was a big investment, this one will make your eyes pop right out of your skull!</p> <p>I calculated a 10 year plan with a <a href="http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/savings/compound-savings-calculator-tool.aspx">compound interest calculator</a>. Let's say you invest the same amount every year for 10 years, with a conservative 6% interest rate. At the end of year two you're looking at $16,408. In five years, you'll have $44,899. In 10 years? $104,983!</p> <p>Honestly? If you got rid of your car, you could buy real estate in just 10 years.</p> <p>Some might argue: &quot;If I ditch my car, I'll spend more on other costs <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-score-free-rides-on-uber-lyft-and-sidecar">like public transit and Uber</a>!&quot; True, but the difference could be negligible. The costs of those extras is generally not enough to compete with saving what you'd spend on a car &mdash; unless you use them with unusually great frequency.</p> <h2>Absolutely Need a Car? Consider Only One Car Per Household</h2> <p>In my household, my husband and I only need one car, as only one of us works outside the home part time. The rest of the week, we work together on our small business. We drive together on business trips. This means better fuel efficiency and ability to use the carpool lane.</p> <p>Try planning a carpool strategy that allows everyone to get to work and come home together. Here's why. You will benefit from cutting your commute related costs nearly in half, but you will get to spend more time together as spouses, family members, or friends.</p> <p>How do you decide whose car to keep? See who has the most of the following:</p> <ul> <li>Newest model;</li> <li>Best fuel MPG;</li> <li>Fewest recent repairs;</li> <li>Lowest insurance rate.</li> </ul> <p>If one car is at least three out of four, that's the one to keep! Alternatively, try these six ways to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-cut-car-ownership-costs">cut car ownership costs</a>.</p> <p><em>How are you controlling your transportation costs?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-driving">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-wasting-68000-on-gas">Are You Wasting $68,000 on Gas?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-gas-dont-make-left-hand-turns">Save gas; don&#039;t make left-hand turns.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-uber-saving-or-costing-you-money">Is Uber Saving or Costing You Money?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-the-high-cost-of-cheap-gas-hurts-you">This Is How the High Cost of Cheap Gas Hurts You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-benefits-of-a-walkable-neighborhood">The Benefits of a Walkable Neighborhood</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Cars and Transportation carpooling compound interest driving gas ridesharing Tue, 23 Jun 2015 17:00:15 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1460791 at http://www.wisebread.com Uber, Lyft, and More — Where to Find the Best Rideshare Deals http://www.wisebread.com/uber-lyft-and-more-where-to-find-the-best-rideshare-deals <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/uber-lyft-and-more-where-to-find-the-best-rideshare-deals" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_ride_sharing_000025867571.jpg" alt="Woman making sense of ridesharing prices" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Learning how to use ridesharing apps is a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-modern-life-skills-everyone-should-master">modern skill you should master</a>, but which service is actually the best deal? We're comparing <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-score-free-rides-on-uber-lyft-and-sidecar">Uber</a>, Lyft, and other options to make sense of rideshare pricing.</p> <h2>Uber</h2> <p><a href="https://www.uber.com/">Uber</a> is definitely the top competitor in the space and they have the most cars on the road in the most cities. In comparison to a taxi, however, it turns out that Uber's pricing only beats the average taxi on <a href="http://www.technologyreview.com/view/535886/data-mining-reveals-when-a-yellow-taxi-is-cheaper-than-uber/">trips greater than $35</a>. But the convenience and speed of getting an Uber versus calling a taxi service makes it the better option for many.</p> <p>Price surging is the main drawback to Uber. If demand is high, Uber will increase the pricing commensurate to demand. This means that in big cities like L.A. or New York, prices can double or more during rush hours and on holidays like New Year's Eve. If you need to get around for as cheap as possible without the prolonged travel time of a bus, the new shared-ride service called Uber Pool can be as low as $3 per person, depending on your destination. You share the car with one or two other riders who are going a similar direction.</p> <p>Get a fare estimate for any trip using this <a href="http://uberestimate.com/">unaffiliated Uber calculator</a>.</p> <h2>Lyft</h2> <p><a href="http://track.flexlinks.com/a.ashx?foid=1029882.1473799&amp;fot=9999&amp;foc=1" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Lyft</a>, the app whose cars wear a pink mustache, attempts to be the equivalent of getting a ride from a friend. The overall casual and fun attitude is clear on their app and with their drivers. The best upside: no big price hikes during peak travel times. A downside: Lyft is not as widely available as Uber, but they are working toward adding new cities and drivers.</p> <p>While Lyft's pricing is comparable to Uber's, it can climb higher when factoring in tipping your driver, which is encouraged. Lyft drivers are generous (expect to find candy, water bottles, and gum in the backseat) and friendly, so you will likely be compelled to tip.</p> <p><a href="http://track.flexlinks.com/a.ashx?foid=1029882.1473799&amp;fot=9999&amp;foc=1" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">$15 Off first ride for new customers with code: LYFTAFF70457</a></p> <h2>Sidecar</h2> <p><a href="https://www.side.cr/">Sidecar</a> is a smaller, but interesting player in the ridesharing arena. Drivers name their own prices and filter their own rides. Riders get their pricing up front once they type in the destination, and riders get to <a href="http://www.theverge.com/2014/2/20/5429350/sidecar-ridesharing-app-relaunches-as-a-friendlier-uber-competitor">choose a driver</a> &mdash; unlike Uber or Lyft, which both assign whomever takes the request first.</p> <p>Pricing varies by driver, so while some might be as low as pocket change, others might offer a more luxurious ride for a higher price. The biggest drawback to Sidecar is that it not as available in many cities. If you live in the Bay Area, Seattle, Washington, D.C., San Diego, Chicago, Boston, and Charlotte, it's possible that an Uber or Lyft driver might be moonlighting on Sidecar.</p> <h2>Taxi</h2> <p>Taxi cabs are usually the last resort when you have no choice, and that has worked to the taxi industry's advantage (getting your business) and disadvantage (earning your disdain) for years. That said, taxis don't price surge, they are available at every airport while app drivers are not, and they are licensed professionals whose companies are more liable for their drivers than the app companies, which <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/uber-lyft-liability">operate in a legal gray area</a>.</p> <p>Taxi cabs usually start with a base fare ranging from $2&ndash;$5, plus a per-mile rate ranging from $1&ndash;$4. You can also find out when <a href="http://bgr.com/2015/03/18/uber-vs-taxi-cost/">Ubers are cheaper than taxis</a> with a new app that neither cab companies nor Uber wants us to know about.</p> <h2>Your Car</h2> <p>There will be times when nothing other than your own car will do: picking up your parents at the airport (good luck trying to get them to use Uber), days full of many tiny errands, or the dreaded trip to Ikea. But with the <a href="http://www.gasbuddy.com/GB_Price_List.aspx?cntry=USA">average gas price</a> in the U.S. varying from $2.30 to $3.90 per gallon, we're all trying to save money on personal car use.</p> <p>Carpooling has become a more viable option for most people in suburban areas, especially for long commutes and road trips, when you can take advantage of the carpool lanes or have your passengers kick-in a little for sharing the car. Find out how much you can <a href="http://www.cleanaircampaign.org/Your-Commute/Commute-Calculator">save by carpooling</a>.</p> <h2>The Rankings</h2> <ol> <li>Your car is still the <a href="http://www.mandatory.com/2015/02/05/is-taking-an-uber-all-the-time-cheaper-than-owning-a-car/">cheapest and most convenient</a> choice for most of the U.S., especially for burdensome errands and personal trips. If you carpool, it's an even better deal (though Uber is <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/ubers-plans-to-be-cheaper-than-owning-a-car-2015-2">trying to change that</a>).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar's advantages of speed and convenience make them ideal when traveling or on a night out. Of the apps, Uber is the most consistent and the best deal.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Taxis are still the best option for remote locations and select airports because they have access that apps are still trying to gain, but the longer the trip, the more expensive it will be compared to an Uber.</li> </ol> <p>To compare your options in the moment, try using new app <a href="http://www.priceride.com/">PriceRide</a>, which can reveal the best price for any given trip.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite ridesharing service?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/uber-lyft-and-more-where-to-find-the-best-rideshare-deals">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-score-free-rides-on-uber-lyft-and-sidecar">How to Score Free Rides on Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-earn-extra-money-driving-for-uber-or-lyft">How to Earn Extra Money Driving for Uber or Lyft</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-more-money-as-an-uber-driver">How to Get a High Rating and Make More Money as an Uber Driver</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-uber-saving-or-costing-you-money">Is Uber Saving or Costing You Money?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-earn-extra-money-with-your-car">7 Ways to Earn Extra Money With Your Car</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks carpooling Cars lyft ridesharing taxis Uber Fri, 19 Jun 2015 13:00:16 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1457075 at http://www.wisebread.com Becoming a One-Car Family: 5 Points to Consider http://www.wisebread.com/becoming-a-one-car-family-5-points-to-consider <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/becoming-a-one-car-family-5-points-to-consider" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/one_family_car_000026960870.jpg" alt="Family deciding to become a one-car family after consideration" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you're looking to simplify your life or just save money, leaning your family down to just one car can be a wise choice. My husband and I have been doing the one car thing for around a year, and it's working out quite well since our daughter is young and I work from home. We made the change after the repairs and gas costs started taking huge chunks out of our monthly budget, and it's proved to be a smart financial choice for us overall.</p> <p>While there are still times when owning two vehicles might be more convenient, with a little compromise and some planning, we're hoping to keep it simple for as long as possible. Here's how you can do the same.</p> <h2>1. Map It Out</h2> <p>Before anything else, click open a map to investigate the area around your home. When I checked our location, I discovered that our daughter's school, as well as a hospital, pharmacy, grocery store, and even a few restaurants and shops, were all within a mile of our front door. Since I work from home, knowing these amenities were in close distance helped us feel confident that we could access most of what we might need on foot in a pinch. You can also choose to switch banks, doctor's offices, pharmacies, and other spots to fit your new lifestyle.</p> <h2>2. Consider the Weather</h2> <p>That being said, we also live in an area where winter overtakes the region a good five months out of the year. If inclement weather is a factor that might make walking or other transportation difficult, weigh it in your decision accordingly. If you have kids, think down the line to when getting to school events or other activities might get tricky with just one vehicle.</p> <h2>3. Group Your Trips</h2> <p>A lot of the bumps in switching to just one car come from convenience and ease of transport. Sometimes you can't go where you want to go at the moment you want to go there. Start keeping lists of items (food, household, etc.) that you need and try to take shopping trips all at once. Group activities, like gym classes and other recreation, to get the most out of your trips. I find it particularly helpful to post a large calendar so my husband and I can see where the car is needed and when. Then practice before you drop that second car. Can you make it work?</p> <p>As a bonus, you may also find you save money by not running to the store every time you need something. Staying home more often has its benefits.</p> <h2>4. Consider Alternative Transportation</h2> <p>There's a lot on the spectrum between driving and walking. Check out the bike routes to work, for example. The average speed bike commuters travel is around 10 mph, and trips of three miles or fewer are actually faster by bike. Those of you who live in cities can check local bus and subway schedules to see if you can get where you need to go in good time. Buying frequent rider passes can be a great way to save on travel this way. Comb Craigslist and other classifieds for motorized scooters. Where there's a wheel, there's a way.</p> <h2>5. Dip in the Pool</h2> <p>Furthermore, if you live in a more spread out area, carpooling might be a good option &mdash; especially for your daily commute. Ask your coworkers or Human Resource office if any employees have organized groups. You may also find community programs by searching online. And there are lots of carshare and rideshare programs, like <a href="http://www.zipcar.com/webch&amp;gclid=COno04Os4sQCFdY8gQodw60Amw">Zipcar</a> and <a href="https://erideshare.com">eRideShare</a>, across the country that allow you to get from point A to point B without owning a car at all. Once you've surveyed all the options, make a plan that works for your family. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carpooling-pros-cons-and-how-to-stay-safe?ref=seealso">Carpooling: Pros, Cons, and How to Stay Safe</a>)</p> <p><em>We'd love to hear your tips on making just one car work for a family (or perhaps no car at all). Please leave your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/becoming-a-one-car-family-5-points-to-consider">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-frugal-living-resolutions-anyone-can-master">23 Frugal Living Resolutions Anyone Can Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-books-that-will-get-your-kids-excited-about-money">10 Fun Books That Will Get Your Kids Excited About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-what-to-do-with-a-totaled-car">My 2016 Budget Challenge: What to Do With a Totaled Car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-frugal-living-skills-i-wish-my-parents-would-have-taught-me">8 Frugal Living Skills I Wish My Parents Would Have Taught Me</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-your-kids-contribute-to-family-money-goals">Should Your Kids Contribute to Family Money Goals?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Family carpooling downsizing rideshare saving money simplifying life Wed, 15 Apr 2015 21:00:10 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1386019 at http://www.wisebread.com Carpooling: Pros, Cons, and How to Stay Safe http://www.wisebread.com/carpooling-pros-cons-and-how-to-stay-safe <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/carpooling-pros-cons-and-how-to-stay-safe" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/423813351_ee49c0b3e7.jpg" alt="carpool sign" title="carpool sign" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="200" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I have been an avid carpooler for nearly three years now. I carpool to and from work with colleagues each day, in addition to finding one-off travel companions for long weekend trips. I&rsquo;ve pretty much seen it all, from the intensely inspiring conversations that blossom into great friendships to the insanely inconsiderate travel mates whose idea of a good time is stinking up my car with tuna melts and forcing me to listen to hours of endless rubbish on the radio. Moreover, I&rsquo;ve learned how to stay safe while sharing the road with strangers. I&rsquo;ve decided to jot down what I have found to be the pros and cons of carpooling, followed by some <em>essential</em> safety tips if you decide to take up the hippy-tastic art of carpooling.</p> <h3>PRO: Save Some Green &ndash; In More Ways Than One!</h3> <p>I decided to carpool primarily for financial reasons. I&rsquo;d just signed a three-year lease on a Honda Civic, and I was only allowed to travel 15,000 miles a year before I&rsquo;d be charged some serious penalties upon trade-in. I ran the numbers, added in some extra miles for weekend trips, and saw that I would never come <em>close</em> to being under the 45,000 mile mark in three years. Carpooling has saved me money on my lease, but it can also save car owners money that would be spent on wear-and-tear related issues including oil changes and gasoline. And for those individuals sans-wheels, it&rsquo;s a perfect solution to get to where you need to go.</p> <p>Carpooling also helps save money on parking, tolls, and other expenditures. And it&rsquo;s wise to ask your insurance provider about discounts that you may be entitled to if you report yourself as a rideshare participant. I save a substantial amount in insurance payments this way.</p> <p>And let&rsquo;s not forget the environment &mdash; it just makes sense to limit our nasty emissions when possible. According to the Sightline Institute, the average car emits 1.10 lbs of CO2 per mile. When you carpool, an average car with two passengers decreases that number by one-half!</p> <p>Finally, my organization really encourages carpooling. Those who carpool receive a cute little decal to put on their car (a hybrid with flowers floating out of the tail pipe!) and are offered prime parking real estate right in front of the building. This really comes in handy on those cold and rainy mornings!</p> <h3>PRO: Socializing and Networking</h3> <p>If you are a social person, and I certainly am, carpooling is a great way to meet people and make new friends. I had the pleasure of meeting two of my now closest friends because of the long hours we spent on the road each and every day. It&rsquo;s so nice to pass the time in great conversation (or let&rsquo;s face it &mdash; office gossip!), and it really makes rush-hour traffic seem to disappear.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s also a nice way to meet people you wouldn&rsquo;t otherwise interact with at work. A lot of us tend to get lost in our own small work teams and rarely have the opportunity to meet interesting people who sit on the other side of the building, or who are in higher or lower positions. And while you&rsquo;re at it, this can also be a great way to schmooze and network, if that&rsquo;s what you&rsquo;re into.</p> <h3>PRO: Catching Some Zzzs or Multi-Tasking</h3> <p>One of the greatest perks that I enjoy as a carpooler is the chance to catch 40 winks. I do enjoy the usual banter and chitter-chatter, but there are certainly those difficult days when you feel like your head is about to explode, and you just can&rsquo;t take it anymore. It&rsquo;s times like these when an understanding carpool buddy can take the burden off you and let you relax while you magically make your way home.</p> <p>Alternatively, if you&rsquo;re a real go-getter and hate the lack of productiveness that 40 minutes on the road brings, why not use the time to pull out your laptop and get a bit more work done? When you get home and email your boss the final draft of the memo she&rsquo;s been waiting for, she&rsquo;ll wonder when you found the time to get so much done!</p> <h3>PRO: Leave Work Early</h3> <p>Ever notice how that meeting that was supposed to end at 5:00 p.m. sometimes drags on until 5:15&hellip; 5:30&hellip; 6:00? I found people at work to be very understanding of my obligations as part of a carpooling team. &ldquo;Excuse me, I&rsquo;m really sorry, but it&rsquo;s 4:59 p.m. and my carpool buddy really gets upset if I&rsquo;m not out in the parking lot and ready to go at 5:00 p.m. sharp. I really wish I could stay all night, but I don&rsquo;t want to inconvenience him...&rdquo;</p> <h3>CON: Schedule Conflicts</h3> <p>Assuming you <em>can&rsquo;t </em>always use your strict carpool departure schedule as an excuse to get out of work on time, carpooling may not always work. There will inevitably be obligations outside of one&rsquo;s control, which may leave one or more individuals stranded late at the office. Vacations, sick days, and other events might also put a spanner in the plans as well. My advice in these circumstances is to try to plan ahead as far in advance as possible, and to always have a back-up option. Do you know anyone who has a similar route home but who you don&rsquo;t carpool with on a daily basis? Make sure to keep them in mind for those emergencies. Being aware of the public transportation schedules is also a good way to ensure you will never be stranded in a pinch.</p> <h3>Safety Tips</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s probably easier to practice safe carpooling when you&rsquo;re doing it with neighbors or colleagues. There&rsquo;s a sense of security knowing that you already have a relationship with the person, or at least a few things in common, and there is less of a risk than driving with a total stranger.</p> <p>But it&rsquo;s not always possible to drive with people that you know. What if you want to catch a lift with someone for a five-hour journey? This person is most likely not going to be someone you already know. So how do you make sure that you&rsquo;re being careful enough?</p> <p>I like to find people to carpool with on reputable sites such as <a href="http://www.zimride.com/">ZimRide.com</a> and <a href="http://www.erideshare.com/">eRideshare.com</a>, university carpool boards, and other local websites. Some of these sites show user profiles and give you a little more information about your potential travel companion. Some even show feedback from people who have already shared a ride, helping you to feel safe that others felt they were good drivers, and that they got to their final destinations in one piece. <a href="http://www.craigslist.com/">Craigslist.com</a> also has a rideshare category, which I have personally used with great success; however, it isn&rsquo;t nearly as well organized, and I urge you to be careful to avoid scams.</p> <p>I also try to have a conversation with the individual before setting out on the road. Establishing some ground rules before you decide to take the plunge with a total stranger is an absolute must. Crucial issues such as payment, how they feel about smoking, what their driving record is like, and other essential pieces of information are best to learn early on. You could also meet in a public place for lunch to get a good sense of who you&rsquo;re about to share the next several hours of your life with. I&rsquo;ve found that I&rsquo;ve had a great deal in common with individuals I&rsquo;ve met through carpooling. After all, we&rsquo;re all doing it for similar reasons and heading to the same destination, so there&rsquo;s usually enough material to fill the silence!</p> <p>But at the end of the day, you never really know for sure. When I am driving with someone whom I&rsquo;ve never met before, I always let my husband know who the person is, what time we&rsquo;re supposed to arrive at our destination, and I have him call me a few times throughout the ride. My main rule of thumb is to not ride with anyone who I don&rsquo;t feel comfortable with. If you get an initial bad vibe upon meeting someone, trust your gut and don&rsquo;t get in the car &mdash; plain and simple. They may be upset that you&rsquo;re backing out, but that&rsquo;s completely your prerogative and you should feel 100% within your rights to do so.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>This is a guest post by Higgins Bealing, an engineer by day (trying to save the planet through green initiatives) and an MBA student by night. She divides her time between West Hartford, CT and Ithaca, NY and has found many ways to pinch pennies through carpooling, renting out her home, and writing for environmentally friendly blogs.</p> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/higgins-bealing">Higgins Bealing</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carpooling-pros-cons-and-how-to-stay-safe">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-smart-ways-to-boost-your-gas-mileage">11 Smart Ways to Boost Your Gas Mileage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/keys-locked-in-the-trunk-heres-what-to-do">Keys Locked in the Trunk? Here&#039;s What to Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-cant-make-it-as-a-one-car-family-now-what">You Can&#039;t Make It as a One-Car Family: Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-you-know-how-to-use-a-parking-meter-serious-question">Do you know how to use a parking meter? Serious question.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-life-is-wonderful-when-you-swap-your-car-for-a-bike">9 Ways Life Is Wonderful When You Swap Your Car for a Bike</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation General Tips carpooling commuting Fri, 19 Nov 2010 13:00:08 +0000 Higgins Bealing 301911 at http://www.wisebread.com